Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted at Breaking the Spine. Here are the upcoming releases that I'm not-so-patiently waiting for!

Once Burned
By: Jeaniene Frost

Publication Date: 6/26/12

Synopsis from Amazon:
After a tragic accident scarred her body and destroyed her dreams, Leila never imagined that the worst was still to come: terrifying powers that let her channel electricity and learn a person's darkest secrets through a single touch. Leila is doomed to a life of solitude...until creatures of the night kidnap her, forcing her to reach out with a telepathic distress call to the world's most infamous vampire...

Vlad Tepesh inspired the greatest vampire legend of all--but whatever you do, don't call him Dracula. Vlad's ability to control fire makes him one of the most feared vampires in existence, but his enemies have found a new weapon against him - a beautiful mortal with powers to match his own. When Vlad and Leila meet, however, passion ignites between them, threatening to consume them both. It will take everything that they are to stop an enemy intent on bringing them down in flames.

Savage Grace
By: Bree Despain

Publication Date: 3/13/12

Synopsis from Amazon:
Grace's life is a mess. Daniel is still a werewolf, Talbot can't be trusted, and Caleb is still out there. With Sirhan's impending death, war seems imminent. Will Grace give in to the wolf to save her family? What will happen to Daniel . . . and can their love survive one last test?

What are your Waiting on Wednesday picks?!

WICKED and SON OF A WITCH Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Sara K. for winning my first ever contest!!

I have emailed you to get the information needed to send you the books.

Thank you everyone for participating! Please check out my current contest for a free e-book copy of A Diamond in My Heart for another chance to win!


HOURGLASS by Myra McEntire

Myra McEntire

Rating: A+

Description from goodreads.com:
One hour to rewrite the past . . . 
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?
Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

My thoughts on the book:
I'm going to be completely honest. I'd heard a lot of wonderful things about Hourglass, and that made me think that I probably wouldn't like it. Let me explain... any time I hear a ton of great things about a book, it almost always ends up falling flat for me. Either I can't relate to the characters or the pacing is off or the plot just flat out sucks. However, Hourglass was a fantastic read, and I can't wait for the sequel. I fell in love with all of the characters, other than the bad guys, which I hated once I figured out they were bad. There were a ton of surprises in the book, and as hard as I tried, I couldn't predict the plot. As someone who can usually guess where a book is going, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I had no idea what would happen in this novel. I also loved that the book was near Nashville, TN, in a small town called Ivy Springs.  I LOVE NASHVILLE! It's a fantastic city, and I haven't read many books that are set there. Myra McEntire is my new hero. 

The novel starts out a bit slowly, but Emerson is a very intriguing character. She's sarcastic, witty, funny, and charming. I really loved reading about things from her POV. She's not pansy, and she can take care of herself. She has a brown belt in Martial Arts training for Christ's sake! Don't mess with her. She may be little, but she can still kick ass! She's had a rough past, but she doesn't really whine that much. She goes back and suffers from guilt some, but we all do that when someone we love dies. She is a strong character, though, and she does what she has to do to make things right. 

I would have liked to have seen more of Lily and learned more about her, but hopefully we'll get to learn more about her in the sequel. She was interesting, and a terrific friend to Emerson. She stood by her no matter what, and it's hard to find a friend like that, especially in high school. 

Michael. *swoon* The second he said he preferred professional baseball, I knew I'd found my new book character soul mate. Now if he'd only been a Cubs fan instead of a Red Sox fan, he would have been perfect. I do like the Red Sox, but my heart is with my Cubbies. I digress... Michael was a terrific character and extremely selfless. He was trustworthy, kind, patient, brave, and understanding. I loved his interactions with Emerson, and the way he took care of all of his friends. He's just an all around great guy. They really need to make one of him in real life. Or several. I'd appreciate that. Only, we need to add a Cubs fan gene to the mix. I mean I love my Cubbies, but let's face it, no one is going to be a fan of a team that never goes to the World Series without it being a genetic condition. Wow, I'm really off topic right now. 

Kaleb was a wonderful addition to the book, and he mixed things up a lot. You can tell that deep down he's a good guy, but he's suffering, so he makes some terrible mistakes. He really care about his friends, though, and I really liked his ability. I'd like to see more of him in the next book, too. 

