Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review - Diabolical (Tantalize #4) by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Diabolical (Tantalize, #4)Title: Diabolical
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Series: 4th (Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed)
Pages: 368
Published: January 24th 2012 by Candlewick Press 
ISBN:  9780763651183
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
 






Description: Prepare for a hell of a ride as Cynthia Leitich Smith calls on characters from her previous novels - and conjures up new ones - for a climactic showdown.  When "slipped" angel Zachary and his werewolf pal, Kieren, arrive under suspicious circumstances to a mysterious New England boarding school, they quickly find themselves in a hellish lockdown with an intriguing assortment of secretive, hand-picked students. Plagued by demon dogs, hallucinatory wall d├ęcor, a sadistic instructor, and a legendary fire-breathing monster, will they somehow manage to escape? Or will the devil have his due? Best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites heroes from the previous three novels in the Tantalize Series - including Zachary's girl, Miranda, and Kieren's love, Quincie - along with a fascinating cast of all-new characters for a suspenseful, action-packed clash between the forces of heaven and hell.

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I've kept at this series hoping to capture what I loved in book two.  Second book in the series, but it's the first one I read (luckily, I don't feel it matters which order you read the 1st and 2nd).  It's come close with each one, but with some many different story lines and characters, it was hard to get the same feel.

I honestly think I enjoyed this one the most after Eternal.  I finally felt like all the pieces of the story came together the way they should.  Although, I do feel like a continuation is possible with two of the characters, I think I might stop with this series right here.

I enjoyed how there are so many forces at work here.  I'm sure the real targets were Quince and Zachary, but the story included everyone.  I was afraid one of them might do something to jeopardize the chances, but the devil has nothing on these two. 

The story can get a little cheesy at times.   I feel its better suited to younger teens that aren't looking for a lot of depth and through provoking dialogue.  But, I've enjoyed the series since I first discovered it.
 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review (or why I didn't finish) - Pure (Pure #1) by Julianna Baggott

Pure (Pure, #1)Title: Pure
Author: Julianna Baggott
Series: 1st
Pages: 448
Published: February 8th 2012 by Grand Central Publishing 
ISBN: 9781455503063
Source: Publisher via Netgalley








Description: We know you are here, our brothers and sisters . . .
Pressia barely remembers the Detonations or much about life during the Before. In her sleeping cabinet behind the rubble of an old barbershop where she lives with her grandfather, she thinks about what is lost-how the world went from amusement parks, movie theaters, birthday parties, fathers and mothers . . . to ash and dust, scars, permanent burns, and fused, damaged bodies. And now, at an age when everyone is required to turn themselves over to the militia to either be trained as a soldier or, if they are too damaged and weak, to be used as live targets, Pressia can no longer pretend to be small. Pressia is on the run.  Burn a Pure and Breathe the Ash . . . There are those who escaped the apocalypse unmarked. Pures. They are tucked safely inside the Dome that protects their healthy, superior bodies. Yet Partridge, whose father is one of the most influential men in the Dome, feels isolated and lonely. Different. He thinks about loss-maybe just because his family is broken; his father is emotionally distant; his brother killed himself; and his mother never made it inside their shelter. Or maybe it's his claustrophobia: his feeling that this Dome has become a swaddling of intensely rigid order. So when a slipped phrase suggests his mother might still be alive, Partridge risks his life to leave the Dome to find her. When Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.

I Give This
DNF (Did Not Finish)

I was really excited to read this book.  It sounded right up my alley.  I've had a new attraction to the dystopian genre and this one fit the bill.

Sadly, I just could not get into this story.  I so rarely give up on something (one all of last year).  But, I struggled just getting though a few pages.  I didn't connect with the characters at all.  I had a hard time understanding the world they lived in.  When I realized I was only 30% into the story and had been reading it for 5 days, I made myself give up.  There's to many great books out there to make myself finish a book I don't connect with. 

