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Monday, January 31, 2011

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead.

 *If you have not read the first two books in this series I would suggest skipping this review. The description and review may contain spoilers from them & I wouldn't want to ruin the books for you*

"It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all...might be seeing ghosts.
As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line--and choose between the two people she loves most."-
Paperback, 443 pages
Published November 13th 2008 by Razorbill (first published 2008)
Source: Bookstore.

  This series just keeps getting better and better. The Vampire Academy books have definitely become one of my favorite vampire series.

   There is no shortage of action, romance, or suspense in Shadow Kiss. There were things that I was able to figure out before they happened, but I think Richelle was just using those things to distract me from what was really going to happen. More than once I set the book down and just went "Whoa..." because of things I did not see coming.
Rose has even more on her plate in this book now that she is in the final stages of her guardian training. So much is going on at the Academy with the field experience about to start and Rose thinks it will be a piece of cake, but a pretty big curveball gets thrown her way.
She also still feels responsible for Mason's death, is trying to control her feelings for Dimitri, and learns that Victor Dashkov might be released back into the world. Quite a load.
And on top of all of that, Rose has a secret she's not telling anyone, not even Lissa or Dimitri, but it's tearing her up and messing up how she is performing as a guardian.

  The I really did not see it coming. It was incredible, in both good and bad ways. I could not believe where Richelle decided to take the story. But it's awesome because it was really unexpected. I did try to go to Border's earlier but then it started snowing a lot so I couldn't go. I really have no idea how I am going to be able to concentrate on any other book until I get the next VA book to find out what happens. I finished Shadow Kiss at about 6 this morning and it still has me on the edge of my seat.
I cannot wait to get my hands on Blood Promise to see what other surprises Richelle has in store for Rose and her friends.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers.

"Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance—-even her closest friends—-and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him. 

What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy—-all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul.

But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them."- GoodReads.
Paperback, 365 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Tor Teen
Source: Won from Katie @ Call Me Crazy.

Wow. This book. 
I had not actually heard about it until I saw Katie from Call Me Crazy mention it in on one of her IMM vlogs.  And, well, if you follow her blog or twitter you know how much she loves it. So she had a giveaway, and I won! Woo!
I read it almost right away and have come to the conclusion that good, great, or amazing do not even come close to describing this book.
If I had to pick one word to describe it would be HOT.

Personal Demons is told from 2 perspectives; Frannie, who is just trying to make it through high school, and Luc, who is a demon on a mission to tag Frannie's soul for Hell.
Gabe got gypped in this one by not having his point of view told too. But, I've heard rumors that he gets his POV in Original Sin, but don't quote me on that. I could be wrong.
Gabe is the angel trying to stop Luc from tagging Frannie for Hell so he can tag her for Heaven. And he is basically just pure love *sigh* sweet, so caring, and so handsome. Have you seen the Gabe on the book cover (he's the one with the wings)?! No? Well, scroll up and look, I'll wait.....*waiting*....*waiting longer*....
Oh, you're finally back. Took you long enough. That's understandable though. He's good looking right?

Luc was a pretty great character. He is definitely a bad boy done right and seriously, he is pretty much lust incarnate. 
Both Luc and Gabe are smokin'!
And poor poor Frannie is being torn between them. Sucks for her right? Pfft, don't even act like you agree. You and I both know it would be awesome to have these guys fighting over your soul.

I did like Frannie too, but I didn't like how often she started crying. Mostly because she kept saying or thinking that she wasn't an emotional person, but indeed she was actually pretty emotional.

The play on words was great. More than once I found myself chuckling stuff that was said that now held a whole new meaning because a was demon present. How realistic the characters were was great. Frannie was just a normal teenage girl with normal teenage problems. Even her friends were really believable. Which was so refreshing to me because sometimes I feel secondary characters get the realistic shaft. But not Taylor and Riley.

 The story never slows down. It is just constant action and sexiness which was perfect. And Lisa has pretty much made the perfect love triangle out of Luc, Gabe, and Frannie.
My one hitch with the story was Frannie's indecisive feelings. I would go into more detail about that but it would be spoilery and I don't want to do that. But I just hope that it all gets squared away in the next book.
Other than that it was such a fun and sexy book. I cannot wait to get Original Sin now to see what happens next with these three.

Next time you are the book store, I would highly recommend picking this up.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kristi's Post for Help.

