Saturday, December 31, 2011

My Favorite Reads of 2011

This was tough to narrow down but I thought about it and narrowed it down.

Number one hands down was:
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I still haven't written a review of this one because I don't have the words
to express how I felt about this book and how it made me feel
reading it.  It was so fabulous and fantastic. I am now a huge fan
of Lani Taylor and want all of her books!! I cannot wait for the next book
in the series but I will read this one again.

Next and only barely second was:
Across The Universe by Beth Revis
I put off reading it because I thought it was Science Fiction and
it's not a genre I usually read.  I was so wrong. It totally lived up to
the hype and then some. I could not believe the story line. It was  incredible! The characters stayed true to their nature, Elder, well I have a little crush on him. He is so honest even when it puts him in a bad spot.  And I've read the sequel A Million Suns and it will blow your mind!


Another genre I didn't think I liked was Steampunk.  Well Kady Cross and The Girl in the Steel Corset changed my mind! That was such a great book.  It was long, but let me tell you, it could have been twice as long and I would have flew through it.  I really have a problem writing a good review of the books I love the most and this one was one of those.




Now these are in now particular order but I loved them all the same.

I think Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma tackled a very controversial subject with such care and sensitivity that anyone reading it would have a hard time remembering this was a book about what all the buzz was about. It read like a love story and it killed me at the end. I wasn't a sobbing mess, but I was sad all the same.  I really didn't see another ending for the mess they were in.  But I thought it was a well written book and I was captivated by it from page one until the end.


I also loved Stay by Deb Caletti. That one touched me like most books don't.  I actually wrote a fairly decent review of it.  I thought the way she did the narration like the main character was telling the story directly to the reader was an incredible way to tell the story.  It removed the author from the story and I really felt I was part of the story. It's not often I feel that engrossed in a story, like I'm there experiencing it. Maybe it hit too close to home, as well.

I totally loved Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs! I love mythology and always thought Medusa got a bum deal.  So that her ancestors are fighting mythological creatures is so cool.  And could there be any three girls more different??  And what a cliffhanger!! And those boys. Who's good? Who's evil? What do you think Flashlight Reader. We discussed it on Twitter and Tera Lynn Childs followed our tweets, but gave nothing away. Authors are like that!!




Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

Shattered Souls
by Mary Lindsey
Philomel a Division of Penguin Young Readers Group
Available Now


Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon. 



I didn't expect to like this book so much, but when I closed the book at the end the words, "That was a good book," came out of my mouth, not that there was anyone to hear me or care. So
let's see if I can tell you what made me like it so much.


Lenzi is kind of broken and as like attracts like, she's with a boy that's broken.  He seems really sweet at first, but then he drives drunk and tries to make out with her on her father's gravestone and passes out in a graveyard in a bad part of town leaving Lenzi, on her birthday, pretty much alone.  Yeah, my opinion of him took a nose dive really fast from there.  Then this stranger comes up out of nowhere in the graveyard and starts talking to Lenzi like he knows her and she's supposed to know him and Lenzi, who already thinks she might be succumbing to her father's scizophrenia, really thinks she's going crazy.  But Alden, the stranger in the cemetery tells her some things she just can't deny and he protects her, even from the boyfriend that wants to drive her home drunk and her mother's lecture when she has to pick her up.  


There is no insta love.  Insta attraction maybe, Alden is cute and Zak is a jerk, a drunk one. And apparently very jealous and has a temper.  Alden looks pretty good in comparison.
But Alden fights Lenzi's attraction through the whole book because they have a past and Lenzi who was Rose in the past made it clear it was a professional relationship.  And while we are on professions, Lenzi is a Speaker she resolves issues the dead have here on Earth so they can go on to wherever.
Alden is her Protector, keeping leftover souls from taking over her body and staying there.  It's a pretty unique concept and the denial and fight Lenzi puts up that she is this person and does this job takes up quite a bit of the book.


I liked the way Mary Lindsey slowly revealed this new world to readers.  I didn't feel overwhelmed.  It seemed pretty straightforward to me.  I also liked that Lenzi and Alden had real lives and parents to contend with and live with and weren't just living a supernatural life.  I'm really interested to see where the story will go from here because I know it isn't over.


