Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Book Review: Magic Under Glass

Release Date: Dec. 22, 2009
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 225 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Read for the Multi-Cultural Book Challenge

Goodreads Summary: Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir.

Unsettling below-stairs rumors abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

Magic Under Glass is a short and sweet fairy tale. The story is told from the first person perspective of Nimira, a dancer and singer who is hired to perform with an automaton that people believe is haunted.

The story is set in a world where humans were at war with fairies in the past and relations with them are still very strained. Nim is an outsider in the country of Lorinar, a brown-skinned foreigner who went there to make her fortune. Nim is treated poorly by most people and jumps at the chance to work for Parry, partly to get out her dead-end job situation and partly because she secretly hopes the rich and powerful sorcerer may be romantically interested in her. All that changes when she meets Erris and finds out that he is not an automaton at all.

I liked the fantasy world the Dolamore created and thought her descriptions of the settings were wonderful. However, I did not connect with any of the characters emotionally and thought they were underdeveloped. I liked Nim and Erris and wanted them to have their happily-ever-after, of course, but I would have loved some more depth from both of them.

Despite my feelings about character development, I am looking forward to the sequel, Magic Under Stone, which was released yesterday. Magic Under Glass is sweet and worth reading, especially if you are in a fairy-tale mood.

Content: Kissing and violence

My Rating: Just Fine

Monday, February 27, 2012

Book Review: Hallowed

Release Date: Jan. 17, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 403 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads Summary: For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

In this compelling sequel to "Unearthly," Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are.

The idea of fallen angels (or angel/human relationships) has never seemed romantic to me, but rather creepy and demonic so I usually avoid angel books with very few exceptions, Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly, being one of them. I really enjoyed it and thought there was a clear delineation between good and evil in the story. The protagonists were descendants of fallen angels, part human and part angel, who had a purpose on Earth to do good and oppose the evil fallen angels, or blackwings. Hallowed, on the other hand, introduced new characters, blurred the lines a bit and romanticized full blooded angels in a way that I’m not sure that I liked.

Hallowed picks up right where Unearthly left off with Clara, Tucker and Christian about to start their senior year of high school. The first portion of the book is filled with a lot of angst as Clara agonizes if by going against her vision, she has ruined her life by not completing her purpose in life.

Clara’s angst is understandable. At 17, all she wants to do is to hang out with her boyfriend and not worry about destiny and the consequences of going against your given purpose. Of course, her life is more complicated than that. Clara has her moments where she throws a tantrum and contemplates changing her life to suit her boyfriend (all realistic for a girl her age), but she does get it together and her character experiences more growth and maturity than in book one.

I have to talk about the love triangle in Hallowed. I don’t like love triangles but if you are a writer and you are going to include one in your book, this is the way to do it. Clara does not go annoyingly back and forth about which boy she wants to be with. She loves one of them but feels like destiny is pushing her to another and she resents it. It’s also hard to be annoyed by this triangle when both boys are fantastically written and Clara would be good with either one.

My personal misgivings about human/angel relationships aside, this book is extremely well written. Hand easily side steps the second-book-in-a-series-slump by writing a book with a winning plot, adding interesting new characters while still engaging us with the old ones and throwing in relevant plot twists. Hallowed is an emotional book with rich relationships and did I say amazing writing? It would have been easy for Hand to cheapen certain situations in the book but she didn’t. I can’t get too spoilery but there is incredible love and loss and it is very well done.

There is no cliffhanger at the end of Hallowed but readers will definitely be chomping at the bit to find out what happens next. The next book in the series will be out next year.

Content: Kissing and violence

My Rating: Really Good!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Lost Girl

Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Publish Date: Aug. 28, 2012
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
Summary: Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination - an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her 'other', if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she's ever known - the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love - to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

I recently discovered this book on Goodreads and have been excited about it ever since. Now that it has a this beautiful cover, I’m even more excited. Loving the idea that the main character has to go to India, because a story involving forbidden love and India has got to be awesome!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Review: Cinder

Release Date: Jan. 3, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 387 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher

Goodreads Summary: Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

Cinder is retelling of the classic Cinderella story, but with a fantastic sci-fi twist. Since I love retellings, I’ve been looking forward to this one and it was even better than I expected!