I'm pretty sure most everyone knows who Kristi at The Story Siren is. If not, you need to fix that. She is awesome. Kristi has such an amazing blog, is always helpful, and is so nice to other bloggers...the list could really go on and on. 
Yesterday on Twitter Kristi posted that her six year old cousin was diagnosed with leukemia; and today she made a post on her blog asking for help.

 But as a lot of you probably know, medical bills can be the worst. So Kristi kindly requested some of us maybe sending Kaylea some books because she loves to read, or maybe some gas cards to help her family out. Even if you cannot afford to make a money donation maybe just send a card to the family or stop by Kristi's blog to tell them you are thinking and praying for them.

Kristi does so much for us and the blogging community so I'm really hoping we can step up and show our support. 
Kristi's original post is HERE and you can go there for more information about Kaylea and how you can help out.
Every little bit counts.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Here Lies Bridget-Paige Harbison

"Heroine, Bridget Duke, rules her high school, but when she crashes her car and ends up in limbo, she must confront the people she has wronged, all of whom want her to go to hell. The outcome of these meetings will decide her final destination."-GoodReads.

Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 18th 2011 by Harlequin
Source: NetGalley.

Bridget is The Teen Queen and gets whatever she wants whenever she wants it. She honestly thinks she has everything and that she is untouchable. But when she weaves a web of lies so thick that it starts ruining peoples lives she starts to lose her grip on everything she values in her life. So she decides to act out in the worst way she can think of; to crash her car and die. Bridget honestly thinks that will show everyone. But when she ends up in limbo she changes her mind and doesn't really want to die. With a jury of some of the people she has wronged the most deciding her fate, will she be able to prove that she can be a good person? Or will they take no pity and decide she's done enough damage to send her to eternal damnation?

This book starts off with Bridget driving recklessly down a winding road, going just a little too fast, thinking about how terrible everyone would feel if she just crashed and died. Which ends up being serious delusions of grandeur because then it flashes back to the days leading up to her thinking this. 
Bridget is not a nice person. She is mean to her friends, disrespectful and cruel to her stepmother, manipulative, and just plain bitchy (pardon my language...but it's true). 
But since it is told from first person you get to get inside Bridget's mind. She is a sad, self conscience, and hurt girl. Though that does not excuse how she behaves, it helps to understand that side of her and why she acts the way she does.

The first half of the story shows Bridget's school, social, and home life. She does nothing to make herself a likable character, but I did feel sorry for her more than once. She uses her mother dying and her father never being home as an excuse to be mean and keep people at a distance. So yes, I did feel bad for her. Didn't make me want to slap her any less, but at times I had sympathy for the girl.
Then the next part of the book is Bridget in limbo seeing herself through her victims eyes and finding out just how awful she is.
That part, and the end felt a bit rushed.  I think less time should have been spent on her life before limbo. When Bridget is in limbo you see a lot of repeating as she is reliving parts of her life, so parts in the beginning weren't really needed.

Here Lies Bridget reminded me a lot of "A Christmas Carol" but taking place in high school, with a girl instead of Scrooge, and the new popular girl showing her her past instead of spirits of Christmas. The story was nothing mind blowing but it was definitely new to me reading a book that I did not like the main character. It was an easy read, pretty quick, and fun to read over an afternoon. 
3 out 5 for Here Lies Bridget. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

"Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding."-GoodReads.

Hardcover, 398 pages
Published August 24th 2010 by Scholastic Press

***This is a spoiler free review. So please no posting spoilers in the comments. If you would like to discuss more about it or gush about what happened DM me on Twitter, GoodReads, or email me.***

I have been trying to think, for a couple days now, how to convey just how I felt about this book. I started off a bit worried on where it was going to go. If it was going to be a cop out or if it was going to really feel finished and like that was were the story was supposed to go. There were a few things that I didn't like, things that I wished didn't happen, but that was to be expected. I'm a "live happily ever after" kind of girl, and these are just not those kind of stories. But when I finished it and put the book down, I was very happy and content with it (except for one thing). 

Mockingjay is dark and full of raw emotion, showing just how much violence and war can change even the meekest of people into something entirely different. Katniss is battling with herself trying to figure out if she is strong enough to be the Mockingjay that the people around her want and need her to be. But she has ignited such a fire of hope and rebellion that it's nearly impossible for her to say no, even if she wanted to. And along with fighting a war and trying to save everyone she loves, she is having to figure out who she can and cannot trust, which is a lot harder then it sounds.
The action is non-stop. It is literally just go go go. And as if that was not enough to keep you on the edge of your seat, the twists certainly will. It was always amazing how Collins just keeps you guessing through the whole book.

