Sunday, December 18, 2011

Unnatural Law by Natasha Larry

Oct 26, 2011 by Penumbra Publishing
Format: Ebook from Author for review
From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Jaycie Lerner’s psychokinetic power surge is over, and her astounding powers are under control for the time being – sort of. As she struggles to maintain her humanity in the face of the awesome terror and responsibility of her abilities, she also yearns for the chance at a normal life – and a relationship with Matt Carter, the best friend she had to leave behind. But Matt’s got a few tricks up his sleeve, and he’s not about to give up on his feelings for Jaycie.

As Jaycie and her family grapple with the day-to-day routine of trying to keep their world together, Jaycie’s mother figure, Allison Young, endures a personal crisis of her own. The superhuman blonde possesses the physical equivalent of Jaycie’s awesome psychic power. So evolved, at ninety-two she still looks twenty. But what good is extended life when everyone else around her is so fragile? With no one to share her unusual life, she’s a uniquely lonely woman yearning for the romantic love she sees all around her. But in a dream she gets her wish – and it quickly turns to a nightmare for everyone else in her life. The memory of a rose is all she can hold onto in the storm of obsession that nearly sweeps her away.

Things quickly turn deadly for the vampires, but the Dey-Vah Guard fairies refuse to acknowledge there’s an imbalance in the nature they protect. As the danger gets ever closer to Jaycie and her family, the race is on to find answers before a secret plot can destroy them all.

My Review:
First off, the cover. I must admit that the cover for this second installment is much more appealing than the first. This cover somehow offsets the first one and I am finding myself liking the Darwin's Children cover more as seen as a set rather than on it's own.

Shall we talk about what's inside the cover, though? I loved this book! Author, Natasha Larry has created such an amazing series. I love that the focus still remains to be on love and family...or at least for me it is. This series is full of great, believable characters, lots of humor and some kick butt action!

The relationships between these characters are what keeps me so in tune and invested in this story. This is a highly character driven series...which I love! We not only got to know the main characters on a deeper level, but were also introduced to some new and exciting characters along the way. I am really enjoying the romance between Jaycie and Matt though. Matt has really grown through this second book and I have developed a VERY strong liking to this young man. Not only is he hot and funny, but his brain is wickedly sexy as well! What more could a girl ask for, really?

I honestly believe that this book and this series will be a huge success. It is something totally different from most other YA paranormal out there right now. The main thing that I love so much about this series is the strong family core...something severely lacking in most YA books today.

I can not say more really. If you are a lover of YA Paranormal? You MUST give Unnatural Law and this series a read. You will not be disappointed! Honestly! And Natasha? I am anxiously awaiting book 3! No rush, but I am waiting! ;0)
Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Kevin's Point of View by Del Shannon

October 26th 2010 by Flatiron View Books
Format: ebook from author for review
From Goodreads:

Kevin Tobin is a relatively ordinary 12-year-old dealing with the aftermath of his father's death in a mountain biking accident near their home in Boulder, Colorado. To escape from his emotional turmoil, Kevin has developed his imagination into a dangerous foil and a powerful ally. While he antagonizes his sister through his superhero antics on an average Wednesday morning, his ability to escape inside a character's head become critical to his survival after his life is once-again turned upside down a year after his father's death. A mysterious package arrives in the mail, Kevin and his best friend are hunted down by a ruthless villain set upon world domination, and after enlisting Kevin's teenage sister and her pizza-delivery boyfriend in a battle for control over time itself, the secret of Kevin's whole existence is revealed to him by a source we never expected. Del Shannon's imaginative story, appreciation for the powers of family and the desire of young boys to both escape reality and prove themselves within it, and fast-paced, adventure-filled storytelling style make this a book with wide appeal for readers of all ages.

My Review:

First off? What a fun, fun, fun read this was! Kevin's Point of View quite honestly surprised me. Kevin and his best friend Tony, gave me many laugh out-loud moments. I love Kevin! I had read some other reviewers mention that Kevin's little 'episodes' with his imagination were very confusing and they did not enjoy them. I for one LOVED it! I guess for me, Kevin reminded me a lot of my oldest daughter...she has quite the vivid imagination as well. I kept her in mind as I read this book and I will be handing this book off to her soon. I KNOW she will LOVE it as much as Mom did!

This book is a funny, non-stop adventure. This is the perfect book for those reluctant readers in your life...especially boys. Okay yes, there might be some silliness too, but we are talking about a 12 yr old boy...hello? I really don't want to say too much about this one, other than GO read it! Is it life changing? No. Is it thought provoking? No. What it is? Fun! Funny! Delightful! Heartwarming! Oh and did I mention Fun?

I never read as a kid...ever! I so wish there had been books like this when I was young. I am lucky that my oldest daughter has found a love of reading at a young age. My youngest one? Not so much. I am always on the lookout for books with them in mind. It is books like Kevin's Point of View that get me so excited. It is books like this one that truly are what reading is all about to me. I can't wait to share this one with my little adventure lover!

Note to Del Shannon...we will be anxiously awaiting to hear more about Kevin and Tony! :0)
Rating: 4.5 Stars!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

{ The Quill Pen by Michelle Isenhoff }

October 2011

Source: from author for review

Format: ebook (available free from Smashwords)

From Authors Blog:

If you owned a pen that wrote the future, would you use it? What if the consequences spread like ripples in a pond? What if they raged out of control?

