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Saturday, March 31, 2012

2012 Challenge Progress: March

At the end of each month, I'll make a post showing what books I read for what challenge, along with a link to the review.

I did really well this month! 2 or more books for each challenge, except one!

So here is my progress for March...

Friday, March 30, 2012

[Review] Unraveling Isobel by Eileen Cook

Title: Unraveling Isobel
Author: Eileen Cook
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: January 3, 2012

Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.

But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.

I normally take notes while I'm reading, so I don't forget things that I want to mention in my reviews, but I didn't for Unraveling Isobel. There just wasn't anything that grabbed my attention that I felt like discussing. I was pretty indifferent to Isobel herself. She was a little quirky, but not very interesting. Her mom was selfish, wholly dependent on her husband, and irritating. Dick, the new husband, was a creep but I was at least interested in what the heck he was up to. I also wondered about Nathaniel, Isobel's new stepbrother and love interest. He's a bit odd, and an outsider, but he had a sense of humor about it.

The mystery surrounding all of the deaths and disappearance that occurred around the house did keep me reading though. Was it the house itself or the strange family living there? Or is it all coincidence and Isboel has actually inherited her father's mental illness? Unfortunately, the answers aren't that satisfying and seem a bit incomplete.

There was one thing that really bothered me, even though it wasn't important at all. It's just that I noticed it, and then it continued to bug me:

"There wasn't even a dishwasher... (page 44)"
"Nathaniel pulled another pan out of the dishwasher... (page 78)"

Small inconsistency, but it was annoying. Overall, I liked Unraveling Isobel. It had creepy moments and funny moments, but nothing about it really stood out to me.

Was this review helpful? If so, please vote yes on Amazon.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

[Review] Faefever (Fever, #3) by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Faefever
Series: Fever, #3
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Pages: 327 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: September 16, 2008

He calls me his Queen of the Night. I’d die for him. I’d kill for him, too. When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister’s journal, she is stunned by Alina’s desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister’s killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac’s quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V’lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

As All Hallows’ Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds—with devastating consequences...

Faefever starts out much faster than the previous book, and I was very happy about that. There's immediate action, answers to a few minor questions, and even more questions get piled on top of the mountain of mystery! Most importantly, what the heck is Barrons?! I need to know; it's driving me absolutely crazy! I do have a theory. I'm probably way off, but at least it's something to keep me from going completely nutso whenever there's a scene with Barrons.

V'lane! Yes, he gets his own paragraph again. He's my favorite, I can't help it! I'm beginning to think he can be trusted, since he always keeps his word. He may be manipulative at times, and play tricks, but I appreciate that he looks out for Mac when she asks. He's also trying to respect her human wishes by not "sexing her up" at every meeting, and he's a whole lot more forthcoming than Barrons! I really loved how he was featured quite a bit in this book and look forward to more of him!

Mac has finally grown on me. She's totally bad ass now, but still holds on to hope that things will turn out fine. Instead of sitting in the relative safety of the bookstore, she's taken to the streets of Dublin with an arsenal under her raincoat. She's seeking information rather than waiting for someone else to bring it to her. And boy do we get a lot of new information in this book! The continuous world building is phenomenal, and this series just keeps getting better and better. I could barely put this one down, and holy crap that ending!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [7]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It's so we can show what pre-published books we're anticipating!

So what title am I featuring this week...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [7]

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, March 26, 2012

[Review] Bloodfever (Fever, #2) by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Bloodfever
Series: Fever, #2
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Pages: 303 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: October 16, 2007

I used to be your average, everyday girl but all that changed one night in Dublin when I saw my first Fae, and got dragged into a world of deadly immortals and ancient secrets. . . .

In her fight to stay alive, MacKayla must find the Sinsar Dubh—a million-year-old book of the blackest magic imaginable, which holds the key to power over the worlds of both the Fae and Man. Pursued by assassins, surrounded by mysterious figures she knows she can’t trust, Mac finds herself torn between two deadly and powerful men: V’lane, the immortal Fae Prince, and Jericho Barrons, a man as irresistible as he is dangerous.

For centuries the shadowy realm of the Fae has coexisted with that of humans. Now the walls between the two are coming down, and Mac is the only thing that stands between them.

Let's start with Mac. I still didn't like her, but she's continuing to grow on me. She is changing, since she's realized that her sunny, spoiled, Southern upbringing is useless in the real world. Especially when that real world is full of creatures that are only suppose to exist in nightmares. She still rambles on about her flirty outfits, gold sandals and pink nail polish, but she needs to let that go! That is not her life anymore! Things are dangerous, and she's deep in it! Short, dark hair, and finding out you're adopted are not the end of the world! The end of the world is in the hands of an army of Fae, unless Mac can get it together and develop her powers to find a way to stop them!

V'lane! I got very excited when his name appeared in the blurb, since he was my favorite thing about the first book. How could I not love a death-by-sex Fae?! Do I trust him? No. Do I think Mac should trust him? Definitely not. But he certainly makes every scene he's in much more interesting.