At times I was nervous, frustrated, angry, happy, or so sad I was crying, and when something really good happened I'd shout in triumph. Because by this point, I was so attached to some of the characters that I really and truly cared about them and wanted happily ever after for everyone. And when a book is capable of evoking that much emotion, it gets high praise from me.

If you have not read the first two, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, be warned, they are not easy reads. All three are graphic, but all three are amazing and, in many ways, realistic. Realistic in what people will do for power and control. Realistic to what could happen if the wrong people become in control. And realistic to the fight everyone else would have to put up to get their life back. 
So do I think you should read them? Yes. 
I was sad to see it end, but happy that it didn't get pushed too far. They are just stunning stories.

Waiting on Wednesday. (#2)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Beauty Queens

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: May 24th 2011 by Scholastic Press

From bestselling, Printz Award-winning author Libba Bray, the story of a plane of beauty pageant contestants that crashes on a desert island.
Teen beauty queens. A "Lost"-like island. Mysteries and dangers. No access to email. And the spirit of fierce, feral competition that lives underground in girls, a savage brutality that can only be revealed by a journey into the heart of non-exfoliated darkness. Oh, the horror, the horror! Only funnier. With evening gowns. And a body count.


Ha! This cover is great! Definitely an attention grabber. And then the synopsis is the icing on the "I really want this book" cake. I love Libba Bray. She is an awesome writer. The Gemma Doyle trilogy are some of my favorite books, so I have high expectations for this one. And I've been reading a lot of depressing books lately so I'm starting to look for some different stuff and "Beauty Queens" looks like it will be a super fun read.

What book are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Teaser Tuesday! (5)

Teaser #1:

Maybe I'd at least take a moment to be compassionate. We were supposed to be friends after all. Michelle's hopes evaporated when she heard me scoff.
66% on Kindle

Teaser #2

She shakes her head, as if to say, what will I tell Howard, then lifts her face to
mine, and there’s a smile on it. I think she’s secretly happy. She didn’t want me
here, either.
pg. 29 pdf

Teaser #3

If there is a Hell on Earth, it's high school. And if there's anyone distinctly qualified to make that statement, it would be me. I draw a deep breath-mostly out of habit since demons don't have to breath-then look up at the threatening sky, hoping it's a good omen, and pull open the heavy security door.
pg 1.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read, open to a random page, & share a couple “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

IMM #3

In My Mailbox is a bookish meme created by the wonderful Kristi over at The Story Siren for bloggers to feature books we got over the past week, either bought, borrowed, or had them sent in the mail. Make sure to go check out her main post.

And then right after this video I got my other book in the mail. Not wanting to redo the whole thing I'll just add it here.

(wooo! really excited for that one too :D )

Don't forget to leave a link to your mailbox!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday.

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Kate Lowry didn't think dead best friends could send e-mails. But when she gets an e-mail from Grace, she’s not so sure.

Sent: Sun 9/14 11:59 PM
Subject: (no subject)

I'm here…
sort of.
Find Cameron.
He knows.
I shouldn't be writing.
Don't tell.
They'll hurt you.

Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace’s death was more than just a tragic accident. But secrets haunt the halls of her elite private school. Secrets people will do anything to protect. Even if it means getting rid of the girl trying to solve a murder... -from goodreads


361 pages
Expected publication: March 1st 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire

I am in love with this cover. School uniform, pearls, and hot pink hair. How badass does this chick look? I cannot wait to get this just so I can have the pleasure of seeing this cover on my bookshelf. And how great does that synopsis sound? This has seriously become one of those books that I am counting down the days to getting. Thank goodness I don't have to wait too much longer.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Logic of Demons: The Quest for Nadine's Soul-H.A.Goodman

"What would you do if the love of your life was murdered by a deranged killer? Would you become a vigilante and seek retribution? And would this revenge affect those you care for in the afterlife? LOGIC OF DEMONS The Quest for Nadine's Soul takes you on a journey inside the psyches of men and women forced to deal with the spiritual consequences of their decisions. Through the lives of a demon, two Angels, and a mysterious teenage girl, a plethora of politically and socially relevant issues ranging from the roots of genocide and sex trafficking to child conscription and religious fundamentalism are addressed in this fantasy thriller. Life as well as the afterlife converge in this novel to explain certain peculiarities of the human condition. Whether you are God fearing individual or an atheist, LOGIC OF DEMONS The Quest for Nadine's Soul addresses moral and theological issues of interest for people of all backgrounds."-Goodreads.

