What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Happy Halloween! I saved this book to review today, because I thought it was such a great spooky read. I can just imagine curling up on the couch with barely any light on reading it, and jumping every time the doorbell rings for Trick or Treaters!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: SHHHH! Don't spread the word! Three-day weekend. House party. White Rock House on Henry Island. You do NOT want to miss it. It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury. But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine. Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

What I Liked: 1) First off, I loved that it was an homage to one of my favorite books of all time, Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. If you've never read the original, make sure that you do it at some point in your life. 2) Miz McNeil has embodied Christie's gift for the confused mystery! I've read a lot of AC novels, and in every single one of them, just when you think you find the answer, she throws you a new twist. That's exactly how Miz McNeil wrote Ten. Just when you think you've figured it out, she throws you for a loop and you start thinking the killer is someone else. 3) I liked how all of the characters seemed to find their own rhythm with each other, despite that they weren't really friends. That should have seemed suspicious to them from the beginning, but being teens at a party on a deserted island with no supervision for the whole weekend, they didn't really seem to think much of it. 4) Something that was different in Ten than ATTWN, at least for me, is that I felt more connected to these characters than I did in the Agatha Christie story. I knew that if it held true to the Christie story, almost everyone would have to die, but there were characters that I genuinely did not want to see dead, even just for Meg's sake! I think that is what had me holding my breath at certain scenes! 5) Probably my absolute favorite thing about this book is that it captured me so well that I had to actually turn more lights on. Every creak in the house that I heard while I was reading was a potential murderer! Gretchen McNeil's ability to terrify me so completely in this book made this a huge winner for me! I may or may not have had to sleep with the lights on....

What I Didn't Like: I liked everything about it!

Overall Thoughts: Gretchen McNeil's Ten is the perfect spooky story to curl up with on a stormy night. If you like to be spooked by every gust of the wind while you are reading, pick up this one. It will tug at your heart as you know what's coming for these characters, but also hold you in high suspense with each twist. I think everyone will enjoy this story, and fans of Agatha Christie will be awed by the talent that Miz McNeil displays!

My Rating: 5 candy corns

I hope you guys have enjoyed the Halloween Event here on FCB! Today is your LAST DAY to enter the Halloween giveaways so make sure you get all your entries in! Those winners will be announced in the next few days so be watching your email!


Waiting on Wednesday (52)

Happy Halloween, y'all! Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that highlights the books that we are most anxiously awaiting!

Today, my WoW is..... 

The Archived by Victoria Schwab 
Release Date: January 22nd, 2012 

Here is the summary from Goodreads: Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

There is actually a 5 chapter sneak peak on NetGalley, but I'm afraid that if I read that, I won't even be able to wait at all for this book. So instead, I just look at the pretty cover and bide my time. Anyway, what are y'all waiting on this Halloween Wednesday?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Turning by Francine Prose

I was looking forward to reading this book every since I saw it listed as someone's WoW. I think deserted islands hold some appeal for me, particularly spooky ones. So I added this one to our Halloween lineup. I actually didn't know it was a retelling of Henry James' The Turning of The Screw. Now I haven't read the Henry James novel, so I can't say one way or another how The Turning holds up to this one.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Jack is babysitting for the summer on an isolated island with no Wi-Fi, no cell service, and no one else around but a housekeeper and two very peculiar children. He immediately senses something sinister-and it's not just the creepy black house he's living in. Soon he is feeling terribly isolated and alone, but then he discovers there are others. The problem is, he's the only who can see them. As secrets are revealed and darker truths surface, Jack desperately struggles to maintain a grip on reality. He knows what he sees, and he isn't crazy…Or is he?

