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Friday, January 27, 2012


Buy or Borrow: Where do your books that you read come from? The bookstore? The library? Do you prefer to own a book, or have it on loan?

I tend to borrow the book I'm interested in from the library first, read it, and if I like it enough to add to my collection (and if I have money!), I tend to order it from Amazon or go to a local bookstore to pick up a copy! Of course that's an investment of time and space so I have to make sure I'm gonna reread it at least once before I spend money on it! I wish I could have a huge library a la Beauty and the Beast, but alas, all I have is my bookshelf in my room so I have to be a little more selective!

What about you? Buy or borrow?

This week @ The Book Vault:
Giveaway: Hexbound by Chloe Neill!
Reviews: Abandon by Meg Cabot

TGIF is hosted by GReads!

Follow Friday! (3)

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: Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?

I don't think there's a genre that I avoid at all costs, but lately I've become rather weary of novels that feature vampires. Ever since Twilight exploded, vampires have run amok in the paranormal genre of YA! Of course there are some great books out there that feature vampires, but it seems to me at least that some books kind of jumped on the bandwagon and made their main characters vampires to join the craze. If the main character is a vampire, I don't mind as long as the story is engrossing, the characters well developed and the writing good! (The same things I'd want for any other novel!) But it's just that there are so many vampire books these days, I've been much more selective about the ones I pick up and read!

What genres are you avoiding?

Don't forget to checkout my giveaway for the Young Adult Giveaway Hop!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Giveaway for the YA Giveaway Hop!

For the YA giveaway hop I'm giving away 1 copy of Hexbound by Chloe Neill!

They say absolute power corrupts absolutely. Turns out, even a little magic can turn you to the dark side. That’s why Lily has to learn how to control her newly discovered paranormal abilities, on top of avoiding the snobs who think they run her school, nursing a crush on a cute sophomore with a big, werewolf-y secret, and fighting the good fight with her best friend Scout as they take on Chicago’s nastiest nightlife—including the tainted magic users known as Reapers.

Then Lily’s invited to a private meeting with Sebastian. He’s hot, powerful, and offering to help her harness the magic flowing in her veins in a way no one else can. He’s also a Reaper. Lily can’t hide her suspicions. But she’ll soon find out that the line between good and evil isn’t always clear…

Sorry, but this contest is only open to US residents!
Enter by midnight (EST) on Jan 31st

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
(HarperTeen/May 1, 2012)

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Anna, a tender-hearted southern girl, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip forces Anna and Kai to face the reality that hope and love are not options for their kind. When it's time for Anna to confront her demons, will she choose to embrace her halo or her horns?

"What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?" How's that for a thought-provoking question?! Sweet Evil sounds interesting, thrilling and sinfully good! And look at that cover! Whoa! Classy, but it just me are bad boys also the good looking ones?! I love the light & dark color contrast! Sweet Evil is definitely on my to-read list!
(The last line of the summary reminds me of the little shoulder angel and devils that frequented old cartoons! haha)

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Monday, January 23, 2012

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Release Date: April 16, 2011
Publisher: Point
Pages: 304

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

There's something definitely dramatic about Meg Cabot's writing! It's been a while since I've read anything by her, so it took a couple of chapters to accustomed to it again. I'm not the biggest fan of Meg Cabot's writing but I do prefer her style over those of some other authors. It may be dramatic, but it's relatively approachable and reads smoothly. I will say, however, that the vocabulary in this novel was really repetitive; the words "incident," "accident," "cemetery sexton," among others appeared over and over again.

The story is told predominantly in flashbacks, and I think this works for Abandon. As the story progresses, readers wonder what happened in Pierce's past and who is that John character? Readers are drawn in and kept interested by the flashbacks that present the readers with more insights to Pierce's past. Although I for one believe that the flashback style works for the novel, the actual story moved really rather slowly. It dragged at points, rehashing the past several times and nothing new happened for pages.

