Friday, March 30, 2012

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

Embrace (Embrace, #1)Title: Embrace 
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release: March 6, 2012
Pages: 367
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #1

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…” 

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before. 

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her. 

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden… 

After hearing all great things about this book, I knew I would have to read it sooner than later. All the hype was so positive that I had some initial fears about being the one to not like it, but that proved not to be an issue as soon as I began reading and could not put it down. The book grabbed my attention like none other and it truly drew me in.

The cover is simply unique and stunning. Even the ARC cover was great! I love the purple with the contrast against the black feathers and white smoke, the color palette truly was great with this cover! My favorite aspect of the cover are the smoky wings and font, implying that there are angels, but they don't have wings. Below it is the tagline "One day I'll tell you everything", which gives the book a mysterious feel and provokes the reader's imagination.

Let me just start by saying that Violet was one of my favorite protagonists I have read about in a very long time. She was brave and had a spine, she didn't take crap from anyone and she made her own independent decisions, putting her welfare on the line for others when it was necessary, but not just throwing her life around for anyone. On to Pheonix; he was not my taste, he seemed too possessive and secretive for Violet to be safe around. Enter Lincoln, the seemingly good guy, until Violet finds out he has been lying to her for as long as they've known each other, though it was for her own good. When it comes to Lincoln, I was a bit of a fence sitter as to whether I liked him or not, he had incredibly romantic moments, but he ultimately took Violet's choice away from her when he told her the truth. The group of lesser characters were great too, I particularly enjoyed Steph who could bring light to any situation.

The plot of Embrace was one of it's other great highlights, it sucked you in and kept you in it's grasp, wishing for more when the end came around. The ending was one that could drive a reader mad by forcing them to wait for more of their favorite characters and to see where their lives would go after the dramatic events of Embrace. The story was amazing, and it will go down in young adult book history for being a well balanced, fast paced book with events packed up to it's seams.

The end definitely left me wanting more of the characters and their stories. I would recommend this book to any YA fan, especially those who enjoy angel stories. I will be counting down the days until the next book comes out, but until it is released, I give this book a 5/5 for being such a success.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Black City (Black City Chronicles, #1) 

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event held by Jill over at Breaking The Spine! It's all about those books you just can't wait for and are counting down the days till they come out.  

A dark and tender postapocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war 

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Black Heart by Holly Black

Black Heart (Curse Workers, #3)Title: Black Heart 
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Release: April 3, 2012
Pages: 296
Series: Curse Workers #3

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy. 

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

Getting this book was an amazing surprise, I had been counting down until the books release, dying to know what would happen to the characters. When it arrived, I had a brief freak out session, and began nearly immediately after getting it.

There has been a lot of movement afoot about the changing of cover of the Curse Workers series. Personally, I like the fact that the new covers appeal to the more romantic side of the books, showing the books in a softer light and appealing to even more readers. For the final book in the series, the color scheme is a blue, fuchsia and purple, highlighting both Cassel and Lila using only dots of varying colors and sizes. I also love the fonts used because they're softer than the originals, going with the romantic theme.

Most of the characters in this book underwent immense growth. Cassel may have been the most significant in this area due to his changing loyalties and feelings towards others. Lila has never been a favorite of mine, but she did begin to make more sense to me when she went through as many ordeals as she did and she still ended on a high, noble note. The secondary characters proved as enjoyable as ever, giving multiple dimensions to the plot of the book.

To say this book was better than those before it would be an understatement. Black Heart was a fresh addition to the Curse Workers' series that truly will fulfill any fan who reads it. As always, Holly Black used her unique writing style to enforce the quality the fans of this series have come to know and love; very detailed and hard to describe. The plot also held signature characteristics: twists and turns where you would not expect them and an ending like no other. The end managed to wrap up all the loose threads of story very nicely without giving up the shock factor that this series is so great at accomplishing.

Who would I recommend this book to? Anyone. Pure and simple. These books capture the reader's imagination with a gritty style and a wide array of emotions play out within them through the characters. Overall,  if you haven't started this series, why haven't you yet? I give Black Heart a 5/5 for being shocking and fulfilling finale to this amazing series.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Hey guys! I just thought I'd let you all know that I'll be participating in the annual Blogiesta! I have quite a few things I'd like to get done on my blog and I think that this event will be the perfect way to motivate me into doing it! 

