Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater.

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

My Thoughts:
So this is going to be a very hard review to write because 1. The book was amazing and I have no words, and 2. I don’t want to give anything “spoilery” away. I think my feelings can be summed up by this tweet I wrote as soon as I finished it: 

Ok, now that that is out of the way, let’s get this review going. Forever begins seven weeks after the events of Linger. Grace is living life as a wolf, Cole has been looking for a cure, Isabel’s been dealing with her feelings, and Sam has been the perfect little emo boy that we all know and love! From the beginning of the prologue, you know that things are not going to be good. Tom Culpepper wants to exterminate all of the wolves around Mercy Falls, and it is up to Sam, Grace, Isabel and Cole to figure out how they are going to save all of the wolves.

Throughout the entire novel my heart was beating out of my chest. Forever is exactly what I would have expected from Maggie Stiefvater. The writing was fantastic, we got to see entirely new layers to the characters that we already loved, and the plot was intriguing and captivating. I don’t think I could have asked for a better ending to one of my favorite series.

As I said earlier, I don’t want to give anything away, which is why this review is so short. Maybe closer to the release date I will post a more detailed review. Either way, fans of The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy will love Forever. These characters will always hold a place with me, and I can read this series over and over again.

Forever will be released on July12, 2011.

For those of you interested, here is the trailer for Forever, featuring the beautiful “Summer Girl” song written and performed by Jonas and Plunkett. I recommend buying this song on iTunes because it’s a great song!: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/summer-girl-single/id435144696

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Strange Case of Finley Jayne by Kady Cross

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined…

An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.

My Thoughts:
The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is a wonderful prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset. Finley Jayne finds herself, once again, not being able to control the power inside of her and loses her job. This time she is lucky and right away finds a new job-being the companion of Phoebe, Lady Morton’s daughter. Phoebe is set to marry Lord Vincent, a man who is much older then she and Lady Morton wants Finley to watch over Phoebe and find out what is going on with Lord Vincent.

The prequel is only nine chapters but you are able to get a great glimpse into the steampunk world that Kady Cross created. It has some great twists and turns and enough action to keep you satisfied.

Overall, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne is the perfect way to get excited for The Girl in the Steel Corset! I read the prequel after I had already read the book, but readers can enjoy the prequel either way.

You can still download the prequel for free at Barnes & Noble here and Amazon here!

You can also read my review on The Girl in the Steel Corset here!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Summary Provided by Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

My Thoughts:
I finished this book a few days ago but it took me a little while to write this review because of the feelings and emotions that Forbidden left me with. This book is pure, raw emotion and I still can’t stop thinking about it.

Lochan and Maya have been taking care of their younger brothers and sister ever since their father walked out of the family and their mother started drinking three years ago. Lochan, being the oldest has taken full responsibility for his siblings, while also maintaining a perfect GPA. Maya also helps and the two of them are much more then brother and sister, they are best friends. They are each other’s other half and they also realize they are in love with each other. Knowing that if this secret ever got out, their brothers and sister would be taken away from them, Lochan and Maya decide that it is best to hide their feelings. They do this until they are not able to anymore.

This is the point where you go, “how can you read a book about a brother and sister falling in love and having sex!?! That’s disgusting”. Well, Forbidden makes you think and feel many different things, but disgust for what Maya and Lochan are doing is never one of them. They two of them need each other, they are both so broken, especially Lochan, that they need each other to be happy and to be whole. I so wanted them to be happy.

Forbidden is beautifully written and is told in the view points of both Lochan and Maya.  I love when authors do this because I like to know many different sides of a situation. 

The end of Forbidden will leave you speechless and if you’re like me, will stay with you for days. This book is brilliant and needs to be read. Do not be discouraged by the subject matter. You will want to read this book, and then you are going to want to read it again.

Forbidden is set to be released June 28, 2011

Saturday, May 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (12)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review. 


Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Love Story by Jennifer Echols (Read my review here)
Anathema by Megg Jensen


Insatiable by Meg Cabot 
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
The Girl in the Steel Corset (already read & reviewed from netgalley, but needed to own!) 
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
A Little Harmless Surprise ( A Harmless Short) by Melissa Schroeder

Borrowed from my Public Library

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Bumped by Megan McCafferty

I hope everyone had a great book week!!

