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Saturday, October 6, 2012

"Mortin Enaw on Earthpebbles (Guest post by Ned Vizzini)"

Thank you to the wonderful Ned Vizzini,  author of  It's Kind of a Funny Story, for stopping by to do a guest post for his new novel, The Other Normals, today!

Mortin Enaw on Earthpebbles

Right now I have two days sober, but before that I had 250 -- I was being really terrific. I'm an addict, but I'm not addicted to alcohol or cocaine or any of the things people from Earth get snagged by. I'm addicted to these: Quartz Pebbles (Rose Quartz) Those are pebbles. Quartz pebbles, specifically. Rose quartz, really specifically. And I'm not from here; I'm a ferrule from the World of the Other Normals, which means I look like this -- mortin -- and I find quartz pebbles highly awesome to smoke. You know, I wish I could clarify what it is about smoking earthpebbles that I enjoy. I guess that's the nature of any drug -- if you could explain it, you wouldn't be caught up in it, would you? When I light up some good quartz, I instantly have a certain looseness of mind, but along with that is a certainty -- a certainty that I'm doing the right thing and everything is going great. It's hard to be relaxed and certain at the same time! But you know, honestly, with drugs, it's the lost moments that get you. I'm not the kind of person who smokes pebbles and then just sits around -- I like to get stuff done. But one time I smoked them and couldn't find my keys, and I spent 20 minutes looking for them until I realized that they were still in the door from when I came home excited to smoke, and I thought:
"You are doing NOTHING right now other than being a earthpebble addict."
Soon after that, I met Perry Eckert and went on some crazy adventures with him and actually got one of my friends KILLED by smoking earthpebbles, so there's that too. You can read about it in this book, The Other Normals: The Other Normals -- Cover As a result of these things I decided to quit earthpebbles. The first thing I needed was a wife. Luckily I have an amazing one. One who taught me that earthpebbles were fine for a younger person. That they were a phase that a lot of people go through. But that when I was smoking them, I was really trying to go back in time, and there's no drug in the world (any world) that can do that. Now, I've stayed away from pebbles for almost a year -- except for a few days ago. I was celebrating the release of The Other Normals, which is the first book I've ever been a character in, and a friend of mine left me a little rose as a gift. I saw immediately how I would like earthpebbles to be a daily part of my life again. But then I tried to think: what had they really given me?
  1. They didn't help me make money
  2. They didn't help me with members of the opposite sex
  3. They didn't help me do anything artistic (I always thought they did, but when I looked at it later, I was like, Eh...)
So I'm leaving my brain unscrambled for now. But those of you who live on Earth, where quartz is worth like $5 per carat -- you don't know how lucky you have it. -- Mortin Enaw of The Other Normals

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

Thanks for stopping by, Ned! 
Don't forget to check out Ned's new novel, The Other Normals, available in book stores now!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

An update

I hope you all have been doing well!  It's been a crazy few weeks with moving, school starting up and the like!  Barely had much of a chance to read in the craziness, but I hope you've all been indulging in all the fantastic books out there!

Luckily I've found a few hours to curl up with a few books and plenty of tea (who doesn't like a nice mug of tea or hot coco on a windy day?) this weekend--so much better than staring at textbooks for hours and hours!  Look for a new review & hopefully a giveaway soon!

Any other tea fans out there??  My friend recently bought some chai for us to share and then introduced me to a new website--Adagio Teas.  I bought some white tea and a blend or two and after spending almost an hour browsing their website, I'm scared my wallet will soon take a beating!!  Anyone else a tea fan or use Adagio Teas?  Got any tea recommendations for me?  I've only got my little bag of white tea and a few green tea (mango flavor!!) bags left so I might have to indulge myself with a purchase :)

I've also apparently got a few $5 gift certificates to send out if you're new to Adagio Teas like me!  They have some pretty good deals--I got my white tea for $2!  Shipping is pretty cheap too, so it's a very tasty deal!  Just comment with your email address if you want a $5 certificate and I'll send one to you!

Happy reading everyone!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rift by Andrea Cremer

Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Philomel
Pages: 448
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.

With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.

Wow! Rift was definitely an exciting read! Well paced, plenty of action, good writing and character development--Rift kept me hooked till the end!

I liked Ember's character; she may wield weapons most of us have never even seen, but she's still a character readers can relate to with her drive and determination. Overall, I thought most of the characters were good. There is quite a wide range of characters among the Guard, which makes them a very dynamic group.
The antagonist has more depth than I would have expected, which was a pleasant surprise! She isn't just your typical evil-and-out-to-accomplish-evil-things from the get-go, but was instead someone who had good intentions and wanted the best for the people she cared about, but ended straying from her goals after being misled and enticed onto a path that isn't entirely savory. It was a nice change from the 2D villains who roam around causing death and destruction and just seem bad from the start so the story can have an antagonist.

For a book that was well-written and had a plot that didn't follow the same loops that most paranormal YA fictions do these days, that tagline on the front cover was quite a let down! "She can battle darkness, but she can't fight love?!" To me, it made gave the impression that the book was much more cliche than it actually was! The book is much better than the tagline, believe me! I also like the cover itself, but it is a bit busy. There seems to be quite a bit of writing; if they were to ditch some of it, or shrink the font size (i.e. of the tagline or the part about it being the prequel to the bestselling Nightshade series), I think the cover would look even better, since the text wouldn't take away from the image (which I am a fan of).

