Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Stay With Me by. Paul Griffin

Title: Stay With Me
Author: Paul Griffin
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
September 8, 2011
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating:

Synopsis from Goodreads: Fifteen-year-olds Cece and Mack didn't expect to fall in love. She's a sensitive A student; he's a high school dropout. But soon they're spending every moment together, bonding over a rescued dog, telling their secrets, making plans for the future. Everything is perfect. Until. Until. Mack makes a horrible mistake, and in just a few minutes, the future they'd planned becomes impossible. In this stark new reality, both of them must find meaning and hope in the memories of what they had, to survive when the person they love can't stay. From award-winning writer Paul Griffin, Stay with Me is both heartbreaking and uplifting, filled with characters (both dog and human) that will forever change the way you look at the world.


Review: Real and heartbreaking to the core, Stay With Me by Paul Griffin is a showcase to teen romance and the struggles of the reality that some teens face on a daily basis. Stay With Me is truly a breathtaking novel that shows sometimes even the deepest love is not enough create a happily ever after.

There is really so much to say about this book but I'll try to keep it short. The romance in this book may seem to be a little quick, but I still felt the connection between the two main characters instantly. It may have started off as a simple attraction, but it did blossom into a very unique love. They are so devoted to one another, and they are definitely there for each other through thick and thin.

Mack and Cece both are and have been living hard lives for a long time, and when they finally find each other, they become each other's reprieve from the harshness of their lives. Mack has to be one of the most interesting characters I have ever ready about. Since the book is told from both Mack and Cece's perspective you get to a really know the character Mack. From how he sees the world, and how the world sees him.

To be honest, this book had me in tears in a lot of places for a lot of reasons. In a lot of places, I felt like the book got really open and raw with the feelings and emotions of the two main characters that I could connect to what the both of them were going through so well. The romance, the pain, the loss, the forgiveness, and all of the problems Mack and Cece were going through were laid out so vividly to the reader that I dare you not to shed a tear while reading this book.

Stay With Me is one of those books that I know is going to be with me for a long time. It is a novel that has really touched my heart and one that I know I will never get tired of recommending.


Recommendations: If you want a deep and captivating read that will make you smile and definitely have you shedding a few tears along the way, Stay With Me is a perfect read.


Overall: 5/5

Characters: 5/5 
Plot: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Entertainment: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Cover: 5/5





If you liked the romance in Stay With Me, check out the romances of Simone Elkeles Fuentes Brother's Series:  


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: Fate Fixed by. Bonnie Erina Wheeler

Title: Fate Fixed
Author: Bonnie Erina Wheeler
Publication Date: July 1st, 2011
Pages: 294
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:  


Synopsis from GoodreadsWhen Lexie Anderson’s mother suddenly announces she is marrying a Romanian immigrant, Lexie willingly leaves behind her busy life in Connecticut for her penance in “The Moose Capital of the World.” Small town living is strange enough, now Lexie must cope with her overbearing stepfamily monitoring her every move. They disappear into the woods at night and keep a strange secret locked in their shed. Her once calm mother is now having violent outbursts and Lexie’s little sister is hearing sinister sounds coming from the forest behind their new home.

Lexie’s biggest surprise comes when she discovers the boy she has been dreaming about since her accident is living in Maine. Despite Torin’s questionable reputation, Lexie cannot resist the physical and emotional attraction pulsating between them.

Animals and people in town are turning up dead and Lexie learns the strange new world she lives in has real life monsters. Just when she decides she wants to be with Torin forever, she must fight to protect her mother and sister from being harmed a formidable evil


Review: The dynamic paranormal duo of the werewolf and the vampire will never tire if there are books like Fate Fixed always bringing something new to the table. Definitely exciting and unexpectedly twisted, Fate Fixed was something new and fun to read.

As far as first impressions go, I was pretty sure main character Lexie had a good head on her shoulders after the first two chapters of the book, but after that, that impressions left immediately. She was an...interesting character. She of course is going through the usually teenage angst of having to move away from your friends and school when your mother remarries, but in some ways, I thought she was a little too trusting if you know what I mean. Of course I am so glad to see a girl freak out with the mention of a vampire, (I really think girls are becoming a little too comfortable when they see fangs pop out of their boyfriends mouths), but in a lot of areas, I was seriously questioning her judgment. I mean there has to be some boundaries for love at first sight.

