Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review - Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed (Unearthly, #2)Title: Hallowed
Author: Cynthia Hand
Series: 2nd (Unearthly)
Pages: 403
Published: January 17th 2012 by HarperTeen 
ISBN: 9780061996184
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: 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. 

I Give This ...

I've decided that angel book are hard to do right.  It's just a delicate balance to make believable without being cheesy.  After several bad ones (and some ok), I was pleased to come across the first in this series, UnearthlyHallowed had a lot to leave up to after just an awesome opening.

I have to be honest when I say that Hallowed  is not at all what I thought it would be.  It honestly had that perfect second book feel, but without being a complete drag.   It fills in most of those details that I thought might have been lacking in the first book.  There's not a lot of action.  It's more about those little moments, and piecing together that whole picture.  I think I've have a clearer idea of were this story might be heading.  I liked the overall bigger picture we get from this book.  The world of angel decedents is much bigger than we though. 

I really loved the battle Clara goes through in this book.  She struggles with new feelings she has for Christian.  I liked that she questioned whether it was genuine or the prophecy.  I love that she doesn't want to give up Tucker, her first love.  Because, as much as I hate love triangles, it can happen in real life.  She struggles with the truth her mom has been hiding (protecting) from her.  And she gets the whopped of all news concerning her father.  

It was really a wonderful addition to the series, even if it doesn't carry the same punch that the first one did.  It's sweet, subtle and might even make you tear up a little.  I can't wait for the next one!  


Monday, January 30, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
Read Last Week:
  • Partials by Dan Wells
  • Third Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones 
  • Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood 
Currently Reading: 
  • Waterfall by Lisa Bergen 
 Up This Week: 
  • The Hollow by Jessica Verday
  • A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young


Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!
For Review: 
Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)
  • Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood 


Wishful Thinking
  • Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen

Friday, January 27, 2012

Feature and Follow and the Book Blogger Hop

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #81

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

I don't read nonfiction (or vary rarely).  I think I read maybe one a year.  It's just not something I'm interested in.  

Book Blogger Hop

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review - Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Still WatersTitle: Still Waters
Author: Emma Carlson Berne
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 212
Published: December 20th 2011 by Simon Pulse 
ISBN:  9781442421141
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: Hannah can't wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget.  But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a bit...off. They can't find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone's been living there, even though it's been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety. Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

I Give This ...

I was really looking forward to this book.  It had an interesting premise.  I've always had a fondness for mysteries, and there's just not enough of them in the young adult genre.  I was hoping it might live up to what I had build up in my mind.

I initially like the characters.  Hannah and Colin seemed to be your typical teenagers, especially when it comes to their relationship.  They're high school sweethearts that are beginning to feel the stress of what might happen after Colin lives for college.  Especially since Hannah seems to have trouble repeatingg that 4 letter word that Colin has already said.  I'm not sure why she thought a weekend away would help cure this problem.

I disliked how Hannah behaved to get the weekend planned.  Stealing and lying seemed completely out of character.  It made me wonder why she was trying so hard.  It's like that last ditch effort to save something you are afraid of losing.  I did like to setup of the lake house.  It was down right creepy how the house seemed lived in, even though nobody had been there for quite awhile.  And the nearest town was weird.  I kept expecting this idea that they had traveled into some alternate universe.  Might have worked better that way (a sort of Stephen King type thing).

 But, the truth of the story seriously left me wanting.  I felt like I wasn't getting the whole story.  What I felt like happened didn't quite fit with what I was being told, especially since there's an alternating story buried in there as well.  In the end, I wasn't sure who to believe.  I wondered if the way the story was ended was leaving it open for a sequel.  Not sure, if I really want to go there.

Overall, it was ok.  If you expect a lot from your mysteries, I probably wouldn't read this one.  If your just looking for something to creep you out a little bit, I think this would do it. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review - Tempest (Tempest #1) by Julie Cross

Tempest (Tempest #1)Title: Tempest
Author: Julie Cross
Series: 1st
Pages: 339
Published: January 17th 2012 by St. Martin's Griffin
ISBN: 9780312568894
Source: Publisher via Netgalley 

Description: 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. 

I Give This ...

This book was definitely an interesting read for me.  It's always a change of pace when there are elements of the story that work, and then others that don't.  In the end, I decided to let it go and just enjoy it.