Love Story by Jennifer Echols

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.

My Thoughts:
Let me start by saying that I love Jennifer Echols! Going Too Far and Forget You are two of my favorite contemporary young adult novels so I was very excited when I saw Love Story on galleygrab! I think this one was her best yet and I was not able to put the book down!

Erin and her stable boy, Hunter (Love that name!) have known each other for years and have secretly liked each other the entire time. Before graduation, Erin finds out that because she will not major in business like her grandmother wants her to do, the grandmother gave the multi-million dollar horse ranch along with her inheritance to Hunter. Now, both of them are in college and it kind of seems that they hate each other. In their creative writing class, the two of them write stories back and forth about the things in there past and eventually they need to confront each other about everything that has happened.

I loved Hunter from the beginning. Smart, gorgeous, and talented he knows what he wants and will do what he has to do for it. But he is also vulnerable and holds things in until he is not able to take it anymore. I thought Erin was a strong character because she refused to do what her grandmother wanted, even if that meant losing everything. There is a lot more to Hunter and Erin that meets the eye and I enjoyed watching the two characters evolve and forgive each other.

I thought the title was absolutely perfect and I really like the cover! I hate when covers show the character and they look nothing like the description, but the girl on the cover had a nose ring and freckles, just like Erin.

Overall, Love Story is a great book to read! Definitely Echols best story yet!

Love Story is set to be released on July 19, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Kane Richards Must Die by Shanice Williams

Summary Provided by Goodreads:

After an unexpected transfer to the States for her senior year, Suranne's new friends give her just one instruction: stay away from Kane Richards. According to everyone, he's a heartless playboy concerned only for himself. With one glance, it's easy to see why he gets away with it. But things aren't always what they seem- especially when he sets his sights on her and whispers that she's different.

Despite all the red flags, Suranne considers whether or not his intentions are genuine or if she's simply another name on his list. In the process, she may just uncover the real Kane Richards. But, when it comes down to it, the real Kane Richards may not want to be found.

Filled with raw emotion, Kane Richards Must Die explores relationships, trust, love, and what can happen when life takes an unexpected turn.

My Thoughts:
Kane Richards Must Die is a quick read about Suranne, a British girl who moved to the United States, and Kane Richards, who is basically a womanizing jerk. Suranne knows she must stay away from him because he will only use her and hurt her. The problem is, she can’t stay away. She is so intrigued by him and wants to learn more about who he really is. It also doesn’t help that Kane is the hottest guy in school!

My favorite kind of character is the one that has many levels. At first, all we know about Kane is he sleeps with a different girl every night, and then ignores her the next day. As the story goes on, we learn that his father died three years (told to us in a completely heartbreaking scene), and it is up to Kane to take care of his alcoholic mother and 12 year old sister. Barely holding it together, Kane releases his pain through sex. That all changes when he meets Suranne. She makes him want to be a better person and I loved that about their relationship. It was nice to be able to watch Kane heal.

Kane Richards Must Die is told in the viewpoints of both Suranne and Kane. I really love when books do that. I like to be able to know what everyone is thinking and I think it really brings a lot to the story.
The only complaint I have about this book is the title. I just didn’t feel that it fit. Yes, Kane is a jerk, but not once in the story was it stated that he deserves to die, or even pay for using so many girls.  

I would recommend this book to older teens and higher. There are a lot of curses and there are many sex scenes and discussions about sex that would not be appropriate for pre-teens.

Overall, a great read! I am glad that I read it, and I think more people should!  

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blood Red Road by Moira Young

Summary Provided by Goodreads:

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

My Thoughts:
I had an advanced copy of Blood Red Road since March and I have no idea why it took me so long to read it! I thought that at almost 500 pages it would take me forever, but it went by very quick. The plot was fast-paced and engaging and as soon as it ended, I wanted more! Blood Red Road is a very original novel and can hold its own with other dystopian novels.

