Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review #83: Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Guys, this will be a melancholy review. I'm sorry for the downer, but this book is headache-inducing. *Sigh* Lets get on with the show.

Drink, Slay, Love is by Sarah Beth Durst. Pearl is a vampire who is evil and relishes that fact. Then, one night, she gets stabbed in the heart by a unicorn. Her family thinks she's crazy, because unicorns don't exist right? (oh that statement is laced in irony ^^). Her family is then chosen by the king of their area to host a feast. It is discovered that Pearl can now withstand sunlight. Her family then decides to send her to human High School to collect friends. These friends would then end up as the main course in the feast. Funny thing though, Pearl starts developing a conscience. (this last bit is from the actual description) What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?

I really do have a headache from this book, and I rarely ever get headaches. The writing was utterly wooden. For as long as I read, it was physically painful to keep going. Plus if you're dreading returning to a book, you know it's bad. 

Pearl's voice/personality was just bad. I know she's supposed to develop a conscience, but her beginning self was too bitchy to stay with. Jadrien felt like scenery, and Pearl's family too freaking condescending. *Sigh*

If you want to find out for yourself, go for it, I'm not gonna stop you just because I didn't like this book. Hey, you might end up liking Drink, Slay, Love. Who knows?

I'll next be reviewing My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Random Post! Giveaway at Diary of a Book Addict!

Hey y'all! So while perusing the blogs I read, I came across this giveaway hosted by Amanda at Diary of a Book Addict. She's giving away a copy of the upcoming book Cinder by Marissa Meyer. Looks like a good book, so don't miss out on this fabulous giveaway! 

The link to the giveaway is here!

So stop by over there, show Amanda some love and sign up to potentially win a great book!

Hope y'all have a great rest of the weekend and see ya next time!

Until next time, viva la literature!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Surprise Review! Review #82: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Guys! Guys!!!!!! This book is incredibly amazing. Also as a warning, there will be a lot of gushing about this book in this review. In fact, this entire review might only be gushing, but that just shows how good it is!!!

So this surprise review is on Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi!

Shatter Me is the first in a trilogy by the (amazing) Tahereh Mafi. Juliette has been locked up for 294 days. Kept in a cell because of the devastating power she holds in her hands, not touching anyone during her incarceration. Outside, the world is devastated. The clouds are a different color, the birds no longer fly, and the Reestablishment is the new governing body. Then one day, Juliette suddenly gets a cellmate, causing her entire world to change.

Brief thanks to my friend David, who sent me an ARC of this. When I got it in the mail, I literally took it out, held the book in my hands, and squealed and jumped up and down around my room for a good 2 minutes. So thank you David, thank you so much for sending me this :)

Oh. My. God. What the hell have I just read? What did I just read? I mean all that in the best sense possible. This book is a work of genius, and that genius is Tahereh Mafi. I was literally hooked from page one, only stopping for sleep, class, and all those pesky things keeping me away from this precious piece of literature. It's just so gripping, and the dystopian aspect is utterly unique, everything about this book screams amazing! This silly grin refuses to leave my face (not that I want it to ;D). Shatter Me is just one of those books that makes a person glad they love reading, and has that rare ability to make someone want to be a reader. This book is chock full of action, romance, intrigue, everything needed to keep a person interested. Without a doubt, this is high up there on my favorites of this year, and generally one of the best books of the year. 

Juliette was effing fantastic. You see/read her journey from a broken, self-loathing girl to an empowered heroine that kicks some major ass. I loved her snarky side, and how she fought hard for everything she believed in and wouldn't give in for a second. I feel we'd be close friends if she somehow existed. Of course, there is also Adam, her love interest. Oh man, I so wish I had an Adam. He was sweet, caring, loyal and intelligent, and all around a badass. The romance between Juliette and Adam was so sweet, I loved reading about their love. Nothing was rushed, since their love has a good back-splanation (that's right, I made up a word =bactory/explanation.^^ ). The love they shared felt real, making you crave a romance of your own. Kenji was pretty cool, although he annoyed me sometimes. Then there's Warner. Oh god, he made my flucking skin crawl. He's just so evil. There is no other word to describe him. I hate him so much I just wanted to smack the hell out of him. The other characters were well developed and lovely, an array of personalities that won't be forgotten. 

Mafi's prose is gorgeous. No other way to describe it. She has a unique writing style that hooks you in and makes you crave more. I loved how she built her world up so well, no plot holes or continuity errors. She knows how to craft a damn good story that takes you through the whole spectrum of emotions. Plus I've talked to her, and she is just so nice. She is a good person who wants to tell a good story, gotta love that. Tahereh, if you somehow are reading this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart (I've thanked you a lot, but I need to say it again lol). You wrote a amazing and story that touched me to my core, and for that alone you are brilliant. I will read everything you write without hesitation or fail. You are one of my absolute favorite authors of all time and can't wait to read the sequel!

Shatter Me officially comes out November 15th, when it comes PICK IT UP! I recommend this to anyone and everyone, and will definitely be buying a Nook copy as well. 

