Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

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...

This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.

Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters....

Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series.
Expected Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
While you're here, why not check out our various giveaways
which can be found on our right sidebar!
What book are you waiting for?  

Review of Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different. That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control. A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

No book trailer, so here's a song!

"If you've ever felt a rolling fury bury you alive, if you've ever screamed because the words just won't come, then this one's for you" - Rage - Jackie Morse Kessler

Again with the powerful tag line.  Love!  Although I did enjoy reading the Hunger, first book of the Riders of the Apocalypse series, I complete enjoyed Rage, the second installment. Although the writing style was still similar to that of its predecessor, Rage was much more enjoyable to me.

In Rage, we are introduced to the world of cutters which is defined as individuals who cut themselves to relieve themselves from an emotional pain.  We follow the life of Missy who is struggling with her life as an outcast and because of her struggles with cutting, Death has chosen her to be War, one of the horsemen of the Apocalypse. Now, where in Hunger, Lisabeth was having a more difficult time coming to grips with her appointment as Famine, Missy seems to be more open to her assignment as War, which made it that more enjoyable for me.

Kessler does a fantastic job of emotionally gripping the reader from the start of the book to the end. Everything was described in such vivid detail that the reader will not find it difficult at all to envision the story unfolding. I also felt that Kessler does a fantastic job of giving the readers a close glimpse of what exactly main character Missy is going through, and what she is going through. How in reality, it is words that actually do more damage than physical torment.

There were so many points in the book where my heart just bleed for this poor girl. I honestly do not remember it being that harsh in high school, but it was probably because I went to private school (most likely). And at the point in the book where everything just does not go right for Missy, and everything that could go wrong does go wrong, I don’t think there is anyone out there that won’t feel some sort of emotional pull. I really comment Kessler for her writing style. Everything that I ‘ve read so far from her has been so unbelievably realistic, that I found myself reiterating to my girls the importance of being kind, and not judging, and treating everyone respectfully.

I found myself crushing even more on old Mr. Death in this book. Being described as the late Kurt Cobain (although the name really isn't revealed), his attitude and mannerisms, and just his general personality oozed crush-worthy! I can’t wait to read more about what Death will say or do next in the next installment titled, Loss. Fans of Hunger will definitely enjoy Rage…and those who were on the fence with Hunger, will be in for a treat with this one.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Review of Halflings by Heather Burch

Split. After being inexplicably targeted by an evil intent on harming her at any cost, seventeen-year-old Nikki finds herself under the watchful guardianship of three mysterious young men who call themselves halflings. Sworn to defend her, misfits Mace, Raven, and Vine battle to keep Nikki safe while hiding their deepest secret---and the wings that come with. A growing attraction between Nikki and two of her protectors presents a whole other danger. While she risks a broken heart, Mace and Raven could lose everything, including their souls. As the mysteries behind the boys' powers, as well as her role in a scientist's dark plan, unfold, Nikki is faced with choices that will affect the future of an entire race of heavenly beings, as well as the precarious equilibrium of the earthly world.

** 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**
“Fangs sank into Nikki Youngblood's leg, setting her skin on fire.” I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to get that opening sentence out of my mind. Right there (*points at opening sentence*) I knew that Halflings from author Heather Burch would be something I would enjoy. I mean really how many novels just start with action? A small number from what I've read, but when a novel does start with action, well.. I love when that happens!  The novel first begins with our main character, Nikki Youngblood, being chased by hell-hounds. She has a bunch of injuries thanks to those mean little dogs, but despite that she keeps on running for her life and is dependent on saving herself and I admired her for that.

And from what I have learned from mace: If a human is running from hell-hounds you don't stand a chance of saving yourself. Que the entrance of the super hot Halflings entrance when Vine, Raven and Mace all come to Nikki's rescue. Though it was an interesting start and introduced most of the abilities that Halflings were gaven it started to feel like from that point on in the novel Nikki was constantly being saved by Halflings. While that's not necessarily a bad thing I didn't feel like Halflings managed to work the damsel in distress act in the same way that I would have enjoyed.

