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Saturday, June 30, 2012

2012 Challenge Progress: June

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.

So here is my progress for June...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Freebie Friday [11]

So, what freebie would I like to share with you today...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

[Review] Love & Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Title: Love & Leftovers
Author: Sarah Tregay
Pages: 451 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: December 27, 2011

My wish
is to fall
cranium over Converse
in dizzy, daydream-worthy

(If only it were that easy.)

When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up.

But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you've lost it?

Excluding Shakespeare, I don't read poetry...ever. I didn't know that's what this book was when I first added it to my to-read, but when I did find out I didn't think it was fair to dismiss it based on a writing style I've never tried. Therefore, Love & Leftovers became my introduction to novels in verse. It took some getting use to, but I did like how it was straight to the point without much filler. Each line, every word, had a purpose and added something important to the story.

Marcie's life is a mess. She just found out her father is gay, gets swept across the country with her depressed mother, is torn away from her best friend and boyfriend, and feels utterly alone. Enter sexy J.D. who fills that whole in Marcie's heart, but also brings in a whole new bag of problems. Hormones are raging, emotions are tangled, and sense is muttled. Marcie is just trying to belong somewhere, rather than being a leftover, and to someone and be in love.

Within Love & Leftovers' few words, the author manages to deal with many issues that teens and young adults face: love, loss, family issues, sex, sexuality, friendship, honesty, and depression, just to name a few. I was surprised by how much emotion and honesty was conveyed in all of the short poems. I could definitely identify with some of Marcie's struggles as she tries to sort out her relationships and feelings. I also loved all of the secondary characters. They each felt so real and unique, despite only having a handful of lines each.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. It's quick, fun, and has some unexpected depth which was very welcome. I'll definitely be checking out more novels in verse in the future.

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [15]

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, June 26, 2012

Liebster Blog Awards

What is This??

The Liebster Blog Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have 200 followers or less.

The word Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, ebe ndearing, and welcome.

I was tagged by Sara @ Sara in Bookland, so thanks! I'm not tagging anyone back, because (1) I'm too lazy to look up who I'm following that has less than 200 followers, (2) I don't know who has a strong opposition to "chain"-like memes, and (3) I'm a party pooper.


Here's the Rules:

1. Each person must post 11 random facts about themselves.
2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the
people you tagged.
3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4. Tell them you've tagged them. Remember, no tag backs!

Monday, June 25, 2012

[Review] The Light and Fallen (Chronicles of the Nephilim, #1) by Anna White

Title: The Light and Fallen
Series: Chronicles of the Nephilim
Author: Anna White
Pages: 189 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Anna White
Release Date: March 27, 2012

Lucian isn't sure what to expect when he steps over the banister separating Heaven from Earth. He opens his eyes in a new body, one with no wings, no knowledge of the future, and no special powers. All he remembers is his mission: to find a mysterious key. When he meets a human girl that he can't ignore he is forced, for the first time in eternity, to choose between duty and the pull of his heart. The future hangs on his decision, but he's fallen into a world where nothing is just what it seems.

Angels are a bit hit-or-miss with me, but I was convinced to read this one when the author mentioned the male POV. It's actually told in multiple POV, but two of the three are male, which I really liked. The narrative is third person, so it's always clear who we're following. The chapters also very short, which earns bonus points with me! Lucian is one of the Light, an angel sent to Earth on a mission, while Jack is one of the Fallen. The female POV is Samara, a seemingly average human, who of course is special in some way and attracts the attention of both Lucian and Jack.

" thing we've learned is that there's always a plan, even when we can't see it. Sometimes you just have to wait for it to find you."

I have mixed feelings about The Light and Fallen. On one hand, I flew right through it in two sittings. However, this may be due to the short chapters and the easy flow of the writing rather than the story itself. There's a lot of time jumps, which make sense since Lucian has no idea what he's suppose to be doing on his mission and therefore spends a lot of time wandering around. This should mean that the story is mostly "the good parts" without all the filler, but in actuality not much happens for most of the book. The ending definitely picks up though, and I really want to know what happens next.

Not only do I want to know what happens to Lucian, Jack, and Samara next, but I want to know what the heck is going on right now! I'm still not clear on what exactly Lucian's mission is, but he isn't either, so I'd love to learn more about why he was sent to Earth. I'm also super intrigued by the angel lore that was set up, and would like to go deeper into that. The contrast between Lucian and Jack was great, and I'm looking forward to getting to know Jack more. Yes, I tend to go for the bad boys!