To Do:
-type reviews
-schedule posts
-clean up sidebars
-do mini challenges!!

Are you guys joining this year?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature done by The Story Siren. This week I got a book that I cannot wait to start!

For Review:
The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2)

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong (Thanks to the Author!) (Signed)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound (Spellbound, #1)Title: Spellbound 
Author: Cara Lynn Shultz
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release: June 21, 2011
Pages: 324
Series: Spellbound #1

What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Connor, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

After hearing all the hype surrounding this book, I knew I should give it a shot, even though I often don't care for books about witches. As I got into the story, I noticed right away how much I disliked that main character, Emma. To me, she seemed a tad bit immature and her characteristics simply did not appeal to me. On the other hand, I found Brendan to be kind enough, but he did come off a little odd at times, mainly possessive. As for the plot, it didn't cover nearly as much as I had hoped, not much of the witch aspect was explored and too much of the relationship was. The end was a good one, leaving most strings tied and giving the reader the option to opt out of the series or continue on should they choose so, this aspect of the book was it's saving grace for me, being interesting and more fast paced than the rest of the book. The writing was great at some parts (ie. the ending scenes) and then too slapstick at others, by slapstick I mean there was not a high maturity level in the comedy used and it often brought down the suspense and attraction to the story for me. Altogether, I would recommend this to any die-hard fans of witches, I give Spellbound a 2.5/5.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Switched by Amanda Hocking

Switched (Trylle Trilogy, #1)Title: Switched 
Author: Amanda Hocking
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release: January 3, 2012
Pages: 293
Series: Trylle Trilogy #1

When Wendy Everly was six years old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. Eleven years later, Wendy discovers her mother might have been right. She’s not the person she’s always believed herself to be, and her whole life begins to unravel—all because of Finn Holmes. 

Finn is a mysterious guy who always seems to be watching her. Every encounter leaves her deeply shaken…though it has more to do with her fierce attraction to him than she’d ever admit. But it isn’t long before he reveals the truth: Wendy is a changeling who was switched at birth—and he’s come to take her home. 

Now Wendy’s about to journey to a magical world she never knew existed, one that’s both beautiful and frightening. And where she must leave her old life behind to discover who she’s meant to become…

I can honestly say this is the first book I have ever read about trolls. Just the fact that it was about them drew me into trying this book out, though the gorgeous cover may have had something to do with it too. I also loved the story behind the publishing of this book and the success story of the author. I dove into the book and quickly found myself very involved in the story and already rooting for the characters as well as feeling emotions along side them. The characters of the book were hugely enjoyable, they were realistic while still being trolls, which is quite a feat when you think about it. Wendy could seem a little whiny at times, but it was understandable given her position of not knowing who or what she was for most of her life. Finn bothered me a little bit due to the fact he lied to Wendy and wouldn't fulfill his promises.

The story was great, it never slowed down or proved uninteresting to the reader, though the book really picked up the most speed at the very end, leaving with a cliffhanger and a promise for more action in the coming books. Writing-wise, the book excelled, it utilized such detail and it had a certain style to it that worked very well for me. Altogether, this was a great book setting up a series that I will be following in the future, but until then, I give Switched a 4/5.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature done by The Story Siren. This week I got a lot of great books!

Dreamless (Starcrossed, #2) Lost Girls
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce (THANKS TO HACHETTE BOOK GROUP CANADA FOR THE ADVANCE REVIEW COPY!) (No cover available)


Torn by Amanda Hocking


Thumped by Megan McCafferty

Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos

The Emerald Talisman (Talisman, #1)Title: Emerald Talisman 
Author: Brenda Pandos
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Release: March 24, 2010
Pages: 288
Series: The Talisman Series #1

To be normal, sixteen-year-old Julia Parker would shed her empathic gift in a second. Life has been difficult since her mother's mysterious disappearance ten years earlier - an event she witnessed, but can't remember. Julia's situation becomes more complicated after a near death experience from a blood thirsty stalker. As high school students go missing it is clear there is a connection to her own experience--past and present. Someone has to stop the madness and a chance encounter with a creepy psychic foretells that only Julia is the key to stopping the madness, but it may require the life of the one she loves.