I actually didn't read the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer before reading Rift. I actually really enjoyed reading Rift and had no trouble understanding everything--I think the Nightshade prequel series will be a stand-alone series, and from what I understand, is set centuries before the events that take place in the Nightshade series. I would recommend Andrea's newest series to her fans and would also recommend Rift to those who haven't read her other works before--I think fans of the paranormal genre will find Andrea's latest offering to be an enjoyable read that sets itself apart from some of the more run-of-the-mill paranormal books in the YA genre lately!

I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this prequel series, Rise, but in the meantime, it looks like I should read Andrea's Nightshade series!


Overall: 4.5 out of 5
Plot: 4.5 stars
Characters: 4.5 stars
Writing: 4.5 stars
Cover: 4.5 stars

Sunday, August 5, 2012

In My Mailbox





In My Mailbox is a weekly
meme hosted by The Story Siren!








Wasn't able to post for the last few weeks, so here they all are now!

For Review:
Through to You

Colin Fischer
Endlessly
Gravediggers
Biting Cold
The Forsaken
Amber House
Venom
The Treachery of Beautiful Things
Not Pictured: Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Won & Other:
A Midsummer Tights Dream
Poison Princess (Thank you The Book Pixie!)

Thank you to Scholastic for all of these!
Infinity Ring
The Raven Boys
Endangered
Magisterium
The Dark Unwinding
Skinny

What books did you get in your mailbox this week? Leave a link if you'd like me to visit! :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes

Release Date: June 19, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 288
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review

When Amanda Blick, a young mother and kindhearted San Francisco heiress, finds her gorgeous French chef husband wrapped around his sous-chef, she knows she must flee her life in order to rebuild it. The opportunity falls into her lap when her (very lovable) mother suggests Amanda and her young son, Max, spend the summer with her at the St. Regis Resort in Laguna Beach. With the waves right outside her windows and nothing more to worry about than finding the next relaxing thing to do, Amanda should be having the time of her life—and escaping the drama. But instead, she finds herself faced with a kind, older divorcee who showers her with attention… and she discovers that the road to healing is never simple. This is the sometimes funny, sometimes bitter, but always moving story about the mistakes and discoveries a woman makes when her perfect world is turned upside down.

Monarch Beach is a nice summer read. It details Amanda's life after walking in on her husband having an affair and her journey of recovery and self-discovery as she tries figure out who she is. It's not the most profound book I've ever read, but I found it enjoyable.

One issue I did have with Monarch Beach was the constant name-dropping with all the designer clothing. While I understand that some of it was necessary to help set up who Amanda's mother was (as it is a big part of her identity), I felt that about halfway through the novel it was getting overdone. Although a little bit of the name-dropping was okay in the beginning of the novel for Amanda's mother, and yes, some for Amanda too, it really wore on me after awhile. Amanda's every outfit brand was given and for me, it became overkill. I can appreciate a cute outfit and I understand that Amanda is into fashion, but I'd rather focus on the story being told rather than if the main character is wearing Gucci or Chanel.

Monarch Beach is definitely geared towards an older audience; I normally don't accept books that aren't YA for review (there are more books in the YA genre than I'll ever be able to read in my life time!) but the author was really nice when she contacted me and the blurb caught my eye. It's unlike most books I read and I figured why not give it a try? I'm glad I did; it's an enjoyable beach read with a more serious side; a story of one woman's journey to self-discovery, but there's a resort and some more fun moments during her journey!


Overall: 3.75 out of 5
Plot: 3.5 stars
Characters: 3.75 stars
Writing: 3.75 stars
Cover: 4 stars

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Rise by Andrea Cremer
(Penguin/January 8, 2013)

I recently received and read an ARC of Rift by Andrea Cremer, which is the first book in the prequel series to her Nightshade series and really enjoyed it! I haven't read her Nightshade series yet, but it looks like I will have the opportunity to while I'm waiting for Rise, the sequel to Rift! There isn't a blurb for it on GoodReads yet, but as Rift ended in a cliffhanger, I'm sure Rise will pick up right where the first book left off!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?




Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Gravity by Melissa West
(Entangled Publishing/October 16, 2012)

In the future, only one rule will matter: Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed--arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know--especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

Alien spies? An impossible dilemma? Forbidden romance? Count me in! Sounds interesting, though it's the alien spies that have really got my attention for this novel! Here's hoping it's as good as it sounds! :D


What are you waiting for this Wednesday?


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Burning Blue by Paul Griffin
(Dial/October 25, 2012)

When Nicole Castro, the most beautiful girl in her wealthy New Jersey high school, is splashed with acid on the left side of her perfect face, the whole world takes notice. But quiet loner Jay Nazarro does more than that—he decides to find out who did it. Jay understands how it feels to be treated like a freak, and he also has a secret: He's a brilliant hacker. But the deeper he digs, the more danger he's in—and the more he falls for Nicole. Too bad everyone is turning into a suspect, including Nicole herself.