Overall, I think this was a good set up for books to come. I just wish there had been more explanations in this one to really hook me. As far as angel books go, this one was in the middle for me. It had a unique premise and twists on angel mythology, as well as likeable characters, but the plot just didn't fully grab me until the very end.

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

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Showcase Sunday [31]

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, June 23, 2012

[Review] ReVamped (Angel Creek, #1) by Ada Adams

Title: ReVamped
Series: Angel Creek, #1
Author: Ada Adams
Pages: 299 (Kindle edition)
Release Date: February 20, 2012

A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.

I fell in love with this book from chapter one! I love vampire books in general, but this one is just so much fun. In the first chapter we meet our heroine, Dawn, the vampire president's very sheltered daughter who longs to go out into the world. We also learn about current vampire events, such as the vampires becoming public and how they're viewed as celebrities. There's also mentions of some of the new reality TV shows (Transylvania Shore!) which had me grinning from ear to ear. ReVamped is a fun and refreshing addition to the vampire genre that will leave you with a smile on your face.

Dawn's first trip away from home is a mission to assemble a new team of guardians for the small town of Angel Creek. There's four very different vampires she must round up: a preppy cheerleader, a quiet librarian, an alcoholic ex-rockstar, and a video game nerd. She definitely has a lot of work to do to get this group ready! Then there's the mysterious fifth vampire, Sebastian, who wants nothing to do with society, human or vampire. When a local human gets kidnapped by rogue vampires, Dawn must whip this unruly group into shape!

There's some interesting twists and turns along the way that I was not expecting at all! The story is most definitely unique and I enjoyed every page. I adored Dawn! She's super sweet, caring, determined, fierce and I loved witnessing her blossom into a strong woman.

ReVamped is lighthearted, fun, and has claimed a special place in my vampire-loving heart! I had such a good time reading it that I can overlook any inconsistencies and typos that stood out to me. It didn't effect my enjoyment of the book, so why dwell on it?! There are plenty of laugh out loud moments, action, and a bit of romance. If you're looking for a quick, super enjoyable read, this is definitely it!

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

* Scavenger Hunt Picture*

Friday, June 22, 2012

Freebie Friday [10]

So, what freebie would I like to share with you today...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

[Review] The Storyteller by Antonia Michaelis

Title: The Storyteller
Author: Antonia Michaelis
Pages: 402 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Abrams
Release Date: January 1, 2012

Anna and Abel couldn’t be more different. They are both seventeen and in their last year of school, but while Anna lives in a nice old town house and comes from a well-to-do family, Abel, the school drug dealer, lives in a big, prisonlike tower block at the edge of town. Anna is afraid of him until she realizes that he is caring for his six-year-old sister on his own. Fascinated, Anna follows the two and listens as Abel tells little Micha the story of a tiny queen assailed by dark forces. It’s a beautiful fairy tale that Anna comes to see has a basis in reality. Abel is in real danger of losing Micha to their abusive father and to his own inability to make ends meet. Anna gradually falls in love with Abel, but when his “enemies” begin to turn up dead, she fears she has fallen for a murderer. Has she? Award-winning author Antonia Michaelis moves in a bold new direction with her latest novel: a dark, haunting, contemporary story that is part mystery, part romance, and part melodrama.

I had a really hard time getting into The Storyteller. First it was because I didn't care too much for the writing style, then I didn't connect with Anna. She's very sheltered, which is fine, but she's also pretty bland and annoying. Why is she all of a sudden obsessed with Abel? Enough so that she quietly stalks him and his sister around town. I get that she's sick of her boring, sheltered life, but suddenly clinging to Abel was a bit random. Then after hanging out with him a few times, she starts thinking she knows so much about life, and that she's better than her shallow friends. That was extremely annoying, since all she did was listen to the fairytale he tells his sister. She can go back to her comfortable, upper-middle class life any time. He's living something that she cannot even begin to understand, and yet she thinks being around him makes her so wise. I don't think so.

I'm sure there's lots of beautiful imagery and deeper meaning, but it got lost for me behind an unforgivably slow and boring story. Yes, I felt bad for Abel, but seeing him through Anna's rose-colored glasses made it hard to actually care and connect. The fairytale was an interesting addition, but I found that I didn't really care for that either. It's based in reality, and holds the answers to the bigger mystery surrounding Abel and Micha's situation, but again, I just didn't feel connected to it and didn't bother trying to fit things together myself.

