Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray


PaperbackUK Edition336 pages
Published March 29th 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 13th 2011)

A tragic tale about falling in love on the world’s most infamous ill-fated sea voyage as heroine, Tess, discovers darker secrets that lie beneath the doomed crossing… and a hidden brotherhood that threaten to tear her lover from her forever. 

The RMS Titanic is the most luxurious ship ever built, but for eighteen-year-old Tess Davies it’s a prison. Travelling as a maid for the family she has served for years, Tess is trapped in their employ amid painful memories and family secrets. 

When she meets Alec, a handsome upper class passenger, Tess falls helplessly in love. But Alec has secrets of his own… and soon Tess is entangled in a dangerous game. A sinister brotherhood that will do anything to induct Alec into their mystical order has followed him onboard. And Tess is now their most powerful pawn. 

Tess and Alec fight the dark forces threatening to tear them apart, never realising that they will have to face an even greater peril before the journey is over… 

Let's start off with the fact that this book is about werewolves. On Titanic.
This doesn't happen often. I like that. A little out there, but just makes the cut. 
I've been a fan of Claudia's since the release of Evernight, and it's safe to say this book didn't disappoint.
I wasn't sure about the novel when I first picked it up, because I'd heard mixed reviews, and a lot about dying.
I mean, it's Titanic, it happens...but nobody likes getting attached to a character only to have them die at the end. Or that might just be me.
MC's were enjoyable. Tessa is great and practical, as noted multiple times by Alec. 
I'll admit at first I was iffy about the twos relationship. Alec came off a tad snobby at first, and I didn't feel like they had much of a starter connection.
His issue was actually a lot like Edward's in Twilight, now that I think about it. You know what I'm talking about...
The whole, "I'm a monster, Bella!" ship.
Point proven, Robert. 
Anyways, it was all a bit aggravating. But in the end, Alec manned up and really made his way to my heart.
Throughout the course of the novel, I kept catching myself envisioning scenes from the movie Titanic. There was mentioning of the grand staircase and a few real life personas, which included John Jacob Astor and then wife Melanie. The historical recreations were original, and I seriously dug it. Which says a lot, considering I've been spacing out of APUSH for a good portion of this past year. Shame on me.
As a reader, I feel that when a book can make you cry, it's done its job.
Fateful made me cry, a lot. It might have to do with the fact that I kept hearing My Heart Will Go On in the back of my mind, or that a lot of people REALLY DO DIE, but it did. I cried. And I loved it.
If you're looking for something that hasn't been done yet, a mild historical fix, or some steamy romance set back to date on the Titanic (Jack and Rose lovers!) then hit up Claudia's aisle.
3.5 stars to Fateful by Claudia Gray!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review and Giveaway!

Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1)  Blood Red Road (Dust Lands #1) by 
Hardcover, 459 pages
Published June 7th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back. Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.
Can I just start off by saying Saba is AWESOME?...
Right, probably not. 
Well, she is, just for the record.
Even from before Blood Red Road's release this past summer, there have been comments of its similarity to The Hunger Games. At a first glance, that sounds pretty reasonable. 
Prior to reading, I expected to be transported back into some world comparable to Katniss', but what I got was something else completely different. And get this-better
I know how that sounds, because The Hunger Games is all the rage now and most people think books don't get better than that, but I'm here to tell you that Blood Red Road tops The Hunger Games. It really does. 
Just ask MTV Crush. 
There words were, quote on quote: "Better than The Hunger Games." 
They weren't lying. BRR takes you into a brutal, unfamiliar world with a girl who hasn't really ever been anywhere other than her home in Silverlake. She starts out on a journey to find her kidnapped brother, and runs along a few obstacles, and allies, in the process. 
What I really liked about this was that Saba wasn't some trained fighter who had experience in weapons before being thrown into the ring. Throughout her fights in the book, we get a look into the mind of Saba, and see she's just like any other person trying to get by in the world: relying on her fight or flight instincts. I thought it was refreshing to finally get an MC who doesn't just happen to coincidentally be a martial arts BA. Inexperience always makes for an interesting story line, and Moira gave us just that. 
Saba's dedication to Lugh was evident all throughout the book, and was extremely admirable.
To add to this, Saba was totally and completely independent. While she had help from friends throughout the course of the novel, never once did I feel like she was forcing herself on anyone and that just made me love her even more...and the side characters were equally lovable(I'm talking Jack and every single one of the Free Hawks).
Moira Young did a great job of making lovable characters and one of the best plot lines I've probably seen in years. We need WAY more books like this.
Way to go, Moira! 5 stars to Blood Red Road!
Now, on to the goods!
To honor the awesomeness that is this book, we'll be giving away 2 hardcover BRR's thanks to Moira's generous publisher. 
You all have 8 days to enter, starting, well, TODAY. Gogogo!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 19, 2012

Giveaway News!