So now I'll answer a crucial question: What's a Halfling? It's the offspring of an angel and a human resulting in a supernatural being that are kind of portrayed as a guardian angel. I think I've forgotten to mention the part where all the Halflings, male and female included, are all inhumanly beautiful with a strange aura of electricity and light surrounding them. I think I also forgot to mention that Halflings have wings that only certain humans called Seers can see. Did I like the idea of Halflings? Yes in fact I am a bit in love with them as of now.

Due to Burch's descriptive writing style I was more than able to imagine all of the characters from Nikki herself to Vegan one of the female Halflings. Though most of the characters seemed three dimensional and likeable (except for some characters like Nikki's godfather)  I did find myself hating Nikki's best friend Krissy, she seemed hardly like that much of a good friend and always seemed pushy on changing who Nikki was comfortable with being and turning her into another version of herself.

Now as for the love triangle, I didn't really feel like it was present throughout the novel. Whenever Nikki was with Raven, I felt like they both just glared at each other and would talk to each other in a way that reminded me of Elena and Damon (from the Vampire Diaries). Now when Nikki was with Mace I was always hoping that they would do something ANYTHING simply because Mace always thought so highly of her and in such a romantic way. That being said the novel does go from POV (point of view) to POV, from Raven's to Mace's to Nikki's.

There were only a few downsides to the novel one of them being that the entire novel was used in the third person and in a past tense however through out the novel I would end up finding first person and present tense words. Not that major though it did begin to irritate me. The other downside was the pace that the novel worked at, I would end up finding myself bored and waiting for some major twist. However major twists did take place and questions that you couldn't stop thinking about would be answered with excitement.

Nearing the end (and don't worry this is spoiler free) I found myself feeling more than sad. The ending was an epic tragedy and I mean that in a good way! Somebody was left broken hearted. Somebody died and everything that we knew about Halflings is changed.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

In My Mailbox #15

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

This week we received:

For review

Special thanks to Raincoast Books

Special thanks to HMH Children's Book Group

The Mayfair Moon by J.A. Redmerski - Tour Stop March 20/12
Initiantion by Imogen Rose - Tour Stop March 15/12

While you're here why not check out our various giveaways
happening on the side bar!
What's in your mailbox? Feel free to leave your
IMM link in the comments

Review of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.

I loved this book!  I saw the hype, read some non-spoiler reviews, decided that I was going to love it, and I totally did!  What did I love about it?  EVERYTHING!  The writing, the descriptions, the details, the characters, the words, the cover, the author, the … everything!  Tahereh Mafi has woven an unforgettable Dystopian tale that I got completely lost in. There were two unique aspects of this book that I simply adored: 
First, there was the “strike through” print found all over the place.  Though at first I was just a little confused by it, it developed into a voice within a voice reading style that I could not get enough of.  My eyes would skim over the crossed out text, which would in turn develop into a voice over while reading the words that either followed or were written just before.  It was so different and provided so much more emotion while reading.
Second, how Mafi would write certain words three times consecutively.  This complete stuck out in my head.  I thought to myself, what is the significance of writing it down three times…why three?  Here’s what I found while researching “The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number Three”:
Three stands for that which is solid, real, substantial, complete, and entire.”
True!  That is what I found when I read those words used in the book.  Each time I read that same word over it solidified what was being said in the sentence.  Would I say random words were used?  No way.  Specific and precise…the words Mafi chose to triplicate were used at substantial points in the story that needed to be emphasized.  For me, it made everything even more emotional.  Did I shed tears?  Oh yes…  Did I shed tears more than once?  Heck yes!  Her descriptions of loss and abuse from the eyes of a child just ripped through my heart.  The longing for love and acceptance…ack Mafi had me at tears again and again!  The yearning need to be touched and to touch … I went through every emotion while reading this book, and I would do it again!
Readers will fall head over heels in love with Adam.  *sigh*  He is perfect!  He is everything I hope for in a leading man…in a book boyfriend.  The story and relationship of Juliette and Adam is one that readers will not soon forget.  How far would you go to save the one you love?  Shatter Me will answer that for you…  Let’s not forget the other main players in this book now!  Who doesn’t love a good villain!  Warner is all that AND a bag of chips.  Did I despise him?  Definitely yes!  And yet, there were points throughout the book where I felt myself slowly starting to hate him less and could quite possibly start to crush on him…but then BAM something happens that throws that right out the window.  And Kenji?  In my head, he is dead sexy *queue the Austin Power’s – Fat B**stard Scottish accent*.  Comedic relief…he was my constant giggle fest.  Loved him!
If you’re looking for a “cannot put down, cannot stop, emotional rollercoaster ride” type read, this book is definitely for you!  Grab a copy today and find a new book friend in Adam, and a book that will have a long shelf life amongst your Top 10 Favs.  I cannot WAIT to see what Tahereh Mafi has for us next! 
I selected this post to be featured on my blog’s page at book review blogs.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Follow My Book Blog #15

