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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays!


Hello everyone!

First off, my apologies for the lack of updates; it's been a very tough semester for me. Many unexpected things came up and I had a hard time dealing with everything on top of my school work so I was unfortunately not able to dedicate much time to my blog. While not everything has been cleared up yet, it is finally winter break so hopefully I will have some time to post reviews before everything starts up again!

Thank you for everyone's support and thank you to everyone who stopped by, left a comment and thank you to all those who emailed me. I appreciate your time and good wishes!! They were all very touching and really put a smile on my face!

I hope everyone has been well and I'd like to wish you all a wonderful, happy and restful holiday season!
And to those who celebrate it, Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (15)

Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
(St. Martin's Griffin/December 21, 2010)

When Eddie Reeves’s father commits suicide her life is consumed by the nagging question of why? Why when he was a legendary photographer and a brilliant teacher? Why when he had a daughter who loved him more than anyone else in the world? When she meets Culler Evans, a former student of her father’s and a photographer himself, an instant and dangerous attraction begins. He seems to know more about her father than she does and could possibly hold the key to the mystery surrounding his death. But Eddie’s vulnerability has weakened her and Culler Evans is getting too close. Her need for the truth keeps her hanging on… but some questions should be left unanswered.


Courtney Summers writes about so many tough subjects! Hopefully this will be as good as her other novels!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

XVI by Julia Karr
(Penguin/January 6, 2011)

In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad.

Ooo! Another future + dystopian novel! There are a lot of those coming out next year which is nice, since I'm a fan of dystopian novels & movies! I never realized how much I enjoyed dystopian works until my friend and I started discussing some of the movies we had seen (Equilibrium, Children of Men, etc) a while ago, but dystopian works always leave you with a lot to think about!

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (13)

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
(Razorbill/January 11, 2011)

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Cool! A sci-fi mystery with a hint of romance! Sounds amazing and look at that cover! Isn't it just gorgeous? Looks like a movie poster almost! I followed Beth's blog and was really excited when she got the book deal & when this cover came out--can't wait to read Across the Universe!!


What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (12)


Entangled by Cat Clarke
(Quercus Publishing Plc/January 6th, 2011)

The same questions whirl round and round in my head:
What does he want from me?
How could I have let this happen?
AM I GOING TO DIE?

17-year-old Grace wakes up in a white room, with table, pens and paper - and no clue how she got here.

As Grace's pours her tangled life onto the page, she is forced to remember everything she's tried to forget. There's falling hopelessly in love with the gorgeous Nat, and the unravelling of her relationship with her best friend Sal. But there's something missing. As hard as she's trying to remember, is there something she just can't see?

Grace must face the most important question of all. Why is she here?

A story of dark secrets, intense friendship and electrifying attraction.


Sounds very mysteriousness! So many great-sounding books coming out next year though!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?


Sunday, October 10, 2010

I'm still alive!

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry for the sparse updates lately; I've had an insane amount of work since the school year started. There are more tests, quizzes, problem sets, labs and work than you can shake a stick at!

I just wanted to say that I have emailed all the winners of the contests I've held recently, and that updates will be less frequent until I can get all this work done. I'll try to keep up with the memes at the very least and hopefully get a few reviews in.

Thank you to all my lovely followers & to all the amazing people who have commented on my posts! I've been reading your blogs as much as I can and even though I don't always get a chance to comment, I've been visiting as much as I can with all this work!

Thanks again & I hope you all have a good weekend! Happy reading!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
(HarperTeen/January 4, 2011)

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees. . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what it is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place--and out of place, at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make--between honesty and deciet, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?


Hmm, another angel book. There have been a lot more of them lately after Hush, Hush, Crescendo & Halo. But this one sounds good too! Are angels & fallen angels the new vampires?

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (9)

Here's the trailer for the next book in the "Dead is" series: Dead is Just a Rumor by Marlene Perez!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (10)

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes
(NAL Trade/March 1, 2011)

In her dreams he’s irresistible—seductive, charming, and undoubtedly dangerous. But when he appears to her when she’s awake—and captivates her just the same—she’s not sure which way is up and which is down.

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest of the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams.

Theia doesn’t understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Forbidden love? Does the hunter fall in love with his prey? We'll have to wait to find out!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (8)

Happy Tuesday! Here's the book trailer for another recent release, Delacroix Academy:The Candidates by Inara Scott!



So many fantastic books have recently hit bookstores/are about to hit bookstores! Just wish I had time to read them all! Wish school wasn't so busy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (9)


Wither by Lauren DeStefano
(Simon & Schuster/March 22, 2011)

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant she trusts, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.


Another dysptopian novel, I think. Sounds good though & reminds me faintly of Children of Men (don't want the population to die out) but I definitely want to get my hands on a copy of this novel when it comes out!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (7)

It's Tuesday! So I get to share another book trailer with all of you!
Here's the book trailer for You by Charles Benoit! I really want to read this book! Anyone read it yet? Thoughts??