I think what kept this story going for me was the simple fact that I liked Jackson.  He enjoyed the fact that he's a rich kid, but does everything to contradict that stereotype.  I found it interesting that hid his ability to time travel from his father.  I wondered if the events hadn't unfolded the way they did if he would have every told him.  I loved that he is so loyal to his friends that when he's transported back to 2007, he purposely seeks them out.  He knows that he's going to need them now more than ever.

 For the most part, I enjoyed the time travel storyline.  I thought it was interesting that he could only do little jumps at first.  I also found it intriguing that he couldn't change an events and that any people he had contact with would not remember it in the future.  I was also intrigued when he seemed to change "permanent" time periods.  But, honestly the story lost me when they tried to explain what all that meant.  I couldn't determine if it was a parallel universe or timeline or what.   I didn't understand what the government really wanted with Jackson or what the "bad" guys wanted.  But, I found that I could just overlook all that.  I think I was over thinking it and the more I did, the more holes I could poke in the idea.  

I ended up just letting my misgivings go.  In the end, I really just enjoyed the story and the idea of time travel.  I liked the idea of being stuck in a time you've already lived.  I'm sure I will read the next one!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review - A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2) by Beth Revis

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)Title: A Million Suns
Author: Beth Revis
Series: 2nd (Across the Universe)
Pages: 386
Published: January 10th 2012 by Razorbill 
ISBN: 9781595143983
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies. But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart. Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. 

I Give This ...

I've been highly anticipating this second novel.  I'm not one for sci-fi type books, but something about this series has grabbed, and I'm not going to let it go.  This latest installment was everything that I hoped for.

I really felt for Elder this entirety of this book.  He's trying hard to keep the peace and do everything within his power to get them to their final goal.  But, when uprising start to happen aboard the ship, I wasn't surprised.  We needed a little more discord.  I do think those who were trying to lead the uprising had valid points, even if they were off base.  Elder really is the best leader for the ship I think.  He's just not very good with words, and no one could really see what he was doing behind the scenes to make sure everything was running smoothly.  I also think he has a huge issue with the idea of absolute power.  He doesn't really want it, but doesn't know what else can be done about it.

My thoughts on Amy went back and forth throughout the book.  I thought she kept a level head while she's witnessing the uprising around her.  Since we get part of the story for her point of view, we know she's scared at times.  But, I think she does an amazing job of not showing it to those around her.  I enjoyed her scavenger hunt to discover what the leaders' aboard the ship have been keeping secret for years.  I didn't think she was a little unyeilding when it came to the records hall keeper (I can not remember his name for the life of me).  She refused to see anybody's view point but her own when it came to him.  

There are some definite twists in the story.   Or they should be twists.  For some reason, they just seemed like the logical direction that story should go.  None of it really surprised me, but I wasn't disappointed in the slightest either.  In fact, I loved the storylines in general. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
I always look forward to the weekend because I think I will get a lot of reading done.  For some reason, it never turns out that way.  Friday, I had an enjoyable night out with some co-workers.  That is something that I have not done in a really long time!  Saturday was spent at a birthday party.  And then Sunday was spend cleaning, laundry, and shopping.  No time for reading lol!  Hoping to get some done this week!
Read Last Week:
  • Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne
  • Hallowed by Cynthia Hand 
Currently Reading: 
  • Partials by Dan Wells
 Up This Week: 
  • 3rd Grave Dead Ahead by Darynda Jones
  • Waterfall by Lisa Bergen 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

For Review:

Starters (Starters, #1)Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2)Cascade (River of Time, #2)
Torrent (River of Time, #3)Partials (Partials, #1)
  • Starters by Lissa Price
  • Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter 
  • Cascade by Lisa Bergren 
  • Torrent by Lisa Bergren   
  • Partials by Dan Wells (Around The World Tours)


The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)
  • The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Thursday, January 19, 2012

B & K's Reading Daze

I have two girls who love to read as much as I do.  Granted they are 6 and 4, so reading isn't exactly what they do (although my oldest is doing really well with learning.  I'm so excited that this love of mine seems to be passing on to them.  So B & K's Reading Daze highlights some of the books they have enjoyed over the past month.  

This actually isn't about books this time.  It's about an app that I really want to point out.  I purchased it for my Kindle Fire and since then my mom has also got it for her Ipad.  My girls LOVE IT!   Well worth the $0.99 for it!  What is it ....