What if the pen demanded blood?

Thirteen-year-old Micah has found such a pen. One that’s ensnared him in a curse dating back generations. One that’s devastated two families and now threatens his whole New England village. But how can Micah destroy the pen when it offers him his only chance at the future he dreams of? Ages 8+

My mini-review:

I really enjoyed this one. It was a cute, sweet story. The characters were very likable and believable. I guess, my only real complaint would be, that the character and story development took a little too long and the adventure/magic did not happen until the end of the story. I felt the story could have been longer or perhaps another book is needed. I would say that being a YA book, it would not be something that I could see passing to a reluctant reader. I don't think there would be enough to keep them engaged in this one. However, if you have a YA reader that devours everything? They would enjoy this one for sure. Being an adult reading this one? It really was a delightful, enjoyable little book and I would definitely read other books by Michelle Isenhoff that follow along with this genre.

Rating: 3 Stars

Monday, October 24, 2011

{ The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe }

January 24, 2012 by Disney-Hyperion

Source: NetGalley

Format: ebook ARC

From GoodReads:

It starts with an itch you just can't shake. Then comes a fever and a tickle in your throat. A few days later, you'll be blabbing your secrets and chatting with strangers like they’re old friends. Three more, and the paranoid hallucinations kick in.

And then you're dead.

When a deadly virus begins to sweep through sixteen-year-old Kaelyn’s community, the government quarantines her island—no one can leave, and no one can come back.

Those still healthy must fight for dwindling supplies, or lose all chance of survival. As everything familiar comes crashing down, Kaelyn joins forces with a former rival and discovers a new love in the midst of heartbreak. When the virus starts to rob her of friends and family, she clings to the belief that there must be a way to save the people she holds dearest.

Because how will she go on if there isn't?

Megan Crewe crafts a powerful and gripping exploration of self-preservation, first love, and hope. Poignant and dizzying, this heart-wrenching story of one girl’s bravery and unbeatable spirit will leave readers fervently awaiting the next book in this standout new series.

My Review:

I really enjoyed this book. However, I am having a hard time rating it or even really forming a clear opinion on this one. It was enjoyable and I connected with the main character, Kaelyn...most of the time. I will admit to finding her a bit inconsistent. Or maybe it was the authors writing style? The book was written in the form of letters written from Kaelyn to her childhood friend/crush, Leo. At times the book read like a Diary and others it was more of a novel. I was finding myself a little confused on the whole relationship between Kaelyn and Leo. Honestly, right up to the end. And I still am. But that aside, I enjoyed the journey and found The Way We Fall to be a real page turner.

I did not, however, like the ending at all. It ended much to abruptly for me. I re-read the last few sentences over and over. I kept thinking I missed something, or I was missing pages. I understand that there is to be 2 more books in this series. I would have been quite happy for this to be a stand alone, if it had ended better.

In the end if you are a Dystopian fan, I would recommend this one. It is definitely not one of the best Dystopian's I have read. But if you are looking for a something a little less dark, this might be a good one to start with.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Sunday, October 23, 2011

{ Variant by Robison Wells }

October 4, 2011 by HarperTeen

Source: NetGalley

Format: ebook ARC

From Goodreads:

Benson Fisher thought that a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.

Mini Review:

I enjoyed Variant. It was definitely different. Not too sure if I would call it a Dystopian or not and if it is truly being put out there as a Dystopian? It's just okay. I found myself having a hard time deciding whether this was set in a future world or in current times.

While I did like the main character, Benson, I did not find myself overly connected with any of the characters. There were a few that stood out a bit more than others, but I never felt fully connected with anyone.

However, with all of that aside, I would be interested to read the next installment to see where these characters and story go. There are still many unanswered questions for me. If you are looking for something different and a story that keeps you guessing and you don't have a problem with a major cliffhanger... I would recommend Variant.

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Sunday, October 2, 2011

{ AshFall by Mike Mullin }

Oct 11, 2011 by Tanglewood Press

Source: NetGalley

Format: e-ARC

From GoodReads:

Under the bubbling hot springs and geysers of Yellowstone National Park is a supervolcano. Most people don't know it's there. The caldera is so large that it can only be seen from a plane or satellite. It just could be overdue for an eruption, which would change the landscape and climate of our planet.

Ashfall is the story of Alex, a teenage boy left alone for the weekend while his parents visit relatives. When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts unexpectedly, Alex is determined to reach his parents. He must travel over a hundred miles in a landscape transformed by a foot of ash and the destruction of every modern convenience that he has ever known, and through a new world in which disaster has brought out both the best and worst in people desperate for food, water, and warmth. With a combination of nonstop action, a little romance, and very real science, this is a story that is difficult to stop reading and even more difficult to forget.

My Review:

Ashfall was one of my first books from Net Galley and I was very excited it give it a read. Dystopian/ Post-Apocalyptic are fast becoming my first choice. I know, I know. A lot of people are devouring these too. I know a lot of people out there are saying, but why? They are so dark and depressing. Okay yes, there are certainly dark moments, but you know what? There is so much good and light within these dark tales. The one thing that I love about Dystopian is that there are always those characters that rise above and show that even when times are dark, at the core of humanity we are mostly good. These characters bring to light the true testament of the human nature and our willingness to fight for what is right and our strength to survive. And this is what I loved so much about Ashfall.

