Monday, April 30

2012 TBR Pile: April Wrap Up

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Eon by Alison Goodman
Intrinsical by Lani Woodland

My goal is…

A Sweet Kiss (21-30)

So far I have:


Congratulations to me! I have accomplished my goal for the year. Better take myself off for a little celebration.

Heist Society: Book Review

Heist Society
by Ally Carter
February 9th 2010
Young Adult | Mystery

Can you ever really escape your heritage? Some things are just hard wired. Kat has tried to escape the life of a thief and failed. She finds herself trying to undo a heist with the help of her friends. Problem is they are attempting the impossible.
The whole book was a bit of a deja vu for me. I felt as if I had already watched it on a movie or maybe read the book before. 
The writing in this book is excellent. Right from the beginning the voice narrating the story was compelling. The characters are all a bit slippery, but considering they are thieves, it works. The characters each seem to give up only tiny tempting tid-bits about themselves. 
The mystery wasn't particularly deep but it was suspenseful. 
Kat is the focus of the book more than the mystery. She has tried to remove herself from thievery, but her choice has come with some consequences in regards to her family and friends. Troubled by the consequences and what she has missed out on, she sets out to find a path that fits her better. She isn't a normal girl but she doesn't have the heart to steal. I am excited to see what adventures will come in the future. An enjoyable read into the mind of a thief. 
Similar to Artemis Fowl.

Saturday, April 28

IMM and My Reading Pile: 11

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

In the Mail:
Which is a good things since I really need to catch up. But I suppose in some cases a bit bad since I need the book to read it for upcoming deadlines. Oh well, what is a girl to do?

Left Behind:
Last week I didn't manage to get to Seeds of the Rebellion but I still plan to get to it. Right now I am putting aside books in favor of reading other books that I have to return very soon. Plus I am planing on going to a book signing on May 4th and I haven't read two of the authors books yet. If I have time I want to have those read before I go. Probably won't happen but a girl can try. So I will likely return to my regularly scheduled reading for review after this event. Sorry to shove you all over a couple of weeks but it had to be done. I needed a small break. Here are those books being included in the temporary hold:
Pack of Lies by
Seeds of the Rebellion by Brandon Mull
Purity by Jackson Pearce
The Calling by Kelly Armstrong

In the Reading Pile:
This weeks pile is more fluid than usual. These are the books I will be picking from on a case by case basis this week.
The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Eve by Anna Carey

Wishful Thinking:
My wishful thinking this week is that I miraculously read all of the books on my reading pile. I also wishfully would like to buy a handful of books at the store.

Friday, April 27

Eye Candy: XV

Redheads are Soulless
by Heather M White

Pyxis: The Discovery
by K. C. Neal 
The Last Princess
by Galazy Craze

Thursday, April 26

Sweet Evil: Giveaway

Sweet Evil
Wendy Higgins

What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip to meet her father forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. When she confronts her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

I absolutely loved this book even against my better judgement. Wow, that sounded just a bit like Mr. Darcy. It was awesome and I want to spread some evil around. Someone out there needs to be corrupted by a rendezvous with this book. 

This will be my first giveaway that is international.

Wahaha. . .there I have done my part in the whole evil scheme of it. (More evil laughing) 

Anywhere that the Book Depository ships for free is eligible.
You must be 13 years old to enter.

Sweet Evil: Book Review

Sweet Evil
by Wendy Higgins
May 1st 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy
Angel | Demon

Anna has lived with very enhanced senses for years. It isn't until the night of the Lascivious concert that she discovers she might not be the only one. Kaidan, dark and seductive, opens her mind to certain secrets that will forever change her life. While Anna faces this new frightening life, she is drawn toward Kaidan. Unfortunately, he has his mind entirely focused on his job on top of which relationships are forbidden. She must face off against the terrors of this world and decide if she will hold onto her innocence or embrace the dark.
This cover is so gorgeous up close and personal. The picture you see here doesn't do it justice.

Wendy Higgins has created two characters which should be near impossible to empathize with. Kaidan is drop dead gorgeous and a bad boy to the core. Don't take that lightly, he isn't just a dabbler into the darker side of life. Anna is so innocent, that at the age of sixteen, the biggest sin on her slate is one lie she immediately apologized for. Even though one is nigh unto evil and the other unbelievably innocent they are riveting characters. You will read with baited breath until the end to see what they will do. A testament to Wendy Higgins' ability to write.

