Tuesday, July 31

Ruby Red: Book Review

Ruby Red
Kerstin Gier
Henry Holt and Company
May 10th 2011
Young Adult | Fantasy | Historical
Time Travel

Official Blurb -

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!
Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon--the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Gideon seems to be the case of a character that is possessed by another being. He will randomly do things that are completely out of character. He does these things so often that it begins to seem his character is entirely unstable. Or perhaps he is part of some very deep attempts to manipulate. I do not like how naive Gwyneth is but it fits her character. She seems to have a voice a bit younger than I would expect a sixteen year old to have. If I had to guess I would say between fourteen and fifteen would better fit her thoughts and actions.
The story plot is so full of secrets it can barely hold together. On top of which is the time traveling conundrum which lends holes and confusion. If it weren't for the epilogue I wouldn't have any temptation to read the next book. 
It can be summed up in secrets, jealously, power struggles, and the worlds fate in immature hands. As far as time travel books go it is an average by my standards. I wish there were a bit more solid direction to balance out the common troubles of time travel. I think they cut the book off too soon before it could really develop. Many of the characters are entertaining but the plot needed more time. I think the side characters are more interesting than the direction of the plot. Namely the ghosts left me with a great longing to know more. How did they end up that way and what if something could be done about it? Maybe just such answers will come my way in future books. A decent read but I would hold out until the sequels before throwing this on top of your pile.

Sexual: Clean
Violence: Moderate

Saturday, July 28

IMM and My Reading Pile: 24

IMM: Hosted by The Story Siren
My Reading Pile: Hosted by [Fikt]shun


In the Mail:

Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Not Your Average Fairy Tale by Chantele Sedgwick 

In the Reading Pile:
The Blessed by Tonya Hurley
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

Friday, July 27

Eye Candy: XXVII

Raine Thomas

Kelley York


The Stone Demon
Karen Mahoney

Whispers in Autumn
Trisha Leigh

Thursday, July 26

Throne of Glass: Book Review

Throne of Glass
Sarah J. Maas
Bloomsbury USA Children's
August 7th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Official Blurb -

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.

Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.

Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Dorian's interest in Celaena feels like that of a spoiled child wanting what he can't have or isn't given him. A desperate attempt that allows him to avoid actual effort but taste what work is like. Chaol's interest is more the result of a guilty conscience. His logic says not to trust Celaena while his subconscious is ready for a full investment. He hangs around her from the guilt of purposefully mistrusting her.

Celaena really bothered me as a character. She is all bluff. At every turn she brags about all her assassin prowess but NEVER does anything. It seems like all her inner "I am so great" is just an attempt to make herself feel less helpless. She definitely has plenty of flaws, so much so she is like a sieve. She is not the assassin I expected. I guess I was hoping more for someone of Valek's ability, from Poison Study, and she was pathetic. Easily distracted by pretty things and always leaving herself vulnerable. Even some of the other characters comment on how vulnerable she is. She is far too trusting for an assassin. But that is her problem and why she ended up in captivity in the first place. She is a very lucky person. It is hard to believe she could ever have made it to the top of the assassin pyramid.

The climax was very intense and violent. So incredibly intense and violent that everything that came after felt off. It was hard to believe she could just sit around after being in such danger.

I thought it was insanely obvious who the villains are and was so irritated with Celaena for being completely blind. All the groundwork clues that were supposed to implicate this other person just weren't strong enough to convince me as a reader. Not enough misdirection.

This book was very slow to build and full of tons of empty threats and dialog. The characters seem so shallow at first. Then almost suddenly, near the end, they take sides and have demands. The status of the relationships between the characters ends oddly. In a way it is really different to not drag out a romantic triangle. I really wonder if it will hold and where the three will end up. I feel a forboding about Dorian. There is such dark potential in him through his obsession with a certain young lady. That would be a really sad road to follow. Let us hope I am wrong.

Violence: Heavy

Wednesday, July 25

Waiting on Wednesday: Pushing the Limits

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Pushing the Limits
Katie McGarry
Publication Date: July 31st

From Goodreads

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter,  New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series.
This book was hot and I am sure it will be even more so in print.

Tuesday, July 24

Defiance: Book Trailer

 I feel like I would do just about anything to get my hands on a copy of Defiance. This trailer just reinforces that desire. 