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green

The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green

Release Date: September 14th 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pages: 320

After Erin's favorite aunt, Aunt Kiki (nicknamed Aunt Kooky by Erin's father), dies, Erin inherits a Pink Crystal ball with a set of cryptic instructions from her aunt. Thinking it is just some toy or joke from her crazy aunt, Erin doesn't think much of it...until one of her wishes comes true. The pink crystal ball her aunt left her looks like any other pink crystal ball toy sold at local stores, but Erin asks the ball one of her wishes one night, only to have it come true the next day! Her two best friends are instantly convinced that the crystal ball has magical properties.

Erin is slower to believe, but after another wish comes true, she decides to figure out her aunt's mysterious instructions. With the clues and the Pink Crystal Ball figured out, Erin and her friends may just have the key to their futures! The possibilities are endless--or are they? Erin better figure out her aunt's instructions or their adventure with the crystal ball might just go awry!

At the beginning, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball felt like a tween book. But as the novel progressed, some parts became more YA geared, while other parts remained more tween-like. The lessons Erin learns are like the ones you would find in other YA books but the bullying that Erin's friend, Lindsay, faces (and how her friend deals with it) seems very much for tweens. It was nice to see Erin grow and learn from her mistakes and the situation as a whole.I was hoping Lindsay would stand up for herself more; at her age it was unusual to see how she reacted and went off to cry instead of defending herself. I'm not saying that there's no bullying in High School--there is--but by 10th grade, girls have much meaner and less childish ways to bully other girls.

Overall, The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball is a cute novel, but I think it's better for younger YA readers, or readers who are starting to make the transition from tween to teen/YA books.

Overall: 3.75 out of 5
Plot: 3.5 stars
Characters: 3.5 stars
Writing: 3.5 stars
Cover: 4 stars (It's a cute cover!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (8)


A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
(Greenwillow Books/February 22, 2011)

Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.

Yeah.

So long happily-ever-after.

Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.

She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.

And that’s only the beginning of the end.


Hmm, another book that deals with fallen angels & heaven/hell. Sounds really good though, doesn't it? The cover's font & title design reminds me a bit of the Soul Screamer series covers title font/design too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (6)

Here's the trailer for Infinite Days, which I reviewed a few days ago! I loved Infinite Days & would definitely recommend you check it out if you get the chance!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Looking for Fame: Lady Gaga by Paul Lester

Looking for Fame: The Life of a Pop Princess: Lady Gaga by Paul Lester

Release Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Pages: 192

I know this different than the books I normally review, but I am a fan of Lady Gaga so when I was offered this for review, I decided to try it.

Lady Gaga's style might be outrageous, but her music is catchy! And somehow, she's made her intense style work. But she wasn't always Lady Gaga--she first started as Stefani Germanotta.

This electrifying biography explores Stefani Germanotta's rapid rise to global stardom in the guise of the outrageous Lady Gaga. Hers has been a triumph achieved with the help of wild image-making, infectious pop hits and a teasing strand of ambiguous sexuality that has turned her into a gay icon. At heart it's the story of a unique self-made phenomenon - a Madonna for today. As an adoring fan of Freddie Mercury and David Bowie, Lady Gaga took the essence of 80s glam an reinvented it for the digital age. Commercially successful and critically accepted she shot from obscurity on Manhattan's club scene to worldwide fame in just a couple of years. This is the in-depth examination of her high-speed rise in the fame game, reported with a mix of admiration and sharp journalistic insight.
It was interesting to learn more about how Stefani became Lady Gaga. No story about one's ascension to fame has been without struggle and sacrifice, and Stefani's was no exception. Many have criticized Lady Gaga and her insane outfits, but no one can say that Lady Gaga hasn't become a huge pop icon today!

I thought this biography was pretty good; it wasn't too long, there are some color photos detailing Lady Gaga and some of her outfits. Looking for Fame seems to focus more on how Stefani actually became famous (ie getting discovered, people she met, recording sessions, etc) instead of focusing on what factors helped her shape her image of Lady Gaga. You'll definitely learn more about Lady Gaga reading this biography, but of course not every question you have will be answered! But that's one of the things that makes Lady Gaga so interesting, isn't it? She may make statements with her music, costumes and music videos, but there's still some room for your own interpretation too!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A general update

I know I didn't do In My Mailbox last week and I have to skip it again this week; I've been away for the past 2 weekends on business, so it's been rather crazy lately. I think everything should be cleared up by next weekend, so I'll have a HUGE In My Mailbox post!

But other than that, thanks to all the lovely people who have commented this week & I hope you all got something good in your mailboxes!!

