Sunday, March 31, 2013

In My Mailbox!

For Review:  

The KnightmareCliff of the RuinThe Queen's Rivals

  • The Knightmare by Deborah Valentine
  • Cliff of the Ruin by Bonnie McKernan  
  • The Queen's Rivals by Brandy Purdy


Surrender  (Haunting Emma, #3)
  • Surrender by Lee Nichols

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

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

Friday, March 29, 2013

Book Blogger Hop and Feature and Follow Friday

Book Blogger Hop is Hosted by Ramblings of A Coffee Addicted Writer

What are your thoughts on the verification codes? 
Honestly, I disliked them immensely.  Half the time, I get them wrong so I have to enter them again.  It leaves me discouraged and not wanting to comment.  I dislike them in all other places to, not just blogs.

FF 2013Button 300x300 Feature & Follow #142

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read 

Q: Tell us about the most emotional scene you’ve ever read in a book – and how did you react?

Sometimes its hard the recall THE MOST of anything.  But, at the risk of sounding totally cliche, I will never forget the first time I read the part in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince were Dumbledore dies.  I had been reading well into the night, so I was laying in bed, with my reading light with tears just streaming down my face.  I think part of it was because I was tired but just could not give up that book yet.  I still tear up when I reread that part.



Thursday, March 28, 2013

Review - Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)Title: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: 2nd (Beautiful Creatures)
Pages: 503
Published: October 12th 2010 by Little, Brown and Company 
ISBN: 9780316077057
Source: Personal Copy

Description: Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.  Sometimes life-ending.  Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it. I Give This ...

 I was a little worried when I cracked open this one.  It's been quite a few years since I read the first one.  The details were extremely fuzzy, and I have to be honest that they never really came back to me.  But, I read on and really enjoyed the story.

I think what threw me for a loop was that Lena is definitely not that same character that I remembered.  Lena has always seemed intense, but managed to make the best of her situation.  Plus, she had a deep connection with Ethan.  All that seems lost in the beginning of this book.  I understood part of it because her uncle Macon died during her claiming ceremony.  But,  I thought she took to much blame upon herself.  She was trying so hard to convince herself that she was evil.  Before hurting anybody else she loves, including Ethan, she begins to follow Ridley and a mysterious newcomer.  They promise her peace and land rumored to exist.   But, what will the cost be to get there.

Ethan is the rock in this book, a character trait and perhaps a flaw as well.  I'm truly glad that he never gave up on Lena.  Even though we eventually learn there is a reason for his connection to Lena, he knew that her actions were not a reflections of who she really was.  All he needed to do was to lead her the right way.  It was making her see that the choices she made the night of her claiming did not make her evil.  He will follow her through to the end, even defying those who claim the world she lives in is to much for her.

I love how we learn more about the Caster world in this book.  I don't remember the first one giving away this much detail, from the keepers role to the tunnels.  It's much more involved than I thought.  I loved the introduction of Liv to the story.  It gave it the slight indication of a love triangle, even though I knew that there really was no one else for Ethan but Lena.  And as always, I loved Link and Ridley.  I'm looking forward to the next one.  Perhaps it won't take me as long to read it. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

In My Mailbox?

For Review: 

The Girl with the Iron Touch (The Steampunk Chronicles, #3)The Bitter Kingdom (Fire and Thorns, #3)

The Chaos of StarsDirty Little Secret
  • The Girl with the Iron Touch by Kady Cross
  • The Bitter Kingdom by Rae Carson
  • The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White 
  • Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols

The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, #2)
  • The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown  

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

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

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review - Poison by Bridget Zinn

PoisonTitle: Poison
Author: Bridget Zinn
Pages: 288
Series: Stand Alone 
Published: March 12th 2013 by Disney Hyperion 
ISBN: 9781423139935
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she’s the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom’s future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.  But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart . . . misses.  Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king’s army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she’s not alone. She’s armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can’t stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?  Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she’s certainly no damsel-in-distress—she’s the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.
I Give This ...

I was immediately drawn to this book.  I've noticed that lately I've gravitated towards young adult fantasy and this fit the bill perfectly!  The beginning was awesome, the middle a little rough, and the end rounded it out nicely.