Thomas and Dru are the most likable parent figures in the world. Thomas is Emerson's brother, and Dru is his wife. They are supportive and kind to Emerson, and I simply loved them. They also were present a lot in the novel, and I enjoyed that. I like it when we don't have to read about phantom parents all the time. Spices things up a bit, don't you think? 

The first half of the book focuses on explaining the complicated world that McEntire has created. The time travel thing is a little science-y and confusing, but over all, McEntire leaves out enough details that it didn't give me a headache. I think I grasped the concept just fine, and I am no science whiz. The beginning moves a little slowly, but because of that I was able to gain trust in Michael and the rest of the Renegades right along with Emerson. Also, there is no insta-love. I hate insta-love, and I really appreciate it when an author takes the time to make a relationship develop instead of using love as a plot device. McEntire handled the relationship thing gracefully, and the connection between Michael and Emerson grew organically throughout the book. Nothing felt forced about it. It was easy to believe that they were best friends who just happened to fall in love with each other. 

The second half of the book is filled with mysteries, surprises, and a lot of tense moments. There's not much "action" in my mind because there is not really any fighting. However, there is a lot going on, and the climax and big reveal are intense and shocking. I was on the edge of my seat from about page 200 on. The ending wrapped things up nicely, but also left room for a sequel. The world McEntire has created is unique and wonderful. It's a great place to lose yourself in, and I haven't had nearly enough of it. Hourglass is not a book that you want to miss. 

Want to buy Hourglass?


Happy New Release Day!!!

OMG OMG OMG! I have been waiting for these books for SUCH a long time! Hooray for Kindle delivering things at midnight on release days!

Sooooo, without further ado, HAPPY NEW RELEASE DAY TO COURTNEY ALLISON MOULTON, JODI MEADOWS, AND LORENA ANGELL!! Sorry for the caps, but I'm super excited!

If you haven't pre-ordered these books already, then what's wrong with you?!?! I mean, er, here are the links to Amazon in order to make your ordering even MORE convenient! You have no more excuses, so treat yourself! You won't be sorry!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Check out this terrific giveaway from a fellow blogger!

Forever Lost In Books is having a great giveaway because they reached 99 followers! Go check it out!


ONCE BURNED by Jeaniene Frost Cover Reveal!

Hellooooooooo hotness!

A Diamond in My Heart Giveaway!!!

Hey everybody! Lorena Angell is nice enough to let me host a giveaway for her BRAND NEW YA e-book A Diamond in My Heart, that's being released on 1/31/12! This is the second book in her AMAZING Unaltered Series, and is not to be missed! The formats offered are: mobi, epub, pdf, and palm doc. So no matter how you like to do your e-reading, we can accomodate you! Just enter through the rafflecopter below for a chance to win! Contest runs through 2/7/12, and is international.
than the diamond itself.

Book two in ‘The Unaltered’ series. At age sixteen, Calli Courtnae learned that superhuman abilities and powers existed in her ordinary world yet had remained hidden for thousands of years. She became one of them through the course of events controlled by Maetha the Immortal and is now faced with trying to live in her ordinary world while secretly possessing extraordinary powers. Her task is complicated by the emergence of an unknown power in one of Calli’s classmates which requires her to befriend the boy in an effort to help him use his powers for good and not just for his own self-gratification. Calli is able to read minds, view the future, heal, and locate other Diamond Bearers she didn't know existed and in doing so she'll learn of traitors who've sided with the US Government and who threaten her new world and the lives of those she loves. She'll question her own loyalties and friendships, and ultimately be faced with the inevitable--the reuniting of the diamond shards.

Interview with Lorena Angell

Hey guys, this interview is with Lorena Angell, author of A Diamond in My Pocket and A Diamond in My Heart.

Q: The mythology surrounding A Diamond in My Pocket is very unique, how did you come up with the idea?
A: The storyline for A Diamond in my Pocket and the major plot points came from a dream one night. The dream was like a movie with a beginning, middle, and end and when I woke the next morning I knew I had to write it down. The mythology actually came a bit later with the help of my son, Joshua, who is an avid fantasy/sci-fi fan. I remember one day after writing most of book one, he asked me what the lore of the diamond was. I stared at him with a blank expression. “The what?” He helped me fill in the gaps and connect the dots, and keep everything straight.

