Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Rapture by Lauren Kate


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by
Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming
novels we can't wait to read.

Our WoW for this week is...


The sky is dark with wings. . . .
In RAPTURE, the highly anticipated fourth and final novel in the FALLEN series, Luce and Daniel are together . . . but for how long? Can history be rewritten? Or are some punishments eternal?
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 6/12/2012

While you're here, why not check out our giveaways:
"Your Choice Of..." Contest/Giveaway
What book are you waiting for?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Beautiful Creatures - Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl



There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.

Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything. - synopsis from the book

Yesssss!!! It's finally time for me to review Beautiful Creatures one of my all time favorite novels that started an even more amazing book series. I mean seriously when you finish reading this review you better be going out to get the book or I have either; a.) failed at making such an awesome book sound so awesome or b.) you just don't find it interesting which is kinda... odd. I originally got Beautiful Creatures because I knew that for one thing it was about a boy who has dreams about a girl who he eventually ends up meeting in real life.
Right there they had me. Hook. Line and sinker.
Any how when I first started reading the story it's first chapter was already something that draws the reader in completely. Like you all should have noticed I'm not big about telling specific scenes but please do take my word when I say that it is a spectacular start. The story progresses at a casual pace, it doesn't get boring, it doesn't get too spectacular so that every other part just seems a bit below that one great moment. We end up learning mostly about the main character, Ethan Wate who's parents are both gone (well his Dad's still around but everybody thinks he's crazy and his Mom's dead so... pretty much alone) and his crazy ex- girlfriend has it out to get him.
Cue the entrance of the totally gorgeous, intelligent and mysterious new girl who just so happens to be the girl of Ethan's dreams. Literally. Lena is definitely somebody I would like to be, she's related to the creepy guy in town that nobody really knows much about, everybody hates on her but she just laughs it off and she ends up having a boyfriend who just so happens to be Ethan. Oh, Ethan. Our leading male character who is so interested in Lena and will always be there for her, even when she pushes him away because of her personal 'issues' that happen to involve a fair bit of... I don't know... magic!
Yes. I said it. Magic.
As it turns out Lena's family isn't like most of the boring, traditional families in their small town of Gaetlin. She's haunted by a curse that's damned her family for past generations, and after her and Ethan find a locket they end up being brought into secrets and lies that have been hidden for years. I found it riveting the way that the two authors managed to stir up so much emotion, constantly I was thinking awww!! Ethan!! I'm so glad that this is in your POV!! since we get to really see how much he thinks about Lena. Half the time, I always wonder what's going through the male romantic character's mind and here is where we get to find out all the things that go through a man's mind, sorta.
As the novel progressed I mostly enjoyed when Lena's cousin, Ridley appeared in the novel. She is one of the most memorable character's in the novel since she contrasts against most of the other character's that have been crafted in the story. She's more rebellious, more dangerous and has more sex appeal. I especially loved her lollipops that she cannot live without, of course Ridley loves them for a reason different than my own, something you will understand when you actually READ the book ;)
It's full of twists and turns, secrets that end up leading into Ethan and Lena's past. All these little things that end up leading to Lena's sixteenth birthday where Ethan's world will never be the same. So many conflicts. So much romance and family issues. Definitely my cup of tea. Your even in luck since all three installments in the Caster Chronicles have been released and guess what? There's even going to be a film adaption (YESSSS!!!).
Just check it out and get ready for your mind to be blown!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crave - Melissa Darnell

Forbidden to Love … Doomed to Fail Savannah Colbert has never known why she’s so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It’s as if he’s a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she’s destined to fail.
For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back… different, and suddenly he can’t stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just
from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences…
Bloodlust... Magic ... Forbidden secrets.

** This book was provided to us by the publisher, and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**

What made me really want to read this book were a couple of things: First – Pretty cover! Second – Romeo & Juliet type love story between witches and vampires… SOLD! Melissa Darnell has created a great world where the supernatural exist, and that love can conquer all. This was a pretty lengthy book, that had a few parts that seemed to just go in circles, and had some parts that I felt were rushed. But one you power through those parts, inside I found a touching story of forbidden love, and the lengths the characters go to be together.
I will say that Darnell does a great job of building a solid group of characters that teens can relate too. What I did find a little difficult to grasp was that the main characters were as young as they were . I felt as though they were portrayed as being older than they were. Darnell does a phenomenal job of describing the animosity between the vampire clan and the witch clan.
I did love the story development between Savannah and Tristan. Similar to any type of Romeo & Juliet story (aka Twilight), you get swept up into this tale of forbidden romance that you can’t help but hope that they will be able to be together in the end. Darnell adds a little bit of everything into her characters, that readers alike will really come to enjoy this book. For me, the better part of the book happened nearer to the end, where all the action begins. Darnell is able to capture the attention of readers with her use of suspense and plot twists. Those plot twists alone were what had me digging into the pages, needing to know what was going on, why was it happening, and why didn’t I see that coming!
The depiction of Savannah’s non-existent father was pulling at my heart strings…big time…I have a soft spot for father/daughter moments, and the ones Darnell describes in the book made my heart go out to Savannah. I could honestly feel the pain and hurt in Savannah’s heart, when time and time again, she attempts to do something to the best of her abilities in hopes of capturing her father’s attention, and then to have it all crash down around her…
I will admit, this book did have many literal laugh out loud moments. The quirky come backs, one liners, and even described facial expressions made me giggle like a school girl, and smirking along the way.
And who didn’t want their own Tristan. I mean, come on! So sexy, so sweet…never ending devotion. *sigh* Darnell sure does know how to create a crush worthy male lead.
This looks to be a promising series, and am looking forward to the next one. I recommend this to any fans of “forbidden romance”, and who are on the hunt for crush worthy leading men.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Character Challenge: Neferet vs. Bellatrix Lestrange: Most Powerful Lady Villan