P.S. My giveaway for Dust is still open if you're interested! 3 copies of Dust are up for grabs--please enter by 9/15!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Winners Update


Thank you to everyone who entered my 200+ Followers & Birthday Contest! And a HUGE thank you to everyone who filled out the survey! It was great getting feedback & suggestions!

Since there were so many survey submissions, I picked 3 winners from that pool. They have been emailed and I am currently waiting for their picks for prizes before the rest of the winners are chosen by random.

Thanks again & I'll post the rest of the winners soon!


P.S. Thanks also to all the lovely people who visited my blog on the last Book Blogger Hop--I will do my best to visit all of your blogs this weekend! School started up again and the work is already piling up! ahhh!

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen & Wayne Josephson

Emma and the Vampires by Jane Austen & Wayne Josephson

Release Date: August 1, 2010
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Pages: 304

What better place than pale England to hide a secret society of gentlemen vampires?

In this hilarious retelling of Jane Austen's Emma, screenwriter Wayne Josephson casts Mr. Knightley as one of the most handsome and noble of the gentlemen village vampires. Blithely unaware of their presence, Emma, who imagines she has a special gift for matchmaking, attempts to arrange the affairs of her social circle with delightfully disastrous results. But when her dear friend Harriet Smith declares her love for Mr. Knightley, Emma realizes she's the one who wants to stay up all night with him. Fortunately, Mr. Knightley has been hiding a secret deep within his unbeating heart-his (literal) undying love for her... A brilliant mash-up of Jane Austen and the undead.

Emma and the Vampires was my first mash-up novel. I hadn't really heard of very many of them until I was offered Emma and the Vampires for review. It was interesting, I think? I am not very sure about how I should feel about this book since it is the first of its genre I've read.
Emma and the Vampires basically seemed quite like the classic, except the men were vampires. I had thought it would be more of a new take on Jane Austen's classic (i.e. an interpretation of Emma but now with the supernatural element) but it seemed more like the original with a few vampires inserted. Or the author could have parodied Emma with the added supernatural element? I'm not really sure, but this book didn't feel entirely satisfying. It's a good idea, but I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been a bit more original--an interpretation, rather than a retelling with two species swapped.


Summary courtesy of GoodReads


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

Entwined by Heather Dixon
(Greenwillow Books/March 29, 2011)

Azalea and her younger sisters dance in the mysterious silver forest every night, escaping from the sadness of the palace and their father’s grief. What they don’t understand—although as time passes they begin to get an inkling of the danger they are in—is that the mysterious and dashing Keeper is tightening his snare with deadly purpose. Luckily, Azalea is brave and steadfast. Luckily, a handsome young army captain also has his eye on Azalea. . . .


The first part almost sounds like the Twelve Dancing Princesses fairytale! Sounds really good in general and there's a touch of romance, which I am definitely a sucker for!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (5)

Crescendo will hit bookstores soon so here's a blast from the past: Hush, Hush's book trailer! Will there be a book trailer for Crescendo too?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

Release Date: September 1, 2010
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 320

"I release you...
I release you, Lenah Beaudonte.
Believe...and be free."

For the first time in 592 years, Lenah could breathe, feel, and be human again. After centuries of being a vampire, Lenah had almost completely lost her humanity--she was constantly lusting for blood to ease the constant pain and inability to truly feel. But when her first love, Rhode, sacrifices himself so Lenah can be human again after her 100 year hibernation, Lenah must adjust to the 21st century and adjust to the fact that the coven she created to protect her is her enemy now. They have no idea that she is human again and with her betrayal, they will track her down for revenge.

For the time being, Lenah doesn't have to worry; it would seem that Rhode did a good job hiding her. She is tucked away at a boarding school, Wickham, and quickly befriends a fellow student, Tony. Weeks go by without incident and not a word from her coven.

As school starts, Lenah draws attention from plenty of the students with some of the glamor she still retains from her existence as a vampire, but one boy in particular catches her attention: Justin. Handsome and daring, Justin is the first human Lenah falls for, but Justin already has a girlfriend. But girlfriend or no, there is an undeniable attraction between Justin and Lenah. And soon one thing becomes clear to Lenah--she may be struggling to break the bonds of her vampire past, but there is only one thing she really wants: Justin.

Weeks pass and even as Lenah grows closer to Justin, she knows that time is running out before her past catches up to her. The question is, what will happen when it does?

Infinite Days was amazing!! I liked how Rebecca Maizel integrated stories of Lenah's past with the main plot! I enjoyed learning more about Lenah's vampire years through those short stories as well as watching how she tried to adjust to how society had changed during her 100 year slumber. Lenah definitely went through an interesting transformation! She was a powerful vampire that killed on a whim before she was changed back into human form. Once she was back in human form, she seemed so much more innocent since she was quite clueless to a lot of the cultural changes that had taken place! I'm glad Rebecca contrasted Lenah's new and old life throughout the book; made it very interesting in my opinion.