So if you want a new type of paranormal romance, this is the book for you.  Not taxing to your emotions or your brain, but very enjoyable.  It's definitely a quick read!


Heather

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

WOW 4

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine where bloggers share their most awaited books! Here's mine and please don't forget to share your links with me!!

For Darkness Shows The Stars
by Diana Peterfreund

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Did anyone catch that last sentence?? Inspired by JANE AUSTEN'S PERSUASSION???   She had me at Jane!!

AND

WAIT FOR IT

Shadow Sight
Ivy Granger Psychic Detective
E.J. Stevens

I recently made an announcement that I was going to be selectively adding some older books to my blog for older YA readers.  I love E.J. Stevens She Smells The Dead series so I can just imagine how much I'm gonna love this one.  Besides look at those rockin' boots on the cover and then read the book synopsis, so much craziness going on what's not to love?

Some things are best left unseen... 

Ivy Granger's second sight is finally giving her life purpose. Ivy and her best friend Jinx may not be raking in the dough, but their psychic detective agency pays the bills--most of the time. Their only worry is the boredom of a slow day and the occasional crazy client--until a demon walks through their door. 

Demons are never a good sign... 

A demon attorney representing the water fey? Stranger things have happened. And things are about to get very, very strange as a bloodthirsty nightmare hunts the city of Harborsmouth. 

There's blood in the water... 

Kelpies have a reputation for eating humans. Unfortunately, Kelpies are the clients. When an Unseelie Fey this evil stalks the waterways of your city, you have to make hard choices. 

The lesser of two evils

So, what are you waiting on ????
Heather

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review Ship Breaker Paolo Bacigalupi

Ship Breaker
Paolo Bacigalupi

Set initially in a future shanty town in America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being dissembled for parts by a rag tag group of workers, we meet Nailer, a teenage boy working the light crew, searching for copper wiring to make quota and live another day. The harsh realities of this life, from his abusive father, to his hand to mouth existence, echo the worst poverty in the present day third world. When an accident leads Nailer to discover an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, and the lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he strip the ship and live a life of relative wealth, or rescue the girl, Nita, at great risk to himself and hope she'll lead him to a better life. This is a novel that illuminates a world where oil has been replaced by necessity, and where the gap between the haves and have-nots is now an abyss. Yet amidst the shadows of degradation, hope lies ahead.


I've been wanting to read this book for a long time.  I've felt like I should read this book for a long time.  And of course, I've had this book on my shelf for a long time.  I finally got around to reading it and I thought it was really good.  It's a post apocalyptic/dystopian book set in the future where there are "half-men" that are genetically engineered with part tiger, part dog, part man genes and bred to be loyal to their "patrons" so that they die when their "patrons" die.  And not only are they loyal, they are vicious and fast.
Children are used to crawl through pipes to scrap copper wire on the wrecks of old oil tankers and purposely starve themselves so they stay small enough to fit in the pipes for as long as possible.  They take blood oaths to be on their crews and if they betray their crew, their crew tattos are slashed and they are set adrift on the beaches to fend for themselves.  

The novel had a lot of action in it but was more a test of loyalty and faith at every choice.  Nailer didn't have to think about himself, but also about his fallback family and Nita every time he made a choice.  And he had to navigate the mind of his drug laden drunken father as he threatened Nailer's chance at escape and his family.  I read this book in one night and felt like I really got to know Nailer.  I knew what choice he'd make before he made it because he set the tone early on in the novel.  But I didn't know Nita at all.  At times she was spoiled and stand offish.  At others she rolled up  her sleeves and dug in with the rest of them.  I actually didn't trust her and didn't believe her story.  I didn't really get to know her at all.  I would have liked to have seen chapters told from her point of view.  I felt all of Nailer's emotions and fears and hopes as I read along experiencing the adventure of his choice with him.  It was a great story I'd just like to have gotten into the minds of the other characters.  But it was definitely a thrilling read and had some breath holding moments to make it a book worthy of  the Printz Award bestowed upon it.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

Silence
by Becca Fitzpatrick
Simon and Schuster for Children
October 4, 2011

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

******Mildly Spoilerish******
When this first came out, I was angry.  I thought it was supposed to be the last in the Hush, Hush series and I wanted my HEA for Nora and Patch.  I refused to read it. So it's been sitting for a couple of months.  But all of a sudden this week, I wanted my bad boy Patch and I wanted to see if he could redeem himself, yet again.  So I picked it up and read it in one sitting.  Yes, it's that good!  I think Becca Fitzpatrick has improved as a writer because this book was by far the best in the series.  It's much better at character development and plot lines and all the things that other people complain about with the other books.  Not me.  I've loved the story from the beginning!

