Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: AfterLife by S.P. Cloward

AfterLife by S.P. Cloward
Published:  September 11, 2012
Self published
AfterLife #1
My Rating:
2 of 5 stars

Prior to recorded history, a small genetic mutation occurred that created a race of humans now found among every civilization in every corner of the globe. Unrecognizable to the rest of mankind but living among us and dependent upon humans for survival, this race is known as Mortui; those whose spirits do not sever from their bodies when they die. They are the source of all living dead legends.

At the time of his premature death, Wesley Lohmann discovers he belongs to this select group. Wes' transition plunges him into the center of a struggle between those who seek to coexist peacefully with humans and those who wish to use and rule them, a struggle that carries over into the treacherous world of dreams. The delicate balance human and post-human societies have maintained for millennial is threatened by a recent scientific discovery that offers Mortui the hope of returning to human life, and human sensation, but at a terrible cost. As he struggles with new and past relationships and tries to find meaning for his continued existence, Wes discovers within himself the true meaning of being alive.

AfterLife transcends the typical zombie or vampire genre and audience to present a plausible explanation of where such stories come from in an unsettling but believable way. Even those who usually shy away from this type of science fiction are falling prey to the “what if” question that makes this book so unique and is attracting readers who typically enjoy other types of fiction.

My Review: This was such a disappointment. The concept of Mortui living in the world without anyone knowing is something that I find fascinating for some reason. I'm not a fan of zombies but I'm always up for a unique twist on vampires. Sadly this book was just not for me.

The only part that I really enjoyed about the book was the unique take on vampires and zombies. The rest of the book was kind of boring. The very beginning of the book was interesting but once Wes became a Mortui the book slowed down. It felt like nothing was happening even though time passed very quickly. A good portion of the book was just info dumping and Wes being told that he was a good guy. I shouldn't have to be told repeatedly that Wes is a good guy his actions should show that.

Wes is a very average character. He is special but he is way too perfect for him to be likeable. Even when he did something wrong someone would tell him that he's a good guy and then he would move on. He would think about what he did for a little bit and then it was never brought up again. Obviously he wasn't too upset about it. Wes also didn't do very much for most the book. He went through training but the training parts were boring. Most of them consisted of everyone being impressed with Wes. The end was a little better but not by much.

I also don't understand why Wes likes Emily. Honestly I don't think I could ever see them together. To me their relationship was purely friendship. I don't remember when Wes fell in love with Emily but it felt way too sudden. Especially since he claimed that he was in love with Jez before he met Emily.

Some parts of AfterLife were also told by Seth. He was supposed to be the villain and normally I like villains but I hated him. I don't understand his reasons for doing what he did. I believe he wanted to gain power but why? Doesn't he already have power? Don't the Mortui have everything they could possibly ever want since they are immortal and powerful?

So obviously this book wasn't my cup of tea mostly because I was bored for most of it. There were many parts that I think were supposed to be meaningful but I found it annoying when Wes would point out that he was having a philosophical conversation. It was an interesting idea but if more had happened throughout the book I probably would have enjoyed it much more.

*I received this in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Releases: April 28- May 4

This week's new releases:

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
(April 30th)

 The Program by Suzanne Young
(April 30th)

Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
(April 30th)

 The Ward by Jordana Frankel
(April 30th)

 Nobody's Secret by Michaela MacColl
(April 30th)

 Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike
(April 30th)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

ARC Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
Published: April 30, 2013
Harlequin Teen
Blood of Eden #2
Netgalley and Harlequin Teen Panel
My Rating:
5 of 5 stars

Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

My Review: Absolutely brilliant. The Eternity Cure was one of my most anticipated books of 2013 and it was better than I thought it would be even with my very high expectations.

I tend to shy away from most vampire books these days mainly because all of them are so similar. Whenever I pick up a new vampire book I feel like I've already read it. Blood of Eden is my all time favorite vampire series because it's so unique.

