Thursday, July 28, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

(Yes, I am aware that it's Thursday-yesterday was housework day and I didn't have this scheduled.)

All You Desire is the sequel to The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller and it's due to be released (by Razorbill) August 9, 2011.

I really loved The Eternal Ones (so happy to have won an advance copy from Penguin!!! Maybe they'll love me and I'll somehow get a copy of The Eternal Ones, too ;-)) - my review of it is here: r e v i e w

So I am super excited that the sequel will be released soon, I can't to see how Haven's story continues. (I've read a sentence and a half of the synopsis because I don't want any spoilers at all, I want to discover the story as I read it!)

In case you'd like to read it, however, here it is:

Haven Moore and Iain Morrow have been living a blissful life in Rome, an ocean way from the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader. But paradise is not to last. The mysterious disappearance of Haven's best friend, Beau, sends the pair running back to New York, where they encounter the Horae, an underground group of women who have spent centuries scheming to destroy Adam Rosier. Only they can help Haven uncover the secret to Beau's whereabouts in one of her past lives. But their help comes at a price: Haven must infiltrate the Ouroboros Society, charm Adam Rosier, and lure him into a trap. It's a plan the Horae believe will save the world-but Haven and Iain fear that it may destroy the happiness they've been chasing for two thousand years.

I love that the cover of All You Desire matches the paperback cover of The Eternal Ones so perfectly yeti still matches the hardcover cover,too!

All You Desire on Amazon and Goodreads & The Eternal Ones on Amazon and Goodreads

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Babysitter Murders ~ Janet Ruth Young (eARC) review

The Babysitter Murders
July 26, 2011
336 pages

The Babysitter Murders, Janet Ruth Young's novel released today, is like a modern day witch hunt story. Dani Solomon is your well rounded high school student: tennis player, sings in the school choir, babysits after school . . . But lately Dani's been keeping a secret.

Thoughts about those she cares about most have been invading her mind. Bad, usually violent thoughts. She thinks about stabbing Alex the little boy she babysits with a giant knife from his kitchen while he sleeps.

Dani doesn't want to do it. She loves Alex. Enjoys babysitting him. Feels bad for him because of his absent mother. But she thinks about it.

When Dani's secret gets out, the moniker Dani Death is bestowed upon her even though she's never committed any crime, never harmed anyone. No matter, though, the whole town, the whole area, is soon out to get Dani Death.

An enjoyable YA psychological tale. you get to see what's going on inside Dani's mind . . . and what happens to and around her once she decides to let some of it out (or even just share it). It's also also a fantastic portrayal of the town's psyche - of the pack mentality, really - and how they're all so ready to latch on to Dani as Dani Death even when no crime has been committed.

With tabloid headlines, news reports, internet communications and other characters mixed in, The Babysitter Murders shows just how people will react to mental illness-whether they know it's that or not.

It's an excellent depiction of how people are still ready to dig out the pitchforks and storm a castle. Or think/post that they are.

And what it means for the person on the receiving end of those comments, posts, taunts, headlines, etc.

The Babysitter Murders is written in present tense. For me it felt more like anarration of a story than a story--I was always one step away from being full engrossed in it. Present tense storytelling doesn't really seem to work for me; it doesn't allow me to connect with the characters. But for other readers, it really might.


big thank you to GalleyGrab fot the advance galley of this book

Monday, July 25, 2011

Supernaturally ~ Kiersten White (ARC) review

Supernaturally (Paranormalcy #2)
July 26, 2011
352 pages

Supernaturally, the follow-up to Kiersten White's Paranormalcy is another don't-stop-until-you're-done glimpse into Evie's world.

Only this time around, Evie's biggest worry should be avoiding getting killed by the overly enthusiastic soccer players in gym class. That's right, Evie's finally gotten her wish and has a normal life, locker and all.

Away from IPCA, Evie is attending high school and trying her hand at being ordinary.

Except, being ordinary gets kind of ..... ordinary.

So, when a chance to to work for IPCA again presents itself, Evie agrees.

But as one job leads to another to another, all more dangerous than she expected, Evie wonders if she made the right decision.

Then you throw in Reth, revelations about her past, and trouble with the faerie courts (again) that could mean trouble for everything . . . all that affect Evie.

Looks like both worlds were too good to be true for Evie ... will she ever find a place she fits?