Fire is so cool! This little video plays right to my inner pyromaniac.

Where is Rumpelstiltskin when I need him? I don't want straw spun into gold just a little ol' book called Defiance.

Pushing the Limits: Book Review

Pushing the Limits
Katie McGarry
Harlequin Teen
July 31st 2012
Young Adult | Contemporary
Official Blurb -

"I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

"An edgy romance that pulls you in and never lets go. I was hooked!"-Gena Showalter,  New York Times bestselling author of the Intertwined series

So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.  Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

This book reminds me a bit of certain books written by Simone Elkeles. Everything is very passionate and emotional. Each and every moment is lived intensely and full of drama and raging emotions. A huge difference comes in a lack of danger. 

The focus is on two teenagers who are coping with life after disaster. The sort of disaster that is life altering. They are each scarred and broken and trying to find some sort of future to live for. Both Echo and Noah get a last ditch chance with a new counselor. They also find themselves in a tenuous partnership as a result of the counselor. These new developments open up possibilities they only dreamed of. Everything changes and the journey is a road of discovery. The path for these two is mostly mental and emotional with no one in a life threatening situation. Noah in particular more fully stole my heart with his story. He is such a prickly pear when it comes to getting close to people yet he feels things very deeply. Near the end when he faces the hardest decision of his life it reduced me to tears.

There was far too much swearing. I liked that there were characters trying to get Noah to clean up his language. While in many ways he cleaned up and changed, swearing didn't seem to be one of them. Sometimes Noah felt like two people. He was trying to be such a hard kid even though he is a softy. I didn't like that he so quickly jumped to sexual thoughts but at least we were able to see that he is a bit more than his lower region.

Echo's story is tragic and unfolds very slowly. Despite first impressions she is a really strong spirit. She really rises to the occasion time and time again in the book.

The characters will easily grab your attention even if at times they do some silly things. Pushing the Limits is a good book if not quite in the same shape and flavor as Simone Elkeles. There is less danger and not as much bad boy in the male lead.

Sexual: Heavy
Swearing: Heavy
General: Underage drinking and drugs

Monday, July 23

A Bit of Construction

Having recently been on a road trip I saw enough construction to tide me over for quite a bit. But upon reflection I felt that parts of my blog were getting a bit shabby. So instead of posting some rather wordy post today I thought I would do a bit of work around the blog. Perhaps, I am avoiding reading a particular book or maybe I really want to stare at computer screen for hours. Either way something must be done.

I hereby challenge myself to some blog construction.

Review Policy (Overhauled)

Review List (Proving more complicated than I expected)
  • I don't know about you but I look at that list and ask myself if it is actually useful. It doesn't look friendly to me.

There are plenty more things in need of some TLC but that will have to do for now.

Saturday, July 21

IMM and My Reading Pile: 23

IMM: Hosted by The Story Siren
My Reading Pile: Hosted by [Fikt]shun

In the Mail:
A big thank you Simon & Schuster and BEA Armchair
Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
The Blessed by Tonya Hurley
Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

In the Reading Pile:
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
Redemption by

Thursday, July 19

Eona: Book Review

Alison Goodman
Penguin Group (USA)
April 19th 2011
Young Adult | Fantasy

Official Blurb -
Finally able to embrace her true identity, Eona has already won a massive personal victory. However, a major battle still rages for control of the empire. After slaughtering his own family, High Lord Sethon has seized the throne. Left unstopped, his relentless ambition would leave the whole country in ruins.

Although she is new to her powers, Eona is now the resistance's only hope. She must learn to harness the mysterious strength of her Mirror Dragon if Emperor Kygo is to claim back his kingdom. Yet knowledge comes at a price. Who can she trust, and how long can she resist the terrible truth of her ancestor's prophecy?

In the second book of the stunning Dragoneye duology, Eona's quest for self-discovery leads her on a perilous and devastating journey in which ties of love, loyalty and legend are shaken to the core.

I loved the many layers to the characters in this book. They are so much more real because they aren't defined by one flaw or one emotion. Each character shows their potential for both good and evil. The difference lies in the culmination of their decisions. It was nice to see the shift between good and evil that laid the characters in shades of grey. Eona has both sides drawing her into action. The two male leads play both sides very well. Many times during the book I loathed them both heartily and wished for them to find eternal torment yet they could turn that coin and capture my heart.