Blood Red Road is set in a post-apocalyptic future where Saba lives with her Pa, twin brother Lugh and little sister. She loves her brother and would do anything for him. When Lugh is kidnapped, Saba would do anything to get him back. She leaves the only place she knows and goes looking for him. In the process she finds a lot more then she ever thought she would.

Saba is a very strong character. She can hold her own to even the strongest of men, but she transformed into someone even better! On her quest to find her brother, she grew up. She learned to trust and let people in and even found love.

Every single character stood out. Each one was well-written and really brought something to the story. I especially loved Jack, and how he taught Saba a lot about herself.

My favorite part of Blood Red Road was Young’s writing style. Saba lives in a world where people do not know how to speak in grammatically correct sentences. It took some time to get used to, but once I did, it made the story that much better!

Moira Young is a very talented writer, one of the best out there in my opinion. She created this world and these characters and everything was absolutely perfect! I would highly recommend Blood Red Road. This is a book that you need to read for yourself!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wake by Lisa McMann

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can’t control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant.

My Thoughts:
I had read Cryer’s Cross by Lisa McMann as soon as it came out and really enjoyed it. I have wanted to start her Dream Catcher series since then, but just never gotten around to it until now. I borrowed Wake from the library, read it in a day, then went and bought all three of them in paperback.

Wake is the story of Janie. If she is a certain number of feet near someone who is sleeping, she will go into their dreams and nightmares. She can not control this and she can’t stop it. One day she appears in the nightmare of Cabe, who has repeating dreams of being burned alive then murdering his attacker. Janie is terrified but also wants to know more about Cabe and be able to help him. The two of them begin a friendship and Cabe learns what’s going on with Janie, which is something she has never told anyone.
I loved both Cade and Janie. They were great characters who have been through a lot and they are both able to help the other heal. I was glad that Cade finally had someone to open up to about his past and Janie was finally able to tell someone about her strange ability.

McMann had my attention from page one. The plot was quick and exciting and I loved how she brought to lonely, pained teenagers together. Wake was overall a great read and I can not wait to read Fade and Gone!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears.

My Thoughts:
Holy crap, how have I never read anything from Lisa Schroeder before! I need to own everything she has written like NOW! The Day Before is beautifully written, with a wonderful message and great characters! I read it under two hours and was late for my grad class because I had to finish it!

The book begins with Amber, leaving her home and spending the day by herself at the beach. The reader has no idea why she is doing this. While there, she meets a boy named Cade, also alone and the two of them find comfort in each other. The next day, both of their lives will change forever, so today is going to be about doing things they have never done and enjoying the moment while it lasts. We slowly learn what Cade and Amber are dealing with, both things being impossible to even imagine. I really loved Cade and Amber’s characters. They were extremely well written and Schroeder had me hooked as soon as I met them.

This novel was written in verse, and I thought the only author that could pull this off, and pull it off well was Ellen Hopkins.  Boy was I wrong! Schroeder’s writing is beautiful and she is able to convey so many feelings and emotions in so little words.

This book needs to be read as soon as humanly possible. Everything about The Day Before was wonderful. I can not gush about the awesomeness of this book anymore, it just needs to be added to your To-Be-Read Pile!

The Day Before comes out June 28th, 2011.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
With her knack for being in trouble's way, Sookie witnesses the firebombing of Merlotte's, the bar where she works. Since Sam Merlotte is now known to be two-natured, suspicion falls immediately on the anti-shifters in the area. But Sookie suspects otherwise and she and Sam work together to uncover the culprit - and the twisted motive for the attack. But her attention is divided. Though she can't 'read' vampires, Sookie knows her lover Eric Northman and his 'child' Pam well - and she realizes that they are plotting to kill the vampire who is now their master. Gradually, she is drawn into the plot -which is much more complicated than she knows. Caught up in the politics of the vampire world, Sookie will learn that she is as much of a pawn as any ordinary human - and that there is a new Queen on the board . . .