Q: How long did it take you to write this book?
A: A Diamond in my Pocket took about two months to write. The initial ‘purge’ was four days of constant writing resulting in 50,000 words. Much of that was edited later but the story line remained the same throughout the edit.

Q: How long did it take you to write A Diamond in My Heart?
A: It took me three months to write A Diamond in My Heart. Of course, there were many interruptions and delays because of the holidays and life in general.

Q: Is A Diamond in My Pocket the first book you've written?
A: No. The first book was The Dictator’s Daughter, book two of the Scars of Defiance series. Once I completed the book, I realized the characters Sara and Paul had an exciting story to tell as well and that became book one, Scars of Defiance.

Q: Along with A Diamond in My Heart, what other projects are you working on?
A: I’ll be jumping right in to writing the third Diamond book. I will then change streams and write book three in the Scars of Defiance series to complete it.

Q: How many books are you planning to have in the Unaltered Series?
A: As of right now, I plan on four books in total all centered on Calli. The Unaltered series has the potential for many books if you consider there are twenty-one Diamond Bearers living with their own exciting stories of how they came into possession of a diamond.

Q: If you could have coffee with any of your characters, who would you pick and why? 
A: Maetha. She’s lived thousands of years, witnessed the rise and fall of empires, civilizations and cultures and collected artifacts all along the way. I would join her for many cups of coffee.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about A Diamond in My Heart?
A: A Diamond in my Heart has a different feel to it. Calli no longer feels the guilt and burden of lying to her friends about the diamond and she’s accepted her role as a Diamond Bearer. She’s still the same girl; sarcastic and tosses her dry humor around often. Calli discovers a new power in a boy from school but she cannot figure out what it is. Maetha tells her that this boy isn’t the only one wielding the new power and Maetha assigns Calli to teach him about his new world. This is not an easy task for Calli as the boy is using his ability to manipulate girls; he’s a regular horn dog and an opportunist. Chris Harding is on Calli’s mind quite a bit, but she knows according to the vision she saw before she left the Runners compound she won’t see him until she ages and matures. The book spans over three years allowing Calli to attend her freshman year at college and experience life in a co-ed dorm. A Diamond in my Heart is slightly more advanced than book one and some younger readers may not understand the innuendos. It contains violence, blood, and a bit of mild language.

Q: What song do you feel describes Calli's life? 
A: I’m glad you asked this question. I listen to music as I type and there are so many songs that fit Calli’s life. Here’s a couple:
A Diamond in my Pocket:
Linkin Park -Waiting for the End “I know what it takes to move on, I know how it feels to lie, all I want to do is trade this life for something new, holding onto what I haven’t got…”
A Diamond in my Heart:
One Republic -All this time
Mat Kearney -All I need  A great song for the end of the book

Q: Who are some of the authors that inspired you to write?
A: J.K. Rowling, Beverly Cleary, Madeleine L’Engle, Nora Roberts, Stephanie Meyer

Thank you Lorena for taking the time to answer these questions! I look forward to reading A Diamond in My Heart, which will be released on 1/31/2012!

Sunday, January 29, 2012


A Diamond in My Pocket
Lorena Angell

Rating: B+

Description from goodreads.com:
When Calli Courtnae breaks the World Record for the 100m, she is invited to Montana to prepare for National tryouts. However, upon arrival using her lip reading ability she realizes she’s been lied to, or at least not told the whole truth. She's a superhuman, a Runner, and her new world includes transporting packages for other supernatural groups. 
She’s paired up with an overly anxious Gothic roommate, is continuously glared down by the gorgeous top-dog, Chris, who feels she doesn’t belong, and is placed on a delivery team to transport a valuable magical diamond to a clan of terrorists who can kill with their thoughts.
Chris, the team leader, is given the diamond, but Calli secretly receives the real stone along with a vision of the future and an explanation of why she was hand selected to carry out the mission. Almost immediately the hidden diamond oozes unprecedented additional powers and abilities in Calli making her more sought after than the diamond itself.