Eona walks a perilous path of logic and reasoning. Each moment and obstacle comes in very pretty packaging. There always seems to be a good reason to act even if it is a bad action. It doesn't help that the two male leads have very defined paths that they want her to follow. She has to discover where her heart is most willing and able to tread. Eona also makes very quick decisions, granted she doesn't have much time for consideration but I am not sure she would bother if she could. She also suffers from a huge lack of trust. If she would have sprinkled just a little around she might find her path a bit less daunting. Though I can understand why she is hesitant to ask for help. The others are all too willing to pass judgement on her actions.

Ido pushes all my creep buttons, or perhaps I am no good with forgiveness. I don't trust or even like him. He is a manipulator or at least more of a manipulator than Kygo. Ido isn't hesitant to take exactly what he wants. Even when he is 'giving' something precious it is still dark and ominous.

It was that early in the book there aren't any really close situations. Everything works out with their plans. It almost seemed too easy. Before long though the stakes really rise and nothing works out. It all worked together to even the field.

The characters are very complex with entirely realistic motives. Woven among the characters is a great story that will make the time fly.

Sexual: Moderate
Violence: Heavy

Moment Divine:
"It is not often that the real world conjures worse than what we can imagine."

Wednesday, July 18

The Forsaken: Book Trailer

I love the voice they have on this trailer. So very dispassionate while sharing this life changing information. Also I love the condemning symptoms. 

Raise your hand if you suffer from just such symptoms. *raises hand*

Rebellious Behavior (I read books even after being informed by my mother-in-law that it is highly unacceptable.)

Antisocial Activities (Hello, I have an obsession with books and the only social interaction I get is a little Twitter time.)

Brutal Violence (Well, I don't partake in this particular activity but I don't shy away from reading books that contain a bit here and there.)

Do I have one last request before being sent to Prison Island? I would really like to take my books with me. As long as you let me take them I don't care where you banish me.

Waiting on Wednesday: Something Strange and Deadly

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Something Strange and Deadly
Susan Dennard
Publication Date: July 24th

From Goodreads

(Formerly titled The Spirit-Hunters)

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.
This book is more of a challenge to myself than anything else. I haven't had the best luck with books involving New Orleans. It sounds interesting but will it hold up?

Tuesday, July 17

Seeds of Rebellion: Book Review (Abroad)

Here is just another review I have done over at Fire and Ice.   So anyway, without further ado. . .

Presenting. . .

Seeds of Rebellion
by Brandon Mull

Everneath: Book Review

Brodi Ashton
Balzer + Bray
January 24th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Greek Mythology

Official Blurb -
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

This book blew me away. Lately I have dabbled in quite a few Greek mythology themed books. I go into it really excited. I have always been fascinated by Greek mythology. For the most part I come out the other side disappointed and I have begun to wonder if I no longer like Greek mythology. I picked Everneath up since I was going to meet the author and I figured I should try to go prepared.
Absolutely stunning and superbly creative. Brodi Ashton took the myths by the horns and wrangled them into submission. She created an intricate and believable story around the myths. She didn't try to follow the strictures laid down but made her own interpretation. On top of which she placed her fictional world in Utah which is a feat few would venture to undertake. Go Utah!  

Everneath is a story so tender and heartbreaking. The ending was so deftly weaved that even though it doesn't end in happily ever after I couldn't help but find it satisfying. The characters are so enthralling that I found myself poised on the edge of each word like a thirsty man at an oasis. I wanted to know every detail and see what they would do. 

Pick this one up and you won't be disappointed. The only draw back is there are two books still to come and many days to wait. Until then I will have to count the seconds...

Sexual: Mild
Violence: Mild

Monday, July 16

Hidden: Book Review

Sophie Jordan
September 11th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy

Official Blurb -

Jacinda was supposed to bond with Cassian, the "prince" of their pride. But she resisted long before she fell in love with Will—a human and, worse, a hunter. When she ran away with Will, it ended in disaster, with Cassian's sister, Miram, captured. Weighed down by guilt, Jacinda knows she must rescue her to set things right. Yet to do so she will have to venture deep into the heart of enemy territory.

