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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

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.