So, what sets this one apart so much?  We get to see so much more of Patch for one thing.  That makes it all worthwhile.  We are actually sure which side he's working for and what his feelings are.  And Nora is not the helpless female that she's seemed to be before.  Of course, she makes some dumb mistakes, but her heart is in the right place and she's actively pursuing the bad guys.  The whole story felt more like Patch and Nora working together against the enemy.  That's what I loved about it.  So, it didn't end. No HEA. There's still more story to tell.  And you know, I'm really, really glad.  I want more of Nora and Patch like this.  Together, sure of their loyalties.  I can deal with several more books if I just don't have to deal with Nora doubting Patch and Patch brooding and disappearing and paying other girls more attention than his own girlfriend.  I say bring it on!!

Heather

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tempting Tuesdays-Some Girls Bite Read Along January 3-31st


In an attempt to grow up a little, I've decided to include some books on my blog that I consider older YA, maybe for the college crowd.  I'll be very picky in choosing the books that I review in that age group, no romance novels with overt sex scenes.  But I do want to cover what I consider a larger group of YA readers.
So, to that end, I am joining in on the Some Girls Bite Read Along that starts at Supernatural Snark on January 3rd. 

I haven't read the book yet and I'm going to try not to read ahead, but you know how it is if you love a book and I have a feeling I will.  The main character is a grad student in college who accidentally gets turned into a vampire and all kinds of trouble ensues from there.  Why did I change my mind you ask?  I'll show you.

Yeah, that's who Jenny at Supernatural Snark picked as the leading man in the book.  Don't tell my husband!
So this is book one in Chloe Neill's Chicagoland Vampires series and Jenny assures me it's tame, especially compared to some of the YA that I chose not to read.  I have no problem with sex in books, I am just not looking to review books that have a lot in them.  I'm looking for characters and plot.  But a sexy leading man or um vampire doesn't hurt either!

I hope you'll join in!  I had so much fun with the Waterfall Wednesdays.  We discussed books!! It was such a great time.  The first four questions are already posted at Supernatural Snark and there is a schedule of where to go for the next week and the next and so on.  It's really a lot of fun!  This book has been out for a while so I bet your library has it if you don't want to buy it.  So join me and the rest of us as we read SOME GIRLS BITE!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Tribute to Ellen Hopkins and Giveaway of Unnatural Law by Natasha Larry

 Unnatural Law
Darwin's Children
Book 2
by Natasha Larry
Available Now

I have not read either of these books but agreed to a guest post and a giveaway for the blog tour.  It's a great guest post, so I hope you'll read it.  And from the reviews on Good Reads, it looks like everyone loves this series!

So before we get to the guest post, here are the details on the giveaway.


To enter the contest FILL OUT THIS FORM HERE.
One winner will win at the end of the Unnatural tour, a $50 gift card to the retailer of their choice and  a signed print of both books, Darwin's Children and Unnatural. US only. Void where prohibited.


And here is the post Natasha so kindly wrote for me today. Hope you enjoy it!!