My Thoughts:
Dead Reckoning is the 11th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series and Charlaine Harris has yet to lose her touch. This book has less action then the other books, but it sets up a storyline that will leave readers very nervous for Sookie and Eric. We learn a lot more about the world of the Fey but there is still a lot more we don’t know because its obvious Sookie’s Cousin Claude and Great Uncle Dermot are still hiding a lot. We also learn more about Sookie’s past and why she can read minds. I thought that was very interesting and I’m glad that big secret was finally revealed.

Eric and Pam are going through a lot in this book, I just wanted to be able to hug both of them and tell them it would be ok, of course if I did that, they would drain all of my blood, so it might not be the best idea. Bill also played a much bigger role in Dead Reckoning then he has in a while, and it was nice to see him and Sookie working together and getting into some, um, compromising positions together. Alcide’s back as well and naked (!) and Sookie has the best one-liners! I really love every single character in this series, even the bad ones!

Overall, a great addition to the Sookie Stackhouse series, I can’t wait to see what Harris has in store for us next and the way this one ended, I can only imagine what’s going to happen!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review.


Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
The Dream Crystal  by Mark O'Bannon


Wake by Lisa McMann (Review coming soon!)
Fade by Lisa McMann
Gone by Lisa McMann
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
The Tiger's Quest by Colleen Houck (This book is not supposed to be released until June 7th, but my local Barnes & Noble were already selling it!)

The Nature of Jade by Deb Caletti
Stay by Deb Caletti
So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
What Happened To Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

I hope everyone had an excellent book week!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

My Thoughts:
What I enjoyed most about Angelfire was that the author, Courtney Allison Moulton, put her own spin on Angel Mythology.  I thought this book was very original and with so many other books out there based on Angels, Angelfire stands out and can hold its own.

Ellie is a normal teenager until she starts to have nightmares about horrific black monsters that she has to fight and destroy. With the help of her Guardian, Will, Ellie begins to remember past lives consisting of fighting reapers before they can murder humans and bring their souls into hell. When she is killed in a past life, she is reincarnated into a different body, but her soul remains intact. With Will’s help she learns how to fight and how to use her powers, getting stronger with each fight. Ellie is the chosen one, and in the fight between good and evil, it is up to her to put an end to it.

I thought Ellie was a very strong character. She was funny, capable, brave, but also a 17 year old girl at heart. She wanted to hang out with her friends and go to parties. She understood what her destiny was, but she wasn’t going to forget that she still was just a teenager. Every time she is reincarnated she becomes a little bit more human, and this has been the most human she has ever been. Ellie wanted to know all about her past lives and so did I. We get little glimpses, but I hope in future books we see more of it. I am wondering how Ellie’s family is going to come into the story. There is definitely something up with her father, and I wonder if my thoughts are correct about what is actually going on with him.

Will has been her Guardian for centuries. He took an oath to always protect Ellie and guide her. When she dies, he waits for her reincarnated self to become seventeen, where he will teach her about her power, over and over again. I loved how protective Will was of Ellie. You can tell that they have such a long history and he cares for her deeply. I really liked Will and I hope we get to learn more about him.

Will and Ellie have a wonderful chemistry and it is clear that they have strong feelings for each other. I just thought they were adorable together and you can tell that they complete each other. I am interested to see how their particular story will play out.  

Angelfire ended with many different cliffhangers and I can not wait for the second book! Overall, I thought this book was awesome. It really had a little bit of everything. It kept my interest the entire time that I was reading it!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
 Agnes Wilkins is standing in front of an Egyptian mummy, about to make the first cut into the wrappings, about to unlock ancient (and not-so-ancient) history.

Maybe you think this girl is wearing a pith helmet with antique dust swirling around her.

Maybe you think she is a young Egyptologist who has arrived in Cairo on camelback.

Maybe she would like to think that too. Agnes Wilkins dreams of adventures that reach beyond the garden walls, but reality for a seventeen-year-old debutante in 1815 London does not allow for camels—or dust, even. No, Agnes can only see a mummy when she is wearing a new silk gown and standing on the verdant lawns of Lord Showalter’s estate, with chaperones fussing about and strolling sitar players straining to create an exotic “atmosphere” for the first party of the season. An unwrapping.

