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: 
  

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday- The Chaos

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

Author: Nalo Hopkinson
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Fantasy


 Synopsis from Goodreads: Sixteen-year-old Scotch struggles to fit in—at home she’s the perfect daughter, at school she’s provocatively sassy, and thanks to her mixed heritage, she doesn’t feel she belongs with the Caribbeans, whites, or blacks. And even more troubling, lately her skin is becoming covered in a sticky black substance that can’t be removed. While trying to cope with this creepiness, she goes out with her brother—and he disappears. A mysterious bubble of light just swallows him up, and Scotch has no idea how to find him. Soon, the Chaos that has claimed her brother affects the city at large, until it seems everyone is turning into crazy creatures. Scotch needs to get to the bottom of this supernatural situation ASAP before the Chaos consumes everything she’s ever known—and she knows that the black shadowy entity that’s begun trailing her every move is probably not going to help.


Well that's definitely something different. Don't you get tired of reading the same old things like: " main character Instantly feels an attraction to"; or  "now main character has to deal with her new paranormal lifestyle". This book seems to be completely void of the YA cliches that have been annoyingly popping out EVERYWHERE. It is so refreshing to read such a unique synopsis. I love when I can genuinely say I have never heard of anything like this. And the characters are POC! Thank goodness for more diversity in YA!!!

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



Monster Review-a-Thon!!!

Kate and Kristen from The Book Monster came up with the awesome idea to host a Monster Review-A-Thon! The review-a-thon runs from August 7-13 and the objective is to review as many books as you can between the 7th and 13th of August. I for one think this is a great idea since my to-review pile seems to be getting larger and larger by the day! And this review-a-thon is exactly what I need to push me to finally get all of those reviews up and posted!

My personal goal for the review-a-thon is to review 10 books. 5 mini-reviews of books I read a while back, and 5 regular reviews of books I read more recently.

Here's the list so far:

Intertwined by. Gena Showalter
Graceling by. Kristen Kashore
Past Midnight by. Mara Purnhagen
The Seven Rays by. Jessica Bendinger
Take Me There by. Susane Colasanti
So Much Closer by. Susane Colasanti
Vampire Kisses Series by. Ellen Schreiber
(the other three books will be whatever books I read from now until August 7)

If you want more details or would like to join the review-a-thon, check out Kristen and Kate's post here



Monday, August 1, 2011

Devil's Kiss by. Sarwat Chadda

Title: Devil's Kiss
Series: Devil's Kiss Book #1
Author:  Sarwat Chadda
Publication Date: July 2009
Pages: 310
Genre: Paranormal
Rating:  4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:  As the youngest and only female member of the Knights Templar, Bilquis SanGreal grew up knowing she wasn't normal. Instead of hanging out at the mall or going on dates, she spends her time training as a soldier in her order's ancient battle against the Unholy.Billi's cloistered life is blasted apart when her childhood friend, Kay, returns from Jerusalem, gorgeous and with a dangerous chip on his shoulder. He's ready to reclaim his place in Billi's life, but she's met someone new: amber-eyed Michael, who seems to understand her like no one else, effortlessly claiming a stake in her heart.But the Templars are called to duty before Billi can enjoy the pleasant new twist to her life. One of the order's ancient enemies has resurfaced, searching for a treasure that the Templars have protected for hundreds of years — a cursed mirror powerful enough to kill all of London's firstborn. To save her city from catastrophe, Billi will have to put her heart aside and make sacrifices greater than any of the Templars could have imagined.

Review:  We all knew all fallen angels couldn't be good. Of course they all have to be drop dead gorgeous, but they are definitely fallen for a reason, and Devil's Kiss shows that there is certainly not a fine line between the good angels and those who have fallen, trying to make their ways back to heaven, not matter the cost.

I absolutely adored this book. Billy was such a powerful main character. She took what life has dealt her with and either tried her best do do something about it, or took it in and moved on. There are so many instances that I feel under any other circumstances another girl would have crumbled but not Billy. Sure she is the only 15 she knows who has been training since age 8 to be a demon killer, but she doesn't let this fact define her. She is still out looking for what ever girl wants. 

The whole story plays out like a prophecy unraveling. The book is constantly changing directions. There seems to be an answer and then a curve ball is thrown at Billy that leads her to always have to choose between life and death, whether its her death or that of her love ones. But Billy was the type of character that I couldn't help but have absolute faith in. Though in some parts of the book she may have proved otherwise, she has a very wise head on shoulders and in the end will do what is best.

Basically Billy is in a battle with the devil... his brother actually, but still, things cannot end well. On the positive side of things, there is never a dull moment on that journey of hers. There are a numerous scenarios that the story could play out in, and in each one someone ends of up dead. But there are definitely a number of characters who throughout the book, I was hoping would suddenly turn over a new leaf and leave the dark side. But such a thing is definitely rare, especially when dealing with Fallen Angels.


Kay, by far definitely the character that grows most on me. In the beginning he had a cocky part of him (being psychic would do that to a person) that I hated, but after a while you can really see that in the end he felt a lot for Kay. But damn did he have to be so arrogant at times.


Pretty much I loved this book. It played out with so much suspense and twists and turns that there was definitely never a dull moment. Such a great range of characters from the good to the bad, and a sweet romance made this book an incredible read!


Overall: 


Recommendations: Fans of Lili St. Crow's Strange Angels Series and Jana Oliver's The Demon Trappers Series will instantly fall in love with the characters and plot twists of Devil's Kiss!



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

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