Infinite Days is a very enjoyable read that puts a bit of a different spin on vampires. I was afraid I was starting to burn out a bit with all these vampire novels that had been coming out lately, but the different perspectives on vampires in Infinite Days makes this novel stick out among all the others that feature fanged creatures! It's well written, interesting, and it hooked me in from page one! I am eagerly anticipating Rebecca's next novel!

Overall: 5 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Writing: 5 stars
Cover: 4.5 stars (the simple cover works nicely...and did I mention it's shiny?!)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Book Blogger Hop! (3)

Happy Friday, everyone!! Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books! There are tons of other bloggers who participate, so check it out!

Book Blogger Hop

The question for this Friday:

Do you judge a book by its cover?

I can't say that I don't ever judge a book by its cover, but likewise, I don't always judge a book by its cover. While I can appreciate a good cover (and I do believe that a good cover can really help sell a book since many people are drawn to aesthetically pleasing, eye-catching and/or artistic covers) sometimes I'm not a fan of the covers for certain books I really enjoyed.

Sometimes simplicity with a subtle detail can go a long way, and a cover does not have to be flashy for it to be fantastic! (For instance, Matched by Ally Condie and Firelight by Sophie Jordan--simple, yet stunning!) In fact, when there's too much going on in a cover, it's not always a good thing--it's a fine line between an artistic sort of chaos and just and out right wreck!

Of course there are other covers that aren't so simple, but are still absolutely gorgeous! I love love love the covers for Halo by Alexandra Adornetto and Across the Universe by Beth Revis, they look amazing! Covers that make you wonder (i.e. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick) are also favorites of mine.

All in all, I do sometimes judge a book by its cover, but not to the extent that I won't at least read the blurb if it's a book that seems to be about something I'm interested in. In my book, great covers that fit the book well get extra brownie points!

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On my blog this week:


Giveaways:



Enter for a chance to win one of three copies of the new zombie novel, Dust!


Reviews:


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I apologize if you commented & I did not get a chance to visit your blog last week--things suddenly got very busy and I was sadly interrupted before I got to visit all the blogs I wanted to. I'm already laden with homework, but I'll do my best to visit more blogs on the Hop this week!
Have a good weekend!




Thursday, September 2, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

Matched by Alie Condie

Release Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 384

In the Society everything is decided. Officials Match you to your ideal mate, pick your vocation, choose where you live and select when you die. Cassia has never known it any other way and when she's Matched with her childhood friend at her Match banquet, Xander, she couldn't be happier. The two families are happy at this stroke of luck--most people are Matched to people they do not know from far away provinces. Cassia knows her future will be secure, and giving up the freedom to make choices seems a small price to pay for a long life, the perfect mate, and a safe life.

But Cassia's view of the Society is about to be shaken when her grandfather gives her his artifact, an old compact, which has a secret compartment that holds a dangerous secret. Before his death, Cassia grandfather shows her the compartment and the paper which contains a poem. The poem is both special and dangerous; it is a poem Cassia's grandmother copied and hid away when she helped select the Hundred Poems that the society would keep. It was kept at great risk, and now Cassia owns it--but what will she do? What her Society would want her to do; report it or destroy it? Or what she has the sudden temptation to do; read it and let the poem take her where it will?

Cassia's faith is further shaken after her Match banquet. She accesses the card that contains information about her Match, Xander, but instead of Xander's face flashing on the screen, another face appears--Ky. Ky is another one of Cassia's classmates, but who could have made this mistake? Officials soon find Cassia and correct the card; her match is Xander, but it leaves doubts in Cassia's mind. Why was did Ky's face appear? Who is her real match supposed to be?

With the poem and Ky in mind, Cassia must make a choice--who should she follow? Society and all the rules that have been set for her? Or her own mind and heart, which urges her to question Society and all its rigid rules?

What I enjoyed most about Matched is the world Ally Condie has created. I definitely got the feel of how stifling and controlling the Society was! Ally creates a believable but gloomy future in Matched that really helps set the mood for the story. The control exerted over everyone and their choices reminded me of The Giver by Lois Lowry (another excellent dystopian novel, one of my favorites, I'd have to say).

Cassia's struggle, between passion and what Society wants, is believable and well written as well. However, as hard as I tried and as much as I wanted, I could not really connect to Ky and Cassia's romance. The chemistry and attraction between them was not as well spun as the rest of the story and I had a hard time truly accepting it.

Matched has received a lot of hype and I would have to say it has one of the best built worlds compared to all the other dystopian and post-apocalyptic novels out there right now. Despite this, I feel that Matched fell short of my expectations on several counts. As I mentioned above, the budding romance between Ky and Cassia was really hard to connect to (and this story depends heavily on said romance) and in addition to that, the story seemed to drag at points. It seemed as if Ky and Cassia weren't doing much; they were not really trying to change things. Granted, Society is a highly monitored and controlled environment, but I had hoped they would take more steps towards breaking free of the chains Society has put on them. I am sure that more of this will take place in the next novel in Ms. Condie's series, since the pace sped up considerably near the end of Matched and it was definitely building up to something. I enjoyed reading Matched and am definitely looking forward to the next novel!