At it's core, this is a book based on characters and what those characters will do in order to survive and to keep those they love alive. Yes, this is about a Super Volcano. Yes, there is a whole science aspect to this story and no it is not really dealt with in great detail, but that is not what this book was about for me. I don't know if the scientific stuff is believable. Quite frankly, I don't care. The basic premise was good enough for me. What I loved about this book was Alex. Alex's story begins with a BANG! Quite literally. And it does not stop. We see Alex grow from beginning to end and I for one enjoyed every step of the way. I connected right away to this character. He is this normal teenage boy when we first meet him...about to be left alone for the weekend while his family is off visiting other family in another state. Cool? Not! Alex's life comes crashing down on him in a matter of a few pages and so his journey to find his family begins. Right from the start, Alex is forced to grow up quickly due to the situations he is forced to be apart of and witness. Many are terrifying and heartbreaking to say the least. Along the way he meets up with many characters. Some are good but some are the true definition of evil. I don't like to put too many spoilers into my reviews, but I will say that the author, Mike Mullin, did a fantastic job of throwing enough at Alex to keep the readers wanting more and worrying constantly for Alex's wellbeing.

Halfway through Alex's journey, he meets, Darla. Darla, Darla, Darla. I love Darla. She is this amazing 18yr old girl who has grown up on a farm and learning absolutely everything from her father and then after his death, she continues to learn on her own. Darla is amazing. She is beautiful, smart, snarky and just plain cool. The relationship that develops between Alex and Darla is perfect. It is not over done and just feels natural considering everything that they go through together.

The ending of this one was also perfect - for me anyway. There is no big huge cliff hanger. Which is too often the norm in YA as of late. It ended leaving you with the knowledge that there is more to Alex and Darla's story. I for one will be anxiously waiting the next instalment, Ashen Winter.

Rating: 5 Stars!

{ Dark Eden by Patrick Carman }

Nov 1, 2011 by HarperCollins Children's Books

Source: NetGalley

Format: ebook ARC

From GoodReads:

Fifteen-year-old Will Besting is sent by his doctor to Fort Eden, an institution meant to help patients suffering from crippling phobias. Once there, Will and six other teenagers take turns in mysterious fear chambers and confront their worst nightmares—with the help of the group facilitator, Rainsford, an enigmatic guide. When the patients emerge from the chamber, they feel emboldened by the previous night's experiences. But each person soon discovers strange, unexplained aches and pains. . . . What is really happening to the seven teens trapped in this dark Eden?

Patrick Carman's Dark Eden is a provocative exploration of fear, betrayal, memory, and— ultimately—immortality

My Review:

Dark Eden is a unique story. I had difficulties getting into the story at first. I felt a bit confussed and quite frankly never truly felt a connection to any of the characters. That being said, I felt intriqued enough to continue reading, Dark Eden. I needed to find out the truth. The reason these teens were brought together. In the end. I found the story quite intriging. I am not too sure that I love the way in which the story unfolded and developed throughout the book, but on a whole, Dark Eden is a story unlike other YA books right now. I am not sure if there are any other books planned for this story, but I would be interested to read another book. I for one, would love to know if Will Besting goes through with his 60 year pact.

In the end. I would recommend this one if you are looking for something a little different. If you enjoy being teased and intrigued right up to the very end. However, if you need a strong character connection, this might not live up to your expectations

{ Quick Note }

Happy Sunday Everyone!

I just wanted to pop by and explain why I have not been posting lately. I started a new job at the beginning of Sept and my available reading time has been drastically slashed! I am still reading...every chance I get. But it is definitely slow going. Thus, my posting is going to be very sporadic. I am still popping in on my favorite blogs, but my own blogging is going to be suffering. I am not going to stop completely, but it may come to that...we will see.

I just wanted to let you know...if there is still anyone visiting my blog that is!! ;0)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

{ Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier }

August 1, 2011 by Amulet Books

Source: NetGalley

Format: Ebook ARC

From GoodReads:

"Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves. As you can well imagine, blind children have incredible senses of smell, and they can tell what lies behind a locked door- be it fine cloth, gold, or peanut brittle- at fifty paces. Moreover, their fingers are so small and nimble that they can slip right through keyholes, and their ears so keen that they can hear the faint clicks and clacks of every moving part inside even the most complicated lock. Of course, the age of great thievery has long since passed;today there are few child-thieves left, blind or otherwise. At one time, however, the world was simply thick with them. This is the story of the greatest thief who ever lived. His name, as you've probably guessed, is Peter Nimble."

My Mini Review:

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is a fantasy adventure that will be sure to delight young readers 10+. Peter is a unique and interesting character, but I must admit that I was more drawn to some of the secondary characters. Mainly, Sir Tode. Not only visually is he a great character, being part Knight, part kitty and part horse, but Sir Tode provides many laughs and many touching moments. I felt a real connection to him and loved him throughout the book.

The first half of the book was a great fantasy and something I could definitely see myself recommending to all the young fantasy lovers in my life. It felt like I was in for an exciting fun adventure. However, halfway through, I found the book lost something. It felt long and I just felt myself being easily distracted. I will admit to skimming through the last half. There were many plot aspects that were quite predictable and I just felt disconnected to the whole thing. I do plan to put this one aside and give it another read at another time though. I think that this book is one that would be better suited to be read-aloud and enjoyed by a group of young adventure lovers. But maybe that's just me.