Barrons...Am I suppose to like him? I don't. At all. I don't like the way he treats Mac, and he does some things in this book that made me want to punch him in the balls. He's evasive, cryptic, controlling, and just generally an asshole. I was intrigued by him in the first book, and I still am, but I just don't like him. I want to know what the heck he is! But to be fair, he does have one redeeming quality: he's very good at saving Mac's life.

Now that my brief assessment of the characters is out of the way, the plot: It seems like nothing happens for the first half of the book. There's a bit of additional information about sidhe-seers and Fae, Barrons drags Mac on more dangerous tasks, the awesome world that was built in Darkfever is expanded upon, but nothing that I felt moved the story forward. The second half definitely picks up the pace though. There's more action, and Mac starts to become a little more bad ass. She's embracing what she is, and is attempting to figure things out. We're given a few more pieces to the mysterious puzzle but none of them fit! It's frustrating! But the second half of the book is infinitely better than the first half, and it's darker, gorier, and more disturbing than the first book.

Another cliffhanger?! Luckily I have Faefever right here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox [18]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

[Review] The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Title: The DUFF
Author: Kody Keplinger
Pages: 280 (Hardcover)
Publisher: September 7, 2010
Release Date: Little Brown / Poppy

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Bianca Piper is sarcastic, cynical, and has the mouth of a sailor! Seriously, if you're offended by strong language, especially in YA, then you probably don't want to read this one. But I definitely appreciated her honesty; she tells things how it is, and doesn't hold back. She has especially strong feelings toward Wesley Rush, the man-whore of the school. He really is arrogant and pompous, but at least he knows it. When Bianca hits a rough patch, she goes to the most unlikely source for comfort: Wesley. One week she's throwing a Coke in his face, and the next she's in his bed. But there's no insta-love here, it's not even insta-lust. It's something completely different, and even Bianca doesn't fully understand it. She just knows it helps distract her from reality.

Even though it's an usual situation, it still felt like a realistic portrayal of what could happen. The author tackled some important topics in an open and honest way. We get to see Bianca's ups and downs as she tries to deal with her family problems and as well the realization of her role as the DUFF. It was amazing to me how that one word affected Bianca's outlook and set her on this entirely new path.

I loved the relationship between Bianca and Wesley. It started out completely antagonistic, turned into something extremely sex, then into something more. I actually ended up feeling bad for Wesley at one point. He's not just that guy who sleeps with any girl who comes along. He's vulnerable, and sweet, and so much more. He's exactly what Bianca needs, even if she doesn't want to admit that to herself.

This is a fabulous YA contemporary, and I think the author did an amazing job of capturing the teen voice (probably because she was one!). The characters were all great and realistic, and I found myself invested in their lives, and wanting them to succeed. This is a definitely going on my favorites list.

Friday, March 23, 2012

[Review] The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle

Title: The Lure of Shapinsay
Author: Krista Holle
Pages: unknown (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Krista Holle
Release Date: December 16, 2011

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant.

Unexpectedly, Kait is awoken by a beautiful, naked selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure.

Kait obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

The Lure of Shapinsay is a very interesting and intriguing paranormal romance about a different kind of shapeshifter: selkies. Selkies are essentially seal people, and this was my first time hearing about them so I was excited to read about them.

Kait lives on the island of Shapinsay where tales of the selkie are everywhere, but she has her doubts about the rumors of them being dangerous. Then a selkie man comes to visit her and she's immediately enchanted by him. His lure is too strong and soon she finds herself wanting to spend her life with this man of the sea. Kait puts her life at risk several times to find her selkie man, and soon her sanity starts slipping without him. She wants nothing more than to capture him, so he'll remain with her on the land.

This book is a fabulous mix of historical and paranormal romance, two genres I love. I also loved how the romance was between two lovers who aren't suppose to be together, but give it their all to try anyway. Kait is very headstrong, and once she made up her mind about wanting Eamon, nothing was able to stop her. Eamon (as Kait named him) is extremely curious about Kait who shows no fear of the sea like the other island residents. He tries to stay away, but in the end he's completely drawn to her.

Their romance becomes more and more tragic as we learn more about the selkies. Kait and Eamon are both extremely stubborn and it seems like their love is going to end in tragedy if neither of them will budge. Kait fears him leaving her, but she also wants him to be free to do as he pleases. Eamon is too proud and honor bound to aknowledge his weakness that is all too obvious to Kait, and it just might kill him.

This is a fantastic and original romance, and I'm so glad the author contacted me to review it. If you're a fan of historical and paranormal romances, or enjoy tales of starcrossed lover, then I don't suggest missing out on this one!

Was this review helpful? If so, please vote yes on Amazon.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

[Review] Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, #1) by Rachel Caine

Title: Glass Houses
Series: The Morganville Vampires, #1
Author: Rachel Caine
Pages: 239 (Paperback)
Publisher: NAL Jam
Release Date: October 3, 2006

College freshman Claire Danvers has had enough of her nightmarish dorm situation. When Claire heads off-campus, the imposing old house where she finds a room may not be much better. Her new roommates don't show many signs of life, but they'll have Claire's back when the town's deepest secrets come crawling out, hungry for fresh blood.