Overall: 4 out of 5
Plot: 3.75 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 4.25 stars
Cover: 5 stars

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Unraveled scavenger hunt!

Gena Showalter’s YA series, Intertwined, about sixteen-year-old Aden Stone, a paranormal magnet who has, well had, four souls trapped in his head, continues this fall with the release of UNRAVELED (Harlequin, September 2010). Now, Aden is down to three souls bossing him around, but along the way he’s picked up the title of Vampire King to add to his ever-growing list of worries (which includes a prophecy that says he’ll bite the dust after a knife through the heart). To celebrate UNRAVELED’s release, Gena and her YA buds are hosting a scavenger hunt on their blogs.

The all-star lineup of hunt participants includes authors Rachel Caine, PC Cast, Marley Gibson, Rosemary Clement-Moore and Tina Ferraro, as well as Gena, natch, and The Knight Agency blog.

Three grand prize winners will each win a $100 Visa gift card, plus Gena's giving away signed copies of UNRAVELED to five lucky runner-ups. All you have to do is find all eight letters, unscramble them and email the word to Contests(AT)KnightAgency.net.

To find out where the letters are hiding in the great internet universe, click here for a contest road map and rules.

This contest runs from Monday, August 30th to Thursday, September 2nd. All entries must be received by Monday, September 6th at midnight ET.

Trailer for Halo by Alexandra Adornetto!

Reposting the book trailer for Halo by Alexandra Adornetto to celebrate it's release! Halo hit bookstores yesterday--be sure to get your copy of this amazing book today!





& Check out my interview with Alexandra here!

Waiting on Wednesday (6)


Clarity by Kim Harrington
(Point/February 8, 2011)

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch an object and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case — but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother — who has supernatural gifts of his own — becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

Sounds a bit like a Lois Duncan book, especially The Third Eye, but the main character's power is a bit different. Yet another amazing cover! I love the light effects they added!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Interview with Alexandra Adornetto!

I recently got the opportunity to interview Alexandra Adornetto, the author of Halo, which hits book stores today! I really enjoyed reading Halo; my review is posted here!
ALEXANDRA ADORNETTO was fourteen when she published her first book,The Shadow Thief, in Australia. The daughter of two English teachers, she admits to being a compulsive book buyer who has run out of shelf space, and now stacks her reading “in wobbly piles on my bedroom floor.” Alex lives in Melbourne, Australia; Halo marks her U.S. debut.
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Where did you get your inspiration for Halo?

I get inspiration from all over the place. With Halo the idea was born some time ago when I was studying religion in high-school. There were only 5 kids in the class and everybody hated it, except me! I thought it was fascinating, especially the idea of the power of faith. So that, combined with my longstanding interest in the paranormal is what inspired Halo.


What was your favorite part to write about in Halo?

I enjoyed writing about Beth and Xavier’s relationship and letting it unfold. It was interesting to combine their deep connection with Gabriel’s disapproval and Molly’s jealousy. The best part was when they made the transition from occasional flirting and accidental touches to accepting their feelings for one another. I enjoyed the action scene in the graveyard as well!


If you could spend the day as any one of your characters, who would you like to be and why?

Bethany, so I could live out the real-life romance with Xavier! It’s gotta be better than sitting at a computer writing about it!


What is your writing process like?

I do chapter breakdowns so I know vaguely what’s going to happen in each one. I’m not a big planner; I’m usually too impatient to start writing. All I need to know is the basic outline of what’s going to happen and the story tends to write itself. I always do two edits (one big one and one touch-up) before sending a manuscript off to my publishers. They usually have a few edits as well, so the book goes through a fair bit before it hits shelves.



Halo’s cover is just breathtaking! Was this the original cover, or were there other versions during the publication process?

It definitely took us a while to get the cover right. We played with a lot of different ideas, like having an iconic cover (just a single feather) or a photograph of a girl with wings. But once we saw that design, we all fell in love with it. Xavier was originally a little bit different, but I wrote to the designer and explained how he should look and he absolutely nailed it!



What books are in your “To Read” pile right now?

Angelology by Danielle Trussoni

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris


When will Hades hit bookstores?

Early 2011. I will post the final release date on my Facebook page as soon as it’s finalized.


Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

It’s a tough industry, but don’t be put off. I believe if you want something badly enough and you’re willing to work at it, then you’ll succeed. The important thing is to take all criticism on board and incorporate suggestions into your work so that when you pitch it to publishers, it’s the best it can be.


And one just for fun: What is your favorite word and why?