Everything that you loved in Paranormalcy is back in Supernaturally. Thers's the humor, the wit, the characters (well, most of the them), and some paranormal containment, too. Just without Evie living in the Center.

There's also the relationships - actually, more so. Evie and Raquel's relationship is still a part of Supernaturally but it's not the main Evie-and-another relationship that is focused on in this novel. Her relationship with Lend is really developed, as is her relationship with Arianna, her relationship with friends she's trying to make at school, but most of all, her relationship with Evie.

Sounds cheesy put that way, but Evie's really trying to figure out how she works in this normal life, then in a normal life with a bit of IPCA business thrown in the mix.

Kiersten White's talent really comes through with Evie. Love her or hate her Evie is Evie and can never be mistaken for any other character in fiction (or nonfiction or real life, I would imagine). Readers connect with Evie because she is so herself. Evie is a character unlike any other, something that comes through in the writing and really makes this story.

Can't forget, of course, the new character in this book, Jack. I want to know how Ms White had enough imagination space left to come up with him. (Loved him, too.) There is no shortage of imagination or creativity in this book or this series.

The Paranormalcy series is one that should really become a television series. Really.

Rating: 10/10

(and I'm already trying to figure out something constructive to do to bide my time until the next book comes out)

HUGE thank you to HarperTeen for my advance copy of this book!

Naturally ~ Selena Gomez
God Don't Make Lonely Girls ~ Wallflowers
Wait It Out ~ Imogen Heap

ALSO? Make sure to read the acknowledgments section!! Best one ever? I think so.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Giveaway Winner

And the winner of my Hourglass giveaway is:

Sawan Chant

Winner has been emailed & has 24 hours from email to respond-if not, I'll pick a new winner. Hourglass was amazingcakes so I really hope it is enjoyed!!

(I was waiting until my giveaway copy arrived to notify the winner.)

Hoping to have more giveaways soon!

As always, if you're a publisher/publicist/author/etc who would like me to host a giveaway, please just contact me :)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Video Veneris

My Video Veneris is going to be a bit different this week in that it won't be a book trailer . . .

You may have noticed that I've posted one of the trailers to Alyxandra Harvey's amazing book Haunting Violet on my sidebar - you didn't? Well, you should go look now!

I've also posted a link to one of the others (there are three) on my review (it is here).

This week, though, the great folks at Bloomsbury, Flora Willis to be precise, was kind enough to let me know about some other videos involving Haunting Violet and it's uber talented author.

It's with that knowledge that I present to you this week's Video Veneris, Alyxandra Harvey talking about the paranormal (and some Haunting Violet):

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Love Story ~ Jennifer Echols (eARC) review

Love Story
MTV Books
July 19, 2011
256 pages

Love Story by Jennifer Echols will remind old fans why exactly it is they love her writing so much - as well as create plenty of new fans. Majoring in English in New York City and taking the creative writing class is a way for Erin Blackwell to get one step closer to her dream of being a published writer. And a way for her to get away from the troubled family past on her family's horse farm brings to mind.

But by not majoring in business like her grandmother wanted, she's given up - or, rather, had taken away - her right to inherit said horse farm. Along with all of the money and things she's used to.

Hunter Allen, a boy who's worked with his father on the farm for more than half a decade now gets all of those things.

Erin, who now has to rely on scholarships and long hours at the coffeehouse to make it to her goal - the publishing internship her class offers one student - should hate Hunter.

So why can't she get Hunter, the boy she graduated with, the one who suddenly shows up in her class, in New York, out of her head?

Jennifer Echols is one of those authors where I can't pick a favorite book of hers.

Love Story
has Erin writing romance stories - the first one with Erin including a very Hunter-esque character when she doesn't know he'll be around to read it and then some blackmail to stop him revealing to the instructor that the character is him. Blackmail that involves him writing sexy stories and her trying to goad him in to things.

Most of these stories are included in Love Story so you get more than one story for the price of one - and with Amazon, it's hardly even that.

The back and forth between the two characters is great. None of it seems forced or trivial. It also seems incredibly real. Readers obviously want them to ultimately end up together, but at times they really are mean to each other and you hurt for them. But people do that, it's not all rainbows and unicorns in real life, nor is it in this novel.

The secondary characters are also well developed, very original and get great story lines of their own. They add to the main characters' story, but also entertain you with their own doings.

Once again Jennifer Echols has written a story that will make you feel and leave you wanting more - but still satisfy you completely with the ending.