I remember reading the first couple of chapters of this on Amazon several years ago, but then I got distracted by Twilight. Now I've finally read the whole book, and I have to say I'm quite impressed!

Claire is a great protagonist! She's super smart, starting college at 16 (so did I!), and is a complete outcast for it. She's tormented by the girls in her dorm, led by the utterly vicious Monica. Vicious is probably an understatement though; that girl is psychotic! The rest of the cast is great and entertaining as well. Eve is gothic, and spunky, and I adored her! I want her to be my friend! Shane is goofy and fun, but very sweet and protective when the situation requires. Now, Michael is very intriguing. He has some secrets and I found them fascinating. He's not what I was expecting.

In fact, Glass Houses wasn't what I was expecting at all. I figured that I would enjoy it, but I ended up really enjoying it! I love the set up of having a small town corrupted by vampires, with some humans under protection and some not. What the author came up with for when a vampire fails to change someone was really interesting, too. This book keeps a relatively fast pace, so there's never a dull moment as Claire and Co. try to stay on the good side of the Morganville Vampires.

I'm very happy to have found another series to give me my vampire fix! I just wish I had the second book, since damn that cliffhanger!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[Review] The Académie by Susanne Dunlap

Title: The Académie
Author: Susanne Dunlap
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Release Date: February 28, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley. 

Eliza Monroe—daughter of the future president of the United States—is devastated when her mother decides to send her to boarding school outside of Paris. But the young American teen is quickly reconciled to the idea when—ooh, la-la!—she discovers who her fellow pupils will be: Hortense de Beauharnais, daughter of Josephine Bonaparte; and Caroline Bonaparte, youngest sister of the famous French general. It doesn't take long for Eliza to figure out that the two French girls are mortal enemies—and that she's about to get caught in the middle of their schemes.

Loosely drawn from history, Eliza Monroe's imagined coming of age provides a scintillating glimpse into the lives, loves, and hopes of three young women during one of the most volatile periods in French history.

The Academie takes place right after the French Revolution, and while I can't comment on the historical accuracy, I can say that this was a very interesting story of an important time in France as seen through the eyes of three very different young woman. The story starts off a bit slow, setting the scene, but once the connections between all three girls starts to become clear, I was very intrigued. I had no idea how this story was going to unfold until it unfolded. It kept me guessing until the very end.

Eliza is quite mature for her age, but you can still tell she's young (she's 14). She was unsure about being left at a boarding school in France until she met two of her classmates, Caroline Bonaparte and Hortense de Beauharnais. Then she hopes to make the most of it by befriending these two girls and finding romance. Hortense get's a lot of unwanted attention and is plagued by nightmares. She just wants to blend into the background and live her life on her terms. Meanwhile, Madeleine wishes for an escape from her dreadful life and her mother. She also wishes to runaway with the love of her life.

While I enjoyed the book, I couldn't help but think the author could have done more with the characters. Eliza does change and grow by the end, and I was happy that she learned something. I did want to see more of Caroline and Hortense at the end, since it seemed like their stories wrapped up too quickly.

Madeleine's chapters were my favorite, but they were the fewest. Her story had a lot of potential and was taking place separately from Eliza's and Hortense's, so we got a completely different point of view from her. Towards then end is when her storyline really took off, only to end in disaster! Her story definitely did not disappoint and I wasn't expecting that ending at all. All of the plotting and scheming through out the book led up to that one moment and it is a shock. If you can make it through the slow parts, you should not be let down by this book.

Was this review helpful? If so, please vote yes on Amazon.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

[Review] Torn (Trylle Trilogy, #2) by Amanda Hocking

Title: Torn
Series: Trylle Trilogy, #2
Author: Amanda Hocking
Pages: 291 (Paperback)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: February 28, 2012

When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story…

She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to marry a powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.

Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds.

Torn picks up right where Switched left off: Wendy has just returned to her brother after running from her mother and her title. But she's not home for long before trouble finds her. Soon enough she's attacked and wakes up in a Vittra dungeon, but then she has a meeting with the king who has a bit of a surprise for her. From this point on Wendy has a lot of decisions to make regarding her future and the future of her people.

Wendy truly is torn in this book. She's torn over her sense of duty versus love. She's dealing with a lot more than she was in the previous book, and a lot more is riding on her shoulders. As a result she must learn more about Trylle and Vittra history, and develop and control her powers. I really enjoyed reading more about the troll world, and what kind of powers Wendy has yet to come into fully. It was also interesting to watch Wendy go from a carefree teen to a reluctant princess and finally to a dutiful Queen in training. We also get to see a new side of Elora, which made me hate her less, and made her feel more real. I also started feeling sorry for her, which I wasn't expecting. In fact, there's quite a few things I wasn't expecting in this book, and that just made it that much more enjoyable.

I enjoyed this one even more than the first book. I loved learning more about the different trolls, but I especially loved Loki. He's incredibly handsome and charming, and I'm just drawn to him much like Wendy is. I can't figure out if he truly feels like they have a connection or if he has an unknown agenda. Either way, I hope to see him again in the next book, and I cannot wait to see how this trilogy ends!