Up until now I have endured the angel fad patiently. I have read a book here and there in an effort to understand its popularity. A couple were bearable if passably entertaining but no real winners... until now that is. All of my past aversion has gone up in flames as I was brought under its spell. So what makes this one succeed where others have failed? Most absolutely the author! Specifically, let us investigate a little. 
As far as the angel lore is concerned this matches up fairly well with the others. The focus of this book is more centered on demons than angels. There is a fair bit of education going on in the pages. But all of that information is related in a very entertaining fashion. Some of these angel books are full of preachy uncomfortable moments and judgement in gobs. This book isn't preachy, as Anna is very loving and understanding of others. We are privy to the very real struggles of a large variety of people.  Each has a differing level of weakness for certain evils. I love how auras help to enhance the characters and their struggles. The story is a beautiful mix of dark and light. Written so masterfully that you can't help but be drawn along either path without a pang in conscience. There are also a good amount of humorous moments sprinkled in here and there.

This book is so absolutely divine. When I noticed that I was almost done my heart wept that it would soon have to leave this world. I loved every minute and am beside myself with longing for more.
Pre-order a copy right now, don't give yourself a chance to back out. Just buy it and maybe even sleep with it under your pillow to aid you in your dreams. If by some miracle you don't fall under its persuasive embrace there will be many who will gladly relieve you of the burden. I for one will be adding this book to my permanent shelf.

Content: Mild swearing, moderate sexual content, underage drinking, and drugs
Main Character Age: 16

Moment Divine:
"I wished I could have talked to him longer. I wondered how I could get hold of him.
I supposed I could attach my phone number to a pair of my undies and throw them onstage at his next show. The thought actually made me laugh out loud. He'd probably take one look at the one-hundred-percent white cotton panties and chuck them in the trash."

Wednesday, April 25

Masque of the Red Death: ARC Giveaway

Masque of the Red Death
Bethany Griffin

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
I am finished with my ARC of Masque of the Red Death. My review is posted so now is the time to pass it on to someone else. I just can't keep it around it is like the sound of a beating heart under my floor boards. I might go crazy.

US only
Must be 13 years old to enter.

Waiting on Wednesday: Insurgent

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

by Veronica Roth

Publication Date: May 1st

From Goodreads

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.

Tuesday, April 24

The Immortal Rules: Book Review

The Immortal Rules
Harlequin Teen
April 24th 2012
Young Adult | Fantasy | Dystopian

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.
My interest in another vampire novel was lack luster at most. Julie carved out a firm spot in my book radar with her Iron Fey series. I would probably try just about anything Julie writes so I jumped on board for this book. I don't feel like Julie steered me wrong. This book was a good deal larger and there were a few moments that it seemed to drag. I wouldn't go as far as to call it the equal of its predecessors. It is hard to compare them since their main characters are so essentially different. Our male lead is no predator and a very deeply rooted optimist and all around good guy. Sure he is attractive but the good guy front isn't as enticing as its counterpart. Our female lead takes on disturbed predator and tortured soul. This combination is harder to sell.

Allie is a character that demands your attention from the start. This is certainly the farthest place from a just world. Allie cares for others even when the world screams take care of yourself. She is so very good and irrevocably cursed for her trouble. At the end of the day no matter what fantasies the day holds she is a monster. This is one girl that does not bend to all her misfortune. She is strong and always ready to face anything. Her future looks dark and grim, yet I see some small spark of light in the distance. We will have to hold out for a bit but it should be worth it. Allie has a very fierce desire to live which makes her easy to relate to. I found it very believable when she made her choice to risk becoming vampire rather than submit to the dark. I suppose her big weakness would be a firm belief in the loyalty of her friends. She gets some hard core denial going. Allie is determined to be unique and retain her humanity and its remaining shreds. If she is going to be so remarkable she is going to have to forge a tough road. One of my favorite things is her ability to cry tears. The undead have no souls or feelings. So for her to cry tears of blood is really noteworthy. I find that profoundly sad. Though if I crossed paths with a crying vampire I would be more chilled and afraid than sad. She feels this so deeply that it's almost as if her heart actually bleeds.