Ginormica thank you to Simon & Schuster (and MTV Books) and GalleyGrab for the eGalley of this title

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ocean of Blood ~ Darren Shan review

Ocean of Blood (The Saga of Larten Crepsley #2)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
April 28, 2011
256 pages

(Birth of a Killer The Saga of Larten Crepsley #1 review here)

Ocean of Blood is the second book in a four book prequel series-- to author Darren Shan's wildly popular Cirque Du Freak series. Picking up not too long after the ending of Birth of a Killer the first book in the series, this book tells of Larten and Wester's life on their own.

Readers are taken on the journey with the two vampires as they explore what it means to be on their own. They also get to see where the two end up -- at least for now.

Ocean of Blood is more (than Birth of a Killer) about the vampire world and its politics. More of the hierarchy and how things are achieved is explored. Through the two men's (or boy's, depending on how you look at them) adventures, we get to meet new vampires and see more of how the vampires operate outside of the small society portrayed in Birth of a Killer.

A lot more of Larten's personality is also unveiled in this second novel. He's grown a lot, both from where he was at the start of the first novel and over the course of this second. Readers are taken with him as he explores what it is he might want out of this life as a vampire (but, of course, there are two more novels in which to possibly find that out).

Readers of the Cirque Du Freak series will probably know where everything is leading but should enjoy seeing how the character(s) make their way there. Readers who haven't read the Cirque Du Freak series will likely very much want to after reading Ocean of Blood.

Very much like Birth of a Killer, Ocean of Blood ends on a cliffhanger--with a 'to be continued'--something that seems much more like the end of a chapter than the end of a novel. It will leave readers nearly salivating for book three . . .


Thank you to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers and Faye Bi for my copy of this book for review!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Before I Go to Sleep ~ S.J. Watson review

Before I Go to Sleep
June 14, 2011
368 pages

S.J. Watson's debut Before I Go to Sleep is a novel about forgetting, but one you won't soon forget. Main character Christine wakes up every day not knowing who she is, where she is, or who the man sleeping in bed beside her is. She wakes expecting to be in her early twenties (or younger) when, in reality, she's nearing fifty. The lines on her face and hands surprise her every time.

Each night when Christine goes to sleep her memory is erased, reset; and each morning her husband, Ben, has to explain their life to her once again.

After a violent accident years ago left her with amnesia, Christine is unable to remember things from day to day, leaving her entirely dependent on her husband.

At her doctor's encouragement she starts a journal, writing down the day's events in a hope it will help jog her memory. But it's the words Christine finds on that journal one day, "Don't trust Ben," that leave both her and the reader guessing.

Can Ben really be trusted? Can Christine's transcription of events? Is everything that happened to Christine as it's been portrayed? Is everyone as they seem?

What has happened to her memory . . . and will it ever return?

Before I Go to Sleep is a novel full of twists and turns. It starts off being an interesting tale of a woman who cannot remember her life and gradually yearns more and more to have it back (sort of the grown up cousin to Forgotten) and then becomes more of a psychological thriller. The reader is left guessing just how much there really is to this story that at first could have seemed so simple (simple but strange).

The last big twist is one readers might figure out themselves a bit before it's revealed but that will only add to the suspense as you wait for the events to ultimately unfold.

Before I Go to Sleep is a novel you will, likely, want others to read if only so you can discuss with them what they thought of it or ask them questions about certain parts--it's not a talk about it novel.

It is also an adult novel. For YA readers: Mostly due to the general plot and content but also to a few instances in language/scenes of sex. There's also some coarse language - but probably less than most YA novels.

I will be looking for more from S.J. Watson in the future.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Forgotten ~ Cat Patrick review

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
June 7, 2011
304 pages

Forgotten, Cat Patrick’s debut novel is one that is much deeper, more emotional, than it first lets on. Sixteen-year-old London Lane only remembers the future. Every morning (or night) at 4:33 am, her memory of the day to come is erased, leaving her to navigate her day using only notes she’s left herself (along with some help from her mother and best friend).

Unable to remember her past or know what’s going to happen on the day she’s about to experience, London has learned over the years to leave herself notes each night about what she remembers about the next day—from what to wear, to what to study, to what events from the previous days are pertinent.

But just as we all forget some little things, so does London, leaving her looking scatterbrained sometimes.

