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Friday, August 31, 2012

Feature & Follow [7]

Q: Best Cover? What is the best cover of a book that you’ve read and didn’t like?

I absolutely love the covers for this series (except #3, her arms look a little weird), but the first book was terrible! I want to read the rest mostly because the covers are gorgeous, but I also heard that they get better.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

[Review] Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

Title: Babe in Boyland
Author: Jody Gehrman
Pages: 292 (Paperback)
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: February 17, 2011

Natalie boldly goes where no girl has gone before in this fresh, funny peek inside the male mind!

Natalie writes the relationship column for her high school newspaper. Then she is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, so she decides to disguise herself as a guy and spend a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boys boarding school in town. And in the process, she learns about guys, though in ways she never expected. But when she starts to fall for her dreamy roommate, things get even more complicated. The fun doesn't stop in this light, lively offering for teen girls.

This one has been on my to-read forever, so I was thrilled when I finally got my hands on a copy. The cover is super adorable and definitely matches the tone of the book. What unfolds within its pages is a fun, quirky, and hilarious tale of one girl's mission to reveal the secrets of the male mind.

I loved Natalie! She's got spunk and sass, and wants to prove herself as a serious writer. After her advice column gets attacked, Natalie re-evaluates what she actually knows about relationships. She realizes that she does indeed tell her readers (and her friends) exactly what they want to hear, rather than give actual, useful advice. She tries to ask some of her male classmates what they really think while at a party. Needless to say, that didn't go too well. This leads up to Operation Babe in Boyland: Natalie going undercover at the all-boys school for some answers into the inner workings of teenage boys.

All of the secondary characters are great, too! The author did an amazing job or creating a cast that feels real and well rounded. The boys are hilarious, and it was a lot of fun getting to see them in their natural element. They also have a lot of depth, which was surprising for Nat. Her two best friends are a riot! They're both sooo different, but their love for each other is obvious.

Natalie's insights are a lot more varied than she, and I, were expecting. Not only were the boys thoughts and actions surprising, but the girls' too. Natalie was able to discover things about her own behavior toward the opposite sex, that she didn't even notice until she took a step back to become an observer. She also comes across issues of social status, since she's not exactly Mr.Popular while she's undercover.

Of course since the plot is based on deception, something has to go wrong. The story is totally predictable, but it was a lot of fun, and I fully enjoyed reading it. Nat gets into a ton of awkward situations as she tries to blend in, but she also learns some important lessons along the way. This book has a ton of heart, contains big laughs, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a feel-good read.

"Play as many roles as you possibly can, but know who you are deep down."

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday [9]

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper. It's where we get to share books that have been on our wishlists forever or are newly added. I'll be alternating this with Waiting on Wednesday. My Amazon Wishlist is overflowing, so what title am I featuring this week...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [23]

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, August 27, 2012

[Review] Carpe Corpus (The Morganville Vampires, #6) by Rachel Caine

Title: Carpe Corpus
Series: The Morganville Vampires, #6
Author: Rachel Caine
Pages: 241 (Paperback)
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: June 2, 2009

In the small college town of Morganville, vampires and humans lived in (relative) peace-until all the rules got rewritten when the evil vampire Bishop arrived, looking for the lost book of vampire secrets. He's kept a death grip on the town ever since. Now an underground resistance is brewing, and in order to contain it, Bishop must go to even greater lengths. He vows to obliterate the town and all its inhabitants-the living and the undead. Claire Danvers and her friends are the only ones who stand in his way. But even if they defeat Bishop, will the vampires ever be content to go back to the old rules, after having such a taste of power?

A lot has changed in Claire's life since the end of Lord of Misrule. For one, she's finally 17, and should be celebrating with her friends, but she's not. She also moved back in with her parents. She's now Bishop's errand girl, and is magically bound to do as he says, thanks to Myrnin's betrayal. I was so mad at him for that, but I also had this feeling that he had an ulterior motive and maybe even a plan. Maybe that's just denial caused by my love for him, or maybe not?