  A Tribute to Ellen Hopkins

I firmly believe that if you don’t read at least twice as much as you write, you will never be much of a writer. My father instilled a love of reading in me at a very young age. I still remember the feeling of devouring Judy Blume and feeling like a book was my best friend. Now that I’ve reached adulthood, I spend most of my time reading any comic book or graphic novel I can get my hands on. I think I read comic books because, for me, the young adult genre has lost that best friend feel. Don’t get me wrong, The Hunger Games is a work of brilliance in my mind, but every once in a while I need old school YA, and it was actually one of my own readers that turned me onto Ellen Hopkins.
A young lady I’ll call Awesome X suggested I read Burned so I went and picked it up. When I saw it was a collection of poetry I wasn’t aching to read it. My favorite poets are Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath- and I can only handle reading them every once in a while. When I opened the fat, little book I was hooked on Hopkins. After she hooked me, she drug me back to my adolescent years on a violent and terrifying wave of brilliantly woven poetry that will always stay with me.
After I finished Burned I moved on to Crank, having needed a break after the last lines of the former echoed around inside my skull like a constant, death rattle. I can still see images of Pattyn Scarlet Von Stratten’s Mormon father pounding his fists into her back over a sanitary napkin, roaring the words: “You will remember who I am.”
When she reached for the gun I almost suffocated.
It is horrifying.
What’s worse is that it’s real.
Now I’m halfway through Crank and I feel my adolescent self being forced back into the trenches once again. I know, you’re thinking- some best friend! Violence, drugs and the un-happily ever after… yes, well it’s no Twilight… because Ellen Hopkins writes for young adults.
Everything in her poetry embodies the true spirit in which young adult books should be styled after. I don’t mean in subject matter but in theme. Burned questions as teens do. It rebels, as teens do, it’s suicidal and horny as teens are, but most of all, it’s discovering who you are for yourself. It is character driven and the most stunning body of poetry I’ve ever read.
As a young adult novelist, I think anyone aspiring to write anything for young adults needs to read Hopkins. She is as vital as Judy Blume in this genre, and she reminded me why I truly love writing this genre.

http://paranormalwire.blogspot.com

Thank you Natasha for that insightful post and for the giveaway! Happy Holidays everyone!

Heather

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WOW 3

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme started by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we share upcoming releases we are excited about! Here's a couple I can't wait for:


Are you ready for more ANGELS??
Forbidden
by Syrie James and Ryan M. James
January 24th, 2012
Harper Teen


She should not exist. 

He should not love her. 

Claire Brennan has been attending Emerson Academy for two years now (the longest she and her mom have remained anywhere) and she’s desperate to stay put for the rest of high school. So there’s no way she’s going to tell her mom about the psychic visions she’s been having or the creepy warnings that she’s in danger. 

Alec MacKenzie is fed up with his duties to watch and, when necessary, eliminate the descendants of his angelic forefathers. He chose Emerson as the ideal hiding place where he could be normal for once. He hadn’t factored Claire into his plans. . . . 

Their love is forbidden, going against everything Alec has been taught to believe. But when the reason behind Claire’s unusual powers is revealed and the threat to her life becomes clear, how far will Alec go to protect her?


                                                                                                      
                                                                                                              
                                                               
    Lies Beneath
by Anne Greenwood Brown
Delacorte Press
June 12, 2012
    
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistable good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.


Yep, Angels and Mermaids/Mermen.  That's what I'm looking forward to this week. What about you? I bet it's something great!  Leave me a link so I can check it out!

Heather:)                   

Monday, December 19, 2011

Noah Zarc-Mammoth Trouble Review - D. Robert Pease

Noah Zarc-Mammoth Trouble
by D. Robert Pease
Indie Bound
Available Now
Amazon, Barnes and Noble


Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. However, the twelve-year-old time traveler soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is abducted and taken to thirty-first century Mars; his dad becomes stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying a newly habitable, post-apocalyptic Earth.

Traveling through time in the family’s immense spaceship, Noah, a paraplegic from birth, must somehow care for the thousands of animals on board, while finding a way to rescue his parents. Along the way, he discovers his mother and father aren’t who he thought they were, and there is strength inside him he didn’t know he had. (From GoodReads)



I loved this story!  It was fresh and fast paced and as the title tells you it's based loosely on Noah's Ark, but this Noah is part of the family Zarc and their spaceship is called the ARC.  It's huge, large enough to house ten blue whales in a natural enough habitat that they won't be crowded and elephants on a realistic African savanna.  Their mission is to travel through time saving a male and female of each species of every animal so they can repopulate the planet Earth.  Earth experienced a cataclysm and all life was destroyed, but that was eons ago and now it is deemed habitable.


Of course, there is an evil man that wants to stop them.  People don't need animals anymore as they eat synthetic meat and he doesn't want the Earth to be a zoo.  He wants people to live on Earth instead of Venus with it's inhospitable air.  So they are in danger whenever they collect their specimens.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

IMM 12/18/11


IMM is a meme started by The Story Siren with inspiration from Pop Culture Junkie.  It's a great way to show other bloggers what's new and what's old and what's soon to be released.  I missed a couple last week so here they are.