Monday, February 27, 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 did pretty good considering I was to tired to read most of out vacation!  I totally expected that after walking around Disneyland for 3 days straight.  Thankfully we have today off, so one more day for all of us to recover before it's back to school.  

Read Last Week:
  • Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
  • Between Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

 Currently Reading: 
  • Pieces of Us by Maggie Gelbwasser
 
Up This Week:
  • Absolutely, Positively by Heather Weber

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review - Fate (Tattoo #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Fate (Tattoo, #2)Title: Fate
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: 2nd (Tattoo)
Pages: 355
Published: March 10th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers 
ISBN: 9780385735377
Source: Personal Copy








Description: For the past two years, Bailey Morgan has lived a double life: high school student by day, ancient mystical being by night. As the third Fate, Bailey literally controls the fate of the world, but as Plain Old Bailey, her life is falling apart. She’s got a tattoo that was supposed to be temporary (but isn’t), friendships that were supposed to last forever (but might not), and no idea what her future holds after high school graduation.  Then Bailey meets the rest of the Sidhe, an ancient race defined by their power, beauty, and a sinister habit of getting what they want at any cost. Before Bailey knows it, she’s being drawn into an otherworldly web more complicated than anything she weaves as a mortal Fate.

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I picked up this book a long time ago, not realizing that it was a sequel to Tattoo.  I honestly picked it up because of the pretty cover.   I didn't read it right after finishing Tattoo, so I honestly didn't remember what had happened in the previous story.

I'm not sure if that lapse in between stories contributed to my inability of get into this story.  I honestly almost gave up on this book a couple of times.  I felt like it had a hard time getting past the Sidhe background.  It was long and drawn out.   The action was reserved for the last little bit of the book.  It really wasn't enough to make the book really worthwhile to seek out.

I did like how the ending turned out.   The Sidhe were trying to make Bailey play by their rules, when they didn't really apply to her.  She something entirely different, so she should be an exception to the rules.   I also enjoyed how the Sidhe represented different gods/goddesses throughout history.  I enjoy when a book can take different views from different cultures and wrap them into one story that makes sense.

I would probably pass on this book unless you enjoy other books by Barnes, or have all ready read Tattoo.



 

Sunday, February 19, 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'm amazed I got any reading done!  But, then I'll be even more amazed if I get much done this coming week.  We will see if a book is more tempting.

Read Last Week:
  • Diabolical by Cynthia Leitich Smith
  • The Other Countess by Eve Edwards
 Currently Reading: 
  • Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
 Up This Week:
  • Between Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Saturday, February 18, 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!
 
 
NOTHING!   I hope anyway.  The family and I are on vacation in California for the next week.  Hopefully will still have time to get some reviews up!
 

 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Review - The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)Title: The Selection
Author: Kiera Cass
Series: 1st
Pages: 327
Published: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen 
ISBN: 9780062059932
Source: Around The World Tours
 








Description: For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. 

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I was initially really excited about this one.  But, then the reviews started to pour in and not all of them were praising it.  So, when it came time to read it, it was with a little bit of hesitation.  

The first thing I discovered is that this book is completely light-hearted.  It may be set in the future, but it isn't a suspense filled dystopian book.  It's more like a fairy tale set in the future.  I found that I liked the setting, so it was easy to get into the story.  I thought the idea of the class system was interesting, and fit in with other books that use this classification.  While, I'm not a fan of The Bachelor or similar shows, the way this was set up was intriguing (although had them same vibe as I imagine the show could have).

For the most part, I liked America.  I liked that she's still naive enough to believe that the class system is an easy thing to breach, that love can conquer all.  But, I also liked that she learns the hard way that sometimes that's not always the case.   I think it gives her just the attitude that she needed when she's selected for the competition.  She's not all googly eyed for the prince and falling over herself trying to impress him.