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #80
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:

Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?
I don't really enjoy reading biographies, memoirs, autobiographies
or things of that nature.
 I love my  paranormal romances, my urban fantasies, and my imaginary book boyfriends!

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which can be found on our right sidebar!

Young Adult Giveaway Hop Stop!

Welcome to my stop for the
Dreaming of Books Giveaway Hop!

Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter for
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review of Stolen Away by Alyxandra Harvey

For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won’t comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds. The only one who can break his power is Eloise’s aunt Antonia-and Eloise has become his bargaining chip.

Eloise will need the help of her best friends Jo and Devin, along with the other Fae captives of Strahan’s hall. With a whole world of Faeries out to get her, Eloise, her Fae protector Lucas and the mysterious Eldric, must stop Strahan both worlds are thrust into complete chaos…

** 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**
I've wanted to read the Drake Chronicles by Alexandrya Harvey ever since I've heard nothing but good things about the series- but sadly have never been able to read a single book. So you can imagine just how happy and lucky I felt when I was told I got to read another Alexandrya Harvey novel Stolen Away. I won't lie. At first I was a bit hesitant, but after reading the synopsis and seeing the beautiful cover with Eloise on the front- I knew that I would fall in love with Stolen Away quickly and like I predicted, I ended up loving it more and more with every single paragraph. Maybe it was because Harvey's writing flowed properly and at an enjoyable pace, or maybe it's because I fell in love with all of the characters.

I'll never know.

To make things even better, the novel was written from two different perspectives, from two different characters (duh moment) in the story! And with it being a supernatural romance novel that meant getting to read two different supernatural romance stories. What's not to absolutely love about that?

The two characters who we get to learn from were Jo and Eloise. I wasn't sure which of our main characters I liked more and there were a few reasons for that, though long after I finished the novel I finally came to terms with the fact that I loved the way Jo acted. I found her personality funny for some reason (especially her love for anything British/Victorian) and a lot more realistic despite the novel being fictitious and about fairies... and I loved her relationship with Eldric who is now my new official fairy- boyfriend- crush.

Even though I didn't think of Eloise as my favorite narrator, I still loved her quiet personality and her love for anything with rockability. I even thought it was both scary and cool that she was kidnapped by Strahan and used as bait to lure her aunt out from hiding. One of the other things about Eloise that I loved were the friends she had. I found it heart warming with how Jo and Devin immediately tried to help Eloise time and time again (plus Devin was a cutie ;).

I would recommend this to anybody who wants a faerie romance or just a supernatural romance in general that is also a quick read. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday - Lucid by Ron Bass & Adrienne Stoltz

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...

What if you could dream your way into a different life? What if you could choose to live that life forever?