This book was marketed as a 'modern retelling of Persephone' of sorts but it hardly felt like that to me. I'm a big fan of mythology and spent plenty of time as a kid reading about them and I studied Latin (and to a lesser extent, Greek) in high school so I had an opportunity to re-visit and study the famous Greek and Roman mythology then. So when I heard about Abandon, I was excited! I love mythology from all cultures and I haven't read very many modern re-tellings of Persephone, but unfortunately, I was rather disappointed in this aspect. While Abandon has a few elements from the myth of Persephone (an underworld of sorts and a death deity) I would hardly call it a modern retelling of Persephone. Maybe it'll become more of a retelling in the later books in the trilogy, but book one, Abandon, definitely did not feel like a retelling.

The romance in the novel didn't seem very strong either; there was some mild chemistry between Pierce and John but John seemed really distant, a jerk at times, and inconsistent so it was hard to gauge the actual romantic interest between the two. But of course when the two finally kiss, the whole world is blocked out except for the kiss, everything else is forgotten, and he's so dark and mysterious but romantic, etc. etc. etc. which seemed cliche to me. I was hoping Meg Cabot was going to whip up a much stronger and steamy romance between the two leads, but alas, it was not so.

This last point might sound a bit nit-picky, but I for one was not very impressed by the name of Pierce's love interest, who also happens to be the aforementioned death deity: John. It sounds a bit, well, underwhelming and hardly impressive. With Meg Cabot's signature dramatic style of writing, I would have thought she would've picked a name that was a tad more impressive. Or at least one that matched the leading character (who's name was much more unique): Pierce.

I definitely have mixed feelings about this book; overall, I enjoyed it at points. However, none of the characters seemed very strong to me and not as memorable as those from Meg Cabot's other novels. Characters like Samantha from Meg Cabot's All-American Girl and Mia from The Princess Diaries definitely had a louder, more vibrant personality and Pierce seemed almost tame compared to Samantha and Mia. I'm not a fan of Pierce, though there are two more books left in this trilogy that could change my opinion! I found her a rather weak character who was careless, uncaring and not exactly the brightest bulb in the bunch. I'm hoping the trilogy gets better, though I'd have to say overall, I was disappointed with Abandon. I guess when you're already a best-selling author who is loved by so many fans, expectations are higher and unfortunately, I don't feel that Meg Cabot quite lived up to that expectation this time.

Overall: 3 out of 5
Plot: 3 stars
Characters: 2.75 stars
Writing: 3.5 stars
Cover: 5 stars

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox

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

Here's what I got in my mailbox this week:

Perception by Kim Harrington
Curveball, the Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick

Perception is the sequel to Clarity, which I recently reviewed! I'm hoping Clare's next adventure is as good as the first, if not better!

What fabulous books did you all get this week?
Leave a comment so I can check your IMM too!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Follow Friday! (2)

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: What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get your hands on any particular book?

My answer'll probably be really boring compared to everyone else's since it wasn't exactly crazy, but I think the craziest thing I've done (though I can say I have no regrets!) was waiting to get the 6th Harry Potter book. I went to a small book release party at a local bookstore but when midnight came around and they were about to let people buy the books, the line was in no way organized so some of us ended up nearly pushed out the door! The line snaked everywhere in the store and it was rather messy until a manager managed to get us all in a somewhat organized line! Everyone was so excited, though, and it was a lot of fun. We were all swapping theories on what would happen and what "half blood prince" was referring to while we were waiting!

It took half of forever and plenty of getting jostled around but I got my hands on a copy of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince! Then of course like the bookworm that I am, I stayed up all night to read it!

So what is your craziest story??

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Vanish by Sophie Jordan

Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 294

An impossible romance.
Bitter rivalries.
Deadly choices.

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

Jacinda's loyalty to her kind was tested and it was a very difficult struggle for her. Afterall, most of her pride has treated her as nothing more than a prize, the pride's only fire-breather. But they are still draki, and of course there are those in the pride that mean a lot to Jacinda.