Huckleberry. It’s has pretty sound and fun to say.


Thank you for taking the time out to answer my questions, Alexandra!

I definitely recommend checking out Halo!


---------------------------------


Alexandra will be touring the US this fall! Check here to see if she stops near you!

And if you're interested, check out the first two chapters of Halo on Macmaillan's website!


Alexandra's bio courtesy of Macmillian

Trailer Tuesday (4)



I checked the summary for The Familiars on GoodReads and it sounds like a fun read for younger readers!

The Familiars by Adam Epstein & Andrew Jacobson (Sept. 2010)

After three young wizard apprentices are kidnapped by the evil queen of a distant land, it is up to their familiars, their magical animal companions -- a street smart alley cat, a precocious blue jay, and a bumbling tree frog -- to save them.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

In My Mailbox 5

Here's the vlog for In My Mailbox This week!
It's also my birthday today--so don't forget to enter my 200 Follower + Birthday contest HERE!




As I mentioned in the vlog, I'm giving away 3 copies of Dust--enter HERE if you're interested!


In My Mailbox
is a weekly meme inspired by The Story Siren--check here for more details!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

Crusade by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie

Release Date: September 7th 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 480


The world has been all but taken over by vampires, which are known as the Cursed Ones. At the beginning when the Cursed Ones made their presence known, they seemed civilized and like ordinary humans with only one difference--they drank blood. But they promised they only drank blood from animals or from blood bags taken from local butcher shops. And with such a charismatic spokesperson, Solomon, for the Cursed Ones, they quickly became the a novelty in society. People clamored to meet them, interact with them, and young girls began to romanticize them, portraying them as harmless cute guys with fangs.

Then war broke out and people learned they had been deceived; the Cursed Ones had to drink fresh blood from humans or they would die. War broke out but soon it became clear the Cursed Ones were winning so human leaders began to forge uneasy truces with the vampires. Both sides claimed they wanted to keep the peace, but it soon becomes clear that despite the claims of human leaders, the Cursed Ones are really the ones in charge.

More and more nations signed treaties with the Cursed Ones and many began to live in fear of the Cursed Ones, who can drain a human dry in mere seconds and who possess strength, speed, and powerful charm which can lure humans to their demise.

Not everyone has succumbed to the Cursed Ones, however. Spain is one of the few countries who have not signed agreements with the Cursed Ones and are actually training hunters to destroy the Cursed Ones. Like the vampires of legend, they can be killed by a stake the the heart, they are irritated by garlic, crosses and holy water burn them and they cannot last in the sunlight. Students from all over the world are welcome at the school in Salamanca, Spain, and Jenn was once such student. She fled her home in America and came to Salamanca to train. After completing the grueling courses, she graduated along with several other hunters and now they are sent on missions as a group.

Despite completing her training and surviving, Jenn does not feel confident of her abilities. She often doubts herself yet her teacher, Father Juan, believes she is destined for something great, and does not allow her to leave. She feels a strong bond with her hunting partner, Antonio, who also believes that the only thing Jenn lacks is confidence in her own abilities.

Suddenly called back home because of a death in the family, Jenn returns to San Fransisco and must confront her family. How will her father, who had always supported vampires and humans existing together take it, now that Jenn is a hunter? What will her younger sister say, who Jenn had left behind when she went to study in Spain? Matters worsen by a tenfold when Jenn is betrayed by someone who was supposed to protect her. A crippling blow in her already low confidence, her insecurities grow hugely. Will she find the strength to continue, or is this the end of her run as a hunter?

There were definitely points in Crusade where I couldn't put it down! I was hooked and had to see what happened next! I really liked how the focus shifted between the different characters in the book so that not only does the story continue, but you get to learn about each character's personality, their past, and their thought patterns. The switching viewpoints were well done; it was never too confusing, but was really helpful in getting a peek into each character's brain.

Crusade takes its time setting the back story and setting up before the plot starts moving along. I didn't really mind that since the whole environment was set up well; you really get a sense of defeat and fear that many people feel, now that their countries have called a truce between humans and the Cursed Ones. I really liked how the authors set up the currents state of affairs (there was good attention to detail); it seems like an accurate prediction to how many would respond if Cursed Ones really did exist and chose to expose themselves. The whole society responding to the Cursed Ones--how society adjusts and views them--really reminded me of Shade by Jerri Smith-Ready. In Shade, Jerri also did an excellent job of showing how society had to deal with a huge change: the fact that people born before the Shift can see and interact with ghosts.

The only criticism I have for this book concerns the ending. I don't quite see it and I don't quite agree with it entirely. It sets up nicely for a sequel, but the character doesn't quite fit the role as the others envision her to, but there will probably be a sequel, so that remains to be seen. I don't want to spoil anything so that's all I'll say. Can't wait to read more in this series!