Sloane and Maggie have never met. Sloane is a straight-A student with a big and loving family. Maggie lives a glamorously independent life as an up-and-coming actress in New York. The two girls couldn't be more different - except for one thing. They share a secret that they can't tell a soul. At night, they dream that they're each other.

The deeper they're pulled into the promise of their own lives, the more their worlds begin to blur dangerously together. Before long, Sloane and Maggie can no longer tell which life is real and which is just a dream. They realize that eventually they will have to choose one life to wake up to, or risk spiraling into insanity. But that means giving up one world, one love, and one self, forever.

This is a dazzling debut that will still readers' hearts.

Expected Release Date: August 2012
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
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which can be found on our right sidebar!
What book are you waiting for?

Review & Giveaway of The Future Of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they're forced to confront what they're doing right - and wrong - in the present.

Why did I love this book so much? Could it be because most everything was sending me back in time and reminiscing about days gone by? Every song mentioned took me back to a giggle worthy time in my life. Little details that were brought up sent me back in my own personal time machine and relived the rockin’ 90’s again. I loved the 90’s. Seriously! The music back then was just…just…awesome! Days before wireless internet where you had to unplug the phone in order to plug in your computer to go online…totally remember that. That moment when you’re on the internet, and someone in the house decides to pick up the phone and use it, which in turn made you lose your internet connection? Priceless…

The writing styles of Asher and Mackler is what brought this book to life for me. Not only was the interaction between all the characters unforgettable, but the descriptions of the events, the surroundings, the era was what made the story more real. I totally and completely devoured this book. I flew through this book like there was no tomorrow. When the time came for the story to near it’s end, I wondered where the time went, and how it was possible that I could’ve finished this book already! That’s how engrossed I was. I didn’t want to eat, I didn’t want to get out of bed! All I wanted to know was what could possible happen next, and what could main characters Emma and Josh do next to change the outcome of their future!

I found it so hilarious how just the little details of Facebook, that we are all used to, was completely foreign to them! Like “status” and “friend request” and “poke”. I giggled pretty good when Netflix+Glee=my life, and Emma didn’t knowhat Netflix or Glee was. I loved it! You could really see while you’re reading The Story Of Us how much work both Asher and Mackler worked to try and make Facebook and the slang/words/shows that we know now, seem foreign to the past. 

What I really enjoyed about this story is how we got to see the Story of Emma and Josh. I loved how the back story between these two characters were incorporated into the story, and how we get to watch their relationship develop, both good and bad. I think the reason why I flew through this book was that I just wanted to know how it would all end. I needed to know how things were going to turn out. And I wanted to see just how much trouble Emma would cause by her need for happiness and perfection in her future.

I believe readers both younger and older will enjoy the different aspects of this story, and will find enjoyment in reading how people in the past relate to our technology now. A thoroughly enjoyable read!

Here's how to win:
- Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

Official Contest Info:

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- You must be 13 years of age or older to qualify.
- This contest is open to US & Canadian residents only!
- The winner will be announced sometime on February 28, 2012. 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!!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Concealed by Sang Kromah Tour Stop: Quote Battle

Welcome to my Tour Stop for Concealed by Sang Kromah!
Make sure to stop by the many other blogs participating! The link can be found
at the end of  my post!
Today I've put together a little Quote battle between:
Sebastian vs. Niko

Quote Battle

Round 1: 
"It was just a dream.  As long as you enter the water I will be there.  I won't let anything happen to you."
"I'll wipe your tears and east your pain" 
Round 2: 
"I know everyone's different, but you can tell she's special just by looking at her.  It's like there's something pure, untainted by the ugly around her.  She's beautiful."
"Oh, and I think you're...what's the word you used... gorgeous!" 
Round 3: 
"But when I saw you in the office for the first time, every dream that I had ever dreamed flashed before my mind's eye.  The only difference was that she now had a face in every single one of them.  It was you."
"You know, I'm willing to wait for you.  It's obvious you have strong feelings for...Sebastian, but he's wrong for you.  He doesn't deserve someone so beautiful.  You're much to good for him." 
Final Round:
"You don't think it hurts  being around the one person that I have dreamed about my entire life, and not be able to-to embrace her and stand by her side every waking moment?"
"I think that you're afraid of letting Sebastian go, because you know that you'll be happy with me, and being happy with me means that you'll forget about him."