I've always been curious about what would happen if two of the most vicious female character's in YA, Neferet from House of Night and Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter, had met up and gotten into a battle. What would happen? Who would win? Who would die? How many more questions am I going to put in this sentence? Well let's find out. Just like last time I'm not basing this off of events that occurred in their book series, I'm delving deep into the world of research where we will see what exactly lead them to being so evil, their skills/ abilities, what their favorite colors are, etc. Just so that we can find out who would win the title of Most Powerful Lady Villain.


The Situation:
 Alright let's just picture the situation and say that Neferet was in England, looking to kill Voldemort as a sacrifice to the White Bull, we all know that Bellatrix would be at his side and would get right into her fight mode, ready to attack the person who threatens her master. Here's where everything we've researched comes in: Bellatrix would have the first move, she would probably start with the Cruciatus Curse and when it misses, since Neferet would easily dodge it, Neferet would throw her own magic into the mix, using darkness as her main weapon while using the magic that vamps have...freeze frame!  Let's analyze...
 Let's see what we know about our two lovely and creepy ladies.
Neferet
Before she was marked (say what?) , Neferet had been a young girl mourning the death of her mother (oh no) and straight after her Father began to abuse her (oh no x2). After suffering through all of that Neferet was marked and began to worship Nyx (for those of you who don't know, Nyx is the vampyre goddess of night), like most fledglings and vampyres, only Neferet believed that Nyx had saved her from her very mean Daddy. But here's where things goes absolutely wrong and we understand why Neferet is so insane, after her Father's years of abuse she, Neferet, began to believe that every human was the same as her father; Mean. Cruel. Heartless. After that Neferet had a taste for revenge and who better to take it out on than on the human race (Yay us!). She's a high priestess, a professor and Queen Tsi Sgili...
VS. 
Bellatrix Lestrange

Bellatrix Lestrange was born to a pure- blood family who raised her as their prize daughter. She had two siblings, cut off communication with one of them and went to serve the Dark Lord (Hey, Voldemort. I know your reading this ;) Bellatrix later married a pure- blood man but never showed any affection for him and believed that Lord Voldemort was her true love. Which lead up to why she's so skilled in the dark arts, he taught her everything she knew (and is it just me or does anybody else find it tragic that she's in love with a man who will never love her back?) After Voldemort's fall during the first wizarding war, she was put in Azkaban (the high security magic insane asylum) and unlike most Death Eaters she didn't lie about her allegiance to Voldemort and waited for his return...

Now that we see where both of these girls got their mean streaks from (one of them is mental the other is madly in love and mental)
let's see what they could kill you with! It's worth points too so... don't screw up.


Neferet
Bellatrix Lestrange

Neferet has so many abilities so many evil allies and so horrible that it's not even funny anymore.
·         She has a long list of abilities including her affinity towards cats, she can read minds, read emotions and read books!
·         She has a high place at the house of night, being both the Professor of Vampyre Sociology and the High Priestess.
·         She's beautiful and charismatic.
·         She turned her back on Nyx to destroy all humans (sounds like an alien to me).
·         She murders if it helps her reach her goals.
·         She resurrected the immortal ex- warrior of Nyx, Kalona.
·         She uses darkness to do her bidding.
·         She's immortal...
Bellatrix is a witch/wizard. Come on. Obviously she's gonna have some pretty sick toys.
·         She's a witch for Nyx sake (if you don't get it see above).
·         She's cruel and murderous.
·         She's skilled in the dark arts and can use non- verbal magic.
·         She can use transfiguration.
·         She can fly.
·         She can disapperate.
·         She also uses the “unforgivable curses” including the Killing Curse which can kill any living target and can only be protected by sacrificial protection which is just the power of love... (i.e. we think that it could kill an immortal <in the HON series> if need be, they don't seem to feel love at all).