Once I started this book it was almost impossible to put down. Not only is Kanin's life on the line, but now the entire human and vampire population are at stake. Sarren is still as psychotic as ever. Julie Kagawa knows how to write a villain. Sarren is insane with just the right amount of brilliance that makes him deadly and pretty creepy. The only thing creepier than Sarren were the bleeders. Even thinking about the bleeders is creeping me out.

This book wasn't very fast paced but it really seemed to work for it. It allowed for the world to become more real. Information about the vampires that live in New Covington and how the Red Lung virus came to be is revealed. Kanin even talks about some of his past.

What really makes this book amazing are the characters. Allison is still a badass vampire but in this book she really seems to struggle with what she wants to become. Should she give into the Hunger or try to hold on to her humanity? Jackal is probably one of my favorite characters now. Sure sometimes I wanted to stab him with a wooden stake but other times I was grateful for his sense of humor. The Eternity Cure would have been much darker without it.

Another thing I loved was Allie and Zeke's relationship. Zeke is still as sweet as ever. Even though Allie kept pushing him away because she thought she was a danger to him, Zeke never gave up. When Allie left Zeke in Eden I thought that he wouldn't play a big part in this book but thankfully I was wrong.

The ending of this was torture. I still can't believe what happened even though I kind of guessed what would happen while Sarren was talking. I'm surprised I caught on to what was happening because it was only one word that caused me to guess the end. The next book can't come soon enough.

*I received this book via Netgalley and the Harlequin Teen Panel in exchange for an honest review.

Stacking The Shelves #32

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and here you can find all the books I've recently received that I'm stacking my shelves with!

For Review:

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

I just finished The Eternity Cure so my review should be up soon. It was amazing! I'm so excited to read Dare You To. I loved Pushing the Limits so hopefully this one is just as good!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

ARC Review: Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Suttion
Published: July 8, 2013
My Rating:
4 of 5 stars

I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?

My Review: I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I thought that the idea was interesting and unique but I wasn't sure how well it would work. Having a main character that can't feel anything was something that I worried about because how was I supposed to enjoy the story if I didn't feel anything for the character? Thankfully that wasn't much of a problem.

The concept of Some Quiet Place was unique. The summary had me itching to read this book. Elements and Emotions as living creatures that answer summons was so different from anything I've read before. It was actually very believable too. It was very easy to imagine Emotions and Elements walking around the world.

As I said before, I was a little worried about having a main character that couldn't feel any emotions, but I actually ended up liking Elizabeth. She lives with her mother, brother, and abusive father. That family was so horrible to her but for some reason she wanted to make them happy by pretending to have emotions. Even though she couldn't actually feel anything because of the wall of nothingness, it was clear that she cared about certain people. It was a little difficult to care about the side characters. I felt nothing (kind of like Elizabeth) when her only friend died. I knew it was supposed to be sad but I wasn't actually upset about it.

There was a love triangle in this book but it only bothered me a little bit. It was very obvious who she would end up with at the end. Joshua was sweet and all but I liked Fear much more than him. Fear really seemed to care about Elizabeth and he wanted her to feel something. He is an Emotion so he knows all about the things that Elizabeth sees.

The were two twists at the end. The first one was very obvious and I guessed it pretty early on in the book. The second one was more of a surprise. It's always nice when a book can surprise me. The ending was very well done. For most of the second half of the book I couldn't put it down. The first part was a little slow, but the end definitely made up for it.

*I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #39

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly Meme. It's hosted on Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick:
Ink by Amanda Sun
Release date: June 25th 2013

I looked down at the paper, still touching the tip of my shoe. I reached for it, flipping the page over to look.

Scrawls of ink outlined a drawing of a girl lying on a bench.

A sick feeling started to twist in my stomach, like motion sickness.

And then the girl in the drawing turned her head, and her inky eyes glared straight into mine.