I enjoyed reading Vanish and liked that it was fast-paced, just like Firelight was. Readers get to learn more about Cassian and get to see a different side of him. He becomes a character with more dimensions in Vanish and Tamara has really grown as well--hope to see more of her in the third book! Jordan's writing is very easy to read, approachable and with plenty of action, romance and draki, this fast-paced sequel to Firelight will keep readers hooked!

One thing that bugged me, however, was Jacinda's ping-pong game of emotions over her love interests. Will is back in her life, but Cassian has wedged his way in as well. As mentioned, readers will get to see a different side of him and understand him better, and he's not as cruel as one might have initially thought.
(Mild spoiler alert ahead! Stop reading here if you don't want to read the spoiler!------>) That said, some sparks fly between Cassian and Jacinda and after that, Jacinda really can't seem to make up her mind. When she's with one, she thinks of the other and starts to have some mixed feelings. While I get that the situation must be very confusing to her, and no doubt is causing plenty of emotional toil, she spends half the book not knowing how she feels about the situation. When she's with Cassian, it's Will she constantly thinks of. But when she's with Will, she thinks that she shouldn't be with him, she's gotta leave him (even if it's only to protect him) and guiltily thinks of Cassian. The emotional ping-pong game got rather tiresome after awhile--wish she would stop shying away from her feelings so she could figure things out and just pick one of them! (Granted, I'd feel terrible for the guy she didn't pick!) At the risk of sounding very corny, she should really follow her heart or she could risk spending her life life second-guessing herself.
Cassian turned out to be not a bad guy and was definitely a stronger character in Vanish. After seeing how he and Jacinda interacted, a part of me was rooting for him. It was hard not to, since he really helped her out of a few tight spots, and genuinely seemed to care about her and not just her ability to breathe fire.
(End spoiler)

All in all, I had fun reading Vanish and can't wait for the third installment of Sophie Jordan's series!

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel
(St. Martin's Griffin/September 4, 2012)

Lenah Beaudonte should be dead. But having sacrificed herself to save another, she finds herself awakening with strange powers that are neither vampire nor human - and a new enemy on her trail. In her vampire life, Lenah had thought that being human was all she ever wanted; but the human heart suffers pain, heartbreak and loss. With her new powers growing and the dark force of the Nex after her soul, Lenah faces a choice: between the mortal love of gorgeous Justin, whose passion fed her human soul, and taking a different path to become the mistress of her own destiny, wherever that may lead.

I read the first book in the series, Infinite Days, a while ago but definitely enjoyed it! Glad the next book in the series will be hitting bookstores this year (though it's a while away)! I wonder what "stranger powers" have been awoken inside her? The last bit doesn't sound that much fun though; hosing between love and a different future is not a choice I would want to have to make!

And on a random note; I wonder if this cover will be shiny too?? :)

(Read my review of of the first book, Infinite Days, here:

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Monday, January 16, 2012

First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci

First Day on Earth by Cecil Castellucci

Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 150

A startling, wonderful novel about the true meaning of being an alien in an equally alien world.

"We are specks. Pieces of dust in this universe. Big nothings.

"I know what I am."

Mal lives on the fringes of high school. Angry. Misunderstood. Yet loving the world -- or, at least, an idea of the world.

Then he meets Hooper. Who says he's from another planet. And may be going home very soon.

This book was very different from what I expected; when I first read the plot I thought it was going to be a considerably thicker novel (First Day on Earth is just 150 pages) that focused not only on Mal's journey towards self-discovery, but also on theories about extraterrestrial life and specifically Mal's interactions with them. However, the novel focuses mainly on Mal's self-discovery.

Mal is what most people would consider a loner; he doesn't have many friends and is 'the quiet kid in the corner' at school. Ever since his Dad left him, his Mom's been a wreck and a drunk, leaving Mal to take care of himself and her. Years ago, he went missing for three days and the police found him in the middle of the desert. Everyone thinks he had a seizure or some sort of medical issue that caused him to wander into the desert, but Mal thinks he was abducted by aliens.