In the end, I would recommend this to all adventure, fantasy lovers 10+. There are some great characters and great world building, even if I was not fully convinced.

Rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

{ Teaser Tuesday - Sept 6, 2011 }

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Mizb over at Shouldbereading. Anyone can play along, just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two(2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!

'Not ten minutes after Mrs. Molasses had extinguished the lights and glided off to her bedroom, Peter discovered for himself what had so frightened all the people at supper.

There was a monster in the palace.'

pg 137 - ebook ARC - Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

What's your teaser this week?

Monday, September 5, 2011

{ It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Sept 5, 2011 }

It's Monday! What are you reading is a weekly book meme hosted by Sheila over at BookJourney. This is where participants share what they read last week, what they are currently reading and what is up next. Here are mine for this week:

Read Last Week:

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

{ Darwin's Children by Natasha Larry }

Darwin's Children by Natasha Larry

June 8, 2011 by Penumbra Publishing

Source: from author for review

Format: ebook

Genre: YA Paranormal

From Goodreads:

Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!

Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.

As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of...

Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!

My Review:

When I was approached by author Natasha Larry to review her book, Darwin's Children, I will admit that the cover turned me off somewhat. However, after reading the synopsis, I was eager to give it a read. I am very glad that I did not judge this book by it's cover. Darwin's Children was a refreshing change from many other YA Paranormal. At it's core, this book drills home a message of love and family. I truly enjoyed the family dynamics.

The main character, Jaycie Lerner, is a great voice for teens. She is strong, loving, caring and smart, but still remains positive even when faced with difficulties. However, a lot of that has to do with the loving family surrounding her. Jaycie's father, Mason Lerner, is an amazing man. He's smart, loving and protective of his daughter and family. He truly is a great example to all parents. I loved seeing the love between this Father and Daughter. In addition to Jaycie's father is her surrogate Mother/Nanny/Trainer, Allison Young. Allison is a great character. She is funny, smart, strong, sexy and just plain fun. It is her responsibility to train Jaycie to control her telekinetic powers. Also, being the only other female in the family, she takes it upon her self to deal with all the 'girlie' issues that arise. Sometimes whether Jaycie wants the help or not.

Of course no YA Paranormal would be complete without a little romance. Luckily for Jaycie, and us, she has her childhood best friend turned boyfriend, Matt Carter. Matt is very sweet and truly loves Jaycie. The romance was perfect. Not overdone and it was well balanced within the confines of the story. It did not take over as I have found too often happens in YA Paranormal.

We are also introduced to a pivotal character about 60 pages in. Haylee Michell is this broken, beaten shell of a girl who, with the love and caring shown from both Jaycie and her family, begins her transformation not only as a human but also as a superhuman. As we are introduced to Haylee, things start to shift and by the last few chapters, Darwin's Children, takes a bit of a darker turn from the light YA Paranormal we were enveloped in. I have read a few reviews that left some reviewers feeling that the ending was rushed and took too drastic a turn. Although, perhaps the ending was a bit rushed, I actually enjoyed the direction the story has begun to travel and look forward to the next installment.

In the end, I would recommend Darwin's Children to all lovers of YA Paranormal. If you are tired of characters that wallow in self pity and a lifetime of impending doom, this will be sure to give you a great read. I for one will be sure to keep my eye out for Natasha Larry's next installment in this series.

Rating: 4 stars

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

{ Teaser Tuesday - August 30, 2011 }

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Mizb over at Shouldbereading. Anyone can play along, just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two(2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!

Haylee Mitchell woke up and felt a peace radiate through her body she'd never known before. Then Jaycie was back in the room, and she felt a fear she'd never felt before. Her best friend's power was beautiful and horrifying at the same time.

pg 206, ARC ebook, Darwin's Children by Natasha Larry

What's your teaser this week?

Monday, August 29, 2011

{ It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - August 29, 2011 }

It's Monday! What are you reading is a weekly book meme hosted by Sheila over at BookJourney. This is where participants share what they read last week, what they are currently reading and what is up next. Here are mine for this week:

Last Week:

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

What are you reading this week?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

{ Shiewo - A Fantasy Flight to Adventure by Ciye Cho }

June 2011 by Studio Amazepop

Source: from author for review

Format: ebook

Genre: YA Fantasy

Available: Smashwords

From Goodreads:

The universe of Orberana is a place of great wonder and peril, a dizzying landscape filled with clouds that can talk, clockwork beings that mark their own time, and painted animals that awake in the night.

Shiewo Morose is the captain of a flying ship powered by music. She is also a determined young woman on a mission: a quest to find the Wishing Fish that created Orberana.

Sailing above the clouds, Shiewo and her crew (Erduu the bamboo, Theo the cloud, Livingston the goldfish, and Felix the painter) are headed for worlds of crazed clockwork bureaucrats, tyrannic kings, and tornado children--worlds that will test not only the crew's bravery... but their very understanding of adventure.

Theirs is the odyssey of a lifetime...

My Review:

When approached by author Ciye Cho to review his book, Shiewo - A Fantasy Flight to Adventure, I was somewhat reluctant. This was definitely a book out of my normal reading realm. After taking a peak at the author's website, I realized that this was definitely an individual with loads of imagination and drive. I also decided that sometimes it's good to go outside our comfort zones and expand our minds.