What I Liked: 1) I was surprised to find that I loved the fact that it was written in letter form. A majority of the story is Jack writing letters to his girlfriend and his father, and it's occasionally interspersed with letters from them. Usually, I don't follow this kind of storytelling very easily, but this time it was actually pretty easy to forget that you are reading this as it's told from him memory. So don't feel disappointed if you open the book and find that it starts in that form. It really adds to the story. 2) The Creep Factor. This story was sufficiently creepy for our purposes here on FCB for Halloween. The ghost story of this deserted island is scary in itself, plus everything that is going on with Jack adds a lot of suspense to the plot. 3) The house. I kind of picture this house as...The Addams Family house from The Addams Family Values. More doors than you could ever look behind, and enough twists and turns to get lost. I don't know if that is part of the Henry James story, but I think I might have to read that one too.

What I Didn't Like: Well, the ending was a little abrupt. I have a feeling this is very similar in keeping with the Henry James retelling. But this one just kind of...stopped. Instead of really ending. I wish I could say more without feeling like I was giving something away, but I really can't. But just know that the ending is kind of like falling off a cliff. Very little exposition at the end.

Overall Thoughts: A short, simple, spooky story in keeping with the mood of the week. Since Halloween is tomorrow, if you're looking for something short and spooky to read while passing out candy to trick or treaters, this is it. It was only 100 pages on my Nook, so I read the whole thing in about 45 minutes. The ending may hit you like a slap in the face, but overall, it was intriguing enough to keep me entertained, and scary enough to have me holding my breath. Take an hour or so and read over this one.

My Rating: 3 candy corns

Two more days to enter the Halloween Giveaways! Have you entered yet?

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Butterfly Clues by Kate Ellison

I picked up The Butterfly Clues on a whim one day, because it sounded like an interesting murder mystery. And being murder mystery, it was perfect in keeping with this week's theme, Spooky Reads! It's a short week, since we only have three days until Halloween, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about some scary stories!

Here is the summary from Goodreads: Penelope (Lo) Marin has always loved to collect beautiful things. Her dad's consulting job means she's grown up moving from one rundown city to the next, and she's learned to cope by collecting (sometimes even stealing) quirky trinkets and souvenirs in each new place--possessions that allow her to feel at least some semblance of home. But in the year since her brother Oren's death, Lo's hoarding has blossomed into a full-blown, potentially dangerous obsession. She discovers a beautiful, antique butterfly pendant during a routine scour at a weekend flea market, and recognizes it as having been stolen from the home of a recently murdered girl known only as "Sapphire"--a girl just a few years older than Lo. As usual when Lo begins to obsess over something, she can't get the murder out of her mind. As she attempts to piece together the mysterious "butterfly clues," with the unlikely help of a street artist named Flynt, Lo quickly finds herself caught up in a seedy, violent underworld much closer to home than she ever imagined--a world, she'll ultimately discover, that could hold the key to her brother's tragic death.

What I Liked: 1) Flynt. I liked Flynt, with his mysterious ways. He was funny, but mysterious, and just kind of interesting to be around. There were times when he wasn't in a scene but Lo would be wondering what he was up to, and I felt the same way too. Lo was better when he was around, so he was kind of like a savior for her. 2) Lo was definitely one of the more intriguing characters I've come across in all the books I've read. So much of the book is what's going on in her head that you get to know her pretty well. I've also never read a book where the main character has as strong a case of OCD as Lo does. That was one of the biggest parts of the book because her OCD led her to find these clues that "call out to her." 3) The ending. I like how it ended, because it wrapped everything up. Sometimes there are lingering questions, but this story ended the way it needed to for everyone involved to move on with their lives.

What I Didn't Like: I said that Lo's OCD made her very intriguing, which it did, but it also made the story a little hard for me to follow. There were breaks in the storyline because of things that her OCD was causing her to do, and so for me it just made it a little difficult.

Overall Thoughts: Other than some breaks in the story, The Butterfly Clues is a suspenseful murder mystery that anyone who likes mystery can enjoy. It follows the clues that Lo discovers with a great sense of timing, and will keep you guessing until the end.