Hmm... To be honest both of these chicks are equally evil. They both use things that are considered dark and are both murderous, vengeful beats. But!!! When it comes down to it, no matter how much power you have or how pretty you are there were two things that made me think that this should have been a draw. Remember I said should. One of them is immortal the other has a curse that could turn you to some smoking piece of vampyre fried chicken. Against all odds vampires do not dominate in this category.
Full marks to Bellatrix Lestrange.

Now let's get on with the show, let's see who has the better allies should this small 'battle' lead to something else and who their enemies include. It's worth marks.

Zoey Redbird
Neferet used to be on the vampires side, well I guess that she never really was on the vampires side. Especially when she turned her back on the goddess of night. Neferet sides with whatever will make her goals *that* much simpler, which is why most of her allies are with her simply because they fear her. That includes those bad Red Fledglings. She used to be allies with Kalona before he went against her, did that bother Neferet? Nope. She just moved onto somebody even better, well I don't even think you can think of this as a somebody but she allied herself with the White Bull, which is just darkness in its purest form. He even gave her Aurox. After that she achieved one of her goals of becoming immortal. Neferet also has many people on her side because they either don't believe that she's a psycho or she's manipulated them to do everything and anything she wants.
Neferet's primary enemies are Zoey Redbird and her friends and her ex (boyfriend?) Kalona.

Harry Potter
Bellatrix has always been on the bad guys team. She's allied with her pure- blood family, including her sister, Narcissa though unlike Bellatrix, Narcissa wants to keep her family safe above all else. Though her most powerful allies are fellow Death Eaters like herself and of course Lord Voldemort. Like Neferet, most people fear Bellatrix and will do what she asks of them just so that she doesn't go all abracadabra on them (wait I meant Avada Kedavra). Bellatrix's enemies are all on a long list, she's got the entire wizard world against her, that Harry Potter is always getting in her way and even her own family members hate her. That's harsh.

My mind just got blown a little bit. I swear. I mean, really, I didn't even expect both of those ladies to have so many friends and enemies. Anyways, full marks go to Neferet since not only are her friends oh so powerful but that her enemies are limited and not, you know the whole world. Sorry Bella, but it looks like everybody hates you.

Now some reasons for why one of these girls should be Most Powerful Lady
Villain. Yes its worth marks if you were wondering.


Let's just face the most intense fact: Neferet is Immortal. It's kind of confusing since she's a vampire... so I guess she's extra immortal or something along those lines. Anyways Neferet also has some pretty strong magic (and she's immortal) but the one thing that I think earns her the title is that she just doesn't give up. Whenever an obstacle's thrown in her way she'll smash it to pieces and then walk on laughing. She's definitely somebody who I wouldn't want to fight and I'm pretty sure that at some point, after she's taken over the human race (if she isn't killed) she'll go after Nyx next. Hey that kinda rhymed, not really! Plus people trust her, and at times even when people hate on her it's funny. (“Neferet, you’re nuttier than squirrel turds.” From Awakened)

Bellatrix will kill you if you’re a mudblood. Then after that she'll kill you if you aren't a pure- blood in some way, that does sound pretty messed up but also makes her come off pretty dangerous. Her abilities are pretty different than her opponents (see above) she can fly for one thing and she's still got those three curses. Just saying. The one thing that I think takes away from Bellatrix is the fact that her devotion to Voldemort (In her case it's the way she's in love with him), would ruin her in any situation. If Voldemort was in danger, she would probably sacrifice herself for him. Of course it could just get her beefed up on rage- in which case we should all be changing into a new pair of pants.


Oh ladies, the decision was hard but we finally know who would be Most Powerful Lady Villain...
...Let's play the scenario again when this information comes into play...
if we could do video re-inactments, it would be so awesome...for now let's use our imaginations that we reader's are famous for...

Alright let's just picture the situation and say that Neferet was in England, looking to kill Voldemort as a sacrifice to the White Bull, we all know that Bellatrix would be at his side and would get right into her fight mode, ready to attack the person who threatens her master. Here's where everything we've researched comes in (wait we? I did all of this) Bellatrix would have the first move, she would probably start with the Cruciatus Curse and when it misses, since Neferet would easily dodge it, Neferet would throw her own magic into the mix, using darkness as her main weapon while using the magic that vamps have. Bellatrix would use the form of flying that all Death Eaters use, where she would fly and cast curses at the same time, all of which Neferet would block or dodge, though I believe that Bellatrix would also be avoiding Neferet's shadows just as easily since she's skilled in dueling. It would be an endless process of shot, block, dodge, shoot, block, dodge until somebody killed somebody.
Neferet would use some sticky, shadows to attack Bellatrix while she continued casting curses. Both of them would be bound to get tired but it would all depend on who gets exhausted first. It's actually a pretty simple conclusion; since Neferet has to draw blood for darkness to do her bidding you can imagine how tired she would be after letting blood for an extended period of time. In that moment of weakness
when Neferet lets her guard down, she's gone just like * snaps fingers * that! “Avada Kedavra!” and Neferet would be in the killing curse's grip. And no it doesn't matter if she's immortal. The curse kills any living thing and last time I checked undead meant that your still alive (if it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck...).