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Words for the Week #11

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."
― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Sunday, April 21, 2013

New Releases: April 21-27

This week's new releases:

The Rules by Stacey Kade
(April 23rd)

 Arclight by Josin L. McQuein
(April 23rd)

 The Elite by Kiera Cass
(April 23rd)

 Unbreakable by Elizabeth Norris
(April 23rd)

Unnatural Creatures by Neil Gaiman
(April 23rd)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review: Taken by Erin Bowman

Taken by Erin Bowman
Published: April 16, 2013
Taken #1
My Rating:
3 of 5 stars

There are no men in Claysoot. There are boys—but every one of them vanishes at midnight on his eighteenth birthday. The ground shakes, the wind howls, a blinding light descends…and he’s gone.

They call it the Heist.

Gray Weathersby’s eighteenth birthday is mere months away, and he’s prepared to meet his fate–until he finds a strange note from his mother and starts to question everything he’s been raised to accept: the Council leaders and their obvious secrets. The Heist itself. And what lies beyond the Wall that surrounds Claysoot–a structure that no one can cross and survive.

Climbing the Wall is suicide, but what comes after the Heist could be worse. Should he sit back and wait to be taken–or risk everything on the hope of the other side?

My Review: Taken had so much potential to be another great dystopian book, but instead it was just average.

The beginning was probably the best part. Gray's brother, Blaine is Heisted and Gray uncovers secrets that his mother and Blaine kept from him. But then Gray went over the wall and everything seemed to slow down. Gray and Emma tried to find out the truth while they are staying with the Order. Eventually Gray leaves to find the Rebels and the story picks up again.

The concept of the Heist was something that I really enjoyed. It was unique but the mystery about it wasn't much of a mystery. It was fairly obvious who was responsible for the Wall and it wasn't that hard to guess why 18 year old boys were being taken. The society that Bowman created was very similar to many other dystopian books. There's a war between AmEast and AmWest, resources are scarce, and there is a Rebellion. There isn't much explanation for why AmEast and AmWest separated and this is something I would like an explanation for. I really don't like when dystopian books don't explain how the society came to be.

The main character Gray wasn't too bad. He thinks before he acts, which gets him into trouble, but I didn't find that irritating. The only thing that really bugged me about Gray was that he didn't seem to be able to put the puzzle together. When people told him the truth or when he uncovered information he still couldn't seem to accept that he had been lied to. His brother Blaine is an entirely different story. Blaine is the perfect older brother that everyone compares Gray to. I was not a fan of Blaine. He was just too perfect for my taste.

Taken also contains a love triangle and the dreaded insta love. In the beginning Gray is in love with Emma, but she makes it clear that she doesn't love him back. Once they spend one day together, Emma's feelings abruptly change and she likes him. Emma isn't much of a fighter and she seems to change her opinion on things in a matter of pages without much convincing. One moment she's loyal to Frank the next she's trying to convince Gray that the Order aren't the good guys. Later in the book, Emma thinks that Gray is dead and betrays him, which made me hate her even more. The other love interest doesn't show up until half way through the book. Bree is the opposite of Emma. She's an amazing fighter and one of the only characters that I actually liked. I thought that Bree's relationship with Gray was developed more than Emma and Gray's, which is probably why I like Bree and Gray's relationship more.

Taken was enjoyable but it had a few flaws and it was like many dystopian books that are already out there. It didn't bring many new ideas to the table and it felt like I had already read something very similar to it. Taken would probably be a good book for people just starting to get into the dystopian genre.

Stacking The Shelves #31

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and here you can find all the books I've recently received that I'm stacking my shelves with!


Taken by Erin Bowman

I finished this yesterday and my review will be up later today. I was pretty excited about reading it and it turned out to be enjoyable but nothing spectacular.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #38

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly Meme. It's hosted on Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick:
Golden by Jess Kirby
Release date: May 14th 2013

Love, tragedy, and mystery converge in this compelling novel from “an author to watch” (Booklist).

Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ARC Review: Unspoken by Sara Rees Brennan

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Published:  September 11, 2012
Random House
Pages: 373
The Lynburn Legacy #1
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head.

But all that changes when the Lynburns return.

The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?

My Review: After hearing so much praise about this book I finally gave in. I can't believe I let it sit on my bookshelf for this long. 

When I was younger I used to read the Nancy Drew books that my mother gave me. I don't remember what they were about anymore but I know that I loved them. I still love mystery books but I think that the YA genre is lacking in that department or I'm just not looking hard enough. Unspoken was the perfect combination of mystery and paranormal and I honestly wish there were more books like it.

The characters were probably what made this book and they were also what infuriated me the most. Kami was a strong and brave character, but I couldn't stand how she kept saying how she wasn't pretty and that Angela, Holly, and her mother were so much prettier than she was without even trying. I wanted to bang my head against the wall when she compared herself to these people. Other than that she was a hilarious main character and pretty awesome.

The other characters were very funny too and I cared for all of Kami's friends. I couldn't help but love Angela. Probably because her laziness attitude reminds me of one of my close friends. I also really liked Holly once Kami gave her a chance.

I knew there was a love triangle going into this book. The love triangle itself didn't bother me but I wish it hadn't taken up so much of the book. A good portion of the book was taken up by Kami's feelings about Jared and Ash. I definitely like Jared better, but he wouldn't even touch Kami and their relationship was so unstable. One moment everything would be fine and then the next they would be fighting. It was infuriating. Jared never gave a reason for not wanting to touch Kami either. I assume it was because he didn't want to hurt her or it was just too weird for him but neither make much sense to me.

All of the twists in the book were fairly predictable, except for the one at the end. I saw the one about Angela coming as soon as she became friends with Holly. It wasn't hard to guess what the Lynburns were either, but I only got part of the last twist correct.

Unspoken was a very enjoyable book and I'm definitely going to be looking out for other books that Sarah Rees Brennan writes because the dialogue between her characters made me laugh many times. I don't think I've laughed so much since I read The Mortal Instruments.

Now I can't wait for the squeal and I'm off to see if I can find some teasers because I can't believe how the book ended!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Words for the Week #10

“Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.”
 —Maxim Gorky

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Releases: April 14-20

This week's new releases:

 Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting
(April 16th)

 Taken by Erin Bowman
(April 16th)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stacking The Shelves #30

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and here you can find all the books I've recently received that I'm stacking my shelves with!

For Review:

 AfterLife by S.P. Cloward


Remembrance by Michelle Madow

I've been wanting to read Remembrance for a long time and I'm excited to start AfterLife because it's different from other books I read because I'm pretty sure it has zombies.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #37

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly Meme. It's hosted on Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick:
The Rules by Stacey Kade
Release date: April 23rd 2013

1. Never trust anyone.

2. Remember they are always searching.

3. Don’t get involved.

4. Keep your head down.

5. Don’t fall in love.

Five simple rules. Ariane Tucker has followed them since the night she escaped from the genetics lab where she was created, the result of combining human and extraterrestrial DNA. Ariane’s survival—and that of her adoptive father—depends on her ability to blend in among the full-blooded humans in a small Wisconsin town, to hide in plain sight at her high school from those who seek to recover their lost (and expensive) “project.”

But when a cruel prank at school goes awry, it puts her in the path of Zane Bradshaw, the police chief’s son and someone who sees too much. Someone who really sees her. After years of trying to be invisible, Ariane finds the attention frightening—and utterly intoxicating. Suddenly, nothing is simple anymore, especially not the rules…

Monday, April 8, 2013

Words for the Week #9

“One of the strangest things about life is that it will chug on, blind and oblivious, even as your private world - your little carved-out sphere - is twisting and morphing, even breaking apart. One day you have parents; the next day you're an orphan. One day you have a place and a path. The next day you're lost in the wilderness.
And still the sun rises and clouds mass and drift and people shop for groceries and toilets flush and blinds go up and down. That's when you realize that most of it - life, the relentless mechanism of existing - isn't about you. It doesn't include you at all. It will thrust onward even after you've jumped the edge. Even after you're dead.”
-Lauren Oliver