This is the start of it all, Agnes’s debut season, the pretty girl parade that offers only ever-shrinking options: home, husband, and high society. It’s also the start of something else, because the mummy Agnes unwraps isn’t just a mummy. It’s a host for a secret that could unravel a new destiny—unleashing mystery, an international intrigue, and possibly a curse in the bargain.

Get wrapped up in the adventure . . . but keep your wits about you, dear Agnes.

My Thoughts:
Agnes Wilkins is a debutante in 1815 London but she doesn’t real care about hair, and dresses, and getting married. She wants adventure and she wants to see the world. She loves to read, and she loves to learn. Agnes is the complete opposite of what you would think is an 1815 lady, and for this she was an awesome protagonist! I loved that she stuck up for herself and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind to the men in her life.

Agnes and her family are invited to an “unwrapping” (An unwrapping is where the upper class basically buys a mummy and unwraps it, many times finding jewels and other Egyptian artifacts-Who knew they did this??) at Lord Showalter’s estate. When Agnes is asked to be one of the first unwrappers, she finds an artifact and decides to steal it. Turns out that artifact will lead her on the biggest adventure of her life.

Wrapped was a good novel, but I think it is intended more for middle school graders, and for them this novel is perfect. There’s adventure, history, and a little romance. The ending was absolutely perfect! Best ending I could have hoped for!

P.S. I love the cover! The design team did an amazing job with it!

Wrapped will be released on May 24, 2011.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Chaos Unleashed by Barry Hoffman

Summary Provided by Goodreads:

Nothing is as it seems in a world where the living mingle with the dead and dreams can turn into frightening reality. Chaos is beginning to spread across the land and Dara is all that stands between the salvation of her beautiful homeland and its total destruction.

Together, with friends from past journeys and new allies who may not be what they seem, Dara must build an army to confront Chaos. But as she and her army prepare for the final battle, Dara realizes that the only person she
can really count on is herself . . .

My Thoughts:
Chaos Unleashed is an action pact book, with a fast-paced plot, and awesome characters. The heroin, and main protagonist, Dara, was my favorite. At only 17 years old, she is someone that young girls can look up too. She is smart, strong, loyal and brave. She demands respect, speaks her mind, and will not allow someone to keep her down.

In the third installment in The Shamra Chronicles, Dara travels to Stone Mountain, where her people, the Shamra, originated from. She meets a new group of Shamra that she never knew existed, ones that she herself directly descends from. She feels at home, for the first time in her life. But for Dara, life can not stay peaceful, and she must go and fight Chaos, a monster who hasn’t caused trouble in the past two hundred years.

Dara, along with the people she grew up, the family she originates from, and old and new friends, decides that they will fight Chaos and his army, and learn everything they can to be able to win. At the same time, there are many changes occurring in Dara’s life that make her question her past and her future.

The best part of this book for me was how fast-paced the plot was. Something is always happening and there was never a dull moment. Sometimes I notice in books a scene will just go on and on, just because the authors feel like they should. But Hoffman has a way with words that doesn’t feel forced or rushed. Because of this, the plot kept my attention the entire time.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for an adventure. I think it would be especially perfect for middle school kids, and what is great is even though the main character is a young women, I think boys and girls alike would enjoy her story.

I read Chaos Unleashed without reading the first two books in the series, Curse of the Shamra and Shamra Divided, but I never found myself confused because everything was explained. I cared about Dara and her story, and will definitely be reading the first two books!

Monday, May 9, 2011

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

Summary Provided by Goodreads:

Tonight was so much worse than anything before it. Tonight he didn't stop after the first slap.

At the beginning of senior year, Ann was a smiling, straight-A student and track star with friends and a future. Then she met a haunted young man named Connor. Only she can heal his emotional scars; only he could make her feel so loved — and needed. Ann can't recall the pivotal moment it all changed, when she surrendered everything to be with him, but by graduation, her life has become a dangerous high wire act. Just one mistake could trigger Connor's rage, a senseless storm of cruel words and violence damaging everything — and everyone — in its path.

This evocative slideshow of flashbacks reveals a heartbreaking story of love gone terribly wrong.