Now for this first one I know you're going to wonder why I'd even want this book, but I am an aspiring writer and just as I suspected it has a lot of good information about the technical aspects of murder and murder investigation.  I won this book from Book Sake so a big SHOUT OUT to them and Thank You very much to the publishers of The Killer of Little Shepherds.

A riveting true crime story that vividly recounts the birth of modern forensics.

At the end of the nineteenth century, serial murderer Joseph Vacher, known and feared as “The Killer of Little Shepherds,” terrorized the French countryside. He eluded authorities for years—until he ran up against prosecutor Emile Fourquet and Dr. Alexandre Lacassagne, the era’s most renowned criminologist. The two men—intelligent and bold—typified the Belle Époque, a period of immense scientific achievement and fascination with science’s promise to reveal the secrets of the human condition. 

With high drama and stunning detail, Douglas Starr revisits Vacher’s infamous crime wave, interweaving the story of how Lacassagne and his colleagues were developing forensic science as we know it. We see one of the earliest uses of criminal profiling, as Fourquet painstakingly collects eyewitness accounts and constructs a map of Vacher’s crimes. We follow the tense and exciting events leading to the murderer’s arrest. And we witness the twists and turns of the trial, celebrated in its day. In an attempt to disprove Vacher’s defense by reason of insanity, Fourquet recruits Lacassagne, who in the previous decades had revolutionized criminal science by refining the use of blood-spatter evidence, systematizing the autopsy, and doing groundbreaking research in psychology. Lacassagne’s efforts lead to a gripping courtroom denouement. 

The Killer of Little Shepherds
 is an important contribution to the history of criminal justice, impressively researched and thrillingly told.

And on a much lighter note- I'm doing a book tour in early January featuring this book and it sequel.

When a magical black cat, Surla, runs away from her bombastic witch, Idis, she has no idea that she will soon be living as a teenage girl, confronting both the mean girls and the popular—and very cute—guys of Washington High on a daily basis.

While Surla may look like Cathy, her peers notice a dramatic change in her personality when she starts standing up for herself, dressing differently, snagging dates, and picking up strange habits. Meanwhile, the witch Idis is a flaming red-haired fury as she awkwardly tries to fit into society. She must hunt down her familiar in order to be able to continue performing spells. In spite of their circumstances, Surla and Cathy learn more about themselves and gain great self esteem by being each other. Not only this, but the usual drama and young love in high school life is kindled in BeSwitched as Todd, the handsome quarterback, shows sincere interest in Cathy. The "curse" of being BeSwitched winds up being the most purr-fect secret these new best friends could ever have!

So what did you get in your mailbox?  I can't wait to see!!
Heather

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wynter Chelsea The Legacy by Becca Ritchie

Wynter Chelsea The Legacy
by Becca Ritchie
Amazon, Barnes and Noble
I received a copy of this novel from the author for free for review.  This in no way influenced my review of the novel and I was not compensated for my review.



The Chelseas and the Wynters are the last line of defense between humans and the paranormal creatures that roam the world seeking to overrun it.  From the beginning of time, there have always been Wynters and Chelseas fighting against the evil forces in the world.  But something is different in this generation.  For the first time, a girl has been born to the Chelsea family.  Amanda Chelsea.  And this changes the game for everyone.


Amanda may be a Chelsea, but she's not allowed to be part of the legacy, the one that says the Wynters and the Chelseas fight against demons and half demons and rid the world of their presence.  Jack, Amanda's brother, and the oldest of all of them, and Dustin and Trevor Wynter all are sworn to protect Amanda and keep her from fighting. So as the boys grow up learning about the different types of demons and how to kill them, Amanda is made to stay away from all of it.


Then to compound things, this generation of Wynters and Chelseas are given "gifts".  Jack Chelsea can conjure anything from a gun to money. Amanda is an empath and with the volatile emotions of her brother, is left in pain more than protected by him.  Dustin is telepathic and it's almost as hard on him as being an empath is to Amanda.  For this reason, the two of them grow close.  And Trevor, the youngest is precognitive and a bit of comic relief.