Mal finds solace in helping small animals he finds (often taking them to the nearby shelter for help) and goes to a support group for abductees. There, he meets Hooper, whom he gets to know better. Hooper tells Mal he isn't from around here--he's actually from another planet. It seems to make sense, afterall, Hooper does have some weird habits and did seem kind of odd ever since Mal met him.

Not your typical YA novel, but I rather liked it. It's different and the style works nicely as well. It's short, to the point with nothing drawn-out. Explores a teen's life as he wanders on the path towards self-discovery; a path that we all know is by no means a flat, carefree walk in the park! Sure, he's got some of that teen-angst going, but Mal genuinely does want to figure out who he is. Everyone's felt lost at some point, and with life-changing events, it can be easy to lose your sense of self-purpose and direction. I feel that the author does a good job conveying this feeling of loss and the desire to find oneself throughout the novel, despite how short it was. Characters were also reasonably well-developed for the brevity of this novel, and I must say, I really enjoyed Hooper's character. He was quite a hoot; nice comic relief for the more depressing moments Mal had!

Overall: 4 out of 5
Plot: 4 stars
Characters: 4.25 stars
Writing: 4.5 stars
Cover: 3.75 stars (love the font)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tempest Book Trailer

Have you checked out the book trailer for Julie Cross's Tempest yet?

In My Mailbox

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

Here's what I got in my mailbox this week:

For Review:

Darkness Falls by Cate Tiernan
Halflings by Heather Burch
Masque of the Read Death by Bethany Griffin
The Selection by Kiera Cass

I'm soooo excited for all the books I got this week!!! I've already started reading some of them so keep an eye out for my reviews soon!! Thank you to the publishers for sending me review copies!


by Lauren DeStefano
So many people have been raving about this book so I decided to pick up a new copy at B&N since the paperback version came out!

What fabulous books did you all get this week?
Leave a comment so I can check your IMM too!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Point
Pages: 242

When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.
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 a certain 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?

I definitely enjoyed reading Clarity and it's a great debut for author Kim Harrington! Clare's a great character; she's a bright, funny girl with the occasional sarcastic quip! Clarity was fast-paced, fun read! I found the mystery part a bit predictable by the middle, but the novel was well-written and by no means dragged out, so it was still an enjoyable read!

What I really liked was how Clare and her entire family had 'gifts' so their interactions were quite amusing at times but it also allowed them to support each other since they understood what it was like to have abilities that, as Clare put it, caused tourists to flock to them but also caused the locals to scorn them. The focus of the novel, therefore, wasn't about Clare trying to find acceptance within her family; they already knew who she was, she just had to find herself in the outside world.

One small issue I had with the novel was Gabriel, one of Clare's love interests. He seemed like your typical stock mysterious, handsome guy. I think he was supposed to thicken the mystery a bit but he felt a little bit like a cookie-cutter character to me. His character does get a bit better during the last bit of the novel though. That said, it's only a minor thing I was a bit disappointed in--nothing to stop anyone from reading the novel of course!

Overall: 4 out of 5
Plot: 3.5 stars
Characters: 5 stars
Writing: 4.75 stars
Cover: 5 stars (love the light colors! beautiful!)

Follow Friday!

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!!

Question of the Week: Many readers/bloggers are also big music fans. Tell us about a few of your favorite bands/singers that we should listen to in 2012.

I gotta say, I haven't been listening to mainstream (pop) music lately. Instead, I've been listening to classical music when I study, my sister's jazz music and a couple of less-known independent artists.

The most mainstream stuff I've been playing in the background lately is Panic At the Disco (I like their song "Ballad of Mona Lisa") and Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain." There's been a song or two from Far East Movement (strong beats = good dancing music...aka Dominique dancing around her room when she's really supposed to be cleaning it!) in the mix too!

One of my favorite songs from a lesser-known artist is "When We Say" by AJ Rafael. It's a bitter-sweet song that's very easy on the ears and the music video is shot by one of my favorite groups, Wong Fu Productions!