There were times I felt the book was poking fun at the holes in the vampire lore. It made me laugh. The book is the result of a union of paranormal and dystopian. I enjoyed viewing vampires through this lens. The people in this book are desperate. I am wondering if the plague is really the next hot thing. It seems to be popping up all over. In this book the plague brings vampires and humans into close proximity. It creates a world that leaves the humans in a precarious position. The entire situation is a lost cause and a black hole for hope. Especially the romantic duo being a pairing of two ill suited opposites. All of their moments are stolen and deliciously forbidden. There are great emotional moments when Allie really shows us just what fireworks she is made of. I really loved reading this book. It was a marvelous ride from start to finish and I can't wait to see where we will go next. I definitely recommend this book but I don't think it will revive vampires as a genre. Think more of it as a fabulous and worthy standalone when it comes to vampires.

Unraveling: Book Review

Balzer + Bray
April 24th 2012
Young Adult | Science Fiction
Inter-dimensional Travel

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
When I first saw this book I was only mildly interested in reading it. I got the opportunity to borrow it from a friend and decided to take the plunge. Once I had it in hand I noticed a note from the publisher tucked in the pages. The small message it contained had me instantly sold. The editor noted it as "unputdownable" and stated that she made the rest of the team read it "Right now." If it can turn their heads so effectively surely as a reader I will be entranced.
I was of two opinions as I delved into the first chunk of this story. On one side I agree with the editor, this is a great read that will keep you on edge until the end. By page fourteen my heart strings were already being tugged and manipulated. In fact I loved that section so much I had to revisit it later on just to savor its sweet essence. I give my kudos to Elizabeth Norris for making me fall in love with a character that I don't even know yet. In turn I was rather miffed. There was a lot of swearing and several media mentions. Not everyone is in the loop and so media mentions just fail. Luckily I am geek enough to understand nearly all of the mentions in this book. We are talking things such as X-Files and Tron:Legacy. The swearing only got worse as the book progresses. It seems some of the characters can't complete a sentence without the use of obscenities. The media mentions do justify their presence by the end. Who would these characters or even the story be without the X-Files? It becomes such an intricate part of it all.
I am guilty of getting a false impression from the cover. Somehow the fading repeats made me think there would be some sort of time travel or reverse time power development. So I kept waiting for this to occur and was waiting in vain. I am actually unsure as to the meaning of the cover but it does look intense and catch the eye.
I love the emotions pouring out of Ben and Janelle. They are so moving and on several occasions stole my breathe in their intensity. The relationship between Janelle and her father is also very sweet. What at first seems a bad connection is something far deeper and involved. It is very easy to relate to this family and their ups and downs. But through it all they are unswervingly loyal which is precious.
The ending is not what you would precisely call happy. Even so it is gracefully done and very hard to be upset about.
This book is full of intense moments of discovery and suspense. But to help patch all these moments together are the even sweeter and tender moments that forges bonds between the reader and the characters. It is a very interesting and odd book that is fairly fast paced. I thoroughly enjoyed this foray into fiction. If you like 24 and X-Files this is a book made for you.

Masque of the Red Death: Book Review

Masque of the Red Death
Bethany Griffin
Greenwillow Books
April 24th 2012
Young Adult | Horror

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
I picked this book up based solely on its link to Edgar Allen Poe. Now there is an author that can chill you. I had not previously heard his work Mask of the Red Death so was open to this.
There is death everywhere but I didn't feel its power seep off the pages. I care very little for any of the characters. To begin Araby is extremely annoying and whiny. I don't agree with her thought processes and don't care if she falls into trouble. She apologizes to all the wrong people at all the wrong times. She is a waste of precious space. Elliot is a jerk. He is full of his own importance as well as the importance of his plans. I don't trust any of his promises. He is a ticking time bomb that cares not for what it will destroy. I just don't think his feelings are real. No matter how the story might try to prove else wise. Will and the two kids are the only redeeming spot to this book. I wanted to put the book down after chapter seventeen. That chapter closed up so perfectly it was like the sweetest of dreams. Please don't wake up you chant to yourself. Alas, it was not meant to be as that bubble is popped quite forcibly near the end. Araby does improve upon closer acquaintance. She begins to take on the spot of a character you could rally behind. Even so the story moves a bit awkwardly. Just when I was ready to mesh with the moment or the character the setting or pace jumps. This happened so frequently that I gave up trying to understand.

