Monday, February 28, 2011

Review of Crave by Melinda Metz & Laura J. Burns

Release Date: Sept. 21, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Shuster
Pages: 256 pages
Genre: Vampire, Paranormal Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary: Shay has had a rare blood disorder since she was born. In fact, her mother married one of Shay’s doctors, Martin, who left his world-renowned leukemia research to try and figure out exactly what the disorder is and how to cure it. When she turns seventeen, Martin begins to give her new blood transfusions that make her feel the strongest she has ever felt. But she also has odd visions where she sees through the eyes of a vampire.

Review: This book is interesting. In some ways, it is original and different from other vampire books out there, and in other ways, it’s very similar.

Shay has been sick since birth and unable to do things that other girls her age can do and it has made her resentful and bitter. She thinks that her mom and her best friend Olivia are overbearing even though it's clear that they care about her well being. When she starts getting the new blood and the temporary health and strength (and visions) that comes with it, she wants to live life to the fullest which is understandable; her bratty behavior to her friend and her mom is not. Shay’s conduct in the first part of the book is beyond annoying. In her defense, she does mature by the end of the book.

I think how Shay and Gabriel meet, his back story and his family's history is orignal. Shay and Gabriel as a couple is less so. A lot of what Shay does seems like she is crossing things off a bucket list and unfortunately, that includes her relationship with Gabriel. Their romance, both the emotional and physical aspects of it, did not feel very romantic at all.

I still don’t get why Gabriel, a 400 year-old vampire, fell in love with a 17 year-old human girl so quickly. He did find her scent extremely appealing (sound familiar?) but their insta-relationship went against everything he was taught for hundreds of years and yet he was head over heels after a few days.

The book ends with a cliffhanger and a lot of unresolved issues but those issues aside, I will probably read the sequel as I am curious to see what will happen next.

Content: Sex, language (including the f-bomb), teenage drinking and drug use.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Blog Hop & Follow My Blog Friday - 2/25/11

Happy Friday everyone! The Follow My Book Blog Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.  If you're a new follower, please leave a link to your blog in the comments so that I can visit your blog.
I also have a giveaway, a copy of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. CLICK HERE to go to the post to enter the giveaway.
This week's question from Follow My Book Blog Friday: Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...
For years, my favorite TV show has been Law & Order, the original show and the spin-offs which include Criminal Intent, Special Victims Unit and there is even a UK version that is shown on Bravo (or is it A&E?) that’s really good too. NBC stupidly cancelled the original last year and replaced it with Law & Order LA which I do not like. Fortunately for me, there are reruns all over cable so I still do see episodes often. New episodes of Criminal Intent  Special Victims are still on the air as well.

Review of The Iron King by Julie Kagawa and Giveaway

Release Date: Feb. 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 363 pages
Genre: Fey, Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: Purchased
Goodreads Summary: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…
Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.
When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.
But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.
Review:  I can’t believe I waited so long to read this book! The Iron King is a perfect combination of a traditional fairy tale and paranormal steam punk novel. It feels like Julie Kagawa drew the novel’s elements from other beloved pieces of literature like Alice in Wonderland and a Midsummer Night’s Dream to create the characters and the fey world and it really works.

Megan, just turning 16, started out a bit whiny but I loved how her character matured as the book progressed. She grows so much and you got to love a girl who would do anything to save her little brother. There is the beginning of a love triangle which I normally don’t like, but it works in this book. I really like both Puck and Ash, but I seem to leaning towards Team Ash right now-love the whole forbidden love element of their story! The secondary characters that Megan meets while on her journey through the fey world are so interesting and funny. I especially like Gimalkin, the talking cat.
This book is action packed with the perfect amount of romantic tension to keep you turning pages. I cannot wait to read the other books in this series!
Content: Language (including one use of the f-bomb) violence, a character is almost raped (but thankfully is not).
Here is your chance to win my copy of this book. This is my first giveaway so I am going to keep it simple, my only requirement is that you are a follower to enter. The giveaway ends on March 18. US addresses only (sorry!). Good luck and thanks for entering!

Vanish by Sophie Jordan Cover Reveal!