Tensions are super high in Morganville in this book, which was a vast improvement over the ho-hum nature of the previous book. Bishop has everyone, vampire and human, under his thumb but they're not all willing to lay down and take it. Even little Claire starts talking back and standing up for herself this time around. I was very impressed with her. She is woman, hear her roar! Of course, she still manages to get herself into major trouble by not listening to those who know better than her.

There's a ton of plot progression in Carpe Corpus. Not only is there the climax to Bishops plot to overtake the town, but we get a lot more insight into that vampire disease: it's possible origin and cure! Myrnin also introduces us to a bizarre new character who plays a major role in the inner workings of Morganville. Seriously, she's a trip! Shane's dad is back, kind of. Claire and Shane's relationship! I'm so happy for them! Eve's psycho brother, and some new guy in town. Is he who he says he is? Plus plenty more! This was another action packed and fast paced addition to the series. While I'm excited to know what comes next, I'm in no rush. No cliffhanger this time!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Showcase Sunday [40]

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea to show off our newest books and book related goods!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

[Review] Lord of Misrule (The Morganville Vampires, #5) by Rachel Caine

Title: Lord of Misrule
Series: The Morganville Vampires, #5
Author: Rachel Caine
Pages: 244 (Paperback)
Publisher: Singet
Release Date: December 17, 2008

In the college town of Morganville, vampires and humans coexist in (relatively) bloodless harmony. Then comes Bishop, the master vampire who threatens to abolish all order, revive the forces of the evil dead, and let chaos rule. But Bishop isn't the only threat.

Violent black cyclone clouds hover, promising a storm of devastating proportions as student Claire Danvers and her friends prepare to defend Morganville against elements both natural and unnatural.

After the cliffhanger at the end of Feast of Fools, I was eager to pick up Lord of Misrule. Morganville is still up in flames and at war, but Amelie has a plan, and everyone has their part. It was interesting to see the return of that book Claire tracked down in the very first book after it's extended absence.

I wasn't as impressed with this fifth installment of the series. I did read it straight through in a few hours, but it was just a quick and easy read, not necessarily an interesting and engaging one. The timeline of this one is only two or three days, but it's all very repetitive. Claire and company travel to various places around Morganville, get into a scuffle, lose one of their companions, then do it all over again a few hours later. I was expecting more after the blow up in the previous book, but that didn't happen.

However, the last two chapters really pick up, and the final one was fantastic! It's another cliffhanger, the most major one yet. This book does have its moments though. Eve delivers some great lines as always, and Claire and Shane's relationship reaches a new level. Overall, it felt like a filler book, but was still mostly enjoyable. It also sets us up for some huge changes within Morganville's leadership.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Feature & Follow [6]

Q: Worst cover? What is the worst cover of a book that you’ve read and loved?

Every time I look at this cover I think of those old Sasquatch videos. You know, the one where Big Foot walks by and kinda looks at the camera? Well, her pose looks like that, and it bugs me! Richelle Mead is my favorite author, but she has some of my least favorite covers ever.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

[Review] Glitch (Glitch, #1) by Heather Anastasiu

Title: Glitch
Series: Glitch, #1
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Pages: 371 (Paperback)
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: August 7, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley. 

In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.

When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.

As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse.

In this action-packed debut, Glitch begins an exciting new young adult trilogy.

Very, very interesting premise. I was immediately hooked into the idea of the Link, which supposedly links everyone together, keeps order, and provides safety. It's all thanks to a little chip inserted in the neck. Too bad Zoe's doesn't function right. She's considered anomalous, but no one knows. She's now capable of individual thoughts and emotion, something considered to be extremely dangerous in Community. Strong emotion was the reason for the destruction of the planet, or at least that's what those in charge claim. I really appreciated how we got some of the history and the truth of the matter near the beginning, so there's not a lot of wondering how things happened and why they are the way they are.

We're in Zoe's head a lot in Glitch. Of course, she's our narrator, but really we're stuck in her head a bit too much. I understand that she's experiencing emotions and her own thoughts for the first time ever, but I really would have liked to see more of the time when she's still connected to the Link. It would have been nice to be able to contrast the monotonous life that's created for the "subjects" in Community with Zoe's new found independence.