Alright everyone, so I know I'm new on the block, but I've got some good news for you all!

Giveaways are coming!!!!


I won't give out any details yet, but I CAN tell you that I've talked with some authors and publishers, and I have plenty of goodies on the way!

We're talking shirts, ARC's, guitar picks, bookmarks, and more, people!

That's right, get excited!

Review-Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2)

Hardcover498 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
I read this back in late 2011 but I never got the chance to blog about it, so i figured better late than never.
I will confess, I wasn't too fond of the first Infernal Devices book. There are way too many reasons to go off on here, but that's besides the point. I was actually debating not even reading the sequel, but a good friend forced the book into my hands insisted, so I did.
I can't say I'm disappointed. 
Will, even the first novel in the trilogy being suckish and all, has, from day one, been one of my Bad Boy Book Crushes. I think that goes for everyone. 
Clockwork Prince just softened me up to him even more.
All that anguish? That boy needs someone's shoulder to cry on. 
And I am here. Yes I am.

I won't go into much detail because I know this is a book not most readers have gotten to, but I will say that I've heard a lot of the same complaints about the first book in the trilogy, and I'm recommending you give the sequel a chance.
I can promise you that Cassandra Clare delivered a brilliant comeback, and is sure to not disappoint.
If you're ready for some serious twists, betrayal, and a helluva lot of heartbreak, get to it!
4 stars to Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare!

Review- The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare 
paperback380 pages
Published February 16th 2012 by Speak

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is her French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. 

I will admit, just like the many others before me, part of me only wanted to read this because I seriously dug the cover. C'mon, who doesn't? 
This book had a lot of hype going for it, mostly due to that famazing cover up there, but in this case, the cover just wasn't enough. 

The Fine Art of Truth of Dare centers young Ella, who, is a not-so-popular girl who has this infatuation with an ultra-popular boy. Like plenty of other books before this one, Ella and Alex somehow end up tangled in each others life through the fine art of schoolwork. Huzzah! 
Anyways! Said pair of star-crossed lovers from opposite ends of the food chain start a secret relationship that doesn't last too long before someone blows over from all the secret sexual tension. I think we all saw that coming. 

On the plus side, The Fine Art had me laughing a little more often than most books do. I actually learned to love the side characters more than the main. 
FYI, Frankie had to be the world's BEST gay BFF ever. Seriously, dudes hilarious. 

But besides that, I felt like the only other major up to this one was that Ella really grew up as a person throughout the book. 
Like Ella, I think me and every other teen out there know what it's like to feel different, whether it be a scar that runs all along your neck or a birthmark in the shape of a poodle on your arm. All in all, being different is difficult, and that's something everyone can relate to. 
The only other problem with The Fine Art was I was hoping for conclusion, and I didn't get any of that. Ella openly admits that she doesn't love herself just yet but with due time, she just might. Realistic, but not conclusive.
The author left room for a next installment, but I am sad to say that I don't see myself reading it in the near future.

I wouldn't recommend this book to many, but if you're looking for something cute, quirky and predictable to read, then give it a shot!

3 stars to The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review- Illuminated by Erica Orloff


Paperback, 256 pages
Published December 8th 2011 by Speak
Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

Can I just start off by saying this is one beautiful cover? You can't tell much because the picture's so small but there are a bunch of glimmering little stars lining just about everything-Gorgeous!

I can honestly say I'd been dying to read this book since I saw its cover reveal up on Goodreads a few months back. Sadly, though, I feel like this book didn't exactly live up to expectations.

When I first read the summary, I was looking forward to reading about some sort of exciting treasure hunt tinged with romance, not just opposite. Instead of reading about hunting down historic artifacts, I was reading about someone telling someone else about hunting down these artifacts. This, mixed with a bundle of lovey-dovey chapters, takes up most of the novel.
I found myself wanting to skip through scenes constantly because
I waiting for the book to get to the point and stop all the small-talk. There was way too much story telling for my liking.
Callie was mostly an enjoying character, as was August, but I found them both too hard to connect with, and a little TOO fictional for me.
A lot of the dialogue was stiff, and I felt like Callie and August were more like fifty year-old bureaucrats and not teenagers. Both their voices were a bit too sophisticated for their age.