The cover for Vanish, the sequel to Sophie Jordan’s Firelight, has been revealed and it’s beautiful!  I loved Firelight, so I am very excited about this! The book is scheduled for release on September 6. If you have not read Firelight, this summary contains some spoilers so read at your own risk!
Summary: To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.
Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate.  Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday – Supernaturally

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:
Title: Supernaturally
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: Aug. 30, 2011
Pages: 320
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Summary: The next book of the Paranormalcy trilogy, coming Fall 2011! Evie, Lend, Reth, Arianna, Raquel, David . . . And Jack. Life's never fair when faeries are involved.
It’s not much of a summary, but I LOVED Paranormalcy and cannot wait to read Supernaturally this fall. Kiersten White is such an awesome writer, I know this is going to be good!
What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review of The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

Release Date: Dec. 28, 2010
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Pages: 404 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 5 stars
Source: Library
This summary and review contains spoilers to The Dark Devine, the first book in this series!
Goodreads Summary: A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns. Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace's relationship with Daniel is put in danger -- in more ways than one. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her -- not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.
Review:  Rarely do I think that that a sequel is better than the original book, but Bree Despain has done that with The Lost Saint, the darker, exciting sequel to The Dark Divine.
The Lost Saint picks up where The Dark Divine ended and is fast paced all the way through. Grace’s character is not nearly so naïve as she was in the first book, and even though she is more mature, she still makes mistakes and bad decisions. That’s not a bad thing, it makes her character more real. She is also bolder, stronger, more willing to take risks to help her family. She kicks butt and looks great doing it!
There are no perfect characters in the story, even Grace’s dad who is a pastor and her mom are just human in their intense sadness over Jude’s disappearance. There are beautiful themes in this book about love, faith, trust, and forgiveness.
I really love Grace and Daniel as a couple. Unfortunately, they do go through the sequel phase, best described by Enna at Squeaky Books as the following: “The sequel-phase is where our happy couple (who fought to be a couple in the first book) begin to drift apart. Whether from misunderstanding, change of interests, homicidal angels/werewolves/vampires, or all of the above, it doesn’t matter. The point is, our couple breaks up.” Thankfully, this is not the only point to the book and as far as sequel phrases go, this one is really good.  
There are great new characters, new mythical creatures, awesome fight scenes, and a cliffhanger ending I did not see coming. I highly recommend this series and cannot wait for the third book!
Content: Violence, demons.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review of Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: Jan. 4, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 435 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: I got the copy that I read from the Library, and I also won my own copy from Yani at
Secret Life of an Avid Reader. Thanks Yani!

Goodreads Summary: In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Review:  I usually don’t read angel books, just not my thing. Lately, however, I have seen great reviews of Unearthly and I decided to give this one a try. I was not disappointed. While it looks like the typical YA paranormal romance, it is much more than that with foreboding elements of good versus evil.
I love that Clara is the paranormal in this story. She is the one responsible for the saving, as opposed to the girl just waiting to get saved. She is not perfect but her character is very likable and relatable. Both Tucker and Christian are swoon worthy and even though there is a bit of a love triangle, it’s only an issue because Clara is being pushed to date one guy over the other. The actual romance between Clara and the guy she chooses is so sweet! I just love this kind of relationship, no love at first sight, but a love that is built over time by getting to know each other.
Almost all the secondary characters have secrets and their own mysteries going on which adds more dimension to the story. There are many subplots running through this book that were unresolved, leaving lots of material for the second book which will be titled Hallowed.
Unearthly is a well written and exciting novel. What didn’t I love about it? Some of those issues that were left unresolved and especially the cliffhanger ending. It was very unsatisfying! That being said, I cannot wait for Hallowed to come out, I will be running to the store to get it!
Content: A character is incapacitated and almost raped (thankfully, it does not happen), demons and a brief trip to hell.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Follow My Blog Friday - 2/18/11

Happy Friday everyone! The Follow My Book Blog Friday is hosted at Parajunkee's View.  If you're a new follower, please leave a link to your blog in the comments so that I can visit your blog.
This week's question from Follow My Book Blog Friday:
If you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read Science Fiction before...any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?
I have not always been a huge fan of sci-fi and the most recent book in that genre that I read is Across the Universe which I loved! I would definitely read more books like that one! 