A lapse in her notes can’t explain why she doesn’t remember Luke Henry the new boy at school. Or why she can’t find him in her memories of things to come. And Luke Henry is not a boy a girl would easily forget, either. So what’s going on?

And who is Luke?

The concept of Forgotten is appealing enough to draw readers in – but it is its actual execution that will cause word of its brilliance to spread like wildfire. The little things are most definitely not forgotten in this novel. In fact, they’re what make it shine.

Some scenes leaving the reader positively aching for London and the fact that she won’t remember the experience, they’re so perfect. It’s almost cruel to have her experience something so special (one instance in particular) and then forget.

Cat Patrick has written a novel where you truly forget that they character is a character and not a real person.

Complex, heavy issues are dealt with in addition to London’s memory trouble making Forgotten about London’s life, not just how London lives her life. All parts of the story were given enough attention and contributed to, rather than took away from, each other.

Forgotten is hopefully going to be a movie and all I can say is that it had better be, this is one book that I cannot wait to see adapted to the big screen.

10/10 – I am eagerly, eagerly awaiting more from Ms. Patrick

Huge thank you to the publisher for my copy of this book for review

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Starcrossed ~ Josephine Angelini (ARC) review

Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1)
May 31, 2011
496 pages

Starcrossed, Josephine Angelini’s debut novel is a must read for anyone who enjoys reading about Greek mythology. Sixteen-year-old Helen Hamilton has spent her entire life living on Nantucket, a sheltered area to be sure. But Helen’s always been the little bit different one, a fact only compounded now that she’s tortured by what have to be hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood.

Then, there’s the new family that’s moved to the island. Helen’s best friend couldn’t be more intrigued by them and everyone else can’t help noticing how gorgeous they all are – but Helen, known to be very beautiful herself – has a very different reaction. To one of the boys, Lucas, in particular.

No one can know, though, the role Helen or the new family is destined to play in each other’s lives. Truly destined, too, by the Fates.

With hot summer heat, gorgeous boys, witty banter, complicated relationships, and adults involved in the story in such a way that they actually contribute and enhance the plot (this is a thing of mine), Starcrossed has so much going for it.

Then you add in the originality of its mythos, which some of the book and buy sites delve into more but I’m not going to because I think it’s spoiler-y, and you really can’t compare Starcrossed to much else.

A few similarities could be found to Twilight (Lucas has the family and they all live in the big house together, plus a few other, I-say-spoiler-y things), but that’s really about it—and something that is so general you can likely find it in a lot of paranormal books.

Personally the relationship between the two main characters just didn’t have that extra special oomph for me (for a reason I can’t quite put into words), but I’m still really excited to read the next books in the series and see if that develops for me.

7/10—thanks you to the publisher for an arc and to the publisher (HarperTeen) and NetGalley for the eGalley.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Birth of a Killer ~ Darren Shan review

Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley #1)
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
October 5, 2010
272 pages

Birth of a Killer is the first in Shan’s new four book series The Saga of Larten Crepsley. The new series is a prequel to the Cirque du Freak series.

Tracing the early years of Larten Crepsley this first book introduces us to him as a young boy working in a silk factory with his cousin. After a terrible incident, you g Larten kills the abusive factory foreman. Forced to flee, a young, poor boy in the early 1800s has just killed his boss, Larten seeks refuge in a cemetery crypt.

Only to find it occupied.

It’s here that he meets vampire Seba Nile, already 500-years-old. Seba explains to Larten, who already believes in witches and other supernatural beings, that vampires are, in fact, real. He also explains how vampires, such as him, differ from the vampires of legend.

Readers of the Cirque du Freak series possibly already know more of what transpires after this, but for those that have not, I’m going to stop the summary there ….

While I would imagine a reader would get more out of the Larten Crepsley books if they’d already read the Cirque du Freak series (knowing some of the characters, etc), it’s more than possible to read and enjoy Birth of a Killer with no previous knowledge of the characters, world or author (I did).

Birth of a Killer covers about twenty years and has a lot of explanation of the vampire world, rules and introduces a lot of characters. There is very, very little blood or gore (or even mention of it). There is violence—usually in fisticuffs or other fighting, but it’s all very middle grade suitable.

Most of the book is really about getting to know the character and where he came from—the title of the book is not at all misleading.