My Thoughts:
But I Love Him is a beautifully written story about a young woman named Ann, and her abusive relationship with Conner. Many girls do not think they could ever be sucked into something like this. They say they would leave before it ever got that bad. Amanda Grace shows us that it isn’t always that easy to leave. But I Love Him is told in reverse chronological order and I loved that the author decided to tell us this story in that way. I really got to see where Ann’s “voice” changed. As we read about earlier in the relationship, we see Ann as a happy, energetic, friendly, young girl. When the book starts (a year being in an abusive relationship), Ann is submissive, lonely, and emotionally drained. She doesn’t know how her life turned out the way it did.

Reading this book was very hard. I felt Ann’s pain and I wanted to help her. I felt powerless. Just like her friends and family felt. Knowing people who have gone through this makes it that much harder to read. But it is an important story that needs to be told.

Ann was in love with Conner and never saw the warning signs until it were too late. She wanted to help Conner heal from the emotional and physical abuse he suffered at the hands of his dad. She thought if she could just help him move on from his pain, then he wouldn’t be so angry, and things would be ok. They would finally be able to be happy.

This book shows us that the abuser is, in many cases, is also a victim. Conner needs a lot of professional help to deal with the scars he carries. This is not an excuse though. Many people suffer a lot worse, and never grow up to hurt another person. Either way, I still felt for Conner. I understood why Ann wanted to help him. He didn’t deserve the life he was dealt.

But I Love Him is a heart breaking novel that shows the codependency of an abusive relationship. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in those kinds of dynamics. This is not a light read, but it is a story worth reading.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

In My Mailbox (IMM) is a weekly meme created by The Story Siren to share with everyone the books they bought, borrowed, or received for review. 

For Review

From Simon & Schuster GalleyGrab

 Wrapped by Jennifer Bradbury
He's So Not Worth It by Kieran Scott
The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

 The Curse of the Shamra by Barry Hoffman (Book 1 of The Shamra Chronicles) 
Shamra Divided by Barry Hoffman (Book 2 of The Shamra Chronicles) 
Chaos Unleashed by Barry Hoffman (Book 3 of The Shamra Chronicles)


Abandon by Meg Cabot
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
The Vampire Diaries-Stefan's Diaries 3: The Craving
Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris

Hope everyone else had an awesome book week!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
Cass McKenna much prefers ghosts over “breathers.” Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody…and Cass loves dirt. She’s on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.

But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass’s whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.

As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim’s life, she’s surprised to realize he’s not so bad—and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it’s time to give the living another chance….

My Thoughts:
Give Up the Ghost is a quick read if you are looking for something simple. I didn’t think Give Up the Ghost had a lot of depth to it, but I still enjoyed it. Cass has been able to see and talk to ghosts ever since her sister died four years ago. After her best friend turned on her in Middle School her only friends have been ghosts. That is who she feels most comfortable with. When popular boy, Tim figures out she has some sort of supernatural ability he begs her to contact his mom, who died three months ago. Cass agrees, and all of a sudden in back in the world of the living. She finds herself caring for Tim, and wanting to help him in more ways then just finding his mom.

Cass bothered me a little bit. I understand why she did the things she did, and I found a lot of them to be hilarious, but at the same time I thought she was way to mean to Tim and I didn’t think it was called for. I did enjoy her friendly ghost friend, Norris. He was funny and I wish I had a ghost friend like him.

The ending gave me hope for the characters, which is always a good thing!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road -- diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

My Thoughts:
Let me start by saying that I have been reading some pretty awesome books lately! Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is another read that I can say is one of my favorites! Even though this book has a serious undertone due to Amy dealing with her dad’s death, it’s still hilarious and fun and an all-around great time!  There were many times I was laughing out loud right along with the characters.

Amy and Roger were fantastic characters! They were believable and interesting. Both thought that this road trip was just going to get them from Point A (California) to Point B (East Coast-Amy is on her way to CT, Roger is going to PA). But instead, this trip helped them in so many more ways then they thought. Their epic detour takes them to different parts of America, with each place helping to heal them. Secondary characters, such as Lucien, who is the most adorable southern gentleman, were equally awesome and added a lot to the story.