Anna and Abel's growing relationship was sweet as he slowly opened up to her, but then it takes a turn for the worst. I wanted to yell at Anna to abandon her little social experiment and stay away. She was so caught up in fairytales and having an adventure that she was completely blind to reality. I'm not blaming her for what happened, but she shouldn't have pushed him, and should have taken off those damn rose-colored glasses to see what is really going on in front of her! Neither of these characters were redeemable at that point. Abel cannot be forgiven no matter what his background was, and Anna is in desperate need of a reality check.

Unfortunately, this book just did not work for me. I typically enjoy stories with darker themes and rough topics, but not this time. The story didn't really grab my interest and I didn't connect with any of the characters, or particularly like any of them, including the secondary characters. I mainly kept reading to see who the murderer was, but I was surprised and disappointed to learn that I figured everything out from the beginning. I was hoping for some shock ending, but it didn't deliver. I just found myself even more frustrated with Anna.

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday [4]

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, June 19, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [15]

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, June 18, 2012

[Review] Shadowfever (Fever, #5) by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Shadowfever
Series: Fever, #5
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Pages: 671 (Mass Market Paperback)
Publisher: Dell
Release Date: August 30, 2011

“Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it's good.”

MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina, were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.

Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister's murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals who have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.

What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh - book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King, containing the power to create and destroy worlds.

In an epic battle between humans and Fae, the hunter becomes the hunted when the Sinsar Dubh turns on Mac and begins mowing a deadly path through those she loves. Who can she turn to? Who can she trust? Who is the woman haunting her dreams? More important, who is Mac herself and what is the destiny she glimpses in the black and crimson designs of an ancient tarot card?

From the luxury of the Lord Master's penthouse to the sordid depths of an Unseelie nightclub, from the erotic bed of her lover to the terrifying bed of the Unseelie King, Mac's journey will force her to face the truth of her exile, and to make a choice that will either save the world...or destroy it.

I'm so glad that I had this book on hand when I finished Dreamfever, because I just had to know who that was! I had my suspicions, but I so hoping I was wrong. Even after finding out, I still kept wishing it wasn't so! That was too much!

Part I

Mac is not the same. I didn't think she ever would be again, but during the first part of the book she was a different person entirely. She's lost so much, but she's willing to do anything to get it all back: even team up with the Lord Master. He might be her only way out of the Silvers, so I can't really blame her, but damn. He is able to provide some must needed information about the Sinsar Dubh, too.

Then OMG! No way! Conflicting emotions abound! I don't want to be spoilery, but OMG. I was happy, but then I was shocked, but I was also mad! OMG OMG OMG! Yes! No! Dammit, Mac! That's really all I can say about that. I absolutely did not want to put this down after reading Chapter 8. It just didn't feel possible. If it wasn't finals week, and I didn't need to study, this book would have been fused to my hand.

WTF is Jerricho Barrons?!

Part II

"I had a new question to be obsessed with besides what was Jerricho Barrons? What was I?"

My thoughts exactly! In a book where I was expecting to finally get some answers, I just get more questions and random information that may or may not fit nicely with previous information! More and more tid-bits keep piling up, but the bigger picture has yet to become even slightly clear. Why the heck is everyone after this mysteriously evil book? Why is the book after Mac? I've been so concerned about what Barrons is that I haven't given any thought as to why he wants the book so badly!

The second part is jam packed full of Fae history and more information than we've ever gotten in the previous books. Still no answers, but lots and lots of pieces that may actually fit together. And there's V'lane! Oh, how I missed him! I probably trust him less now, but I still loved his antics. One scene in particular stands out involving V'lane, a towel, and Barron's Viper. I'll just let you think about that one! ;)

Part III

OMG, some answers! Not to the big questions, but small answers are better than none! This series has been one total mind-f*ck, and this book makes it even more screwy! I think Moning likes messing with her readings, because once you think you've figured it out, she adds in some new twist! Some shocking news comes around and it was shocking. But then Chapter 43 happened and nothing else matters! Seriously, Chapter 43. *fans self* I would like a book dedicated to Barrons quotes.

Part IV

Holy crap, the shh hits the fan! What is true, what is lies, who is really who they say they are?!?!?!