Another thing that really bothered me in this book was Adrien. There's not wrong with him as a character, but I absolutely hated the slang he used. It was extremely annoying, especially since he used it almost every single time he spoke. And he talks a lot. I also didn't find the romance believable at all, since it happened way too early. This was a pretty extreme case of insta-love, since he's the first boy Zoe ever interacted with who wasn't a drone. It also happened the same day that they first met. Yes, Zoe doesn't have a hold on her emotions yet, but I do not believe she could have had true feelings for him so immediately.

There is also an extremely bizarre love triangle, if it can even be called that. It's strange, but I loved it! Teenage hormones are raging, and they don't know how to control the emotions that come along with it. It's a bumpy ride as they try to navigate these new feelings that they don't even have words for. I don't want to spoil anything, but I had to mention it. I think the author did a great job of showing the awkwardness between those two.

Despite my complaints, I did really enjoy this one. I love when there's a supernatural aspect mixed into the dystopian setting. The ending of this one is super fast paced and action packed. Nothing is what it seems, and no one can truly be trusted. It does end on a cliffhanger, so I'll be eagerly anticipating the sequel!

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

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [19]

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, August 21, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [22]

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, August 20, 2012

[Review] Diva (Flappers, #3) by Jillian Larkin

Title: Diva
Series: Flappers, #3
Author: Jillian Larkin
Pages: 320 (Hardback)
Publisher: Delcorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 10, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley.

Parties, bad boys, speakeasies—life in Manhattan has become a woozy blur for Clara Knowles. If Marcus Eastman truly loved her, how could he have fallen for another girl so quickly? Their romance mustn't have been as magical as Clara thought. And if she has to be unhappy, she's going to drag everyone else down to the depths of despair right along with her.

Being a Barnard girl is the stuff of Lorraine Dyer's dreams. Finding out that Marcus is marrying a gold digger who may or may not be named Anastasia? A nightmare. The old Lorraine would have sat by and let the chips fall where they may, but she's grown up a lot these past few months. She can't bear to see Marcus lose a chance for true love. But will anyone listen to her?

Now that the charges against her have been dropped, Gloria Carmody is spending the last dizzying days of summer on Long Island, yachting on the sound and palling around with socialites at Forrest Hamilton's swanky villa. Beneath her smile, though, Gloria's keeping a secret. One that could have deadly consequences . . .

I'm sad to see this series end. I'll miss the glitz and the glamor, and of course, the drama!

Gloria has had the best plot so far: interracial romance, starring in shows at speakeasies, being hunted by the mob, and getting arrested! But in Diva her story seems to have flat-lined. She's released from prison on the condition that she helps bring in Forrest Hamilton, a probable con-man. Part One of this plot wasn't that interesting, but then Jerome is back! We actually get the addition of his POV this time around, which I really enjoyed. It's far more interesting than his cousin, Vera's, was in Ingenue. It was about time that we see how Jerome feels about everything that has been happening. Too bad he only gets three chapters. I think the author could have strengthened this book with a bit more of Jerome, since he's been such a driving force in the series.

Clara, the flapper queen and gossip columnist, has seemed to have lost her way. I found her a little bland in the previous book after loving her in the first book, but now her attitude is back and in full swing as she attempts to fend off her boss' unwanted advances and works on a scheme with...Lorraine! Clara's story seemed to fade into the background at times, and was overshadowed by Lorraine's, since they're very closely related.

Did Lorraine lose some brain cells between the end of Ingenue and now? Or is sobriety just getting to her. I've loved Lorraine's over-the-top dramatics in the previous two books, but now she's truly just dumb and annoying. She's stalking Marcus again, but she's managing to get perfect grades due to being blacklisted from all of the swanky clubs. She still holds a bit of a grudge against Gloria, even though everything that has happened is her own fault! I was still interested in her story though, since this girl is truly a train wreck, and I simply cannot look away!

With Diva, the Flappers series has ended with a bang. Literally. While, I didn't enjoy this one as much as the previous two, it's still a worthy addition to the series. It also wraps up everyone's stories quite nicely.