I really enjoyed Kyra.  Her brilliance in potion making is evident very quickly and I loved learning her story.  Her situation is interesting considering she's on the run for trying to kill the princess, who happened to be her best friend.  We don't start to get the bits and pieces to this story until further in the novel.  By that point, I couldn't imagine Kyra hurting anybody.  In Krya's quest to finish the job, we learn about the devastating visions that lead to this point.    Krya begins to question what might really be happening in her kingdom.  And it's definitely not the way she thought it was.   

We get some great secondary characters in this novel.  Fred was not what I was expecting.  He was quirky and seemed to have a knack for getting on Krya's nerves, but at the same time made her see herself and her surroundings much clearer.  The little pig steals the story without ever meaning too.  To top it off there are some twists that I wasn't expecting (and a couple that were easy to figure out) that brought the story to a new level.

All and all, the book was just fun.  It had a little bit of everything in it and was a quick read.  

*I would definitely read this author again.  Sadly, upon trying to figure out if there was an intended sequel for this book, I learned that the author has passed away.  It was her dream to published!  Almost 4 years to the day of receiving the diagnosis of colon cancer, her book was published.   


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Review - Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

Requiem (Delirium, #3)Title: Requiem
Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: 3rd (Delirium, Pandemonium) 
Pages: 391
Published: March 5th 2013 by HarperCollins Children's Books 
ISBN:  9780062014535
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Description: They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.  But we are still here.  And there are more of us every day.  Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight.  After rescuing Julian from a death sentence, Lena and her friends fled to the Wilds. But the Wilds are no longer a safe haven—pockets of rebellion have opened throughout the country, and the government cannot deny the existence of Invalids. Regulators now infiltrate the borderlands to stamp out the rebels, and as Lena navigates the increasingly dangerous terrain, her best friend, Hana, lives a safe, loveless life in Portland as the fiancĂ©e of the young mayor.  Maybe we are driven crazy by our feelings. Maybe love is a disease, and we would be better off without it.  But we have chosen a different road.  And in the end, that is the point of escaping the cure: We are free to choose.  We are even free to choose the wrong thing. 

I Give This ...

 I was really looking forward to this book.  Lauren Oliver pulled me in with Delirium and I had no doubt that I would be finishing the series.  So, it's always a risk when my expectations are high.  Plus, this is the final book in the trilogy.  You want everything to wrap in such that way that you are satisfied.   I'm not really sure this book delivered all of that!

Lena has come a long way from the love sick girl we met in Delirium.  It's not longer about getting out from under the cure.  Lena sees the bigger picture.  She wants to act, to do all she can to bring down the very people she use to think were protecting her.  Problem is she can't do it alone.  She needs others to help.  And more than just her little group of resisters.  The world isn't going to change for just them.  But, Lena never gives up until she finds what she's looking for, both in love and in life.

I have to admit that I was mad out our little surprise from book two for most of this one.  I think he acted like a royal jacka$$.  I know he endured a lot and escaped, and the whole time was thinking of Lena.  But, did he really except to her to be waiting and pining away for him.  I think she went through the despair long enough and I know I was happy for her when it seemed she moved on.

This final books feels so vastly different from the initial book that I feel in love with.  I know our characters have grown in leaps and bounds.  But, I feel like they've become hard.  I miss that carelessness and excitement that they had in the beginning.  Plus, I was really disappointed in the ending.  I feel like questions weren't really addressed.  I kept thinking this can't be it, yet everything I've read says this is the final book in the trilogy.  While, I sometimes hate it when an author makes a trilogy longer.  This time around, I would like another story.  This one isn't done!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Emblaze (The Violet Eden Chapters #3) by Jessica Shirvington

Emblaze (The Violet Eden Chapters, #3)Title: Emblaze:
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Series: 3rd (Embrace, Enticed)
Pages: 464
Published: March 5th 2013 by Sourcebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781402268465
Source: Publisher provided for honest review