Part V

You go, Mac! :D

There's also a very nice deleted scene which I would have LOVED to have made it into the story somewhere. But I guess, since it's included as an extra that's just as good.

So this is probably the worst review in history, but the book was insane and I don't like writing spoilers. I want to read it again already just to see if I pick up any details that I missed the first time around. I am so glad Moning is going to continue this series, because I haven't had my fill of Barrons yet!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Showcase Sunday [30]

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, June 16, 2012

[Review] Dreamfever (Fever, #4) by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Dreamfever
Series: Fever, #4
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Pages: 362 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: August 18, 2009

MacKayla Lane lies naked on the cold stone floor of a church, at the mercy of the erotic Fae master she once swore to kill. Far from home, unable to control her sexual hungers, MacKayla is now fully under the Lord Master’s spell.…In New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning’s stunning new novel, the walls between human and Fae worlds have come crashing down. And as Mac fights for survival on Dublin’s battle-scarred streets, she will embark on the darkest—and most erotically charged—adventure of her life.

He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought—and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as cryptic entries from her sister’s diary mysteriously appear and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge.…

It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth—about herself and her sister, about Jericho Barrons…and about the world she thought she knew.

After the insane ending of Faefever, I had no idea what was going to happen to Mac next. She managed to get herself into the worst possible situation, and I couldn't figure out how she was going to get out of it. Part 1 of this book definitely deserves 5 stars. I loved getting to know Dani a bit more, and I think Mac's "wild" side was very well written.

I might finally like Barrons now. It took until he got naked for me to truly appreciate him. We get to see several new sides to him (not just that side, you pervs!). We not only see his sexy, animalistic side, but he's tender and caring (but sometimes forceful) as he attempts to bring Mac back to herself. It was a nice change from his evasive and demanding former self, even if he was still doing it for selfish reasons. Or was he? I think his motivation goes deeper than that, since he seems to be on competition with V'lane over her...

Oh, V'lane! There's not nearly enough of him in this book. :(

There is plenty of action and some major revelations regarding the Lord Master. Is he really the bad guy, or is just another person tangled up in the mess the Fae have created? We definitely don't get any answers, about anything (what the heck is Barrons?!?!), but we get some more, misshapen pieces to the puzzle that is the Sinsar Subh and this so-called "prophecy." The mystery just keeps building, making this addition to the Fever series a non-stop page turner!

Holy hell, that ending! Make sure you have Shadowfever on hand when reading this, because that is the steepest cliffhanger I have ever come across! OMG, what was that?! Who is that?! I seriously flipped through the last pages of the book hoping there was more, or at least a hint of what was happening, but to no avail. Thankfully, I DO have the next book!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Freebie Friday [9]

So, what freebie would I like to share with you today...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

[Review] All These Lives by Sarah Wylie

Title: All These Lives
Author: Sarah Wylie
Pages: 245 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: June 5, 2012
I received an ARC from NetGalley.

Sixteen-year-old Dani is convinced she has nine lives. As a child she twice walked away from situations where she should have died. But Dani’s twin, Jena, isn’t so lucky. She has cancer and might not even be able to keep her one life. Dani’s father is in denial. Her mother is trying to hold it together and prove everything’s normal. And Jena is wasting away.

To cope, Dani sets out to rid herself of all her extra lives. Maybe they’ll be released into the universe and someone who wants to live more than she does will get one. Someone like Jena. But just when Dani finds herself at the breaking point, she’s faced with a startling realization. Maybe she doesn’t have nine lives after all. Maybe she really only ever had one.

"Other mother's said, 'Shh, it's okay,' and coaxed the tears away with a soft-serve cone. Mine said, 'Come on, Danielle. You're the girl with nine lives.' " (1% eARC)

Dani never put much stock in her mother's words until her twin, Jena, is diagnosed with leukemia and they learn her treatments aren't working. Dani then recalls this moment and a story about how when a cat loses a life, it goes out into the universe for another cat to pick up. Thus begins her journey to lose her extra lives in hopes of her sister gaining one.

"It's probably why I hate her so much. I never like people like me. " (5% e ARC)

I don't either! Dani is not a nice person, but at least she knows it. She's rude, disrespectful, a bully, and self-centered. However, I got the impression that she wasn't always this way, so I wasn't completely put off by her personality. This might just be the way she handles her feelings over her sister's illness. She also manages to make everything about her: Jena's breathing is annoying her, she can't sleep because Jena is vomiting, people don't talk to her because her sister is sick, etc. While it's selfish, it's also understandable. We always hear/read about how the sick person is struggling, and how things are so bad for them, but what about the family? Things are rough for Dani and their parents, so this was definitely an interesting shift in perspective.