*Spoiler Section*
Both Will and Elliot are actually the same. There I said it. Let me break down my thinking for you.
Will: (Wow, did that betrayal come out of no where fast. My brittle connection was snapped not enough to be blind to Elliot and his brand of wacko.)
Protecting his siblings
Would sacrifice her
Doing secretive things

**Honestly befriending her

Elliot: (I really didn't want Araby to end up with him but at the end I could care less if they all die.)
Protecting the people of the city
Would sacrifice her
Doing secretive things

**Using her for his means

**Seem to be the only real differences. Though that wouldn't be hard to change considering the situation they are in.
*As a note it must be mentioned that Mr. Darcy has been beat. Elliot now holds the record for worst love declarations in my book.

"He twists my body up and over the low railing on the side of the boat, dangling me out over the water. I go limp with shock.
"Don't look down,"he hisses. "The water is swarming with crocodiles. Do you know that they pull people under the water, lodge them beneath a rock or a fallen tree to snack on later? . . .
"And I'm falling in love with you," he whispers. "But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals."
By the time Araby and Elliot become a couple I was just done caring. Yuck. Why would you want a guy who would feed you to the crocodiles and teach you how to hold a sword. I thought the teaching seemed suspiciously like beating her for liking another guy. "Here let me teach you that you will like no other guy than me and while I am at it I will take your clothes off with my fancy sword play". I think I may have rolled my eyes and banged my head on the table at this point. And then he compounds it by locking her in. Hello! He is just like his creepy Uncle. First her mom is locked in the tower with pretty dresses and now it is her turn.

*Spoilers Ended*

After reading this I enjoyed a little research into Edgar Allen Poe's version and am a little thrown. This book seems to be a setup to the original.  I am just not feeling drawn into this crazy world. I want to desperately desire life for these folks. But death is no respecter of persons and is mowing them down willy-nilly. I find I care very little if even the main characters die. I didn't get pulled in as much as I thought I would. There were great moments but there were choppy waters in between and my mind wandered. It seems like a fair representation of the dark and dreary death Poe was trying to portray. But as the stage has only set and the story has yet to begun we are in for a show. Let the blood flow, but perhaps I will step out and excuse myself.

Monday, April 23

Forever: Book Review

by Maggie Stiefvater
July 12th 2011
Young Adult | Paranormal | Romance

Tom Culpeper just won't give up until every last wolf is dead. He has finally gotten approval and the wolves are breathing their last. How will Sam find Grace among them and get them all to safety? Can Cole find a cure for the werewolf disease?
This story is fairly evenly divided between four characters voices. Cole St Clair is by  far the most entertaining of the four characters. He is the comedic relief as well as what keeps the story moving. More than anyone in this book he is the real hero. Sam has become something very akin to a zombie and repeats his cycle until the plot begins to close. I found Grace a bit boring and at times exasperating.
In this last book everyone is trying to come to terms with their positions and their limitations. Can they really make plans for their future and what should those plans be? Sam, who has been cured, or so it seems, is faced with the new possibility of a future. It was nice to watch him step up a bit and begin to remove obstacles and fight for his future. Grace is stubbornly holding onto her original plan for her future. This involves a few risky endeavors with family and friends as well as the problem of being a canine for most of the year. Cole St Clair holds onto his charisma while blazing a whole new path. He finds purpose and direction and gives it his all. All of the characters change for the better.
The ending was a great wrap up for the trilogy. It was as realistic as I was expecting with just enough closure to leave the future open to possibility. The ending couldn't be too complete or the title of forever just wouldn't fit.
All in all the character journey was great to follow and it was a great conclusion to the trilogy.