Sunday, April 7, 2013

New Releases: April 7-13

This week's new releases:

 The Stone Demon by Karen Mahoney
(April 8th)

Renegade by Amy Carol Reeves
(April 8th)

Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
(April 9th)

The Shadow Girl by Jennifer Archer
(April 9th)

Saturday, April 6, 2013

ARC Review: Witch Fire by Laura Powell

Witch Fire by Laura Powell
Published:  June 4, 2013
Burn Mark #2
My Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Dystopian themes meet modern day witches and gangs in this thrilling sequel to the acclaimed Burn Mark.

Lucas and Glory are hard at work in WICA (Witchkind Intelligence and Covert Affairs). As part of their training, they learn more about the witch-terrorist organization Endor. It is believed that Endor has infiltrated a boarding school for young witches in Switzerland, so WICA sends their two youngest agents—Lucas and Glory—to the school undercover. There, they learn more about an experimental brain implant that blocks the power of the fae. It's a dangerous procedure . . . more so than they could ever have imagined.

My Review: Definitely better than the first book. From what I remember, Burn Mark was a bit slow and hard to follow because there were just so many characters, but Witch Fire starts off with plenty of action and it was much easier to understand.

The best part about the book was the witchwork. Most of the books that involve witches have them casting spells and waving magic wands, but not this book. The witchwork requires a little more work than that and I think that's what made the story stand out. The Devil's Kiss, the Inquisition, and the superstitions really added a whole level to the story.

The characters were pretty interesting as well. Lucas still doesn't know how he feels about being a witch and he struggles with what he thinks is the right thing to do. Should he blindly follow WICA or listen to Glory? Glory is still my favorite character. She's brave and strong-willed unlike other YA heroines, but she isn't completely invincible.

I thought the other characters were kind of boring. The government agents all seemed the same and I wasn't a fan of many of the side characters simply because I found them annoying. They just seemed to be there when it was convenient. Lucas and Glory's parents were barely there and Lucas' father lets him go across the world to find Glory. That right there is not something that should have happened if his father was actually being a father. I'm pretty sure most parent's wouldn't let their children go to the capitol of witch crime.

There was a bit of romance between Lucas and Glory and I really enjoyed it. I knew that eventually it would happen and it didn't take away from the story. Their relationship really developed over the first and second books and I felt that it was the only way their relationship could have gone.

The ending actually surprised me. I had guessed about something, but it wasn't even close to what actually happened. Now that I think back, there were very subtle hints about the twist and it just made the story that much more enjoyable.

* I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Feature & Follow #34

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community.

Q: Have you ever read a book that you thought you would hate -- ? Did you end up hating it? Did you end up loving it? Or would you never do that?

A: I thought I would hate Rapture by Lauren Kate, Hidden by P.C. Cast, and Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton. I ended up hating Rapture and Hidden. I only  read those books because I was already so far into both series that I thought it wouldn't hurt to read another. I actually ended up liking Wings of the Wicked but it isn't my favorite book.

What about you?
Please follow and leave a link to your post so I can follow back!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Book Blitz: Timespell by Diana Paz

Meet the Daughters of Fate

As I wrote Timespell, I hadn’t expected to hear three girls telling me their stories at once, but that’s exactly what ended up happening. 

Angie, Daughter of Past: 

Sweet, responsible, and well-mannered. Angie always has a smile for a friend, and she still likes doing things that are supposed to be for little kids, like building sand castles, swinging on the swings, and jumping rope. She has known about her destiny as a Daughter of Fate her whole life, and takes her duties very seriously; she tries very hard never to use the magic for selfish reasons. Her room is always neat and tidy, her favorite treats are fresh-baked vanilla cookies, and her favorite things to do are read, go to the beach, and cheerlead.