"I feel bad. I do. But mostly, I feel dead. I like that feeling." (38% eARC)

While I did enjoy All These Lives, I didn't really believe that Dani believed she had nine lives and that maybe one would save her sister. Sure it may have been the one thing she could do for Jena, since she wasn't a bone marrow match, but it felt almost random. There was no epiphany, no moment that even indicated this is what she truly believed. It seemed like it was just a unique and intriguing plot device, but was a bit lacking. Overall, this is a good book with a really unique premise, so if you're looking for something a little different, I'd suggest it.

"The biggest thing you can do for someone is to live." (91% eARC)

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday [14]

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, June 12, 2012

Teaser Tuesday [14]

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, June 11, 2012

[Review] Feast of Fools (The Morganville Vampires, #4) by Rachel Caine

Title: Feast of Fools
Series: The Morganville Vampires, #4
Author: Rachel Caine
Pages: 242 (Mass Market Paperback)
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: June 3, 2008

The wait is over. dig into the feast...

In the town of Morganville, vampires and humans live in relative peace. Student Claire Danvers has never been convinced, though, especially with the arrival of Mr. Bishop, an ancient, old-school vampire who cares nothing about harmony. What he wants from the town's living and its dead is unthinkably sinister. It's only at a formal ball, attended by vampires and their human dates, that Claire realizes the elaborately evil trap he's set for Morganville.

There's a family reunion happening in Morganville, and the guests are most unwelcome. First, Claire's parents have moved to town, giving her one more thing to worry about. Secondly, Amelie's father is in town, along with two other vampires, and he's shaking things up. He may well in fact destroy Morganville unless the citizens (alive and undead) can band together to stop him. They say the enemy of your enemy is your friend, but where everyone is your enemy, how do you choose who to trust?

I love how we get to know Michael a lot better in this book. He went from the super gorgeous, mysterious guy to the super gorgeous, talented, amazingly sweet, protector. We also get to see some weakness and vulnerability as he tries to come to terms with who he is, and struggles to hang on to his humanity. Shane on the other hand is still a grump. I do like how he's making an effort with Michael, and that he's continuing to restrain himself with Claire, but he's not the same funny guy from the first book. It looks like Morganville is finally getting to him.

This installment of the series is super action packed and fast paced. Everything is building up to the feast honoring Bishop who is possibly the most powerful vampire ever. No one is safe, not even his own kind. There's a cliffhanger at the end, and I don't have the next book handy! I need to know what happens to Myrnin and Shane! Does Bishop succeed? Can Amelie beat her father at his own game? When will Claire and Shane finally go all the way? Will Oliver (or anyone) kill off Monica?!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Showcase Sunday [29]

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, June 9, 2012

[Review] Midnight Alley (The Morganville Vampires, #3) by Rachel Caine

Title: Midnight Alley
Series: The Morganville Vampires, #3
Author: Rachel Caine
Pages: 245 (Mass Market Paperback)
Publisher: Signet
Release Date: October 2, 2007

Morganville is such a nice place to live... And die. If you don’t mind that sort of thing.

When Claire Danvers learnt that her college town was run by vampires, she did what any intelligent, self-preserving student would do: she applied for a transfer and stocked up on garlic. The transfer is no longer an option, but that garlic may come in handy.

Now Claire has pledged herself to Amelie, the most powerful vampire in town. The protection her contract secures does little to reassure her friends. All of a sudden, people are turning up dead, a stalker resurfaces from Claire’s past, and an ancient bloodsucker extends a chilling invitation for private lessons in his secluded home.

The deeper I get into the secret workings of Morganville, the more I love it! Claire's contract with Amelie came with a lot more baggage than Claire thought. Not only is she under Amelie's protection, but she's earned a place in the in-crowd (kind of), and gotten herself an apprenticeship with a not-so-stable scientist vampire, Myrnin. Myrnin reminds me a lot of the Mad Hatter, with his mismatched clothes and tendency towards madness. He was a great addition to the Morganville cast.

Tensions are running high in the Glass house. Everyone is still adjusting to Michael's transformation, but Shane just can't handle it. He's writing off his best friend, is moody and ready to snap at any moment. I wanted to grab him and shake some sense into that boy! But of course, Morganville has its own way handling those who don't keep the peace and follow the rules.

