Tuesday, October 30, 2012

DEITY by Jennifer L. Armentrout Blog Tour Stop!!! Review + Alex Interview + Giveaways!


Rating: A+
Release Date: 11/6/12
Synopsis from goodreads.com:
Alexandria isn't sure she's going to make it to her eighteenth birthday--to her Awakening. A long-forgotten, fanatical order is out to kill her, and if the Council ever discovers what she did in the Catskills, she's a goner... and so is Aiden. 

If that's not freaky enough, whenever Alex and Seth spend time "training"--which really is just Seth's code word for some up-close and personal one-on-one time--she ends up with another mark of the Apollyon, which brings her one step closer to Awakening ahead of schedule. Awesome. 

But as her birthday draws near, her entire world shatters with a startling revelation and she's caught between love and Fate. One will do anything to protect her. One has been lying to her since the beginning. Once the gods have revealed themselves, unleashing their wrath, lives will be irrevocably changed... and destroyed. 

Those left standing will discover if love is truly greater than Fate...

My thoughts on the book:
Deity is action-packed and full of romance, intrigue, and suspense. I could not put this book down, and I was up until 3am reading it when I had to wake up at the crack of dawn the next day and drive 10 hours. Not a good combination. However, this book was definitely worth the sacrifice. Alex grows a ton as a character, the book has plenty of Aiden and Seth, so no matter which team you're on, you'll be happy. Also, there are some pretty amazing surprises. You will not be disappointed with this installment of the Covenant series, but you will be begging for the next book as soon as you finish this one. It's just that good.

Alex's character growth was amazing to me. She started trying to think instead of just running head first into a bunch of stupid, and she also became more selfless. A lot of that was Aiden's influence. He kept an eye on her quite a bit, but she made some good decisions for herself. She spent a lot of this novel extremely terrified of her Awakening, and I can't blame her. She still tried to do what was best for everyone, though. 

The relationships between Aiden and Alex and Seth and Alex got a lot more complicated in this novel. I have also switched from team Seth to team Aiden. I'm not going to tell you why, but Aiden really won me over this time. I also like Marcus better now that I got to see a little more of his personality. 

The plot was amazingly captivating, and action and suspense were nonstop. I could not have put this book down, even if I'd wanted to! So many people are out to get Alex that it's impossible to tell who is on her side and who wants her dead. Many of the characters aren't who we thought they were, and there are a lot of surprises. There are also a lot of attempts on Alex's life. Additionally, the pacing was perfect. All of that makes for a quick and enthralling read. 

My only complaint with this book is that it ends on a cliffhanger. I want the next installment now, haha. I'm not very patient, so the wait is already killing me. I'm in for a rough road before Apollyon is released. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book (and series) to anyone. Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favorite authors, and Deity does not disappoint. I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Pre-order Deity today!

About Jennifer L. Armentrout:

USA TODAY Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in West Virginia. All the rumors you've heard about her state aren't true. Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She shares her home with her husband, his K-9 partner named Diesel, and her hyper Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent her time writing short stories...therefore explaining her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes Adult and Young Adult Urban Fantasy and Romance. She is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Interview with Alex:

Amber: Hi Alex, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here today! What are you top favorite things about Seth?
Alex: My top favorite things about Seth? I can tell you my fav three. Ah, okay. I'd have to go with his face as being one, because he's really pretty to look at. His sense of humor and his strength.
Amber: What are your least favorite things about him?
Alex: My three least favorite things have to be his: attitude, arrogance, and his strength. Yeah, I know I listed his strength as something I liked, but I also hate it because he can usually kick my butt, and that sucks.
Amber: And Aiden? Top and least favorite things?
What I like about Aiden is his loyalty, inner strength, and of course, he's really great to stare at. I also like how clear minded he can be. Biggest dislike? His stubbornness. 
Amber: What do you like most about being an Apollyon?
Alex: I get to control the fifth element. That is pretty cool. 
Amber: What is your biggest regret?
Alex: I have more than one big regret. 
Amber: Do you ever wish that you were a full-blood?
Alex: I used to, when I was little, but not so much now.
Amber: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only have three things with you, what would you pick?
Alex: Cell phone. Laptop. Endless energy supply
Amber: What song reminds you of Aiden?
Alex: Some Devil by Dave Matthews
Amber: What song reminds you of Seth?
Alex: No Light. No Light by Florence and the Machines 
Amber: What's your favorite color?
Alex: I think blue is a pretty color.