My Rating: 3 candy corns

Don't forget, you have a couple more days to enter the four Halloween giveaways!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cover Reveal

Back in May, I reviewed a debut called Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. I was very intrigued by Anna and her story, and her struggle between the good and bad parts of her life. Well, the next book of her story, Sweet Peril, will hit shelves on April 30th, 2013, and the cover has been released today!

So what do y'all think? I like how it differ from the Sweet Evil cover, like the red and black from the first have kind of melded together now. And if that wasn't enough....here is a blurb from Sweet Peril:

Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind. When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Don't forget to add this one to your Goodreads list!

Hidden by P.C. and Kristin Cast

Ten books into this series now, and it's been five years since the first was published. I've been a pretty loyal follower of the series, so I was ready for Hidden when it hit the shelves. Plus, it's not really Vampire Week without a little House of Night!

Here is the summary from Goodreads: At last, Zoey has what she wanted: the truth is out. Neferet's evil has been exposed, and the High Council is no longer on her side -- but she's far from done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world. First, a mysterious fire ravages the stables. Then, Neferet makes a devastating move that will test them all. With the seeds of distrust sown and Darkness breeding chaos at the House of Night, everyone must band together -- but that's proving to be more difficult than ever before. The twins are barely speaking and the House of Night's former enemy, Kalona, has now become their warrior, pushing their trust to the limit. To top it off, Zoey is pretty darn sure she might be losing her mind. She saw something when she looked at Aurox through the Seer Stone that she can hardly explain to herself, let alone her friends. Is it possible that Heath has come back in a different form? Is that why Zoey's so intrigued by Aurox, when it's so obvious that he's dangerous? And who would believe her if she told them? Zoey knows that following her instinct about Aurox might be just what they need to defeat evil . . . but if she's wrong, it could cause the destruction of those closest to her. With the tension at a breaking point and friendships on the line, can the nerd herd come together to stop the spread of Darkness before it's too late?

What I Liked: 1) It seemed like there was finally something different going on in this one. With Zoey and her friends, they've finally been able to convince some of the adult vampyres that Neferet is not the innocent and loyal High Priestess they think she is, so it seems the little band of fledglings is finally going to get some help. 2) They, meaning Zoey and her friends, seemed to have matured some. It's probably hard not to mature when you are dealing with everything that they are having to go through. But that has been one of my chief complaints as I've read these books, their lack of maturity, and it finally seems as if their actions and they way they talk matches their age. 3) The fissure in her circle. Okay, I don't like that something has come between some of their friendships, but I like the new dimension that it's brought to the book. For so long it was these five in Zoey's inner circle, and then there were a few outliers, but when one of these main five begins to question what they are doing, it gives them a new dynamic, and forces them to reach out to others who are loyal to their cause. 4) Setting. For the first time I felt that we were solidly back at the House of Night in Tulsa. This is where the story began, and I'm hoping where we will see it end. I can't help but feeling we are nearing the end of the journey, and I'm hoping that it will end at HON once at for all.

What I Didn't Like: The biggest complaint I have now is that there seems to be no concept of the passage of time. In real time, it's been 5 years. In the book, I have no idea. Has it been one year? Two, three? Stevie Rae is a full vampyre now, no longer a fledgling. And I thought that Zoey and Stevie Rae were the same age. Erin and Shaunee were a year older, yet they are both still fledglings. At some point they should Change - from fledgling to vampyre. I have a bit of an obsession with time in my life, so not understanding how time passes in a book drives me a little batty.

Overall Thoughts: The Mother/Daughter team of P.C. and Kristin Cast seem to have been pulled out of their slump with this newest addition to their House of Night series. The characters are finally showing some growth, and the dynamics have been changing, giving the whole plot a new dimension. I'm glad I've stuck with it this long, and can't wait to see where we end up next!