This one sounds like a thriller and the premise is different from all the dystopian and paranormal books that have been catching my eye lately! I'll definitely have to check this one out!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?




Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Monday, July 2, 2012

Undead by Kirsty McKay

Release Date: September 1, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 272
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review

Out of sight, out of their minds: It's a school-trip splatter fest and completely not cool when the other kids in her class go all braindead on new girl Bobby.

The day of the ski trip, when the bus comes to a stop at a roadside restaurant, everyone gets off and heads in for lunch. Everyone, that is, except Bobby, the new girl, who stays behind with rebel-without-a-clue Smitty.

Then hours pass. Snow piles up. Sun goes down. Bobby and Smitty start to flirt. Start to stress. Till finally they see the other kids stumbling back.

But they've changed. And not in a good way. Straight up, they're zombies. So the wheels on the bus better go round and round freakin' fast, because that's the only thing keeping Bobby and Smitty from becoming their classmates' next meal. It's kill or be killed in these hunger games, heads are gonna roll, and homework is most definitely gonna be late.

Although the premise of the story sounded like a lot of fun when I first got this book, I will admit I was a little hesitant. The paranormal genre has really taken off in YA and there's been everything from vampires and werewolves to witches, faeries, demons, and yes, zombies. But in that mix there's also been a lot of forbidden love and a generous helping of the mushy stuff with little focus on adventure and action. Now don't get me wrong, I love a good romance and I can be a sucker for happy endings, especially if the couple face the storm of forbidden love together! But lately, there have been plenty of books that have very similar story arcs, little to no plot and a heavy emphasis on just the budding romance and sadly, nothing else in the book. I wouldn't mind seeing a little more action (of the adventure kind, before you all get any ideas!) in those novels; what could possibly bring a couple closer together except for stopping world domination together??

I guess I needed a little break from all the paranormal books with forbidden romance, and thankfully, one of the publicists at Scholastic handed me a copy of Undead! Undead is absolutely jam packed with action! After a zombie Apocalypse breaks out, Bobby, Alice, Smitty and Pete have to fight for their lives and find a way out of this mess!

Popular girl Alice (a.k.a. Malice, as dubbed by Smitty), Pete the geek, Smitty the loner and rebel, and Bobby, the new girl, make up quite a motley crew for this adventure! They all have their own unique voices and there is plenty of comic relief, even during this crazy trip where they're trying to avoid getting chomped by zombies! Alice may be a mascara-obsessed beauty queen, but I found her hilarious in Undead! She somehow finds it possible to keep up at least part of her beauty routine despite this massive infestation of the undead and she is one snippy, crazy girl! Smitty was also hilarious with his snide comments and wit! I think I found this novel so enjoyable not only because of the non-stop action but also because of the polar opposite characters that are forced to work together!

To me there was more action than anything else in this novel, but it was still a fun adventure overall since the action was balanced with a decent plot and an amusing cast of characters!

Overall: 4 out of 5
Plot: 3.75 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 4 stars
Cover: 4.5 stars

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Forsaken trailer!

I recently came across Lisa M. Stasse's upcoming YA debut, The Forsaken, on goodreads and was passed along the new book trailer this morning! I figured I'd share it all with you!





Doesn't The Forsaken sound amazing? Definitely on my TBR list! A good dystopian novel can always tempt me :)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Follow Friday! (7)



Follow Friday is a weekly feature hosted by Parajunkee's View & Alison Can Read! It's a great opportunity to meet new bloggers and connect with fellow book lovers!!

Q: Birthday Wishes -- Blow out the candles and imagine what character could pop out of your cake...who is it and what book are they from?

Harry Potter, and if I'm allowed to have more than 1 character, I'll take the trio + Fred & George! You know, come to think of it, I wouldn't mind spending some time in their world at Hogwarts--learning spells and potions, learning how to fly and getting lost in a secret passageway, doesn't that sound amazing? Then visit Fred & George's joke shop, buy my own wand, take the carts down to a vault in Gringotts! Yes, I'm not in middle school any more, but I still think it'd be awesome! There's nothing wrong with a little magic! ;)

Who would you want to pop out of your birthday cake? Leave a link to your post so I can check it out!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Interview with Anita Hughes!

Joining us today at The Book Vault is Anita Hughes, author of Monarch Beach!

Hi, Anita! Why don’t you tell us a bit about your debut novel, Monarch Beach?
MONARCH BEACH is about a young San Francisco heiress who discovers her French chef husband wrapped around his (female) sous chef. She accepts her widowed mother’s invitation to spend the summer in the Presidential Suite of the St. Regis, Monarch Beach. There she tries to overcome her grief and plot a new path for her future.

Where did you get your inspiration for Monarch Beach?
I actually live (with my family) in a villa on the grounds of the St. Regis, Monarch Beach! It is so beautiful here, I thought: if you are really unhappy does being in a gorgeous place make you feel better, or do you carry your grief wherever you go?

What is your writing process like? Do you outline everything or just write and see where the story goes?
With MONARCH BEACH, I knew the final scene and some key scenes in the middle. In my next two novels (both coming out next year) I worked from an outline but the stories definitely veered off in new directions. Once you start writing, your characters do things and take you places you don’t expect.