Was this review helpful? If so, please vote yes on Amazon.

Monday, March 19, 2012

[Guest Post] Sheryl Steines, author of The Day of First Sun

Please enjoy this guest post by Sheryl Steines, author of the urban fantasy novel, The Day of First Sun. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

The Strong Female

I am always amazed to hear that, in the year 2012, women are still talking about strong female characters. It’s funny that we’re always surprised when one comes along. Even in Hollywood, actresses still can’t find roles to sink their teeth into. As a reader, I look for characters that I can relate to in some way; a character who is more than a damsel in distress but less than an unfeeling, mean, witch. I’m putting it gently, but I’m looking for someone, who when facing a problem, doesn’t necessarily need a man to bail her out--a woman who can take care of herself in spite of her vulnerabilities. Because in reality, women are multi-layered and complex. We don’t fall to one end of an extreme or the other.

When I was younger, I started reading Danielle Steele, but I couldn't read her for long. Her female characters were far too needy and always put themselves in a position of requiring a savior. Even as a child, I couldn't help but wonder why these characters always needed a man to improve their lives. Why couldn’t they simply take care of themselves? It seemed as though female characters fell into two camps, and only two. They were either villains, witches, someone to be hated and despised, or they were weak, pathetic, your classic damsels in distress. Why is fiction lacking real women, women who can simply be human and celebrate all that they are?

As I got older, I found myself drawn to shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I saw in Buffy a strong character. Yes, she could kick ass, kill the vampires and fight the demons. She also had a brain, could plan, and could save the world each week. But she wasn't uni-dimensional. She also has a side that liked clothes, shoes and boys, a side that was feminine, a little vulnerable; a side that, okay, sometimes needed to be saved. She was a complex female character, real and human, a character with whom I could definitely relate.

The strong female character isn’t a caricature or stereotype. She’s not a total wimp like Snow White, and she’s not a total monster like the evil queen. She falls somewhere in the middle. She’s reactive, emotional, human, sexual, confident and sometimes unsure of herself.

When I originally wrote my character Annie Pearce in The Day of First Sun, I wrote her as a no-nonsense person, strong and smart, the girl who could survive on her own. But she didn’t feel genuine. As the story unfolded and changed, I rewrote her, gave her friends and family with whom she could interact. I gave her feelings, gave her stress. I let the other characters take charge once in awhile and offer some support. I melded two halves into one woman--a strong woman, who can take care of herself and ask for help when necessary. We’re not perfect, so why should our characters be? Instead, why can’t we make them simply authentic?

Charlize Theron made a really compelling comment regarding her character in the movie Young Adult. She said, "Women are usually either really good prostitutes or really good mothers. Maybe women are finally getting the chance to play more honest characters," Theron said. "We usually don't get to play bad hookers or bad mothers -- or anything in between."

Maybe it’s time to be a little more real and a little more honest.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Day of First Sun eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include $450 in Amazon gift cards, a Kindle Fire, and 5 autographed copies of the book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

To win the prizes:
  1. Purchase your copy of The Day of First Sun for just 99 cents
  2. Fill-out the simple form on Novel Publicity
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Help my blog win:

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About the book: A vampire, a rogue wizard and an army of soulless zombies are par for the course for Annie Pearce and Bobby “Cham” Chamsky of the Wizard’s Guard. But when the non-magical princess, Amelie of Amborix, is murdered by magical means, a deeper plot unfolds. Get it on Amazon.

About the author: Behind the wheel of her ’66 Mustang Convertible, Sheryl is a constant surprise, using her sense of humor and relatable style make her books something everyone can enjoy. Visit Sheryl on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox [17]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

[Review] Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Title: Never Eighteen
Author: Megan Bostic
Pages: 204 (Paperback)
Publisher: HMH Children's Books
Release Date: January 17, 2012

I had the dream again. The one where I’m running. I don’t know what from or where to, but I’m scared, terrified really.

Austin Parker is never going to see his eighteenth birthday. At the rate he’s going, he probably won’t even see the end of the year. But in the short time he has left there’s one thing he can do: He can try to help the people he loves live—even though he never will.

It’s probably hopeless.

But he has to try.

"It's almost tragic, really, how much we take for granted the beauty that surrounds us everyday."

I think that line sums this book up pretty well. Austin knows his time is almost up, so he takes one weekend to have new experiences, spend time with his best friend, and make sure those he knows will be okay when he's gone. He's trying to live what little of his life he has left, and he doesn't want the people around him to waste theirs anymore. Yes, this book made me cry. I knew he was going to die, but after spending 190 pages with Austin on his journey to spread life, I couldn't help it.

Even though there is a sad ending, the whole book isn't sad. Austin is so full of life as he and Kaylee drive around Tacoma and Seattle. They ride the scariest rides at the fair, eat the spiciest food, party, laugh and love. I also loved getting a detailed tour of Washington through Austin's eyes. This is a very quick, but very emotional read, and I whole-heartedly recommend it.

Was this review helpful? If so, please vote yes on Amazon.