Saturday, April 21

IMM and My Reading Pile: 10

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

In the Mail:
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Purity by Jackson Pearce
The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Bookmarks and a bookplate for Sweet Evil from Wendy Higgins

Redemption by Veronique Launier
Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen
Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

In the Reading Pile:
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Back on the Pile:
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Wishful Thinking:
Eona by Alison Goodman

This week was a plentiful one for my mail box. Too bad I was super sick and not able to read all these right away. I did give it a valiant effort. I blew off almost all my reading plans and started in on Masque of the Red Death. I am not quite halfway and having a hard time continuing. I seem to have stumbled at a point where the character is too stupid to live or too whiny and annoying. 
I only managed to read one book last week. Not good since so many new books came in. 
I am very excited to have a hard copy of Grave Mercy. It was a great read. The same goes for the ARC of Sweet Evil. So thrilled to put them both on my shelf.

Friday, April 20

Eye Candy: XIV

 Thief's Covenant
by Ari Marmell

False Covenant 
by Ari Marmell

The Unnaturalists
by Tiffany Trent

Thursday, April 19

Switched: Book Review

by Amanda Hocking
St. Martins Griffin
January 3rd 2012 (First published July 12th 2010)
Young Adult | Fantasy

Wendy has always felt as if she didn't belong. One day she discovers just how right she has always been. She is a changeling but even once she returns to her own kind she still feels apart. But life is getting a whole lot more intense and boredom is no longer part of the picture.
The beginning of the book was very hard to swallow. The characters are wishy-washy. Wendy seems to be a very apathetic spoiled character. She uses everyone around her to get just what she wants. Wendy also has a fondness for the word sociopath, which is not a word many seventeen year even know, let alone use frequently. The recipient of her bounteous vocabulary is Finn. Both Finn and Wendy suffer from being extremely apathetic in the beginning. Suddenly, as the wind changes, they have both unearthed nearly a whole new personality. Finn tries on bipolar and then settles for workaholic. Wendy changes her face for loving and boy obsessed. Also, Wendy seemed to know things there was no way for her to know. Several moments of divine knowledge from above. Assumption seems to run rampant in this book.
Amanda Hocking's choice of Trolls as her subject came as a complete surprise. The way the book was building I was expecting fairy lineage. It was refreshing to be given and new race to study. Before long however, the Trolls became the very people very few would like. Wendy's use of the word parasite very aptly describes the Trolls as explained by Amanda Hocking. I found it rather hard to feel much emotion toward them.
Most of the book was largely boring, which parallels exactly how Wendy is feeling. We get dragged through much of the same instructive and informative days as she does. When the climax came it was a relief. At this point, the characters all started to assert themselves and it became interesting. The added story at the end was a really good read since it provides intrigue in an otherwise dull story. It seems there is promise for the future of this story now that all the history is over.

Similar to Wings by Aprilynne Pike

Content: heavy swearing and violence

Wednesday, April 18

Waiting on Wednesday: The Immortal Rules, Unraveling, and Masque of the Red Death

Hosted by Breaking the Spine.

The Immortal Rules
by Julie Kagawa

Publication Date: April 24th

From Goodreads

You will kill. The only question is when.

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire.

Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.
by Elizabeth Norris

Publication Date: April 24th

From Goodreads

Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she's opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn't possible, she knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her revival, and Ben's possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI agent father's files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what's right in front of her: Everything that's happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben's sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she's going to need to uncover Ben's secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.

From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl's fight to save herself, her world, and the boy she never saw coming.
Masque of the Red Death
by Bethany Griffin

Publication Date: April 24th

From Goodreads

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Tuesday, April 17

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight: Book Review

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
by Jennifer E. Smith
Poppy/Little Brown
January 2nd 2012
Young Adult | Contemporary