Midnight Alley gives us a much clearer picture of how Morganville works. We also learn a lot about the history of the town, particularly why the vampires are there in the first place. There's also some great secret reveals about the seemingly all powerful vampires, and I can't wait to learn more about those! Claire is getting herself deeper and deeper into the middle of Morganville's conflicts, and at the end she gets a huge surprise that pushes her in even further!

Rachel Caine has created a fantastically creepy and fun world in Morganville which gets even more in depth and intriguing with each book. I seriously cannot get enough!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Freebie Friday [8]

So, what freebie would I like to share with you today...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

[Review] Stolen: A Letter to My Captor by Lucy Christopher

Title: Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
Author: Lucy Christopher
Pages: 299 [Hardcover]
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc
Release Date: May 1, 2010

Gemma, 16, is on layover at Bangkok Airport, en route with her parents to a vacation in Vietnam. She steps away for just a second, to get a cup of coffee. Ty - rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar - pays for Gemma's drink. And drugs it. They talk. Their hands touch. And before Gemma knows what's happening, Ty takes her. Steals her away. The unknowing object of a long obsession, Gemma has been kidnapped by her stalker and brought to the desolate Australian Outback. Stolen is her gripping story of survival, of how she has to come to terms with her living nightmare - or die trying to fight it.


"It was like a grisly horror film, only I hadn't made it to the knife scene yet."

I think that quote sums up how I felt reading this book. Ty, an amazingly attractive man, steals Gemma away from her family at the Bangkok airport, and manages to bring her to his secluded home in the desert of Australia. After the initial drugging, Ty does nothing to purposely harm her, but I (and Gemma) kept waiting for him to snap. Throughout their time together we see Ty be sweet and try his hardest to make Gemma comfortable with him, but there was always this feeling of instability right under the surface. It's obvious something's not right with him, but at the same time I found myself sympathizing with him as he tells Gemma about his past. How much of that story is true, I don't know, but it was effective at drawing us in.

While I went into this expecting a tale of Stockholm Syndrome, it turned out differently than I thought it would. I was expecting something more extreme, similar to the adult novel Comfort Food, but instead Gemma's feelings towards Ty seemed much more subtle. I actually liked this quite a lot. We get little glimpses of her trusting him, and wanting him near her, but it isn't until they're apart when she actually acknowledges those feeling. Even then she knows it's wrong, but you can't help what you feel.

I actually made myself a little uncomfortable by wanting Gemma to love Ty. It was obvious how much he wanted her to, and he did everything to try to make her see the beauty of the desert and the type of life they could have together. Whether this was his genuine feelings, or something brought on by madness, I don't know, but I did feel like she should have given it a chance. Of course, the desert has its own plans...

This was a very powerful novel. It's full of a whole range of emotions from tender sweetness, to discomfort, to anger, to longing. It basically covers it all during Gemma's time with Ty and in the aftermath. The letter format added an extra layer of intensity and intimacy that wouldn't have been there if this was written any other way. There's also a lot of beautiful descriptions of the desert. I've always been fascinated by Australia, so I loved how alive the author made the desert feel on the pages.

The ending of this is a bit open. I would have loved to see more of what Gemma was feeling after the trial, and what happened to Ty.

"You took me to the sand and the heat, the dirt and isolation. And you expected me to love you. And that's the hardest part. Because I did, or at least, I loved something out there."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wishlist Wednesday [3]

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, June 5, 2012

[Review] Shaman, Friend, Enemy (Olivia Lawson, Techno-Shaman, #2) by M. Terry Green

Title: Shaman, Friend, Enemy
Series: Olivia Lawson, Techno-Shaman, #2
Author: M. Terry Green
Pages: 334 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: M. Terry Green
Release Date: October, 2011

Patients with fractured souls, clients threatened by deadly ancestor spirits, and now the paparazzi–it’s all in a day’s work for techno-shaman Olivia Lawson. Livvy has rocketed to the top of the shaman world, bringing old friends with her but also attracting new enemies.

Even as her career soars, her personal life spirals downward. Broken bonds and lost love finally force her to confront the terrible secret of her beginning in shamanism. Despite being attacked by dark shamans and navigating a spiritual plane that seems out of control, Livvy’s single-minded quest steers her into dangerous territory and puts her on a collision course with those dearest to her.