Cats or dogs?
Coffee or tea?
Books or movies?
Hot or cold?
somewhere in between
Aiden or Seth?
I think you guys know the answer to that.

Well yea, that one is pretty obvious. Thanks for the great interview, Alex!

Click read more for the giveaways!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves #17

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by  Tynga's Reviews! This meme showcases the books received, bought, or checked out from the library over the course of the past month. 

For Review:
By: Michelle Vail
Release Date: 11/20/12
A big thank you to Harlequin Teen and Net Galley!
The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...

Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper-and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she’s shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath. Who seems to hate her guts.

Rath will be watching closely to be sure she completes her first assignment-reaping Rick, the boy who should have died. The boy she still wants to be with. To make matters worse, students at the academy start turning up catatonic, and accusations fly-against Molly. The only way out of this mess? To go through hell. Literally.

Blood Prophecy
By: Alyxandra Harvey
Release Date: 01/08/12
A big thank you to Bloomsbury and Net Galley!
In the thrilling conclusion of the Drake Chronicles, love and loyalties will be tested … and proven once and for all.

Can Solange find her way back home again? And can she do it in time to save everyone she loves from the vampire civil war, hunter attack, and each other?

Because not everyone can survive the prophecy… maybe not even her.

By: Mary Hooper
Currently in stores
A big thank you to Bloomsbury and Net Galley
Velvet is an orphan. She struggles to make ends meet by working in a steam, laundry, where the work is back-breaking and exhausting. So when she attracts the attention of the glamorous clairvoyant Madame Savoya, she cannot believe her good fortune.

Raised to the status of lady's maid, Velvet is given elegant clothes to wear and is brought to live in a grand house in London. But the longer she works for Madame Savoya, the more she discovers about the mysterious world of a spiritual medium. Velvet soon realizes that her employer is not quite what she seems and that this knowledge could put her very life in danger.

Crimson Frost
By: Jennifer Estep
Release Date: 12/24/12 (add it to your xmas list!)
A big thank you to Kensington!
For a moment, a face flashed before my eyes—the most hideous face I’d ever seen. No matter how hard I tried to forget what had happened, I saw him everywhere I went. It was Loki—the evil god that I’d helped set free against my will.

I should have known that my first official date with Logan Quinn was destined to end in disaster. If we’d gotten into a swordfight, or been ambushed by Reapers, I’d have been more prepared. But getting arrested mid-sip at the local coffee hangout? I didn’t see that one coming.

I’ve been accused of purposely helping the Reapers free Loki from his prison—and the person leading the charge against me is Linus Quinn, Logan’s dad. The worst part is that pretty much everyone at Mythos Academy thinks I’m guilty. If I’m going to get out of this mess alive, I’ll have to do it myself…

The Big Splash 
By: Jack D. Ferraiolo
A big thanks to Hachette!
Snappy, pulp-inspired noir set in the mean hallways of middle school, from an exciting debut author.

The treacherous, hormone-soaked hallways of Franklin Middle School are the setting for this sharp, funny noir novel about tough guys and even tougher girls. “The Frank” is in the clutches of a crime syndicate run by seventh-grader Vinny “Mr. Biggs” Biggio, who deals in forged hall passes and black-market candy. Double-cross him and your number is punched by one of his deadly water-gun-toting assassins. One hit in the pants and you are in “the Outs” forever. Matt Stevens is a proud loner with his own code of justice. He’s avoided being pulled into Vinny’s organization until now: Mr. Biggs has offered him a job he can’t resist, one that leads to the surprising downfall of Vinny’s top assassin, the beautiful and deadly Nikki “Fingers” Finnegan, at the hands of an unknown assailant. Matt thinks he was used, and he becomes determined to find the trigger-guy or -girl, even if it means bringing down one of his oldest friends.