Friday, March 16, 2012

[Review] Firelight (Darkest London, #1) by Kristen Callihan

Title: Firelight
Series: Darkest London, #1
Author: Kristen Callihan
Pages: 372 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: January 31, 2012

London, 1881
Once the flames are ignited . . .
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.

They will burn for eternity . . .
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.

Firelight has combined a few of my favorite things: Beauty and the Beast, Phantom of the Opera, and paranormal elements. I love me a scarred, masked hero and Lord Benjamin Archer is no exception. Kristen Callihan's writing is very descriptive. At times I loved this, since I could easily picture the setting and the characters. Other times it was too much and I'd get lost in the details and need to reread parts to pull out the important things.

The chemistry between Miranda and Archer is hot! The sexual tension is also thick, and I just kept thinking "do it already!!!" Gosh, those two were frustrating (not in a bad way). They both wanted each other, but she was too embarrassed to say anything, and he didn't want her to see his "deformities." They were hiding from each other for most of the book, then suddenly one night, all secrets come out and: "I've been your bride long enough now make me your wife." Woo, you go Miranda!

While I loved pretty much every scene between Archer and Miranda, I can't say the same for the other scenes. In fact, I was very confused for much of the first half. There's a lot going on with murders, secret societies, and paranormal elements. I don't know if I had missed something earlier on, but I found a lot of that confusing until it started coming together near the end.

Overall, I liked this one, but the "mystery" confused me and slowed me down. I loved Miranda's fierceness and Archer's passion, and wish there had been more scenes of them developing their relationship.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

[Review] Ushers, Inc. by Rusty Fischer

Title: Ushers, Inc.
Author: Rusty Fischer
Pages: 106 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Release Date: June 22, 2011

When the streets are full of bloodsuckers, werewolves, zombies and ghouls, where will you turn? The cops don’t know how to stop them, the Army’s pretty much given up and even the Marines are stumped when their bullets and grenades fail to stop the onslaught. Have no fear, Ushers, Inc. is here! Four high school movie ushers, who collectively have seen over 42,000 hours of B- and C-horror movies know just what to do.

Did you know copper pennies can stop a zombie in its tracks? Abby Cooper, Head Usher, does. Did you know garlic paste is twice as effective on vampires as garlic cloves? Abby Cooper does. Did you know werewolves are absolutely petrified of seeing a Hershey’s kiss? Abby Cooper does.

The girls at Cypress Cove High school—especially Rich Witch Mia Hopwood—call Abby an uber-geek; the victims she rescues from zombies, werewolves and vampires just call her one thing: Hero! But Abby and her fearless crew of movie ushers-slash-superheroes face more than just bloodsuckers and brain-biters. There’s Wyatt Winters, for one; he’s the hot new PR guru Ushers, Inc. has had to hire to handle all their press – and with his smoldering good looks and air of confidence, he’s causing more than just tension between Abby and her old boy-crush—and fellow usher—Zach Nash.

And let’s not forget the monsters, who aren’t too happy about four geeky ushers beating their butts all over creation. Now the League of Associated Undead (LAD) is converging on Cypress Cove, determined to stop Ushers, Inc. once and for all.

When it’s the monsters versus the monster hunters, who you gonna call? Ushers, Inc., that’s who!

I finished this book in one sitting! Party because it's super short, but also because it's super fun! In Ushers, Inc we meet Abby, Zach, Tracy, and Cliff: four orphaned, horror movie fans, working at the local Cinema. After fighting off a zombie invasion, the quartet are all over the news and their new business of fighting the undead begins. Abby is a bit reluctant about this at first, but Cliff pretty much takes over and gets everything started. Cliff is such a jerk! I loved to hate him, because without him there wouldn't have been any Ushers, Inc.
Abby is kickass and steps up when she's need and takes care of business. Zach and Tracy are great side characters, as well as Mia and Wyatt!

Ushers, Inc is action packed, humorous, completely original, and kept me hooked! It's like Scooby-Doo meets Fright Night and they go hang out at the nearest movie theater. This was my first book by Rusty Fischer and it definitely will not be my last! This book does not take itself seriously at all, and I really appreciate that. At the end I had a huge smile on my face, since I had such a good time reading it. And that's the whole point of reading, right?

Was this review helpful? If so, please vote yes on Amazon.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [6]

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It's so we can show what pre-published books we're anticipating!

So what title am I featuring this week...

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

[Review] 10 Ways to Kill a Cupid by Leigh Parker

Title: 10 Ways to Kill a Cupid
Author: Leigh Parker
Pages: 336 (eBook)
Release Date: July 17, 2011

Leigh has a story to tell and despite the absurdity of it, it has to be told before it's forgotten forever.

You see Leigh used to be a Cupid.
A very silly, naive and regretfully bitter Cupid.
And those are traits a Cupid shouldn’t technically possess.
When Leigh’s murderer is the next assignment, revenge stands in the way of helping Natalie McIntyre find her perfect partner…
That is until the appearance of the blue spark.

Warning: Contains strong language.