Description: Once again Violet Eden faces an impossible choice ... and the consequences are unimaginable.  Violet has come to terms with the fact that being part angel, part human, means her life will never be as it was.  Now Violet has something Phoenix - the exiled angel who betrayed her - will do anything for, and she has no intention of letting it fall into his hands. The only problem is that he has something she needs too.   Not afraid to raise the stakes, Phoenix seemingly holds all the power, always one step ahead. And when he puts the final pieces of the prophecy together, it doesn't take him long to realise exactly who he needs in order to open the gates of Hell.  With the help of surprising new allies, ancient prophecies are deciphered, a destination set and, after a shattering confrontation with her father, Violet leaves for the islands of Greece without knowing if she will have a home to return to...
I  Give This ...
I'm invested in the story at this point.  I want to know what happens next so there really was no doubt that I would be reading this book.  Question was...would it live up to the second book in the series or would it be along the lines of the first?  

I was really beginning to like Violet throughout this story.  She's starting to recognize her own powers and their importance to the greater picture.  But, at the same time I don't feel she has an overinflated sense of herself.  If anything, her emotions still can get the best of her.  She tends to think with her heart first and her head later.  But, that's just who she is.

There's a couple relationships that were interesting to me.  Violet and Lincoln's relationship is intense.  I wasn't buying it in the first two books.  I think it's extremely hard to portray soul mates.  But, the author surprised me and did an excellent job of showing how they truly felt about each other.  But, I found this to be a sharp contrast to how Violet feels about her mother.  I was shocked to see how much anger and hatred she's built up.  I don't think it's fair.  Perhaps she's just looking for someone to place the blame on, and a deceased mother is a good place to start.

It's the storyline that dragged me down quite a bit in this one.  There's way to much back and forth in the beginning. I really felt like some of it could have been edited out.  I liked some of the mythology that we learn this time around.  But, when the events become to grand, I just start to loose interest.  Hidden gates in volcano's, typhoons, etc all blind to the human eye.   It gets to be over the top.  

I'm not sure if the story is over.  There's obviously some loose ends.  I don't know how I feel about the next.  It's been a roller coaster so far!


Monday, March 18, 2013

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: 
Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)Iron's Prophecy (The Iron Fey, #4.5)
  • Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl 
  • Iron's Prophecy by Julie Kagawa 
Currently Reading: 
Grave Consequences (Grand Tour Series, #2)
  • Grave Consequences by Lisa T Bergren  
Up This Week:  
The Chalice
  • The Chalice by Nancy Bilyeau

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Review - Unbroken (Ruined #2) by Paula Morris

Unbroken: A Ruined NovelTitle: Unbroken
Author: Paula Morris
Series: 2nd
Pages: 304
Published: February 1st 2013 by Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 9780545416412
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description: Welcome back to New Orleans.  Where the streets swirl with jazz and beauty.  Where the houses breathe with ghosts.  A year ago, Rebecca Brown escaped death in a New Orleans cemetery. Now she has returned to this haunting city. She is looking forward to seeing Anton Grey, the boy who may or may not have her heart.  But she also meets a ghost: a troubled boy who insists only she can help him. Soon Rebecca finds herself embroiled in another murder mystery from more than a century ago. But as she tries to right wrongs, she finds more questions than answers: Is she putting her friends, and herself, in danger? Can she trust this new ghost? And has she stumbled into something much bigger and more serious than she understands? 

I Give This ...

I enjoyed the first book in the series so I was more than willing to put in a request for this one.  Ghost stories have always been one of my favorites and I love the setting on New Orleans.

One thing I've noticed in this series is that Rebecca often doesn't strike me as a typical teen.  I love her focus on humanitarian work.  I can't say I've met many real life teens who will spend their spring breaks on clean-ups and house projects.  I think in that regard this book sets an excellent example.  I also enjoy Rebecca's actions towards being an outsider.  She definitely has to overcome some obstacles to even remotely fit in.  This is a very exclusive and cliquish group that she finds herself in the middle of.

The romantic relationship is definitely very teen.  Its really the only that was up to the rest of the story.  Anton and Rebecca seem to realize that there's little tying them to a long distance relationship but yet the moment they are together things get chaotic.  Jealousy, avoiding the truth, and skirting around the issues are just a slight description of  the drama that goes on.  