One night, Amanda breaks the rules and goes into the woods after the guys and ends up having to defend herself against a demon.  She is forced to fight.  When the guys catch up with her and find out, the tension and anger is palpable.  The next day, their parents disappear.


The rest of the novel is in pursuit of finding their parents.  It seems directly linked to that night.  The guys still won't let Amanda hunt, yet she is right there beside them fighting, saving their butts one time but they never come right out and admit that she's fighting.  So many secrets are kept.  


Dustin and Amanda obviously have feelings for each other and it was a little tedious reading the back and forth.  Amanda seemed to be a bit oblivious even to her own feelings to Dustin.
Her brother wasn't happy about it as if it was any of his business.  But they all make Amanda's personal life their business, whether it's appropriate or not.


Amanda for her part whines a bit about not being part of the legacy and how that's all she wants.  But what she really wants is her parents' approval and love.  Apparently they aren't real forthcoming with their feelings, but as an empath, she should have been able to feel what they felt about her.


The story line was incredible.  Totally unsuspecting, it snuck up on me at the end and everything made sense.  The last part of the novel was just numbing to read and realize what happened. 


I truly enjoyed this novel.  The writing was interesting and the characters were believable.  I felt Dustin and Amanda were the most developed of the characters.  Jack was always angry and Trevor was always wisecracking.  Other than that, we didn't get to see into their minds very much.  But I enjoyed getting to know Amanda and Dustin so well and I hope in the next book that their relationship actually develops.  I'm definitely looking forward to reading The Sublimity.


This is a great book for anyone that loves YA paranormal.
Heather

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 2

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


So here are two that I am eagerly awaiting, one I found through the Historical Fantasy Jubilee at Small Review and at Ruby Reads and that book is:

There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia… 

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper— 

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia. 

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother. 

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.


Harper’s new boyfriend Logan Townsend is everything she never knew she always wanted—tall, muscular, with tousled brown hair that falls effortlessly around his face. But what’s most exciting about Logan is that he’s exhilaratingly dangerous, and dating him allows Harper to say, “buh bye” to her good-girl past and “hello” to newfound adventure. 

There’s only one problem with Harper’s otherwise heart-stopping romance: Logan’s twin brother Daemon. Harper knows he’s a bad seed, but she tries to look past his dark, icy stare and his chilling demeanor. After all, he and Logan are a package deal. 

Then cow bones start appearing in people’s mailboxes, a flock of birds show up dead, and all of the cars in the senior parking lot are given flat tires—and covered with blood-red handprints. Logan insists that Daemon isn’t involved—sure, he’s had some trouble in the past, but they moved to Harper’s quiet northwest Washington town so that they could both start over. 

Harper desperately wants to believe Logan, but the more he tries to protect his brother, the more she wonders what she isn’t being told. Now, Harper must unearth the hidden secrets of the mysterious Townsend brothers’ history if she and Logan are to have any hope of a future. But learning what brought Logan and Daemon to town won’t put just her heart in jeopardy... She’s playing with her life.

So what are you waiting for???

Heather

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Across The Universe
by Beth Revis
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

Okay, so I'm doing this backwards, but I thought I'd let you all know just how unbelievably awesome A Million Suns is so that you could put it on your pre-buy list or save some money to buy it-it is so worth it!  Now, I know you've all probably read this one so my review is for those of you who are reluctant to read this one, afraid that it won't live up to the hype.  I knew it  in August that it would, I started it then and it grabbed me on the first page so you'll probably know by the first chapter if you're going to like it.  If you don't then, well I can't imagine what  you don't like about it, but we all have a right to our own opinions.



So, here's my review.  It's so lives up to the hype!  Across the Universe has it all!  Lots of lies and secrets! I mean so many lies! And then the secrets Eldest is keeping from Elder.  He's supposed to be teaching Elder to run things yet Elder doesn't know a third of what's really going on.  I don't know how Eldest thinks Elder is supposed to run things or act like a leader when he treats Elder like a child.  


I didn't like Eldest.  Beth Revis wrote it so that you couldn't like him.  He was all powerful and egotistical.  He ran things his way and wanted it run his way after he was gone.  He implied that he could get rid of anyone and just replace them if they didn't follow his way of thinking.  He was a dictator, not a leader at all.