The Quick Fix
By: Jack D. Ferraiolo
A big thanks to Hachette!
In this much-anticipated sequel to The Big Splash, junior high detective Matt Stevens is back on the case, bringing us another hilarious middle school noir.

When the star of the basketball team is blackmailed, it’s up to Matt, the lone voice for justice in a morass of middle school corruption, to figure out who’s behind the scheme. Is it eighth-grade crime lord Vinny “Mr. Biggs” Biggio, who has made his name peddling forged hall passes and leading a crew of social assassins who send enemies to the Outs with a humiliating squirt-gun blast below the belt? Or is it his lieutenant and Matt’s former best friend, Kevin? Or a pair of scheming twins who sell Pixy Stix to sugar-addicted classmates? One thing’s for sure: There won’t be a quick fix for the trouble at this middle school.

By: James Phelan
Release Date: 10/30/12
A big thanks to Kensington!
Four Teenagers.
One Destroyed City.
Thousands of
Infected Predators. 

Jesse is on a UN Youth Ambassadors camp in New York when his subway carriage is rocked by an explosion. Jesse and his three friends, Dave, Mini and Anna, crawl out from the wreckage to discover a city in chaos.

Streets are deserted. Buildings are in ruins. Worse, the only other survivors seem to be infected with a virus that turns them into horrifying predators... 

Outnumbered. No sign of life. Just them. And you... ALONE.

Where You Are
By: J.H. Trumble
Release Date: 01/2013
A big thanks to Kensington!
Robert Westfall's life is falling apart-everywhere but in math class.
That's the one place where problems always have a solution. But in the world beyond high school, his father is terminally ill, his mother is squabbling with his interfering aunts, his boyfriend is unsupportive, and the career path that's been planned for him feels less appealing by the day.

Robert's math teacher, Andrew McNelis, watches his best student
floundering, concerned but wary of crossing the line between professional and personal. Gradually, Andrew becomes Robert's friend, then his confidante. As the year progresses, their relationship-in school and out of it-deepens and changes. And as hard as he tries to resist, Andrew knows that he and Robert are edging into territory that holds incalculable risks for both of them.

The Unquiet
By: Jeannine Garsee
A big thanks to ARCycling!
Sixteen-year-old Rinn Jacobs has secrets: One, she’s bipolar. Two, she killed her grandmother. 

After a suicide attempt, and now her parents' separation, Rinn and her mom move from California to the rural Ohio town where her mother grew up. Back on her medications and hoping to stay well, Rinn settles into her new home, undaunted by the fact that the previous owner hanged herself in Rinn's bedroom. At school, her classmates believe the school pool is haunted by Annaliese, a girl who drowned there. But when a reckless séance goes awry, and terrible things start happening to her new friends—yet not to her—Rinn is determined to find out why she can’t be "touched" by Annaliese...or if Annaliese even exists. 

With the help of Nate Brenner, the hunky “farmer boy” she’s rapidly falling for, Rinn devises a dangerous plan to uncover the truth. Soon reality and fantasy meld into one, till Rinn finds it nearly impossible to tell the difference. When a malevolent force threatens the lives of everyone she cares about--not to mention her own--she can't help wondering: who should she really be afraid of?

Annaliese? Or herself?


Destroy Me
By: Tahereh Mafi
Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me,Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

Wolf Pact
By: Melissa de la Cruz
From the bestselling author of Blue Bloods, comes a series that will reinvent the myth of the werewolf in the same way that Blue Bloods did with vampires—with style and NYC flair!

Lawson and his brothers escaped from the underworld and now lead desperate, dangerous lives. They’re pursued by the Hounds of Hell from one town to the next, never calling any place home. But when the hounds finally catch up with them and capture the girl Lawson loves, the hunters become the hunted. Lawson will stop at nothing to track down the hounds, even if the chances of saving Tala are slim...