So I think it is fair to classify this book as a paranormal romance, but in the beginning I was seriously having trouble with the romance. It was so, incredibly, and extremely rushed.  I am all for the "love at first sight" aspect that characterizes paranormal romances, but the romance was way too fast for me to even be able to acknowledge it until 3/4 of the way through the book. Though I eventually was able to think of what they had together as a "romance" not just lustful infatuation, in the beginning it was sort of took away from the story.

Onto the more fun parts of the book, I have to say I found it a bit twisted. The book is told in alternating perspectives between the two main characters, and an anonymous wolf. I really read faster for the chance to read the wolf's part of the book as the story between the two main characters went along. It was so dark and cynical that I couldn't wait for this anonymous character to meet with the main ones for what I new was going to be an action packed confrontation. 

I have to say that despite the fact that romance did through me off, I thoroughly enjoyed Fate Fixed. It is a great combination of a light read, yet one that will still keep you anticipating a great ending.

Recommendations: For those who (like me) will never get enough of vampires and werewolves, this books will definitely be a good read.


Overall: 3/5

Characters: 3/5 
Plot: 3/5
Originality: 3/5
Entertainment: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Cover: 3/5



If you like this book, check out the Hearts at Stake by. Alyxandra Harvey


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guest Post! Natasha Larry, author of Darwin's Children

You guys may know that I recently read Natasha Larry's debut YA book Darwin's Children and absolutely loved it. Today I am lucky enough to have Natasha Larry doing the very first ever guest post on Black and Blue Ink! Read on and enjoy her story and how she became the author she is today!


How I Accidentally Became a Young Adult Author

                One of the questions I get asked most often is: why do you write young adult paranormal/fantasy fiction? I never pictured myself a fiction author, not to mention a young adult author. I went to school to study History and considered myself a serious academic. The truth is that Darwin’s Children started as an adult series-a project that began because I’ve always been a comic book nerd. For the longest time, I couldn’t get it to work and nearly gave up on the project until something magical happened. I had a daydream and wrote it down immediately. That daydream later became the prologue of the first book and I haven’t looked back since.

                The magic that happened was that Darwin’s Children became a story for young adults. I suppose it always should have been. My experience writing Darwin’s Children as a young adult novel was incredible and effortless. I literally felt like I was flying and was reminded of why I wanted to be a writer in the first place. I’ve always loved to read thanks to my father, and all people that love to read have that one author or story that seals the deal for them. For me, it was Judy Blume’s Superfudge.

                I heard my 5th grade teacher tell this story and ever since I’ve been a Blume-maniac. As a young girl, I don’t know how I would have known anything of the world were it not for her book: Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I loved the feeling of having a book as a best friend and that was when I started writing. It was all about discovery and coming into your own back then. As a kid I always wrote fiction, and then something terrible happened. I became an adult.

                I stopped writing all together in Graduate school. Of course, I didn’t really stop writing. I probably wrote more in Grad school than at any other time in my personal history. I say I stopped writing because the dream was gone. I wrote because it was required and people sort of expected it from me. Comic books helped keep me young at heart, and I think that had a lot to do with why I wanted to write about super humans. Most people assume I’m influenced predominantly by the Marvel Universe, most notably, the X-Men, and when I first started writing Darwin’s Children, I was. However, my writing didn’t really take off until I started dreaming again and this didn’t happen until I expanded my reach into the DC Universe.

                I remember sitting down to read a graphic novel entitled Kingdom Come by Alex Ross and Mark Waid. The novel deals primarily with the growing disconnect between old school superheroes (think Superman and Wonder Woman) and a new generation of vigilantes. Reading this book made me feel the way I felt when I was a kid reading Judy Blume. I know, I know. My fan boy buddies just died knowing I compared a comic book to Judy Blume. The important thing is that the feeling came back and I was able to dream. One line in particular stood out the most.