I must say that I love the author's take on what happens to us when we die! After a reaper has dropped us off in Heaven, we'll be presented with three choices: Reaper, Angel, or Cupid. One of these jobs must be taken, with all rules abided by, or get sent straight to hell! Well, Leigh is dead and she makes her choice: Reaper, but fails. So she moves on to Angel: fails again. Her last shot at avoiding the fiery pit of hell is being a matchmaker for the still-breathing. Thankfully, Leigh can do that, at least until there's a little mishap in the Assignment Room and her "punishment" is finding love for Natalie, who "hates people." Leigh definitely has her work cut out for her with that one!

Leigh hates Natalie for a reason that is unknown to the reader, but I had my suspicions. So while Leigh accepts the job to find Natalie her soulmate, she also wrecks a lot of havoc in her life! Some of Leigh's stunts are hilarious, and others are down right mean. Cupid's aren't suppose to be as chaotic as Leigh is acting, so what's causing that? There's a twist that I didn't see coming about half way through, which I think made the second half of the story much better than the first. I love the interactions between Leigh and Natalie, when they're bickering (or straight out fighting), but more so when they're getting along.

Overall, 10 Ways to Kill a Cupid is a humorous, fun read, but at times it was bit too slapstick for my liking. I still very much enjoyed it though. The author's take on the afterlife was great, and Leigh's antics are hilarious. If you like a lot of humor mixed in with the paranormal, I'd suggest this book. There are a lot of typos in this one, and a pretty major inconsistency, but as a whole this story is really fun.

Monday, March 12, 2012

[Cover Reveal + Excerpt] My Super Sweet 16th Century by Rachel Harris

Title: My Super Sweet 16th Century
Author: Rachel Harris
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

On the precipice of her sixteenth birthday, the last thing lone wolf Cat Crawford wants is an extravagant gala thrown by her bubbly stepmother and well-meaning father. So even though Cat knows the family’s trip to Florence, Italy, is a peace offering, she embraces the magical city and all it offers. But when her curiosity leads her to an unusual gypsy tent, she exits . . . right into Renaissance Firenze.

Thrust into the sixteenth century armed with only a backpack full of contraband future items, Cat joins up with her ancestors, the sweet Alessandra and protective Cipriano, and soon falls for the gorgeous aspiring artist Lorenzo. But when the much-older Niccolo starts sniffing around, Cat realizes that an unwanted birthday party is nothing compared to an unwanted suitor full of creeptastic amore.

Can she find her way back to modern times before her Italian adventure turns into an Italian forever?

So, what do you think of the cover? I love the mix of the old and the modern! It's very cool!


I hear their muffled whispers and understand every Italian word. Every witty comment made at my expense.
It’s like my brain is automatically translating.
I bunch the soft fabric of the dress in my hand and then reach up to feel the ribbon in my hair. I lightly skim my fingers over my chin and feel my lack of zit. I take in the costumes of the crowd, the stench of the animals, and the Italian I can now speak and understand. And suddenly it hits me.
Reyna must have pulled some kind of gypsy mojo.
Maybe this is one of those nifty “change your life” magic scenarios like in the movies. I mean, mostly I’m still expecting to blink and be right back in the midst of overpriced, gaudy tourism, but for now, the gypsy-time-warp explanation is infinitely better than thinking I’ve lost my mind. As I decide to go with that option, I feel my frantic tension melt away.
The growing crowd seems to notice my change in demeanor and begins shooting one another amused looks, but I don’t care anymore. A smile stretches across my face. Evidently, I was wrong earlier; Reyna is a psychic mind reader, because if this is her special brand of bibbity-bobbity-boo, then she made my exact daydream from earlier in the courtyard come to life.
The long red gown, the braided hair, the Italian merchant’s daughter, the time period. I am in Renaissance Florence.
I stare dumbly at the ground, the words and reality sinking in.
I’m in Renaissance Florence!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox [16]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

[Review] My Soul to Steal (Soul Screamers, #4) by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Steal
Series: Soul Screamers, #4
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 343 (Paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 4, 2011

Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.

And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

After the ending of My Soul to Keep and the new information provided by Reaper, I wasn't sure what to expect going into this one. I was happy to see that Kaylee hadn't just fallen back in Nash's arms, and that he's working on making things right. At least until his ex-girlfriend conveniently transfers to their school and starts throwing herself at him. Sabine was briefly introduced in Reaper so I was definitely curious to find out more about her, even if I didn't like all. She definitely brought the drama, and I could appreciate that.

Kaylee has no idea who she can trust anymore. She's trying to rebuild trust with Nash, but that's hard to do when his ex is staying until the early hours, and is manipulating Kaylee's dreams. There's also the problem of Avari possessing the people around her without her notice! No one is safe from the hellion who wants his revenge. This was an emotional ride as Kaylee tries to navigate through her life and her deepest fears begin to surface.

I was a bit annoyed with her at times though. I can understand she's hurt by Nash after the last book, but at times she's overly harsh with him. He's trying, you can definitely tell he's trying his best, but it's also obvious to us that he's hurting too due to Kaylee's lack of support. Of course she has every right to be mad at him, but she's acting incredibly selfish by pulling him in then pushing him back. Tod tells her as much, but did he truly mean it or is something else going on?