Looks like I just decided the fate of a character, but P.C. Cast's vampyre has one weakness and that's how Neferet summons darkness where as J.K. Rowling's witch has been around long enough to study the dark arts and knows a curse that kills on contact. If you haven't figured it out yet (which would be pretty sad) our victor is none other than... 

Results: Most Powerful Lady Villain- Bellatrix Lestrange


Agree? Disagree? Leave comments...let us know what should change, what was missed! This is purely just my opinion :)
If you have any suggestions for future CC's (Character Challenge) let us know! Stay tuned for next weeks line up.

- Gabby

Saturday, November 26, 2011

In My Mailbox #7



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by
The Story Siren.
Head on over for more details on how to join!

We got quite a bit this week, which means our TBR list is
seriously adding up!
This week we got:
Clockwork Prince - Cassandra Clare
Currently reading for review
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada



Anna Dressed In Blood - Kendare Blake
Purchased - TBD








Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble -
D. Robert Pease
Received from the author







While you're here why not check out our giveaways for:
What's in your mailbox? Feel free to leave your IMM link in the comments!

Your Choice Of...Contest

Witches....Vampires...Shapeshifters...Zombies...
We all have a soft spot for one of them, right?
Want to win one of the books listed below?

Shapeshifters

Witches
Vampires

Zombies

Enter using the Rafflecopter below!  The contest will run until Midnight, December 23, 2011!  

Here's how to win:
1 - Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.
2 - Leave a comment (on this contest page!) stating which book you want!  (You must be a GFC follower to win)

Official Contest Info:

- Make sure you enter your e-mail address correctly. This is the only way we can contact you to get you your prize, so double check :)
- You must be 13 years of age or older to qualify.
- As the book will be delivered via TBD, this contest is international (yay!) provided TBD delivers to your country.  Click here to double check.
- The winner will be announced sometime on December 24, 2011. The winner will be notified by e-mail (again, make sure you typed it correctly) and will have 48 hours to reply to us. If we don't hear from you, a new winner will be chosen.
- Good luck!!


I upgraded the Rafflecopter on Dec 12/11, which caused people to have to re-enter information in order to win.  Kinda like free entries.  I will be deleting the duplicates closer to the draw date.
Thanks!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Follow My Book Blog #7


Follow Me Friday is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read. #FF is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. In order to join in the fun,
all you need is well . . . A book blog
(yay us!) For more info on how to participate, click the button above, seriously you can't miss it.
This week's question...

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. so we want to know what you are Thankful for – blogging related of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?

Since we are Canadian, our Thanksgiving has already come and gone but we are still thankful for alot of things.  In relation to this week's question, we are thankful for reading many unbelievable books by various phenomenal authors.  A few that come to mind are: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer, Remembrance by Michelle Madow, Lost In Time by Melissa de la Cruz, Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead, and so many more.  Me and Gabby are thankful for each other as we go on this blogging journey, and we are both so thankful for the loyal followers that we have gained and this YA book blogging community that we consider our second family.

Farsighted - Emlyn Chand

THE CASH PRIZES:  Guess what? You could win a $100 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $100 too! Please help by voting for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll. To cast your vote, visit the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. Thank you for your help with that.


Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he’s blind. Just when he thinks he’ll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.
Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future. - Synopsis from the book



** This book was provided to us by the author, and we were in no way paid for our review.
The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**


This was such a good book, and I seriously think Emlyn Chand has a winner in her hands! 
I loved the way the descriptions in the book are what main character, Alex Kosmitoras, would be sensing since he is blind.  As you progress through the novel, you can really tell that Chand took alot of time and effort in researching on what and how someone who is bling see's or would see things.  Because of this, Chand did a fantastic job describing, in detail, how much more enhanced Alex's senses are due his blindness.  To even go far as to having Alex snap his fingers to say "yes" shows just how even the little details made  this story even more believeable.  I will admit that I did find myself snapping my fingers right along side Alex when he would answer yes...don't ask me why, but I just did.  This just proves how wrapped up I was in this story!
There were points throughout the books where I felt sorry for Alex.  His thoughts of how he thinks his dad feels about him... to see their interaction with each other.  To see how he's treated at school because of his disability.  My heart ached for him time and time again!  I mean, seriously!  What kind of person whould treat someone who's blind the way Alex was being treated at school.  This was just one example of how powerful Chand's writing is. She puts so much emotion and personality into all her characters that you can't help but hate who you should hate, and love who you should love.  Playing with the heart strings...well played Emlyn Chand...well played.
I found it so interesting how Chand mixed in Alex's visions throughout the story.  She gave just enough information in the visions that she made me want to read continuously to find out what was going to happen next!  The little plot twists that she weaves in this tale leaves the reader wondering where this is all leading too, and how will she out do herself at the next twist.  But she does accomplish it!  Just when I thought I had the ending picked out and was ready to pat myself on the back, she twists it again and I'm guessing all over again.  LOVED THAT!
On of my favorite things about this books is the two (2) potential love interests for Alex, and seeing how he tries to deal with his feelings and understand them.  I'm so used to seeing the love triangle formula as female + male + male, that seeing the male + female + female change was fun and refreshing!
The buildup to thefinal showdown was perfectly executed.  Once the action started, it was non-stop excitement!  The way Chand incorporated all the character's abilities, and had them working together for the greater good was so interesting to read!
The ending left off with a fantastic cliffhanger, which just screams "hurry up 2nd book", and it should be highly anticipated.  I, for one, cannot WAIT to see what is in store for this cast of characters.
Emlyn Chand promises to be an excellent writer and story teller with her ability to write attention grabbing storylines.  It will be interesting to see what other plot twists she has up her sleeve.