Putting all this aside, my biggest issue throughout the novel had to be the pace. Callie and August connected almost instantly, which isn't uncommon in most YA, but after only two or three days knowing each other, both are confessing their loves for one another...which felt a little too soon for me. There was really no build-up in the novel, and it felt like they were pretty much a couple all through-out the book.

On the plus side, though, this novel would be great for anyone who's searching for just that: a fast-paced love story where characters connect on sight and continue to do so throughout the course of the novel. If you're big on reading into history, this book is probably for you too.

2 stars to Illuminated by Erica Orloff

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Review- Wings of The Wicked by Courtney A. Moulton

Wings of the Wicked (Angelfire, #2)             

Hardcover516 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books 
Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined. 
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night. 

She’s been warned. 
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself. 

She’ll be betrayed. 
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay. 

I've been a fan from the day Angelfire came out, when I thought it would be just another read about angels and devil's and all the usual. Little did I know I would be getting myself into a whole following 12 months of depression awaiting its sequel. This series is great for anyone who's into books packed with action and some extra steamy romance. And doesn't mind waiting months in agony for the following release.


WOTW really blew my mind. All the death and the gore and the twists were almost too much for me. Every other page was like a knife to my heart and at one point I had to set the book aside to get myself together. While I was expecting some death, SOME, I would have never saw the death of Ellie's mother coming. The timing of her death, too, really set me off. So Will and Ellie finally hit it off and then BAM! Mamma's gotta go. 
Something I did see coming, though, was Ellie's dad. I mean, c'mon, I think we ALL knew something was up with him.
But Cadan and Will? Brothers? Wah?

And Will on the verge of actual DEATH? No.

Ladies and gentlemen, only another whole year to wait. And that, that is pain.
5 stars to Wings of The Wicked! Good job, Courtney!


The Selection (The Selection, #1)                               The Selection by Kiera Cass
       Hardcover, 327 pages
Expected publication: April 24th 2012 by HarperTeen

   For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon. 

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. 

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

There's a lot of hype surrounding this upcoming novel. It's already been picked up by CW but with no official release date.  Aimee Teegarden, Ethan Peck, Martin Donovan and others are attached to this project that's expected to debut sometime in 2012. CW usually has a good sense in deciding what shows to develop(Vampire Diaries. Duh!), and I feel like this'll be a great competitor now that dystopian is up and coming, especially with The Hunger Games being released in theaters this month.

Second Chance Summer                         Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson 
Hardcover480 pages
Expected publication: May 8th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Taylor’s family might not be the closest-knit – everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled – but for the most part, they get along fine. Then they get news that changes everything: Her father has pancreatic cancer, and it’s stage four – meaning that there is basically nothing to be done. Her parents decide that the family will spend his last months together at their old summerhouse in the Pocono Mountains. 

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former summer best friend is suddenly around, as is her first boyfriend. . . and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses, the Edwards become more of a family, and closer than they’ve ever been before. But all of them very aware that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance – with family, with friends, and with love.

Coming from someone who read Amy and Rogers Epic Detour, I feel like Morgan's second book will, no doubt, be promising. She has a great way of building character relationships through a short period of time-as demonstrated in Amy&Roger's-and makes them easy to relate to. The only thing I'm concerned about is that there won't be music talk like there was in A&R's, but I guess we'll all just have to wait and see. :)

Review - Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Pub. Date: 8/2/2011Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Love. The deadliest of all deadly things: It kills you both when you have it and when you don’t.
In Lauren Oliver’s stunning second novel, love has been declared a dangerous disease, and the government forces everyone who reaches eighteen to have a procedure called the cure. Lena Haloway is very much looking forward to being cured and living a safe, predictable life. But then she meets enigmatic Alex, who lives under the government’s radar. What will happen if they do the unthinkable and fall in love?

I know, I know-I'm late. Very late. I had mixed feelings when I first picked this book off the shelf. I just kept thinking "ANOTHER dystopian?" but I took the grand leap and dove in anyways, convinced that if everyone else was gushing over it, there had to be a reason. 
And boy, is there a good reason. I flew through this novel, finishing it in less than a five hour time period. I have to say, as someone who's read well past a suitable number of dystopians this year, this book stands out among the rest. 

The idea of love being a disease is super original, and I found that it took on a lot of unexpected turns. I'll try to avoid spoilers because I know this isn't a book everyone's picked up yet, but all I'm going to say is 

that ending: WOW. 

Overall, it was almost too easy to fall in love with the characters, especially Alex(swoon!). The descriptions throughout the novel made them so realistic it was impossible not to grow attached. The story line stays straight on point the whole way through, and doesn't disappoint. 
5 stars!!