For that matter, I think Max was my favorite part of the story.  I was a little annoyed when he kept some obvious bad choices in the contest.  But, his reasoning behind them actually made sense.  While, it may have been old fashioned, not everything was for love.  Some of it was to better the country, etc.   I did really enjoy his blossoming relationship with America.  I think she might be what he really needs.   I hope she doesn't screw it up (I'm just not sure on the other "option").

In short, I enjoyed the story.  It was a little campy at times.  But, maybe it was just what I was looking for at the time I read it.


 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review - A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful, #2) by Suzanne Young

A Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful, #2)Title: A Want So Wicked
Author: Suzanne Young
Series: 2nd (A Need So Beautiful)
Pages: 288
Published: June 26th 2012 by Balzer + Bray
ISBN: 9780062008268
Source: Around The World Tours
 







Description: Elise is a normal seventeen-year-old girl until the day she wakes up in a desert park, with no idea who she is.  After that episode, her life takes a bizarre turn. She’s experiencing unexpected flashes of insight into people’s lives—people she’s never met before. Strangers frighten her with warnings about the approaching Shadows. And although Elise has never had a boyfriend, she suddenly finds herself torn between two handsome but very different young men: Abe, the charming bad boy whose affect on her both seduces and frightens her, and the mysterious Harlin, who’s new to town but with whom Elise feels an urgent, elemental connection—almost as if they are soul mates. Now Elise begins to question everything about her life. Why do these guys both want her so desperately? What are the Shadows? Why does the name Charlotte inspire a terrifying familiarity? And who is Elise, really?

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This might be a rare feat in itself.  I think I liked this one MORE than I liked A Need So BeautifulWith the first book in the series, I didn't really love the story until the end.  This time around, I really just enjoyed the entire novel.

I think the most important aspect of this novel was the simple fact that I liked Elise.  She's trying hard to keep her family together since her mother died.  She has a wayward sister and an absent father.  When strange things start happening to her, she questions them.  And I liked that she goes to her father.  He may be absent, but I liked the relationship they do have.  Her sister was interesting too.  I think there bond with stood a lot of ups and downs between the two of them.  I was sad to see that her sister didn't turn to her in her own troubles.

I thought the paranormal aspect of the story was interesting.  I'm not sure how the whole Charlotte/Elise thing really worked.  But, I didn't really dwell on it.  I felt like Elise's need was a little different than the way it was portrayed in the first book.  I felt more connected to it.  I think my favorite part was actually the way the shadows were explained and portrayed.  It didn't take me long to figure out how it all fit into the bigger picture.  

I liked how the two romances were played out.  It never felt like a love triangle.  Maybe it was because I knew who Elise should be with.  Plus, I just really got the creeps from Abe.  I didn't like the way he talked.  Turns out I was right in the manner of his speaking.

Once again, another angel series that I will be continuing.   I love it when angel books are done right!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday!

"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:
 
 
Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3)Title: Spellbound (Hex-Hall #3)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publication Date: March 13, 2012
 
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?







I LOVED the first two in the series.  If you haven't started this series yet, you should!  I can' wait to get my hands on this one!
 

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review - Waterfall (River of Time #1) by Lisa Tawn Bergren

Waterfall (River of Time, #1)Title: Waterfall
Author: Lisa Bergren
Series: 1st
Pages: 369
Published: February 1st 2011 by Cook, David C. 
ISBN: 9781434764331
Source: Arranged tour 
 







Description: What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world? Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaelogist parents. Stuck among the rubble of the medieval castles in rural Tuscany, on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds...until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in fourteenth-century Italy. And worse yet, in the middle of a fierce battle between knights of two opposing forces.Suddenly Gabi's summer in Italy is much, much more interesting. 