**Don't forget, I'm currently hosting a giveaway & giving away 5 copies of this novel, along with 4 other novels! Enter here if you're interested! Ends 9/1

Overall: 4.25 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 4.5 stars
Cover: 3.75 stars (It's rather simple, but it works.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Book Blogger Hop! (2)

Happy Friday, everyone!! Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books! There are tons of other bloggers who participate, so check it out!


Book Blogger Hop


The question for this Friday:

Do you use a rating system for your reviews, and if so, what is it and why?

I just started using a rating system again! A few weeks after I first started writing reviews, I used a rating system based on the old gymnastics scoring system, the "perfect ten" system. (I'm an ex-gymnast so I thought it'd be fun and different than all the 5 star ratings). However, I felt that a number was not sufficient at conveying my thoughts about a book. After all, the plot might be excellent but the writing could leave a lot to be desired. So I took the rating system away and just recently started using a new rating system: I now give a rating (out of 5 stars) for the book overall, the plot, the writing, the characters and the cover (I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but I like giving credit where it's due; a lot of effort is put into most covers and the end result can be brilliant!). You can still get a general idea of my overall view on the book via the rating system, but I also break it down further so you see where that overall number comes from!


This week...

Giveaways I'm hosting:
Enter my birthday + 200 Followers contest for a chance to win various books!



Enter for a chance to win one of three copies of the new zombie novel, Dust!


Reviews this week:

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore



If you stop by, please leave a comment so I can return the favor!
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

New Award!


The lovely Maddie over at Confessions of a Teen Bookaholic & the wonderful Morgan from The Paperback Princess just gave me the One Lovely Blog Award! Thank you so much! I'm really grateful!

-----------------------------------------

Here are the rules:

1. Accept the award, then post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.

3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know that they have been chosen for this award.


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So here are the great blogs I've recently discovered that I'm nominating (in no particular order):
  1. Laina Has too Much Spare Time
  2. The Book Cellar
  3. Confessions of a Bookaholic
  4. Mindful Musings
  5. /- LA FEMME READERS -/
  6. It's Time to Read!
  7. Flippin' Fabulous- A Reader's Record
  8. YA Bliss
  9. YA Addict
  10. Young Adult Books Reviewed
  11. Page Turners
  12. Crazy-for-Books.com
  13. Cleverly Inked
  14. Dreaming In Books
  15. Black and Blue Ink

Read-A-Thon!

Come join the fun on Twitter & at Book Crazy!


follow the hash tag #ReadAThon
I'll be participating as much as I can! Follow me @BookVault01

Here's my entry for Challenge #1 for the ReadAThon at YA Addict




Dust Giveaway!

Brainnnns!

Zombie outbreak? Not quite! But I am giving away 3 copies of the upcoming release, Dust by Joan Frances Turner, which features a teenager girl and her own zombie story!



Here's a quick blurb:

Nine years ago, Jessie had a family. Now, she has a gang.

Nine years ago, Jessie was a vegetarian. Now, she eats very fresh meat.

Nine years ago, Jessie was in a car crash and died. Nine years ago, Jessie was human.

Now, she’s not.

After she was buried, Jessie awoke and tore through the earth to arise, reborn, as a zombie. Jessie’s gang is the Fly-by-Nights. She loves the ancient, skeletal Florian and his memories of time gone by. She’s in love with Joe, a maggot-infested corpse. They fight, hunt, dance together as one—something humans can never understand. There are dark places humans have learned to avoid, lest they run into the zombie gangs.

But now, Jessie and the Fly-by-Nights have seen new creatures in the woods—things not human and not zombie. A strange new illness has flamed up out of nowhere, causing the undeads to become more alive and the living to exist on the brink of death. As bits and pieces of the truth fall around Jessie, like the flesh off her bones, she’ll have to choose between looking away or staring down the madness—and hanging onto everything she has come to know as life…

Check out the book trailers:







Reminds you of those old Public Service Announcements, doesn't it?

Interested in winning a copy of Dust? Just comment on this post with your:
  • Name
  • Email
  • Answer this question: What would you do to defend yourself in case of a zombie outbreak? Run for the hills? Grab a shotgun? Be creative! Give a tip against zombies or your #1 zombie survival rule!
  • extra entries (if you so desire)
Extra entries:
  • +5 if you are or become a follower of The Book Vault
  • +5 if you follow/start following me on Twitter (@BookVault01)
  • +5 if you add The Book Vault to your blogroll
  • +3 if you post or tweet about this giveaway elsewhere--just include the link!

Don't forget to check out the official website for Dust!

Giveaway open to US residents only, no PO Boxes please. Sorry!
Please enter by 9/15/10, midnight EST.
Good luck!

Summary courtesy of GoodReads. Thank you to Penguin for donating the prizes!