"The characters in books shouldn't have all the fun, right?" (95% eARC)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Showcase Sunday [39]

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea to show off our newest books and book related goods!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

[Review] The Iron King (The Iron Fey, #1) by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron King
Series: The Iron Fey, #1
Author: Julie Kagawa
Pages: 363 (Paperback)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: February 1, 2010

Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

I ended up liking this one straight from the beginning. It was different than I was expecting, in a good, weird way. Meghan is dirt poor, the step-daughter of a pig farmer, only has old clothes, and is ridiculed (quite harshly) at school for being "a hick." Very different than the usual heroine. This is truly a rags to riches story, as Meghan is really a faery princess. Her best friend, Robbie, is none other than Robin Goodfellow, aka Puck! Any story that references Shakespeare is okay in my book!

The Nevernever is an interesting place. I love how it seems like a combination of elements (and characters) from A Midsummer's Night Dream, Peter Pan, and Alice in Wonderland. It's a simultaneously beautiful and terrible place, full of all kinds of violent creatures. The laws of physics also don't apply there, and time has no meaning. It's amazing that Meghan was able to survive her first day on her own lost in the forest!

I have mixed feelings about Meghan. I like her, most likely because I feel sorry for her. She hasn't exactly had the most glamorous or pleasant life. But on the other hand, she sometimes says and does things that make me cringe. Like when she puts on her dirty, smelly, soaking wet clothes instead of a nice dress provided for her, just because she wants to own her poorness, or whatever. There's no shame in not being able to afford designer clothes, but there's no reason to be unhygienic just to show off that you're comfortable being poor!

The one thing that I did not enjoy at all was the "romance." It was obvious from the time they met, but there was no development. The whole book they're at odds with each other, then BOOM, kissing. What?! It was a lot too sudden and seemingly out of nowhere. Plus, it didn't exactly lead anywhere either. I think the romance element could have waited until at least the next book.

While much of the plot is focused on Meghan finding her brother (and possibly father), there's an overarching story of the Nevernever dying as it's taken over by iron. I absolutely loved the aspect of how the Nevernever is essentially fueled by human belief in fairies. But as humans become more and more reliant on advanced technology, it's leaking over into the Faeryland and is causing some quite terrible problems. If you believe in fairies, clap your hands!

I really enjoyed The Iron King. It was fast paced, interesting, and I loved the fey lore that was used in it. Although Ironhorse had me cracking up, since whenever he spoke I heard Optimus Prime!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Feature & Follow [5]

Q: What blogger inspires you? It can be any kind, it doesn’t have to be a book blog.
One of the first blogs I ever followed was Bookish. I think I started following while Evie was doing her Men in YA event, which was a lot of fun! Her blog always has something great going on, and she hasn't even been at it that long!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

[Review] I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Title: I've Got Your Number
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Pages: 449 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: The Dial Press
Release Date: February 14, 2012

I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

What has caused Poppy Wyatt to pose as a singing telegram to a Japanese business man and don reindeer gloves in April? Well, she lost her engagement ring, and her cell phone got stolen, so she has no way of being contacted if someone does find the ring. That is until she finds a perfectly good phone in the trash. Since she refuses to return the phone until she finds her ring, she inadvertently becomes the personal assistant to one Sam Roxton. Then she promptly ruins his life. Well, kinda.

Poppy suffers from "do before you think" syndrome, which makes her extremely unlikeable, but also gets her into some quite funny situations. She sends out lots of e-mails posing as Sam "trying to help" but really she get caught up, goes overboard, and gets Sam into all kinds of messes. It was a bit over-the-top, even for Chick Lit, but it was still fun to read.

I much preferred the second half of the book to the first. It has a slightly more serious tone as it deals with sabotage to Sam's business and issues regarding Poppy's upcoming wedding. Poppy and Sam find themselves being the most equipped to help each other work through their problems after having shared a phone number for some time. It was very cute watching their relationship develop. This was my first Sophie Kinsella novel, and I quite enjoyed it. The first half is probably a 2 star read, but the second half is easily a 4. I'll definitely be checking out more of her books.