               
“The sheer force of Batman’s presence kindles a desperate ember of hope.”


Thank you Natasha for the guest post! It's great to hear that you continued to write through school. I know a lot of people who aspire to some day write novels, myself included, don't thing its possibly to do that and go to school and pursue an education. Glad to know its more than possible! I can't wait to read what's next for Darwin's Children!


Natasha's Links:
Website: www.natashalarrybooks.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/natashalarry

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4356316.Natasha_Larry
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Natasha-Larry/e/B0051BVEGW
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/natasha.larry1



Darwin's Children:
My Review

Goodreads
Barnes and Noble



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Review: Darwin's Children by. Natasha Larry

Title: Darwin's Children
Author: Natasha Larry
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
June 8, 2011
Pages: 260
Genre: Supernatural
Rating:
Synopsis from Goodreads: Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!  Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.  As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of...  Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!

Review

The Previews 
You know a great book when you can easily be captivated by the characters and setting alone and fall in love with it before the plot even really kicks in, and Darwin's Children is definitely that book. Super powers and super humans done in an incredibly different way, Natasha Larry combines the best of all the paranormal and supernatural world coupling it with a characters whose stories will pull at your heart strings, Darwin's Children is a book that I know will be stuck on my mind for a very long time.

In my opinion, I know a series is going to keep on getting better and better when the first book in the series can easily stand great as a stand alone title. And Darwin's Children is definitely one of those books. Jaycie Lerger was an interesting character from the start. I mean really, there are so many dishonorable and some might say sinister things a person could do if they had the power read and "alter" people's thoughts, but does Jaycie do any of these things, of course not. She has other intentions for her abilities, and I must say, though she may seem like she is holding back at times, she definitely knows how to bring it when the time is right.

Extended Version 
Not just Jaycie, but the whole Lerner family was so captivating to read about. The background of Jaycie's trainer/substitute mother and her superhuman abilities was so fascinating. As well as that of Jaycie's father and godfather, who couldn't be more annoyingly cryptic all the time.

The plot of this book hit me more emotionally than I anticipated it would. Jaycie and her friend Haylee go through a rough roller coaster throughout their friendship and at times the book became hard for me to read just because of the raw and horrific emotions that emanated from both Jaycie and Haylee at different times of the book. This part of the book in my opinion, though heart wrenching, was written beautifully.

Darwin's Children has many layers to it, and they all lead up to a huge turning point in Jaycie's life. All throughout the book their is a foreshadowing to something big happening to Jaycie. And along this cryptic ride so much is revealed about the "super human" world that Jaycie and her family are a part of. The different abilities of each character are each so unique and interesting to read when they finally play out. The story as a whole unfolds perfectly. Everything seems is interwoven into a great plot that I can't wait to read more of!

I can already tell this series is going to be a favorite of mine. I'm ecstatic to know the journey of the Lerner family does not end here, and I am eager to read what direction the books will go hereafter.

Recommendations: Series lovers and stand-alone advocates alike will thoroughly enjoy this unique and, at times, heart wrenching supernatural novel!


Overall: 5/5

Characters: 5/5 
Plot: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Entertainment: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Cover: 5/5


If you like this book, check out the Asleep series by. Wendy Raven McNair.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Hidden Sun by. J. Lloyd Morgan

Title: The Hidden Sun
Author: J. Lloyd Morgan
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
August 8, 2011
Pages: 241
Genre: Historical/Romance
Rating:   

Synopsis from Goodreads: Eliana and Rinan are in love. However, she is destined to become queen of Bariwon, obligated to marry the victor of a competition called the Shoginoc, while Rinan, her royal guardian, is forbidden to marry. Normally they could renounce their titles to be together, but these are not normal times. Abrecan, the malevolent governor of Erd, is determined to win the Shoginoc, thereby placing his easily manipulated son Daimh on Bariwon s throne. Can Eliana and Rinan find a way to be together without jeopardizing the peace they are so desperately trying to protect?

The Previews
Definitely the epitome of fairy tales of the modern time. J. LLoyd Morgan weaves together a intrigue filled plot with enough twists, characters, and romance to keep you engaged (and slightly confused)  until the very last page.