The only hope he has lies in Bliss Llewellyn. Bliss, too, has lost someone to the beasts and will do anything to get them back—even if it means joining forces with the insolent, dangerously good-looking boy with a wolf’s soul.

Wolf Pact II
By: Melissa de la Cruz

From the bestselling author of Blue Bloods, comes a series that will reinvent the myth of the werewolf in the same way that Blue Bloods did with vampires—with style and NYC flair!

Lawson and his brothers escaped from the underworld and now lead desperate, dangerous lives. They’re pursued by the Hounds of Hell from one town to the next, never calling any place home. But when the hounds finally catch up with them and capture the girl Lawson loves, the hunters become the hunted. Lawson will stop at nothing to track down the hounds, even if the chances of saving Tala are slim...

The only hope he has lies in Bliss Llewellyn. Bliss, too, has lost someone to the beasts and will do anything to get them back—even if it means joining forces with the insolent, dangerously good-looking boy with a wolf’s soul.

A Fractured Light
By: Jocelyn Davies
When she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, Skye knows something terrible has happened to her. It's not until she hears Asher, the dark, rebellious angel she fell in love with, that the memories come flooding back. She tries to put the past behind her, but she knows she'll be forever haunted by the ruthless betrayal that almost took her life.

Skye returns home, but with the knowledge of who she really is, nothing can ever be the same. As she tests the limits of her newfound powers, Skye discovers that she's capable of far more than anyone could have imagined. Both the Order and the Rebellion want her for their side as war between the factions looms. She can't forget the terrifying truth she now knows about the Order, but something holds her back from embracing the Rebellion.

"A Fractured Light" picks up right after "A Beautiful Dark"'s shocking cliffhanger ending and is perfect for fans of Lauren Kate's "Fallen" and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush saga.

By: Becca Fitzpatrick
Fates unfurl in the gripping conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Hush, Hush saga.

Nora is more certain than ever that she is in love with Patch. Fallen angel or no, he is the one for her. Her heritage and destiny may mean they are fated to be enemies, but there is no turning her back on him. Now Nora and Patch must gather their strength to face one last, perilous trial. Old enemies return, new enemies are made, and a friend's ultimate betrayal threatens the peace Patch and Nora so desperately want. The battle lines are drawn—but which sides are they on? And in the end, are there some obstacles even love can't conquer?

By: Jennifer L. Armentrout
I already had the e-copy of this, but I wanted to add it to my shelf collection, too!
Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is.

Another amazing cover reveal!

Hey guys, I'm also excited to share with you the cover for Goddess, book three in the Starcrossed series by Josephine Angelini! This cover is also BEAUTIFUL, and I can't wait to read this book!

By: Josephine Angelini
Release Date: 05/28/13
After accidentally unleashing the gods from their captivity on Olympus, Helen must find a way to re-imprison them without starting a devastating war. But the gods are angry, and their thirst for blood already has a body count.

To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a diabolical Tyrant is lurking among them, which drives a wedge between the once-solid group of friends. As the gods use the Scions against one another, Lucas’s life hangs in the balance. Still unsure whether she loves him or Orion, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, for war is coming to her shores.

In Josephine Angelini’s compelling conclusion to the masterfully woven Starcrossed trilogy, a goddess must rise above it all to change a destiny that’s been written in the stars. With worlds built just as fast as they crumble, love and war collide in an all-out battle that will leave no question unanswered and no heart untouched.

Pre-order your copy today!


Hey guys I am SO EXCITED to bring you the cover of the sequel to Something Strange and Deadly, one of my favorite reads of the year. This cover, like the last, is GORGEOUS, and I cannot wait until the book is out!

A Darkness Strange and Lovely
By: Susan Dennard
Release Date: 07/23/13
Following an all-out battle with the walking Dead, the Spirit Hunters have fled Philadelphia, leaving Eleanor alone to cope with the devastating aftermath. But there’s more trouble ahead—the evil necromancer Marcus has returned, and his diabolical advances have Eleanor escaping to Paris to seek the help of Joseph, Jie, and the infuriatingly handsome Daniel once again. When she arrives, however, she finds a whole new darkness lurking in this City of Light. As harrowing events unfold, Eleanor is forced to make a deadly decision that will mean life or death for everyone

Is it July yet?!