The only way Jacinda can reach Miram is by posing as a prisoner herself, though once she assumes that disguise, things quickly spiral out of her control. As she learns more about her captors, she realizes that even if Will and Cassian can carry out their part of the plan, there's no guarantee they'll all make it out alive. But what Jacinda never could have foreseen is that escaping would be only the beginning....

Loyalties are tested and sacrifices made in the explosive conclusion to Sophie Jordan's Firelight trilogy.
Oh my goodness! The characters are great, the action is hot, and danger is at every turn. The betrayal is something fierce, it will strike when you least expect it.

Will is such a true spirit but the boy sure takes a beating. I like how cool headed he is. Cassian is. . . sigh. . .one can hope for the best I suppose. I guess all the characters take a beating in this book. This last book is a good growth experience for Jacinda and Tamra. There are some new-comers that really liven everything up, which is saying something, since it was already on fire.

The ending left me feeling a bit unsatisfied. It just wasn't quite right for a happily ever after. All the typical parts were there but it didn't add up. So much happened in this last book and so many new paths were lightly explored. It seemed that many of those paths were left undone. Everything was so intense and full of danger, but it didn't really feel like the danger was taken care of. More like they were just bowing out. Also, I am still not sure what her injury was, though I suppose it isn't important to know. Plus, there was such a sense of unavoidable doom and such a fervent hope for more from Will. So while the ending is bitter-sweet, a happy ending of sorts, there is too much left unsaid that lurks in shadow. Plus, I am am curious what happened while Jacinda was indisposed those epic four days. I want more explanation.

Dragons are way cool! Maybe we will get more dragon books in future. A girl can hope. This book was a page turner. I loved the entire trilogy. It was a great thrill ride while it lasted.

Sexual: Mild
Violence: Moderate

Book Blogger Confessions: The ARC


What do we owe publishers and authors? If we accept ARC’s do we “owe” anything to them or just an honest review to our followers? As book bloggers are we obligated to do more than just review books? Post covers – participate in book tours – host guest posts - promote authors?

This is a really tough subject. It really all depends on who you ask. I imagine:
  • A publisher might say, "We paid for that ARC and of all the people we could have sent it to we picked you so pay up in a stellar review."
  • An author might say, "I wrote that brilliant novel from the deepest reaches of my soul and it is nothing less than brilliant and should be treated as such."
  • A blogger who didn't get the ARC might say, "I would gladly read it and give it five stars and a raving review you ungrateful half-wit."
  • A mailman might say, "Hey, what do I care? Just keep mailing these books around ; it keeps me employed."
  • A review reader might say, "Honest review? You call that a review? It isn't even balanced. You just nit picked at that book." 
  • A tree might say, "I died to give you that ARC so you better show some love and respect."
  •  A bookshelf might say, "I am already crammed full of books either give some of these love or give them to someone who will."
  • A book cover might say, "I don't care if you read the pages so long as you admire me."

What do I think? I wrote a post that answered some part of this, or more likely in which I posed a similar question. Read it here.

But seriously I wonder some days if ARCs are worth it. There is a ton of pressure and stress placed on ARCs. It makes sense to me that the publisher and author expect a review and hope very strongly for a raving review. That is why they took the time and money to send it to you. But we aren't doing anyone any favors by lying about our feelings on the book. If we have collected followers it is because they either like us or like our point of view on things. So we have to be true to who we are individually. This might mean we won't be well liked or maybe even worshiped. Okay the worship thing might be putting it a bit strong. But haven't you met those people who just have a charisma that can't be denied? I have. I am a lemming to their sheer brilliance. Anyway, I think all the extra promotion should be based on your personal choice. I love a pretty cover so I don't mind sharing them. But when it comes to authors I am a bit lost. Therefore, I still avoid all that stuff. Maybe someday I will try that route but for now I am mostly content.

There are some downfalls to an ARC:
Longer wait for the sequel
Requesting an ARC
Blogger envy

I love ARCs, don't misunderstand. Nothing brightens a day like an ARC in the mail. But I am trying to not put so much weight on them and just get back to reading for the simple joy of it. I started that way and I want to get back to it.