Julia, Daughter of Present:

Absent-minded, sarcastic, and a bit of a goofball. Julia is a loyal friend who will stand up and fight for someone she loves. She only discovered the magic of the Fates recently, and she uses the magic whenever she can to make life easier. Her room is always a cluttered mess and she never makes her bed, but she hopes to learn a spell that will change that, too. Her favorite treats are gummy candies, sometimes sweet and sometimes sour, depending on her mood. Her favorite things to do are listen to music, watch TV, chat online with her friends, and play on the internet.

Kaitlyn, Daughter of Future:

Hard, fierce, and every bit a bad girl. Kaitlyn appears cold and fearless, but beneath her harsh exterior she is a lot more frightened and alone than anyone sees. When she learns about the magic, she wants to use it to make herself stronger, and it doesn’t matter how she might make that happen. Her room is clean, but only because the maid keeps it that way. Her favorite treats are dark chocolate kisses, and her favorite things to do depend on who is around. Shopping, going to clubs, and partying are what she seems to like best, but her real favorite things are video games, watching anime, and reading manga.

Sometimes people ask if I have a favorite between them, and the truth is, I can’t pick just one because even though they’re all so different, I can relate to a little of each of them.

In TIMESPELL, the brash and impulsive Julia must team up with her sweet and straight-laced best friend, Angie, and the malicious and power-hungry Kaitlyn in order to keep the witch-like powers of her inheritance. But these powers come at a cost. The girls are bound to serve the Fates, and their first mission sends them back in time to Marie Antoinette’s Paris and eventually, into the chaos and war of the French Revolution.
Buy it now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
or your favorite book retailer!

Timespell by Diana Paz

In TIMESPELL, the brash and impulsive Julia must team up with her sweet and straight-laced best friend, Angie, and the malicious and power-hungry Kaitlyn in order to keep the witch-like powers of her inheritance. But these powers come at a cost. The girls are bound to serve the Fates, and their first mission sends them back in time to Marie Antoinette’s Paris and eventually, into the chaos and war of the French Revolution.

Author Bio
Diana Paz writes books about magic, adventure, and romance. She was born in Costa Rica, grew up on Miami Beach, moved to Los Angeles in high school, and went to college in San Diego. Basically, she’s a beach bum. Diana graduated from California State University, San Marcos with a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts. She loves old movies, epic fantasy, all kinds of music, and heading to the beach with a good book. Preferably sipping a highly sweetened iced coffee.

Author Links:
Website: http://www.dianapaz.com/
Blog: http://www.dianapazwrites.blogspot.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dianapazwrites
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dianapazwrites




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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Review: The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead
Published: February 12, 2013
Bloodlines #3
My Rating:
3.5 of 5 stars

Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In the aftermath of a forbidden moment that rocked Sydney to her core, she finds herself struggling to draw the line between her Alchemist teachings and what her heart is urging her to do. Then she meets alluring, rebellious Marcus Finch--a former Alchemist who escaped against all odds, and is now on the run. Marcus wants to teach Sydney the secrets he claims the Alchemists are hiding from her. But as he pushes her to rebel against the people who raised her, Sydney finds that breaking free is harder than she thought. There is an old and mysterious magic rooted deeply within her. And as she searches for an evil magic user targeting powerful young witches, she realizes that her only hope is to embrace her magical blood--or else she might be next.

My Review: For some reason this book and I just didn't click. The first two books were enjoyable and I liked this one, but this definitely isn't one of my favorite series.

Most of the book was actually pretty boring. Sydney spends a lot of her time preparing to face Veronica (an evil witch that's sucking the magic and beauty out of girls). She also plans the St. Louis break in and finds Marcus. But I just wasn't glued to my seat like I was when I read Vampire Academy. It got better towards the end because most of the action in this book happened during the last one hundred pages.