During the first 50 pages of this adventure I will admit to questioning my decision. I was definitely in for one wild ride. However, around that 50 page mark things started to fall into place and I really started to understand the world of Orberana and it's fantastical characters.

Captain Shiewo Morose is a great female character. She is a strong, smart no-nonsense girl trying to find the Wishing Fish to save her man. All the while surrounded by her...well...interesting crew. Let's see. There is Theo, the cloud/runaway tornado cadet. There's Erduu, the walking, talking bamboo man. Also, along for the journey is, Livingston, the black goldfish...oops, sorry. He does not like to be called a goldfish! Livingston provided many laughs. He's loud, demanding and super snarky. Gotta love him! Lastly is Felix Dabblezapp. The human castaway who discovers that what he thought was a strange and wondrous dream is all very real.

Many times throughout this story it felt very much like I was in a strange Wizard of Oz adventure. I'm not saying that was bad or good, just an observation.

In the end, Shiewo - A Fantasy Flight to Adventure, was a strange and wondrous tale filled with a cast of fun and fantastical characters. This story would definitely appeal to YA and Adult readers who enjoy fantasy/sci-fi with highly imaginative characters. While this is not something you would normally find on my bookshelf? I definitely plan to read the next installment to see where the journey takes these wonderful characters next and to see if they ever find the Wishing Fish.

Rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

{ Teaser Tuesday - August 23, 2011 }

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Mizb over at Shouldbereading. Anyone can play along, just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two(2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!(make sure that what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!

I finished this book a few days ago and absolutely LOVED it, so I thought I would share it with you.

My body curled and seized, ridden with shame. In School and out of School, I had believed that love was a liability - something that could be wielded against you. I began to weep, finally knowing the truth: love was death's only adversary, the only thing powerful enough to combat its clawing desperate grasp.

pg 168 - ARC ecopy - Eve by Anna Carey

What's your teaser this week?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

{ It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - August 22, 2011 }

It's Monday! What are you reading is a weekly book meme hosted by Sheila over at BookJourney. This is where participants share what they read last week, what they are currently reading and what is up next. I missed last week cause I was away camping, but here are mine for this week:

Last week:

Currently reading:

Up Next:

What are you reading this week?

{ IMM - August 21, 2011 }

IMM is a weekly book meme hosted by The Story Siren. You can find out all the details about this meme HERE. Be sure to stop by and check out who else is participating this week!

This week I received the following from the author for review:

Black Purse by Stephanie M Sellers

A huge thank you to NetGalley once again for the following:

{ Eve by Anna Carey }

October 4, 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers

Source: NetGalley

Format: ARC ebook

From Goodreads:

Where do you go when nowhere is safe?

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose—and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust . . . and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

In this epic new series, Anna Carey imagines a future that is both beautiful and terrifying. Readers will revel in Eve’s timeless story of forbidden love and extraordinary adventure.

My Review:

One of the great pleasures I get from reading is finding THAT book. The one that comes out of nowhere and catches you by surprise. Yes, I requested this book from NetGalley. I knew what it was about. But to be honest, I was not expecting a lot. I had seen some reviews and they ones I had read were not all that encouraging. You know what? I totally fell for this book and these characters right from chapter one. Anna Carey has written a phenomenal Dystopian that I completely devoured. The writing in this book left me breathless, sad, happy, VERY teary at times, hopeful, giddy...the point is? Anna Carey did exactly what I crave in a book. I felt EVERYTHING these characters felt and so much more.

Eve was a character that I could easily connect with. She has spent almost her entire life within the walls of the School. She has grown up being told that men are evil and not to be trusted. All men except for the King. On the eve of her graduation she learns the truth about her world and what her future actually holds. The truth is so terrifyingly horrific, she decides to run away into the wild. With the aide of a secret someone, she is told of a place out West - Califia - where they will take in orphan girls and protect them. And so Eve's journey begins. I love how Eve grows throughout the book. She stays true to who she is, but grows as a woman and as a human. The relationship with Arden was a great addition to this journey. Even though Arden is tough at times, deep down I always knew she was a good person. She definitely added some great conflicts and funny moments for me.

Okay. Here it is. We now have to talk about Caleb. First off. Just the name, Caleb, gets my heart beating faster. I have always had a thing for the name. And he totally lives up to the name. Can you say hot, hot, hot? Yes, Caleb found his way into my heart right from the very first sight of him. Caleb is not only hot, but confident. Not overly, not in your face. He makes you feel safe, taken care of. Oh wait. I mean, Eve. He takes care of Eve. Caleb is strong and so very protective of those he cares about. The connection between Eve and Caleb was perfect. Some have said that they thought Eve was not as wary of Caleb and men in general considering the way she was raised. However, I did not feel that way at all. She had a lot of inner apprehension, but she also was forced into the realization that what she knew to be true was all a lie. And meeting Caleb was definitely the perfect way to sway her!

There has been a lot of talk about comparisons to Twilight. Huh? I don't get that at all! To me, there is 0 comparisons. Also, many have said that this is a Wither rip-off and a bad one. Well, maybe the reason I loved Eve so much is that I was not a fan of Wither. In the end, I completely recommend this book to all Dystopian lovers. If you love characters you can instantly connect with, and love an amazing couple to root for? Go pick up a copy of Eve when it hits bookshelves. Oh, and? Just a little warning. Author Anna Carey has left us with a heart wrenching cliffhanger!