What bands/artists are you all listening to? Leave your suggestions for my playlists in the comments! :D

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Halflings by Heather Burch
(Zonderkidz/January 17, 2012)

Split. 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.

Okay, you caught me, another book that's just a few days away from release! But did you read the plot summary? Forbidden love? Bring it on! (Well, in book/story-format, preferably. Not sure I'd be able to handle it in real life!) I like the cover & color scheme; it works nicely with the picture and seems to match the mood of the novel (well, what I garner from the blurb at least).

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Monday, January 9, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 416

For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought. Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

What I really like about this book is Clara's voice; she's got a sense of humor and a great personality that draws you into the story. The fire from Unearthly was only the beginning; now that her purpose from the vision she had as an angel-blood has passed--her purpose that she did not fulfill--Clara's future seems much less certain. It's an exciting, and nerve-wracking, journey for Clara and readers as she discovers more about her angel-blood status and tries to unravel the secrets around her.

It's Clara's voice and the story that hooked me into the book! The fantasy genre of YA has been overrun with vampires, werewolves and forbidden love for quite some time now, but angels and a story arc other than one of forbidden love is quite refreshing! Hallowed is definitely well-written and at a few points Clara even gently teases the more melodramatic characteristics of the Twilight series and books of similar nature that are now prevalent in YA fiction.

I felt that the actual plot itself wasn't very long. It probably could have been summed up with about half the pages used and readers would have still gotten the general gist of what goes on. However, while some may potentially deem Hallowed a "slow" book compared to it's predecessor, it's often the journey and not just the end results that count. Clara had a lot to learn and figure out about herself--and her purpose--if it had all be presented to her on a silver platter, she hardly would have learned anything!
Clara's journey has only just begun, and as readers will see in Hallowed, there is still much for Clara to learn--about her abilities, her future and her past! As they say our experiences make us who we are, and if everything's done for us, we wouldn't have much left to experience!

That said, I did feel that a certain dream sequence did repeat itself several times without Clara (or readers) learning anything more. What made it sound so repetitive, I think, was that in the middle of the novel the dream/vision was presented with only minor variations on wording and sequence of events. The dream was (this), then Clara thought and felt (this). Not much else was learned from the sequence and Clara did not even brainstorm a new interpretation of the dream/vision. This was repeated a few times--adding little but a few extra pages to the novel. It was only at those points that I felt the novel could have picked up the pace a little bit.

Lastly, I have to admit that I didn't really feel it for Clara and Tuck until the very end. Although Clara said she loved him, I didn't get that feeling from her, during her interactions with him. It was as if that spark and that chemistry wasn't entirely there anymore. There were many points in the novel that I felt there was much stronger chemistry between Clara and Christian and Tuck just didn't seem as strong of a character. This last point could be the reason why Clara spent a great deal of the book seemingly bouncing back and forth between the two--she couldn't really make up her mind about her feelings for the longest time. I can't say much more for fear that I might spoil something, but it'll be interesting to see what other readers think about the leading men in this novel!

was not as strong as I thought it would be, but even with the reservations I had, I had a good time reading it! The writing is great and Clara's voice and humor is a breath of fresh air! Fans of Unearthly will no doubt enjoy Hallowed, which is still a relatively creative and very enjoyable novel, especially in the fantasy genre that is now dominated by vampires and werewolves!

Overall: 4 out of 5
Plot: 3.50 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Writing: 5 stars
Cover: 5 stars (love the embossed, silver (shiny) lettering and the feather woven in!)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox

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

Here's what I got in my mailbox this week:

For Review:

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (sequel to Unearthly!)
Forbidden by Syrie James & Ryan M. James
The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin

Definitely excited to read & review these books! I believe The Girls of No Return is a debut book for author Erin Saldin!