Blog Tour Notes

THE BOOK:  Alex Kosmitoras may be blind, but he can still “see” things others can’t.  When his unwanted visions of the future begin to suggest that the girl he likes could be in danger, he has no choice but to take on destiny and demand it reconsider. Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com’s Kindle store or the eBook retailer of your choice. The paperback edition will be available on November 24 (for the author’s birthday).

THE GIVEAWAYS: Win 1 of 10 autographed copies of Farsighted before its paperback release by entering the giveaway on GoodReads. Perhaps you’d like an autographed postcard from the author; you can request one on her site.

THE AUTHOR:  Emlyn Chand has always loved to hear and tell stories, having emerged from the womb with a fountain pen grasped firmly in her left hand (true story). When she’s not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm, Novel Publicity. Emlyn loves to connect with readers and is available throughout the social media interweb. Visit www.emlynchand.com for more info. Don’t forget to say “hi” to her sun conure Ducky!

MORE FUN: Take the quiz to find out which character is most like you!


Don't forget to vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll at the official Farsighted blog tour page and scroll all the way to the bottom. There could be cookie in it for you!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday - Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate

wow


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by
 Breaking the Spine, and specifically spotlights upcoming
novels we can't wait to read.

My WoW for this week is...


cover reveal,fallen in love,lauren kate,fallen shorts,fallen


What makes your heart race a little faster? Just in time for Valentine's Day, it's FALLEN IN LOVE, four wholly original new stories collected in a new novel set in the Middle Ages by Lauren Kate. FALLEN IN LOVE gives fans the much-talked about but never-revealed stories of FALLEN characters as they intertwine with the epic love story of Luce and Daniel. The stories include: Love Where You Least Expect It: The Valentine of Shelby and Miles , Love Lessons: The Valentine of Roland; Burning Love: The Valentine of Arriane; and Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda.


Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate
Due out January 24, 2012 in Canada & US
Due out February 2, 2012 in the UK

While you're here, why not check out our giveaways:
Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
The Pledge by Kimberly Derting & SWAG
What are you waiting for?

Wondrous Strange - Lesley Livingston


Kelley Winslow is living her dream. Seventeen years old, she has moved to New York City and started to work with a theatre company. Sure, she’s only an understudy for the Avalon Players, a third-tier repertory company so far off- Broadway it might as well be in Hoboken, but things are looking up—the lead has broken her ankle and Kelley’s about to step into the role of Titania the Faerie Queen in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Faeries are far more real than Kelley thinks, though, and a chance encounter in Central Park with a handsome young man named Sonny Flannery plunges her into an adventure she could never have imagined.
Sonny is a Janus Guard, charged by Auberon, the King of Winter, with watching over the gate into the land of Faerie, which lies within Central Park. For Sonny, the pretty, young actress is an enigma. Strong and willful, she sparks against his senses like a firecracker, and he can’t get her out of his mind. As Hallowe’en approaches and the Samhain Gate opens, Sonny and Kelley find themselves drawn to each other—and into a terrible plot that could spell disaster for both New York and Faerie alike.