Pre-order your copy today!


The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin

Rating: A+
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past.

She can’t.

She used to think her problems were all in her head.

They aren’t.

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets.

She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

My thoughts on the book:
The Evolution of Mara Dyer was one of the best books I've read all year. The ARC has been sitting on my Kindle for awhile, waiting to be read, but between midterms, the GRE, and graduate school applications, I haven't had time to read it. I was missing out, but this book was definitely worth the wait. As most of you know, I wasn't a huge fan of the firs Mara Dyer book, but this novel was much better than the first. This is one story you do not want to miss. I'd recommend The Evolution of Mara Dyer to both fans of the first book and to people like me, who weren't completely sold on the first installment. 

Mara has always been a fascinating character, but she really came into her own in this novel. I felt like I got to know her much better, and she grew a lot as a character. I now respect her and feel that she does the best she can with what she has to work with. She's not a narrator that's easily trusted, but that makes the novel that much more interesting. I really enjoyed seeing things from her point of view this time around. Noah completely won me over in this book. I absolutely adore him! He's tortured, but not angsty. He's strong and intelligent, and he went to great lengths for Mara. He's just a terrific hero. 

We also got to know the supporting characters a little bit better this time around, but I still would have liked to learn more about Jamie. He's incredibly interesting. Also, I enjoyed getting to know Daniel better. I would have liked to have seen more of Joseph, but maybe we'll get that in the next novel. The characters seemed, for the most part, well-developed and realistic. 

The plot was a bit confusing and had a million twists and turns that kept me guessing. Instead of feeling frustrated and lost, like I did with the first Mara Dyer book, I felt intrigued. I couldn't put this book down! I'm not sure if Hodkin changed how she wrote things or if I have just changed as a reader. Either way, I thoroughly enjoyed the non-stop mystery/action/suspense. It ended on another cliffhanger, which I hate, but that's okay. I don't feel like I read this entire book without a purpose. The story moved forward, and I can't wait to see what happens next. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who has read the first Mara Dyer book. If you haven't read the first one, then you'll be lost when you pick this one up. So I suggest everyone go out and buy the first and/or second installment(s) and enter this disturbing world. You won't be sorry. 

Want to buy The Evolution of Mara Dyer?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Hiatus is over. GRE is conquered!

And as a gift for being patient with me, I bring you the cover of one of my most anticipated releases of 2013... Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins!

Isn't it gorgeous?! Here is some info about the sequel to Sweet Evil!

Publication Date:  April 30, 2013 from HarperTeen

Author Bio:
Wendy Higgins was born in Alaska, grew up an Army brat, and lived all over the United States before settling in the Washington, DC area. She attended George Mason University for her undergrad degree in creative writing, and Radford University for her masters in curriculum and instruction. Wendy taught 9th and 12th grade English in a rural school before becoming a mother and author. She now lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, daughter, and son. Sweet Peril is her second novel.

Book Blurb:
Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Book 3 of The Sweet Trilogy, Sweet Reckoning, is slated for spring/summer 2014.

Wendy Higgins on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Wendy_Higgins
Character Kaidan Rowe on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KaidanRowe

Monday, October 15, 2012

CONJURE by Lea Nolan

Lea Nolan

Rating: B
Release Date: 10/16/12
Be careful what you search for...

Emma Guthrie expects this summer to be like any other in the South Carolina Lowcountry--hot and steamy with plenty of beach time alongside her best friend and secret crush, Cooper Beaumont, and Emma’s ever-present twin brother, Jack. But then a mysterious eighteenth-century message in a bottle surfaces, revealing a hidden pirate bounty. Lured by the adventure, the trio discovers the treasure and unwittingly unleashes an ancient Gullah curse that attacks Jack with the wicked flesh-eating Creep and promises to steal Cooper’s soul on his approaching sixteenth birthday.