I'll next be reviewing Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Surprise Review! Review #81: Tempest by Julie Cross

Hello again my lovelies! Here's the surprise review for ya! It's on an upcoming book, Tempest by Julie Cross! I've decided that any time something like this happens, they'll be called Surprise Reviews! A pretty lame title, but hey why not? Anyway! Here it goes :)

DISCLAIMER!!!!!!! I received a advanced copy of this book through St. Martin's Press and Goodread's First Reads program. Winning this book has and will not influence my review. A hearty thanks all around!

So yup, I won my very first actual ARC! Man it feels so good. :) Just wanted to get that out of the way. Now onto the review!

Tempest is the first in the Tempest Trilogy by Julie Cross. Jackson Meyer is a 19 year old college student with a girlfriend he adores, a great best friend, and a secret: he can time travel! He can't travel that far, and hasn't told really anyone his secret. One day, his world comes crashing down when armed strangers barge in on him and Holly. In the scramble, Holly is fatally shot. This causes Jackson to time-jump two years into the past! Now our intrepid hero must find a way to get back to his present, find out the truth about his past, and fix what happened to Holly.

I absolutely adore this book. I haven't really read a physical book in a long while, but boy was I addicted to this one! It was addictive, fast paced, sweet, full of action, intrigue and romance, this book has it all! I do have one gripe though, and it's pretty big. For a book that includes time travel as a major plot point, it felt pretty weak. At some points, I couldn't tell what time Jackson was in. I was left confused a good portion of the time and wish it were all explained a little better. Other than that, this is one of the best books and one of my first favorites of next year! 

Jackson, oh oh oh Jackson. I love that this was told from his point of view. He was snarky, funny and so witty and sarcastic. But Jackson also has such a sweet, romantic side to him. Oh man, I'm still swooning over him. And you know how I always wish my literary crushes were real, and how some of them were underage? Well if Jackson were real, that wouldn't be an issue because in the book/main timeline he's 19! Finally, I don't have to wish a literary crush were a little older. Same goes for Adam, Jackson's snarky genius best friend. He was definitely competing for my heart along with Jackson for sure. I know, I'm weird, and damn proud of it! Now onto Holly. I loved her as a character. She was the perfect compliment to Jackson, in both times he was in. I loved how in one year, she was cautious and serious, the other more laid back and a bit reckless. If she were real, it seems either way we'd get along swimmingly. Now back to Adam. Like I said, he was definitely competing with Jackson for my heart. He was also snarky and sarcastic, smart as hell, and also deeply caring and sweet. *sigh* such sexy amazing men in this book. I'm starting to wonder whether or not I'll find a real life guy to legitimately crush on. Oh well, the search continues! In the meantime, give me Jackson and Adam (and Cricket Bell!) any day. Moving on to Jackson's dad and the other people involved with him. Man, they were so bad-ass. Jackson's dad tugged at my heartstrings at some points for sure. You never quite know what the intentions are with them, or the villains for that matter. With that said, the villains were quite scary. I was scared every time they showed up.

Damn, Julie Cross is so good at writing! I love how she crafted her novel, setting everything up, and writing one of the sweetest romances I've ever read, making me wish I had a romance like that. Cross, I will follow your upcoming books with great vigor.

Tempest officially comes out on January 3rd 2012. When it does, pick it up! You will have no regrets about it!

I'll next be reviewing Drink, Slay, Love, by Sarah Beth Durst.

Until next time, viva la literature! 

Review #80: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Hello hello hello my fabulous, wonderful friends! It feels like ages since we've spoken (figuratively!)! Have two reviews today, starting with this one!

Vampire Academy is the first in the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. Rose Hathaway and Lissa Dragomir are best friends. They are so close they are practically sisters. Lissa is a Moroi vampire princess, and Rose is her dhampir guardian. They have been on the run for two years, and are finally caught and dragged back to the school they didn't want to return to - St. Vladimir's Academy. Thrown back into the vicious social scene, Rose and Lissa will find romance, friendship, and realize they are even more in danger than before.

This book pleasantly surprised me. I've heard so many good things, seen so many Youtube reviews of it. I was hesitant at first, but I'm glad I decided to read it! Richelle Mead puts a nice, refreshing spin on Vampire lore, adding some nice romance and intrigue in there! It was fast paced, had some great twists, and was generally a fabulous read. I do have a few gripes though. It felt like the vampiness wasn't there most of the time. If you took the word vampire out of the title, took away the mentions of vampirism and the lore, this is essentially a High School story, filled with rumors, hookups, and plain old drama. Also, it felt like the "romance," or at least romantic feelings between Rose and Dimitri were not all that developed. I mean it wasn't insta-love, but I could not see why Rose was into him, other than he was sexy. If there was development, someone tell me in the comments? Grazie! Other than those two complaints, it was smooth sailing. PS, that ending was EPIC!

Rose was so kick ass. She was snarky, funny, witty, and all around a bad-ass. But she was also quite complex, deeply caring about her best friend and those she cared about in general. Yes, she had her issues, but they all made her feel real. If she existed, I think we'd have a lot of fun! Lissa was decent. I loved when she became strong, but sometimes she felt weak. She's definitely a character of extremes. I know that's part of her personality, but it still bothered me. When she was cold, whew she was damn scary. I mean that wholeheartedly. Dimitri felt one note sometimes. I've decided Christian is my favorite, and oh so sexy. 