Library Thursday – 2/17/11

Library Thursday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Lazy Girl Reads to:
1. Encourage people to support their libraries when they can
2. Meet new bloggy friends and grow your following
I did better with my reading this week so I am making some progress with my TBR pile! I am reading Once in a Full Moon and it’s slow going so far, I am hoping the book will pick up. Here are my books this week:
Drought by Pam Bachorz
Prom & Pejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
Warped by Maurissa Guibord
Cloaked by Alex Flinn (ebook to read on my new Literati ereader!)
Audio books for my husband: I am Number Four by Pitticus Lore
The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
For my four-year-old (yes, my big boy had a birthday!) I got:
Scorpions: The Sneaky Stingers by Allison Lassieur
Insects by Barbara Taylor
As always, I pick up my books at the Broward County South Regional Library, love my library and the staff! What did you get from your library this week?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Books for New Bloggers

Jenny from Into the Morning Reads has started an awesome new blog: New Books for New Bloggers. She knows that as new bloggers, it's not always easy to network or, if you're not exactly the wealthiest blogger, finding new books to review in a timely manner. It can be frustrating when libraries don't have the newest titles immediately and you aren't established enough to start receiving Advanced Reading Copies or Gallies.

As such, she has started this new blog to connect the beginning blogger with the opportunity to win a new book released every month in the Young Adult Book sector. Here are the rules:
1. You must be a new blogger - your site opened within the last 6 months and has less than 50 followers (your site can grow and you can continue to be a member as long as you meet the rules at the time of application).
2. You must be over 13 years old
3. Currently, you must be in the US
4. Your blog must be a book review site focused on Young Adult books
5. Your blog must be active - at least 1 post a week since it opened and containing at least 3 well-thought out book reviews
Visit the blog for a complete set of rules and how everything works. I joined this site last month and am very excited! The March giveaway is Wither by Lauren DeStefano! Good luck and happy blogging!

Waiting on Wednesday – The Goddess Test

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:
Title: The Goddess Test
Author: Aimee Carter
Publisher: Harlequin
Publish Date: April 19, 2011
Pages: 304
Genre: YA, Greek Mythology, Paranormal Romance
Summary: It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess. And if she fails….
A few weeks ago, my WoW was Abandon by Meg Cabot, another retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth. Both books will be released in April, less than 10 days apart. I really want to read them both as I really like Greek mythology. Both have beautiful covers and the descriptions sound like they will be really good.
I know sometimes it just happens that two very similar books get released at the same time, like Matched and Delirium, and instead of being able to stand on their own, they get compared to the other book which is unfortunate.
Do you think books that are similar do better when released apart from each other or do they benefit from each other's hype? 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest Post: Author Laura Kreitzer of Phantom Universe

Hello Literary-Folk!

My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I’m the author of the Timeless Series and the Summer Chronicles. This week I would like to alert everyone on a colossal crisis that’s gone unnoticed in the world: human trafficking. That’s why I’ve asked hundreds of blogs to be involved with spreading the word on this issue that’s become close to my heart.

As an author, and someone whose life is put in the spotlight, I keep most people at a distance. Only a handful of my friends know the whole me and the events from my past. But this week I’d like to share with you a part of myself that the outside world doesn’t see (and a part of me I don’t like to share). I was emotionally abused for five years by someone I thought loved me, my mind beaten into submission. Though the turmoil I went through doesn’t penetrate as deep as someone forced into slavery on the worldwide market for human trafficking, I can sadly relate in some ways: imprisoned, my life dictated down to what I wore, ate, where I went, whom I spoke to, where I worked, when I slept, bending to his every whim. He did not sway, even when I cried through some of the more traumatic things he had me do. I was a slave in my own home. In my desperation for freedom, I held out a gun and asked him to just end my suffering. I was desperate.

I can’t even imagine how many women (and men) in the world are in a similar situation. What’s even worse, I had it mild compared to the children that are sold for labor or sex. Surprisingly, the good ol’ U.S.A. is reported to be the host to two million slaves. Did you know this? Because I certainly did not; not until I was preparing to write my newest novel: Phantom Universe. The main character, Summer Waverly, was stolen as a child and sold as a slave to the captain of a modern-day pirate ship. From a loved child who only knew “time-out” as punishment, to being whipped into silence was something I knew nothing about. So I researched deeply into human trafficking and the psychological effects of torture of various types that one would endure in these circumstances. I felt shaken at my findings and knew I had to tell Summer’s story. (Read a sneak peek here.)

A storm began to brew in my mind; transforming, morphing, twisting, and expanding into this massive, black cloud. I had to bring this tragic atrocity to the forefront. My own emotional experiences, mixed with the research I did on human trafficking, made me feel an intense connection with Summer, and to all women who’ve been through this kind of brutality. The cloud ruptured and rained all over my computer one day. It took one month to write Phantom Universe, the first in the Summer Chronicles. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote nearly nonstop, only breaking for necessary tasks like eating, showering, and occasionally—very occasionally—sleeping.