Where's My Water?

by Disney

   I feel like they are actually thinking while using this app.   They like Angry Birds as well.  But more often than not, they are playing this one!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review - Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration #1) by Lia Habel

Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1)Title: Dearly, Depareted
Author: Lia Habel
Series: 1st
Pages: 470
Published:   October 18th 2011 by Del Rey
ISBN: 9780345523310
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie? The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses. But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

I Give This ...

While describing this to a friend, I realized there's a lot of interesting elements to the story.  And under most circumstances, I don't think it would work.  But, for me it did.  There's something about a post apocalyptic, Victorian society and zombies that just clicked with me.

When I first added this book to my list, I had a feeling it was going to be more steam punk.  Which made me apprehensive because I haven't had the best of luck with steam punk.  I was completely wrong to think that.  While society is modeling the Victorian era, it has completely modern (and futuristic) technology.  Nothing seemed foreign to me.  I really liked how the whole society was set up.  The Victorian age is one that I enjoy reading about, and I don't think I've read anything (besides Incarceron) were society has purposely mimicked that time period.   

I especially enjoyed Nora.  She's a fireball for a lack of a better term.  She's grown up a little bit on the privileged side.  But, she has no problems with those of lower rank (her best friend is).  When she's kidnapped she shows appropriate behaviors, but also regroups and thinks for herself.  There's never a time when she acts like the damsel in distress.   I loved that she gets mad at her dad, but yet desires to understand what's made him this way.

I enjoyed the subtle romance in the story.  It never felt like it was being shoved in my face.  Both characters actually spend part of the book denying their feelings, which is a change from the confession your undying love lines.  I also loved the inclusion of good and bad zombies.  It was light-hearted and fun, but not overly campy.  

I just really enjoyed this story.  I'm looking forward to the next in the series!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review - The Gathering Storm (Katerina Alexandrovna #1) by Robin Bridges

The Katerina Trilogy, Vol. I: The Gathering StormTitle: The Gathering Storm
Author: Robin Bridges
Series: 1st
Pages: 400
Published: January 10th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
ISBN: 9780385740227
Source: Publisher via Netgalley 

Description: St. Petersburg, Russia, 1888. As she attends a whirl of glittering balls, royal debutante Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, tries to hide a dark secret: she can raise the dead. No one knows. Not her family. Not the girls at her finishing school. Not the tsar or anyone in her aristocratic circle. Katerina considers her talent a curse, not a gift. But when she uses her special skill to protect a member of the Imperial Family, she finds herself caught in a web of intrigue. An evil presence is growing within Europe's royal bloodlines—and those aligned with the darkness threaten to topple the tsar. Suddenly Katerina's strength as a necromancer attracts attention from unwelcome sources . . . including two young men—George Alexandrovich, the tsar's standoffish middle son, who needs Katerina's help to safeguard Russia, even if he's repelled by her secret, and the dashing Prince Danilo, heir to the throne of Montenegro, to whom Katerina feels inexplicably drawn. The time has come for Katerina to embrace her power, but which side will she choose—and to whom will she give her heart?

I Give This ...

I was really looking forward to this book.  I love historical novels and usually enjoy those in the young adult genre.  Russian historical is one that I've only read a few of, and it's usually focused on later Romanov's.  Sadly, I'm finding that I don't enjoy historical mixed with paranormal as much as I would have liked.

My favorite part of the book was the setting itself.  I felt like I got a different look at Russian history.  I liked how the nobility is portrayed.  It seems a lot more complicated that the nobility of English history (which is what I'm most familiar with).  I liked learning a little bit about the etiquette for the royal family and the rest of the nobility.

I also really liked Katerina.  She's a duchess, but she doesn't give off the airs of nobility.  She seems very down to earth.  She gets the perks of being nobility, but would rather get down and dirty in the hospitals.   This was a characteristic that I greatly admired in her.  I also enjoyed the fact that she could raise the dead.  Although, I admit it was a trait I didn't understand much more than she did.  

I had a hard time with the actual paranormal elements of the story outside of Katerina's ability to raise the dead.  There were far to many different paranormal elements and it really distracted from the story line.  I didn't follow the different races of vampires and their abilities.  I was intrigued that the fact the Empress of a fairy of the (light?) fairy court, but felt like it didn't get enough play into the story.  And the final battle was just a little over the top for me.  It just felt like to much was going on.