This book right from the beginning reminded me of a modern fairytale. All the little quirks and schemes presented in true fairytale fashion and I definitely love the fact that the story was one that could bring back the classics of a fairytale, yet keep its own original plot to it. That being said, for me, the book read a lot like a series of short stories. The way I read it from the synopsis on various websites and on the back of the book, I thought I had a pretty good idea of how the story was going to begin, and I was ready to let the plot run its course. But that really is not how it went at all.

Extended Version
First off, if you read this book and are able to get through all the sections and differentiate each character the first time through, I greatly commend you. There were so many characters! And these weren't just supporting background characters, oh no, most of them were main characters. Which brings me back to the fact that I felt the book was more a collection of short stories all related and taking place in the same setting, but definitely individual stories in there own. It felt like the first part of the book was a very long prologue, to the main story. Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing, just very unexpected.

Some characters in particular Sunshine for instance, who comes along later on in the story, was definitely a favorite of mine. One thing that I usually do not favor about historical books is the fact that the female characters don't seem to have the same tenacity as those of contemporary books, but Eliana and Sunshine definitely proved me wrong there. You ever need someone to help you out with your witty remarks, or prove to you that any girl could command a room of guardians as best as a man, these are the girls you call.

At some points the plot was lost to me. I felt like the pages and the characters were just going without any real relevance to a plot. So yes, at times it was a bit slow, but the plot does find its way back into the story and then you are back hanging off the edge of your seat waiting to find out what comes next.

The romance plays a big role in this book especially since there is more than one romantic intermingling going on.  I adore the fact the book actually went against the typical "princesses and princes fall in love" romantic theme and made it a little more...forbidden. I mean really, who can resist forbidden romance.

And in the end everyone lived h... of course I'm not going to give that away, but I definitely recommend you give this book a go. Without a doubt something different regarding book format, and if you can keep up with the characters and are a fan of historical romance this book is the one to check out.

Recommendations: Those who were fans of the fairytales of back in the and of course all out there who just can't resists a forbidden romance, The Hidden Sun is the one to read!


Overall: 3/5

Characters: 3/5
Plot: 2/5
Originality: 3/5
Entertainment: 3/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
 

If you like this book, check out the Poison Study Series by. Maria V. Synder: 


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday- Chain Reaction


Waiting On Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Author: Simone Elkeles
Release Date: August 16, 2011 (Yes, yes I know, this book is ALREADY OUT! But since I am such a late procrastinating person, I didn't order it until two days ago so I am technically STILL waiting on this book!)
Contemporary Romance 

 Synopsis from Goodreads: Luis Fuentes is a good boy who doesn't live with the angst that his big brothers, Alex and Carlos, have always lived with. Luis is smart, funny, and has big dreams of becoming an astronaut. But when he falls for the wrong girl, Luis enters a dark world he's never known, and just when he thinks he's got life all figured out, learns some disturbing news about his family that destroys his positive outlook on life. Will that Fuentes bad boy streak come out with a vengeance and lure Luis to live on the edge like his new girlfriend and his own father? Continuing all the steamy romance of the first two books, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Simone Elkeles gives fans one more satisfying taste of the irresistible Fuentes boys.



Damn, that cover is HOT to say the least! As you guys may or may not know, Simone Elkeles is one of my favorite authors ever. I find all of her books that I have read so far to be completely and utterly amazing in every way possible. I am love with both the first two Fuentes brother's books and I know I am going to absolutely adore this book as well. If you guys have not read any of Simone Elkeles books I recommend them like no other! They are incredibly fun to read!


What do you guys think of this week's Waiting on Wednesday?  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday's Question of the Day: Don't You Just Love Spoilers?

This meme was started by Eleni over at /- LA FEMME READERS -/. I always enjoyed answering and reading the responses to the questions she comes up with, so I decided to start some of my own!



Don't you just Love Spoilers? 