Though the book I’ve written would be classified as Science Fiction, or as I’d like to call it, Dystopian, the emotions and psychological aspects are not Science Fiction—they're real. Reviewers have said many amazing things about Summer, this character who is so real in my mind and who I cried along with as the words poured from my soul onto my screen.
“I admired Summer's strength and ability to adapt,” says CiCi’s Theories. “I felt tied to her emotions,” Jennifer Murgia, author or Angel Star admits. And Tahlia Newland, author of Lethal Inheritance, remarks, “Summer is strong and smart in mind [. . .]”
Through her overwhelmingly horrendous past, Summer goes on more than just a physical journey in Phantom Universe, she goes on a psychological one as well; growing beyond her mute state to persevere and survive in a new world beyond the whip she’s so frightened of.

Now that the release date is here, I’m excited and terrified to share this story with everyone. I’m emotionally tied in every way to the words I’ve written, because they’re more than words. More than just a story on a page. Beyond the fictional aspects, there’s a real issue that needs to be addressed: human trafficking must be stopped. We shouldn’t sit idly by while this continues to plague us. Our world’s children—our nation’s children—are being affected. It’s time we take action!

Earlier this month Phantom Universe hit Barnes and Noble’s top 100 Best Selling list. I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sales from Phantom Universe, until the end of February, to the DNA Foundation.
“DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators, and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

Freedom is a basic human right and slavery is one of the greatest threats to that freedom. No one has the right to enslave another person.”

—From DNA Foundation’s Website
I ask that you spread the word to everyone you know. Look around on the DNA Foundation website and find a way to get involved in ending human trafficking. Take action today. Everyone has a voice—you have a voice. Will you have the courage to use it?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Review of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Release Date: Dec. 2, 2010
Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 372 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary: Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?
Review:  This book is cute. I have been reading a lot of sci-fi and dystopia books lately and even though contemporary romance is not my favorite, it was good to take a little break with a cute book like Anna and the French Kiss. It was not too long with a sweet romance in Paris that felt really appropriate just before Valentine’s Day.
Stephanie Perkins’ writing is witty and funny and her descriptions of Paris are gorgeous. I love how she describes the places, the food, the feel of the city, just wonderful. The romance is predictable, you pretty much know where the relationship between St. Claire and Anna is headed. It reminded me of the stereotypical romantic comedy with its share of misunderstandings and false starts.
What I did not care for so much was Anna. She complains about her father through much of the book and I could understand if he were truly awful, but he never came across that way. Her dad is a successful novelist and after she described the type of books he writes, they sound a lot like books written by Nicholas Sparks.
She is extremely embarrassed by her dad’s books, his picture on book jacket, the movies made from his books.  She puts him down to her friends constantly and comes off looking like a brat. She complains that he sent her to school in Paris for her senior year and instead feeling fortunate for the experience, she is angry about leaving her life in Atlanta behind, but her life was kind of average. She is annoyed that he sends her to a school with rich kids but does not give her enough money to live like them, instead telling her to live within her means. What’s so wrong with that? There are a lot of daddy issues in the book and at one point it’s a bunch of rich kids sitting around complaining about how much they hate their dads.

Anna whines to go home all semester, but when she goes to Atlanta for Christmas break, within hours she is whining to go back to Paris. She constantly thinks about how beautiful St. Claire is and as much as I loved Twilight, it was annoying when Bella did it and just as annoying when Anna does it.

Anna does get a bit more mature by the end of the book but by then I was tired of the teenage angst and complaining. I know many bloggers loved this book and while I did not hate it, I did not like it as much as most.
Content: Language including several uses of the f-bomb. Drinking. Lots of talking about sex.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Irresistibly Sweet Award

I was awarded the Irresistibly Sweet Award from Jessica over at one of my new favorite blogs, Book Loving Mommy! In order to accept the award, I will be passing it along to six other bloggers, and I must confess to four guilty pleasures. I have a horrible sweet tooth which I could never indulge as much as I would like, so this is going to almost all be about food!