Since we are still in the reading phase of a few books, we decided to dig up an oldy, but a goody!
I was so addicted to this trilogy!  We'll talk about the first book of the three for those who haven't YET read these books (what are you waiting for?).  We wouldn't want to give away the good stuff!
Seriously, I flew through all three books in, like a weekend.  And yes Sonny Flannery, our faerie hero, was my book boyfriend for the duration of this reading adventure.
So, a few things caught my eye when I decided to start with this book... 1 - love the title!  "Wondrous Strange" just sounded so wonderfully strange (I know, I know...I couldn't help it), 2 - hauntingly beautiful cover!  It just screamed "Pick me up, and start reading me.  You really want to hear my story", 3 - Canadian writer!  woot woot for my Canadian peeps (!), and 4 - Shakespeare ...*collective sigh*...
Livingston has written a beautiful story of the faerie world that is beyond what you ever thought a faerie world would be.  She has also introduced us to a cast of characters that are unique in their own way, and that are so unbelievable addictive to read about. 
We follow the story of Kelley Winslow, an aspiring actress who has landed the role of Titania, the fairy queen in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream.  After a chance encounter with a certain hunky fairy named Sonny, a Janus Guard, Kelley learns that she is actually part of the faerie world where she must learn to deal with this new found knowledge, and still learn to live in a human world...while trying to thwart her impending death.  Romance, action, adventure...Sounds good, doesn't it?
My favorite aspect of this book was the interaction between Kelley and Sonny, and reading how their characters develope, as well as their relationship.  The supporting characters, Maddox,Camina, Bellamy, Jack (to name a few)  are also unforgettable...all with their own individual strengths and personalities.
Livingston's writing style is so addictive.  Her writing flows flawlessy from one page to the next, leaving just enough at the end of each chapter to make you want to keep reading.  Before I read this trilogy, I was not really into reading about the faerie folk, but after reading these books I came to love them, and for awhile, i couldn't get enough of them!  The plot twists and turns that Livingston adds through her book kept my head spinning, and my mind guessing.  I swear, I was pretty much smiling the entire time I was reading them.
 It's one of those...once you read it, you have to keep going...meaning, have all three books on hand!  You'll want to have your own mini-read-a-thon.



I originally came by Wondrous Strange because I saw that two authors who I absolutely adore (L.J. Smith who wrote Vampire Diaries, Night World, Night of the Solstice, The Secret Circle, etc AND Melissa De La Cruz, Blue Bloods) had said good things about it. Half the time, since I'm very easy to sway, I end up taking a look at it. I hadn't expected (key word expected) much from the novels before reading them and thought that they would be something I would read when I had nothing else to read. I'm so glad that when I had gotten Wondrous Strange I had nothing to read, or I would have missed out on something awestastic (yeah I just said that).
It even has a bunch of great of creatures like Sirens, the faerie royals from Midsummer Night's Dream and other creatures that you may or may not have heard of.
The first few chapters are pretty interesting, I've yet to read a novel about an actress... especially when she ends up being dragged into the world that she's been acting out. It was slightly amusing at times, especially since I developed two crushes during this whole novel, one on Sonny and one on Maddox (who I think is pretty hot). Sonny is just too cute though, he even offers her a rose in the park even though he kind of starts to stalk her.
The main character, Kelly is a very strong female character who reminded me of Val from the Modern Faerie Tale series. It must be because they're both fairy novels. One of my favorite parts that involve her is when she saves a horse from drowning in a lake and ends up keeping it in her... bathtub? Anyhow, the world that Kelly gets pulled into is the actual world that Shakespeare had based Midsummer Night's Dream around.
She ends up learning that she's a faerie, not just any faerie... but I won't ruin the shock for you. Let's just say that Oberon finds her interesting and so does the mysterious and very angry faerie Queen Mabh. Something I found totally cool, the Samhain Gate that Sonny has vowed to protect and every nine years on Halloween it connects the Faerie Realm and our world, letting all of the scary and evil things on the other side come and give us a visit. The issue with the gate? Now that we all know who Kelly is, except for you, Reader, we can understand why the merging for both worlds puts Kelly in more danger than we thought it would.
Did I forget to mention the Wild Hunt which is also part of the great danger that they have to face in the novel? Geez, there were so many twists and challenges in this... I LOVE IT!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Character Challenge: Jace vs. Patch - Ultimate "Bad Boy"

Ever since reading both The Mortal Instruments series and the Hush, Hush Saga I've found myself thinking about one thing that boggles my mind: "Who is the baddest boy and which one of them would win if the two go into a fight?" Now I know that half of the time people will pick and choose because one of them is more attractive than the other, or one might be more sensitive, etc. I want to know who will win in the most realistic way, I'm going to look at their background, skills/training, how they treat the loves of their lives, etc.  Let's break it down, Ultimate Warrior style...
Every. Single. Thing (hopefully) and now without further adieu let's see what makes them tick.

...Situation...
Jace and Patch met up in New York, one on one, and Patch felt threatened by the fact that Jace is a real dangerous Nephilim. Jace's sensor goes over the moon and the two start fighting, it doesn't matter who hits who first- the two of them would be too caught up in the thrill of the fight to care about it. Jace would go at Patch with his blades, Patch wouldn't feel it and attempt to tear off Jace's limbs or skin (and I'm pretty sure that his marks wouldn't save him). Both boys would be moving quickly, they would both be stronger and really it would a situation of ...  freeze frame!  Let's analyze...
 Let's just take a look at what we know about both characters,
this is not worth marks:
JACE WAYLAND

Jace is a Shadow Hunter living in New York City with his adoptive family at the institute. His foster father Michael Wayland,really it had been Valentine the main villain in the story, raised Jace from a young age, teaching Jace that 'To love is to destroy.' Valetine even faked his death while Jace was in his care, causing Jace to then live with the Lightwood family. He has also dated many girls but never loved any of them as much as he loves Clary Fray. Jace has Ithuriel's blood, thanks to Valentine for making him an experiment, which enhances his totally awesome Shadow Hunter abilities and he is overly sarcastic (not cool in my opinion, but it's hot on him). Did I forget to mention that Shadow Hunter's are called Nephilim? That's gonna play a key role in our little battle.