Love is supposed to last forever. For the family of Hadley love was the cause of great heartache and permanent separation. Now she is off to to attend her fathers new marriage and meets Oliver who is about to change everything. It all started in a crowded airport over a piece of luggage.
The title of this book is a complete mouthful yet a perfect summary at the same time.  The smallest events can set you on an entirely new course. The fact is that once you find yourself at the consequences for that event you can still decide how to react. Will it be bitterness and anger or will you choose to make the best of it? Hadley finds herself on the bitter end of the spectrum but a series of what seem like unfortunate events and a chance meeting will help her to see a new side to her predicament.
The message of the strength of love and its ability to change your life is rampant throughout this book. It wounds, rebuilds, refreshes, blinds, crushes, mystifies, and blindsides. Love isn't just something that is beyond your control you have to decide to take the leap and keep moving.
Oliver is a very entertaining character and very good at affecting change for Hadley. He has an ability to say just the right thing to diffuse or smooth over a situation. But lies can easily become a sword to wound and hopefully he continues to use them for good.
The books starts with a depressing situation and helps us to see that there is always a bright side if we only choose to open our eyes and let go. Grab onto the things and moments that matter and never let go.
The timeline of this book is twenty four hours, which is the hardest part to accept. Such a vast amount of change occurs in that short time. It makes it a bit difficult to accept the Hadley's new found optimism but the nature of it is so sweet you can't help but want to believe. If it could happen for her perhaps it is likewise possible for others.

Monday, April 16

Book Blogger Confessions: 4/16

The topic is: Review/Guest post requests: Do you have a review request policy? Has it changed over time? How do you handle requests that don’t meet your criteria?
In the past, what types of "pitches" have caught your attention? Are there any (non-specific) examples of requests that are off-putting to you as a blogger?

Yes, I have a review policy. I have modeled it after other policies I have seen. Recently, I had to make a change to it as I am swamped with books and was getting way too many requests. The requests have dwindled since the change but I am still getting more than I can handle. I feel really bad. I have a whole folder just for review requests in my email. As soon as they come in I just drop them in without reading them. I mean to get to each of them and even respond back. Problem is I am super busy with just keeping up with the blog, twitter, reading books, and life. More often than not I don't get around to even reading most of the review requests. There are some that immediately grab my attention. Maybe I am susceptible to flattery or just like that someone took the time to actually look at my blog and figure out my name. So if the email opens with something about my blog or even with my name I am more likely to open it up. I also like to have the Title and Author in the subject line. That way I can look up the book on Goodreads without even opening the email. If the book sparks my interest I can open the email and see what is being offered. I wish I could read all the books that come my way but it just isn't possible. Plus a girl can only read so many books that don't fit the criteria before her desire to read is snuffed out. I am thinking in the long run here. Must keep my love for books or all this will disappear. 

I am not really sure how to appropriately handle books that don't fit my criteria. Especially since I often misjudge a book. There have been many times I have been disappointed. I just feel so bad that I force myself to finish the book. Is that a horrible thing? It takes me forever to force my way through and then I am half-hearted in my interest to pick up another book. What if it likewise is dissatisfying? I have tried responding back that I am not interested in that type of book. But it doesn't seem to work. I can feel their affront even over the internet. Some have followed up by sending proof of how awesome their book is. "Look this blogger loved it. What is wrong with you?" After such fun emails I have started to just ignore the requests. It makes me feel horrible. I know I wouldn't like being ignored. But how do I let them know I have read their request and am not interested? Or that I am interested but not able to read their book?

As for the best way to catch my attention:
Offer up a physical copy. What can I say other than I am not the biggest fan of eBooks. It just isn't the same as reading a paper book.

  • What I wish to know is how do you get over your guilt at not liking their book? 
  • Do you force yourself to read it or do you leave it unfinished? 
  • What do you tell the author in this case? 
  • Does it make you feel like you are breaking an agreement? 
  • Is it better to give all the reviews a chance, as in read so many pages or be really selective?
  • Also, do you think there is a time date on the emails? If you have time four months later is it still appropriate to respond? Yeah, probably not but really how long do you think you have to consider before responding? A week, two weeks, maybe an entire month?

Thanks for the topic.

Taste: Book Trailer and Excerpt Reveal

At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans. When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Song Credits: "Hunger" © Noelle Pico. Full Download available at Excerpt:

I sat up and followed Calixta’s gaze upward. I rubbed my eyes. I didn’t know what I was seeing at first. A statue? ­My brain refused to snap together coherent thoughts. I didn’t realize I’d fallen so close to one of the garden benches until I stared up at the boy that sat on one. He was strikingly beautiful. His tumble of blonde hair curled just above his sculpted cheekbones. He wore a silk shirt and a loosened cravat, like he’d become bored while dressing and decided to leave himself in disarray. His ivory skin and frozen position was what had me mistaking him for something carved from marble by
Michelangelo. Then he sighed—a lonely, breathy proof of life. If I had to imagine what Lucifer looked like before he fell from heaven, the boy on the bench would certainly fulfill that image. My brain told me I had to look away, but I couldn’t.