      Impulse answer is of course, no. I mean how annoying is it when you are reading a review of a  book that you are about buy and you are getting all excited and anticipating going over to Barnes and Noble.com and pre-ordering this book that sounds so fantastic and just seems to be getting better and better with every word of this review and then then, you read...the line. The line that makes you click the back button on the "Place Your Order" page of BN.com. The line that kills all interest  you once had in the book for you. The line that now reveals to you how this book that you were anticipating moments before is going to end, and all hope is lost. Maybe your experience with spoilers is not so dramatic, but I have to say they have really killed some books for me. The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by. Libba Bray is the largest testament to that.

      Yep, its going to be a while before I pick up one of those books but beside that point, I have a contradiction for you. I actually like spoilers...at times. Not spoilers that pretty much give away the entire ending of a book in one line, but spoilers that sort of tell what happens to a character halfway through a book. Or if I have a question about a character or a certain event that happens in a series that is not in the book I am reading, a good spoiler never hurt anyone. And I absolutely DO NOT like spoilers for all the reviews I read. Mostly if a book is getting really really boring and not going anywhere, I like a spoiler so I can see if its something I should continue reading, or if its time to drop that book and call it a "what could have been". So once in a blue moon on the rare occasion that I am actually looking for a spoiler, they are helpful, otherwise, I detest them, unless given fair warning of course.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: The Seven Rays by. Jessica Bendinger


Title: The Seven Rays
Author: Jessica Bendinger
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
November 10, 2009
Pages: 330
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy
Rating:  

Synopsis from Goodreads: THAT IS THE ANONYMOUS MESSAGE that Beth Michaels receivesright before she starts seeing things. Not just a slept-through my-alarm-clock, late-for-homeroom, haven't had-my-caffeine-fix kind of seeing things. It all starts with some dots, annoying pink dots that pop up on and over her mom and her best friend's face. But then things get out of control and Beth is seeing people's pasts, their fears, their secrets, their desires. The images are coming at Beth in hi-def streaming video and she can't stop it. Everyone thinks she's crazy and she's pretty sure she agrees with them. But crazy doesn't explain the gold envelopes that have started arriving, containing seeing keys and mysterious tarot cards. To Beth, it all seems too weird to be true. You are more than you think you are? But here's the thing: What if she is? The creator of Bring it On, Jessica Bendiner, brings her teen savvy writing to this paranormal romance, The Seven Rays.


Review: Like nothing I have ever read before, The Seven Rays is a unusual and elaborate story filled with fantasy and mystery going deep into a new world filled with mythical beings way different from your average vamp.

If I could sum of this book in three words, I would say it was just plain freaky. I can definitely guarantee that throughout this book there will be a bunch of "umm what"s and a ton of "huh"s and you will go back and read a lot of pages right after you finished reading them because somethings are just plain weird and pretty confusing.

Don't get me wrong people, I could not put this book down. It was just so unusual. I would try to find a better word to describe it but that seems to fit perfectly. It kept your interest all the way through because everything about this book was new and unique and downright freaky.

It all starts with the dots. Of all the paranormal and fantastical abilities out their Beth is lucky enough to see...dots. But first comes the dots, then comes people's entire lives flashing before her eyes. And now she knows she is crazy, except that there are mysterious letters she is receiving that are telling her otherwise.

Despite thinking she is crazy, Beth was strong. She was the kind of girl who did not wait for answers, she got off her butt and traveled across the country to go find them. She is slowly discovering that what she is able to do goes farther than just seeing dots. At times I really felt sorry for Beth. One by one people were abandoning her and she had no idea why. It was kinda sad the way the only person she could trust through all this was the typical "hottest guy in school"/"school's biggest player" . Usually not the kind of company you would like to keep going on a life changing cross country journey, but despite the cliches of the situation, he turned out to be a very likable character.

All that being said, I would have to say at a lot of parts the book were a bit confusing. I had to flip back a lot to previous pages to make sure I knew what the heck was going on, and even after that I still wasn't sure what was happening.

All in all I really enjoyed this book. It was so unusual and like nothing I have ever read before. Even though I can see how a lot of people might not like it as it was pretty confusing and seemed very...unfinished. Either way it is a book that will be on your mind long after you finish reading it.