VS.
PATCH CIPRIANO

Patch is a new senior at Coldwater High and ends up becoming Nora Grey's biology partner. Now the good stuff! Patch is a Fallen Angel who has lost his wings, then lost them when he became a Guardian Angel, then lost them again for Nora. We also know that Patch is skilled in pool and gambles his time away at Bo's Arcade. Being a Fallen Angel, Patch cannot feel physically, though he can feel emotionally and he lost most of his angelic abilities when he fell- but- he can mind trick humans. He's patient, myserious, brooding and is accused of lying when really he's just good at avoiding questions (That's always hot). Fallen Angels are also enemies to the Nephilim since they try to... uh possess the bodies. Nice. 
So now that we know where both boys come from let's take a look at how they treat their
very lucky girlfriends. This is worth marks boys
CLARY FRAY
Let's just put it out straight, he's Jace freaking Wayland/ Lightwood/a hundred other last names, he's broken hearts before he met Clary so what makes her so special? To be honest it's complicated, when they were finally together (and making out) they find out that they're brother and sister, then while they were apart, Jace couldn't stop thinking about her, then when they weren't siblings they got back together (and started making out). Then to ruin their new found love when Jace finally notices that Clary is his everything- he ends up getting (psychopathic) dreams about killing her and puts distance between the two. Most people would be thinking WTF (where's the frosting)? Why would he do that? They love each other...love overcomes all obsticles- no. It doesn't. Not in this story. I find it both romantic and cute that shadow hunter/ ladies man, Jace Wayland comes off a bit vulnerable when it comes to Clary. Maybe that's just me.
VS. 
NORA GREY

Patch's first intentions were to kill Nora. Aww how romantic- not! He ends up appearing everywhere she goes in the first novel, and at all those times Nora nearly dies, such as the Archangel Ride when Nora gets mind tricked into falling out (he tried to kill her then), he shows up at her house and uses a knife to cut up vegetables (he was going to stab her then), he messes with her car and picks her up for a ride (he was going to kill her at some point, I swear it), then against all the odds he doesn't kill her because his feelings for her are just too strong. Awww. Even when Nora sacrifices herself and Patch is left with the descission of becoming human (he wants it) or become a Guardian Angel and Nora lives (he wants that more). Patch becomes a Guardian Angel for Nora.  He loves Nora, he tries to keep her safe from all the Nephilim dangers, he even makes up an alias as Jev to watch over her while she forgets about him.
This one goes to Patch. Sorry Jace, but he's just a bit more romantic
(if it helps you both tried to kill your girlfriend at one point)...
------------------------------------------------------------

My favorite part so far, training/ weapons/abilities!!!!! This is worth marks, lovelies:


Jace Wayland:

- The Stele used to carve runes into his or others flesh and it can be a weapon.
- The Sensor that tells if there's any demonic activity going on.
- Seraph Blades, Jace's primary weapon of choice due to their magic ability.
- A Sword, kinda obvious what it does.
- Jace has his marks which can aid in many things including healing, speed, strength, etc.
- He has his enhanced- enhanced superhuman physical abilities due to the Ithuriel's Blood.
- Not to mention the fact that Jace has been trained since birth to hunt and kill demons, and with all those weapons. I'd be scared...


Patch Cipriano:

- His superman physical abilities that might challenge even those of Jace Wayland.
- He cannot feel pain, but it could take alot to take him down.
- He can use mind tricks, but since it's used for those with weak minds I doubt it could affect a Shadow Hunter.
- If he had wings he could fly.
- Wing scars are a liability.
- No matter how hard Jace hit's him, the only way to kill a fallen angel is to burn their feather...
- I doubt good looks can do much for the situation.



   Sorry Patch but this one goes to Jace, I mean he just has more stuff and I'm sure that he would find some sort of crack in your fallen angel glory *cough wing scars*

   Let's give some good reasons as to why  both boys would be the better candidate for
Badder Boy this is the big decsission.


Jace has sarcasm, he's fought things that have come from hell and he's been trained since before his birth to be a weapon. He's a heart breaker- but with Clary he has his moments, he has a bunch of markings all over his body that could come off as tattoos (swoon) and at one point in City of Bones he and Clary drove off on a motorcycle... If those reasons don't make him bad I don't know what would.