No longer interested in walking a fine line, Livvy discovers that–when the one thing you need is the one thing you can’t have–you’ll risk everything.

It's a year after the events of Shaman, Healer, Heretic and Livvy's life has completely turned around. She's the hottest shaman around, getting business left and right, mobs of press and paparazi follow her everywhere, new wardrobe and condo. She's basically become a celebrity over night, and is there is a blossoming romance? But Livvy's lifestyle isn't the only thing that's changing. There's something strange happening with the multiverse (again): wounds inflicted there are carrying over into the real world and the usually aloof ancestral spirits are beginning to notice Livvy. Plus there's the problem of a network of Shaman who want to get rid of her!

I enjoyed this book much more than the previous. It grabbed me right away, and there's so much going on that it continuously held my attention. We get to see a lot more of the multiverse, which was a lot of fun, even if it wasn't so pleasant for our dear Livvy. There's also more insight into shamanic powers and their politics, and more about the responsibilities of intercessors like SK. There's also more emotion in this book, as Livvy works on a secret project in the underworld, and as she puts her heart on the line for a special someone.

I've really liked what I've read of the Techno-Shaman series so far, and I'll be eagerly awaiting the next book. I can't wait to see where Livvy ends up, and more of SK, Min, and Ursula!

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

Monday, June 4, 2012

[Review] Shaman, Healer, Heretic (Olivia Lawson, Techno-Shaman, #1) by M. Terry Green

Title: Shaman, Healer, Heretic
Series: Olivia Lawson, Techno-Shaman, #1
Author: M. Terry Green
Pages: 336 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: M. Terry Green
Release Date: January 19, 2011

Even for a techno-shaman, a kachina in the bedroom isn't exactly part of the drill. When Olivia Lawson wakes to find one towering over her, she panics. A Hopi god visiting the real world isn't just wrong; it's impossible. Or is it? Soon Olivia learns that the kachina is the least of her worries. As she struggles to save her clients, clashes with other shamans, and fends off the attacks of real-world vigilantes, Olivia finds herself in the destructive path of a malevolent ancient force intent on leaving the spiritual realm to conquer this one. Left with few options, Olivia is forced to defy centuries of shaman prohibitions. As she and her allies risk everything in their bid for survival, Olivia ultimately learns that the rules are there for a reason and that breaking them has a terrible cost.

Livvy is a techno-shaman. What is that, you may ask? Instead of smoking peyote or going into a meditative state to reach the otherside, she dons a pair of 3D goggles. It's actually pretty cool, but I wish we had learned more about why shaman are embracing technology and how it works. Anyway, among the shaman of Los Angeles, Livvy is one of the best, but when an ancient Hopi sun god appears in her apartment, she knows she has a major problem. Soon there's reports of shaman getting trapped in the multiverse and dying in their sleep, and other shamanic issues, so what's Livvy to do? Break Shaman law, of course!

Shaman are not suppose to work together, or even know each other, but Livvy thinks a collaboration is the only way to fight the forces at work in the multiverse. I found this aspect of the book the most interesting. Having a room full of shaman, with very different personalities was great! Each one had her own distinct personality, and I loved getting to know them. We also get to see a lot of the multiverse which consists of middleworld, underworld, and upperworld. I think the world building was very well done in this book, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of it!

I did struggle with this book in the beginning. It seemed very slow and jumpy, and didn't fully hold my attention. Then at the halfway point things really get going and I couldn't put this down! Livvy is a very determined character, and I really admired her for wanting to set things straight in the multiverse at any cost. Not to increase her business and to make more money (like some other shaman) but to continue helping and healing. I'm excited to see what comes next for Livvy and the eclectic mix of other techno-shaman. Maybe a romance with SK?

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

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Guest Post for Into the Morning Reads

In case you're not following Jenny @ Into the Morning Reads (which you should), I did a guest post for her today! It features 5 worlds from YA fiction that I'm glad I don't live in.

Showcase Sunday [28]

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, June 2, 2012

Pinkindle Reads but no Reviews: May, 2012

I read a lot, but review less. Sometimes I just don't feel like writing something, or I just don't have much to say. Either way, it doesn't seem fair to leave these books out. So once a month I'll present the books that I read, rated, but didn't review, and give a quick few sentences about what I thought of them.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Freebie Friday [7]

So, what freebie would I like to share with you today...