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I kept seeing this series pop up around the blogs.  It sounded interesting, but for some reason it never really grabbed my attention enough to add it to my to read list.  Then this one came up as a free read for Kindle, and I picked it up quickly.   But, it the book never got opened...until I signed up for a tour to promote the entire series.  Man I wish I had read this sooner!
If you've read my blog for awhile, you know that I'm a big fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.  This is a lot like that, only less detail, less time consuming, a little bit more fun, and geared towards a younger audience!  I loved that Gabi was familiar enough with ancient times that she didn't freak out the moment she realized that she might be in a different time period.  And while I did think she managed to adjust a little too quickly, in never felt really farfetched.  I loved that she didn't adjust her personality either.  She's use to be a go getting female in the 21st century, and she doesn't back down from that.  I absolutely loved how everyone was in awe of her and all she was doing was displaying a little bit of common knowledge in today's world.

I thought the romance in the story was very well crafted.  In this time period, people of station rarely married for loved.  Marcello is no exception, and he has long ago accepted what he has to do to better his family and his kingdom.  But, when Gabi walks into his life things get disrupted to the extreme.  I thought the fact that they both try so hard to fight it shows that the both know there place in life (and in history).  I thought Gabi did a great job of trying to distance herself from him.  But, sometimes you can't fight love, and I think that this is one of those stories.  I'm curious how it plays out in the next book.

I don't know much about history in this place or time period.  So, I'm not sure how accurate things are.  But, it seems like Gabi knew one thing from her time period, and it's possible that she may have changed the timeline.  Although, when you start discussing that it always makes me wonder if Gabi was always there effecting thing exactly this way, even though "technically" she hadn't even been born yet.
An awesome start to a series that I can't wait to continue.  I'm glad I have the other two book already to go on my kindle!

 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Post with Lisa Bergren

When I’m not writing, I like to hang out with my family. We have some favorite TV shows we watch together—Amazing Race, Food Network Star, Once Upon a Time and Grimm.
We also like to cook and sit down for a good meal together. Favorite meals include pasta and something off the grill—salmon or steaks. And we love to have friends over; we have company every other week. Pizza off the grill is always a hit. Here’s a post we wrote for Reading Teen, in which we tell you how to do it…

We’re occasionally family travel bloggers—our sites are www.TheWorldisCalling.com and www.TeenTravelers.com So exploring new places, traveling whenever we can afford it, is a constant draw. In October, I took my daughter Emma to Italy, and we spent ten days in Rome, and five in Venice. It was wonderful!


Much to my kids’ chagrin, I get a kick out of hiking, so we’re always looking for a new, family-friendly trail. Here’s one we took when the aspens were in their golden glory, here in Colorado: http://www.theworldiscalling.com/2011/10/devils-head-peak-trail/

Going to movies, a thought-provoking, spirit-stirring Bible study, fixing up my house, Twitter and Facebook fill much of my free time. I also think reading is a luxury—to curl up with a good book is still one of my favorite pastimes. I just finished Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly and loved it. I try to review anything I read, inspired by book bloggers like you!


Lisa is offering 20 copies of River of Time books as prizes, as well as 3 Kindle readers ($79 version)! You can gather points at her blog/rafflecopter form for visiting each of the blogs on the tour and commenting, as well as doing a scavenger hunt.

Please visit http://lisatawnbergren.com/2012/01/teen-scene-blog-tour-contest/ for full details on this contest!

Sunday, February 12, 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:

Magic Under StoneSeraphina
  • Magic Under Stone by Jaclyn Dolamore
  • Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review - Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano

Fever (The Chemical Garden, #2)Title: Fever
Author: Laruen Destefano
Series: 2nd (Wither)
Pages: 368
Published: February 21st 2012 by Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781442409071
Source: Around The World Tours






Description: Running away brings Rhine and Gabriel right into a trap, in the form of a twisted carnival whose ringmistress keeps watch over a menagerie of girls. Just as Rhine uncovers what plans await her, her fortune turns again. With Gabriel at her side, Rhine travels through an environment as grim as the one she left a year ago - surroundings that mirror her own feelings of fear and hopelessness.  The two are determined to get to Manhattan, to relative safety with Rhine’s twin brother, Rowan. But the road there is long and perilous - and in a world where young women only live to age twenty and young men die at twenty-five, time is precious. Worse still, they can’t seem to elude Rhine’s father-in-law, Vaughn, who is determined to bring Rhine back to the mansion...by any means necessary.  