My thoughts on the book:
This book is a quick read and packed with adventure. However, the main character isn't that believable as a teenager, which really  hurts with the whole willing suspension of disbelief philosophy. I noticed that many of the characters didn't react within the bell curve of normal in this novel, and the overreactions took me out of the story quite a bit. I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if the characters' reactions had been believable. Instead, they all seemed bipolar half of the time. 

Calli, the main character and narrator of the book, is not believable as a teenager. Even the geekiest teenager wouldn't use the words that Calli uses to describe things. Her wording is that of a 30+ year old woman with a college degree, not that of a teenager. Also, her outlooks, both on her life, and on herself are very logical. That's also not normal as a teenager. Considering teenagers have new chemicals firing off in their bodies all the time, it's nearly impossible for them to remain level-headed. That being said, Calli is a nice and likable character, and at least she's comfortable with herself. She doesn't attach herself to and pine after random boys, and she takes the steps necessary to improve her life and herself. 

The other characters didn't stand out to me very much. They were all kind of fillers and cookie-cutter stereotypes. The idea, on the other hand, was very interesting. A magical diamond which brings out more abilities for the person who carries it? That's cool within itself. Then when you pair that with the fact that Calli is already a supernatural, then you have the recipe for a terrific plot. There is plenty of action, including bullying, suicide, and attempted kidnapping. Mix that with people who run at superhuman paces, mind-reading, and psychic visions, and you won't be bored for a second with this novel. 

The pacing of the book is pretty spot on, and the action starts pretty quickly. It's a shorter book, under 200 pages, and you'll fly through it in no time. This novel did a terrific job of building the world that Calli lives in, and I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel, A Diamond in My Heart, which comes out on January 31, 2012. You'll definitely want to check this book out!

Here is the book trailer!

Want to buy A Diamond in My Pocket


Daphne and the Mysterious Girls Secret Bathroom Society
Robert Shields

Grade: B

Description from goodreads.com:
Following years of persecution at the hands of Vivica Vance, Daphne Downing levels the playing field wielding her No. 2 Ticonderoga pencil as she belatedly enters the world of witchcraft. Daphne becomes part of the Mysterious Girls’ Secret Bathroom Society and finds out that the politics governing witchcraft are daunting and sometimes deadly. She realizes she is aligned with the Charmers in this political battle with the Spiters led by her nemesis, Vivica. Along the way, she discovers that witches do not perform magic or witchcraft but a differentiated form of physics that only some women have mastered. The story deepens as she learns about the long history of witches’ domination and annihilation of wizards.

My thoughts on the book:
Can I just start out by saying that the title is WAY too long. It's really difficult to remember and type. Therefore, the name of the society is now being shortened to "the society" because I'm too lazy to keep typing it. Also, Shields' writing is a bit formal, especially for a bunch of 13 year-olds. It made the story harder to believe. I was unable to relate to any of the characters because there was no emotion in the story. That being said, Shields had a lot of really good ideas, and I really enjoyed story itself.  I think this book is meant for pre-teens more than teens. It's a bit more childlike than the books I'm used to reading. However, the quality of the novel is good, and I'd definitely recommend this to any pre-teen. 

Other than the fact that I couldn't really relate to her, Daphne is a fairly likable character. She happens upon magic being used in her school bathroom one day and discovers that the bathroom is the secret meeting place of the society. Over the course of the novel, Daphne learns about the complicated politics involved with being a witch, and how to do her own magic. I really enjoyed the back-story included in this book, and I liked the fact that all girls are witches if their mothers teach them the magic. It was also an interesting edition that in order to perform magic, one must first learn physics. I can tell you right now that if I was in that story, I'd never be able to be a witch. I suck at physics. Also, because of the physics and over all giant amount of information, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone under the age of 10. 

The pacing of the book is pretty slow at first, and it takes awhile to get into the story. However, once you do, you'll be drawn into the world that Shields has created and unable to put the book down. The ending itself wraps everything up nicely, so there isn't a cliff-hanger. You all know how I hate cliff-hangers, so I was glad that Shields didn't use one. Even though things were wrapped up, Shields did leave potential for a sequel. I'm unsure as to whether or not this book is a part of a series, but a sequel would work if Shields wants to write one. 

Over all, I enjoyed the book, and I'd recommend it to anyone ages 10 - 13. 