When a strange girl appears, bent on revenge; demon dogs become a threat; and Jack turns into a walking skeleton; Emma has no choice but to learn hoodoo magic to undo the hex, all before summer—and her friends--are lost forever.

My thoughts on the book:
Conjure is a unique read that you won't want to miss. I'll admit the characters are a bit young for my tastes, but the leading character was not annoying. I still enjoyed this book immensely. The characters were well-developed and progressed along with the story, the plot was intriguing, and the pacing was perfect. This book will suck you in. 

Emma was a terrific leading character. The book was told from first person POV, and I never got tired of hearing from Emma. She wa brave and selfless and everything a leading lady should be. I really enjoyed watching her grow over the course of the novel. Her twin Jack, however, was a jerk. I really didn't like him very much. He was extremely bratty and what I was afraid Emma would be like (with them both being 14). While Emma pleasantly surprised me, Jack pretty much fit the bill of what I expected. Luckily the book wasn't told from his POV. Cooper was a bit of a goody goody, if you ask me, but he was a decent guy. His "goodness" just got on my nerves. I know he will appeal to a lot of readers, though. The other two supporting characters, Maggie and Miss Delia, were also intriguing, and I enjoyed reading about them. 

The plot was unique, and I liked the gritty details Nolan included about the Voodoo religion. I was kept guessing throughout the story, and I never got bored. The pacing was perfect, and the ending left me wanting more. There was action, adventure, and secret love. What else could a person want?

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something new in the YA genre, but doesn't mind younger leading characters. I'd say most YA readers will enjoy this one.

Want to order Conjure?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ANGEL'S INK by Jocelynn Drake

Angel's Ink
Jocelynn Drake

Rating: C-
Release Date: 10/16/12
Buyer beware . . .

Looking for a tattoo—and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using unique potions—a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks—to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart's desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.

No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment—execution—will be swift.

Though he's tried to fly under the radar, Gage can't hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead—or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage might just make it through this enchanted world alive.

My thoughts on the book:
I'll be honest, I had high hopes for this novel. In some ways, Angel's Ink lived up to those expectations, and in other ways, I was disappointed. The character development was all right, but the growth was non-existent. The plot made sense, but there were actually too many problems. The pacing was slow, and the ending wasn't anything to write home about. I'll read the next in the series, but I'll check it out from my library first. 

Gage was an interesting character on the surface, but he's apparently the dumbest man on earth. I didn't understand why he did a lot of the things he did. His idiotic actions seemed to be for the sole purpose of pushing the plot forward. The fact that he'd survived for two years on his own prior to this book would make one think that he's intelligent. Well, his actions in the book counteract that. I didn't know which part to believe. 

I loved Trixie in the novella about her, but she was boring and flat in this novel. She's extremely passive and almost weak. I just wasn't her biggest fan. She bored me quickly. Bronx was kind of absent for a lot of the novel, and when he was around he didn't have much of a personality. *yawn* My favorite character was Sofie, the witch turned cat. She was at least interesting. Oh! And Gideon! I loved him. I hope to learn more about him as the series progresses. 

The villains were a bit cheesy, and the other secondary characters didn't offer much to the story. The plot, as I said above, had so many problems that it took away from the suspense felt when a new one occurred. By the 900th one, I was just like, "meh whatever." I didn't care. By the 60% mark, I was ready to just wrap this shit up and move on. Things just dragged out way too long. I think if Gage had been less stupid and if 900 problems weren't introduced for no reason that I can think of, then the book would have been much more enjoyable. OR if the characters had grown as a result of the problems, then I could have understood their presence. As it stands, though, I do not get why they were there. 

Overall, I'd recommend this book to people who love urban fantasy novels. You may very well love it! I, however, only had lukewarm feelings for Angel's Ink.

Want to pre-order Angel's Ink?