When sixteen year-old Bijou Fitzroy and her nomadic grandmother leave New York City to live in a home in the sleepy town of Sykesville, Maryland, Bijou thinks she will finally be able to live a normal life and be like everyone else. This move will be permanent, and Bijou cannot be anymore thrilled. After years of being shut away by her grandmother, Bijou will finally able to interact with peers, make friends, go to school, and live like a normal teenager.

Moving around and being homeschooled definitely made it difficult to make friends, but there are other reasons for Bijou’s solitude. With eyes that constantly change from gray to green to a honey-coated shade of brown and an ability to feel exactly what other people are feeling, the concept of obtaining closeness is more of a fable than a reality. Although her eyes are beautiful, their constant shift in color instills a sense of fear within other people and causes them to look away. Bijou’s premonitions, blackouts, and semi-prophetic dreams of a faceless boy don’t help her social musings either. Regardless, she decides to attend the local high school.

Bijou is immediately introduced to Sebastian Sinjin, a quirky and unusually beautiful boy who doesn’t seem to belong in a high school in nowhere Maryland. Sebastian is also special. Instead of looking away from Bijou, he makes direct eye contact with her. And when he shakes Bijou’s hand something dark and familiar to awaken within her as an electric shock surges through her body. Bijou soon finds herself deeply attracted to Sebastian, who remains aloof and often acts like Bijou doesn’t exist.

Despite the pains of having her first real crush, Bijou makes friends quickly and excels in all of her classes…well, all except for Mythology with Mr. Jennings. Mr. Jennings’ class starts off great with endless discussions of djinn and how they conceal themselves from the human eye, but things soon take a turn for the worse when the stories of the mythical creatures begin to take shape in Bijou’s life.

Thanks for stopping by my leg of the tour :D
Make sure you stop by the other blogs! 
You can find all the participating blogs right here!

You can purchase your copy of Concealed at:
  • Barnes and Noble

  • Amazon

  • Places to connect with Sang Kromah:
  • Bijou’s Twitter

  • Sang’s Twitter

  • Goodreads

  • Sang’s Facebook Fan Page

  • You don't want to miss out on this fantastic read!

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Character Challenge: Ren Laroche vs Daniel Kalbi - Ultimate Alpha Boyfriend

    Hey guys, so this week we have brand new (well obviously new) match-up! Ever since Twilight there's been the somewhat suckish world of Vampires and Werewolves having to be in the same world. Why? WHY? Well I don't know why... but I can tell you that when Vampires and Werewolves are kept apart in separate novels (in my opinion of course) things become a whole lot more interesting. I,  for one, adore werewolf boys!!! And I'm sure that deep down, whether you're Team Fangs or Team Paws- you have a deep love for werewolves.

     So now, before I waste any more of your time, I give you this weeks Character Challenge featuring Ren Laroche from Nightshade by Andrea Cremer and Daniel Kalbi from The Dark Divine by Bree Despain. We'll see what kind of life these wolf boys have, see what and see just what perks they have from their werewolf lifestyle and then we'll see who would win the heart of an unsuspecting female counterpart (especially when that big bad full moon rolls around). All to see who wins the title of Ultimate Alpha Boyfriend!!! (see what I did there??)

    It's a sunny day, the sky is blazing and there isn't a cloud in the sky. Cherry Divine was out for a hike in the mountains alone. As she hikes higher up the mountain Cherry comes across a group of rabbits. She takes a few steps closer to them and notices a doe. She watches it and then out of nowhere a wolf comes charging at her and Cherry freezes in place. 