 Patch is dark and brooding, he's a Fallen freaking Angel and when you think about it he's had more years than Jace has had on this earth. Patch has had all of eternity to be a heart breaker, he drives a motorcycle, he plays pool and risks everything he has to gain a whole lot more in return and his attitude is always attractive. (From Hush, Hush- Nora: “You want to possess my body?” Patch: “I want to do alot of things to your body, that's not one of them.” Yeah I'm pretty sure the attitude works).

...Let's play the scenario again when this information comes into play...
if we could do video re-inactments, it would be so awesome...for now let's use our imaginations that we reader's are famous for...

  Let's just think about this a little bit, we saw what both boys could bring to the table and now it's time to put it into a situation. Let's say Jace and Patch met up in New York, one on one, and Patch felt threatened by the fact that Jace is a real dangerous Nephilim. Jace's sensor goes over the moon and the two start fighting, it doesn't matter who hits who first- the two of them would be too caught up in the thrill of the fight to care about it. Jace would go at Patch with his blades, Patch wouldn't feel it and attempt to tear off Jace's limbs or skin (and I'm pretty sure that his marks wouldn't save him). Both boys would be moving quickly, they would both be stronger and really it would a situation of when or if Jace finds Patch's weakness. Even if Jace found Patch's scars, it would only stun him and when Patch got back he would just keep on coming, until he either wears down Jace or when he ends up tearing Jace's head off. Besides, unless the Clave has some sort of unknown supply of every Fallen's feather- he couldn't kill or beat Patch anyways...


 Sigh. After tons of time thinking it out I'm going to come straight out and say that Patch is the winner. Please don't yell at me, don't scream, don't send me messages about what an awesome choice that was (Just kidding you can do the last one), but when you think about it Jace is just a little bit tooooo tortured to be considered Baddest Boy. Sorry, Jace. Better luck nex time.

I do feel upset to have to slap Jace again, but in this situation, despite all of his great abilities and all of his weapons- Becca Fitzpatrick made her Fallen Angel just too hard to beat. Against anybody else Jace would have won, but sadly for him Patch is just too invulnerable.


Results of Jace vs. Patch:
Baddest Boy- Patch
Who would win in a fight- Patch.


Agree?  Disagree?  Leave comments...let us know what should change, what was missed!  This is purely just my opinion :) 
If you have any suggestions for future CC's (Character Challenge) let us know!  Stay tuned for next weeks line up.

- Gabby

In My Mailbox #6



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by
The Story Siren.
Head on over for more details on how to join!

This week we got:


Courtesy of NetGalley
Currently Reviewing
 

On A Dark Wing - Jordan Dane
Courtesy of NetGalley









Nocturne - Syrie James
Courtesy of FSB Media








While you're here why not check out our giveaways for:
What's in your mailbox?  Feel free to leave your IMM link in the comments!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Secret Of Lies - Barbara Forte Abate


Propelled by an insurmountable sense of desperation, Stevie Burke is recklessly abandoning home, husband, and outwardly contented life under cover of night; at last resigned to defeat in her long battle against the tortured memories of her past.
Days later, lost and floundering in a dreary motel room without plan or destination, it is a long ago song playing on the radio that gently tugs Stevie back through the dust of remembrance. 1957 – The last summer spent at the ancient house overlooking the North Atlantic. A season which had unfolded with abundant promise, but then spiraled horribly out of control – torn apart by a shattering tragedy that remains splintered in fragments upon her soul. And it is only now, when Stevie at last lifts her eyes to stare deep into the heart of her long sequestered memories, that the long held secrets of past and future are at last unveiled...


** This book was provided to us by the author, and we were in no way paid for our review.
  The review was done simply because we support and believe in the author's works**


I laughed, I cried, I loved this book...
The Secret Of Lies  by Barbara Forte Abate is a beautiful story that you won't soon forget, the story of Stevie is one that is filled with innocence, lies, personal growth, and finding the strength to live her life
Barbara Forte Abate treats us with a story that simply takes your breath away.  She has the ability to grab the readers attention from the beginning in such a way that you can't do anything but continue reading and see what happens in Stevie's journey and how she deals with the lies she is forced to keep.
I found Abate's writing style to be similar to that of Nicolas Sparks in that you can not only read, but you can feel the emotion that the author pours into each page.  The story of Stevie and Ash is one that is so raw and so full of honesty that you will be plowing through the pages to see how it all ends.
Abate does a fantastic job of developing every character that we come across; whether it is to love them, or hate them, they all will find a way into your heart.
One of my favorite aspects of this book was the progession.  The story starts with a very adolescent Stevie, and we watch as she grows into a woman who has yet to come to grips with her past.  Abate does a fantastic job of allowing the reader to see into the very soul of Stevie, and allows us to see the deeper side that she hides from those around her.  Abate is such a talented writer and I will continuously look for more of her writing.
From beginning to end, this story is a work of art that needs to be appreciated by every reader.  Pick up this book book and prepare yourself for an unforgettable roller coaster rider of emotions.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...