After adoring Brenda's other book, Everblue, and loving it, I knew I would have to try her Talisman series. When the chance arose, I took it immediately, reading it fairly quick, finding myself getting very involved quickly. With the characters, I really found myself to enjoy Nicholas a lot, he was always there for Julia, but he still did make mistakes, making him realistic as well. My only issue with this novel was with Julia at times, who was the human protagonist, sometimes she could rub me the wrong way for some reason. The lesser characters in this novel were great, they had emotions and depth, which made them an enjoyable backdrop to the leading characters and the story.

The writing and plot were both highlights of this great book. The writing featured Brenda's signature quality writing, never letting the reader down. The writing featured beautiful details and helped the reader visualize all the events and characters, it also greatly donated the reader's emotional connection with the characters. As for the plot of the book, it never stopped moving and kept the reader's attention, while still having a clear goal of where the plot was to get to. The ending was great, and I cannot wait to see how many of the aspects of the book play out in the next two books. Altogether I would recommend this book to any fan of mysterious books with a great setting, I give Emerald Talisman a 4/5.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature done by The Story Siren. This week I got:

For Review:
The Sapphire Talisman (Talisman, #2)Above
Above by Leah Bobet (Thanks to Scholastic Canada for the copy!)
Sapphire Talisman by Brenda Pandos (Thanks to Brenda for the review copy!)

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)Legend (Legend, #1)Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Legend by Marie Lu

Miles from OrdinaryShift (Shade, #2)
Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready *signed* (Thanks to the YA Sisterhood!)
Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams (Thanks to the YA Sisterhood!)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Follow Friday

So Follow my Blog Friday is a meme held by Parajunkee and it's where you answer the weekly question and then link yourself and you go and check out other blogs of your interest.

Have you ever looked at book's cover and thought, This is going to horrible? But, was instead pleasantly surprised? Show us the cover and tell us about the book.

Not once have I thought I book would be horrible (I do my best to keep an open mind), but a few that I was surprised about were:

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1)Oriana's Eyes: Book One of the Great Oak Trilogy

I don't know why, but I just don't enjoy either of these covers, but I did enjoy their contents!

My Soul to Take:
She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally. 

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

Oriana's Eyes:
As a pure-blood Winglet, Oriana isn't supposed to look at a half-blood much less speak to one. Half-bloods are the lowest of all races at Odon's University, because they are half Winglet and half Finlet. But when a half-blood, Dorian, locks eyes with her in the hallway, Oriana can't help but be intrigued by his daring nature. After sneaking out to the garden in the middle of the night to talk to him, Oriana knows she can't let her feelings go. She fears not following Odon's rules, but the more she sees Dorian the more she wants to break them all. When Oriana's idea of perfection crumbles she seeks a way out of the imprisoning University that threatens not only her happiness, but her very life. Dorian promises he has a plan to take her far away, but Oriana doubts they can escape Odon's all-seeing eye. Oriana isn't sure what she fears more, being stuck in the University or finding out what lies beyond its walls.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

The Statistical Probability of Love at First SightTitle: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight 
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy
Release: January 2, 2012
Pages: 374
Series: None

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

As a part time hopeless romantic, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read this book. I hadn't heard much about the book, but from the description, it sounded great. Did it live up to that expectation? Yes!

I love the cover of this book. The way it is all black and white with the exception of the heart and "Love" it creates a very eye catching effect without being overwhelming. The overall style of the cover was great too, giving the book a light and happy appearance while showing the bustle of people around the couple. With the other people in the crowd blurs, the reader is left to assume that they symbolize the passing of time for the couple, even that it is limited. Another way the symbolism could be interpreted is that they are slowing down from their day to day hurries to really get to know each other while everyone else continues to hurry.

Characters are great when they are realistic, but favorable in the reader's eye. In the case of this book, the characters were both, fitting a great definition to which they were very faithful. In the case of Hadley, the protagonist, I found her to be relate-able to a certain extent, though I would have liked a little more time to get to know her better. I had the same issue with Oliver, even though the point of this book was to build a whirl wind romance, I would have liked a little more background on Oliver more than we learned as the book progressed. Both were dealing with challenges; Hadley's were featured more as she had her Dad's second wedding to attend and she was late to get there. As for the romance, I actually found myself favoring the instant connection that Hadley and Oliver had, though I am usually not an advocate for such short romances. As for the support characters, they were surprisingly strong in characteristics, having their own challenges to deal with.