Kudos to Marissa Meyer for making our futuristic Cinderella a cyborg which may sound weird, but it totally works for this book. The novel is set in New Beijing, a city rebuilt after the fourth world war. The world building is awesome and when I read about the setting of New Beijing, I could not help but think of scenes from one of my all time favorite sci-fi movies, Blade Runner. While Cinder is not dark like Blade Runner, there are the hovercrafts, Asian influences and androids that remind me of Cinder.

A big change from the original fairytale is instead of one villain, there are two. Adri is Cinder’s stepmother but she is really the wife of the man who adopted Cinder. He died shortly after the adoption and Adri has hated Cinder ever since. Adri is bitter, petty and does her best to put Cinder down. While we hate Adri for bullying Cinder, the real threat is from Queen Levana, ruler of a race of people with paranormal abilities who inhabit the moon. Levana is evil, manipulative and cunning with plans to rule Earth, but she needs to marry Prince Kai to put her plans into motion.

Cinder is a very likable character. She has a bad home situation that she desperately wants to escape from, but of course, her destiny is more entwined with Prince Kai and the Lunars than she can ever imagine. There is more to Cinder than meets the eye and it is easy to figure out very early in the novel. With Adri’s verbal abuse and Cinder’s insecurities over her cyborg enhancements, it’s easy to empathize with her, especially when Prince Kai flirts with her and Cinder thinks she is not good enough for him.

I don’t feel that I got to know Prince Kai well enough in this book. A few portions of the novel were told from his perspective and we see that he is a nice guy who puts the safety and well being of his people before his own happiness. He is sarcastic, smart and completely swoon worthy. His friendship with Cinder is sweet and leaves room to grow and develop. I really hope we get a lot more of Kai in upcoming books because he has the potential to become one of my favorite book boys.

Cinder does not end with a cliffhanger but leaves you wanting so much more! Cinder is an awesome debut novel and I hate that I have to wait until next year to read the sequel. This is one of my favorite retellings and I highly recommend it!

Content: Kissing and some violence

My Rating: The Best!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Tiger Lily and Grim

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choices are:

Title: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publish Date: July 3, 2012
Genre: Fantasy

Goodreads Summary: 15 year old Tiger Lily, proud and fierce, wild and misunderstood, doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland, and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, big-hearted but hard to reach, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything - her family, her future - to be with the haunted, hunted, courageous boy who loves her.

When - as a punishment for her rebellious ways - she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter. With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of PEACHES comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.

Title: Grim by Anna Waggener
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publish Date: June 2012
Genre: Paranormal

Goodreads Summary: When Erika wakes up after a horrific car crash, she finds herself somewhere between earth and heaven, between life and death. She doesn't want to accept help from Jeremiah, who she's not sure she can trust, even as she finds herself drawn to him, following him into a grim city of souls. She's not sure who wants to help her and who wants to hurt her. And she's desperate to get back to her children.

Shawn's never thought about having to shoulder the responsibility of caring for his young sister Megan and his reckless older sister. And he never imagined that the three of them would find themselves in a haunted wood, sometimes chased, sometimes assisted, never sure where they're headed.

With Grim, the terrifically talented Anna Waggener delves into the place where myth becomes reality, where family can distort you as easily as it cares for you, where death and eternity meet.

Why am I waiting on Tiger Lily and Grim? Tiger Lily is one of my most anticipated books of the year (the summary sounds fantastic!) and I can’t resist the promise of mythology in Grim.

What books are you waiting on?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Author Interview: Nikki Carter + Giveaway

I am participating in the awesome Black History Month Hop event hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic and Mocha Girl Reads and since this week’s topic is Black Books and young adult books are my favorite, I am very happy to interview Nikki Carter about her new YA novel, On the Flip Side: A Fab Life Novel. While I’m talking to Nikki about only one of her books, she is the author of both adult and YA novels including the So For Real series and The Fab Life series.