Anyway, thanks for the topic.

Saturday, July 14

IMM and My Reading Pile: 22

IMM: Hosted by The Story Siren
My Reading Pile: Hosted by [Fikt]shun

In the Mail:

(I added City of Lost Souls to the picture since I forgot a photo last week.)
The Reckoning by Alma Katsu

Left Behind:
I really tried with both of these books. I guess I wasn't much in the mood for angels or gladiators. Plus, I ran out of time and had to return them to the library.
Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Airel by Aaron Patterson and Chris White

In the Reading Pile:
I am barely back from vacation and I might be feeling a bit burnt out from all the reading I got done. Perhaps I will take the week off. Not only that but I have a pile of reviews to catch up on.

If I do end up reading it might be:
Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

I think it is time I cut back on the number of books I read in a week. It was starting to get really stressful reading three books a week. So I will only be aiming to complete two books a week from here on out.

Friday, July 13

Eye Candy: XXVI

Marissa Meyer

(This looks more artistic and drawn than a polished photo. Very different.)

S.R. Johannes
(I like the fluffy hat.)
Clockwork Princess
Cassandra Clare

Thursday, July 12

Demon Trapper's Daughter: Book Review

Demon Trapper's Daughter
Jana Oliver
St. Martin's Griffin
February 1st 2011
Young Adult | Fantasy

Official Blurb -
Demon Trapper Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself—and that’s exactly what Lucifer is counting on…

It’s the year 2018, and with human society seriously disrupted by the economic upheavals of the previous decade, Lucifer has increased the number of demons in all major cities. Atlanta is no exception. Fortunately, humans are protected by Demon Trappers, who work to keep homes and streets safe from the things that go bump in the night. Seventeen-year-old Riley, only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing attraction to fellow Trapper apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving citizens from Grade One Hellspawn. Business as usual, really, for a demon-trapping teen. When a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood, she realizes that she’s caught in the middle of a battle between Heaven and Hell.

I heard a lot of great stuff about this book and when I saw it on the library shelf I couldn't resist. Sadly I was mildly let down. Probably the biggest reason I wasn't a big fan of this book was the language. I was hoping that the language would be limited to a single character but it was commonplace. I tend to tune out when there is a lot of foul language. Not so great when it comes to getting involved in the characters and story. Plus there is a real bad vibe coming from a lot of the male characters about females. So yeah, this book didn't work out so well. 
I love the idea of a demon trapper as well as the world Jana Oliver created. There is so much flair to the characters even amidst such desperate times. Riley is a bit of a weak character at least at this point. She hasn't come into herself just yet. Beck is my favorite character and I really want to know more about him. So much of what we see in this book is his public face which is entertaining but those tid bits just out of range are really enticing. He is so adorably stubborn and when he is happy the moments are really special. Simon annoys me to all ends. Those whole wheat religious guys just don't light a romantic fire. I kept looking for some hidden secret or flaw. There was even a time I wished him dead so something entertaining would happen. The romance department epically failed even if there were a couple tiny bones thrown out.
The pace of the book is great until about three quarters through. Riley spends so much time bogged down in the menial and lack luster it really draws away from the peril. The ending does really make up for the boredom. It comes out of nowhere and attacks with a vengeance.

The thing that just kept nagging at the back of my mind is where does all the money come from to pay for these demons? How does the church get all the money? Perhaps I am jumping the gun and this will be answered later. The other thing that really saddens me is that it seems they put their life on the line every day and have no expectation of happiness. That is just sad. I think they should be able to grasp happiness especially on account of their situation.
Given the right incentive I might perhaps pick up the next book. Such a unique idea and incredible world; too bad about all the swearing.

Sexual: Mild (There is a section with an adult shop and pornography)
Language: Heavy
Violence: Heavy

Wednesday, July 11

Waiting on Wednesday: Endlessly

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

Kiersten White
Publication Date: July 24th

From Goodreads

Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.

So much for normal.
I can't even remember what happened in Paranomalcy, it has been that long. Also, I haven't read Supernaturally yet. Regardless I am so excited for Endlessly. The cover is so beautiful and purple. Need I say more?