Here are my four guilty pleasures:
  • Dark Chocolate!  Not the kind that lists sugar as its first ingredient, but the kind that lists chocolate as its first ingredient. I’m very picky about my chocolate and hate to waste calories on less than excellent chocolate!
  • Books! I know, I know, we all love books. It’s a guilty pleasure for me because I have two young children (15 months and four-years-old) that need a lot of my time and attention. Plus there is my husband, my household to run and a million other things to do. Reading is something I do only for me that benefits no one else. I usually read after the kids have gone to bed and while my husband is watching basketball/football on TV.
  • Gourmet cupcakes! I have tried making these things and they NEVER taste the way they do at my favorite bakery. I really only have them twice a year: at Valentine’s Day and on my birthday. Sooooo happy tomorrow is Valentines! If you are ever in Miami, you have to try Mischa’s Cupcakes. They are crazy good.
  • Vanilla Rum Cake!  If you live in South Florida and you have been in a Latin/Caribbean bakery, chances are you know and love vanilla rum cake. It’s the best, puts traditional yellow cake to shame!
Now, to the six blogs I want to award this too:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blog Hop & Follow My Blog Friday - 2/11/11

Happy Friday everyone!
This week's question from the Book Blogger Hop: “Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it!"
I just reviewed Across the Universe and it was good! It has been a while that a book has made me feel sad for the characters, surprised me, shocked me. Click here for my review.
This week's question from Follow My Book Blog Friday: What is your favorite romance hero-type? Stereotype wise. Do you like the strong silent type or the brute macho man?
I like them both, it depends on the book! I usually like the strong silent type as in Edward from Twilight, Varen from Nevermore, Will from Firelight and Dante from Dead Beautiful to name a few but there is a lot to be said for the macho man as well. I really liked Ren from Nightshade and Fennrys from Wondrous Strange trilogy.

Review of Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Release Date: Jan. 11, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 398 pages
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Rating: 4.5 stars
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary: 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.
Review:  Wow. What an incredible book and by a debut author! The story is the perfect mix of sci-fi, dystopia, thriller and romance. The plot is awesome and flows seamlessly. I was worried that I would get confused by the sci-fi element, but Revis works the description of the ship, the science and the people effortlessly.  
The book is told from the perspective of both Amy and Elder so you get to experience Amy’s fear and her incredible sadness when she realizes she has lost everything that she has known. We also get to know Elder and see how he matures through the course of the book. Other characters like Harley were also great, I just wish we had gotten to see more of him.
The villain is awful, but while I think his choices are reprehensible, I can see how desperation for survival could create this society.
The book wraps up nicely without a cliffhanger, but it leaves you wanting more which is perfect because this is the first in a trilogy. The fast pace of this book, the mysteries and the sci-fi element would draw in reluctant and non-readers. As such, I will be getting the audio book for my husband, I think he will enjoy it.
Content: Warning: I would not recommend this book to younger teens. It has sexual situations that are shocking and inappropriate for the younger set. Additionally, a character is assaulted and almost gang raped. Language.

I thought I would something new today and do some casting for Across the Universe. I really see Molly C. Quinn (from the TV show Castle) as Amy and Daniel Henney (a more tanned version) for Elder.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Library Thursday – 2/10/11

Library Thursday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Lazy Girl Reads to:
1. Encourage people to support their libraries when they can
2. Meet new bloggy friends and grow your following
I had another slow week of reading! Last night I was so tired, I fell asleep at 8:30 pm while putting the baby to sleep – not good when you have books awaiting! This week I only got one book for myself from the library which is good because I still have a bunch from the past two weeks to finish up. I just finished Across the Universe and am now reading Anna and the French Kiss. I’m not really excited about it only because I don’t like contemporaries but everyone says it’s so good, I am giving it a try. Here is my book this week:
The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher
For my three year old I got:
Oodles of Animals by Lois Ehlert
Bugs by Valerie Todd Davies
‘Twas the Day Before Zoo Day by Catherine Ipcizade
What did you get from your library?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review of Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Release Date: Dec. 28, 2010
Publisher: Dial
Pages: 450 pages
Genre: Dystopia, Science Fiction
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: Library
Goodreads Summary: Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.
Review:  Review contains spoilers to Incarceron.
If you have read Incarceron, you know of the fantastical world of the living Prison inside and the Realm outside that Catherine Fisher created. Incarceron was action packed, with Finn, Attia and Keiro racing to find a way out of the vast prison. At the end of the book, Finn escapes the horrible prison and is declared the lost crown prince of the Realm. That’s a great thing, right? You would think Sapphique would be off to a happy start, right? Not so much.
In Sapphique, Finn is not adjusting to life as prince very well. He is not polished, having grown up in a prison and hates the cutthroat politics of court. He is consumed with guilt over leaving his oath brother Keiro in the prison and is obsessed with Jared finding an escape. Claudia and Jared are his only allies in court, but even they don’t believe he is truly the lost crown prince. Claudia, who was once the prince’s betrothed, is so mean! She worked so hard to get him out of the prison in the first book, I was looking forward to their relationship growing. Instead, she is disappointed in him, constantly annoyed and snappish. The only other character more unlikable than her is Keiro, and even he somewhat redeems himself in the end (Claudia never does). I was surprised that the characters were so unlikable because I did not feel this way about them in Incarceron.
Sapphique is just as action packed and fast paced as Incarceron which is great. Unfortunately, it leaves more questions than it answers. The legend of Sapphique is explored in greater depth and this legend was one of my greatest sources of confusion. This series needs a third book, and to my knowledge, there are no more planned. If you liked Incarceron, you will probably like Sapphique as well, warts and all.
Content: Violence.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Blog Hop & Follow My Blog Friday - 2/4/11