My Rating: 4 candy corns

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Vampire Week has been a lot of fun, hasn't it? Well, closing it out, I have a review of Cynthia Leitich Smith's Tantalize. She was Austin Teen Book Festival last year, but I didn't get the chance to talk to her. And this year, her husband Greg was a moderator for one of the panels at ATBF that I did catch. I knew I wanted to read this book, because it just sounded like a funny idea and so I thought Vampire Week would be the perfect time.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Are you predator or prey? CLASSIFIED ADS: RESTAURANTS SANGUINI'S: A VERY RARE RESTAURANT IS HIRING A CHEF DE CUISINE. DINNERS ONLY. APPLY IN PERSON BETWEEN 2:00 AND 4:00 PM. Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her parents are dead, and her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to embark on a rite of passage that will separate them forever. Then, as she and her uncle are about to unveil their hot vampire-themed restaurant, a brutal murder leaves them scrambling for a chef. Can Quincie transform their new hire into a culinary Dark Lord before opening night? Can he wow the crowd in his fake fangs, cheap cape, and red contact lenses — or is there more to this earnest face than meets the eye? As human and preternatural forces clash, a deadly love triangle forms, and the line between predator and prey begins to blur. Who’s playing whom? And how long can Quincie play along before she loses everything?

What I Liked: 1) The idea. Starting with restaurant, which is really what the story revolves around, to the clash of supernatural forces, it was very unique. A vampire themed restaurant set in Austin, Texas - I'm actually surprised that no one has thought of this before, especially with the popularity of vampires in recent years. 2) The murder mystery story. It was a great, suspenseful mystery, but it was light-hearted all at the same time. You get into it, but it didn't freak me out because there was some light-hearted humor thrown in to balance the suspense. 3) Quincie. She was funny, and very spirited, despite everything she's had to deal with in her life. She's had it tough, but it hasn't hardened her like you might expect. She's still caring, and full of hope. She was a great character to become friends with as we went through the story. 4) I liked the supernaturals in the story. It is always an interesting story when these supernatural characters, like vampires or witches or werewolves are a known part of society. Not necessarily that people know, oh, so-and-so is a werewolf, but they know they are out there among society! This always adds a new element to a story. And I really liked that aspect of this one. People tiptoed around the subject, like it was taboo, but still something they wanted to talk about.

What I Didn't Like: The story was a little...watery. Watered down. There just needed to be a little more...oomph for me to just get totally lost in it.

Overall Thoughts: Tantalize is a creative and unique vampire story with a fun MC, and lots of suspense. The humor to suspense ratio is just perfect, and while it is a little fluffy for my taste, it's definitely one to grace your shelf with! Plus, that cover is fun!

My Rating: 4 candy corns

Don't forget there is still time to enter the Halloween Giveaways! Use the button in the sidebar to find them all!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (51)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are most anxiously awaiting.

Vampire Week....what am I waiting on this week....

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead 
Release Date: February 12th, 2013 

I read Bloodlines, the first book, this time last year and loved it. Then I read the second book, and loved it even more! So naturally, I'm super excited about The Indigo Spell!

What are you waiting on this Fangtastic Wednesday?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Trick or Treat Tuesday with Elizabeth Hunter

My sister and I are both really big Elizabeth Hunter fans. We have loved her Elemental Mysteries series - Gio and Beatrice are one of my favorite paranormal couples. And I personally love the passage of time throughout the books - we get to know them in different stages of life which is really cool! My favorite character is Carwyn (but don't tell him, cause it might go to his head!). Anyway, because she is so awesome, Elizabeth and some of her friends have stopped by Fuzzy.Coffee.Books today to talk to us a little bit about Halloween!

Hey everyone! Elizabeth Hunter here. As many of you might know, Carwyn’s book, Building From Ashes releases this week. It’s the first book in the expanded Elemental World series, so I hope Elemental Mysteries fans will check it out. Thanks to Courtney for inviting me to the blog! You know, it’s not often that Gio, Beatrice, Tenzin, and Carwyn come over to my place to just hang out. Usually, they’re strategizing or plotting against enemies or watching wrestling and drinking all my beer (okay, that might just be Carwyn), but a couple of days ago, they all came over and, strangely enough, the subject of Halloween costumes came up. I decided to record our conversation for... posterity. (Or blackmail, should they ever inflict me with writer’s block.) When Courtney asked me for a guest post... well, I just couldn’t resist. 