Want to check out this book for yourself?


Barnes and Noble

Saturday, January 28, 2012

RUBY RED by Kerstin Gier

Ruby Red
Kerstin Gier

Grade: A+

Description from goodreads.com:

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.
My thoughts on the book:
Wow. Just wow. The reason I picked up this book in the first place was because the cover is so different, and I am so glad I did! This is my first foray into the world of time travel, and I couldn't have picked a better novel to start with. Ruby Red is an enthralling story that will captivate you from the first page. I can definitely see why it's an international bestseller. 
The pacing of the book was a bit slow at first, but the characters are so well developed, and the story was so mysterious, that I remained intrigued. Even the secondary characters had terrific, three dimensional personalities. About halfway through the book, things start to pick up, and then it's impossible to put this book down! In the last half of the book, there is action, romance, and mystery! I couldn't have asked for a better story. 
The story is told from Gwyneth's POV, and she is a likable character. She has a very dynamic personality. Some of the things she says are really funny, and she won't take anyone's crap. She asks a lot of questions, but no one seems to answer them. That got frustrating sometimes. I think that was the point, though, to make the reader understand how confused and frustarted Gwyneth was. She doesn't complain, like many of the heroines in the YA books, and she also isn't obsessed with boys. She's not rebellious, and she doesn't have an attitude problem. She stands up for herself when she has to, but over all, she's a very polite, well-adjusted girl. It was a nice change. 
Gideon is another great character. He's a bit standoffish and arrogant, but what teenage boy isn't? He's not some tortured soul who needs saving, though. He's just a boy who time travels. He doesn't think Gwyneth is cut out for time travel at first, but she proves him wrong time and time again. Over all, he's a decent guy, though, and I liked him a lot. 
Lesley is Gwyneth's best friend, and Gwyneth told her all about time traveling even though she wasn't supposed to. Lesley is a bit of a detective, and she's always researching. I like that. She's a very intelligent and capable character from what I could tell. Google seemed to be her main love in life, and her theories on why people do things are hilarious. 
Grace, Gwyneth's mother is actually present in the novel, and that's another nice change. She takes an interest in her daughter's safety and in her life. She is very supportive of Gwyneth, and she treats her like an equal. I really liked Grace as well. 
Charlotte and her mother are the two most annoying characters, but even they aren't cookie cutters. Charlotte is intelligent and beautiful, but the time traveling gene skipped over her. She's resentful toward Gwyneth because of this, and her mother hates Grace because of it. She blames Grace for passing the gene onto Gwyneth, like Grace had any say in the matter. Though her actions are illogical, they are believable. Some people are just that obtuse. 
I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened Ruby Red, and I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't get a headache from all of the time travel stuff because Gier doesn't go into the science of it all (thankfully). The writing is fantastic, and the world Gier has created is wonderful. I can't wait to see what happens in the sequel, Sapphire Blue. Check out Ruby Red today. You won't be sorry.
Want to read Ruby Red?

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme brought to you by The Story Siren.

Click read more to see what I got from the library and on my Kindle this week!

ABANDON by Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot

Grade: A-

Description from goodreads.com:
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

My thoughts on the book:
Over all, I really enjoyed this novel. Cabot puts an interesting spin on the Persephone and Hades story, and unlike many of the authors who are rewriting myths, she doesn't use the original characters. So instead of having characters who supposedly live in Ancient Greece speaking in modern-day, colloquial speak, she creates new characters and compares them to the myth of Hades and Persephone. I like that. Pierce and John live in modern times, and Pierce's dad is an owner of an oil company that has recently had a massive oil leak and polluted the gulf. Sound familiar? Cabot also complicates the myth because Pierce saves herself from the Underworld in the beginning, and her parents have no idea about John. 

There weren't many things that irked me about this book, but a couple of things did. I don't think we find out John's name until chapter three. That took me out of the story a bit, because every time Pierce would say "him," I'd be like "what is his name?!?!" Also, the jumping around from past to present in different chapters without any warning took me out of the story sometimes. I'd have to stop and think, "oh wait, this is a flashback." That also made the pacing a bit slow in the beginning, but Cabot does a good enough job to keep you guessing that you want to continue turning the pages. 