One thing that bothered me was the footnotes. This isn't a fault with the book itself, since I like the fun extras that footnotes provide, but they do not work for Kindle edition. Clicking back and forth from the current page to the end of the chapter is not convenient, and reading all of the notes at once at the end just doesn't make sense. If you want to get the most out of this one, get a physical copy so that the footnotes are actually at the foot of the page. I'm sure I missed a lot by skipping them.

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

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday [8]

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper. It's where we get to share books that have been on our wishlists forever or are newly added. I'll be alternating this with Waiting on Wednesday. My Amazon Wishlist is overflowing, so what title am I featuring this week...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [21]

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, August 13, 2012

[Review] Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1) by Patricia Briggs

Title: Moon Called
Series: Mercedes Thompson, #1
Author: Patricia Briggs
Pages: 324 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Ace Books
Release Date: January 31, 2006

Mercy Thompson's next next-door neighbor is a werewolf. She's tinkering with a VW bus that happens to belong to a vampire. But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself...

Mercy is a shapshifter, and though she was raised by werewolves, she can never be one of them, especially after the pack ran her off for having a forbidden love affair. So she's turned her talent for fixing cars into a business and now runs a one-woman mechanic shop in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State.

But Mercy's two worlds are colliding. A half-starved teenage boy arrives at her shop looking for work, only to reveal that he's a newly Changed werewolf - on the run and desperately trying to control his animal instincts. Mercy asks her neighbor Adam Hauptman, the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, for assistance.

But Mercy's act of kindness has unexpected consequences that leave her no choice but to seek help from those she once considered family - the werewolves who abandoned her...

I'd been hearing a lot of good things about this series, so it was about time I got to it. I'll admit that all of the praise caused my expectations to be pretty high, so I was bummed when I wasn't hooked from the first chapter.

There was quite a bit of info-dumping, which disrupted the flow of the story. I generally love the world building aspect of fantasy books, but only when it feels organic, which it definitely wasn't in Moon Called. Whenever we met a new character, Mercy would give us a short biography and history of their life. Most of it didn't even add to the plot or to my understanding of the character, and just felt like information overload. There were quite a few instances where I forgot what was happening story wise, because of some lengthy character description.

Despite all of the info-dumps, I don't feel like I truly understand how werewolves and skinwalkers work. I have no clue how old Mercy, or any of the other non-human characters, is. There's mentions of the 1800s, so I know they're old, but do they age extremely slowly? Or do they stop aging at whatever age they were changed? Do the born shapeshifters like Mercy just stop aging at a certain time, or slow their aging in their prime? I just have no clue. I don't even know exactly what a skinwalker is, or how Mercy is different than werewolves other than that she changes into a coyote. Are all skinwalkers werecoyotes, or do they turn into other animals? There's just a lot of holes in the world that seriously nagged at me.

As for the plot, it was just okay. The Alpha's daughter has been kidnapped, there's some new drug being tested on werewolves, but who's behind it and why? Well, it ends up being a tangled mess of supernatural politics, and I just didn't care. In fact, I didn't even fully understand what was going on, and how everyone involved was connected. This was probably because the big reveal was another info -dump rather than a slow trickle. The pacing is also super slow, so I found that my mind would wander and I'd miss some of what I was reading and have to re-read.

Ultimately, this one just did not work for me. I did like how many types of supernatural creatures are featured, but the plot was slow and confusing, and the whole book was bogged down with unnecessary history lessons and random personal information. I didn't particularly like Mercy, but I didn't dislike her either. She just wasn't very interesting, and it seemed like all of her actions were just to reinforce her repeated line of "I'm not part of the pack and therefore don't have to listen." I'll probably read the next book, since it should be free of so many info-dumps and hopefully has a better plot.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Showcase Sunday [38]

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea to show off our newest books and book related goods!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

[Review] Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1) by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe
Series: Across the Universe, #1
Author: Beth Revis
Pages: 398 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 11, 2011

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

A YA Sci-Fi that is both Dystopian and space Sci-Fi? Awesome! It took me way too long to finally give this one a read, but I'm so glad I did! After a slightly rocky start with the first two pages where I thought we were seeing Amy as a little girl (seriously, she seemed like she was 5 or so, it was weird) until she mentioned prom, I was hooked. The space ship, Godspeed, was completely fascinating. Immediately from Elder's narrative we get the sense that something is not right on board, but what? From there he leads us through the ship where random inconsistencies and hidden information are revealed, including a chamber full of frozen bodies.

