Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Review: The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker

The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker
The Liar Society #1
Release Date: March 1st, 2011
Number of Pages: 368
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Bought
GR - Amazon - BD
Since when do the dead send emails? Kate Lowry's best friend Grace died a year ago. So when she gets an email from her, Kate's more than a little confused. To: KateLowry@pemberlybrown.eduFrom: GraceLee@pemberlybrown.eduSubject: (no subject)Kate,
I'm here... sort of.Find Cameron. He knows.I shouldn't be writing.Don't tell. They'll hurt you. Now Kate has no choice but to prove once and for all that Grace's death was more than just a tragic accident. She teams up with a couple of knights-in-(not-so)-shining armor-the dangerously hot bad boy, Liam, and her lovestruck neighbor, Seth. But at their elite private school, there are secrets so big people will do anything to protect them-even if it means getting rid of anyone trying to solve a murder...

The Liar Society was really the perfect book to get me out of my reading funk. There is about everything you can look for in a high school mystery book: Drama, secrets, boys and ‘mean girls’. This book will get you hooked form the first few pages, making you wonder about the mystery buried in this private school.

One of the troubles I often have with these kinds of book is often the main character. Here, Laura and Lisa Roecker really created a character that I absolutely adore. If Kate has one thing, I think it’s guts. And determination. Kate really impressed me with her personality, and her ability to get the help she might need (there is nothing more annoy to me than a character that never needs help and get everything done on her own.  We all need help once in a while.)

Okay, I did got a little annoy at her for something appearing like she was manipulating Seth into doing what she wanted him to do (I really like Seth!). On the other side, I think Seth is intelligent enough to know when he is being used…. One other character that I really liked was Liam, who has the bad boy with a good heart appearance perfected. Still, this trio really worked perfectly with the novel, and the dynamic between those three was just so much fun.

Lisa and Laura really kept me guessing until the end, throwing us into different directions every few chapters. Another interesting point to the book is the uses of the flashback, which really help us, get our own idea of Grace. It was nice to see her a little, since you can be sure that her best friend’s opinion of her would be biased, especially after her death. You want to remember the good side, not the bad usually.

Despite its sequel, this book doesn’t give you the feeling of being incomplete. It is hinted that there is more to come, but the main story of The Liar Society is completed within this novel, which is always a good thing. No mean cliffhanger here! 

About the Authors

Lisa and Laura Roecker are sisters-turned-writing-partners with a passion for good books, pop culture and Bravo programming. Not necessarily in that order. Lisa has always been a phenomenal liar and Laura loves to write angsty poetry, so writing for young adults seemed like a natural fit. The sisters live in Cleveland, Ohio in separate residences. Their husbands wouldn't agree to a duplex.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Review: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber @SourcebooksFire

The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart by Leanna Renee Hieber
Magic Most Foul #2
Release Date: November 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 336
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC from BEA
GD - Amazon - BD
For Natalie Stewart, a normal life has never seemed so far away. Her only solace, Lord Jonathan Denbury, is wanted for murder. To clear his name, Denbury must return to England and assume the role of his demon doppelganger. But Natalie begins to doubt his true motives, especially as a new gentleman begins whispering in her ear. Natalie and Denbury may be able to visit each other in their dreams, but they can't escape the darkening shadows. Amid spontaneous explosions, friends turned enemies and dangerous secrets revealed, there's still a demon who has Natalie's scent, and someone is trying to resurrect the ultimate evil.
I’m a little torn with this book. I liked it, but not to the extant I was expecting. Now, I did really enjoy book one, Darker Still. My main problem with this novel is that nothing really stood out with the story to me. I simply didn’t like the main mystery of the novel, with the idea of soul being attached to object, and the kind of Frankenstein aspect of the novel, which is really sad. It is really sad to me, because there were so many things that I did like. Yet, if the main component of the novel is missing for me, the novel won’t really work.

Now, what I absolutely love with this series is the setting. There is something captivating and dreamy about the world it is set in, even if there are demons and spirits in that said world. Doesn’t matter. I love that time period and especially when they are set in England.