Rating: 5 stars!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

{ Forbidden by Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee }

Sept 13, 2011 by Center Street

Source: NetGalley

Format: ARC Ebook

From Goodreads:

New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker teams with Tosca Lee to create this gripping thriller set in a desolate future.

A terrible truth has been revealed to one man: the entire human race has been drained of every emotion except one— fear. To bring life back to the world, Rom must embark on a journey that will end either in his own demise or a reawakening of humanity. But to bring love and passion back into existence will also threaten the powers of the world with the revolution and anarchy that had nearly destroyed them previously.

After happening upon a journal through strange circumstance, Rom's world is shattered. He learns that humanity long ago ceased to "live," that it exists today in a living death of emotions. In a terrible risk, Rom exposes himself to the vial of blood folded into the old leather of the journal. His change is fearful and fraught with mind-bending emotion. A once-pious observer of the Order's passionless statues, he is filled with uncontrollable impulses. He is filled with love.

He is undone, terrified, and alone in the desolate world.

My Review:

Forbidden is an action packed thrill ride for all lovers of Dystopian/Fantasy with some religious base. After reading Ted Dekker's Circle Trilogy, I became an instant fan. I was so excited to see Forbidden come up on NetGalley and even more excited to see it in my galley! While I am not familiar with the writings of Tosca Lee, the collaboration between these two authors is truly breathtaking.

The beginnings of this story had a true Dystopian feel, which of course I love. But as the story moved along it also grew into this amazing, fantastic, epic journey filled with love, betrayal, death, swords, blood and oh so much more!

The story centers around Rom. A twenty-four year old average young man. Rom's world is turned quite literally turned upside down as the true origins of the Order, the world he knows to be true has all been a lie. Throughout the book we see Rom grow from this average young man to a true hero of epic proportion. No he does not have special powers or have amazing fighting skills, but as he learns the truth he discovers what is right and what is wrong. With this new knowledge he vows to fight for what is right and to protect those he loves.

I absolutely love the connection between Rom and Avra. There is no unrealistic hot lusty love at first sight nonsense. These two have grown up within a society without love, or any emotion other than fear. Yet, deep down they have both felt an unexplainable connection to one another, without ever knowing what love is. This felt so real, so powerful. I loved it!

In true Ted Dekker style, Forbidden is of course filled with darkness, evil at it's finest. And while this book may not have been as dark as I would have expected it was felt with the addition of Saric. Saric is the perfect image of evil. He too, has the knowledge of the true origins of the Order, and being the evil one he is? He has plans to bring his evilness to the world. Saric is one of those characters that I lovingly loathe. He has an insatiable thirst for women and power and a quite repulsive thirst for his half-sister, Feyn.

Feyn, is the beautiful soon to-be Sovereign. She has lived her life for this moment. But soon she too will learn the truth about the Order and must make a decision that could alter her destiny and the world forever.

In the end, I would recommend Forbidden to anyone who enjoys Dystopian/Fantasy, with lots of action. If you love strong memorable characters you will not be disappointed. While there are certainly faith/religious based elements, it is not in your face as Ted Dekker's Circle Trilogy was. This is the beginning of what I anticipate will be a phenomenal series. This book once again solidifies my love of Ted Dekker and has me looking forward to reading more books by Tosca Lee.

Rating: 4.5 stars!

Friday, August 12, 2011

{ Misfit by Jon Skovron }

Misfit by Jon Skovron

August, 2011 by Amulet Books

Format: ebook ARC

Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads:

Jael has always felt like a freak. She's never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad's always been super strict - but that's probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family's dangerous history and Jael's untapped potential. What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.

Author Jon Skovron takes on the dark side of human nature with his signature funny, heartfelt prose.

My Review:

Going into Misfit, I was not too sure what to expect. After an okay first chapter, I was pleasantly drawn in. The book switches back and forth between present day and the past. During these flash backs not only do we learn the back story of the main character Jael, but also her parents and Uncle. It's these flash backs that were the highlight for me. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about how Jaels demon mother and ex-priest father came together. We get to see how the circumstances surrounding Jael's mother's death, directly effect her father and the reason he is the way he is. We also get to see the relationship between Jael's mother and Uncle. I just have to say I absolutely love Uncle Dagon! Here is this demon Fish King, monsterish in looks, but a big teddy bear at heart. Really he is just a big, scaly kid. He brings a lot of laughs and heart warming moments to this story. As per Jael's mother's wishes, it is Dagon's responsibility to help Jael bring out and develop her demon powers. I really enjoyed seeing the whole process and watch the relationship between Uncle and niece develop.

The relationship between Jael and Rob was sweet. Rob is quite funny and truly believes in Jael and her potential. Although at times I found it to be a bit...well silly maybe.

Speaking of silly. I did have some issues with some of the "Hell" aspects to this story. Some of the images of "Hell" just seemed more comical than, Hellish. To me at least.

In the end, I would definitely recommend Misfit to anyone who is a fan of YA Paranormal. It was an enjoyable, fun read and I will definitely read any future writings of Jon Skovron.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Monday, August 8, 2011

{ Teaser Tuesday - August 9, 2011 }

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Mizb over at Shouldbereading. Anyone can play along, just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two(2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!(make sure that what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!

Here's mine for this week:

"Wow," he says. "That's a very pretty necklace."