Overall I liked it for the historical elements.  I'm not sure if I will continue this series or not.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Review: Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Don't Breathe a WordTitle: Don't Breathe A Word
Author: Holly  Cupala
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 304
Published: October 18, 2011 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 9780061766695
Source: Teen Book Scene

Description: Joy Delamere is suffocating...From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.  Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far.  Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe…if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.  Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

I Give This ...

I was really looking forward to Holly Cupala's sophomore effort.   I loved Tell Me A Secret.  I was hoping that she had a knack for tacking tough subjects and turning them into something real.  For the most part, I wasn't disappointed with this book.

I liked the story set up.  We know something horrible has happened to Joy and we know that involved Asher.  We're just not sure exactly what it was.   I enjoyed the drastic opening we get.  Joy is running away and she's making it her mission to make it look like a kidnapping.  At first I couldn't figure out what this distinction was important.  We gradually get the idea of why Joy goes to such extremes.  I liked this slow build up.  We get small flashbacks of what Joy's relationship with Asher was like.  I have to admit (and maybe it's because we know from the start), I didn't like him from the start.

I also enjoyed Joy's journey with the homeless teens on the streets.  It gives the book a distinct difference form others I've read.  I can imagine what life must have been like for someone of Joy's background.  Can you imagine scrounging for food, never bathing, and sleeping basically in the open?  I can't and this story made me appreciate what I have.  It also made me fully realize how bad things were that Joy never gave up.  She knew she could go home at any time, but was determined to fade away.

I also liked the new friendships she forms.  They don't know her background or were she's from.  For the most part the accept her for what she is.  Although, I think sometimes they feel she's just a runaway teen with no idea of the true hardships she might face.  They have no idea what's she running from.  She does learn that just like in regular life, life on the streets is filled with people who are just trying to get ahead.  Your best friend might stab you in back and you may fall in love.  The battle can just be a lot more dangerous.

My only issues with the story was the idea of becoming homeless to begin with.  Joy was scared of Asher, but not just for her own safety.  I get why she did, just not the extremes she went to.  Becoming a homeless teen seems so farfetched for the circumstance.  And I felt like the trouble with being homeless are glossed over a little bit.  Joy had it hafd but nearly as hard as she could have.  I think it would have been a lot worse had she not found Creed.  I wonder how quickly she might have given up them.  Her asthma was also an interesting addition to the story.  For someone who lived in a spotless house to ward off attacks, had countless emergency inhalers, and almost dies because of it manage to live the way she did and not get sick until the end. 

Those drawbacks really didn't effect my thoughts on the story overall.  I enjoyed it and look forward to Holly's next book!

t's Monday! What Are You Reading?

What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week. It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list. Click on the picture to be taken to Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World of Books!
I feel like it's been a long week in this house.  Still missing our time off I think.  Both girls managed to get sick, but luckily, the husband was able to stay home with them (benefit of being self employed).  Now were in the midst of trying to decide if we want to take a trip to Disneyland/Santa Barbara in February.  A little too last minute for my taste!

Read Last Week:
  • Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
  • A Million Suns by Beth Revis
  • Tempest by Julie Cross 
Currently Reading: 
  • Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne

Up This Week: 
  • Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
  • Partials by Dan Wells

Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren and she was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie!

For Review: 

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)Still WatersTheft of Swords (The Riyria Revelations, #1-2)
Rise of Empire (The Riyria Revelations, #3-4)The AcadémieThe Whisperer
Silver-Tongued Devil (Sabina Kane #4)
  • A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Around The World Tours)
  • Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne (Around The World Tours)
  • Theft of Swords by Michael Sullivan
  • Rise of the Empire by Michael Sullivan
  • Silver-Tongued Devil by Jaye Wells
  • The Academie by Suzanne Dunlap
  • The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi

Friday, January 13, 2012

Review - I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder

I Heart You, You Haunt MeTitle: I Heart You, You Haunt Me
Author: Lisa Schroeder
Series: Stand Alone
Pages: 226
Published: October 27th 2009 by Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781416955207
Source: Personal Copy

Description: Girl meets boy. Girl loses boy. Girl gets boy back... ...sort of. Ava can't see him or touch him, unless she's dreaming. She can't hear his voice, except for the faint whispers in her mind. Most would think she's crazy, but she knows he's here. Jackson. The boy Ava thought she'd spend the rest of her life with. He's back from the dead, as proof that love truly knows no bounds

I Give This ...