The book also features scraps from the road. Receipts, postcards, music playlists (Roger has great taste in music and Amy loves Broadway musicals), Roger’s doodles, and a “Where I’ve Been” journal really added to the story. I felt like I was traveling the country right along with them. 

Amy & Rogers Epic Detour can be devoured in one sitting and a highly recommend it! I think it has a little something for everyone. The ending had me grinning like an idiot and I would have seriously looked like a fool if I was out in public when I finished it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.

Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.

Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.

Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.

While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?

My Thoughts:
Ok, so the synopsis does absolutely nothing to show how amazing Die For Me is. As soon as I read the last line of the novel, I wanted to read the entire book again! Die For Me is an original work and I can not wait for the second installment in the Revenants series!

When Kate loses her parents, she and her sister decide to move in with their grandparents, who happen to live in Paris (love books that are set in France!). Kate feels lonely and lost and spends all of her time alone, until she meets Vincent. Vincent, who appears to be 19 is handsome, smart, and kind. He sounds like the perfect guy except for the fact that he died in the 1940’s. Vincent is a revenant. This means that after he died he came back to life to save others from dying, and he will do this for the rest of eternity.  

The plot was awesome! I was captivated from page one and Die For Me just kept getting better and better. I loved the romance between Kate and Vincent. They actually went on dates! Who goes on dates anymore? I loved it. The two of them were adorable together, and I was rooting for them the whole time. Vincent has the perfect gentleman charm that leaves Kate, and the reader breathless. Even though he isn’t exactly a human, I felt that there romance was so real and believable!

Vincent has an interesting group of friends, who are also revenants. I loved each and every one of them, especially Charlotte and Jules. They all had interesting histories. Back stories are my favorite parts of stories, and Amy Plum did not disappoint with any of them!

I thought Plum did a fantastic job with explaining the mythology of the revenants. I would think that it would be hard to explain, but she was able to do it flawlessly.

Overall, Die For Me is an amazing read and I am anxiously awaiting the second book in the series!

Die For Me will be released on May 10, 2011.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corest by Kady Cross

Summary Provided by Goodreads:
In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the "thing" inside her.

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she's special, says she's one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin's investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help—and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff's little company of strays apart, and it isn't long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she's on—even if it seems no one believes her.

My Thoughts:
When I started The Girl in the Steel Corset I really had no idea where the story was going to take me. I loved the title and thought it sounded really interesting, so I was willing to give it a shot. I finished this book within two days, and I absolutely loved it!

The story is set in an alternate steampunk 1897 England and is about a girl named, Finley Jayne, a servant girl with a nasty thing living inside of her. Whenever danger approaches, Finley is filled with so much anger that it is very easy for her to kill. This has kept her from getting close to anyone, until she meets Griffin King and his group of friends, Sam, Emily, and Jasper. For the first time in Finley’s life she feels like she belongs somewhere. She isn’t afraid to be herself. At the same time, she learns things about her past that will also change her. Finley was a great protagonist! I love the way she bonded with her new group of misfits. Not everyone was accepting at first, but I think it all turned out for the best.

I think my favorite part of the story were the characters. Every character is an integral part to the story. I especially loved Griffin! How can you not, he’s a gorgeous Duke who is down to earth and sweet! He protects his friends no matter what the cost is. I love a hero like that! I was swooning for him, and I think you will too. The women in this novel are just as, if not more kick-ass as the men, and I loved how the men accepted them like one of their own!

I loved how Kady Cross was able to incorporate the past with steampunk. While reading the book, you never forgot that the time period was actually the late 1800’s, but at the same time there are people walking around who are half robots, and there are automations either serving people or hurting them, depending on how they are programmed. It was all very historically sci-fi (does that even make sense? Well Kady Cross, totally makes that possible!).  

The Girl in the Steel Corset has a fast-pace plot which kept me interested until the end. It was very hard to put this book down because I needed to know what happened!

Kady Cross has also written a prequel novella, The Strange Case of Finley Jayne that can be downloaded for free on your nook (here) and your kindle (here)!

The Girl in the Steel Corset comes out on May 24th, 2011 by Harlequin Teen. This is a series that is not to be missed.
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