    The wolf coming her way is thrown by a wolf coming in an opposite direction. Cherry finally regains control of  her footing and sprints as far from the wolves as possible, she runs into a forest and quickly gets lost. Oh no! Suddenly a stranger appears, Cherry approaches him.
       So the very first thing that we'll be seeing is their lives in the novels they came from (P.S. I'm only doing the first novels i.e. Nightshade and The Dark Divine, I don't feel like including sequels today oh and uh SPOILER ALERT!!! Just a heads up). So let's get started. (worth marks).
    Ren Laroche
    So, in Nightshade we got to meet Ren (obvious and YAY for meeting Ren!!!). When described in the novel he sounded just amazing. The sexy high school hottie that every girl wishes she could be with, and strangely enough- he's also a the alpha of a werewolf pack (*gasp* I did not see that coming *gasp*). To make things all the more irresistible, Ren also just so happens to be mated with Calla the female Alpha of a different pack. Poor Ren because despite his romantic advances and acts of kindness towards Calla and knowing her since they were kids- a human began stealing the heart of the girl he loved (A human I say!!!). Now all he has to do is wait for the Blood Moon unless that gets ruined for him too... spoiler alert!!! It does.  Oh our poor werewolf boy, losing that girl he had been betrothed to since birth all because of that pesky Shay (Again: A human I say!!!)

    Daniel Kalbi
    From what I saw in The Dark Divine, (one of my favorite novels EVER BTW) Daniel was definitely one of those characters whose intentions aren't clear until waayyy later in the novel. Anyways, Daniel had been missing for three years after skipping town when Grace's brother was found battered and bloody on the front porch of her house (I love the sound of that Battered and  Bloody). Now when Daniel returns nobody is sure why. Sometimes Daniel would just find Grace at the most unexpected times, maybe he was stalking her? He is a werewolf (oops spoiler alert) so he could kinda do whatever he wants. Though the closer Daniel got to Grace, the more Daniel tried to distance himself from her? Why you ask? Because on the night of the full moon (that apparently lasts for three days) Daniel's inner wolf will want to kill what it loves most. Oh crap. That's Grace...

    Yes. Yes I am going to mark you both on who has the most tragic romance and yes it will affect your turn out when you both battle it out (well not really but let's just say it will). So Ren because your story was the most sad and upsetting... I'll give you full marks for that category.

    Next we'll be seeing all the dangerous and fun- filled perks that come with being a big bad wold (get it?I'll stop with the werewolf jokes...). I know that most of you are thinking that it's all pretty similair and blah blah blah- and guess what it kinda is. But different novels have different werewolves and I wanna see the difference. (And it is worth marks).

    Ren Laroche
    Daniel Kalbi
    -He's a werewolf alpha.
    -He controls his pack.
    -He was born that way (there ain't no other way)!!! *cue the song*
    -Enhanced senses.
    -Guarded (well that's just in general).
    -He's funny (again that's just in general).
    -He is a werewolf.
    -He can't control when he turns.
    -Enhanced senses.
    -He can (spoiler alert and did) lose his wolf.
    Well after long consideration (I timed it and took three minutes) I decided that we will call... A tie!!! Mainly because both of our werewolf boys have the same abilities.
    Now we move on to the exciting part!!

    Here we are! At the oh so very exciting match-up between both of our characters. Which of our bad boy wolves will win the heart of our Chapter By Chapter female character named Cherry Divine (no relation to Grace Divine). Let's see who wins her heart.
    Who goes home packing and who wins the title of Alpha Boyfriend.