Elder was sweet and young and a little immature (and we all know boys mature slower than girls) because he had been sheltered all his life.  He was being brought up to be the leader of the ship and because of that, he was kept apart from most of the other people.  He was the youngest person on the ship and when Amy was "unthawed" he finally had someone his age.  He was sweetly protective of her and a little in awe of her because she was so different from anyone else on the ship. So there is a little bit of romance, budding, but it's really back story and for those of you who hate insta love, this isn't that kind of romance.  It isn't even love.  So yay for an author that knows how to build a friendship into something more, maybe.


Amy was a strong, willful girl who wanted what she signed up for-to be thawed out fifty years later than she had been when the ship got to Centauri Earth.  Instead, she's woken up early and stuck on a ship that makes her feel claustrophobic.  There is no real sky and the air feels recycled.  The animals don't look real, the food tastes off, the people are off, too. And most of all, they don't like Amy thanks to Eldest telling everyone she's a freak and to be ignored.  So, there's also danger.  First, she's a girl, and I don't care how strong willed and brave you are, it doesn't beat physical strength or the plans of a murderer!


There are other characters to love and hate, Doc, Harley, Luthe, Orion, Victria and lots of things to discover on and about Godspeed.  It's an incredibly detailed and well thought out story line.  It's fast paced and sparely written, meaning Beth Revis isn't verbose with descriptions and unnecessary words.  Nothing is wasted, kind of like on Godspeed. Sort of hard to believe in a book that is just shy of 400 pages, but it is worth every single word!  I'm in love with this series and I'm hoping that this trilogy turns into something longer!!

I highly recommend this novel to anyone that loves YA! I say I don't like Science Fiction, but the gadgets in this one are kept to a minimum in this so it didn't really feel like Science Fiction. But it did have gadgets that I thought were pretty cool!  Anyone that loves a good mystery should love this as well.

Just a caution, there are a couple of scenes that might make this a thirteen and up read.
Heather

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Million Suns by Beth Revis SPOILER FREE

A Million Suns
By Beth Revis
RazorBill
Available January 10th, 2012
Amazon, Barnes and Noble



Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.
It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.



I received this ARC from the publisher for some unknown reason and consider myself one of the luckiest people on the planet! I haven't even reviewed Across the Universe yet, but I thought you all might want to know whether you should put this on autobuy or not YES!!


FIRST  SPOILER ALERT IF YOU HAVEN'T READ ACROSS THE UNIVERSE DON'T READ THIS REVIEW IT WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THAT BOOK.  IT WILL NOT CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THIS BOOK.  IT IS SPOILER FREE!!


A Million Suns starts out shortly after Across The Universe ends.  The relationship between Elder and Amy is strained because of his admission to Amy in ATU, but hey, at least he was honest, something that seems to be in short supply on the ship.  Elder carries those wires around in his pocket, those wires he ripped from the machine that fed Phydus into the water supply.  He carries them around though he's not sure why.  A last resort? A reminder? He's not sure.


Eldest lessons come back to haunt him.  The three reasons for discord are rampant, Lack of a strong leader, difference and discord. Chaos is reigning and it does seem that mutiny could happen.  And the secrets, oh my god the secrets, I tweeted that Beth Revis has more secrets up her sleeves than the CIA. I was astounded. I probably had my mouth hanging open.  Every time I thought I knew the biggest secret, I was wrong.  Every time I thought a character was safe, I was wrong.  Every thing I thought was wrong, so if you think you have things figured out, YOU'RE PROBABLY WRONG!


This was a fast paced novel even at 387 pages (in the ARC).  I had a hard time putting it down, but I did have to sleep because I'd stayed up the night before reading Across the Universe.  I thought Across the Universe was full of surprises and murders, but it doesn't hold a candles to all the lies and deception going on in A Million Suns.


Elder is still the truthful, lovable person he was before, but he's having trouble leading the ship.  And really I think he'd just like to be a sixteen year old boy and chase after Amy.
Amy is still missing Sol-Earth and her parents and she is in constant danger, no one except Elder likes her.  And the people of the ship, without the Phydus, begin to show their true natures.  Some of those aren't so nice.  Elder has his hands full to say the least.  The last sentence will leave you breathless!