Abandon is a short read, and it's an interesting take on an ancient myth. Pierce is a good lead character. She's been through hell and back... literally... and she still keeps her head up and fights for herself and her freedom. That's admirable. Not once does she want to lay down and die. She's a fighter. She may not be the smartest person around, but she has perseverance, and she loves animals. She has flaws, such as her lack of intelligence, that make her seem real, but she's still strong. I could always understand the decisions she made, and I could at least somewhat relate to what she was feeling. Even though she doesn't have "book" intelligence, she seems to have common sense. Also, she doesn't spend half the book in disbelief because she'd already returned from the Underworld when the novel began. She is just frustrated that people didn't believe her and thought she was crazy. I like that she accepts her fate and learns to work within the rules of her new world instead of whining and trying to avoid it. 

John is a very likable character as well. He is probably my favorite. He's the modern-day version of Hades, and you can't help but feel for the guy. He's just so sad... not emo, but tortured. He's a good version of a Byronic hero. He keeps his head up and tries to do what's right by Pierce, even though he doesn't always succeed. He doesn't whine or come across as a pansy, but it's obvious that he's silently suffering. He seems rather selfless, though. I hope he continues to be a likable character in the next book. 

Pierce's mom isn't MIA like most parents in YA novels are. She's present, just not completely in her daughter's business. She goes to work and comes home and acts like a mom. That's a nice change as well. The novel covers a short amount of time, so Cabot didn't have to figure out a million ways to have Pierce's mom not know where she is. Also, Pierce isn't some rebellious bratty teen. She's doing her best to keep her mom happy. That's important. Pierce's dad isn't present very often because her parents are divorced, but she does talk to him on the phone a couple of times throughout the novel. 

Alex is an interesting character, and I hope that we get to know him, as well as Richard, the cemetery groundskeeper. They are both dynamic characters, and I see a lot of potential in them. Kayla doesn't blow me away, but we don't get to know much about her in this novel. The popular crowd may be stereotypical and may not be. It was hard to tell because they aren't present in much of the novel. They don't pick on Pierce, though, and that's a nice change as well. However, Kayla and Alex don't seem to like them. 

Uncle Chris is another character that I'd like to learn more about. He's just not "normal," for lack of a better word. His abnormal past plays into his personality some, but he just doesn't act quite right. I'm interested to see what part he plays in the next novel. 

In Abandon, Cabot is able to avoid most of the typical stereotypes from YA literature. Her take on this myth is creative, dark, and intriguing. I can't wait to see what happens to Pierce and John next. If you haven't read Abandon yet, check it out. You won't be sorry. 

Want to read Abandon?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Check out these giveaways!

Hey everybody, Books: A True Story is having an awesome Everneath giveaway! Go check it out!


Also, Sizzling Reads is having a fantastic giveaway! One book of your choice from Book Depository!

Sizzling Reads

Owl Read It is also having a terrific giveaway! A $15 Book Depository gift card!
Under The Covers

Incandescent Enchantments is having a 100 follower giveaway!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Book Stacks On Deck 1,000 Follower Giveaway!

Check it out! You can win your choice of TWO awesome books!!

Rafflecopter is having a Kindle Fire and iPad2 Giveaway!

Enter now before it's too late!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

KISS OF FROST by Jennifer Estep

Kiss of Frost
Jennifer Estep

Grade: A+

Description from goodreads.com:
Logan Quinn was try­ing to kill me. My Spar­tan class­mate relent­lessly pur­sued me, swing­ing his sword at me over and over again, the shin­ing sil­ver blade inch­ing closer to my throat every time. A smile tugged up his lips, and his ice-blue eyes prac­ti­cally glowed with the thrill of battle... 

I’m Gwen Frost, a second-year warrior-in-training at Mythos Acad­emy, and I have no idea how I’m going to sur­vive the rest of the semes­ter. One day, I’m get­ting schooled in sword­play by the guy who broke my heart—the drop-dead gor­geous Logan who slays me every time. Then, an invis­i­ble archer in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties decides to use me for tar­get prac­tice. And now, I find out that some­one at the acad­emy is really a Reaper bad guy who wants me dead. I’m afraid if I don’t learn how to live by the sword—with Logan’s help—I just might die by the sword...