"Thanks," says Jael. "I think it might be from hell."

pg 81 - Misfit by Jon Skovron - ARC from NetGalley

In the context that this conversion is coming from...well, it made me laugh out loud. Almost done with this one and it is a pretty good read.

What's your teaser this week?

Sunday, August 7, 2011

{ It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - August 8, 2011 }

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly book meme hosted by Sheila over at BookJourney. This is where participants share what they read last week, what they are currently reading and what is up next.

It was a slow week this week, so not much has changed. Here is mine for this week:

Last week:

Ashes by Ilsa J Bick - AMAZING - LOVED IT!

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

What are you reading this week?

{ The Winner Is...}

I am super excited to announce my first ever giveaway winner! The winner of an ecopy of No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells by Rose Pressey is...

Karen @ BookLightGraveyard!

Congrats Karen, your contact info and choice of ebook format has been forwarded and you will be receiving your ebook soon!

Thanks to everyone...even though there was only 3 of you...for stopping by and entering.

Friday, August 5, 2011

{ Ashes by Ilsa J Bick }

Sept 6, 2011 by Edgemont USA

Source: NetGalley ARC

Format: ebook

From Goodreads:

It could happen tomorrow...

A cataclysmic event. An army of 'The Changed'.

Can one teen really survive on her own?

An electromagnetic pulse sweeps through the sky, destroying every electronic device and killing billions. For those spared, it's a question of who can be trusted and who is no longer human...

Desperate to find out what happened and to avoid the Changed, Alex meets up with Tom - a young army veteran - and Ellie, a young girl whose grandfather was killed by the electromagnetic pulse.

This improvised family will have to use every ounce of courage they have just to survive.

My Review:

I love, love, love this book! Many times I was left breathless and filled with so much emotion. The tears were overflowing and the stomach was over-turning! Ashes is definitely one of my top reads of 2011!

The connection to this story began instantly with Alex, the main character. Here is this girl, who at the age of seventeen, has already been through more heartbreak and obstacles than most adults will see their entire lives. And then, the unthinkable happens.

The world building within this book is why I love post-apocalyptic dystopian so much. There is just enough truthful fact to make this story so terrifyingly believable. And throughout the story you keep asking yourself, 'What would I do'? 'Would I survive'?

Ilsa J Bick's characters, despite the horrific situations they are forced to with stand, are so full of life, strength and love. And because of this, it was easy to connect and fall in love with Alex, Tom and Ellie. I whole heartily felt every victory and heartbreak along with them. But then Alex's life is turned upside down yet again as she is thrown into the town of Rule and separated from Tom and Ellie.

The dynamics within Rule are very cult-like as Alex quickly learns. Rule is very mysterious and creepy as is the council that oversees all. I love it! The town is also filled with more dynamic characters like Jess, Kincaid, the Reverend and Chris. Each of these characters has a pivotal role in Alex's life within Rule. And then a few play a crucial role as Alex is forced to learn the truth about Rule in the heart stopping final pages.

In the end, I recommend this book to all! If you are already a lover of post-apocalyptic dystopian you will devour Ashes. If you are new to the genre and the mention of 'zombies' makes you cringe? Take a chance. I promise you will love it. It is so worth the read and getting to know Alex, Tom, Ellie, Jess, Kincaid, Chris and the town of Rule. I will be reserving a spot on my bookshelf for Ashes and counting down for the next book. I will also be looking for every book ever written by Ilsa J Bick!!

Rating: 5 Stars!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

{ Teaser Tuesday - Aug 2, 2011 }

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Mizb over at Shouldbereading. Anyone can play along just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two(2) teaser sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!

Here is mine for this week:

'A shrill note, sharp and clear, pierced the air. Alex gasped, her breath balling in her throat. She knew that sound. It was the whistle she'd given Ellie: you blow on that, they'll hear it in the next state.'

pg 229 - Ashes by Ilsa J Bick - ebook ARC provided by NetGalley for review

I absolutely LOVE this book so far! You all must read this one! Wow!

What's your teaser this week?

** Be sure to check out my giveaway HERE **

Monday, August 1, 2011

{ It's Monday! What are you reading? - August 1, 2011 }

It's Monday! What are you reading is a weekly book meme hosted by Sheila over at BookJourney. This is where participants share what they read last week, what they are currently reading and what is up next. Here is mine for this week:

Read Last Week:

The Eye of the Crystal Ball by T P Boje

Currently Reading:

Ashes by Ilsa J Bick

Up Next:

Misfit by Jon Skovron

Forbidden by Ted Dekker & Tosca Lee

Eve by Anna Carey

What are you reading this week? And don't forget to check out my giveaway HERE while you're here!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

{No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells by Rose Pressey and a Giveaway! }

June 4, 2011 by Amazon Digital Services

Source: Publisher provided for review

Format: ebook

From Goodreads:

Elly Blair welcomes the chance to escape her ex-fiance and job from hell when Grandma Imelda, ready to retire to sunny Florida, calls for her to take over her little southern cafe.

Elly has no idea her grandmother has baked up magic for the unsuspecting townsfolk for thirty years - and now Grandma Imelda insists that Elly use her own hitherto unsuspected magical powers to carry on the family tradition.

But Elly's new at this stuff. Her dishes don't turn out as full of smidgens of enchantment and dashes of wishes come true as she'd hoped. When handsome customer Rory Covington takes a bite of the wrong burger, he ends up capturing the attention of every woman in town. Elly doesn't know if her feelings for Rory are true or based on her magic gone awry.