Cryo sleep terrifies me! Not only is the procedure leading up to it painful and uncomfortable, but what happens after the flash freeze is much worse. Amy undergoes the freeze in the first chapter, and her first few chapters are her in the cryo sleep. That's right, she manages to narrate when she's supposed to be in a 301 year slumber. She's conscious and that's just not right. I do not even want to imagine what it would be like to be trapped inside your own body, in the dark, alone, and unmoving for three centuries with nothing but your thoughts. That sounds like a recipe for insanity to me.

Once Amy is out of her cryo chamber is when the book really picks up. She wasn't suppose to be defrosted yet, so who let her out? Then another person is left out to defrost, and we've got a murder mystery on our hands! Then, of course, there's lots of questions about the ship. What's behind all of those locked doors? Why doesn't anyone aboard know about the cryo chamber level if those people are important to the mission? Why are so many people held in the mental ward and medicated? What's happening in the "other labs"? Just what in the world is going on?!

Actually the world building in Across the Universe is pretty darn impressive. The author has created a fascinating, engaging, and completely original world aboard the Godspeed. I absolutely loved the science! It's super detailed, complicated, and at times, disturbing. There's times when I cringed thinking about what was happening, and other times when I wanted an encyclopedia with more information!

I could hardly stand to put this book down! There were so many questions running through my mind while reading, and once answers started popping up...woah! I knew Eldest was hiding something, and that there's a lot of misinformation being passed along, but I never expected what actually was going on! Sure, the murderer was obvious, but the goings on of the ship? Total shocker! I cannot even begin to guess what the second book has in store, but I do know I'm eager to get my hands on it!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Feature & Follow [4]

Q: What would you do over if you were to start your blog again from scratch?
Hm, that is a very good question and I can't really think of anything. I'm pretty happy with the way my blog is going so far, but sometimes I wish I hadn't immediately dumped every single one of my GoodReads reviews here. Maybe I would slowly add some of them, and made sure they're formatted to match the rest of my reviews.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

[Review] Lover Mine (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8) by J.R. Ward

Title: Lover Mine
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #8
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 673 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: April 27, 2010

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

Lash is a super sick bastard! I didn't think I could hate him more, but what he's doing to Xhex is beyond wrong. His depravity is totally interesting though, and while I hate what he does, I'm always eager to see what twisted scheme he comes up with next. His plot this time around it much better than it has been, since he's done whining about being broke, and has focused his attentions on more...brutal tasks. Plus there's the issue of needing a female lesser to feed from when daddy-dearest only approves of male members...

Anyway...Oh, John Matthew, how I love thee! While he appeared to hit rock bottom in the previous book, he's now back in action and 100% focused. He has to get Xhex back or die trying, or avenge her in the case that she is no longer among the living (which of course she is). We've watched him long for her through several books already, and it's about time they get together. For real this time. None of this cold, emotionless none-sense that they've been up to!

And speaking of couples we've observed for multiple books, Quinn and Blay. Those two are driving me mad! My heart is breaking for Blay, and I want to punch Quinn in his nuts. How can he be so thoughtless?! All of their scenes together are positively heartbreaking and full of emotion, even though neither of them will talk about it. They're both utilizing the ignore and hurt strategy. Quinn with his random sex partners, and Blay with his cigarettes. It also killed me how sweet Quinn was with Layla, despite being in Blay's room, with Blay present and knowing how he feels about him! Dang, I have a feeling that when these two finally get together the pages will spontaneously combust!

The one new plot that we get in Love Mine that I wasn't really into was the Paranormal Investigators. They only got a handful of chapters, and they seemed extremely random. I couldn't see how it fit into the larger picture, other than anyone with a strong interest in the paranormal could seriously spell trouble for the vampires. But the ending brings yet another shocking revelation.