What fabulous books did you all get this week?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan

Release Date: September 7, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown
Pages: 416

After living for hundreds of years, would you begin to lose the ability to feel and to appreciate the little things? After all, what's one moment to you, than the merest blink of an eye? You'll have many more moments to come--an infinite amount of moments, in fact. So what would you do? Jet off to see the world? Donate some time to help worldly causes? Mindlessly drift from party to party, just trying to pass time and have fun?

The latter is what immortal Nastasya--Nasty to her friends--picks. Nasty indulges in fancy parties, excessive drinking, and her friends' carefree (and careless) attitudes. What's one more night spent with exciting company and good drink? It's not like she has to worry about her liver or a possible car accident afterwards--immortals are a pretty hardy bunch with plenty of time for their antics.

Boz, Incy, and a few other immortals from Nasty's close group of friends are living it large--expensive parties, trips to the other end of the world on a whim, and fast cars and designer clothes are the norm for them. Reckless behavior is second nature, since they hardly have to worry about the repercussions. Car crash? No problem; immortals will likely escape with just a few scrapes and bruises.
Incy and Nasty have floated from party to party together for years, leading to a close friendship between the two. Incy parties hard because he doesn't have anything better to do with his time, but Nasty parties to forget her past--and this party lifestyle definitely suits her needs. That is, until one night Incy goes too far and uses his magick to snap a man's back.

Shaken that her close friend could use his magick for bad and could just harm an innocent man without any remorse, Nasty flees her group of friends. And for the first time in decades, Nasty has feelings of guilt and cowardice. but after centuries of stamping out true emotions and feelings, Nasty does not know who to turn to, except for a woman named River whom she had only met once--and decades ago at that. Traveling from London to Massachusetts to find River and her place if she's still there, Nasty pins her last hope of possibly having something different than a life filled with nothing but debauchery on someone and some place she did not truly know, let alone understand. But Nasty may get more than what she's bargained for when she reaches River's End. The lifestyle of those there are very different from the one Nasty's gotten used to over the past few decades--and there's someone there who may have something to do with the past Nasty's buried deep for years.

Nasty definitely grew and matured a bit during the progression of the novel. Although she maintains some of the childishness and immaturity she displayed rather prominently during the beginning of the novel. She's also got a vulnerable side that surfaces as sarcasm and attitude, which puts her at odds with some of the others at River's End.
I would have thought that having lived over 400 years, and having seen what Nasty had, would have given her some perspective and made her mature at least a bit more than she had. I mean, she really didn't have it easy at points in her life--death, pain, famine, and loss--but she still sounded like a teenager most of the time. While I agree that some of those events could be traumatizing enough to make her repress them, the general hardships she had to go through before her wild party days should have still made her more mature than she sounded in Immortal Beloved.

The beginning of the book was okay. It was the second half that drew me in more and it was with greater reluctance that I set the book down when I had to as I got further along. The beginning had almost a Gossip Girl-esque feeling to it; parties! Rumors! Glamor! Flamboyant friends! But then things mellowed out and Nasty began her journey towards self-discovery.

I guess you could also say that certain times during Nasty's time at River's End (almost like a rehab for immortals) were slow as well. Things did not progress very quickly (I'm sure Nasty felt that way too!) but this could have also been to showcase Nasty's own journey at River's End. Her chores were described maybe once too often (there are only so many ways you can write about washing kale) but the flashbacks and other events kept it interesting enough that I wanted to keep going.

All in all, I enjoyed reading Immortal Beloved. However, I also felt that this novel was holding back, especially during the last third or so, to set up for a sequel. Although that part was not quite that enjoyable, I am looking forward to continuing Nasty's journey in the sequel, Darkness Falls which hits bookstores this month! I would like to add that I do hope that Nasty will grow and mature even more in book two as the immature voice that told the first part of this story was not exactly my cup of tea.

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

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Tempest by Julie Cross
(St. Martin's Griffin/January 17, 2012)

The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Yeah, yeah, I know, this comes out this month! But that doesn't mean I can't impatiently pine for it anyway, right? haha Sounds like an adventure with some romance and action--a favorite combination of mine! Hopefully not too heart-breaking though; I've read quite a few books that have been tugged on my heart strings lately!