Monday, October 8, 2012

DESTROY ME by Tahereh Mafi

Destroy Me
Tahereh Mafi

Rating: A+
Perfect for the fans of Shatter Me who are desperately awaiting the release of Unravel Me, this novella-length digital original will bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

In Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me, Juliette escaped from The Reestablishment by seducing Warner—and then putting a bullet in his shoulder. But as she’ll learn in Destroy Me, Warner is not that easy to get rid of. . .

Back at the base and recovering from his near-fatal wound, Warner must do everything in his power to keep his soldiers in check and suppress any mention of a rebellion in the sector. Still as obsessed with Juliette as ever, his first priority is to find her, bring her back, and dispose of Adam and Kenji, the two traitors who helped her escape. But when Warner’s father, The Supreme Commander of The Reestablishment, arrives to correct his son’s mistakes, it’s clear that he has much different plans for Juliette. Plans Warner simply cannot allow.

Set after Shatter Me and before its forthcoming sequel, Unravel Me, Destroy Me is a novella told from the perspective of Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.

My thoughts on the book:
When Tahereh Mafi claimed that this book would make readers love Warren, I thought she was full of shit. Seriously. I mean I love Mafi. She's one of my favorite authors and wrote one of my all-time favorite books, but I just couldn't believe that I could possibly love Warren. I literally despised him in Shatter Me. I thought he was one twisted mofo. So imagine my surprise when I actually started to feel bad for the guy. 

Destroy Me allowed me to get inside Warren's head and see why he's so creepy and awful. It surprised me that I was actually able to relate to him. Turns out he's not as bad as he seems. I know it's hard to believe, but it's true. There was a part at the end that just stole my heart. I'm still not team Warren, mind you, but if Adam does something jerky, then I will be. 

The plot obviously deals with Warren trying to find Juliette, and it's intense in a different way than most books. Basically it's like watching a train wreck and not being able to turn away. Warren's mind seems to be breaking, and it was a bit disconcerting to witness it firsthand. Mafi, of course, did a terrific job of putting the reader inside of Warren's head, and he has his own very unique voice. 

Now that I've read Destroy Me, I extra, super can't wait until Unravel Me is out. Well done, Tahereh.

Want to buy Destroy Me?


All You Never Wanted
Adele Griffin

Rating: D
Release Date: 10/9/12
With my eyes closed and Alex's core friends all around me, it was like I'd become my big sister, or something just as good. And so who cared if they were calling it Alex's party? One thing I knew: it would be remembered as mine.

Alex has it all—brains, beauty, popularity, and a dangerously hot boyfriend. Her little sister Thea wants it all, and she's stepped up her game to get it. Even if it means spinning the truth to win the attention she deserves. Even if it means uncovering a shocking secret her older sister never wanted to share. Even if it means crying wolf.

Told in the alternating voices of Alex and Thea, Adele Griffin's mesmerizing new novel is the story of a sibling rivalry on speed.

My thoughts on the book:

I may have enjoyed this novel more if I had actually been able to stomach any of the characters. As it stands, I finished this simply to see how it ended, but I didn't enjoy it. The writing wasn't bad, which is why I rated this with a D instead of an F. I just didn't enjoy the subject matter or the characters at all. I thought this would be different than it was. Fans of depressing contemporary will probably love this. I, however, did not. 

One of my complaints with these characters is the binary aspect of it. Thea is an intelligent character who is more comfortable with a book than a group of people. However, as she discovers her sister's life, she wants to steal it from her basically. It's disgusting, if you ask me. Of course no one asked me, so I guess that doesn't matter. But since it's my blog, it's kind of like I'm being asked, so I'm telling. Alex is a bit whiny and over dramatic, in my opinion. I didn't like her much either, and I certainly didn't buy her love for Xander. 

The plot was different, but I just didn't like it. I don't like lies and jealousy and the like to the degree that they're exhibited here. I don't like them at all, but at least in books they normally make for a good story. Not in this case. Thea just did one crappy thing after another, and I kind of hated her a lot. 

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this story to people who don't like reading from a brat's perspective. Or in this case, two brats' perspectives. 