This book also includes some excerpts from Darius' diary. The entries focus on a mystery surrounding the disappearance of a glymera female in the 1600s. It was nice to see some of the brothers as young men, but again, it just felt like random scenes stuck in without a real connection to the rest of the book until we got enough hints to understand who the story was truly about. I thought this was a nice way to get one character's past.

Lover Mine is another great addition to the series. It's focus on vengeance and healing was exciting, suspenseful, heartbreaking and beautiful. We also get a lot more of the romance than the previous two books, but this one is also quite a bit longer.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [18]

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, August 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [20]

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, August 6, 2012

[Review] Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7) by J.R. Ward

Title: Lover Avenged
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 556 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: April 28, 2009

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It's also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he's approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

It seems like Lover Enshrined marked a turning point for the series. There were a lot of smaller plots happening in the larger scheme of things, and the romance took a back seat. It was also missing a lot of Ward's token slang, which I oddly missed. Now in Lover Avenged, we continue to get many smaller stories, but this time each chapter only has one or two POVs, rather than three or more. This had been one of the things that bothered me most in the earlier books, so I'm glad for the change.

This is Rehvenge's book, and I was definitely curious about him. I didn't really like him when he first appeared in the books. He's kind of scary, but getting little glimpses into his life in the last book helped change my mind about him. He's struggling to control his sympath side with drugs, and attempting to keep it a secret by giving into blackmail. I wasn't really clear on what sympaths were, even after meeting the creepy ass princess (whom we learn a bit more about and makes their relationship all the more distressing). I definitely wouldn't want to cross one of them, and it definitely explains why other vampires are nervous around him.

His story is utterly heartbreaking. While it's not as good as Zsadists, Rehv's is definitely one of the best. He's a good man caught in a horrible situation. He's doing the best he can to protect those he loves, even if that costs him his life. He's doing all the wrong things, but for the right reason, until he meets Ehlena. Then he tries to do all the right things, for the right reason, but hurts everyone along the way.

I really liked Ehlena. Her family has falling quite a way from the glymera and she's barely covering her father's medical bills with ner nursing job. She's determined and devoted though, and has a no-nonsense attitude when Rehv acts inappropriately toward her in the examination room. Both of them are similar in their loneliness, and it was great watching them find each other. It's not an easy road by any means for these two, but I couldn't get enough of them.

We also finally get back into Wrath's head! The Blind King has been mostly sitting at his desk since the first book, but he's sick of it. He reluctantly took his place as king, and he's beginning to feel useless. He misses being out in the field and being an active Brother, especially now that the Lessers seem to have the upper-hand. Vampire high society isn't too happy with their king either, so Wrath needs to be careful around his own, too. Treason isn't the also problem our king has to face this time around: one of Vishous' visions is finally coming to fruition, and Wrath will never be the same again.

We also get the official return of Tohrment! His story is heartbreaking as he tries to find his place in life again. He's let down John in every way, and now he has to watch him on his downward spiral. However, Lassiter provides some much needed comica relief in this otherwise heavy book. I wasn't sure about the angels' addition to the series in the previous book, but his banter with the Brother's has landed him a special place in my hear.

I am utterly addicted to this series. After the disappointment of the last book, Lover Avenged has got this series back on track. A ton of separate plot lines collide into one giant action packed, heartbreaking, shock inducing, adventure. We also get to see different sides of all of the characters as they deal with all of the issues that arise in this book. Especially Xhex. She may not be as tough as she's made out to be, and I'm so glad her book is next, more so since her tale ends on a cliffhanger.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Showcase Sunday [37]

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits, and Tea to show off our newest books and book related goods!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

[Review] Lover Enshrined (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6) by J.R. Ward

Title: Lover Enshrined
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, #6
Author: J.R. Ward
Pages: 561 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: June 3, 2008

In this "frighteningly addictive" paranormal romance saga, there's a war raging between vampires and their slayers. Here are the stories of a secret band of brothers like no other--six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. And now a dutiful twin must choose between two lives...

Fiercely loyal to the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Phury has sacrificed himself for the good of the race, becoming the male responsible for keeping the Brotherhood's bloodlines alive. As Primale of the Chosen, he is obligated to father the sons and daughters who will ensure that the traditions of the race survive, and that there are warriors to fight those who want all vampires extinguished.