I've had this sitting on my shelf for quite some time.  After two wonderful books by Lisa Schroeder, I intended on reading sooner rather than later.   I'm so glad I did!  

It continues to amaze me that a story can be told so beautifully in so little words.  I never would have thought that a verse novel could make me feel so much.  Even though I have no personal experience with what Ava is going through, I instantly connected to her.  Her grief and guilt jump off the pages.  At first I was afraid that she wasn't going to let go of Jackson, and this was going to be a downward spiral into depression.  But I should know better.  Schroeder has a knack for taking these situations and having a light at the end of a dark tunnel.  I was happy to see that life will go on for Ava.

What was strange for me, was I initially read Jackson completely wrong.  I thought he was a controlling boyfriend in some of the flashbacks.  And he came across that way in death as well.  I think I took that differently than was intended.  Especially in the end when I realized the reasons Jackson actually came back to Ava.  It made me rethink my entire approach to the book.

An enjoyable read that I would recommend to anybody, particularly those who are hesitant to try verse.   I look forward to what Schroeder produces next!  And I will seek out Far From You, it's the only one I haven't read!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Review - Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1) by Aimee Agresti

Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1)Title: Illuminate
Author: Aimee Agresti
Series: 1st
Pages: 544
Published: March 6th 2012 by Harcourt Children's Books 
ISBN: 9780547626147
Source: Around The World Tours

Description: Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.  As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?  

I Give This ...

I haven't been looking forward to this review.  I knew it was going to be a hard one for me to write because I never felt I had a firm opinion on the book.  I'm hoping that writing this out will help me get a better grasp on my thoughts.

First off, Haven.  She's seems like a smart girl, but she completely bought into this scholarship thing.  What person would honestly believe they won a scholarship they never applied for.  They just don't work like that.  I didn't buy it, and neither should she.  Besides that, I really liked her.  I thought her background was interesting.  I loved how she interacted with her friends.  And even though I knew the opportunity was fake, I loved how she embraced it a made it the best she could.  I also liked how she fell hard and fast for the wrong guy (we know teenager girls can do it), got hurt, but discovered something better.

I actually didn't mind the storyline either.  I think it really could have worked.  But, I don't think it was explained very well.  While I understood what Haven was, it just seem that I fully understood what she could (or maybe it was I could never figure out why it mattered).  She's suppose to be the really powerful being that hasn't unlocked her full potential yet.  To me she just seemed like a smart, normal girl who just happened to see people as they really were.  I just didn't get it.

I did like the hotel.  It seemed creepy.  I think that could have been explored more.  I feel like we're barely skimming the surface of those who are working the hotel.  What's they are doing to ensnare people, etc.  I think Haven figures out way to quickly that something is wrong and is constantly on guard.  Therefore, we see things through her eyes (obviously sense it's told from her point of view).

The biggest problem for me...it's long.  And not in a good way.  There are times this story seriously dragged on and on.  It's a lot of information and very little action.  I was bored for most of it.   

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
A Rogue By Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1)Title: A Rogue by Any Other Name
Author: Sarah MacLean
Release Date: February 28, 2012

What a scoundrel wants, a scoundrel gets . . . A decade ago, the Marquess of Bourne was cast from society with nothing but his title. Now a partner in London’s most exclusive gaming hell, the cold, ruthless Bourne will do whatever it takes to regain his inheritance—including marrying perfect, proper Lady Penelope Marbury. A broken engagement and years of disappointing courtships have left Penelope with little interest in a quiet, comfortable marriage, and a longing for something more. How lucky that her new husband has access to such unexplored pleasures.  Bourne may be a prince of London’s underworld, but he vows to keep Penelope untouched by its wickedness—a challenge indeed as the lady discovers her own desires, and her willingness to wager anything for them . . . even her heart.
I've had a wonderful time reading the other books by Sarah MacLean.  She's introduced me to historical romance, which I've never thought I would enjoy.  I hadn't been paying attention that she had a new one coming out.  I was super excited to discover this one recently!



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