It’s too early to say if this series will lead readers to Ciruqe du Freak books but I know (from being told emphatically) that lovers of the Cirque du Freak series love this series as well and are awaiting the future books.

I will have Book Two, Ocean of Blood reviewed either this week of early next week.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Mercy ~ Rebecca Lim (eARC) review

I definitely did not plan to have my laptop break, have the only other one I had access to crash and then the area/several towns lose power for several days! Sorry for the review delays, lovely blog readers . . . I do have reviews for you now, though:

Hyperion Book CH
May 17, 2011
288 pages

Mercy doesn't know why--or how--but she keeps waking up in new bodies, with no memory of who she is, or who they are. Left sometimes with vague, soon to disappear memories of her former host, Mercy has to find her way in this new person's life.

With a sense that she has something to accomplish, Mercy works her way through these new lives . . . hoping she leaves the hosts in a just as good, if not better, place as she found them.

Mercy doesn't know why she finds herself in these new lives and neither does the reader. The only constant in all of her 'lives' is Luc a boy she dreams of who gives her murky, confusing messages/explanations for why she is who and the way she is. (The synopsis goes into a lot more on this and who Mercy is, but none of that's actually in the book.)

In this first book in the series, Mercy finds herself in the body of Carmen, a teen on a school singing trip.

It's with her host family that Mercy thinks she's found why she is Carmen for the time being, what she has to do.

Mercy is a great mix of Quantum Leap (more people should watch those repeats) and the angel lore from Supernatural. I can see Mercy and Anna (from SPN) working together. It's really unlike anything I've read before. It's about an angel - something you know more from the cover and talk about the book than the book's actual text, so the story itself doesn't rely on 'she's an angel.'

I would really have liked to see some flashbacks either of Mercy's previous 'lives' or - if that wouldn't have actually advanced the story - some more looks into Luc wherever Luc 'lives' or Mercy before this all started. Though, that might be coming in latter book(s). Something that really brought the reader into who Mercy is/was aside from her Carmen time would have really drawn the reader in. As it was, the beginning was better than the middle (which slowed a bit) but the ending was better than both the beginning and the middle.

Definitely a different book than I was expecting but now I'm looking forward to the next book: 7/10

thank you to the publisher and NetGalley :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Haunting Violet ~ Alyxandra Harvey (ARC) review

Haunting Violet
Walker Children's
June 21, 2011
352 pages

Violet Willoughby has spent her life as part of her mother's fraudulent medium/spiritualist act. More skeptical than not only those who come to her mother's readings, but just about anyone else, Violet does not believe in spirits or ghosts.

Except they seem to believe in her.

A very persistent, very stubborn ghost is now making herself known to Violet. A ghost who seems to have died a violent death and won't just go away.

Violet's going to have to figure out what the ghost wants and if she can accomplish it.

That and if this new found ability is going to ruin Violet's plans of getting away from her mother once and for all through marriage. Of course, the only person who can help her is Colin, the friend she's had since childhood who works for her mother - and might pose a different sort of problem for her potential marriage.

Can Violet manage to resolve it all --and without her life falling apart?

There are not enough good things I can say about this book! Haunting Violet is the kind of book that makes me love that I have a blog because maybe just one person will read this post who wasn't planning on reading the book already and then will . . . and maybe then they'll tell someone how splendiferous it is! (Well, maybe not using that exact word.) It's just that good of a book.

Set in the 1870s, Haunting Violet is historical fiction and the historical details seem to be accurate and really add to the story's depth and the readers' enjoyment of it.

Chock full of mystery, intrigue and drama, but also the humor and kick butt heroines that Alyxandra Harvey displayed such a talent for in her Drake Chronicles series, this standalone has something (so much, really) for everyone. And while her heroine might not be one to swoon, Harvey has once again created a very swoon worthy male character in Colin (I'm more than a little bit in love with him, I think).

Alyxandra Harvey crafts such brilliant stories and (as with the Drake Chronicles books) I love the relationships between her characters so, so much that I almost hate for the book to be over - except that they all find such brilliant resolutions that I can't really hate it.

(Can't say that I would hate for this to be a series, though-or for the characters to happen to show up in another of the author's books ;-))

A magnificent mystery, love story, historical fiction tale, and ghost story to boot, I cannot recommend this one enough!

42/10 stars

Ginormous thank you to Kate at Bloomsbury for my review copy of this book

(Trailer in my right sidebar or here is a link to a longer one)
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