What was your favorite scene to write?
One of my favorite scenes is when Amanda attends the Monarch Butterfly Release. The St. Regis holds this event every Saturday during the summer. They release dozens of butterflies and everyone makes a wish. It is the first time Amanda feels hopeful about her future.

Do you have a favorite place to write?
My favorite place to write is on the loveseat in my bedroom. It has a beautiful view of the garden and the golf course. It is very peaceful and I can watch the baby bunnies in our garden.

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Write the story you want to write, the story that excites you. If you do that, chances are your readers will love it too.

And since it’s summer, I’ll throw in a few summer-y question:

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?
Well, I am a huge frozen yoghurt fan! My favorite frozen yoghurt flavors are cake batter and chocolate malt.

Some beach reads you’d recommend for this summer?
I loved OVERSEAS by Beatriz Williams – it is the perfect romantic beach read. And I just finished WIFE 22 which will keep you laughing.


Thank you so much for taking the time out to do an interview with The Book Vault, Anita! I'm a huge fan of froyo too!! Definitely a yummy treat I love to enjoy, along with a good book!

Be sure to visit Anita's website or checkout Monarch Beach on goodreads! Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
(Simon & Schuster/September18, 2012)

BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...
THEY GET EVEN.

Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

I'm normally not very big on revenge, and I'm hoping this book isn't too catty, but it sounds intriguing and I've read other works by Siohban Vivan before so I'm game to give Burn for Burn a try!


What are you waiting on this Wednesday?





Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Sunday, June 24, 2012

In My Mailbox





In My Mailbox is a weekly
meme hosted by The Story Siren!







For review:

Soulbound by Heather Brewer
Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

When these books came in, I was so happy!! I've been dying to read Tiger Lily and I had recently heard of Soulbound and so was really excited when it arrived in the mail! I haven't read anything by Meg Cabot lately but Size 12 and Ready to Rock sounds like a fun one!!

What did you all get in your mailboxes this week?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Breathe by Sarah Crossan
(Greenwillow/October 2, 2012)

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .

The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

ALINA
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

QUINN
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

BEA
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

Such a terrifying thought--no oxygen, but it sounds good doesn't it? Can't wait for this one!

What are you looking forward to this Wednesday?



Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Monday, June 18, 2012

BEA 2012!

This year I had the good fortune to be able to attend BEA (BookExpo America) again! After having to miss the expo for the past 2 years, I finally found time in my work schedule to attend day 1 and 2 of the expo! The night before, I was invited to an event at the Scholastic headquarters in NYC! I met the lovely publicists I had previously only known through emails, and I got to attend some pretty dynamic and hilarious readings by a bunch of authors!

Night @ Scholastic
Had an absolutely amazing and entertaining night! Thank you to all the lovely people and authors at Scholastic! Looking forward to all the books featured that night! The authors featured are such wonderful, hilarious and down to earth people!
At the end of the night I got a really nice little totebag and some great books!


Thank you, Scholastic!

BookExpo America
I finally got to meet in person so many bloggers I've spoken with, followed, and interacted via goodreads!! I met the lovely Brianna (aka the Book Pixie), Taschima Cullen (Bloody Bookaholic) and Sandy (Pirate Penguin's Reads) in person at last! Brianna is such a sweet person and Tasch has a hilarious sense of humor--had a blast at the expo with them, even when we were just waiting in line to get in to the exhibition hall! We were pleasantly surprised by the appearance of two rather good-looking (shirtless) guys who were promoting the fourth book of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series, Finale! Needless to say, it was a rather nice beginning to day 3 of the expo!
I didn't get to meet Sandy in person until the end of the 2nd day but she's a lovely person! She had the cutest little penguin plushie keychain on her lanyard!

Luckily for me, I got to see Lenore of Presenting Lenore again! She is possibly one of the sweetest bloggers I know; she always says hi to all the bloggers and stops to make conversation! Her debut novel, Level 2, is also coming in 2013! Doubly lucky for me, I manage to snag an ARC of it! Squeee!! Can't wait to read it!

Another blogger I had the pleasure of getting to know is BC Haysel of The Tattered Page! We bonded over trying to reach the ARC drops and standing in the crazy lines for the authors who were autographing! So glad I got to get to know her better--she's so funny and just a genuinely nice person!
Bloggers are just such funny, sweet, great people--so glad I was able to connect with more of the community at the expo!

And now the books & swag I got!:

Day 1
Books:
Falling Kingdom by Morgan Rhodes
The Diviners by Libbra Bray
Zom-B by Darren Shan
Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans (squeee!)
Wake by Amanda Hocking
Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers by Dan Pilkey
Undead by Kirsty McKay
Pinned by Sharon G. Flake
Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull
Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Black City by Elizabeth Richards
After Hello by Lisa Mangum
Beautiful Lies by Jessica Warman
In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz
A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
The Ruins of Lace by Iris Anthony
Prodigy by Marie Lu
The Shadow Horses by Susanna Kearsley
Amber House by Kelly Moore and Tucker Reed
Beta by Rachel Cohn
The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano
Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Venom by Fiona Paul
The Lost Prince by Selden Edwards


Swag:
Some bookmarks (including a signed one for Venom!), a frisbee for The Lost Dogs, a magnet and playing cards from 2 children series and a mask that I got along with an ARC of Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr!