Another I did love, but felt like there wasn’t enough (there is never enough) was of Jonathon and Natalie. I like those two together, and I just can’t get enough. I do have to say there were great addition to the group of characters, Rachel and Nathaniel. Natalie’s’ friend Rachel really made me wish I could hear her thoughts, because she seems to have such an interesting story. Then there’s Nathaniel Veil, whose charm just make you want to read more about him. Both additions really added a little something that helped make up for the disappointing story.

Now, I do think many will enjoy the novel, I did to a certain extend. Yet, I have to say that it wasn’t as good as the first book. I was also a little surprised not to get more from this novel, since the summary seemed to be leading me toward a novel full of the kind of action I do love.

Overall, fan of this era will probably enjoy the settings, but I do have to say that the novel didn’t meet my expectations. Would I read a third book from this series? I probably would. Would I recommend this book to everyone I meet? Probably not. Fans of Darker Still should still give it a shot.

About the Author
Taken from Goodreads

An author, actress and playwright, Leanna grew up in rural Ohio, graduated with a BFA in Theatre, a focus in the Victorian Era and a scholarship to study in London. She adapted 19th Century literature for the stage and her one-act plays have been produced around the country. Her novella "Dark Nest" won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in Futuristic, Fantasy, or Paranormal Romance. The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, first in the "Strangely Beautiful" saga of Gothic Victorian Fantasy novels (Barnes & Noble Bestseller) won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book) and was optioned for musical theatre adaptation currently in development. DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, begins a Gothic paranormal saga set in 1880 New York City, named an INDIE NEXT title; a recommended buy by the American Book Association, a Scholastic book fairs "Highly Recommended" title and is a finalist in the 2012 Daphne du Maurier awards for excellence in Mystery/Romantic Suspense.

Leanna is a proud member of member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, and the International Thriller Writers. She is a proud co-founder of Lady Jane's Salon Reading Series in New York City. A member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, Leanna works often in television and film. She is playing the role of Deputy Kellion in Auror's Tale web-series. When not writing or on set, she loves a good Goth club, adventuring about her adopted hometown of New York City, where she resides with her real-life hero and their beloved rescued lab rabbit.

To find more about the author

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Black City by Elizabeth Richards
Black City #1
Release Date: November 13th, 2012
Number of Pages: 384
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR
Source: ARC form BEA
- GR - Amazon - BD
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war. In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

I don’t even know where to start with this book. There are book that will simply hook you in from page one, and for me, this one was one of those. I mean, Black City was simply addicting and an amazing read. There were so many things in that book that I loved, and they really overshadowed anything that could have disappointed me. Don’t ask me about the bad side of this book, because if there were any, I totally missed them.

The novel is dark, and I personally found many aspects to remind me of Nazi Germany (aspects! Don’t throw rocks at me, please), and being to history geek that I am, it really made me get lost in the story in a different way that I would have if I hadn’t made those connections. I liked how well to world was created to me, and I really found interesting how the characters perceptive of that said world felt right to me (and not as in THIS IS HOW I WOULD HAVE TOTALLY REACTED. It was more this is what I would expect form someone like her to react, from her position in society vs. Ash’s one.)

There is a romance, that’s for sure, but it fell into the background for me. The world was really what got me hooked. Yes, there is some kind of vampires (here called Darklings), but that aspect of the characters wasn’t what was the most important for the story to work out. I felt like it was more about them being a minority than some dark creatures.

When it comes down to the characters, I don’t have to say that there is a love that may start a little too fast, but there were so many other things that made me root for Ash and Natalie. Maybe it’s that we can’t stop rooting for what seems like impossible love? Maybe it’s because they both teach one and another, since they don’t know as much as they think they do about the other’s kind.

Overall, Black City kept me awake for hours, unable to put it down until I had read every words of the story. It was an addicting dystopian novel that will leave you hanging for more. Phoenix is already at the top of my To-Be-Read list for 2013. June can’t come soon enough.

About The Author

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing videogames before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness.
In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favourite bands, go to gigs and basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.
Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. Black City is her debut novel.

Find her on Twitter: @theredpenofdoom