The main problem I had with The Indigo Spell was Sydney. For most of the book I wanted to slap her for how she was treating Adrian and herself. She denies herself happiness because of Alchemist beliefs and it takes her almost the entire book to accept what she feels for Adrian. It was just so frustrating. Plus so many guys think she's gorgeous but she thinks she's just average and that she has no "womanly charm" (as Sydney put it). But by the end I liked her again because she finally took action and really grew as a character.

For the most part I'm pretty satisfied with Sydney and Adrian's relationship right now. There were many times when I was very close to wanting to strangle Sydney because it is obvious that she loves Adrian, but almost every single time she pushed him away when he kissed her and got mad at him. Honestly if it wasn't for Adrian then this book would have been a very average read.

As soon as Marcus came into the picture I was very worried that there would be a love triangle, but thankfully there wasn't. I'm actually not sure what I think of Marcus right now since he doesn't really do much. He just has plans, but he doesn't actually do anything about the Warrior and Alchemist problem.

The whole Warrior and Alchemist problem built up so much that I thought when they found the proof something much more dramatic would happen. So they found their proof. Now what? I really liked how there was much more magic in this book and how Sydney became more comfortable using it since she had to learn to defend herself from Veronica.

Overall I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't as amazing as I was expecting it to be after reading so many glowing reviews for it.

Waiting on Wednesday #36

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly Meme. It's hosted on Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick:
Arclight by Josin L. McQuein
Release date: April 23rd 2013

No one crosses the wall of light . . . except for one girl who doesn’t remember who she is, where she came from, or how she survived. A harrowing, powerful debut thriller about finding yourself and protecting your future—no matter how short and uncertain it may be.

The Arclight is the last defense. The Fade can’t get in. Outside the Arclight’s border of high-powered beams is the Dark. And between the Light and the Dark is the Grey, a narrow, barren no-man’s-land. That’s where the rescue team finds Marina, a lone teenage girl with no memory of the horrors she faced or the family she lost. Marina is the only person who has ever survived an encounter with the Fade. She’s the first hope humanity has had in generations, but she could also be the catalyst for their final destruction. Because the Fade will stop at nothing to get her back. Marina knows it. Tobin, who’s determined to take his revenge on the Fade, knows it. Anne-Marie, who just wishes it were all over, knows it.

When one of the Fade infiltrates the Arclight and Marina recognizes it, she will begin to unlock secrets she didn’t even know she had. Who will Marina become? Who can she never be again?

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Book Blitz: Hell's Hollow by Summer Stone

Author Interview 


What inspired you to write Hell's Hollow?

It was really the name of the town that inspired me. For years, my family and I have gone up to the Sierra Foothills and there's a big street sign in a rural area, much bigger than most street signs, that says Hell's Hollow. Every time we would pass that sign, I would think, Someday I'm going to write a book about a town called Hell's Hollow. I didn't know what it would be about until I started writing it. I started with the name of the town and then with the protagonist and just let them lead me into the story.

What is your writing process like?

I need quiet to really be able to get to the sweet spot where the writing flows. So I don't listen to music and I prefer not to be at a noisy café. My best writing comes when I let the character tell me the story. With Hell's Hollow I was surprised by many elements of the storyline, none of which would have happened if I'd really tried to guess at what would come next. So listening for the voice of the characters and the voice of the story are key for me.

What were your favorite elements of Hell's Hollow to write?

I really enjoyed writing the growing relationship between Seraphina and Zach. I loved the build up from strangers to friends to something more. And because she isn't sure if he's real or a figment of her potential loss of sanity, there's an element of mystery that was fun to play with.

Also, the crazy parts! I loved writing her psychotic grandmother and also the scenes where Seraphina's own sanity begins to waver. I actually did quite a bit of research on different types of psychosis and based much of her aunt and grandmother's behavior on videos I watched of schizophrenic patients.

Were there parts of the story you didn't enjoy writing?

I always struggle a bit with writing the parts when everything is going wrong. I'm impatient to get to the places where things are working out. So I really have to push myself to hold out and let things be bad for a while. It makes the payoff of the happy parts so much richer.