Day 2
Books:



Thank you to the wonderful Taschima of Bloody Bookaholic for the copy of Alice in Zombieland! Sooo excited for that book!!

Swag:
Got a nifty little water pouch from Disney-Hyperion, some post cards of upcoming Poppy Titles, a Croak magnet, book marks and stickers, a couple of pins (Love the Keep Calm and Pray for Dawn one especially!), a read tattoo, a whoopee cushion and a neat little measuring stick and a cupcake recipe!

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

I had an absolute blast at Scholastic and BEA this year! I'm very grateful I got the chance to go! I managed to snag a few extra ARC's so keep an eye out for some giveaways soon!!
Wish I was able to list out all the bloggers I met, but I'm drowning in business cards and still trying to visit all your blogs! I'm glad I got a chance to meet you all and look forward to reading your reviews!

However, since the line for Veronica Roth's signing of Insurgent was too long and got cut off, I didn't manage to get a copy of Insurgent. So if anyone has an extra copy they don't want, I'd be willing to swap an ARC or two for it! ;)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lies Beneath by Anna Greenwood Brown

Release Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 303
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review

Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.

"I hadn't killed anyone all winter, and I have to say I felt pretty good about that."

With a first line like that, how could I not want to find out what happens?! Just like the mermaids this book is about, the story is alluring and quickly drew me in! Lies Beneath paints a completely different picture of what mermaids are; dispel all the images you have from Little Mermaid of happy mermaids swimming along and singing! The mermaids in this novel are vengeful monsters who are more than willing to kill to get what they want! It was an interesting alternative to the happy mermaids I grew up with, but since it was pretty well developed in the novel, this dark alternative wasn't so hard to accept!

Lies Beneath was well written and had me hooked in. However, while it's a well-told story, it was not anything new or different than how many of the YA novels go these days. The storyline itself was not anything out of the ordinary and seemed to follow the basic formula most YA novels go by these days; boy meets girl, they fall for each other. But boy has secret and tries to keep it from girl. Of course girl finds out and they must make it through the storm together. While it was relatively ordinary, I still found the novel quite enjoyable to read. It might not be anything new, but it was still well-written.

Another point of the novel that was disappointing was the romance. It wasn't as strong as I had hoped it would be. Calder and Lily fall for each other relatively quickly and it was not as developed as I thought it would be. It felt almost like love-at-first-sight but then the author tried to also have them fall for each other in the more realistic (to me, at least) way: after talking, hanging out and getting to know each other. It wasn't quite developed enough either way, and consequently, just fell flat after being caught in the in-between the two.
Additionally, while I understand that Calder is a hot, delectable merman, his way of wooing his lady friend got rather creepy at some points! Spying on your love interest from the bushes? I'm sure Calder didn't mean it quite that way, but it sounds like amateur stalking to me!

I would have liked to learn more about Calder's sisters! They're such villains, but they were so interesting! Wish they had gotten the limelight a little more often and wish there were more snippets from their pasts! They were definitely dark creatures that I wish I had more insight to--how did they all develop such drastically different, yet essentially similar personalities? How was their interaction with their parents? I would have liked to learn more about their mermaid mother as well! We don't get to learn that much about her in this novel, but it sounds like she definitely had a story to tell as well if her children felt so strongly for her!

It sounds like Lies Beneath is the first book of a new series so I have high hopes for its sequel! Definitely hoping for more character development and another adventure!


Overall: 3.75 out of 5
Plot: 3 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 4.5 stars
Cover: 3.75 stars

Sunday, June 10, 2012

In My Mailbox





In My Mailbox is a weekly
meme hosted by The Story Siren!






For review:

Orgin by Jessica Khoury
3 Below by Patrick Carman
Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes



& My BEA posts will appear soon as well! I got plenty to read from the expo as well and my poor bookcase is taking quite a strain right now with the addition of all those books!

What fabulous books did you get in your mailboxes this week? And if you went to BEA, what did you manage to snag? :) Leave a comment with your post(s) so I can return the favor!


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler
(St. Martin’s Griffin/November 13, 2012)

Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent, and the coal is running out. Plus, there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome, or is the world still consumed by fire? When one of Wren’s friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue.”

What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome, and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.


Sounds a bit dystopian and reminds me of Under the Neversky a little bit, but it does sound promising!


What are you waiting for this Wednesday?


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
(Hyperion Book CH/October 23, 2012)

Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human—something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.

Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn’t fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers—livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.

To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person’s memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers’ next move. But Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won’t let Audrey out of his sight.

When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything—and everyone—she loves.


Girl power & superheros! Having a mom as a superhero who fights supernatural beings sounds pretty neat, doesn't it? Or at least it's all fun and games until you get involved and you're the one in danger!
When I read that her mom was a superhero, I immediately thought of The Incredibles (such a good movie!). Hopefully the main character of this novel kicks as much butt as the Incredibles did!


What are you waiting for this Wednesday?




Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Sunday, May 20, 2012

In My Mailbox





In My Mailbox is a weekly
meme hosted by The Story Siren!