“Luka,” Calixta said again, her voice unsure, almost nervous. It no longer contained the steel and bite she had threatened me with, which made me wonder who the boy was.

He leaned on his hands and crossed his legs, all the while keeping his eyes fixed on the night sky. His movements spoke of elegance and control. I’d encountered many people with breeding before, but his took on the air of arrogance and self ­assuredness of someone used to getting what he wanted when he wanted it.

I only realized I’d been holding my breath when my lungs protested. I exhaled. My heart sputtered and restarted with a vengeance. Luka tore his gaze away from the stars and settled it on me. I’d expected pitch­black irises, like the other Night Students, but blue ice stared back at me.

“Human,” he whispered.

He reached out, and with a finger, followed an invisible trail down my cheek. I stiffened. His touch, cooler than Demitri’s, caused warm sparks to blossom on my face. He lifted his finger to his lips and licked its tip. He might as well have licked me from the way my body shivered.

Luka’s curious gaze held mine. “Leave us,” he said, but not to me.

“But—” Calixta protested like a spoiled child.

He spoke in a language I hadn’t heard before, remaining calm yet firm. The words had a rolling cadence I couldn’t quite follow, like rumbling thunder in the distance. They contained a harsh sensuality. The consonants were hard and the vowels were long and lilting.

Footsteps retreated behind me.

Luka reached out again.

It took me a minute to realize he wanted to help me up. I hesitated. He smiled. I smiled back timidly and took his hand, completely dazzled. Even with my uniform soaked from melted snow, I didn’t feel cold—all my attention was on him and the way his callused hand felt on mine. Without moving much from his seated position, he helped me stand.

“What’s your name?” he asked. He had a voice like a familiar lullaby. It filled my heart to the brim with comfort.

I swallowed and tried to stop gawking. “Phoenix.”

“The bird that rose from the ashes.” Luka bent his head and kissed the back of my hand. “It’s a pleasure meeting you.”

My cheeks warmed. My head reeled, not knowing what to think. I couldn’t understand why I felt drawn to him. And the strange connection frightened me.

From behind, someone gripped my arms and yanked me away before I could sort out the feelings Luka inspired in me. I found myself behind a towering figure yet again. Recognizing the blue­black silk for hair tied at the nape, relief washed over me. Calixta hadn’t come back to finish me off.

Demitri’s large hand wrapped around my wrist. Unlike the night before, no calm existed in his demeanor. He trembled like a junky in need of a fix. The coiled power in his tense muscles vibrated into me.

“What are you doing here?” Demitri asked.

I didn’t know he’d spoken to me until I saw his expressionless profile. I sighed.


I flinched. The ruthless way he said my name punched all the air out of me. “You owe me answers,” I said with as much bravado as I could muster.

“I owe you nothing.” He glared. “In fact, you owe me your life.”

“I don’t think so.”

Ignoring my indignation, he faced Luka, who’d remained seated on the bench during my exchange with Demitri. “Why is she with you, Luka?”

“I wasn’t going to taste her, if that’s what you’re implying,” Luka said. “Although, she is simply delicious. I wouldn’t mind if you left us alone.”

There it was again. Taste. The word that kept coming up between these Night Students and I was connected to it in an increasingly uncomfortable way. To taste meant to sample, but what? My flesh? They had to be joking because the alternative wasn’t funny.

“The sins of the father …” Demitri left his sentence unfinished.

Luka’s smile shifted into a snarl. “Obey my command.” His chin lifted. “Kneel.”

Demitri’s stance went rigid. His grip tightened around my wrist.

Okay, weird just got weirder. Why would Luka want Demitri to kneel before him? I thought back to Eli and the others bowing to Demitri when he questioned them, but they didn’t kneel. Seriously? Were they all living on a different planet or something?

“Kneel.” Luka’s detestable smirk made his features sinister rather than angelic.

The real Lucifer: a fallen angel.