The thing I liked most about Logic of Demons was it explored the ideas of every action has a reaction and sometimes we are just not ready for the reaction so we need to think through things a little more sometimes. And heed those around us who are offering solid advice and warnings.

The thing I didn't like about it is that there is just too much going on. It had a very interesting premise but I just didn't feel for the any of the characters. There was just so much happening all the time so I never got to feel connected with any of them.
And since there was so much going on I didn't really get to find out about the theology. I would have liked it better if there were more of a back story on the Heaven and Hell Goodman had created.

The story telling was fine, though at times it felt formal and a bit stiff, but most the time it all flowed very nicely.

The ending had multiple surprises, which worked but also didn't. The surprises themselves were great, I just would have liked to have them more spread out in the story instead of all clumped together at the end.

I would not suggest this as a YA though. There are some very graphic scenes.
I was a bit surprised at the mixing of religions and changing them. I was not aware of that when I started reading so here is your warning. There are many religions mentioned in this book and they are all jumbled together. Very different from my normal reading choices. Especially different from any religious/Christian fiction I've ever read.

All in all it was an interesting read. Not my favorite, but not my least favorite.
I would have to give it a 2.5-3 out of 5.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. That, in no way, has affected my thoughts on the book or how I wrote my review. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

CSN Giveaway!

CSN Stores

I was contacted the other day by CSN to do a $25 gift certificate giveaway here on my blog. Having seen so many other giveaways from them on other blogs and the response those blogs have gotten I jumped at the chance.

Have you been to CSN? If not you should totally head over there and take a look at everything they have. They have everything from bookshelves to pet supplies. Modern furniture to pools and hot tubs. Awesome right? Yeah, I have a very long list of stuff that I want from their sites.

Entering is easy too. In the comment section just leave your email address. See? Easy.
Being a follower is not necessary but much appreciated.
Giveaway ends February 1st and I will contact the winner hopefully no later than the 3rd and they will have 48 hrs. to respond.

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Audrey, Wait!

"When funny, charming, absolutely-normal Audrey Cuttler dumps her boyfriend Evan, he writes a song about her that becomes a number-one hit - and rockets Audrey to stardom!

Suddenly, tabloid paparazzi are on her tail and Audrey can barely hang with her friends at concerts or the movies without getting mobbed - let alone score a date with James, her adorable coworker at the Scooper Dooper. Her life will never be the same - at least, not until Audrey confronts Evan live on MTV and lets the world know exactly who she is!'-GoodReads.

Paperback313 pages
Published April 2nd 2009 by Razorbill (first published April 10th 2008)

What would a girl do if the guy she just dumped wrote a song about her...that ended up 
becoming a smash hit? Well, you can find out the answer to that question in the incredibly 
funny and quirky book 'Audrey, Wait!'.

When Audrey decides it is just not working out between her and her boyfriend she walks
away from him, while he sits in his room calling after her "Audrey, wait!!" Who knew
those two little words could turn her life upside down? The song is not the most flattering,
calling her out on leaving him so people tend to think she is a really terrible person. 
Everyone starts treating her differently, mostly by acting mean to her.
No matter what happens, everything just seemed to be going wrong and it has
all stemmed from that song. No matter how hard she tries to get away from it,
it follows her everywhere. People stare at her when she's at concerts, she gets looks
at school, she can't even talk to the cute guy at work because of the mobs of 
people wanting to get a look at The Audrey. Her life is crazy.

Audrey is funny and snarky, just such a great character. I think she handled insta-fame
in a very realist manner, which made the story even more believable. Of course,
everyone would like to believe that they would be able to handle the same situation
with grace and class, but that's probably not how it would happen. It would probably
go how it went for Audrey.

With the great characters, fun story, and the treat of having some really great lyrics 
at the beginning of each chapter, Audrey, Wait! is sure to be a nice treat.
So if you love music, contemps, and a touch of romance, add this book to
your to be read shelf.