I liked Mead's writing style. She knows how to write a high school book with added vampirism. Kudos!

Will I be picking up the second book? Probably, but because of the gripes, I think I'll wait a while. 

If you like a good High School drama story, romance or vampires, pick this up!

My next review is a surprise! I hope y'all like it!

Until next time, viva la literature!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Currently Reading #6

It's time for another Currently Reading list! I know I'm late to the game, but this will be a special Vampire-themed Halloween edition! Without further ado, here's the list!

1. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) - Richelle Mead
2. Drink, Slay, Love - Sarah Beth Durst
3. My Blood Approves (My Blood Approves #1) - Amanda Hocking
4. Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires #1) - Rachel Caine
5. Savor (Warm Delicacy #1) - Megan Duncan
6. Descended by Blood (Vampire Born #1) - Angeline Kace
7. Daughters of Dracula (The Stoker Sisters #1) - Kailin Gow
8. Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods #1) - Melissa de la Cruz
9. Mozart's Blood - Louise Marley
10. Vampire Vacation (The V V Inn #1) - C.J Ellison

There ya have it folks! This list will probably go past Halloween, but that doesn't matter. 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #79: Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Hello again my wonderful friends. This will not be a praising review, sadly. Here we go.

Juliet Immortal is by Stacey Jay. Once again, I give you the Goodreads description: 

The most tragic love story in history . . .
Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

This book just didn't do it for me. I got about a quarter in and quit. Which is a shame, because Romeo and Juliet is my favorite Shakespeare play. Taking the play and giving it a twist like this should have piqued my interest. Sadly that was not the case. the concept felt tired while reading this book.

Juliet was extremely whiny. I can understand why, but that is no excuse to act as she did. I did not like her whatsoever. Romeo was just horrible, even more than he was made out to be. Just horrendous.

Was this worth the hype? No, just no

Well that concludes this latest Currently Reading list. The next one will be up in a few minutes.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #78: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Ello ello ello! Guys! This book rocks! Lets wind it back :)

Eyes Like Stars is the first in the Theatre Illuminata series by Lisa Mantchev. Beatrice (Bertie) Shakespeare Smith lives in the Theatre Illuminata, a magical place where the characters from every single play every written are alive in the Theatre. From Nate, a close friend who might be something more, to Ariel, a wind spirit who Bertie can't stop thinking about, to her fairy sidekicks Mustardseed, Moth, Peablossom and Cobweb. When the Theater Manager threatens to kick Bertie out of the Theatre, Bertie goes on a journey that will change the course of her life, and that of the Theatre's forever. 

I liked this book a lot. Nearly loved it. I am a huge theater geek, so this book appealed to that side of me, as well as just being a good solid story. I will admit that the beginning was a bit slow and bland, but once it got going I was hooked. I loved the concept of a magical theater where the characters are real, and they interacted and had their own real personalities. The moods were palpable, the action (when there was, and it was little which is fine) was heart pounding. The romance(s) were beautiful, and that ending just blew me away. All in all a pretty dang wonderful book. 

Bertie was amazing. I loved her wit and humor, her determination, her vulnerability, basically she felt real. All of the characters did, which is amazing since this is a fantastical book. Bertie had her immature moments, but she developed and grew into a fabulous character that I feel like could be my sister in real life. Nate was amazing as well. He was so sweet and protective and funny. Boy, if he were not fictional (in both senses) I'd definitely go for him. The only thing that bothered me about him was his accent. He had that pirate accent which was written down. It honestly just bothered the hell out of me. I could barely understood anything he said at certain points. But other than that, Nate was wonderful. Ariel on the other hand, I had a mixed relationship with. He was that typical d-bag with a devious/malicious agenda that had a softer side to him. That softer side is supposed to appeal to Bertie and the audience, and it did. I love and hate him at the same time, I just don't know which side will win out, hopefully I'll see in the next book. The fairies, Bertie's other friends, were probably my favorites. They were hilarious, making me literally laugh out loud almost every time they were in the book. But they also deeply cared for Bertie, loyal to her til the end. The other characters like the Theater Manager were well developed and intriguing. 

I adore Lisa Mantchev's style. It had a very theatrical way about it (literally). I loved the moments that were written like a play. Mantchev has such a lyrical style to her, her talent is amazing. She built the world of the Theatre beautifully, and there were no continuity errors. I will definitely be reading the next book.

So was this worth the hype? Most definitely!

I'll next be reviewing Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Review #77: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Hey everyone! Hope your weekends were good :). Have another book review for y'all tonight, so lets get started :)

Anna Dressed in Blood is the first in a series by Kendare Blake.
Another book that needs the Goodreads description on here:

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

Honestly? This book was meh. It wasn't the greatest, but definitely not the worst. I commend Kendare Blake for going with a male perspective and an interesting concept. However, at least to me, it felt mediocre. I just didn't get super into it. I give credit to Ms. Blake for going with a male protagonist and an interesting concept. It felt like the only saving grace was the romance. I know that was not the main/central plot line of the book, but it was the only thing that truly struck a chord with me. Although even the romance felt meh at times.