Without letting go of my wrist, Demitri knelt down on one knee and bowed his head, his free hand flat at the center of his chest. “Your command has been obeyed,” he said formally.

Luka nodded once.

Demitri stood up and pulled me toward the school without telling me where we were going. Not having the time to thank Luka for saving me from Calixta, I risked a glance back. Luka smiled at me. His smile spoke of whispers, secrets, and promises to be shared on a later date.

Did you find this excerpt enticing? It is only one of two circling the blogosphere today. Oh, wait did I say two I meant three. Don't miss out!
Author Bio: When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Author Website:
Twitter: @KateEvangelista
Find Taste on Goodreads:
Crescent Moon Press page for Taste: 

Saturday, April 14

IMM and My Reading Pile: 9

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

In the Mail:
Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull (Audio)

Pack of Lies by

In the Reading Pile:
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Back on the pile as I wasn't able to get to it last week.
Wishful Thinking:
Eona by Alison Goodman

Friday, April 13

Illumine: Book Review

Alivia Anders

January 7th 2012
 Young Adult | Fantasy
Demon | Nephilim

For the past five months Essallie Hanley has been trying to forget about the frightening murder of her boyfriend. Haunted by vivid nightmares and hallucinations of the event she does anything she can to pretend she's like every other normal girl in High School.

Only Essallie is far from normal. Able to conjure blue fire and a shimmering silhouette of wings from her body, she seeks the only known solace left to her name; her first home in Belfast, Maine.

But she soon realizes that her return home is only the beginning of a long and twisted road taking her as far from her humanity as possible, with Kayden, the demon originally summoned to slaughter her, leading the way. Unable to touch her but oddly curious, he joins Essallie in her search to find out just what she is. But neither of them were prepared for the secrets they've begun to unravel, secrets that will change Essallie and everyone around her forever.
Right at the beginning I got confused trying to pin down Essalie's age. In a two page span she is noted as sixteen and seventeen. I don't mean a birthday occurs in those two pages, more like a typo. I guess oldest mention trumps youngest plus it makes more sense to the story. My next complaint is way too many media mentions. This is the quickest way to lose my interest. I know the moment someone mentions current media, for example: Deal or no Deal, that I am not reading a potential classic. There are also some mentions of people or phrases that I didn't understand.
The beginning of this book is really weird and off the wall. I was wondering how she could possibly get in that situation with those people. Then we start to settle into a rhythm and the book and characters begin to take shape, if only loosely. It was still weird but in an acceptable way. And then I began to wonder where the book was going and what the purpose of everything was. I might have possibly begun to get bored when a few paragraphs later everyone is dead. Okay, not literally but I went from a state of head lolling sleepiness to horror and confusion. I had to flip back through the pages to make sure I didn't miss anything. Nope, I didn't miss anything, it is just a bit abrupt. Wait, the abruptness isn't over since the book is now quite suddenly finished. I am confused and wondering why? What is the motive for the bad dudes? Who is she? Why are all these odd characters in this mix and for what reason? 
Now the best part of the book is our wishy washy heroine. She goes through a very traumatic experience which seems to permanently effect all her future choices. Except when the instigator of her horrible experience decides to dog her steps, she starts to lose her reason and higher logic. Has she lost her mind? How could she possibly forget what Kayden did and who he is? Why would you ever trust someone who is evil and eats people? More specifically who is trying to find a way to eat you? I think if there were more development into Essalie and Kayden this transition wouldn't feel like such a violation of nature.
This book needs to be edited as it has a slew of missing words, misspellings, and sentence structure difficulties. These all disrupt the flow of the story. I don't mean by this that the book is terrible, it has potential. It just needs some polishing as well as more meat as the story progresses.The characters could also benefit from some extra TLC. Help me to understand their thoughts or feelings a bit more and I will be able to emphasize with them.
The book isn't as bad as I make it sound. I enjoyed reading it and might possibly read the next installment just to see if the characters fill out and my questions are answered.

Sexual: Mild
Violence: Graphic

Eye Candy: XIII

Greta and the Goblin King
by Chloe Jacobs

by Elizabeth Miles

The Nightworld
by Jack Blaine

Dark Parties
by Sara Grant