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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tris and Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison

"A modern retelling of the German fairytale "Tristan and Isolde", Tris and Izzie is about a young witch named Izzie who is dating Mark King, the captain of the basketball team and thinks her life is going swimmingly well. Until -- she makes a love potion for her best friend Brangane and then ends up taking it herself accidentally, and falling in love with Tristan, the new guy at school."-GoodReads.

Hardcover272 pages
Expected publication: October 11th 2011 by EgmontUSA
Thank you Egmont & NetGalley!

One word and one word only comes to mind when I think about my reading experience with this book. Disappointed. 
The first thing that pulled me in and made me want to read this is that beyond amazing cover. I mean, look at it, it is so beautiful. It has probably become one of my favorite book covers. And then I read what it was about. Cue the jaw dropping. There is actually a whole lot more to the synopsis now then when I first read it.
Now I have not yet read the original tale of Tristan and Isolde so the only thing I actually had to go off of was the movie that had James Franco and Sophia Myles in it. I do love that movie though. And the tag line for it was "Before Romeo & Juliet, there was Tristan & Isolde." Romeo and Juliet just happens to be one of my favorite Shakespearean plays, so I knew this story would have to be good.
The movie was good. As I said, I love the movie. I thought that is what the book would be like.
I don't think I have ever been more wrong in my life. After waiting since the beginning of this year for this book and getting sooo excited that I received it early I had high hopes for it, and my hopes were crushed. 

From what I know of the story, the only thing that is the same in this book to the original, are the names of the characters. Except for Tristan...that ends up not even being his actual name in the book.
Which for me, didn't even really end up mattering since I did not like Tristan in the least. He was such a flat character. And Izzie was such a brat that I couldn't even pretend to like her.

There were also numerous inconsistencies and most of the time the story just felt forced. It almost felt like reading a really rough draft of what had the potential to be a great story. But as much as I wanted to like this story and sticking around for all of it, I just could not like it at all. Though I still may have to get a hard copy just so I can have that gorgeous cover on my bookshelf. 

I received this book free of charge from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, altered my opinion of the story or my review.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Austin Teen Book Fesitival!

I can hardly wait for this Saturday (October 1st) because I am going to my very first book event!
One of my best friends and I will be heading up to Austin earlllllly Saturday morning to go to the 

There are going to be so many authors to talk to and even more books to buy (I am putting my book buying ban on hold for this day).
So is anyone else planning on going to the book festival?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Insurgent has a cover. And a synopsis!

Oh be still my heart, look at how awesome that cover is.
I loved Divergent's cover. To me, it stood out in a sea of book covers that all looked the same.
I have even more cover love for the Insurgent.

And now, the moment I have been waiting for. Good Reads has a synopsis!

"One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature."-GoodReads.

Gah! That last sentence is freaking me out--"Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so".
What might she lose?!

May 2012 can't take that long to get here, can it?
I sure hope not, because I am already dying for this book (yes, literally dying).
How stoked are you for this one?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

"For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along. 
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel. For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life."-GoodReads.

Hardcover391 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Angels, ancient battles, romance, hot guys, awesome cover. What's not to love about Hush, Hush?

I LOVE the main character's name. Nora is so lovely and Grey spelled with an E always makes me happy. That right there made me feel like I needed to read this story, but I had seen sooo many mixed reviews I wasn't sure I wanted to waste my time with another stinker (and I have had TONS of those lately). 
I finally bought the book and put it in my TBR pile but it kept getting moved farther and farther down the list. Why, I am not sure, I guess I just wasn't in the mood for that type of story. Then one day it seemed to just call to me from my bookshelf. I picked it up and basically did not put it down until I turned the last page. It was just what I needed. Not great, or perfect, or one of my all time favorites, but it fit the book mood I was in.

Thinking back on the story now, there are some things that I have a problem with and that I don't like.
Like, as much as I loved Nora's name I can not say that I loved her personality. She was a little more than a bit annoying sometimes. Very whiny, acted like the good girl but seemed to seek trouble out willingly. Nora sometimes felt like a walking contradiction and not in a good way.

Patch made up for that. Now, I've seen so many people bash Patch, saying that he is too cocky or arrogant...etc. I liked that. A lot. It was hot. And it was different. Too many times now have I read a book where the main guy is just over the top sensitive. Sensitivity is fine, but when I am in the midst of a supernatural battle a knight in shining armor comes in handy just a bit more than some guy that would rather talk things out than fight...okay, well, Patch's armor wasn't that's a tad tarnished. But he was a fighter. Loved him. Don't believe me yet? Check out my post where I actually got to "take a picture with Patch". Yeah, I love me some angel boys.