Cas, I don't know how to feel about him. I like that he was the main protagonist. I did feel like he over-analyzed and over thought everything. But I think that's part of his character, so it's sort of forgiven. Anna was not that great. I felt like she only became a real character near/at the the ending. Before it seemed like she was only on the peripheral. That's not a bad thing, but the book is named after her, so she should have been more prominent. Characters like Thomas were cool. I loved his snark and just him in general, despite being fairly one-note. Cas' mother was alright. Most of the side characters didn't feel all that developed.

I was not attached to Ms. Blake's writing style at all. Frankly, it was boring. The imagery was not good, not even the world building. I'm hoping she gets better as she goes along.

With all that being said, I will consider reading the second book, because the ending was pulling at my heartstrings a little bit. I do want to see where it goes, and if Kendare improves her writing style. *Crosses fingers*

I'll next be reviewing Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review #76: Bloodspell by Amalie Howard

Guys!!!! Guys!!! Guyssss!!!!!!!! This book was sooo so good! OH, I'm sorry, forgot to greet y'all xD. Hi! Hope this Friday was good to everyone, and I wish all a good weekend :). Now that that's settled, it's book time!!! 

Don't I'll be able to come up with a creative description, so here's the Goodreads description: 

The spell was simple...

Cruentus Protectum (Defend the Blood)

But what do you do if your blood is your enemy?

Victoria Warrick has always known she was different. An outcast at school, she is no stranger to adversity. But when she receives an old journal for her seventeenth birthday, nothing prepares her for the dark secrets it holds -- much less one that reveals she's a witch with unimaginable power.

What's more, when she meets the dazzling but enigmatic Christian Devereux, she has no idea how much her life is about to change. Enemies will hunt her. Friends will turn on her. The terrible curse that makes her blood run black will stop at nothing to control her. And Christian has a sinister secret of his own...

Without knowing whom to trust, can Victoria survive her blood's deadly desires? Or will she lose everything, including herself?

After that last BBRU, I was hoping and praying and wishing this book would be good. I wanted to exit the bad mood reading a few bad books in a row put me in. And thank Artemis, this book was fantasmagorical!! It was a bit slow to start, but once it got going, whew, it got going. Addictive, beautiful, scary. It sucked me in utterly. Ok, so the romance is reminiscent of Twilight and insta-love. But it wasn't 100% like those, especially since both in the couple are paranormal creatures. Not that that really changes anything, but for some reason I loved and was deeply invested in this romance between Christian and Victoria. Somehow, it felt believable. 

Victoria is possibly one of my favorite literary heroines this year. Ok, she had her "Bella" moments, but they were few and far between. She was strong, smart, and kicked some major butt. I loved following her through the story. Then there's Christian. He's not one of the better love interests, but he was pretty damn good. He was sexy and oh so sexy. I loved reading the parts from his perspective. The collection of side characters were well developed and lovely. Especially Leto. He was one of my favorites. 

Ms. Howard has a fantastic writing style. I don't always like 3rd person, but she made it work splendidly. She created such an engrossing and fantastic world which was interesting, full of intrigue and tension. It was oh so juicy, and boy does Howard know how to write a twist! I was so shocked at the end, during the surprise climax. My eyes just went O.O, that wide. Kudos, Ms. Howard!

I'll next be reviewing Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.

Until next time, viva la literature!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bad Book Round-Up #3

*Sigh* Guys, I was truly hoping that I wouldn't have to make one of these posts during this list. I was hoping and wishing and praying that I would not make a BBRU during this list. But that's the thing about hoping and wishing, they don't always come true. What's even worse is that this came after reading two books that were utterly brilliant. *Sigh* It's with a heavy heart I present to you these books on the chopping block.

1. A Need so Beautiful by Suzanne Young
  This one I was debating back and forth on for a while before I bought it on my Nook. The buzz for this book was mostly on Goodreads, and I saw that it got great reviews mostly. But I was only 30 pages in when I had to close it. It was just so....boring. I hate using that word when it comes to books, it's almost blasphemous. But sadly, this was a boring book. I just could not get into any of it, whatsoever. Not the story, the characters, the supernatural element, nothing. It didn't feel real. I know that Paranormal YA is supposed to be beyond just the real, but not entirely. There should be some kind of grounding, and there wasn't any. I really didn't like the boyfriend. He seemed a bit controlling to me. All in all just not good.

2. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab. 
   Another one with a good buzz and great reviews going for it. Since it was supposed to have a fairy tale element I thought that would make it even better. Alas, not the case. I disliked the main character, who seemed a bit too self involved. As far as I could tell, there was no fairy tale element. And one thing that bothered me was not being able to tell when this book took place. I know that seems a small thing to get hung up on, but little things count and tend to both me sometimes. It's my literary OCD come alive. Did this book take place in modern times? 1800's or earlier? I could not tell. I mean there were hints of a time when women were supposed to learn homemaking skills, so that might be a hint. Either way, I disliked this completely.

3. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
    This one is the most disappointing of these three. This book was crazy hyped up. It was all over Youtube and the blogosphere with nothing but good things spoken/written about it. Because of that, my hopes for Mara Dyer were sky high. Only to find out my hopes came crashing down in the worst way. The story felt wooden, Mara felt whiny and annoying, her love interest uninteresting. Nothing about this book was decent. I plan on returning to this book after a very lengthy hiatus. Maybe I'll forget how much I dislike TUOMD and will come back to it with a fresh mind. I hope. 

Well, that's it for this edition of Bad Book Round-Up. I truly hope I will not have to make another one of this post for a while. But then again I might be speaking too soon. Guess we'll have to see. 

I am currently reading and will hopefully write a full review for Bloodspell by Amalie Howard.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT! There was a book I wanted to add to this Currently Reading list. It's Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay. Hope y'all don't mind. 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review #75: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Hello again lovely friends! I know, another book review the day after posting, IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD!!! Nah I'm kidding, but the fact that this review is being posted the day after starting this book does say how much I love it. And I will tell y'all how much I love this book in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

Lola and the Boy Next Door is the first companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Lola Nolan is a seventeen year old High School girl who wants three things: 1. To go to the Winter Formal as Marie Antoinette, all elaborate, 2. For her two fathers (as a reviewer I like once said about this-literary progress!!) to approve and fully accept her twenty-two year old rocker boyfriend Max, and 3. To NEVER EVER see the Bell twins again. But then of course, the Bell twins and their family move back in town, making Lola's live intensely complicated. Even more so because Lola has to figure out her feelings for Cricket Bell, the twin who is always in his sister's shadow. Will Lola and the Boy Next Door figure it all out? Find out!

Good god y'all, I LOVE this book. I want to shower it with kisses and give Stephanie Perkins a big hug. This book makes me love Contemporary YA even more than I did, and my intense love for Contemporary YA was started by Ms. Perkins herself. This book is just so sublimely fabulous, you want to live in San Francisco with Lola, Cricket and the gang. You want to walk its streets, taking it all in. I loved watching Lola's journey, and noticing how different the book is from it's predecessor, Anna and the French Kiss. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it isn't. But you can't deny that Lola is different, a bit darker at times. But you can see that the undeniable sweetness and loveliness is there. You become so engrossed that you want to somehow jump into the book like Inkheart. 

Lola was utterly fabulous, plain and simple. I loved how outrageous, bold and confident she was. I also loved the second layer to her: The vulnerability, the insecurity, how she feels about her birth mom (won't be spoiling that). She's complex in the best sense of the word. You want her to be your best friend or little sister, feeling close to Lola, rooting for her to be happy. She is also not like Anna in that she's edgier (I guess that's the right word). She lies, she makes mistakes, but she owns up to them and tries to do right. I just think she's wonderful. Then there's Cricket. *Sigh*. That is literally all I can think of when I think of Cricket. His name is weird, but you don't notice that much. Oh sweet niblets. If ever there were a literary crush I wish were real (I know, I've said that a LOT, but I mean it no joke this time), it would be Cricket Bell, no contest. He's just so sweet, so nice, so funny and caring and loving and intelligent, and sexy. Yes, his physical descriptions make him sexy, but who he is as a person makes him even more so. *Sigh*. Now onto his twin, Calliope. I love love loved hating her. She was such a mean girl. But I also loved how Perkins showed the readers why she was so mean. You feel for her and end up liking her a bit. Then there's Anna and St. Clair. I've heard that Sarah Dessen likes to give characters from previous books cameos in the next book, but Perkins takes it a step further. She makes Anna and St. Clair (I can't spell his first name for the life of me and I'm not going to try xD) full on side characters! I loved it! When she re-introduced them I couldn't help but smile, even though I knew they were going to be back from reviews I'd seen. They were just as sweet as ever. I loved seeing how their relationship progressed from AATFK, it seemed so natural. I also loved the little references from AATFK, those made me grin wildly. They have their own important roles and connections in Lola's life, and you fall in love with them all over again. Another thing I loved was that even though they were side characters, they didn't take away the spotlight from Lola and Cricket. Then of course there's Lola's boyfriend Max. At first, I saw nothing wrong with him, he seemed decent enough. But as the story goes on you see his glaringly obvious faults. Yes, Lola has faults too, but Max's made him just...ugh. I hated him by the end. I so wanted to smack him across the face and curse him out. I also loved Lola's dads. It's so nice to see an author show a positive and normal gay relationship, no stereotypes whatsoever. I also like how Perkins used Lola to address that in the novel. Andy and Nathan were so loving and protective of Lola, they just wanted what was best for her. I found them endearing and funny. I kind of want them to be my parents. :)

As for the wonderful author, it's official. Stephanie Perkins has been added to my All Time Favorite Authors list. Welcome Stephanie, I will read anything you write, anything! Her writing style is so wonderful and organic. You read the descriptions of San Francisco, and she makes you want to live there, just like she did with Paris. She has this way of creating these characters that elicit deep emotion from you, sometimes emotion you didn't know you had. And one thing, can Perkins write a love interest. Whew! I love Cricket and St. Clair. Where does she get them from? I'd love to interview her one day just to see how she does it. Like I said, Stephanie really sparked my love for Contemporary YA, and I can't thank her enough.