For those of you who haven't read Touch of Frost yet, I'm going to cut this so I don't spoil it for you. PS YOU  MUST READ TOUCH OF FROST! 

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted at Breaking the Spine. Here are the upcoming releases that I'm not-so-patiently waiting for!

Wings of the Wicked
By: Courtney Allison Moulton
Publication Date: 01/31/12

Synopsis from Amazon.com:

Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven's warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell's strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.
She's been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian's new plan to destroy Ellie's soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian's schemes, the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.
She'll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be Hell to pay.

By: Christina Henry
Publication Date: 02/28/12

Synopsis from Amazon.com:
Something is wrong with the souls of Chicago's dead. Ghosts are walking the streets, and Agent of Death Madeline Black's exasperating boss wants her to figure out why. And while work is bad enough, Maddy has a plethora of personal problems too. Now that Gabriel has been assigned as her thrall, their relationship has hit an impasse. At least her sleazy ex-fiance Nathaniel is out of the picture--or so she thinks...

What are your waiting on Wednesday picks?!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DRINK DEEP by Chloe Neill

Drink Deep
Chloe Neill

Grade: A+

Description from goodreads.com:
Clouds are brewing over Cadogan House, and recently turned vampire Merit can't tell if this is the darkness before the dawn or the calm before the storm. With the city itself in turmoil over paranormals and the state threatening to pass a paranormal registration act, times haven't been this precarious for vampires since they came out of the closet. If only they could lay low for a bit, and let the mortals calm down. 

That's when the waters of Lake Michigan suddenly turn pitch black-and things really start getting ugly. 

Chicago's mayor insists it's nothing to worry about, but Merit knows only the darkest magic could have woven a spell powerful enough to change the very fabric of nature. She'll have to turn to friends old and new to find out who's behind this, and stop them before it's too late for vampires and humans alike.

My thoughts on the book:
Having been in tears at the end of Hard Bitten, I was almost afraid to pick up this book. However, Neill said to trust her, and I am so glad I did. This book was full of surprises from start to finish! Merit is back, and she has to save Chicago, yet again, from vampires, sorcerers, and corrupt politicians. I love the corrupt politician angle that Neill adds to this series. It's just so Chicago, and yes, I can say that because I am a Chicagoan. GO CUBS! ahem...

Merit is a Cubs fan too, and that's just another reason that I love her. She started this book being a bit weak because she was still grieving over Ethan, but she gets her act together pretty quickly when she notices that things are going terribly wrong in Chicago. There's a scary looking cloud over the city, and the lake goes completely black and still. Being from Chicago, the the clouds are normal (especially in the winter), but the lake thing terrified me. I know, I know, it's fiction, but Neill has the ability to fully immerse the reader into her world, and I was curious and worried about the fate of Chicago and Lake Michigan. Not only that, but a new politician is in town, and she's wanting to get rid of all the supernatural/government alliances, which means Merit's grandfather is out of a job. Think things can't get any worse? You'd be wrong. 

Outside of the house, the entire city is a mess, but inside the house is even worse. Since Ethan's death, Malik has taken over the house. However, the GP thinks that Cadogan house is falling apart, so they sent someone to watch and run the house. Of course, this GP doesn't want Merit involved in what's going on in Chicago, but in typical Merit style, she doesn't listen. Since she can't work with anyone from Cadogan House, Merit has to team up with Jonah from Grey House in order to solve this mystery. 

I liked Jonah and everything, and his interactions with Merit were fun to read, but he's no Ethan. Therefore, I wasn't his biggest fan throughout the book because I kept missing Ethan, even though he was present in Merit's dreams. Mallory and Catcher also weren't present as much in this novel, and Mallory was distancing herself from Merit a lot. I missed their interactions a bit, but I missed Merit and Ethan the most. 

In an effort not to give anything away with the plot, Neill packs this book full of surprises. Some of the things I saw coming, and others came completely from left field. From the first page, I was hooked. Of course I peeked to the back because I'm a big cheater, and I had to make sure things ended the way I wanted. After being satisfied with that, I went back and read through the entire plot to see how things ended up the way they did. Somehow peeking at the end didn't kill my enthusiasm for this book in the slightest. I still had to see what Neill had up her sleeve, and the pacing is so fast that the pages flew by. 