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Trailer, Twitter party and a tour, oh my!

Marissa Meyer's Cinder hit bookstores today!

To celebrate, she'll be hosting a Twitter/Facebook party on January 9th @ 7pm EST @marissa_meyer and she'll also be participating in a blog tour (find the dates/blogs here!)

Cinder: Book One in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Even in the future, the story begins with Once Upon a Time…. Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl. . . . Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

Don't forget to check out the book trailer!

Congrats to Marissa for Cinder's release! I look forward to reading it!

Trailer Tuesday (10)

It's Tuesday! And this isn't strictly a book trailer, but I saw this a couple of days ago & figured I'd share it!

Hunger Games fever has really taken off and with just a few short months till it hits cinemas, a fan did a Lego remake of the trailer!


Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

Grave Dance by Kalayna Price

Release Date: July 5, 2011
Publisher: Roc
Pages: 400

Whoever said dead men tell no tales obviously never met Alex Craft.

After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking “L” word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.

The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses, only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she’ll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end—her own.

Okay, so before I say anything, I'll admit that only recently have I begun to delve into these specifically sci-fi and fantasy genres. This was sent along by publicists who have sent me plenty of YA books that I've enjoyed so I decided to give this a try. Well despite the fact that this is undoubtedly a sequel, I actually quite enjoyed it. Granted, my enjoyment and overall understanding of the plot could have been improved by a ten-fold if I had actually read the first book. Nonetheless, this was an enjoyable read; Price has built up a complex world of human mortals, fae, and those in-between--and most importantly, how they all interact. I found most of it interesting and not overwhelming, most likely due to the fact that the story was captivating and thankfully not derailed by excessive detail of this alternate universe.

Alex is not your average girl, being able to raise the dead as shades and all, but her deeds from her past adventure about to catch up to her--and they just might reveal more about Alex herself than she is ready for. But she must forge ahead on the new murder case at hand, even as she has to tie up some loose ends, if she wishes to protect her friends--and herself--from danger. Of course having two handsome men, Death and a fae, Falin, coming onto her (possibly for more reasons than just physical attraction) just complicates things.

I liked the interactions between Alex and Death and Alex and Falin and the intricate story Price weaves was enough to keep me interested, even though I had not read the first novel. With that said, I would be very much interested in reading Grave Witch (the first Alex Craft novel) and the next book in the series whenever it comes out!

I'm backkkkk!

Hey everyone!

I'm back! I'm sure you've been able to tell since I've already had a few posts these past few weeks! Sorry for my lengthy hiatus; school, work, and trying to figure out my future overwhelmed me for a while. Things are getting back on track, however, and I'm very happy that I've been able to read more and review some lately! So stay tuned for more reviews, interviews, weekly memes and the like!

I've rung in 2012 with a new layout for The Book Vault! It's simple but pretty easy to navigate! I've also cleaned up my blog roll as it seems that unfortunately, a lot of people have had to close their sites or just stop blogging because they've been too busy. So if you've opened a new blog or you're stopping by for the first time, leave a comment or drop me a line--I'd love to check out more YA book blogs and/or do a link exchange!

I'm glad to be back, but unfortunately I don't think updates will be quite as frequent as before. I'm about to take more upper-level courses as well as work on grad school or med school plans, but I'll try to update as much as possible! Thanks for understanding!

Hopefully I'll be able to run a giveaway or something of some sort to celebrate being back, but I'll have to raising some shipping & handling funds first. (Tuition & textbook bills can be quite excellent at killing one's poor bank account!)

Let me know what you're reading or send me some book recommendations! Connect with me via FACEBOOK, TWITTER or GOODREADS! (or heck, all 3!)

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Happy New Year, everyone! Here's to a bright new year full of success, happiness and plenty of good books!

2011 was a rough year for me and passed with little activity for me and The Book Vault but I'm hoping to change that this year! More books, more interviews, more posts and more reviews!

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!


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.