Nikki Carter has been a book-lover since she was in elementary school. Her favorite stories are fun, fresh, and full of drama. When she's not writing, Nikki enjoys reading, shopping, and hanging out by the pool. Nikki lives and loves in Dallas, Texas.

Me: Welcome Nikki! Please tell us about your latest novel, ON THE FLIP SIDE, and The Fab Life series.

Nikki C.: This is the fourth book in the series and the main character, Sunday, is now trying to balance her career as a pop star with her freshman year at Spelman College in Atlanta. She’s got a whole new set of friends! Gia (who readers will remember from the So For Real series), free spirited Piper and the elite Meagan. Sunday’s dream has always been to get to college, but she’s going to find it very challenging in addition to her charmed music industry life.

Me: Where did you get the inspiration for the characters?

Nikki C.: They come waltzing out of my imagination! Sunday emerged one day when I was reminiscing on my early twenties. I briefly pursued a music industry career, and I went to a few parties. The potential for drama was limitless!

Me: Which character from ON THE FLIP SIDE is your favorite?

Nikki C.: Sunday, definitely Sunday. I also love her friendship with Gia. Even though Sunday wasn’t even a twinkle in my eye when I wrote Gia’s stories, it’s like they were destined to be college roommates.

Me: What do you have in store for The Fab Life? How many books are planned for the series?

Nikki C.: Right now, we have at least two more books planned for this series. We’ll see what unfolds after that.

Me: Why do you write novels for young adults and how did you get started?

Nikki C.: Because it is fun! I have two teenagers, and they are more excited than I am when the books come in the mail. One of my daughter’s friends sent her a text about Not a Good Look that said, “this book is oozing swag”. Score! I love that my girls can see me in a fun, fabulous light and not just an endless source of cash for their Hollister and Aeropostale gear. Did I digress? How did I get started? My agent at the time thought it would be a good idea to diversify, and some of my counterparts like ReShonda Tate Billingsley were having success in the Young Adult market. I decided to give it a try! Nine books later, I’m still loving it.

Me: Why do you think it’s important to write young adult novels featuring African American characters?

Nikki C.: Because I want young African American readers to know that they can be positive, and still be fabulous. I want them to know that you can get straight A’s, go to college, and still not be a lame.

Me: That's a fantastic reason! I'm so happy you are writing books that entertain and teach teens life lessons as well.

Me: Do you read the same genre as you write? What are you currently reading?

Nikki C.: I do read young adult books, but I read just about every fiction genre. My oldest daughter and I are into the James Patterson Maximum Ride series. I am currently reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

Me: What other projects are you working on at this time?

Nikki C.: I’m finishing up Time to Shine which is book five in the Fab Life series.

Me: Thank you, Nikki!

Ready to win a copy of On the Flip Side: A Fab Life Novel? Just follow the Rafflecopter instructions below and good luck!

Release Date: March 1, 2012
Publisher: Kensington/K-Teen

Summary: Sunday Tolliver has a mega-smash album up for major awards—and her first few months as a college freshman are everything she hoped for. But juggling all this and her long-distance romance with boyfriend Sam is taking drama to mad-crazy levels. Hot up-and-coming video star DeShawn isn’t letting Sunday’s relationship keep him from getting close. And relentless online gossip is seriously shaking Sunday’s trust in Sam. The only way Sunday can stop the madness and get back on track is to trust her instincts--and get a little help from her friends.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review: Article 5

Title: Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
Release Date: Jan. 31, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 374 pages
Genre: Dystopia/Post Apocalyptic
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary: New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned. The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

A love story set in a harsh, post-apocalyptic world is right up my alley and while some of the plotting in Article 5 was unexpected, I enjoyed the book overall.

Article 5 is set in a war ravaged United States. We are not given much information about the war and at the very least, I would have loved to know who we fought against, what we were fighting over and how the country became so extremist so quickly. As a result of this war, the US has abandoned the Bill of Rights and become an extremist religious country. In short, America has become the ‘Christian’ version of Afghanistan as it was under Taliban rule. I’m guessing the book describes a Christian government is the military insignia consists of a US flag flying over a cross and there are references to people reading the Bible. However, there is absolutely nothing Christ-like in the way the country treats its citizens.