Recommendations: This one is pretty hard to recommend because it all comes down to taste. It's really a different kind of book that is pretty hit or miss depending on the person. I will definitely say if you are looking for a freaky...and weird YA book, this one is for you!


Overall: 4/5

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Originality: 5/5
Entertainment: 4/5
Ending: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Cover: 5/5
 
 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Review: So Much Closer by. Susane Colasanti

TitleSo Much Closer
Author: Susane Colasanti
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
May 3, 2011
Pages: 241
Genre: Contemporary/Romance
Rating:   

Synopsis from Goodreads: When Brooke's crush, Scott, moves from their suburban town to New York City, she decides to follow him there. Living with her formerly estranged dad and adapting to a new school are challenging, and things go from bad to worse when Brooke learns that Scott already has a girlfriend. But as she builds her new life, Brooke begins to discover a side of herself she never knew existed. And as she finds out, in the city that never sleeps, love can appear around any corner... 


Review: Funny, quirky, and cute in true Susane Colasanti fashion So Much Closer provides inside look into the girl psyche when it comes to a favorite subject of mine: guys. All of the extremes you have ever thought about going through when it comes to "getting the guy" pale in comparison to what Brooke decides to do. Though not my favorite Susance Colasanti book, it was still a light and fun read.

Not many girls would move cities their senior year of high school just to be with a hot guy. I mean you may have thought about it, but Brooke seems to be the only girl who would ever go through with it. I mean, you can't say anything about her lack of determination. Though in most people this characteristics would prove positive, in Brooke it definitely proved to be her destruction.

Unrequited ( or requited) love can always prove to have some detrimental effects on a a teenage psyche, but Brooke seems to take this to a whole 'nother level. I was just so surprised by the level of devotion (or obsession) she had with a guy whom she never really ever spoke too, yet had convinced herself that he was her soul mate. I can't really say that I liked Brooke much throughout the book. She seemed sort of ungrateful. And of course in some areas she deserved to be a little angry, but there were a lot of people that she really needed to cut some slack and not take for granted. I do think that by the end of the book she got over herself and I began to like her a lot more.

John by far was my favorite character. It is so great to read about a guy who doesn't fit the typical guy stereotype in books. By that I mean he wasn't a man of few words by any means. He spoke so unrestrictedly and confidently that I found myself looking forward to paragraphs and paragraphs of his ranty dialogue.

All in all this was a fun and light read but at points I found myself wanting to flip the pages a little quicker.

Recommendations: If you are looking for a light and different kind of contemporary romance, this might just be for you!


Overall: 3/5 Stars

Characters: 3/5
Plot: 2/5
Originality: 3/5
Entertainment: 3/5
Ending: 3/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Cover: 3/5


If you like this, check out Take Me There by Susane Colasanti: 

Review: Intertwined by. Gena Showalter

Title: Intertwined
Author: Gene Showalter
Series: Intertwined #1
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
September 1, 2009
Pages: 440
Genre: Paranormal/Romance
Rating:
Synopsis from Goodreads: Most sixteen-year-olds have friends. Aden Stone has four human souls living inside him: One can time travel. One can raise the dead. One can possess another human. One can tell the future. Everyone thinks he's crazy, which is why he's spent his entire life shuffled between mental institutions and juvie. All of that is about to change, however. For months Aden has been having visions of a beautiful girl—a girl who carries centuries-old secrets. A girl who will either save him or destroy him.Together they'll enter a dark world of intrigue and danger…but not everyone will come out alive.

Review: Fast-paced, emotional, and incredibly original, Intertwined is without a doubt the first book in a series that will do nothing but get better and better. Gena Showalter combines a voice-hearing teen, a vampire princess, werewolf body guard, and paranormal "other" to weave a story that definitely sucks you in from the very beginning and keeps you interested all the way through.

This book was such an interesting read for many reasons but a lot because of the simple fact that I have never read anything like it. There are so many pieces of the puzzle that the four of them are trying to figure out. And of course when one fits, there's always another that doesn't,if you get the analogy. But definitely through all of the time traveling, demon encounters, and forbidden kisses, they all know that this is all leading to something big...they just wish they knew what it was.