Tom Owenton is an investigator for the National Organization for Magic sent to look into the magical mishap. Unless Elly can reverse the spell, the cafe will be closed permanently. Tom is more than willing to help Elly out of this magical pickle, but she's not sure she should accept his offer.

Elly only has forty-eight hours to find a way to reverse the spell, or she'll lose the cafe and never discover if her feelings for Rory are real.

My Review:

What a fun, fun, fun read this was. I was pleasantly surprised by this one!

Elly Blair is this sweet girl who I immediately fell in love with. She is funny and snarky all while trying to keep her southern charm in check. The town of Mystic Hollow is filled with quirky characters - this is my kind of town! Elly's best friend, Mary Jane, had me laughing throughout. The two of them together are very funny and perfect best friends. They differ in many ways yet blend together so well.

Not only is there one, but two hotties in this one. I honestly don't know who's team I am on more. Rory Covington is the hunky southern farm owner who gets caught up in Elly's magical mess. He is super sweet and full of southern charm. Tom Owenton is the hunky National Organization for Magic Investigator sent to help Elly fix her magic mess up. I think I am leaning towards Tom. I have a soft spot for funny, snarky, slightly cocky and oh so sexy.

Elly's grandmother is awesome. I love her. I just wish she made more of an appearance. Let's just say that grandma Imelda stole the show, when she was around. I want her to adopt me! I really hope that she makes an appearance in the next books.

In the end, I wholeheartedly recommend this book. While this may contain some silliness? We all need something light, refreshing and fun once in awhile and this most certainly delivers. This is a great summer read! I can not wait to see where the next book takes Elly. I really hope we see more of Rory, Tom and Mary Jane as well.

Rating: 4 stars!

And now, onto the very first one! Author Rose Pressey and her PR team have offered up an ecopy of her book, No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells. This giveaway will end Sunday August 7 @ 11:59pm MST. All you need to do is leave me a comment on this post with your email and tell me what is your ecopy of choice( Kindle, Epub or pdf). That's it! Simple enough? I would love it if you could spread the word, but it's not necessary. And no, you do not have to be a follower, but I would love it if you were.

Good luck to all!

{ IMM - July 31, 2011 }

I am super excited as this is my first IMM post! I have been watching the weekly posts and decided to finally jump in. I am not too sure if I will do it weekly or not, but I will try.

IMM is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. You can find out all the details about this meme HERE. Be sure to stop by and check out who else is participating this week!

First off from the library this week is:

I have heard such good things about this book, I thought it was time to give it a read.

Also this week I am happy to share with you two new ebooks I have received from the authors for review. The first is:

This one is not something I would normally read. However, after reading the book blurb and seeing the authors website, I am a little intrigued.

Next up is:

This is one of those books that I would ordinarily overlook because of the cover. However, the synopsis is definitely something that I think I will enjoy!

What's in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

{ The Eye of the Crystal Ball by T P Boje }

June 23, 2011 by T P Boje

Source: from author for review

Format: Ebook

From Goodreads:

When Sara was newborn her parents left her at the doorstep at Mr. and Mrs. Schneider's house.

When Sara was ten she discovered she was telekinetic. She began to move stuff around when she got angry just by her will alone.

When Sara was twelve her real parents came for her and took her with them to live like the Gypsy that she was - or Romani as they like to call themselves. They told her she was goin to fulfill a prophesy. That is was once said that out of the Romani people the greatest sorceress who had ever lived would be born.

When Sara was thirteen she had a baby brother and when she was fourteen he got very sick with a strange illness.

To save her baby brother Sara sets off on a quest to find his cure - well knowing that it will cost her dearly.

Soon Sara finds herself going through the Singing Cave, crossing Wild Witches Valley, talking to a ten foot giant snail, rescuing the Beads of Souls from the Hell-hounds, escaping a spell in Vamilla, the Forest of Vanity, visiting the King at the City of Lights before she finally reaches the Black Castle where she is told the Eye of the Crystal Ball can tell her how to cure her brother's strange illness.

But nothing is free in this world - and as Sara soon will know - everything has a price.

My Review:

The Eye of the Crystal Ball is an epic fantasy filled with adventure, wonderful creatures and some great life lessons. Aside from a one sentence reference to a rape, at the hands of a snake-wizard, this is a story suited to all fantasy readers ages 10 and up. If you are a lover of fantastical creatures, this book is sure to satisfy. Within the 22 chapters you will meet a werewolf boy, sorceress, witches, a speed talking giant snail, a griffin, a black dragon, a bogwoman, elves, Will-o'-the-wisps, a handfull of creatures turned into various weird creatures at the hands of the evil Sensisaron, pegasis and of course a unicorn.

However, aside from the adventure and characters, The Eye of the Crystal Ball left me feeling very conflicted. To be perfectly honest, this book on a whole is in need of an editing overhaul. I am not a writer or an editor, but when a book is filled with this many spelling/grammatical errors and a few inconsistances within the story? It is just too distracting. I know that the author has had her books translated into various languages for publication, and it is quite possible that that is where the issue stems from. But from a personal stand point, this was too much of a distraction for me.

In the end, editing issues aside, the story at it's core and the characters are definitely a wonderful fantasy for young readers. I just hope that the next book in this series is given the editing overhaul that it deserves.

Rating: 2.5 stars