Sunday, October 7, 2012

SKIES OF STEEL by Zoe Archer

Skies of Steel
Zoe Archer

Rating: B
Release Date: 10/9/12
In the world of The Ether Chronicles, the Mechanical War rages on, and appearances are almost always deceiving . . . 

The prim professor
Daphne Carlisle may be a scholar, but she's far more comfortable out in the field than lost in a stack of books. Still, when her parents are kidnapped by a notorious warlord, she knows she'll need more than quick thinking if she is to reach them in time. Daphne's only hope for getting across enemy territory is an airship powered and navigated by Mikhail Denisov, a rogue Man O' War who is as seductive as he is untrustworthy.

The jaded mercenary
Mikhail will do anything for the right price, and he's certain he has this mission—and Daphne—figured out: a simple job and a beautiful but sheltered Englishwoman. But as they traverse the skies above the Mediterranean and Arabia, Mikhail learns the fight ahead is anything but simple, and his lovely passenger is not entirely what she seems. The only thing Mikhail is certain of is their shared desire—both unexpected and dangerous.

My thoughts on the book:
I am going to be honest. I requested this book from Edelweiss simply because the guy on the cover had a mohawk, and I have a weakness for punk guys. I didn't know anything about this novel when I began reading it, but I was pleasantly surprised. This is a steam punk novel, not punk rock, but Mikhail still puts the punk in steam punk. Skies of Steel had excellent world-building, two great leading characters, and a captivating and action-packed plot. I couldn't put this book down. 

Mikhail and Daphne both were terrific main characters. Mikhail had that tortured thing going on, but he wasn't angsty. He was strong and rebellious, but he had a good heart. I completely adored him. Daphne was completely kick ass. She didn't rely on a man for anything, and if it came down to doing what she felt she was supposed to do or giving up everything for a guy? She did what she felt she was supposed to do. I really admired that about her. My one complaint about this book is that the secondary characters were not developed at all. I would have loved to have gotten to know Mikhail's crew better. As it stands, all the secondary characters were simply filler characters, and I didn't like that.

One of the things that totally blew me away was the amount of research Archer put into this book. How she characterized the field of anthropology at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century was spot on. At that time, the field was basically known as salvage anthropology. Daphne stated that she enjoyed documenting cultures before they were crushed under the wheels of modernity, and that was an actual quote from that time period. Of course, we now know that these cultures can sustain the supposed modernity and that the ideas of primitive vs. modern are problematic within themselves.  Daphne, being the advanced girl that she is, hints at that by stating that cultures can adapt and change and grow into something even greater. The accuracy regarding this field of study for that specific time period really made the book so much more enjoyable and realistic for me. 

The plot was full of action and suspense. I really didn't know if Mikhail and Daphne would both make it out of this alive, or if they'd end up together. Because of that, I was forced to keep reading. I had to know how the story ended! There were a lot of battles and close calls that kept up the feeling of suspense for the whole 100 pages. The other complaint I have is that I wish this book had been longer. The pacing was perfect, and I didn't feel cheated out of anything, but I wanted more of Mikhail and Daphne! They were great. 

The romance was kind of sweet and kind of steamy. This wasn't erotica, but there was sex in it (obviously). I liked that the characters got to know each other AND had a mutual attraction. I don't really enjoy books where the characters just screw each others' brains out with no actual feelings other than lust involved. This book had some depth, though, and I liked that. 

The word-building was excellent as well. Archer didn't describe too much, so I didn't get bored and irritated with the descriptions, but she shared enough details that I could easily picture the world she created. I love the idea of a "bionic man," and the author explained the side effects of becoming a Man O' War, but she didn't go into depth about the scientific explanation, which I found refreshing. I hate when authors try to make scientific sense of things that aren't scientific, and since I'm no scientist, I don't care how things work as long as they do, haha. Obviously when reading a work of fiction, one must willingly suspend disbelief. That was easily accomplished with this novel due to Archer's excellent research.  

Basically, I'd recommend this book to fans of adult romances and fans of steam punk. It's a short, quick, and enjoyable read. You don't want to miss the fantastic world that Archer has created!

Want to pre-order Skies of Steel?