As his first mate, the Chosen Cormia wants to win not only his body but his heart for herself. She is drawn to the noble responsibility behind the emotionally scarred male. But Phury has never allowed himself to know pleasure or joy. As the war with the Lessening Society grows grim, tragedy looms over the Brotherhood's mansion, and Phury must decide between duty and love...

"He was sick to fucking death of everything, including himself."

Oh, Phury! He is so blind to how amazing he is. Sure he's going a bit off the deep end lately, and is in a constant drug haze, but at his core he is the most selfless of the Brothers. I really enjoyed learning about his past. We did get some of it in Zsadist's book, but here we go more in depth. He's been plagued with the knowledge that he's the "evil twin," having been born second. A single live birth among vampires is a miracle, so twins? Well it should be considered a blessing, but Phury is cursed by "the wizard." I found this a little strange at first, but reading what "the wizrd" plants in Phury's mind certainly explained his irrational behavior.

Lover Enshrined is a lot slower and lot more detailed than the previous books. There's less focus on the romance this time around, as we're following a lot more characters than usual: Phury, Cormia, John, Quinn, Blay, Xhex, Rehv, Mr. D, Lash, the Omega, and an unidentified male vampire!

This book also marks the return of a Lessening Society plot, which dominates the book. There is a total shock that I was not expecting at all. Ward certainly knows how to keep the plot fresh and intriguing! But the promotion of a new Fore-lesser means more trouble for the Brotherhood. The lessers have infiltrated the vampire world, and the casualties are piling up. It might be too much for the Brothers to handle.

So much happens in such a short period of time in this book. It's very different than the previous books, so it'll probably be a hit or miss for fans of the series. I enjoyed it, but it was also frustrating to get through. Ultimately, it felt like a filler book. There's a lot of changes happening within the Brotherhood, the Other Side, and vampire society in general that take place here. It was a bit overwhelming, but I'm excited to see where all of these plotlines go.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Feature & Follow [3]

Q: Do your reading habits change based on your mood? Do you read a certain genre if you are feeling depressed or happy?
I haven't noticed that I change what I read to fit my mood, but that's probably because I'm pretty much always in a chill type mood. Although, when I'm grumpy for whatever reason, I won't read at all. I just sleep off the bad mood, then pick up whatever I feel like reading.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

[Mini Review] Never to Sleep (Soul Screamers, #5.5) by Rachel Vincent

Title: Never to Sleep
Series: Soul Screamers, #5.5
Author: Rachel Vincent
Pages: 61 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: January 1, 2012

Sophie Cavanaugh is not going to let her freak of a cousin's strange psychiatric condition ruin high school for them both. Not after all the work she's put into cultivating the right look, and friends, and reputation. But then, Sophie sees something so frightening she lets out a blood-curdling scream—and finds herself stuck in a bizarre parallel world where nothing is safe and deadly creatures lurk just out of sight, waiting for her to close her eyes and sleep...forever.

Could this world be real? Or does insanity run in the family...?

In this novella we get into the head of Kaylee's awful, yet entertaining, cousin, Sophie. Sophie is going about life as usual, until she runs into Luca. Well, Luca hits her with a door! Anyway, from that moment on, Sophie's life will flipped upside down. Luca believes she's something more than human, but what? To readers of the series it's fairly obvious by the way Sophia is able to "accidentally" cross both of them over to the Netherworld.

I absolutely loved seeing more of the Netherworld, especially from new eyes. It's amazing and terrible, but I cannot get enough! Now that Sophie knows that the world is not as it seems, and she's something special, maybe she can give her cousin a break? Or maybe not! I'm definitely intrigued by Luca! He's another new student that isn't quite human. He's a necromancer, but not in the way that most people think. What that means, I have no clue, but I'm excited to find out!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday [7]

Wishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper. It's where we get to share books that have been on our wishlists forever or are newly added. I'll be alternating this with Waiting on Wednesday. My Amazon Wishlist is overflowing, so what title am I featuring this week...