There's a lot going on in this book! Teacher dying, possessions by hellions, return of bitchy ex-girlfriends, coming down from addiction, students turning into delinquents, break-ups and make-ups, reapers delivering pizza! However, Rachel Vincent did a great job connecting the dots in a way that made sense and continuing plots from the previous books. I had trouble putting this one down, since the series just keeps getting better and better!

Friday, March 9, 2012

[Mini Review] Reaper (Soul Screamers, #3.5) by Rachel Vincent

Title: Reaper
Series: Soul Screamers, #3.5
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 50 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: November 16, 2010

Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him--and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred.
Suddenly Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between...

This was a great short about our favorite reaper, Tod! I loved getting to be inside Tod's head even if it was only for 60ish pages. We get a lot of information about the reaper business which I found really interesting. It really adds to the experience of the Soul Screamers world. Reaper also fills in a lot of gaps in Nash and Tod's relationship. We see them interacting while Tod is still alive and how Nash reacts to his death. They were obviously close, but still had their fights. It's a very interesting contrast to way they act towards each other in the main books.

While there was some of Tod's great sense of humor in the beginning, there was also a great emotional scene involving Nash and Harmony. I felt so sad for them, and for Tod for witnessing it. However, the ending of this novella is awesome! If you're a fan of the series and haven't read this yet, I encourage you to check it out!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

[Review] My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers, #3) by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Keep
Series: Soul Screamers, #3
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 296 (Paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: June 1, 2010

Kaylee and Nash discover that one of his football teammates is addicted to Demon's Breath, a dangerous Netherworld substance that shouldn't even be available in the human world. Now they must somehow dispose of it and cut off the supply--without socially alienating themselves.

My Soul to Keep is much different than the previous two books. It's darker and more serious. Of course, Kaylee's need to save people is still going strong, but this time it's actually people she knows. Her relationship with Nash also changes. While in the last book their hormones were raging, Nash didn't push Kaylee to go further, but this time around he's not so patient. He actually uses his influence to try to get her to say yes, and says a few horrible things to convince her. But Kaylee's a smart girl and doesn't fall for it.

Anyway, this time the plot deals with drug use. Well, technically it deals with addiction to Demon's Breath, which is probably worse than most human drugs. Kaylee has once again taken it upon herself to save her classmates from impending insanity caused by the "drug," dragging a reluctant Nash with her. While I admire Kaylee for standing up for what's right and doing what she can to help others, I'm starting to feel a little bad for Nash since he never seems to want to get tangled up in these Netherworld problems, but feels obligated to in order to keep Kaylee safe. He does know an awful lot more about the paranormal world than she does. But in this book you can definitely sense the strain this is putting on their relationship, or it something else? Kaylee has no idea just how deep her boyfriend is involved in all this...

While I was suspicious of one of the major plot reveals, I was still shocked when it came out. Poor Kaylee! And dammit, Tod! Even though it's not totally his fault, I just wanted to say it. :P But seriously, the ending of this is a serious page turner. I couldn't believe some of things that happened, and in my eyes Nash is completely unforgivable. Not necessarily, nonredeemable, but definitely unforgivable! I'm nervous to find out what the Netherworld has in store next for Kaylee.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

[Review] My Soul to Save (Soul Screamers, #2) by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Save
Series: Soul Screamers, #2
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 279 (Paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: December 29, 2009

When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can't possibly understand.

Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk…

I dove into this immediately after finishing My Soul to Take, but reading the blurb made me go "what?!" It sounds kind of cheesy, but Rachel Vincent somehow made it exciting and interesting. It was still a bit silly at times, like mega media corporations selling souls of the teens they recruit, but it also gave us more insight into the Netherworld. I was also excited to get more Tod, even though half the time he seemed like a lame sidekick. He still had some great, mischievous moments though!

After failing to save the souls of the girls in the first book, Kaylee is determined to help pop-star Addison Page get hers back after trading it for fame and fortune. Kaylee is a bit too compassionate and determined for her own good, since this venture puts her, Nash and Tod in danger. However, it also gives her (and us) more information about her heritage and the Netherworld. It was nice to see Kaylee develop her abilities and become more confident in what she can do.

Kaylee's relationship with Nash is getting steamy! Seriously, hormones are raging between these two whenever they're left alone together. I'm wondering if their intense chemistry is due to being the same, or if it truly is a speedy romance. Either way, I'm surprised those two managed to keep their clothes on! I was proud of Kaylee for knowing she wasn't ready to go all the way yet, and for Nash for not pressuring her into it.

There's just one thing in My Soul to Save that wasn't clear and it nagged at me throughout the entire book. Why was Tod so determined to save Addy? I know they had dated in the past, but was she the one that got away? Is that why he was so desperate to retrieve her soul, that he'd put his and everyone else's lives at risk? I just wish there had been more to that, so it would feel like Tod was just featured as a convenient plot device. But overall, this was another quick, fun addition to the series and I'm excited to know what Kaylee will face next.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

[Review] My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers, #1) by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Take
Series: Soul Screamers, #1
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 279 (Paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: August 1, 2009

She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

I am now joining the Rachel Vincent fan club! She created great characters, an interesting plot, and introduced a unique paranormal entity. I absolutely loved how she integrated banshees, or bean sidhe as they're called in the Irish lore, into the modern world. Sure they might be just another non-human species hidden among humans, but they haven't been overdone at all. In fact, I haven't read about them before, and haven't heard about any other books feature them.