Tuesday, July 10

Warm Bodies: Book Review

Warm Bodies
Isaac Marion
Atria/Emily Bestler Books
November 1st 2011
Young Adult | Fantasy

Official Blurb -

A zombie who yearns for a better life ends up falling in love—with a human—in this astonishingly original debut novel.

R is a zombie. He has no memories, no identity, and no pulse, but he has dreams. He doesn’t enjoy killing people; he enjoys riding escalators and listening to Frank Sinatra. He is a little different from his fellow Dead.

Not just another zombie novel, Warm Bodies is funny, scary, and deeply moving.
I picked this book up because of a personal recommendation. Several people had mentioned that they felt Zombies were the next big thing. I exclaimed I would like to see someone try to make romance work with a zombie and the living. No sooner had these words been said than I was very straightly recommended this book. They said it would show me just how you can make zombie love work. Skeptical, but willing, I picked up a copy.

For starters, as the world is set up, my impression remained firmly in place. This is gross, disgusting, grotesque, and there is just NO WAY! After the shock wore off I just thought the book was odd. Here is where the transformation stuns you into a state of awe. Wow, talk about twist and hidden depth. There was no way you could expect what happens. A huge error is made in thinking this is mythical and fantastic. Isaac Marion doesn't mind if you come with that view, in fact he takes advantage of it and leads you on a merry dance. The joke is on you, it isn't really about zombies in the fictional sense, though there is plenty of proof to the contrary. Here is a healthy serving of truth with a big dose of zombie apocalypse. I have to slip into the spoiler section to truly discuss this:

Warning!!! Spoiler Section Warning!!!
The zombie is just a front or cover for the author to discuss our current mental state. This is more a Contemporary novel than anything else. The zombies have to eat the brains of others because this is where the life energy is stored. We, in like manner, seek out those who have dreams and visions and then we try to snuff them out. If we can just destroy all others, then we will feel better about doing nothing with our own lives. I loved how the part where R rides the escalator thing repeatedly everyday made me think he was a loser. Then I later realized that I was certainly no judge since I travel the same rut everyday. The eye color change at the ending was a bit odd. Plus, I wonder how extensive is the healing before you become alive again. What if you have lost nearly everything including whole limbs? Do you grow new limbs or are you limbless until death? Is it a revival of the wish to live life fully that completes the change or a kiss from someone who shares your love? I really liked the part with the children at the end. It points out that the zombie children don't naturally cleave onto zombie ways but have to be trained. Then, when their teachers are no longer around, they naturally revert towards life. Children left to their own machinations will seek to live life to the fullest in every moment.

--Okay it is Safe now--
Zombie love still escapes my ability to comprehend or believe in. The love story portion sort of escaped me. The characters just didn't sell it to me. They felt more like very caring siblings for the most part.

This is a tough book to recommend. While I loved the depth and hidden message, I am not sure I can easily pass it on knowing the price. The zombie bit is really gory. The writing is wonderful and the story has great pace. The characters, whether dead or alive, are all very much developed. I am glad I have read it since it opened my eyes to the way I live. As far as zombie love I will give it another try through another recommendation but I still can't ever see it happening.

Sexual: (Yuck. He is dead and rotting people.) Mild
Swearing: (Prominent even among the dead who can barely speak.) Heavy
Violence: Heavy, graphic, and gruesome
Main Character Age: Depends on how long he has been dead
Moments Divine:
". . .we'll see what happens when we say yes while this rigor mortis world screams no."
"I would like to end it here. How nice if I could edit my own life. If I could halt in the middle of a sentence and put it all to rest in a drawer somewhere, consummate my amnesia and forget all the things that have happened, are happening, and are about to happen. Shut my eyes and got to sleep happy."

Monday, July 9

Once Upon a Read-a-Thon: Starting Line

Hosted by Pure Imagination

And we are off. . .

My Optimistic Goal:
I can't wait to get home to my nice camera. This one takes horrible pictures.

Girl in the Arena

The Girl in the Steel Corset



This might not be realistic as some are rather lengthy but I am headed back home after the read-a-thon finishes and I won't have access to these books where I live. I would really like to finish them all. Plus, I am on vacation and there will be some outings that take up time. I am attending the Pitch Dark Event on July 11th.