Waiting on Wednesday (5)


Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
(Penguin/2011)

Eighteen year old Lexi Wentworth is cursed. For as long as she can remember, she’s spent every night swimming. If she doesn’t, she’ll regret it—simply walking will be agony, as if she’s stepping on shattered glass. Her body craves the water, demands the water, until she can’t say no.

But it's not the swimming that troubles Lexi. It’s the singing that goes with it.When she turned sixteen, her siren song killed the only boy she's ever loved. Now, she avoids the popular shores of the Pacific in favor of a long forgotten lake up in the mountains, where she can swim and sing in peace, far from the population of her oceanside home.

Until, that is, Troy Mills discovers her lake. He’s new to Lincoln City High, and he doesn’t know about Lexi’s reputation as an ice queen—a reputation she’s carefully cultivated to keep everyone around her safe. He pushes her, talks to her, forces her to dream of what life could be like if she weren’t a siren.

Lexi can’t stop herself from warming to him, from falling for him. Soon, he’s demanding answers, following her to the lake, unknowingly risking his life. How can she keep him safe when the one thing she wants most--to hold him close-- will endanger his life?

AHHHHHHH! I saw this on Twitter I think last week and it looks AMAZING! Cannot wait!! So many books with mythological creatures are coming out--very exciting since I've always loved reading myths!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (3)

The book trailer for the highly anticipated novel, Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare!

Monday, August 23, 2010

200 Followers & Birthday Giveaway Update!

I have over 230 followers! *squee* Thank you!!! So as promised, I just added another prize to my 200 Followers & Birthday Giveaway! Check it out!

& If I hit 250 followers, I will add another prize!
Thanks to everyone who has entered!

There's still time to enter the giveaway if you haven't already! Ends 9/1

Sunday, August 22, 2010

In My Mailbox 4

Sorry there's no vlog this week--I tried making one but my computer + webcam was not cooperating and after 3 tries, I gave up :(
But here's what I got this week:


For review:
  • Cloaked by Alex Finn (I definitely did a happy dance when I got this book--I liked Beastly & I'm looking forward to the movie! Thank you, HarperCollins!)
  • The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green (this looks like a cute one!)
  • Looking for Fame: Lady Gaga (more of a biography, but I enjoy Lady Gaga's music so I thought this might be an interesting read!)
What did you all get in your mailboxes this week?


& I'd like to say a quick thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog for the Blogger Book Hop! I had a great time visiting all of your blogs and reading what you had to say! If you haven't participated in the Hop before, I definitely recommend it--it's a great way to connect w/ other fantastic bloggers out there!!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme inspired by The Story Siren--check here for more details!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I am Number Four


I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Release Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 488



Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next.


John Smith is Number Four, though he has gone by many names already. Constantly on the move to avoid being killed, John runs with his guardian, Henri, from town to town, never staying long. And now with Numbers 1-3 dead, John knows he's next...

I don't want to give anything away, but fans of science fiction and those interested in UFO's, alien encounters, alien abductions and other things of the like--this book is for you! The plot sounds like one of those alien theories; aliens live among us and many unexplained events in our history were actually their doing. I am not a big believer of those theories, however, I still enjoyed reading I am Number Four. The plot isn't original, but I think I enjoyed the book because it was a story the author spins based on those theories, instead of just descriptions of an alien theory.

I am Number Four's plot may be about extraordinary beings, but I found a lot of the plot rather ordinary. It seemed like formula stuff; John joins a new school, gets picked on by the star jock (who's ex girlfriend was a cheerleader), but manages to get the jock to stop bullying him and manages to get the girl. It wasn't really special and some of the characters seemed flat. I was rather disappointed that readers don't really get to know Sarah that well; John just comes along, falls for her, and neither John nor the readers get to know Sarah better, which might be the reason the chemistry didn't feel very strong between the two of them.

The author did manage to build up a bit of emotion though. You feel for the Loriens who lost their planet, despite how hard they fought, and it tugs a heartstring or two when you realize those who were old enough to remember Lorien (the Nine's guardians) have lost everything they've known and must survive on a foreign planet.

Overall, I think I enjoyed I am Number Four, mostly because (as I mentioned above) it's a story based on UFO theories instead of just being a UFO theory printed in some pamphlet next to a grainy photo. Not the most well written book and some of the supporting characters were lackluster, but I would still like to know what happens next when the sequel comes out!

However, I must say that I am actually very excited for the movie! It stars Alex Pettyfer! Alex was in 2 other movies based on books I loved (Alex Rider & Beastly--which I am really really excited for!) and I can't wait to see him portray John in I am Number Four!

Overall: 3.5 out of 5
Plot: 3.5 stars
Characters: 3 stars
Writing: 3 stars
Cover: 4 stars (I like how the finished version looks overall)

Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Thanks to i'm loving books!

Disclaimer

I receive review copies of books from publicists, authors and publishers for an honest review. I do not receive monetary or other compensations for posting reviews.