Did you do much research for Hell's Hollow?

I did! I actually really enjoyed my research for this book. First, I spent time in the area of the Sierra Nevada foothills where the story takes place and even went to Big Trees State Park to get a feel for the giant trees that live in the Hollow. I spent quite a bit of time online researching psychosis and schizophrenia. I also did a lot of research on the history of the area — both of the Native American tribes that lived there and on the Gold Rush history. Other areas of research included the serpent-handling religion of West Virginia, alternative forms of healing, mythology about Hell, diseases caused by wild animals, baking and a few others I won't mention so as not to give anything away.

In Hell's Hollow, Seraphina has the ability to heal. Her grandmother hears people's thoughts. And her aunt sees the future. If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Ooh. That is a tough question! I have secretly always wanted Seraphina's power. But there are others that would be super cool too. I'd say flying, but I'd probably get motion sickness :)

Why does Seraphina, who has always obeyed her mom's rule about not using her special ability, decide to start trying?

Partly, it's because the tugs from the Hollow have begun to keep her awake at night and bother her all day. And partly, it's because of Zach. She wants to help him. There's also one more piece, which is that she's sixteen and her mom's rule feels wrong to her, and she's getting brave enough to make up her own mind.

Quick Qs:
Ocean or mountains: ocean
Winter or summer: summer
Chocolate or vanilla: Always, always chocolate
Movie night or dancing: movie night
Harry Potter or Hunger Games: yes
Favorite type of food: Thai
Favorite rainy day activity: reading, of course
Favorite recent(ish) movie: Pitch Perfect
Favorite sound: laughter

Trivia about Hell's Hollow:

Sera's favorite baked good is an ooey gooey sticky bun.

Zach's favorite candy is a Mars bar.

Sera has 3 older brothers. They were inspired by the 3 brothers of my best friend from kindergarten. That friend never hesitated to tell people that her middle brother was her favorite. It's very clear that Sera's middle brother is her favorite too. And he's her favorite for the same reason — he's sweet to her.

The Tale of Hell's Hollow, which Sera tells Zach in the novel, was partly inspired by actual events that took place in that part of the state during the Gold Rush.

Trivia about Summer Stone:

Believes chocolate and caramel can solve most problems.

Is terrified of rats... and mice... and anything in the rodent family.

Was a total book nerd in high school... and still is.

Tries hard to be brave.

Can be very determined (aka stubborn.)

Believes in magic.

Collects seashells -- but only when they ask her to.

Hell's Hollow by Summer Stone
Amazon / Barnes and Noble 
When Seraphina was younger, she healed her best friend's injured hand. Terrified by the inexplicable cure, the girl shunned her. From that day on, Seraphina found herself without friends, a freak and an oddity. And so she obeyed her mother’s rule to refrain from using her innate ability, heeded her mother's warning that its use could land her in the local mental health facility alongside her aunt and grandmother.

But when sixteen-year-old Seraphina finds a mysterious, wounded boy hiding in the hollow in the woods behind her house, she can't hold out against the overpowering urge to help him. She is drawn to him each night, and as they come to know one another, their irresistible attraction blooms.

She longs to uncover his secrets — where he comes from and why he's hiding and how he came to be so wounded — and to share her own, though she knows it's forbidden. And while her healing touch seems to be helping him, it's hurting her. When the symptoms of psychosis — experienced by the women in her bloodline who used their powers — begin to plague Seraphina, she is faced with the unbearable choice of saving her sanity or the boy she’s come to love.

Author Bio
Summer Stone loves immersing herself in the worlds that live inside her mind. When she's in the real world, she likes kicking back on the beach, exploring new places, reading (of course) and eating rich, gooey chocolate. She loves spending time with her husband and kids, which she does as much as she can. Summer writes young adult and women's fiction, both supernatural and contemporary, realistic and looks forward to sharing her novels with you! 

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