So was this book worthy of the hype? Hells to the yes!! Lola and the Boy Next Door deserved every single solitary piece of hype and buzz it got. It is so wonderful and sweet and romantic and all around fabulous. I can NOT wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After. 

I'll next be reading A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young. 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Review #74: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Hey everyone! How are ya? How was this fine Monday for all? I don't think I will be calling this a review. I think the term gushfest is more appropriate. Yeah, I like that. So anyway, let the gushfest begin!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first in a series by Laini Taylor. Like another book I've reviewed, my personal description probably won't do this book justice, so I shall use the Goodreads one:
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. 

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Yes, that's more appropriate :)


The above is what my mind was like after finishing this book. I don't think I can find the right words to describe how I feel about this book. I'll try to, and pardon the brief language coming up. Oh holy shiiiiiiit, this book is above brilliant (language use over). It's an effing masterpiece of YA Paranormal literature, YA literature in general. Honestly, I'm still thinking about Daughter of Smoke and Bone, even as I'm writing this very review. This is a book that grabs hold of you, sucks you in and refuses to let go until you come out at the end feeling like you are a part of what has just happened. You also do not, under any circumstances want to leave this world. This is such an original story, with beautiful characters and breathtaking scenery. And that last quarter, especially that ending. Oh my good god, that last quarter/ending. One of the most shocking and brilliant things I've ever read. It's safe to say this is one of my favorites of the year, no contest.

Speaking of characters, I adore Karou. She's feisty, witty, determined and intelligent. She's also unsure, vulnerable, and insecure. I can wholeheartedly say she is one of my favorite protagonists. Despite her supernatural circumstances, Karou feels real, relatable. You become attached and root for her. You follow her journey with rabid curiosity. Now there's Akiva. Oh, so so sexy. You feel for him as well, even when you should hate him (and oh, you should hate him). But you can barely bring yourself to do so because he's just so amazing. Brimstone was one of my favorites, so was Issa. I loved how much Brimstone and Issa cared for Karou and wanted the best for her, even though some of their actions were questionable. You can see why Karou loves them so much. Zuzana was fabulous as Karou's best friend. She was absolutely hilarious and wonderful. I loved her relationship with Karou, it was so organic and real, like real best friends are in the real world. 

What can I say about Laini Taylor? She's a freaking lyrical genius. Her writing style is absolutely gorgeous, pulling you in at the instant you lay your eyes on the first page. Ugh, Taylor's writing is one of the, if not the best I've read all year. The descriptions of Prague, of the other worlds, of everything, it all works so wonderfully. Laini, if you somehow see this, you deserve all the praise and recognition you have gotten for this slice of heaven you have created. My hat goes off to you my friend. 

This book is utterly wonderful. It gives me hope for a watered down genre that Paranormal YA has slowly become. This is a shining beacon of goodness, and I can NOT wait until the second beacon to come out, whenever that may be (soon hopefully!!)

So, was this worth the crazy hype? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Daughter of Smoke and Bone deserves every piece of hype it has gotten, as does its author, who should constantly be showered with praise. If you do not find a way to pick this wonderful piece of literature up, you are sorely missing out.

I shall next be reviewing Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (squeal!!!!)

Until next time, viva la literature!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Currently Reading #5

Well my friends, another list has (sadly, see previous post) come to a close. BUT! This means a new one has arisen from the corners of my mind. 

This is a list I've been wanting to do for a while. Now I have enough books to make it so number 1 (hehe ^^). Anyway here's this list's theme: Hyped Up Books! 

All of these books have been hyped up or gotten a decent to insane amount of buzz online or otherwise. I will be adding a new segment to my review for this list: Are they worthy of the buzz? Hopefully they all will be. :) 

Without further ado, here are the books!: 

1. Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Series #1) - Laini Taylor
2. Lola and the Boy Next Store - Stephanie Perkins
3. A Need So Beautiful (Need So Beautiful #1) - Suzanne Young
4. The Near Witch - Victoria Schwab
5. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) - Michelle Hodkin
6. Bloodspell (Bloodspell #1) - Amalie Howard
7. Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1) 
8. Eyes Like Stars (Theatre Illuminata #1) - Lisa Mantchev

There ya have it, folks! Hopefully these books will live up to all the hype they're generated :)

Until next time, viva la literature!

Bad Book Round-Up #2

Comrades, it's a sad post this one is. I so hoped I wouldn't have to do another one of these for at least a little while. Sadly that isn't the case. Here's another BBRU for y'all.

1. Feed by Mira Grant
   I was hoping to love this. It got such great reviews/buzz online. And it started out pretty decent. Brother and sister kicking zombie butt and running blogs in this brave new world. Unfortunately, Georgia's narration fell flat as the book went on, and the story just became uninteresting. *Sigh* Maybe this will get a retry in the future, but not for a while. 

2. Hollowland by Amanda Hocking
   Yet another book I could not get to open on my Nook. I'm really mad at this one because I have wanted to read it for a long time now. Ugh I will fix this shortly so I can find out how fabulous it is (fingers crossed!)