    The Scenario

    It's a sunny day, the sky is blazing and there isn't a cloud in the sky. Cherry Divine was out for a hike in the mountains alone. As she hikes higher up the mountain Cherry comes across a group of rabbits. She takes a few steps closer to them and notices a doe. She watches it and then out of nowhere a wolf comes charging at her and Cherry freezes in place. The wolf coming her way is thrown by a wolf coming in an opposite direction. Cherry finally regains control of  her footing and sprints as far from the wolves as possible, she runs into a forest and quickly gets lost. Oh no! Suddenly a stranger appears, Cherry approaches him. Coincidentally the stranger is Daniel Kalbi. As the weeks go on, Cherry finds herself the apple of Ren's eye whenever she's at school.
    At the same time, whenever she's in art class her and Daniel are always talking to each other. After a long while (and after her pet chinchilla got lost in the forest and Daniel found it for her and after Ren took her to a club that the Keepers ran) Cherry finds herself conflicted between choices. Who to choose? Who to fall in love with? Then the night of the full moon rolls around and Daniel had been pushing her away for the past week.  She ends up going for a hike again. Hoping it'll clear her head. Foolish Cherry. A group of drunken teenage boys come across her and begin trying to push her around. Bam! Ren in wolf form appears and sends the boys running for the hill. Ren takes Cherry back home when BAM! Daniel in his wolf form appears trying to tear Cherry's throat out! What's going to happen?! Ren shifts into his wolf form, battles it out with Daniel and one of them gets home with his tail between his legs... Our winner? You'll find out in a minute.
    It was a real close call, no really it was! The only issue was Daniel's need to kill the thing he loves most when in wolf form. Other than that I might have made the first ever Character Challenge Tie! But instead it gives me great pleasure to name:

     Ren as our winner for the title of Alpha Boyfriend!

    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 line up.
    - Gabby

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    In My Mailbox #14

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

    This week we received:

    For review

    ARC of Partials by Dan Wells - Thanks to Harper Collins via NetGalley
    Guardian (Creepy Hollow #1) - by Rachel Morgan - Tour Stop March 12

    Angel Evolution by David Estes - provided by the author - Thank you David!
    Golden Blood by Melissa Pearl - Tour Stop March 26

    ARC of Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin - Thank you HarperCollins

    Other books received or won

    Received from Kristi @ The Story Siren through a donation event she was hosting:
    Mastiff by Tamora Pierce
    Witches of East End by Melissa De la Cruz
    Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

    The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch - Won from a contest held by
     Evie @ Evie-Bookish
    Thank you Evie!  <3
    Signed copy of Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Won from a contest held by the awesome people at @HarperCollinsCA via their twitter @hccfrenzy -
    Thank you Frenzy Team!

    The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Macker - Thank you Penguin Canada!
    We already have a copy so this will be going up as a giveaway soon.
    Untraceable by S.R. Johannes -
    Won from a weekly twitter chat #YABookChat
    hosted by Tiff (@tiff_mahaffy)

    While you're here why not check out our various giveaways
    happening on the side bar!
    What's in your mailbox? Feel free to leave your
    IMM link in the comments

    Review of Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse #1) by Jackie Morse Kessler

    "Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world."
    Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?

    Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home—her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power—and the courage to fight her own inner demons?

    A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, Hunger is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens.
    I couldn't find a book trailer, so a video for you instead! 

    "If you have ever looked in the mirror and hated what you saw, this book is for you" ... Upon opening the book, and seeing that message I was already hooked. 

    The premise of this book is what initially caught my attention.  Actually, the premise of all the books in this series is what caught my attention. Troubled teens being turned into the Riders of the Apocalypse? Sounded like a pretty cool idea to me.
    Jackie Morse Kessler opens the eyes of the reader into the world of eating disorders, providing us with the insight of what an individual with an eating disorder thinks of themselves, feels about themselves, and their thoughts on how others perceive them.

    Told in the first person point of view of the main character, Lisabeth Lewis, Kessler does a fantastic job of capturing the readers attention with her unique way of story telling.  I loved reading about how Lisabeth has to deal with the realization that she has been chosen as Famine, one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
    It was interesting to see the thoughts of Lisabeth as she rode all over the world, seeing with her own eyes what truely starving people lived through and to see the impact it had on her and her struggles with Anorexia, and how she finds the strength to use her powers for good.

    One of my favorite parts of this book was the battle between Famine and War.  I could picture the show down in my head, and enjoyed every minute of it.  Kessler does a great job of describing the details of this fight, that the reader will literally see the scene unfold right before their very eyes. 