However I did like the ghost story.  I was never really sure of the truth.  I sometimes felt our ghost was holding back and whole lot of the events that led to his death and the reason he needs Rebecca's help.  I was right on those accounts, but it wasn't for the reason I was thinking.  I liked the tie in to someone famous.  

I would read another in this series if the author choose to write another one.  The characters aren't exhausted out yet and in New Orleans they are plenty of ghosts with a story to tell.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review - The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy #2) by Jennifer A. Nielsen

The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)Title: The Runaway King
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Series: 2nd (The False Prince)
Pages: 352
Published: March 1st 2013 by Scholastic Press 
ISBN:  9780545284158
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Description:  Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom? 

I Give This ...

I anticipated this one a great deal.  I loved the first one and had extremely high hopes that the sequel would live up to the build up.  I was so pleased to have it be exactly that!

Jaron really captured my heart.  I believe his desire to rule his people is true.  The problem lies in the fact that he is head strong.  His regents aren't use to having a king that might actually rule for the good of the people.  They want a docile king so that they can continue to enjoy the kickbacks that come their way.  However, I knew that Jaron would not sit back and let his country be taken from him.

What I did not expect were the lengths he would go to ensure the safety of his kingdom.  He's able to cross his countries borders and integrate into the very group that could do some of the worst damage.  He has to prove himself over and over again.  His wiliness to go through some of most excruciating circumstances becomes the stuff of legends.  In the end, he earns back the person he wants most to lead his army.  What remains to be seen is who will at his side to rule as Queen.   

I think one of things that makes this series so enjoyable is the dialogue.  Nielsen has a way with words that make the characters seem alive and real.  The story may be fantasy, but it rings true.  I can't wait to read the next in the series! 


Monday, March 11, 2013

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: 
PoisonEmblaze (The Violet Eden Chapters, #3)
  • Poison by Bridget Zinn
  • Emblaze by Jessica Shirvington

Currently Reading: 

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)
  • Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl 

Up This Week: 

Grave Consequences (Grand Tour Series, #2)
  • Grave Consequences by Lisa T.  Bergren  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

In My Mailbox!

For Review:  

Grave Consequences (Grand Tour Series, #2)My Turn to Fail You
  • Grave Consequences by Lisa T. Bergren
  • My Turn to Fail You by Luc Hawthorne


Stacking The Shelves is all about the books we are adding to our shelves each week, sharing with you our excitement for our newest titles and maybe have you discover a new book in the process!  It's hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

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

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review - Purgatory Reign by L.M. Preston

Purgatory ReignTitle: Purgatory Reign
Author: L.M. Preston
Series: 1st in Series 
Pages: 307
Published: May 18th 2013 by Phenomenal One Press 
ISBN: 9780985025137
Source: Sent for Review

Description:  Peter Saint’s life stinks. But things are about to get much worst. First, his parents are murdered in front of him. Then another victim dies in his arms. Visions plague Peter with warnings that something wants him for a sinister cause. It desires the one thing that Peter refuses to give—his blood. Peter carries within him the one gift or curse that could unlock a secret to destroy the human race. On the run with Angel, a scruffy kid, Peter starts to unravel the mystery. It’s the one treasure the heavens sought to hide from the world. Unfortunately, when Peter finds the answer that he hopes will save the girl he loves, he opens the door to a great evil that happens to be salivating to meet him.

I Give This ...

I debated when it came to reviewing this book.    But, the description got the best of me and I decided to give it a shot.  

The idea behind this was interesting.  I couldn't quite pin down what these kids have in common despite parents who were murdered or disappeared.  I knew there had to be a connections between all of them and whatever has lead Peter to a life on the run.  The person in charge of that was down right creepy.  The book doesn't shy away from the details concerning the actions this person will take to get exactly what he wants.  He's been planning this for years. 

Despite liking the plot line, I had a really hard time with the characters.  Peter really drove me crazy.  I expected him to be angry because of the life he has lead, but he would jump back and worth so much.   I liked Angel a little bit, but his connections to Peter were just not flowing with me.   The romance felt thrown in there.  

The story doesn't feel finished, so I'm sure this will be a series.  I'm not sure I will read the next one.


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