During this book, only twenty four hours of the characters lives are captured, which gave the author more room for detail to help build the romantic side of the story that was needed to drive the plot forward. Plot-wise, this book was set to the right pace where the romance didn't leave you in the dust, but it didn't slow to the point of boredom either, it kept it at a happy medium so the reader could truly soak up the emotions of the characters. As for writing, it had a style with a certain kind of finesse to it that is hard to describe. It was never too heavy, but it did have it's emotional ups and downs that come with the territory of young love.

The end was truly satisfying for the reader, it had the perfectness of a fairy tale with the reality of a short amount of time together. Altogether, if you are in the mood for a short and sweet book with a heaping dose of cute, you will find it in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which I give 5/5.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool, #1)Title: Deadly Cool
Author: Gemma Halliday
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release: October 11, 2011
Pages: 303
Series: Deadly Cool #1

Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren’t enough, now he’s depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool. 

But as much as Hartley wouldn’t mind seeing him squirm, she knows he’s innocent, and she’s the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school’s resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer’s next victim.

Do you like mystery with a touch of teenage gossip and drama? Then this is most definitely the book for you. Balancing both the aspect of being a teen with the key features of a who did it mystery, Deadly Cool truly worked without being too heavy, keeping it's cool (I'm sorry, I had to use that pun). It featured a likable protagonist who was trying to solve the murder of a girl who was cheating with her boyfriend to clear said boyfriend's name. With that killer (I'm just full of puns today!) plot down, the writing was the next layer in the success of this story, light and funny the reader was able to feel suspense as well as laugh even in the darkest of times. Hartley was a very enjoyable character; snarky and witty, she fed the humorous aspect of the book and fit the traits of my ideal protagonist to a T. There were two clear romantic interests for Hartley, one being her cheating ex that she wasn't quite over and the other being the bad boy Chase who she definitely had feelings for. Of the two, Chase was more enjoyable, being a bad boy with a moral compass, rather than just being a stereotypical character. The only flaw in this book would be the fact that several key plot points were predictable, even when they were supposed to be game changing moments. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and I cannot wait to see what Hartley gets up to in the next book, but until then, I give Deadly Cool a 4/5.

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Reading List

So, like I did with the last two months, I will be picking out my March reading pile in advance, but the likelihood of me sticking exactly to this pile is slim. Here we go:

Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Sapphire Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers

What are you planning on reading?

Saturday, March 3, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly feature done by The Story Siren. This week I got:

For Review:
Embrace (Embrace, #1)Fated (Soul Seekers, #1)This Is Not a Test
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington (Thanks to Sourcebooks)
Fated by Alyson Noel (Thanks to Raincoast Books)
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (Thanks to Macmillan)

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

February Wrap Up!

All in all, I'd consider February a pretty successful month of reading for me considering how busy I was! 

Here was my list:

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Sapphire Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Dragon's Oath by PC Cast + Kristin Cast
Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Black Heart by Holly Black

Here is what I actually read:

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Dragon's Oath by PC Cast + Kristin Cast
Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Black Heart by Holly Black
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Stargazer by Claudia Gray
Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

How did your reading go this month?

Friday, March 2, 2012

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Under the Never SkyTitle: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release: January 3, 2012
Pages: 374
Series: Under the Never Sky #1

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse. 

Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive. 

A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.

Under the Never Sky originally drew me in with it's beyond gorgeous cover, but as soon as I started it, I knew I had started something great. There were some surprises that I did not see coming, such as the abilities some of the Outsider's possessed, giving the book a paranormal feel on top of the dystopian one that I went in craving. On top of the surprise abilities, the characters also showed an intense amount of deep thought, thinking of the past, present and future frequently and how the events playing out would effect them in the long run. Aria began as a sheltered individual, never having left her home before, but she began to adapt to the more realistic outside world. Peregrine, on the other hand, began the book with the opposite circumstances, he was an outsider trying to get along with a sheltered insider, they had to meet each other half way and the result was quite enjoyable. Plot-wise, the story was fantastic, never slowing or ceasing to amaze the reader with the dangerous new world of the future. It was truly the writing that won my attention and the author did a great job weaves a nearly seamless story with her way with words. When reading the book, I found myself enthralled by both the point of view of Aria and Peregrine even though both were very different in their views of the world. The only thing I regret about this book was not getting earlier and for that I give it a 5/5.

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