Speaking of forbidden kisses, this book is definitely filled with bunches of them. The pairings in this book are so perfect. Aden, the tortured soul (with 4 other tortured souls inside him as well) who sweet as can be is only looking for answers, and someone he can be himself around. 
And they he meets Victoria and you can tell they are made for each other. The romance definitely develops oh so sweetly with pages of Aden and Victoria alone time where you can just feel the connection between the two from right off the page. 


Riley is a whole 'nother story. He has this big brother protector feel to him. And even though Mary Ann is completely capable of protecting herself, it is good to have a nice hunk of a man shoulder to cry on. Especially if that man is sweet, thoughtful, and as crush-worthy as Riley. 


The ending was a lot more than I was expecting. As I said the book was like this intricate puzzle, so I expected it to end with a significant piece of it being found...that wasn't the case. A huge curve ball that I never expected was thrown at the end that was better than any ending I could have imagined. It was such an unexpected twist that even the characters were thrown way off by it, which of course made it more fun to read. One thing was definitely true by the end of the book though, the time they all thought they had to figure this whole thing out, was running out.



Recommendations: Fans of Gene Showalter's adult series should definitely check out this book to see everthing Gene Showalter has to offer the YA world! As well as anyone looking for a paranormal read that will keep you guessing from cover to cover!

Overall: 5/5

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Entertainment: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Cover: 4/5


If you like this book, check out the Soul Screamers Series by. Rachel Vincent: 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Graceling by. Kristen Cashore




Title: Graceling 
Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: The Seven Kingdoms #1 
Age Range: Young Adult
Publication Date:
September 7, 2009
Pages: 471
Genre: Fantasy
Rating:

 Synopsis from GoodreadsKatsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone. With elegant, evocative prose and a cast of unforgettable characters, debut author Kristin Cashore creates a mesmerizing world, a death-defying adventure, and a heart-racing romance that will consume you, hold you captive, and leave you wanting more!


Review: Graceling is definitely the book to read to satiate all your fantasy cravings and more. Where creatures of the "underworld" seem to dominate YA, Graceling brings us back to all we love about the realm of fantasy. Dynamic plots, to-die-for characters, and a story where every page is an epic adventure, Graceling is definitely my new love, taking me away into the seven kingdoms from cover to cover.

The storyline of this book was just way too original and intricate to have even one dull moment. Every detail about what is a Graceling and the seven kingdoms just sucked me even more into the book. The magnitude of the world Kristin Cashore creates in Graceling and how that plays around the plot was done fantastically.

I felt for Katsa early on in the book. It can't be easy to be born a killer, to be born only to cause pain, especially since she has a cruel man like her uncle encouraging her. But at the same time, for a woman so strong physically, I was surprised she didn't grow a backbone and stand up to her uncle but being feared by everyone would do that to a girl. But it was obvious she was so much better than that. And she did show that as she grew into the kind of woman she could be proud of.

I love a guy with confidence, and despite the fact that Katsa could pound him in a fight on his best day, Po didn't lose that confident swag about him. But he was definitely not a one dimensional character. There was still a deep vulnerability, a sense of being alone in the world that he and Katsa had in common. And you can see the subtle ways that both Po and Katsa let their guards down with each other. From the beginning I knew such a friendship could easily grow into something more.

What Katsa and Po had together was so beautiful. It was a different kind of romance. One that was built on a strong friendship. And eventually grew into the love they never thought they wanted, never thought they needed, never thought they would have. That was what made it so beautiful, the fact that they already truly knew one another, and loved one another as friends before they finally accepted the love they felt for each other as something more.

All in all this is without a doubt a must read. Beautifully woven characters, an adventured filled plot, and a romance as genuine as they come, Graceling is a fantasy lovers dream!

Recommendations: I recommend this book to all lovers and fantasy and even if you may not be a fantasy lover, this book is bound to change your mind!

Overall: 5/5

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Originality: 5/5
Entertainment: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
 

If you like this book, check out the Poison Study Series by. Maria V. Synder: 
  

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