So there you have it y'all, another Bad Book Round-Up the day after the inaugural post. *Sigh* I really hate doing these, but I feel like they don't deserve separate posts, hence this is the only way. Oh well, it honestly makes me happy because now I can get to a Currently Reading list I've wanted to do for a week. So that's good :)

Until next time, viva la literature!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bad Book Round Up #1

Hello again everyone! Like I said, this was a sort of special post. You see, the books in this new segment I've created are either bad or just something else. They were stringed in a row on the current CR list. So instead of making separate reviews for each book, I decided to round them up and explain why I didn't finish them in a short and sweet paragraph. So here's the first edition of Bad Book Round-Up:

1. A Dozen Deadly Roses by Kathy Bennett
   I could read this one. But not for the usual reasons. I mean I literally couldn't read it. It would not open up on my Nook, despite the numerous times I tried to read it. So eventually I gave up and hopefully I'll be able to fix this and read it soon. I was looking forward to reading it. 

2. Gamers by Thomas K. Carpenter
   I had such high hopes for this one. After seeing it on a facebook cheap ebook page, I fell in love with the synopsis. I mean, a dystopian novel based around video games? That is a genius idea! Unfortunately, it just fell flat. There was little to no explanation of how this world came to be. Also I didn't understand what the main character was saying half of the time. The vocabulary was made up of futuristic terms that I had no idea what they meant. I was so excited to see where this would go, and I was devastated when it fell beyond flat. Such a shame and waste of a brilliant concept.

3. Demon Girl by Penelope Fletcher
   This one got a pretty good buzz on the internet and on Goodreads. Plus it was cheap as a NOOKbook. So I was sad when I found prose so stiff, if it were wood it would snap at a mere touch. Plus the main character felt so dull to me, and only described things around her as such. She had no life. Such a shame xD.

Anyway, that's the first ever Bad Book Round-Up. Hopefully these posts will be limited. I don't like doing this, but it's the only way I can see reviewing these books. 

I'll next be reviewing Feed by Mira Grant. That one's going well so far, so that's a good thing :)

Until next time, viva la literature!

Review #73: Beautiful Demons by Sarra Cannon

Ciao everyone! Have another book review for y'all, so lets get to it! :)

Beautiful Demons is the first in the Peachville High Demons series by Sarra Cannon. Harper has just gotten kicked out of her 6th (I think) foster home in less than 3 years. Her last chance is a girls home in Peachville, Georgia. Harper also keeps a secret, she can make things happen when she's angry, such as move objects, and start fires. She knows she can't mess this last chance up, so she tries her hardest. But Harper quickly sees that there is something strange about Peachville, especially with the cheerleaders. What Harper uncovers will shock her, and also bring her closer to potentially finding out more about her past. 

This was a fabulous read. I devoured it in two days. My eyes were practically glued to my Nook when I wasn't in class today. I loved this version of witches and fascinated at how Peachville worked as a town with all the mysticism. Plus that ending threw me for a loop. I mean holy crow! Did NOT expect that one coming. But it was so great in that I didn't see it coming. Gotta love a good ole fashioned shocking twist. :)

Harper was a great protagonist. I loved her journey through this twisty story. Plus she kicked butt when she needed to. I loved her tenacity and determination to find out the truth. Jackson was probably my favorite of the characters. The little I saw of him made me swoon like hell. I really hope he's in the second book more. Most of the side characters weren't really developed, but they served their purposes well. I do hope they are more developed in the second book, because I think they'd all be interesting to read. I don't want to mention one of the characters because they have a part in the twist ending. I will say this, you will be shocked. 

I liked Cannon's writing style. It was simplistic, easy to follow and sucked me in easily. She had me begging for more. I loved this so much I almost decided to forget the current CR list in order to read the second book (which I already had). 

If you love witches and Paranormal in general, you'd like this.

I have a sort of special (emphasis on sort of) coming in a few minutes. Stay tuned. 

Until next time, viva la literature!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review #72: Impulse Control and Hush Money by Susan Bischoff

Hello hello hello my fabulous and amazing friends! I hope the weekend treated everyone well, and that the week is going swimmingly :). Have this review today/tonight, and it comes in two parts :)

Impulse Control is the prequel of the Talent Chronicles by Susan Bischoff. Ethan, his best friend Karen, and his crush Elle all are Talents, people born with supernatural abilities such as mind reading, super strength, etc. These special people also call themselves Talents. If you are caught having a Talent, you are taken to a place called the NIAC, a basic prison/training ground for Talent kids. This trio discover a sinister plot that the people running the NIAC they reside at want to conduct on the kids. Together, the kids try to stop them. 

I liked this prequel, although it was too short. I am glad Bischoff ended it well. The only issue I have, other than the length, is how quickly and neatly everything happened. I don't know, it all felt too....tidy, and too compressed. But then again it's a short story prequel, what do you expect? 

Ethan was decent, although a bit dull at times. He was the usual conflicted hero, semi-brooding and very reluctant. I was more interested in his snarky best friend Karen. Yes she was snarky, but you could tell she cared for Ethan. It was also refreshing how she and Ethan didn't fall in love, which happens a lot in YA literature, one best friend falling for the other. It was nice to see that not happen here. I loved all the characters abilities, despite some of them having scary sides. 