I know I haven't posted one of these in a while, so I've included the books I've gotten from the past few weeks!


For review:
TroubleTwisters: The Monster (Book 2)
Blazing the Trail
Geared for Pleasure
Unafraid
Silence
Eventide
Journey to the Fringe
Unraveling
Rift
Black Dawn
Stunning

I'm super excited to to read these now that summer has started and I won't have to worry about school work! What fabulous books did you all get in your mailboxes this week?

Sorry for the lack of posts lately; I got sick near the end of the semester so trudging through all the final exams, papers and projects was very time consuming, unfortunately! But it's summer now so there'll be more reviews, interviews, giveaways & more!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Through to You by Emily Hainsworth
(Balzer + Bray/October 2, 2012)

A romantic sci-fi thriller about love and second chances.

Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the pain meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.

The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become, and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.


You had me at 'romantic sci-fi thriller!' And the plot does sound quite fantastic, doesn't it? Parallel world, romance, a second chance! Definitely excited for this one!


What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey
(Flux/October 8, 2012)


Braden came to Belle Dam in search of answers. Answers to his past, to the incredible power he was born with, and the threats destined to come for him. What he found was a supernatural feud between the Lansings and the Thorpes: a feud divided by blood, ruled through manipulation, and fought with magic. His arrival has caused the tide to turn in Belle Dam, and now the things in the darkness have begun to stir.

Trapped between his power and his desires, Braden struggles with the legacy he’s inherited. The witch eyes give him access to incredible power, but they’ve ravaged his body for nearly the last time. As a series of girls are stolen, snatched away in dead of night, Braden realizes that once more there are demons maneuvering in the dark. Friendships are tested, and old alliances threatened, as Braden unravels the history behind the city’s darkest secrets, and the demons bound to its core.



That cover definitely gives me the creeps! But it sounds like a very intriguing novel overall so I'm game!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
(Balzer + Bray/ 18, 2012)

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off the from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?


This really sounds like a horror movie, doesn't it? It reminds me specifically of one in particular, but I can't remember which one. It does sound exciting though!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Embers & Echos by Karsten Knight
(Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers/August 28, 2012)

Ashline Wilde is about to discover that when you’re the reincarnation of a Polynesian volcano goddess, “new beginnings” are just a myth.

Leaving the fiery ruins of her sophomore year behind her, Ash travels to the sizzling beaches of Miami, hot on the trail of the little sister she’s only seen in visions. But her happy family reunion isn’t all palm trees and paradise. A cult of evil gods-on-earth, known as the Four Seasons, has kidnapped her sister to use in its terrifying new religion. Soon, the streets of Miami erupt in chaos and violence…and Ash gets caught right in the tropical crossfire

Ash isn’t without help, however. Unexpected romance arrives in the form of Wes, an Aztec god of night with his own vendetta against the Four Seasons. As memories of Ash’s previous life begin to flicker into her dreams, the boundaries between ally and enemy, life and death, and love and hate all bleed together. And when a mysterious trickster from her past reappears to derail her new quest, Ash must choose between the echoes of a once-forgotten yesterday and the embers of an uncertain future.

Because when old flames return from the dead, even a volcano goddess can get burned.


Yet another August 2012 release that sounds amazing! I'll have a very busy summer/fall time indeed! Never read anything about a Polynesian volcano goddess, so this should be an interesting one!



What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Silver by Talia Vance
(Flux/September 8, 2012)

Beauty is pointless when no one's looking.

Brianna Paxton has been invisible to guys since the eighth grade. She’s pretty enough, it’s just that no one bothers to look. There’s almost nothing that can’t be explained with science, and Brianna has a theory: she’s missing the pheromone that attracts people to one another. Brianna’s theory is shot to hell in one frozen, silver moment, when time stops and Blake Williams not only sees her, he recognizes something inside her that she’s been hiding from even herself.

Before Brianna fully understands who and what she is, she accidentally binds her soul to Blake. Forced to find a way to reconcile forbidden love and her bloody heritage, Brianna discovers that there's nothing pointless about her, and Blake may be in the most danger of all.


Forbidden romance tends to make for a juicy read! And the plot sounds quite intriguing!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?



Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Defiance by CJ Redwine
(Balzer + Bray/August 28, 2012)

Within the walls of Baalboden, beneath the shadow of the city’s brutal leader, Rachel Adams has a secret. While other girls sew dresses, host dinner parties, and obey their male Protectors, Rachel knows how to survive in the wilderness and deftly wield a sword. When her father, Jared, fails to return from a courier mission and is declared dead, the Commander assigns Rachel a new Protector, her father’s apprentice, Logan—the same boy Rachel declared her love for two years ago, and the same boy who handed her heart right back to her. Left with nothing but fierce belief in her father’s survival, Rachel decides to escape and find him herself. But treason against the Commander carries a heavy price, and what awaits her in the Wasteland could destroy her.

At nineteen, Logan McEntire is many things. Orphan. Outcast. Inventor. As apprentice to the city’s top courier, Logan is focused on learning his trade so he can escape the tyranny of Baalboden. But his plan never included being responsible for his mentor’s impulsive daughter. Logan is determined to protect her, but when his escape plan goes wrong and Rachel pays the price, he realizes he has more at stake than disappointing Jared.