    As morbidly weird as this may sound, I found myself suddenly developing a crush on old Death himself ... I know right!  There were just various points throughout the book where I found him to be very Jace-esque (of The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare fame) in his comments and actions.  I remember telling myself "Self!  What are you thinking?  This is Death...no crushes allowed", and after having convinced myself that I was right...Death says or does something else to change my mind.

    An awesome read with a must read message, readers will devour this world that Jackie Morse Kessler has created where your problems may cause Death to come knocking on your door, and turn you into on of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.  I cannot wait to start Rage, the next installment in the Riders of the Apocalypse series.

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Review of Bite Me (Demon Underground #1) by Parker Blue

    Young Adult Vampire Hunter

    A Fictionwise Fantasy Bestseller

    An edgy book for teens that spans the gap between YA and adult fiction. Life after high school is tough enough without having to go 15 rounds with your inner demon. Val Shapiro is just your ordinary, part-demon, teenaged vampire hunter with a Texas drawl. And a pet hellhound named Fang. Soon enough she finds herself deep in the underbelly of the city, discovering the secrets of the Demon Underground and fighting to save those she loves. Whether they love her back or not.

    Everything about Bite Me was honestly just great and while I came across it by accident, it's actually one of my favorite ebooks to date. In short it's about a teenage vampire hunter/ half- demoness named Val. What's not to love? While I did think that the start felt a bit rushed into introducing all of the great and original characters (and the wise-cracking hell hound Fang), the rest of the novel kept up at a mysterious and great pace. I was constantly trying to figure out what happens next, even if my predictions (that were a bit wild) were wrong- I would be gaven something better than I expected. I could even almost feel like author Parker Blue had a writing style that made me think of one of my favorite authors Richelle Mead.

    One of the many great things about Bite Me was the way Val acted, she was honestly more mature than most characters in YA and considering her home situation and fighting her inner demon Lola her maturity made the novel both relaxing and all the more realistic (despite the fact that she ends up working for the police at the age of eighteen).

       I wish I could say that I was in love with Dan who is Val's partner and love interest, there was just something about him that made him come off as a jerk. I couldn't help but dislike him, even though he did help Val a lot in the story and was described as a nice and handsome guy. And the brother of Val's roommate.

       I did love Val when she was in her demon persona that she named Lola (though I did feel at times like she thought of herself as somebody with multiple personalities) because all of her abilities were very original and still stayed in line with the traditional abilities that the Succubus are known for. Plus her being a vampire hunter had me comparing her to Buffy the Vampire Slayer (true story). With her butt-kicking skills, personality and her adorable hell hound I couldn't find anything wrong with Val. Well maybe one thing... The only issue I had with Bite Me was that there were hardly any descriptions towards any characters except for most of the secondary ones (like Shade, Micah, Gwen, etc.). Though when it came down to Val's family members, some of the other cops and even the main character herself I had to stretch my imagination and put faces on characters that I couldn't exactly see.

       But still with an original plot like this, the conflict between vampires and the demon world being clearly and easily expressed, I did feel like I was learning about Lola (or Val's demon side) as the story continued and progressed. Learning about the demon side of Val was also one of the fun and more well described parts of the story, especially when she learns from Micah via the Demon Underground.

       I would recommend this to people who want a YA novel with a strong female character in a supernatural novel that will leave you both guessing and intrigued long after the novel is done. You'll be begging for the sequel (I know I was).

    Thursday, January 19, 2012

    Follow My Book Blog #14

    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:
    Q: What's the craziest thing you've ever done
    to get your hands on any particular book?

     I haven't really done anything crazy.  I'm pretty patient and wait for my chance to get the book.
    I'll pre-order and I'll stand in line to get my pre-order at the local bookstore,
    but that's about as crazy as I get...for now *snicker*

    While you're here, why not check out our various giveaways
    which can be found on our right sidebar!
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