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I actually struggled with what to rate this.  I just didn't enjoy it as much as Wither, but there was still a lot of spark to this book.  I think it went in a direction I wasn't expecting.

Rhine and Gabriel don't make it very far before being ensnared in a twisted version of a brothel with an absolutely crazy "madame".  Turns out the madame thinks she can get customers to pay lots of money for Rhine.  Thankfully, it's a look but not touch sort of thing.  It was interesting reading about their experiences her.  Gabriel is kept so high on drugs (I think they called it Angel's Blood) that he can't even think straight.  Rhine is desperately trying to find a way to escape.  But, it doesn't take long for their past to catch up to them (I knew then what takes Rhine until the end of the book to figure out).

In their escape, they rescue one of the other girl's child and take her with them.  Their journey to New York isn't pleasant for anybody.  Gabriel goes through major withdrawals, the child has a broken arm (and she's mute), and Rhine must relive painful memories along the way.  Nothing seems to go right for them, so I was hoping when they got to New York things would begin to look up.

But, Rowan is gone and their family home is in tatters.   Which gives a different picture of the type of person Rowan really is than the one that Rhine gives us.  With no were else to go, they follow the clue in the book the child has carried with her the entire way.  I thought maybe my initial thoughts were wrong and that Gabriel and Rhine might find some sort of peace here.  But, then Vaughn shows up and drags Rhine back to the mansion.

 And this point, I think we realize what sort of monster Vaughn really is.  I think I knew it all along, but the things he does to Rhine is really atrocious.  And all in the name of science and finding a cure.  I really think he's gone completely mad.  Thankfully Linden discovers what's really going on.  Although, I'm not sure that he fully understands what his father is capable of.

I think my lack of enjoyment in this book as that it's such a downer.  They escape one crappy situation to wind up in another.  The characters don't feel the same (but one spends part of the book on drugs and another trying to come off of them).  It just didn't feel like the same story to me.  I did still enjoy it and of course want to finish the series.  I'm curious what happens next. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review - Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3) by Darynda Jones

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)Title: Third Grave Dead Ahead
Author: Darynda Jones
Series: 3rd (First Grave on the Right, Second Grave on the Left)
Pages: 310
Published: January 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Press 
ISBN:  9781250001542
Source: publisher sent for honest review 
 





Description: Charley Davidson—grim reaper extraordinaire, private investigator . . . meh—is practicing her profession under the influence, caffeine and copious amounts of it, due to an extreme desire to induce insomnia. Every time she closes her eyes, Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan, is there. Only thing is, he’s a tad peeved. She did bind him for all eternity, so it’s hard blame him. But 13 days without a wink is bound to bring out the crazy in a girl. So, when a man hires her to find his wife, Charley accepts the job with one goal in mind: Put the man behind bars, and not the wet kind. She can sense the guilt waft off him and vows to find the woman’s body and prove he’s a murderer. In the meantime, Reyes is back in prison and none too happy about it . . . so Charley thinks, until she is carjacked by the dark-haired rake, who swears the very man he went to prison for killing is not only alive, but close by. And he wants Charley to find him. While a visit to her old friend Rocket sheds no light on Reyes’s situation, Charley finds out the man’s wife is still alive and time is running out. Finding her before she dies would be a miracle, but she has to try. Together with the help of a fashion-impaired receptionist named Cookie, Charley sets out to bring the bad guys to justice. She just hopes Reyes is not one of them. And that she’s not hallucinating from her self-induced bout with insomnia. 

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I was really curious as to were this book might go since the 2nd in the series left me with mixed emotions.  I was hoping the book might go back to the sarcasm I loved in the first book.