The characters, of course, were well-developed, and everyone's favorites and least-favorites were present in this novel. Merit even talks to Tate about things. Tate's an enigma, and no one can figure out what he is. He doesn't exactly help Merit's cause of saving the city, but he's an entertaining villain nonetheless. 

For those of you who have read the other books in the Chicagoland Vampire Series, Drink Deep is a must. Neill does not disappoint with this novel. If you haven't read the series yet, then start with Some Girls Bite and work you way through the series from the very beginning. Neill has created an enthralling world in Chicago, and you do not want to miss out on it! 

Want to buy Drink Deep?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox #1

So I've been seeing these In My Mailbox posts for awhile, and it seems like a fun thing. Therefore, I'm going to give it a try. The only thing I got in my mailbox this week, though, was textbooks. So I'm going to do "On My Kindle" instead.

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme brought to you by The Story Siren.

Click read more to see what I got on my Kindle this week!


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
Sherman Alexie

Grade: A+

Description from goodreads.com:
In his first book for young adults, bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by acclaimed artist Ellen Forney, that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

My thoughts on the book:
Sherman Alexie is one of the greatest authors of all time. Let me explain this. He has the ability to speak TO YOU through his words. Every time I read one of his books, I feel like he's talking to me and telling me his life story. His writing always sucks me in from the first page. I always laugh and cry, because let's face it, he's funny, but the stories themselves are heartbreaking, and there is no doubt in my mind that the stories he tells are at least inspired by true events, and that breaks my heart even more. Alexie's unique voice, sarcastic sense of humor, and well-developed, unique cast of characters add to his engrossing plots to make unforgettable books. True Diary is no exception to that. 

True Diary is told from Junior's POV, and you can't help but feel sympathy for Junior right away. He was born with water on the brain, after all, and that's enough to make anyone feel bad for you... or call you names, depending on if you're in high school or not. Ahh the best years of your life, high school is not. Junior tells a story of poverty, heartbreak, love, and loss. He explains life on the reservation and lets people know that it's not anything like most people would expect. Junior's story is an inspiration to all of us, regardless of our backgrounds, because he never lets anything get him down. He fights for himself, for an education, and for a life. That sets him apart from the others on the reservation, and they judge him even more because he has ambitions. But Junior doesn't give up... he never gives up. 

Junior gets angry because his reservation school textbook is over 30 years old. He throws the book and gets suspended. The teacher isn't mad at him, however, and after giving Junior a pep talk, Junior decides to go to an all white high school so that he can actually get a good education. Junior's parents are too poor to get him there on most days, though, and he ends up walking over 20 miles there and 20 miles back just to get an education. His best friend from the reservation, Rowdy, hates him for leaving, and Junior feels all alone in this new world. 

At the white high school, Junior experiences blatant racism from the students, but he quickly shows them that he won't take their crap, and he actually makes some really good friends. He tries to hide how poor he is, but they find out. Instead of judging him, they try to help him. Throughout the novel Junior evolves, and the reader goes on this emotional journey of growing up with him. You can't help but root for Junior, and when things go wrong, you cry for him. The book isn't too serious, though, because Alexie is wonderfully sarcastic. I was torn between laughing and crying throughout the whole novel. 

Every single character in the book is well-developed. There are no cookie-cutter types... at least not from my perspective. Everyone is dynamic and unpredictable. Alexie does a terrific job of showing that no one's life is what it seems. There are many surprises, both good and bad in this novel. Nothing is straight-forward because people's lives aren't straight-forward. We're all complicated, and it's clear that Alexie understands that. 

The pacing of the book is excellent, and there isn't a single dull moment. There are a lot of events that happen throughout the novel to keep the reader engaged, and when something tragic or hilarious isn't happening, then Junior is drawing cartoons of how he sees things, which is pretty funny. I really loved the addition of the drawings to the text. It made the book that much richer. 

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is a book that you do not want to miss. If you haven't read the novel yet, then you are missing out. If you've never read anything by Sherman Alexie before, then I am sad for you. You  must get this book. You must read it now. 

What are you waiting for? Buy the book!