Beatrice: Elizabeth, what’s the Small Boy going as for Halloween this year? 
E: Ninja, of course. 
Carwyn: Wasn’t he a ninja last year? 
E: He’s a ninja every year. It’s tradition. 
Tenzin: I approve of this. When are you going to start incorporating weapons training? He’s already seven. 
E: I think we may just stick with judo lessons for right now, Tenzin. 
Gio: That sounds prudent. Are you attending any parties, Elizabeth? 
E: Probably not. How about you guys? (silence) Guys? 
Tenzin: (clears throat) There is a gathering of some sort on Beatrice’s grandfather’s yacht in Long Beach. I believe she told him we would all be there. (widespread muttering) Beatrice: You know, the next time I have to go to one of his stuffy dinners, you all can come with me! Then he can’t corner me into agreeing to stupid stuff. 
Gio: Tesoro, you are an extremely powerful vampire now, why didn’t you just refuse? Beatrice: You try arguing with him when he has my grandma and Caspar in his corner. Carwyn, back me up here? 
Carwyn: Huh? What? 
Tenzin: Will you turn the television off? 
Carwyn: But Small Boy left Cartoon Network on... 
(E shuts off television and hands Carwyn a beer.) 
Carwyn: Beer! What are we talking about? 
Gio: The Halloween party. Elizabeth, the point is that, yes, we are all being forced to attend this... costume party. (E begins laughing maniacally. Carwyn high-fives.) 
E: Oh, this is too good! It’s a costume party? What are you all going as? Have you picked costumes yet? 
Beatrice: I thought I’d go classic. Elvira. 
Carwyn: Very cool. 
Tenzin: (perks up) The woman who hosts the old horror movies? I like her. 
Beatrice: Yep! E: I would have guessed zombie... 
Gio: I prefer Elvira to zombie. Better... wardrobe. 
Carwyn: You mean better cleavage? Gio: That too. Tenzin, how about you? You were very cagey when I asked last night. 
Tenzin: I found some old jewelry in my things, so I think I’ll go as Cleopatra. I liked her. (silence) 
Carwyn: You... knew her? Tenzin: Yes. She had attitude. And great jewelry. (silence) 
Gio: Tenzin, the jewelry that you’re wearing... it didn’t actually belong to Cleopatra, did it? 
Tenzin: Well, of course it did. Why else would finding it make me want to dress up like her for this ridiculous party? (silence) 
E: (clears throat) Well... that’s really... cool. Gio, how about you? 
Gio: I thought I would wear a more appropriate ensemble. I’ll be dressing as Sherlock Holmes for the evening. (Carwyn, Elizabeth and Beatrice groan) What? 
Carwyn: This is because you kept that hat, isn’t it? 
Beatrice: How about a Spartan warrior? 
E: I can get behind that idea. Gio: I have an authentic houndstooth deerstalker cap from that era, which I thought I’d put to good use— 
Carwyn: You and your hats. Why not Zorro? He has a funny hat. And he doesn’t wear tweed. 
Tenzin: How about Achilles? 
E: I like that idea, too. 
Gio: What’s wrong with Sherlock Holmes? And why all the classical themed costumes? Elizabeth/Beatrice/Tenzin: Toga. 
Beatrice: Really, anything that leaves you half-clothed is okay with me. (Gio leans over and whispers in Beatrice’s ear. She squirms.) 
E: No fair. 
Beatrice: Totally fair. Gio, you can wear anything you want. 
Gio: That’s what I thought. (Tenzin snorts. Carwyn grabs another beer.) 
E: How about you, Carwyn? