Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Review: A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies

A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies
A Beautiful Dark #2
Release Date: September 25th, 2012
Number of Pages: 352
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC from BEA
When she wakes up in unfamiliar surroundings, Skye knows something terrible has happened to her. It's not until she hears Asher, the dark, rebellious angel she fell in love with, that the memories come flooding back. She tries to put the past behind her, but she knows she'll be forever haunted by the ruthless betrayal that almost took her life. Skye returns home, but with the knowledge of who she really is, nothing can ever be the same. As she tests the limits of her newfound powers, Skye discovers that she's capable of far more than anyone could have imagined. Both the Order and the Rebellion want her for their side as war between the factions looms. She can't forget the terrifying truth she now knows about the Order, but something holds her back from embracing the Rebellion. "A Fractured Light" picks up right after "A Beautiful Dark"'s shocking cliffhanger ending and is perfect for fans of Lauren Kate's "Fallen" and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush saga.

I know it may sound strange, but the girly side of me really really enjoyed this book, probably because of Asher. The more rational part of me found it to be okay. Hello there double personality. It’s not as bad as it can sound from my previous statement. I just know that this was kind of the same story that we all have read at some point in the past. It wasn’t THAT original, not that it annoys be if it’s really well done. It’s just that you have so many elements that have been used together over and over again. It wasn’t the most impressive book I’ve ever read, and I kind of feel bad about that, because I really wanted to love it.

The one thing that did get on my nerve is the freaking love triangle that doesn’t seem to want to die in this book. I mean, one of them tried to kill you, and you still can’t move on from him? Come on Skye, you got to be wiser than that. Skye as a main character didn’t impress me that much, mostly because I felt like I found something to be missing. I can’t really pinpoint what, but I felt like there was something missing in her personality, for me to really like her. Her friends were slightly boring and annoying. The only character I really liked was Asher, and it’s probably because I may have a small crush on him (don’t judge.)

The book wasn’t that impressive, but it wasn’t completely bad. It’s simply the kind of book that will satisfy those who loved the first book in the series, but it won’t be the kind of book that will make you fall in love with this series if you hated (or simply disliked book one.) I’m still curious to see where the next book will be going, but it’s not a book I will be dying to read.

Waiting On Wednesday: Let The Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It is an opportunity for us to show books we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week, my pick is:

Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger
Let the Sky Fall #1
March 2013
Simon Pulse

A broken past and a divided future can’t stop the electric connection of two teens in this “charged and romantic” (Becca Fitzpatrick), lush novel. Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them.

I just like the sound of it. Of course, the cover really makes me want to pick up the book, since I find it gorgeous.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review: Scorch by Gina Damico

Scorch by Gina Damico
Croak #1
Release Date: September 25th, 2012
Number of Page: 332
Publisher: Graphia
Source: ARC from BEA
Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby is a teenage grim reaper with the bizarre ability to damn souls. That makes her pretty scary, even to fellow Grims. But after inadvertently transferring her ability to Zara, a murderous outlaw, Lex is a pariah in Croak, the little town she calls home. To escape the townspeople’s wrath, she and her friends embark on a wild road trip to DeMyse. Though this sparkling desert oasis is full of luxuries and amusements, it feels like a prison to Lex. Her best chance at escape would be to stop Zara once and for all—but how can she do that from DeMyse, where the Grims seem mysteriously oblivious to Zara’s killing spree?

I had absolutely enjoyed Croak when I first read it, and I have to say, Scorch doesn’t disappoint. There’s just something about this book that made it impossible for me to stop reading (this book is addicting, that’s for sure) and smile. This book made me smile, laugh and just simply enjoyed the time I spend the nose buried between its pages. This is the kind of book that I just can’t get enough since there’s about everything I, as a reader, could want. There’s humor, drama, mystery,

As expected, the character had to mature a little since they went through some pretty horrible events in Croak. Lexi just lost her sister, and things aren’t getting easier for her. Almost whole town is turning their back on her and the other Juniors, Zara is still on the loose, and Lexi ahs trouble controlling her Damning. Yep, nothing is easy for her right now. She fortunately still has her friends, her uncle, two new Juniors (two really great additions, if I may add) and, of course, Drigg. Doesn’t mean things are going perfectly well for Lexi and company. They go through some pretty bad stuff in this book once again, losing some of their friends in the process.

Scorch ends up being a little darker than its predecessor, since it deals, after all, with the aftermath of Cody’s death, and the betrayal of Zara. Still, the book is full of dark humor, and nice little twists. Gina Damico created an incredible world and an addicting story that will please many readers. Yes, the book isn’t perfect, but to me, all the fun I had reading it made me forget about the little details that may have bugged me otherwise. A book that can make me smile and laugh as much deserves some love. I already can’t wait sink back into the world of DeMyse and of the Grims.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: The Blessed by Tonya Hurley

The Blessed by Tonya Hurley
The Blessed #1
Release Date: September 25th, 2012
Number of Pages: 416
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: ARC from Publisher
 From the author of the New York Times bestselling ghostgirl series, the start to a captivating and haunting teen trilogy about three girls who become entangled with an enigmatic boy—a boy who believes he is a saint.What if martyrs and saints lived among us? And what if you were told you were one of them?
      Meet Agnes, Cecilia, and Lucy. Three lost girls, each searching for something. But what they find is Beyond Belief.

If there is one thing that I absolutely loved about The Blessed, it’s how different the book was from what I have been reading lately. No, not even lately, for about the last year. More than different, there was that weird and almost crazy side to the book that really got me hooked (and when I say crazy, I mean it in a good way.) This book was really different from what I first expected, but I really enjoyed it. I was a little skeptical at first when I heard it was about Saints. I mean, I rarely enjoy books related in anyway to religion, but here it is so different. No preaching (which is what usually annoys me when it comes down to religion in books.)

The Blessed follows three extremely different girls: Lucy, the it-girl, Cecilia, the struggling artist, and Agnes, the sensible and suicidal girl. So different, yet they are brought together by fate in a way. I was fascinated and in a way heartbroken by all they have and are going through, since it seems so extreme by moment.

There is something really dark and twisted in the book, but it is in a way what made it so addicting. There was simple so much mystery around the girls, and of course the illusive Sebastian. I have to say that Sebastian was one of the characters I never was 100% sure of his intention.

The Blessed was really a book that will catch the attention of fans of dark and twisted stories. It isn’t the kind of book I would recommend to a younger audience, since there can be some pretty violent scenes. I’m really curious to see when Tonya Hurley will be taking Cecilia, Lucy and Agnes next. No need to be religious to enjoy this book (I actually think that the fact that I’m not really religious helped me enjoy this book since I know next to nothing about Saints and their history.) Of course, being the cover lover I am, I cannot stay silent about this gorgeous cover. Simon & Schuster, you really did an amazing job with this one. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Burn for Burn #1
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Number of Pages: 368
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from BEA
BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY...THEY GET EVEN. Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister. Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay. Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him. Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.
I’m a sucker for revenge books. I’m not one to usually seek revenge, so maybe that shy I like them so much. Or maybe it’s because everyone knows that revenge almost never goes according to plan. In Burn for Burn, we meet three girls who seem to have nothing in common, except they all have been wronged. Yet, even it their all their differences, they end up together getting the revenge the think they deserve.

Lilia, Kat and Mary couldn’t be more different, and I think that’s one of the big reason I liked it so much. We have Lilia: the popular girl, the cheerleader, and the girl that seems to have everything she could possibly want. Then you have Kat, the outcast, and Mary, the new girl if you want. Mary who came back after years and years to get revenge on the boy who made her childhood a living hell. They are all brought together to help one and another get the revenge they deserve. This gives us a great mix of drama, and newfound friendships.

I was surprised at first by some of the reason the girls wanted to seek revenge, especially on the first victim. I get that they feel like they were wronged, but I was curious as to why they didn’t check their facts a little more before really bringing on the punishments. Okay, maybe not for the two other victims, since I think they do deserve to be punished on some level, but still. I have to say that it all made me expect things to not go according to plan, and not to be all it seems. Appearance can be deceiving after all.

Okay, I have to talk about the paranormal aspect of this book, since I know that many were wondering about, and so was I before I started the book. I mean, when you read this summary, you wouldn’t really expect to have this little touch of paranormal added into the mix, but I’m really curious to see how it will affect the next book, since I didn’t feel it made that much difference in this book, except for one scene. It wasn’t something that put me off; it was more something that left me wondering what was the importance of it. Other than that, this book was a perfect mix of revenge, drama and friendship that will please many readers. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review: What's Left Of Me by Kat Zhang

What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
The Hybrid Chronicles #1
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Number of Pages: 343
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: ARC from BEA 
I should not exist. But I do. Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . . For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
Wow. I wasn’t really expecting anything when I first started this book. In all honesty, I picked it up a BEA, because a fellow blogger seemed really excited about it, and I though I should probably check it out. What a good that was! This book nicely surprised me, since it felt like a nice change from the usual dystopian I’ve been reading lately. I love there is a lot going on is within between Addie and Eva, since there relationship is so intriguing and unique. I mean it’s not everyday that you read about two souls living in the same body.

That’s the thing. The two souls aren’t supposed to still be there after a certain age. One, the recessive one, is supposed to fade. Yet, Eva and Addie are still both there. Eva may not be as strong as Addie, but she’s still there, and she doesn’t want to fade. I was surprised to see that there wasn’t any real anger toward Addie because of that, since Eva isn’t technically alive to the world, except to Addie. She only can take control when Addie lets her. This made the relationship between those two so intriguing. You can see that there is so much love between them, since no one no them like the other does. Yet, Addie is in control, which could have created some jealousy with Eva. Also, Eva’s presence is dangerous for Addie, since being a hybrid (having two souls) is judged to be dangerous. It was also extremely interesting to see their interaction with other hybrids like they, since Kat Zhang really made it possible for us to see the changes within them, as they switch souls. It was fascinating to see that I could recognize which souls Eva and Addie were talking to. This proves that she can write characters amazingly, making them each so different to the others.

The only thing that I felt lacking, to be honest was a little more background information about the world the story is set in, which is not that surprising to me.  I still have many questions left unanswered after having finished this book, but I have great hope that they will be answered in the next book, especially since I really want to know the reasons why they seemed to find hybrids so dangerous. Other than that, with absolutely amazing.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

The Diviners by Libba Bray
Diviners #1
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Number of Pages: 608
Publisher: Little Brown for Young Readers
Source: ARC from BEA
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies." When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.
The Diviners is the first book by Libba Bray I’ve ever had the chance to read, and all I have to say is HOW THE HECK DID IT TAKE ME THIS LONG TO READ HER AWESOMENESS!! Okay, I haven’t read anything else by her, but if her other book are half as good as The Diviners, it must be excellent. I have to say I was already sold on the book from the summary only, even before hearing that it was definitely something to check out. After all, it is set in the 20’s, in New York, that already sounds interesting. With a serial killer? Even more to my taste. With ghosts and some kind of cult? GIVE ME THAT BOOK NOW. This gigantic book can be scary when you first get your hand on it, but don’t let it scare you. It is so addicting that you will end up wishing it had been longer.

At first, I wasn’t that sure about the different points of view, but as the book goes on, you understand why Libba Bray was giving us an insight in the mind of so many different characters. I did really like Evie’s narration, but am I the only one who wished we could have seen more of Memphis? I was quite interested in hearing more about him, and I do hope we will get more in the next book. Still didn’t mean I didn’t want to follow Evie. She was hilarious and she was a little too brave by moments, getting herself in some dangerous situations. That’s probably why I liked her that much.

This book could have easily become overwhelming for some readers, since there is so much stuff going on. Yet, I find it to be perfectly well balanced for me, giving me enough about various characters to please me, but not enough to stop me from wanting more about them in the upcoming books. That’s what was awesome for me. It wasn’t only Evie that was interesting, all the character we meet were in some way. Libba Bray really sucked me into her world with this book. You can be assured that I will be counting the days until I get more of it. 

Waiting On Wednesday: Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It is an opportunity for us to show books we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week, my pick is:

Breaking Point by Kristen Simmons
Article 5 #2
February 2013
Tor Teen

The second installment in Kristen Simmons's fast-paced, gripping YA dystopian series.

After faking their deaths to escape from prison, Ember Miller and Chase Jennings have only one goal: to lay low until the Federal Bureau of Reformation forgets they ever existed.

Near-celebrities now for the increasingly sensationalized tales of their struggles with the government, Ember and Chase are recognized and taken in by the Resistance—an underground organization working to systematically take down the government. At headquarters, all eyes are on the sniper, an anonymous assassin taking out FBR soldiers one by one. Rumors are flying about the sniper’s true identity, and Ember and Chase welcome the diversion….

Until the government posts its most-wanted list, and their number one suspect is Ember herself.

Orders are shoot to kill, and soldiers are cleared to fire on suspicion alone. Suddenly Ember can’t even step onto the street without fear of being recognized, and “laying low” is a joke. Even members of the Resistance are starting to look at her sideways.

With Chase urging her to run, Ember must decide: Go into hiding…or fight back?

I really enjoyed Article 5! I've been dying ever since to read the sequel. Only 5 months to wait...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten by Gretchen McNeil
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Number of Pages: 304
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: ARC from BEA
It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.  
But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.  
Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?
I made the mistake of reading this book while I was New York, alone in a tiny hotel room, where there was a lot of strange noise. Let’s just say, I’m not the most courageous girl in the world, if I’m completely honest…  I usually don’t want watch scary movies when I’m on my own, since I know that the following night will be short... And of course, this book made me freak every time I heard a strange noises. Now, let’s talk about the book. I’ll try to stay vague, so I won’t give too much away for you.

I was so excited about this book, even though I still haven’t read Possess. I also haven’t read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None. Yes, I know, shame on me for that. So I can’t really tell you how it related to that, but to me, this book simply rocked. There were some great characters, some really annoying ones, and some we sadly don’t learn enough about, but it is understandable. We can’t really get to meet Ten characters in 300 pages that well, especially since some will die earlier than others in the book. I have to say I really enjoyed following Meg as a narrator, since she seems to be the most interesting one to me. There’s the whole “We need to find who is trying to kill us”, then there’s the whole friendship with Mimi, and there’s the whole thing T.J., who Mimi is in love with (and Meg, but she doesn’t want Mimi to know, of course).

Is it strange if I say that I really liked the way the characters die? It was a little more gruesome that I had imagined they would be, but I really liked it. This book was simply amazing, and I think many will enjoy it. Definitely perfect for Halloween. Now I really need to read Possess, since this book was excellent.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
The Lotus War #1
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Number of Pages: 336
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Source: eARC from NetGalley
The Shima Imperium verges on the brink of environmental collapse; an island nation once rich in tradition and myth, now decimated by clockwork industrialization and the machine-worshipers of the Lotus Guild. The skies are red as blood, the land is choked with toxic pollution, and the great spirit animals that once roamed its wilds have departed forever.
 AN IMPOSSIBLE QUESTThe hunters of Shima’s imperial court are charged by their Shōgun to capture a thunder tiger—a legendary creature, half-eagle, half-tiger. But any fool knows the beasts have been extinct for more than a century, and the price of failing the Shōgun is death.  
A SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRLYukiko is a child of the Fox clan, possessed of a talent that if discovered, would see her executed by the Lotus Guild. Accompanying her father on the Shōgun’s hunt, she finds herself stranded: a young woman alone in Shima’s last wilderness, with only a furious, crippled thunder tiger for company. Even though she can hear his thoughts, even though she saved his life, all she knows for certain is he’d rather see her dead than help her.
 But together, the pair will form an indomitable friendship, and rise to challenge the might of an empire.
Well, I have to say that this book has a whole lot of awesomeness in it. The first thing that got me hooked on it was the summary. I mean, doesn’t this sounds simply AMAZING? Well, it does more than sound amazing. It kind of is. I have to say that at first, I had trouble to get into it, but after a couple of chapters, I was hooked. I mean, samurai, a kick ass main character, an amazing creature, and a really addicting story.

There’s so much stuff happening with this book, but in a really good way. There’s a lot a terms that may be a little confusing, but there’s a really helpful glossary included in the book. Arg, so hard to put words on my thoughts right now. I mean, this is the kind of book that demands that you devoured it. It was so easy to simply spend the afternoon in bed reading it, even though I had tons of readings to do for University. Didn’t care at all. I just needed more. I haven’t read that many books that have included the Japanese influence the way it was included in this book. In YA, I’ve seen tons of books with a touch of various cultures, but strangely, I haven’t read that many on with a touch of Japan in it, which is sad considering how fascinating it is. (I adore the samurai tradition, and I find the history of Geishas fascinating.

The world in itself charmed me, but the characters were also great. I loved Yukiko, especially after she meets the arashitora (I think that’s how you spell it. I had to double-check a couple of times….) It was simply interesting to see their friendship grow, and it was nice to see the book have kind of this friendship as the main relationship. I mean, I want more books that focus more on friendships and family than just reading the same kind of love triangle over and over again. Yes, there’s a little tiny one, but at the same time, it feels like it a lot more in the background, so it didn’t really matter to me. To me, it was about Yukiko discovering the truth about her world, her family, and herself through what she was put through, with the help of all those people she meets in her journey. That’s kind of what made me really appreciate this book as much as I did.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Review: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Raven Cycle #1
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Number of Pages: 408
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: ARC from BEA

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive. Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her. His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble. But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little. For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore. From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of the Shiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.
Wow. Wow. Wow.

Seriously, Maggie Stiefvater blew my mind with this book. I mean, I was expecting something good since the book sounded really interesting, but I was a little scared since I wasn’t the biggest fan of Shiver and the rest of that series. Yet, I this book was I simply couldn’t put down, and was so sad to finally part with once I was done. I absolutely adored the world Maggie created, the characters she gives us. There’s something simply addicting to this novel.

I can’t really decide who I liked more, Blue or the Raven boys. On one side, there’s something really unique about Blue, something strange and intriguing. On the other side, there’s something really captivating about the four boys, all so different, yet sharing a deep bound. Adam, Ronan, Gansey and Noah all made ma like them for different reasons, and I find it hard to choose who was the most interesting one (though I do have a small preference for Gansey, even if I needed to get to know him before really liking him.)

Maggie Stiefvater really created a novel full of twits and amazingly well crafted. There’s something really beautiful about the novel, making me unable to stop reading. I can’t seem to find a negative thing to say about this book, since I’ve fallen in love so hard with this novel. Only the good stood out to me, because the story is THAT addicting. I really can’t wait to find out what will happen next to Blue and company. I still have some questions left unanswered, which I hope will find their answer in the next books.

Seriously, even if you didn’t enjoy the Wolves of Mercy Fall series, you should read it. To me, they were worlds apart. This book was simply amazing, and I hardly can wait for the next book. Definitely worth reading!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Review: Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Release Date: September 1st, 2012
Number of Pages: 240
Publisher: GRAPHIX
Source: ARC from BEA
Raina Telgemeier, the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of the Eisner Award winner, SMILE, brings us her next full-color graphic novel . . . DRAMA! Callie loves theater. And while she would totally try out for her middle school's production of Moon Over Mississippi, she's a terrible singer. Instead she's the set designer for the stage crew, and this year she's determined to create a set worthy of Broadway on a middle-school budget. But how can she, when she doesn't know much about carpentry, ticket sales are down, and the crew members are having trouble working together? Not to mention the onstage AND offstage drama that occurs once the actors are chosen, and when two cute brothers enter the picture, things get even crazier! Following the success of SMILE, Raina Telgemeier brings us another graphic novel featuring a diverse set of characters that humorously explores friendship, crushes, and all-around drama!

This will be a really quick review of Drama, since I don’t have that much to say about it. Why? Simply because this was a graphic novel, and honestly, I don’t usually read graphic novel. So I can’t really say much on the drawing, except I thought they were great, and that it was fun to follow, since I wasn’t aware that it was a graphic novel.

That’s the thing with this book. It’s cute, it’s fun, it’s short, and it’s a really fast read. For those that enjoy those cute graphic novels. Yet, it wouldn’t really be something I would reread, or that I would thing is a book everyone needs to read. What I think is that for some young girl that is looking for a great graphic novel to read in her free time, this will work perfectly for her.

The story is short, but it stands on its own well. I overall liked it, and would recommend it if you’re looking for this kind of book.

Well, I did say it would be short!

Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Fairytale Retelling #3
Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Number of Pages: 304
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from BEA
Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo. Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality. When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.
Jackson Pearce never fails at writing books. I hadn’t fallen in love with Sisters Red, but Sweetly had charmed me from the beginning (maybe because of all the sweet talk…). Maybe it was because I had been expecting Fathomless to charm me even more than Sweetly did, but I have to say that Fathomless was sadly not my favorite. I did enjoy it more than Sisters Red, but a little less than Sweetly, which is still my favorite from her. I think a big aspect of that was that I was expecting something different, and there were some elements that left me confused.

One of the things that I did love about the book was the interaction between the two main characters, Lo and Celia. I love seeing all the point of views, point of views that really helped us understand the struggle happening within Lo, and the determination Celia seems to show to help Lo remember her past. The thing I had trouble understanding was why did the girl have those power. I mean, it isn’t related to the Little Mermaid, and I’m guessing it will (hopefully) come back if there’s a fourth book published. Yet, I just don’t get why the three sisters had those powers. What was the source? That left me with many questions.

Again, Jackson Pearce delivers a great retelling of a fairytale we all seem to think we know. She always excels at making at making these stories her own, and she really created a world to connect her various tales. I love the connections made between the books, some connections I’m sure I probably missed (there’s a couple of them that I got days after reading…) Overall, Fathomless may not have been my favorite book this year, but it is still definitely worth reading. If you still haven’t read any of her books, you should really check them out if you enjoy retellings, since hers really have their own twists.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: After Hello by Lisa Mangum

After Hello by Lisa Mangum
Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: ARC from BEA
What if the first day of your relationship was the only day you had?
 Seventeen-year-old Sara is a seeker. She’s always on the lookout for the perfect moment to capture with her ever-present, point-and-shoot camera, especially on her first trip to New York City.
 Sam is a finder. He has a knack for finding what other people can’t—a first-edition book or the last two tickets to a sold-out Broadway show. In New York, there is always something interesting to find.
 When Sam and Sara’s paths cross, neither one of them is prepared for what they will find out about each other—and about themselves when they form an unlikely partnership in search of a seemingly elusive work of art. They have one day to find the impossible. Fate brought their talents together, but what happens when time runs out? Will love be able to overcome fate? This new novel from award-winning author Lisa Mangum explores what happens after hello.
I jumped into After Hello without really knowing what to expect. I hadn’t read anything by Lisa Mangum, nor had I read anything about this book. It was one of those books I picked on a whim, just to see what it would be like. I have to say that I was nicely surprised to find a great contemporary, an interesting book that I read in a matter of hours. I thought maybe it would be a little like The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, since the only thing that really stood out on the back cover was the “What if the first day of your relationship was the only day you had?” quote. It is really different, that’s for sure.

This book really left me wandering what will happen next, which is mostly why I had trouble putting it down. Some books keep you on the edge of your seat, and that’s why you can’t seem to put it down. For After Hello, it’s the beauty of this growing relationship between Sam and Sara, which started with Sara taking the picture of a stranger in the streets of New York City. The beauty of this book is the story of those two strangers, both of whom have different past, different troubles. It is to see them grow in such a short period of time, to see them have such a big impact on each other.

This book did charm me. This book was a nice surprise, since I didn’t know what I was embarking on when I started it. Lisa Mangum’s writing really charmed me, and made me want to pick up more of her books. This book may not have made me fall in love with the story, but it did give me something worth the time I spent with it. After Hello will in my opinion charm many Contemporary lovers. 

Army of Ten

The Army of TEN

I’m finally posting about the Army of Ten, after having forgotten for days to do so (me and my bad memory).

Gretchen McNeil’s new book is coming out next week (yay!!), and for those of you who didn’t know, Gretchen has created the Army of Ten to promote Ten, since one major bookstore has decide not to shelve Ten (mean glare).

Having read Ten already, I’m really excited about its release next week, since the book was simply excellent.

If you want to join, you can do so by going to the Army of Ten website. There’s one rank for international entries, and the other one are open for US/CA residents.

Hope you’ll join us in promoting Ten!

Review: The City's Son by Tom Pollock

The City’s Son by Tom Pollock
The Skyscraper Throne #1
Release Date: September 8th, 2012
Number of Pages: 480
Publisher: Flux
Source: NetGalley + Bought copy
Running from her traitorous best friend and her estranged father, graffiti artist Beth Bradley is looking for sanctuary. What she finds is Urchin, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London’s mystical underworld. Urchin opens Beth’s eyes to the city she’s never truly seen-where vast spiders crawl telephone wires seeking voices to steal, railwraiths escape their tethers, and statues conceal an ancient priesthood robed in bronze. But it all teeters on the brink of destruction. Amid rumors that Urchin’s goddess mother will soon return from her 15-year exile, Reach, a malign god of urban decay, wants the young prince dead. Helping Urchin raise an alleyway army to reclaim his skyscraper throne, Beth soon forgets her old life. But when her best friend is captured, Beth must choose between this wondrous existence and the life she left behind.
The City’s Son caught my attention when I was at BEA, even though I missed the signing for it. It was one of those book I was really curious about, without really knowing what to expect from it. When I first started it, I was a little confused, and a little uncertain about where the book was going. The more I read, the better it got, to a point where I simply didn’t want to put it down. I did have the unfortunate luck of having bought a misprinted copy, which was missing the last 50 pages, but I still had the eARC in my computer so I was able to read it. (I often buy a finish copy of my eARC if I find it hard to concentrate on it on my computer… Don’t ask.)

If there was one thing that really blew my mind, it’s the world created, the mythology of the Mater Viae, and all the story around the creation of the city. That was really something that caught my attention from the beginning. I like a book that really give you the backstory, especially if it isn’t in our world/time. It really made it easier for me to follow the story. The characters were also interesting, but they didn’t really made an impression on me. A little over 24 hours after having finished the book, and there’s nothing that was that memorable to them, in all honesty. Doesn’t take away from the fact that the book was addicting. It’s just that don’t remember that many details about them. I remember liking Filius’ differences, enjoying the brave side of Beth, liking seeing her father ‘waking up’ at some point, and Parva’s addition to the story was interesting, but disappointing in the way I was hoping to find more from her, to have her make a bigger impact on the story.

Overall, I did really enjoy the novel. It seems like a huge book, but I have to say that I ended up reading it in a couple of hours. I’m really curious to see where Tom Pollock will be taking the story next, especially with that ending.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
The Lynburn Legacy #1
Release Date: September 11th, 2012
Number of Pages: 370
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Source: NetGalley 
Kami Glass loves someone she’s never met . . . a boy she’s talked to in her head ever since she was born. She wasn’t silent about her imaginary friend during her childhood, and is thus a bit of an outsider in her sleepy English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Still, Kami hasn’t suffered too much from not fitting in. She has a best friend, runs the school newspaper, and is only occasionally caught talking to herself. Her life is in order, just the way she likes it, despite the voice in her head. But all that changes when the Lynburns return. The Lynburn family has owned the spectacular and sinister manor that overlooks Sorry-in-the-Vale for centuries. The mysterious twin sisters who abandoned their ancestral home a generation ago are back, along with their teenage sons, Jared and Ash, one of whom is eerily familiar to Kami. Kami is not one to shy away from the unknown—in fact, she’s determined to find answers for all the questions Sorry-in-the-Vale is suddenly posing. Who is responsible for the bloody deeds in the depths of the woods? What is her own mother hiding? And now that her imaginary friend has become a real boy, does she still love him? Does she hate him? Can she trust him?
Wow. I didn’t think I would find this book so addicting. I mean, I did find the idea of the book interesting, and I have enjoyed about every book I have read written by Sarah Rees Brennan. Still, I didn’t think I would become that involved in the story. By involved, I mean I was almost yelling at the book since I was a little waiting for a kiss that never seemed to come. And of course, I can’t forget my reaction to that ending, which would have been slightly embarrassing if I had been in public. Fortunately, I was home alone, meaning I could express my anger toward the end of the book. Not that it was a bad ending. It simply was a mean ending since book two comes out only next year.

One thing I really enjoy about this book was Kami, who was simply an amazingly fun character to follow. She’s no damsel in distress. More than that, she doesn’t care that much about finding love with one of the (I would say extremely interesting) male characters. Her priority is finding who is responsible for the “bloody deeds in the dept of the woods” Finally someone who has more ambition than simply being an arm candy! And I can’t forget about her friends. I love the diversity of characters we are given in this book. Angela was one that really made me curious and left me hoping we would get more about her, even if we did learn quite a bit about her. Of course I can’t forget about the male characters, mostly Jared and Ash, who do a great job of leaving us slightly unsure of who they really are.

Sarah Rees Brennan really created a book that will get most readers hooked form the beginning. Still, I have to say I find her a little mean to leave us with that kind of ending. 24 hours later, I’m still not over it. You can be sure that book two will be at the top of my list once it comes out, since I’m dying to know what will happen next to her characters. Definitely one of the best books I’ve read in a while!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly Meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine. It is an opportunity for us to show books we can't wait to get our hands on.

This week, my pick is:

The Unfailing Light by Robin Bridges
Katherina Trilogy #2
October 2012
Random House Children's Book

Having had no choice but to use her power has a necromancer to save Russia from dark forces, Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, now wants to forget that she ever used her special powers. She's about to set off to pursue her lifelong dream of attending medical school when she discovers that Russia's arch nemesis--who she thought she'd destroyed--is still alive. So on imperial orders, Katerina remains at her old finishing school. She'll be safe there, because the empress has cast a potent spell to protect it against the vampires and revenants who are bent on toppling the tsar and using Katerina for their own gains. But to Katerina's horror, the spell unleashes a vengeful ghost within the school, a ghost more dangerous than any creature trying to get in.

What book are you waiting for this week?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Review: Entice by Jessica Shirvington

Entice by Jessica Shirvington
The Violet Eden Chapters #2
Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Number of Pages: 464
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: ARC from BEA 
Violet Eden is Grigori - part angel, part human. Her destiny is to protect humans from the vengence of exiled angels.
 Knowing who to trust is key but, when Grigori reinforcements arrive, it becomes clear everyone is hiding something. Even Lincoln. The only thing Violet does know: Phoenix's hold over her is more dangerous than ever.
 The race to find the one thing that could tilt the balance of power brings them all to the sacred mountains of Jordan, where Violet's power will be pushed to the extreme. And the ultimate betrayal exposed.
 Enticed is the second compelling book in The Violet Eden Chapters. 
I’ve read Embrace not long ago, so the book was still pretty fresh in my memory when I started this one (always a plus, because this takes out the confusing I could have had. No, I started Entice knowing what had happen in book one, and really excited to find out what happen next. I have to say I was really happy with what we got in this sequel. I still have to say that it wasn’t better than book one (the middle book rarely is), but it was still pretty solid. We got to learn a lot more about the back-story of the Grigori, their history, and their mythology. That was something that I was really happy to get, because I had a couple of questions from book one that needed answers, and I got a good part of those. Still, there’s still some mystery, since there’s a third book coming.

I really like Violet more and more in this book. I feel like she is becoming more solid as a character, and I love seeing her interact with different characters than Lincoln (even though I ADORE him) and Steph. The three new Grigori (or maybe I could say the youngest ones) were just a great addition, especially Spence, who cracked me up. I found it really interesting to see more side of those part-angel beings. I just understood more about them because of that.

If there’s one thing that didn’t change, it’s how amazing Jessica Shirvington’s writing is. It was simply addicting, and beautiful. It was one of those books you just don’t want to put down once you start. I’m already sad to have to wait for the next one. Something nicely different from all those angel-themed books I’ve read in YA lately. Definitely one of my favorite series lately. It’s full of twits and mystery. How could I not fall for it?