I'm very happy to say that I got that sarcasm back and then some.  Charley on little to no sleep is down right hilarious.   It took everything I loved about the first book in the series to the next level.  I loved how Charley get tangled up with everything from dead clowns to biker gangs.   She takes on a new case with a doctor and his missing wife.  Turns out the case is way more complicated than it seems.  I always find it interesting that each outside case in the book is not the focal point of the story.  Yet, it adds just the right mix of events to break up the idea that the book is solely about Reye's.

Speaking of Reye's, he was different in this book.  In each book, his character seems to take a different tone.  While, I think I like him the best in the first book, he seems more true to his nature in this one.  He is the devil's son, and I think it shows.  Some of his actions didn't sit well with me.  But, then I reminded myself who he really way.  I'm curious as to how he really feels about Charley though.  I couldn't get a good read on it this time around.

A great addition to the series, especially after a bit of a let down on the second book.  Makes me that more excited to read the next installment.   Although, it's a long wait.  Maybe the author's new young adult series can tide me over this fall...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Review - Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1)Title: Born Wicked
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Series: 1st
Pages: 326
Published: February 7th 2012 by Putnam Juvenile 
ISBN:  9780399257452
Source: Around The World Tours
 







Description: "Blessed with a gift..."cursed" with a secret." Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early grave. Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood - not even from each other.

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I really had high hopes for this book.  The cover and title really capture your attention and then the description pulls you in.  It was on my must read list the moment I saw it.  While it didn't disappoint in the end, it took me awhile to get into it.

I think my initial problem lied with Cate.  She really was boring at first.  But, she's suppose to be this way.  She carries the weight of their little world on her shoulders.  She has taken on the responsibility of keeping their magic a secret from everybody.  Plus, she basically the mother figure since she died a few years prior and their father is largely absent.  That's a lot for a young woman to handle.  I think her downfall was trying to suppress the magic instead of trying to learn to use it wisely. 

But as Cate learns more about who she is and what she really wants, she really blossoms.  By hiding her magic, she hasn't learned what she is fully capable of.  She's more afraid of it than anything.  I really enjoyed reading about her journey learning new things, even if it shocks her.  I also learning a little bit about her sisters.  I think we've just skimmed the surface when it comes to Maura and Tess (especially Tess).  I get the feeling that the scope of their powers is something this fictional world hasn't seen.  I'm curious how that might play out.

I enjoyed the romance in this as well.  Cate convinces herself in the beginning that the perfect person for her is the next door neighbor.  She hasn't seen him in 4 years, but they use to be best friends.  He's from the right family and seems to be just the right fit.  But, Cate falls for someone else.  I thought it was perfect, and worked with the new Cate that emerges throughout the story.  I'm not sure if Paul really cared for Cate, but at least his jealousy seemed genuine but never callous and mean.

I disliked the Brotherhood and the Sisterhood in this story.  They represent vastly different things.   But yet, neither group is really interested in Cate (or her sisters) as a person.  They both want something from her and will use whatever means to get it.  I was actually shocked at the Sisterhood's actions in the end.  I was really wanting them to be the good guys.
  
This turned into a great story at the end.  I feel that's something that rarely happens and is really worth pointing out.  I can't wait to read the next one!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Books Recommended to People Who Don't Like To Read

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  If your curious about this meme, visit Top Ten Tuesday where they have previous topics and upcoming topics listed as well.
Top 10 Books I'd Hand to Someone Who 
Says They Don't Like To Read (in no particular order)

  1. The Twilight Series - I know way overrated at this point.  But, I really think this got people reading again.  And I will point it out to people.
  2.  The Hunger Games Series - I've gotten so many people to read this series.  And I have yet to hear of even one person who hasn't liked it.
  3. The Harry Potter series - Need I say more.
  4. The Poison Study series - I've recommend this countless times for those who want something more adult over Twilight.  Still love the characters! 
  5. The Fablehaven series - I don't think this gets enough attention. 
  6. The Outlander series - only for the brave!  But, it's wonderful.
  7. Graceling -  I really need to reread this.  
  8. Cleopatra's Daughter - I loved this book.  Such a great historical fiction
  9. The Book Thief - Not at all like I thought it was going to be.  
  10. Pride and Prejudice -  I've had a hard time with the classics.  But this one I could read over and over.