The story had me intrigued in the way that I was constantly guessing if someone was going to end up being a bad guy or a good guy. 

Hush, Hush tended to be a bit cliche-paranormal-romancey, but like I said, that is what I had been wanting to read. It was predictable at parts, but very surprising at others. Becca Fitzpatrick definitely had me hanging on every word to find out what would happen and I cannot wait to read Crescendo.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

"On the night of Skye's seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites--like fire and ice--Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye's life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move--only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past. 

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can't help falling for, and Devin, who she can't stay away from, the consequences of Skye's choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine."-GoodReads.

Hardcover320 pages
Expected publication: September 27th 2011 by HarperTeen
                                                                  Source: HarperTeen via NetGalley

I am a sucker for paranormal with romance. What makes them even better for me is a love triangle (even though I think I am one of the few that like them). So when I was trying to pick out my next read I knew that this one was it. It was pretty much calling to me when it so boldly stated in the synopsis that Skye is torn between two guys. And let me tell you, it is pretty understandable why she is. Asher is dangerous and wild while Devin is sweet and thoughtful. Skye doesn't automatically think they are the greatest thing ever and she questions things about them that any normal person would question, which helps up the realness of the story.

The backdrop was perfect. Losing myself in the frigid winter of Colorado was a very nice break from the melting heat that we are having right now in Texas.
Even though I could basically feel the cold air of Boulder because the descriptions are so great, there wasn't a lot of story. Basically it's just about Skye trying to figure Asher and Devin out. Which was fine for me because that was what I was in the mood for. 

Now, I know the synopsis doesn't give much away in what kind of paranormal story this is and I have seen a lot of people assume that it is vampires and say they aren't going to read it because they are tired of vampires. Well I am here to tell you that it is not about vampires. It is about angels. Now hold on. Before you roll your eyes and say "Oh they have been done too many times also" let me tell you that A Beautiful Dark provides a whole new twist on them. It was pretty great.

And here's a little teaser for you (that includes a huge hint as to what they are):
"All of a sudden he’d taken two giant steps towards me, and before I knew it, had taken my face into his hands and taken me into the darkness of his wings, and he was kissing me and I was kissing him and we were kissing each other in my little bedroom, in my little house, in my little town, while the mountains soared into the sky." 

Yeah, that's one of my favorite scenes in this book. It was perfect.

My only problem was that Skye's best friend Ian is just so obviously in love with her but she acts like she doesn't know even though it is the most obvious thing in the world.  And she flirts with him allll the time, but when Asher and Devin walk into her life she starts ignoring Ian and her other friends. He does not deserve that at all. He is so super sweet, really perfect boyfriend material so Skye lost some of my respect when she started acting like a jerk to him.

The end is probably one of the biggest cliff hangers ever. I mean it was cruel how it ended. There better be at least a sequel. And I am thinking with how this one ended the next one will expand on the story much more.

So if you are in the mood for a good paranormal packed with romance put this on to be read list and grab it when it comes out! Definitely worth the read!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Glow by Amy Cathleen Ryan *Giveaway*!

"What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue? 

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside."-GoodReads.

So I feel bad. I haven't been posting that much recently, mostly because I am having a hard time writing my reviews. Metal block, big time. So I have decided to have a giveaway.
I have an ARC of Glow that I would love to share with someone.
So I am going to make this easy. Leave a comment with your email address. Or if you don't want to leave your email address, email me at and let me know you want to be entered. BUT if you do that, you still need to leave a comment so that everyone's name will be in order when I do the drawing.
Giveaway will end October 4th so get to entering!

*EDITED TO ADD: I am sorry I forgot to mention this when I first posted the giveaway (as I always seem to when posting giveaways) this is for US residents only, unless you have a US address I can ship the book to if you win. I just don't have the money to be shipping over seas. So I am sorry international folk. Hopefully soon I will be able to hold one for y'all too :)*

Good luck!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bug Island by R. G. Cordiner

"They destroyed the mighty Mayan Empire. What hope for a few shipwrecked survivors?

A South American cruise. It should have been a once in a lifetime experience. And it was. But not in the way they imagined. Barely surviving a horrific shipwreck, the remaining passengers have to try and cope with finding food, water, shelter, let alone the constant arguments.