The government harasses, arrests and executes people (without trials) over what they consider moral shortcomings while thousands of others have nothing so they starve and freeze to death. Did this characterization bother me? A little. It felt a bit political especially in this election year and I do not like politics in my YA books. I have no idea if this was the author’s intent and thankfully, the government is not the novel’s focus and only really discussed in the first potion of the book.

The book does focus on Ember, a girl who struggles to keep her and her mom under the government’s radar. Ember is responsible and takes on the parent role in the relationship, so when her mom is arrested, Ember reacts in the way that a mother would react if their child was taken. She becomes desperate to find and free her mom, even at the expense and safety of others. I thought Ember was self absorbed and annoyingly inconsistent at the beginning of the book but she does experience a lot of character growth throughout the novel.

One of the great things about the book is there is no love triangle! Ember and Chase have a very complicated relationship. The reader sees the Chase that Ember fell in love with through her flashbacks and we see Chase as he is now, broken, brooding and tormented. I love Chase. It quickly becomes obvious (to everyone but Ember) how much he cares for her. On Ember’s part, she feel extremely betrayed by him. I usually don’t like a lot of angst, but in this case, it works.

While there are the few things that I mentioned that I didn’t care for in Article 5, there is a whole lot more that I loved! This book is a nail biter! The action starts right away and continues at a quick and steady pace. The characters get themselves in situations that had me on the edge of my seat. The writing is solid and the romance, especially the flashbacks of Ember and Chase, is sweet and intense.

Article 5 is an awesome addition to the dystopian/post apocalyptic genre and I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.

Content: Kissing and heavy violence.

My Rating: Really Good!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


A bunch of my giveaways just finished so I have a few winners to announce. 
  • The winners of the Follower Love Giveaway Hop are: DawnZ and Readingdiva3.
  • The winner of the Multi-Cultural Book Challenge for January is Candace Hawkins.
  • The winner of the Black History Month Giveaway Hop is Sara Kovach.
Congrats to all the winners and thank you to everyone who participated! I have another giveaway starting next week so make sure you stop by and enter.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Multi-Cultural Book Challenge - February

February’s Multi-Cultural Book Challenge interview and giveaway is being hosted by KM at One Page At A Time. Click on over there to read the awesome interview with Sonia Gensler, author of The Revenant, a spooky YA historical novel, and enter the giveaway to win a copy of the book!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Book Review: Touch

Title: Touch by Jus Accardo
Release Date: Nov. 1, 2011
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pages: 251 pages
Genre: Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Goodreads Summary: When a strange boy tumbles down a river embankment and lands at her feet, seventeen-year-old adrenaline junkie Deznee Cross snatches the opportunity to piss off her father by bringing the mysterious hottie with ice blue eyes home.

Except there’s something off with Kale. He wears her shoes in the shower, is overly fascinated with things like DVDs and vases, and acts like she’ll turn to dust if he touches her. It’s not until Dez’s father shows up, wielding a gun and knowing more about Kale than he should, that Dez realizes there’s more to this boy—and her father’s “law firm”—than she realized.

Kale has been a prisoner of Denazen Corporation—an organization devoted to collecting “special” kids known as Sixes and using them as weapons—his entire life. And, oh yeah, his touch? It kills. The two team up with a group of rogue Sixes hellbent on taking down Denazen before they’re caught and her father discovers the biggest secret of all. A secret Dez has spent her life keeping safe.

A secret Kale will kill to protect.

Touch is a fast paced, action packed paranormal YA novel featuring characters with very cool powers similar to those seen in TV shows and movies like X-Men and Heroes. The story is set in a town where an unusual number of the citizens are Sixes, people who have special powers. The Denazen Corporation, an uber-evil company recruits the Sixes or more often than not, just kidnaps them and forces them to their bidding. Touch is about Kale, the boy who escaped and is hunted by Denazen and Deznee, the girl who helps him and brings him back to life at the same time.

Seventeen-year-old Deznee Cross lives to upset her father. Deznee’s mom passed away when she was little and she and her father have a horrible relationship. He is an unloving workaholic who only pays attention to Dez when he scolds her to tell her how disappointed he is in her. While Dez thought her father was bad at first, she does not learn the extent of his evil until later in the novel. I get that Deznee hates him and does whatever she can to get back at him, but I still cringed when I read about her exploits.

Dez is an interesting character. It’s not that she isn’t likable, it’s just that I can’t identify with her. Dez describes herself as a former honor student, bookworm and all around good girl until she met her ex-boyfriend Alex. Between going out with Alex and her quest to make her dad mad, Deznee chooses to be a slacker, get bad grades, drink, party, do drugs and hook-up with lots of boys. It seems like everything Dez did was to upset her father and it felt like such a waste of energy. No one should live just to piss someone else off, no matter how much you hate them.

Kale is also very interesting. Accardo wrote his character with awesome contradictions: a trained assassin who has childlike innocence; a gorgeous, swoonworthy boy who has never kissed a girl, never even held another person’s hand. I liked Kale a lot and thought he was well written. The relationship with Dez is also fairly well developed.

While the plot of Touch is very exciting, it does have its flaws. Everything comes together a too easily and quickly. For all its ruthlessness, the Denazen Corporation should have been more of a challenge. The story wrap-up felt a little too convenient and could have used a few more pages to expand the plot. I did love the constant action and the show of power by the Sixes was fun to read and my favorite part of the novel.

Touch is the first book in the series with the sequel, Toxic scheduled to be released on May 1.

Content: Kissing, sexual situations, graphic sex, heavy profanity, violence, underage drinking and drug use. During the sex scene between two characters, the girl (who is sexually active) rationalizes that they don’t have to use a condom because she is on the pill and the boy is a virgin. This book is not appropriate for younger teens.

My Rating: Just Fine

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Raven Boys

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. This week’s choice is:

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publish Date: Sept. 18, 2012
Genre: Paranormal
Goodreads Summary: Filled with mystery, romance, and the supernatural, The Raven Boys introduces readers to Richard “Dick” Campbell Gansey, III and Blue Sargent. Gansey has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on the hunt to find Glendower, a vanished Welsh king. Legend has it that the first person to find him will be granted a wish—either by seeing him open his eyes, or by cutting out his heart.
Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there—known as Raven Boys—can only mean trouble. When Gansey and his Raven Boy friends come into her life, Blue realizes how true this is. She never thought her fortune would be a problem. But she was wrong.

Why am I waiting on The Raven Boys? Tons of reasons! It has mystery, romance and supernatural elements, a bit of history and it’s by Maggie Stiefvater (love her writing!). I also love that the girl's name is Blue, which in addition to being very popular right now, is a cool name for a fictional character. This book sounds awesome and has me looking forward to the fall.

What books are you waiting on?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Follower Love Hop!

Welcome to the Follower Love Hop hosted by I Am A Reader Not A Writer and Rachael Reene Anderson. This hop runs from Feb, 7-15.

My followers are awesome and for this hop, I’m giving away two advanced readers copies of popular books to two winners: one ARC of Incarnate by Jodi Meadows and one ARC of Article 5 by Kristen Simmons. Please leave your follow name and which book you would like to win in the Rafflecopter form below. If you would like either book, please just state that as well. Thanks you guys and good luck!

Book Review: Everneath

Release Date: Jan. 24, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: 370 pages
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology
Source: Publisher through NetGalley

Goodreads Summary: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

When I saw the summary for Everneath a few months ago, I thought it was another retelling of the Hades and Persephone myth (it’s not) and that it involved a love triangle (it doesn’t). Instead, Everneath mixes Egyption mythology with a fresh take on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, a unique combination that I have not seen in YA paranormal books.