Monday, February 6, 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!
 
Wow what a crazy week I've had.  Last spring, I agreed to take over managing the book fair for my girls' school.  It was something I was very excited for.  I'm mean really who better for the job!  Well, I think it was a smashing success.  Don't have a total yet, but I'm very proud of it considering we have a very small school.  I look forward to next year!
 
Read Last Week:
  • Waterfall by Lisa Bergen 
  • A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young

Currently Reading:  
  •  The Selection by Kiera Cass
 Up This Week: 
  • Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
  • Pure by Julianna Baggott
 

Sunday, February 5, 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 Want So Wicked (A Need So Beautiful, #2)The Selection (The Selection, #1)
  • A Want So Wicked by Suzanne Young (Around The World Tours)
  • The Selection by Kiera Cass (Around The World Tours)

Swapped: 

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, #1)
  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie  by Jennifer Ashley

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review - Partials (Partials #1) by Dan Wells

Partials (Partials, #1)Title: Partials
Author: Dan Welss
Series: 1st
Pages: 472
Published: February 28th 2012 by HarperTEEN 
ISBN: 9780062071040
Source: Around The World Tours






Description: The human race is all but extinct after a war with Partials--engineered organic beings identical to humans--has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by RM, a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island while the Partials have mysteriously retreated. The threat of the Partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to RM in more than a decade. Our time is running out. Kira, a sixteen-year-old medic-in-training, is on the front lines of this battle, seeing RM ravage the community while mandatory pregnancy laws have pushed what's left of humanity to the brink of civil war, and she's not content to stand by and watch. But as she makes a desperate decision to save the last of her race, she will find that the survival of humans and Partials alike rests in her attempts to uncover the connections between them--connections that humanity has forgotten, or perhaps never even knew were there.  

I Give This ...
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It's hard to write a review for a book that had elements that your really liked but also had some that your really hated.  It's especially difficult when one storyline is really intricate to the other.  I often felt like my dislike for a portion of the story was spilling over into what I did like.

I admired Kira's determination to do all she can to find a cure for the RM virus.  She's willing to go the extra mile to get the resources she thinks might help her find the answers.  But, she can't possibly be the first to think of this.  Makes me wonder how deep the control goes in the higher ups.  I liked how she has friends that are just as determined as she is.  And we're not talking about people in lower circles of society.  These are all teens that are connects, have important positions, etc.  Yet, they are willing to risk it all because they don't like what the world has become.

I really liked the idea behind this society, even though I felt like areas weren't really well explained at times.  But, I think we get just enough to get a little bit of a grip of what's really going on now.  And what might have happened in the past.  I was completely fascinated with that idea that we created robots to fight for and in turn the killed off most of the human race.  Totally plausible in my book.  I found the RM virus interesting.  But, I think that explanation of how it worked didn't make much sense.  It felt like it was trying to be scientific sounding, but came across as anything but.

So what bothered me?  It lies completely with the idea of mandatory pregnancy.  The way it was presented in this book just really got to me.  Women are REQUIRED to be pregnant at least once a year.  And they don't care how you do it.  The idea of being forced to have baby, fully knowing that it's going to die is just awful.  And most of the time the don't care a thing about the mother and how she reacts to all of this.   They study each infant like it's a science experiment and not a baby that could have had a future.  The common thought is that enough babies are born, maybe one of them will survive.  Not a society I would want to live in.

So, read with caution.  I might be the only one who reacted that strongly to the idea of being forced to have children that way.  Maybe it's because I'm a mom myself. 


 

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