Kaylee is great and believable. She's honest, and determined even when things aren't exactly going according to plan. She's a (mostly) normal teenage girl, flies under the radar, and is just trying to keep a grip on some normalcy. However, it's hard to appear normal when you start wailing at the top of your lungs as someone is about to die. She's able to hold it in even though it's a struggle, and her best friend, Emma just thinks she's having a panic attack. That is, until girls start dropping dead all around them.

Enter Nash! The super hot, popular guy, who pays Kaylee no attention until he witnesses one of her "panic attacks." He should be freaked out, or think she's a freak, but instead, two days later they start dating. Yep, that's fast! I could understand him taking an interest in her due to her weirdness (especially when we learn something later in the book), but romantically? I wish that could have had more development. It was very rushed and very unbelievable, but it didn't keep from enjoying the story as a whole. In fact, once the mystery of random girls dying from unknown causes really gets going, I forgot all about the rushed romance. I was completely intrigued by the idea of banshees and grim reapers, and engaged in the story. I just wanted to know what the heck is going on, what Kaylee has to do with it, and how Nash is going to help her!

My Soul to Take is a fun read, and it moves at a fairly fast pace once the plot gets going. I loved learning about bean sidhes and the other otherworldly creatures right along side Kaylee. Thankfully, I have the next three books right here, and I'll be jumping right into the second one!

Monday, March 5, 2012

[Cover Reveal] Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

Title: Pretty Amy
Author: Lisa Burstein
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Release Date: May 15, 2012
Pre-Order: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when their dates stand them up for prom, and the girls take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx—Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing—like she is nothing.

Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

So, what do you think of the cover? I love the poofy dress and the jail cell! This would definitely catch my eye. The story sounds awesome, too!

About the Author

Lisa Burstein at Junior Prom!

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She wrote her first story when she was in second grade. It was a Thanksgiving tale from the point of view of the turkey from freezer to oven to plate. It was scandalous.
She was a lot like Amy when she was in high school. She is still a lot like Amy.

Curious about why there's a photo of the author at prom? Because there's going to be a Worst Prom Photo contest in the weeks leading up to AMY's release on May 15. So make sure to dust off your old prom photos—the more tulle, bows, and big hair the better!—and watch Lisa's website for details on how to submit/enter to win a beauty package!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

In My Mailbox [15]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren to show off our newest books: purchases, borrows, ARCs, galleys, etc.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

[Mini Review] My Soul to Lose (Soul Screamers, #0.5) by Rachel Vincent

Title: My Soul to Lose
Series: Soul Screamers, #0.5
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 87 (eBook)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: July 1, 2009

It was supposed to be a fun day, shopping at the mall with her best friend. Then the panic attack started and Kaylee Cavanaugh finds herself screaming, unable to stop. Her secret fears are exposed and it's the worst day of her life.

Until she wakes up in the psychiatric unit.

She tries to convince everyone she's fine--despite the shadows she sees forming around another patient and the urge to scream which comes burbling up again and again. Everyone thinks she's crazy. Everyone except Lydia, that is. Another patient with some special abilities....

I know a lot of people said to read this after My Soul to Take, but I must read things in order if at all possible, so I read it first. And I'm glad I did! This was a great preview of the series, and it made me even more excited to get started on the first book. It's like an awesome movie trailer getting you pumped up for the actual movie. I enjoyed getting to know the main character, Kaylee, a bit before diving into the series. And what better way to get to know someone than following them around the psych ward of a hospital!

Friday, March 2, 2012

[Review] Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1) by Jessica Spotswood

Title: Born Wicked
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, #1
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Pages: 330 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: February 7, 2012

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 six months 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 stars 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.

My expectations were quite high going into Born Wicked due to the great book blurb, gorgeous cover and raving early reviews. Thankfully, it met and exceed those expectations! This is one debut you do not want to miss!

I was immediately drawn into Cate's narrative. She seemed very pessimistic and had a negative outlook on just about everything. That could have been irritating, but she gives us reasons for her pessimism. She's been in charge of her two younger sisters, since their mother died. All three of them are witches and must keep it hidden from their Father, the town, and especially the Brotherhood or face prosecution. Cate is suppose to announce a betrothal in a matter of months, even though she does fit into society's mold of a proper young woman. Plus she discovers a prophecy concerning three sisters. If I had to shoulder all of Cate's responsibilities and be under so many restrictions and expectations, I'd be a negative Nancy, too!

This books is full of magic, mystery, and romance. Women's oppression is also a major theme throughout, and I think the author did an amazing job linking it to the magical and religious aspects of the book. There's many twists and turns, and ups and downs. It kept me engaged from start to finish, and the events leading up to the finish left me in awe. I'm not sure what else to say without spoiling anything. If you're looking for a new twist on witches, and something a little different in the YA genre (like no love triangle!), I urge you to go out and get this one!