And then there are the bugs. Not the sort that you squish and then get on with your day. Oh no. Toe biters, pond skaters, assassin bugs and harvestmen that drop down on top of their victims – all of these could be found in your garden. But on this lost island they are all at least twenty times their normal size. Trapped on an island with a six metre long giant centipede with armoured plates was not on the cruise itinerary. Now all they want is to get off – without being squished!

“Anyone pack the bug spray?”"-GoodReads.

Kindle Edition
Published October 31st 2010

Campy horror movies are kind of my thing. My mom and I used to get snacks and hang out on the couch all day on Saturdays just to watch whatever silly movies SciFi had playing. So when I read Bug Island's synopsis I knew it would be a fun read. It's not a long story and not in-depth but it did make me giggle. 

I've only read one Stephen King book, but how Bug Island was written reminded me of it in the way that R. G. Cordiner jumps around from character to character a lot. That bothered me at first (as it did in King's novel) because I felt like I wasn't really getting to know any of the characters. I would have liked to have been able to favor at least one person over the others and root for them to not get eaten. But I eventually settled on the fact that I wasn't going to get to know anyone that well. Instead of hoping for a certain character not to get eaten I started bets with myself on who would be the next to go. I think that was a pretty fair trade.

Bug Island is littered with onamonapias (the fact that this book allowed me to use that word in my review makes me want to give it extra cool points). Every time a bug was around there were things like "CRRRKKK", which I didn't mind, but have seen that it bothers other readers, so here is your fair warning. Their noises aren't described, but actually put in onto the page.

Also a fair warning, the formatting is a bit off. Sometimes there are only a couple lines and some bug noises on a page  which at times makes the story feel a bit choppy.

 If you are rolling your eyes at the description, then this book probably isn't for you. But if you want something kinda campy and fun, give Bug Island a shot. It didn't blow me away, but it most certainly was a fun book, and one that I probably won't soon forget. Especially the ending, which was just as out there and unbelievable as I was hoping it would be.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

But I Love Him by Amanda Grace

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

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

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

Paperback245 pages
                                                                  Published May 8th 2011 by Flux (first published May 1st 2011)

Sociology was one of my favorite studies in college, as was psychology. So naturally I 
am drawn to books about people with "issues". I find the human mind and how it works
in different situations fascinating. Unfortunately, that was not the case with "But I Love
Him". I was far from fascinated. Mostly, I think, because it is told in reverse 
chronological order. Starting with day 365 working back to day 1, when it all began.
Basically it was being thrown right into the climax of the story. But I didn't know
who the characters were or how they got to where they were. I didn't know about all
the pain Ann had already gone through. And I had no idea what was causing Connor
to act the way he was.

And since I was technically reading the story from end to beginning, seeing Connor
at his worst first, then slowly working my way back to where he was sweet, decent,
and a good boyfriend, made me not be able to feel for his situation. I didn't like him
right off the bat. And that is CRUCIAL to these kinds of stories. You need to show
me what Ann saw in Connor, why she loved him enough to stick around and be
beat by him.

There was a line in the book that made me livid. Ann says "and I know that when
the anger is gone, and he's back, he will cry for what he's done to me. He'll mean
every word he says, every apology. But it won't stop it from happening again." p.64
Yeah, that doesn't happen. The abused doesn't think that way. They truly believe
that when they are told that "that was the last time I will ever hit you" is really the last 
time. And I'm sorry, but if he is apologizing and really "means" every word, but you
know it won't stop, then he doesn't actually mean what he is saying.

There were also two things that I wish had been explained better. First, why did she
stay with him? When I saw how many red flags were shown in their first couple of weeks
together, I wonder why she didn't get out before she was in too deep. It made very little
But my biggest question would have to have been, why was Connor that way?
Connor's father is abusive to his mother when he's drunk, which would cause me
to believe that Connor would become abusive after drinking since things like that are
hereditary. But he didn't drink. He was always sober when he got angry. And the 
weirdest things set him off.
It just didn't come off a psychologically sound story.
Too many aspects thrown into one story to try and make it heart-breaking. Which it
was to a point. I felt sad for Ann that she thought she had to stay with Connor to feel
needed and loved.
But this was definitely not one of the "better" and more believable abusive boyfriend stories. 
It lost me too many times, so I rarely felt connected to the story or characters which, in the 
 end, made me care little about what happened.