As Rachel and Logan battle their way through the Wasteland, stalked by a monster that can’t be killed and an army of assassins out for blood, they discover romance, heartbreak, and a truth that will incite a war decades in the making.


Sounds like an amazing adventure! I can't wait for this one! And what a gorgeous cover too!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday? :)


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Monday, April 9, 2012

Halflings by Heather Burch

Halflings by Heather Burch


Release Date: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Zondervan Publishing
Pages: 288
Source: Copy provided by publisher for review

After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret—and the wings that come with.

A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys’ powers, as well as her role in a scientist’s dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.


I had high hopes for this novel! The angel genre really seems to be taking off right now and this sounded like a high-stakes adventure with a touch of forbidden romance--tempting, no? Unfortunately, I was rather disappointed after reading Halflings.

It felt like the entire book was just to set up another book. Back story, some action scenes placed here and there, more back story, and some very tell-but-not-show character development. Instead of revealing hints about the halfling's character through the actions, a lot of it was done through statements and dialogue--'the youngest halfling is a protege' 'the eldest halfling is a player because of this'--which seemed to slide the three halflings into very general, cookie-cutter roles: the good boy, the bad boy and the naive young one.

Sadly, our leading lady, Nikki, did not seem all that more three-dimensional either. I thought the author was trying a little too hard to make Nikki a strong female character who could kick butt. Nikki is athletic, brave, and a karate student. I definitely like a strong female lead, but Nikki's character seemed too forced, especially the most obvious character trait--she must be strong, so she does karate! Despite the author's attempt to make Nikki a courageous heroine, the other characters she created seem to counter that. The novel had a real Twilight-feel to it; Nikki's in trouble?--halflings to the rescue! While I get that a mortal can't fend off a handful of demons from hell by herself, it would have been nice to see Nikki put her skills to use to get out (or out-smart her way out) of some of those sticky situations she found herself in! She played damsel in distress one too many times for me to see her as a bold, independent girl.

The romance was a bit of a let down too; while it was nice to see the 'nice guy' (Mace) get a chance for once, there was also the aforementioned love-triangle. The romance between bad-boy Raven and Nikki seemed too sudden; I mean, she didn't like him for so long then suddenly one day, boom! she changes her mind. The romance between Nikki and Mace was much more believable though at first the main focus was purely on looks.

I'm sorry to say that this book fell flat for me. The writing wasn't even a redeeming factor; it was not very engaging and I found it rather flat and uninspired. The novel was unoriginal, poorly written and boring at points; I really had to push myself to keep going through the novel. Here's hoping the series improves, but unfortunately, I don't think I'll be sticking around to read on.


Overall: 2.25 out of 5
Plot: 2 stars
Characters: 2.25 stars
Writing: 2.25 stars
Cover: 3.50 stars

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard

Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Pages: 352
Source: ARC provided by publisher for review

It all begins with a stupid question:

Are you a Global Vagabond?

No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.

Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.

But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.

Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry to this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.

At first, I couldn't really get into the story. Bria seemed kind of pretentious to me and despite the fact I've wanted to backpack myself, I couldn't really connect with her. But I'm glad I stuck with the novel because that definitely changed! Wanderlove definitely grew on me and definitely got better a couple of chapters in!

As you get to know Bria and her art school aspirations, the unhealthy relationship she had with her ex-boyfriend, and her reasons for the backpacking trip, you find ways to connect with her, and she becomes more alive as a character. She goes on an incredible journey and watching her tackle unfamiliar territory, meet new people and face her past proves to be quite a trip! There's never a dull moment on the trip, but there's time for reflection as Bria begins to move forward and piece together an idea for her future.

There's also some art interspersed throughout the book and it seems to grow along with Bria during the trip. The last few pieces are certainly little masterpieces that capture the essence of what Bria learns throughout her time in Central America!

Lastly, what's an adventure without a little romance to spice it up? I have to say, I quite enjoyed the romance aspect of this novel! It's not a "love-at-first-sight" kind of romance but a gradual, progressive one. That, in my opinion, is closer to real life (oh, I believe in attraction at first sight, but I don't think love is always at first sight!) and it was really cute watching Brian and Rowan get to know each other and fall for each other! It made it seem sweeter in some ways than the romances where the main characters meet each other in page one and are snogging by page three! It's nice to watch the characters get to know each other a little better first!

This book is not what I would normally pick up and read, but I'm very glad I gave it a chance! I've been reading a lot of fantasy and dystopian lately, so Wanderlove was a terrific change of pace for me! Definitely give Wanderlove a try, even if you're not normally into the backpacking and self-discovery sort of thing, it may surprise you and you might enjoy it as much as I did!


Overall: 4.75 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4.25 stars
Writing: 4.5 stars
Cover: 3.25 stars

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday


Starling by Lesley Livingston
(HarperCollins/August 28, 2012)


“Love is just the beginning… of the end.”