Bischoff developed this nicely, although I'll get more into her style with Hush Money, which I shall do in a second.

Hush Money is the first book in the Talent Chronicles Series. It follows Joss, a young Talent going through her life as anonymously as possible. She thinks by avoiding people and social interactions in general, she won't be noticed and her Talent won't be exposed. Then one day a girl named Kat decides to become her friend, standing up to a bully named Marco for her, revealing Kat's Talent in the process, and starting a chain of events that will change their lives forever. 

I adore this book, utterly and always. It's just so fantastic, it's fabulosity permeates through the books and practically flies off the pages, electronic or otherwise. I can't believe it was only .99 cents as a ebook! That's crazy! But either way I am so so so glad I've read this. It's very reminiscent of X-Men, with the supernatural abilities and how people with abilities are treated. You are sucked in immediately on page one, never wanting to leave the story (which happened to me). The suspense and action (when there was action) was superb. I think it's safe to say this is one of my favorites of this year. The story flows like a waterfall, you are gripped, laughing, shocked, scared, the whole emotional range. 

I loved Joss as one of the protagonists. She has this inner conflict that is so fascinating. You see her struggle with it, then embracing (sort of) who she is at the end. At first, I didn't know what her Talent was, but when I did find out, I was amazed, it's so cool, although sort of standard. She was snarky and funny, also very real. I also adore the deuteragonist, and Joss' love interest Dylan. I think his story and development were even more fascinating. He has much more to go through than Joss, since his situation is a bit more dire. Plus he is sexy as hell ;) Wish I had a Dylan. Kat was fabulous. I loved her chipper attitude, although it did get a bit grating every now and then. I also thought she was a bit too adamant, but then again that's Kat. Marco, oh holy cheese and crackers. Honestly, he scared the sh()t out of me. I can't even describe it, but I literally could not speak or think while reading his scenes. He just frightened me to the core, and I also hate his guts deeply. Can't ask more from a villain.

I will just say it straight: Susan Bischoff is a boss. She is, plain and simple. I don't think I've ever seen an author so passionate about their books and what they've written. I mean it, you can feel the passion permeating from this book. I think she even wrote a forward in either Impulse Control or Hush Money saying how much she loved superheros and romances, and the two combined, so she made it happen in a book. I love love love this world she has created, making it feel fantastic and all too real at once. She brings you in and makes you feel just as passionate as she is. I love to write, and hope to be a writer someday. Despite my love of writing, I wish I had an ounce of passion Susan Bischoff has. She is incredibly talented and I hope she gets the recognition she deserves. Kudos to you, Ms. Bischoff, for writing a beautifully fantastic series.

If you love X-Men, also romance, you'll love this book.

I'll next be reviewing Beautiful Demons by Sarra Canon. 

Until next time, viva la literature! 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Review #71: Demon High by Lori Devoti

Hello hello everyone! It feels like it's been ages since I've last posted. I have missed all of you terribly, and can't wait to review this for you guys :)

Demon High is by Lori Devoti. Lucinda Dent is a sophomore in High School in the small town of Caldera. She lives with her grandmother in her old, run-down house. Lucinda is haunted by her mother's memory, who was addicted to demon calling, and one day disappeared. As the banks start closing in, Lucinda resorts to demon calling as a means to raise funds. But when a calling with goes wrong, our heroine accidentally releases demons. Over the next few days Lucinda realizes that some of the demons are now enrolled, and attending her High School! She might even possibly be falling for one of them. But then kids start going missing, and Lucinda must do all that she can to stop this monster from destroying everything.

Honestly, this book was just meh. It wasn't great, and wasn't bad, although I feel like I'm leaning towards disliking it. I didn't connect to the story, didn't feel anything at all really. There were a few times I just wanted to skip whole chapters and get on to where there might be action, but I didn't. Honestly, I just got bored, which rarely happens. This just feels like a run of the mill Paranormal Romance, nothing special. 

Lucinda was ok, at best. I could see how conflicted she felt about her demon calling, due to her past. But that was the only thing I got from her. She was so dull, she was as invisible as she kept telling me she was. Oscar, the love interest was even worse. Especially since his meta view on himself made me care even less. Also, I literally could not see any romance going on. There was, to me at least, no clear indication of these two falling in love, nothing at all. Well, only the times Lucy mentioned weird feelings she had while talking to him. But other than that, there was NO romance whatsoever. The only character I felt any kind of connection to was Brittany. She was conniving, witty and snarky, her banter with Lucinda was the only time I truly liked Lucy. Brittany saved this novel for me, the only truly enjoyable character. I loved her attitude and her reactions, and how she genuinely cared for Lucinda, as well as finding and saving the missing kids. 

Frankly, Devoti is a meh writer. I didn't like her style at all. It felt like she repeated herself over and over. Plus the writing felt stiff, lifeless. At times it seemed like Lucinda was stating things, not feeling them, and all the reactions were cardboard. 

If you adore Paranormal books, you might like this. I won't be reading it again. 

I'll next be reviewing Impulse Control and Hush Money by Susan Bischoff. 

Until next time, viva la literature!