Saturday, July 7

IMM and My Reading Pile: 21

IMM: Hosted by The Story Siren
My Reading Pile: Hosted by [Fikt]shun

In the Mail:
Hidden by Sophie Jordan

I am in still in Utah for a bit longer and picked up another book at the library.
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Borrowed from a Friend:
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven E Wedel
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

In the Reading Pile:
Since I am still on vacation I am still winging my reading choices. I feel so free and careless. Okay not quite since I am still a mom but at least my reading time is entirely my own.

Friday, July 6

Eye Candy: XXV

Dan Wells

Lauren Oliver
Witch Born
Amber Argyle

Claudia Gray

Thursday, July 5

Dragons of Wendal: Book Review

Dragons of Wendal

Bear Mountain Books
July 1st 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Shape-shifters | Magic

Official Blurb - 
Learning new magic isn’t as easy as Zoe expected, especially when the mages at Gorgon University seem dead set against teaching. Add in some necessary late-night sneaking about, and Zoe is almost certain to be kicked out. As for exploring the intriguing mysteries across the border in Wendal, well, it has more teeth than she ever imagined.

Don't be fooled by the very short and simple blurb or the less than awesome cover. This is a satisfying read with great characters.  There is definitely more to this book than the blurb lets on. And it isn't anywhere as cheesy or shoddy as the cover given impression.

There were a few moments in this story that it would jump in fits leaving me a bit confused. At other times the pace would drastically speed up making things feel like they happened too fast. The romance, for example, built fast than slammed on the breaks and sped off again. Aside from a few anomalies it was an interesting story. It reminded me a bit of Hawksong by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

The characters are highly entertaining. I enjoyed everyone's obsession with claiming Zoe. It was hilarious to follow her complete obliviousness to their true meaning. Very cute. I also loved Zoe's ability to offend the other characters when she is asking a sincere question. So funny. It is sweet that is turns out to be one of her many endearing characteristics.

The end comes with a feeling of the possibility of more to come yet is satisfying. Zoe is well placed and hopefully content. A good read in the world of fantasy.

Tuesday, July 3

2012 TBR Pile: June Wrap Up

Darker Still by
Unleashed by  
Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren
Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren

My goal was…

A Sweet Kiss (21-30)

So far I have:


Dark Companion: Book Review

Dark Companion
Marta Acosta
Tom Doherty Associates
July 3rd 2012
Young Adult | Romance | Fantasy

Official Blurb -

Orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress’s gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true.
They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien’s brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?

As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove—and what she would risk to stay there….

At the beginning of each chapter is a quote from some classical novel. I was very impressed by the wide variety of quotes and felt the author must be highly well read. As the book progressed, however, the quotes got less exciting and more similar, they lost their appeal.

The characters seem a bit unstable, especially Jane. If you are a huge Jane Eyre fan you might not be satisfied with this rendition. The story and characters have been put in a salad tosser and thoroughly displaced. Character lines have been blurred and I sometimes felt Lucky was more like Mr. Rochester. I also had a hard time accepting the characters. Trying to put the adult characters into teenagers just didn't sit right. Mr. Rochester went through several hard years and events to produce his bitterness and personality. Jack just came off as odd wearing Mr. Rochester's mantle at eighteen. Jane was not true to character either. She completely falls for a pretty face and becomes rather tedious. I was bugged by her dumb choices, especially the section where she runs away. She didn't actually accomplish anything and it came across as more of a temper tantrum than her standing her moral ground. Jane is incredibly dense and terribly hypocritical. She is also very weak willed and allows others to use her. I just didn't like her.

The ending drags on forever, three chapters of unnecessary details. It is also rather bizarre with the random appearance of a crazy person. I think the crazy must have infected the other characters because they suddenly start singing a different tune.

My biggest miff with this book was all the crudity. Jane Eyre is a clean yet deep read and all the crudity in this rendition made it feel cheap. There are also several points where the story lacks subtle transitioning and feels choppy.

I think had I not been such a fan of Jane Eyre I might have enjoyed this book. It reminds me of how modern film makers adapt classics to younger audiences. The stories become very sexual and more shallow. Perhaps this book will likewise hit it off with the younger crowd but it is a miss for me.

Sexual: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Swearing: Moderate
General: Very Crude