Mason Starling is a champion fencer for Gosforth Academy, but she’s never had to fight for her life. Until now. When a ferocious storm rips through Manhattan and unleashes terrifying creatures onto Gosforth’s campus, Mason barely escapes alive. Without help from the mysterious stranger who appeared in the midst of the storm, she might not have made it at all. But now, in the aftermath, Mason’s life begins to spin dramatically, mystically out of control, and the only one who seems able to help her is the stranger who can remember nothing but his name: Fennrys Wolf.

As Mason and Fenn uncover more about Fenn’s past and the strange events that surround them, they realize that Mason’s family — and its dark allegiance to the ancient Norse gods — is at the center of everything. A predetermined fate seems to be closing in on Mason, but is it possible to change one’s destiny?

This book comes out one day before my birthday! & The main character is a fencer! That + and adventure and this book totally sounds like a perfect match for me! I wonder if Mason fences the same style as me? :)

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Immortal City by Scott Speer

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 336
Source: ARC from publisher for review

Jackson Godspeed is the hottest young Angel in a city filled with them. He's days away from becoming a full Guardian, and people around the world are already competing for the chance to be watched over by him. Everyone's obsessed with the Angels and the lucky people they protect--everyone except for Madison Montgomery.

Maddy's the one girl in Angel City who doesn't breathlessly follow the Angels on TV and gossip blogs. When she meets Jackson, she doesn't recognize him. But Jackson is instantly captivated by her, and against all odds the two fall in love.

Maddy is swiftly caught up in Jackson's scene, a world of glamour, paparazzi - and murder. A serial killer is on the loose, leaving dead Angels' wings for the police to find on the Walk of Fame. Even the Guardians are powerless to protect themselves in the face of this threat … and this time it's up to Maddy to save Jackson.


The Good

Definitely an intriguing idea! The author develops an interesting society that has embraced Angels and not only is their protection one of the most sought-after commodities, their appearances is too! (Think Angels as the new celebrities; screaming fangirls, posters, endorsements, TV shows, magazine spreads, the whole nine yards!) Author Scott Speer definitely captures the way our society is star-struck and our worship of celebrities very accurately! The scene is set quite nicely and the concept is readily developed so readers really get a feel of just how big this Angel phenomenon is--and just how unfair the system is too.

Writing & Style
It's not written in first person present! I've got nothing against first person present but it's refreshing to read a novel written in third person past! However, it's not very consistent; it fluxes (especially in the beginning of the novel) between letting us know everything (character's thoughts, reactions, the surroundings, etc) to a limited view of the situation unfolding. I think that's officially called third person omniscient and limited if I recall correctly from my days in high school english class?
The pacing is also not very consistent; it starts off at a decent pace but then it slows considerably after the first chapter before picking up again for the last quarter of the book. Nonetheless, as the novel started to pick up at the end, I found myself hooked in and unwilling to put it down!

I wouldn't describe the style as minimalist by any means, but it's not as flowery as other novels. The style is very to-the-point and readers aren't weighed down with extensive elaboration on details, which gives this novel more of an action-type feel.

Plot
There was one! It wasn't just a sappy romantic novel where the hot hunk (an angel in this case) rescues the fair damsel in distress over and over again, until it culminates into a world-shattering kiss! I found the plot enjoyable, not the most original but it had some turns and was complex enough to keep me interested! I feel that plenty of stories these days have a very flat plot that often seem boring, if not contrived because there just aren't any intricacies to them. However, Immortal City has a decent plot and several view points from which it's told, so I had a good time reading it! I really liked the parts told from Sylvester's point of view; the author ties his part in nicely and so it doesn't seem too out of the blue or out of place. It really adds to another dimension to the story.


The Not-So-Good
Name dropping. There was quite a bit of it in this novel. Although mentioning brand names once or twice doesn't bother me, after a while--especially calling Maddy's new cell phone by its full name, the Blackberry Miracle--it got excessive. Over-saturation of brand names and logos happen enough in our everyday lives, it would be nice it wasn't rubbed in our faces when we're trying to enjoy a book; I personally think it's a distraction from the story at hand.

Characters
Most of the characters were believable enough but a little more on Ethan would have strengthened the story considerably. He didn't get enough screen (book? page?) time and I would have liked to learn more about his story!

Angels...?
Although I think it's a really interesting idea, I personally don't think angels would sell their services. Maybe I'm just too naive with a view that angels are these pure creatures and who watch over people, especially children and those who can't defend themselves, but selling their services just seems so materialistic and well, earthly. Maybe I've been reading too many fairytales, huh? Just my opinion :)

Overall
I really enjoyed the book and I'm glad it was a self-contained novel. Lately I've been reading a lot books that are firsts in series and while some of them leave the perfect cliffhangers, others leave you feeling unsatisfied, as if the whole book was just a setup for the next two or more books to come. While there is a hint of a possibility of more to come, Immortal City wrapped the story up nicely and leaves some things to the imagination.

The story does pick up steam just after the half-way mark, so if you're thirsting for more action, keep reading! I think fans of other angel novels will enjoy Immortal City, especially anyone who's been looking for more action in the angel genre! Not the most polished book written, but a great read that I highly enjoyed!


Overall: 4.25 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 4 stars
Cover: 4 stars (I think I like the ARC's cover better; it's shiny (!) and it shows not just the angel but the city as well, which I think captures the essence of the story better.)

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.