Happy Friday everyone! My name is NC and I have been blogging about books for almost two months! I review mostly YA books and audiobooks of all genres.
This week's question from the Book Blogger Hop: "What are you reading now and why are you reading it?"

I just started reading Across the Universe and its good so far. I love dystopia and I have wanted to get into a little more science fiction so this seemed like an original story with a good combination of both.  I have also heard great things about it from other bloggers so I am excited to really get into it.

This week's question from Follow My Book Blog Friday: What is the book you are currently 'pushing'? (Pushing mean trying to get people to read it)
Well, I reviewed Delirium by Lauren Oliver on Monday and thought it was a beautifully written book and I just finished The Iron King by Julie Kagawa (have not reviewed it yet) and loved it. I also think that Nevermore by Kelly Creagh was the most under-hyped book of last year. I’m always encouraging people to read it!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Library Thursday

Library Thursday is a weekly blog hop hosted by Lazy Girl Reads to:
1. Encourage people to support their libraries when they can
2. Meet new bloggy friends and grow your following
I was such a slow reader last week! I put a lot of new books on hold and they have started coming in at once, so I better get caught up because I hate late fees. I just finished Sapphique and started Across the Universe. Here are my books this week:
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber
Crave by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
For my three-year-old I got:
The First Dinosaur Encyclopedia
The National Geographic Ultimate Dinopedia
The Simon & Schuster Children’s Guide to Insects & Spiders
Ten Naughty Little Monkeys by Suzanne Williams
Dino-Soccer by Lisa Wheeler
Down by the Station by Jennifer Riggs Vetter
What did you get from your library?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday – 2/2/11

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:
Title: The Power of Six
Author: Pittacus Lore
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publish Date: August 23, 2011
Pages: 352
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Summary: They caught Number One in Malaysia. Number Two in England. And Number Three in Kenya.  They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio and failed.  I am Number Seven. One of six still alive. And I'm ready to fight.
I read I Am Number Four and really enjoyed it. Despite the controversy over James Frey's involvement in the book, I thought it was entertaining and the movie looks like it will be as well. I am excited to read the sequel, but I am a bit bummed that the Goodreads summary is from the perspective of Number Seven and not a continuation of John's (Number Four) story. I'm sure I will read it regardless. What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Audio Books for the Other Half

They say opposites attract, and in my case, it’s really true. I am, like my blog names says, truly bookish, preferring spend my spare time reading great books. My husband, Stephen, on the other hand, is the outdoorsy, sportsy type who is not a recreational reader and cannot understand how I can spend so much time reading.
Unfortunately for him, he has a 15-mile commute to work that can take him an hour sometimes, so I decided to get him audio books for the drive and now he is hooked! Every week, I will post an audio book recommendation for the reluctant/non-reader (in my case my husband, aka my other half) and what he thought of the book.
This week’s audio book is The Maze Runner by James Dashner.
Release Date: Nov. 2009
Publisher: Random House Audio
Format: Compact Disc
Genre: Science Fiction
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Library

Goodreads Summary: When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade-a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.
Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up-the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.
Stephen’s Thoughts: He really enjoyed this book!  He found it intriguing, original and fast paced. He thought the characters well rounded and likable. He says if you enjoyed the TV series Lost, you will like the Maze Runner. He did also say the characters used unfamiliar words and terminology that took some getting used to, but he adjusted to it early in the book.
He loved the ending of the book and is looking forward to the sequel, The Scorch Trials. He definitely recommends it for the reluctant/non-reader!


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