When we meet Nikki Beckett, she has just returned from Everneath, a realm for immortal beings called Everlings, but everyone assumes that she was a drug addict and runaway since she disappeared for six months without a trace. The story is told in flashbacks, so in addition to reading about what’s going on in the present, we also find out the circumstances that led to her being in Everneath in the first place. While the story unfolds slowly, it kept me on the edge of my seat waiting to find out exactly how Nikki ended up in her situation.

Nikki is an interesting character. Prior to going to Everneath, she was very insecure in her relationship with her boyfriend, the popular and handsome starting quarterback, Jack. While it saddened me to read about this girl who thought she was not good enough for a boy, her feelings of insecurity are very important to the book’s plot. I didn’t love Nikki but I didn’t hate her either. She made some poor decisions that led to horrible consequences and now she has a hard time living with these consequences.

As for the boys, I loved Jack! He is a great example of love, forgiveness and sacrifice. Jack may just find himself on my list of favorite book boys for 2012. I’m probably supposed to hate Cole, he is sort of the villain in the story, but I’m more intrigued by him than anything else. Cole is an Everling, an immortal being who lives off the life energy of humans. Even though Cole is pretty much a parasite, I don’t hold him responsible for Nikki’s situation. She gets all the blame for that. I’m really hoping to learn more about Cole and the political situation in Everneath in the sequel. There are mentions of an evil, life sucking, homicidal queen of Everneath and who can resist learning more about her!

With its unique mythology and an ending that left me dying for more, I cannot wait to read the second book in this series. Everneath is a wonderful debut novel by Brodi Ashton and I am looking forward to more from her. I highly recommend this book, especially to readers who love all things mythology (like myself).

Content: Kissing, some profanity and underage drinking

My Rating: Really Good!

In My Mailbox #9

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi at The Story Siren. Here are the books I got this week:

For review:
Dreamless by Josephine Angelini (thank you, HarperCollins!)
Halflings by Heather Burch (thank you, Zondervan!)
Embrace by Jessica Shrivington (thank you, Sourcefire!)
The Galahad Legacy by Dom Testa (thank you, Tor!)
Fated by Sarah Alderson (thank you,Shelleyrae from Bookdout!)

From the library (all ebooks this week):
Fallen by Lauren Kate
The Pirates! in an Adventure with Scientists by Gideon Defoe
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Dreamless is one of my most anticipated books of the year so I was extremely excited to get a copy of it. I also got a lot of angel books this week which is unusual for me because I usually avoid this type of book but I wanted to review Halflings since it is by a Christian author and publisher. I got Embrace as a total surprise and I thank Sourcefire for sending it to me. I also work as a freelance book reviewer for a Christian website and was assigned Fallen (and the other two library books as well), so I will be reading that soon. I am usually assigned children/YA books that are being made into movies and I think the Fallen movie will be in theaters sometime this year.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Black History Around Town: Louise Bennett Reading Festival

I am delighted to take part in the Black History Month Hop hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic and Mocha Girl Reads. There will be a new topic every week during February and since this week’s topic is Around Town, I will tell you about a Black History Month event being held at my local library.

If you are in South Florida, make plans to attend the Fifth Anniversary Celebration/Louise Bennett-Coverley Reading Festival with speakers, Jamaican performers, music and storytelling. The event will be held on Feb. 11 from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the South Regional/Broward College Library, 7300 Pines Blvd. in Pembroke Pines, Florida.

Louise Bennett-Coverley or as she was better know, Miss Lou, was a Jamaican folklorist, poet, writer, and educator. Miss Lou appeared in leading comedic roles in Jamaican plays and television shows. She traveled throughout the world promoting the culture of Jamaica by lecturing and performing. Although her popularity was international, she enjoyed a celebrity status in Jamaica, Canada and the United Kingdom.

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it but I was born in Jamaica and moved to the US when I was in my early teens. Even years after her passing, Miss Lou remains such a beloved figure to most Jamaicans and even watching old videos of her feels a bit like home.

Here is a video of Miss Lou talking about the Jamaican patois, nursery rhymes and folk songs. Even though the video was shot awhile ago, the songs remain the same. Hearing these songs brought back so many wonderful childhood memories for me. I hope you enjoy this little bit of Jamaican culture!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...