I can't say enough good things about this sequel to Across the Universe.  Buy it. Read it.  Gift it to friends.  It is so detailed and perfectly surprising it is already going to be one of my first favorites of the year, 2012.


Heather

Sunday, December 11, 2011

IMM 12-11-11

IMM is a meme started by Kristi at The Story Siren inspired by Pop Culture Junkie.  It's a great way to share new books with each other and older ones we may have discovered that deserve a second look!

Here's what I got for review:
Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny. 

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it. 

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…

 Cassie Jayne Bishop grew up in the sleepy town of New Salem, NC, the only non-believer in the tradition and power of the town Coven. When a stranger comes to New Salem, everything she thought was normal about her life unravels around her. Ethan makes her question everything, even her sister's death in a car crash years ago. As Cassie discovers the full truth about her heritage, and the clues start to pile up, she becomes determined to find out if the Coven was actually involved in her sister's death. What she uncovers terrifies her.
Her fate lies at the very heart of the secret the Coven protects. It's the reason she was born. Now, betrayed on every side, can she find a way to survive or will she be the catalyst that triggers a centuries old act of vengeance.


Thanks to Putnam and Wow Blog Tours and to Apryl Baker for the books!


And that's what I got in my mailbox!  What did you get in yours???

Heather

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Shattered Dreams-A Midnight Dragonfly Novel by Ellie James

Shattered Dreams A Midnight Dragonfly Novel
Ellie James
St. Martin's Press
December 2011
Amazon, Barnes and Noble



Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late.

Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.

But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.

Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.

I received a free copy of this book from Library Things Early Reviewers and St. Martin's Griffin.  This in no way influenced my review of this book. (I read it in July).

What I loved- Great story line! I haven't read anything like it anywhere else. Trinity, the main character is precognitive, but more than that. Her dreams are terrifyingly real so that she doesn't know if what she is seeing is real or imagined. And they don't only happen at night. Her parents died in a car accident and she grew up with her grandmother in Colorado being homeschooled. She knows very little about her parents and has never even seen a picture of them. Her grandmother told her to keep her visions to herself. When her grandmother dies she goes to live with her father's sister in New Orleans. That's where the story takes place in post Katrina New Orleans. The author uses the devastation of Katrina as part of her setting. It has a somewhat haunting feel to it and it's also a psychological thriller. Trinity has to piece together her past and find the answers she doesn't know she's looking for before she can clear her name for a crime she didn't commit. I didn't completely understand her motivations and mistrust, but the story line was strong and fast paced and carried the novel along quickly. There was never a dull moment and Trinity never had the woe is me attitude, which I loved. She was strong on the outside but not so much on the inside. And made a few dumb mistakes.

What I hated- Insta love, the boy she liked called her "Baby" ugh! Too many uses of she had to remember to breathe, she held her breath, was she breathing, had she breathed, that kind of thing and Chases' bottom lip, just so you know, is full. Said that a few times. Those are minor I know, but they kept cropping up so much that they bugged me.

But I highly recommend it because it's completely fascinating and a fast read and it's like a sprint to the finish line. I couldn't put it down! It's the first in a series that is going to be fantastic and I'm kinda sad I got to read it so early because I'll have to wait forever for the second one to come out. I'm not as interested in the romance as I am in Trinity's abilities. Can't wait for the next one.

Heather

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 1

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This is my first time participating in this meme but I have tons of books I'm eagerly awaiting.  I counted 15 for the month of January, but I'm choosing one that releases in February.

CUT meets HATCHET in this lacerating debut about girls, knives, and redemption.
The Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Area stretches across two million acres in northern Idaho. In its heart sits the Alice Marshall School, where fifty teenage girls come to escape their histories and themselves.
Lida Wallace has tried to negate herself in every way possible. At Alice Marshall, she meets Elsa Boone, a fierce native Idahoan; Jules, who seems too healthy to belong at the school; and Gia Longchamps, whose glamour entrances the entire camp. As the girls prepare for a wilderness trek, Lida is both thrilled and terrified to be chosen as Gia's friend. But everyone has their secrets--their "Things" they try to protect; and when those come out, the knives do as well.
THE GIRLS OF NO RETURN is a bold and powerful debut.
I love those mental health issues and this one seems to be loaded with mental health issues as well as survival issues.  I can't wait to read this one!
Heather

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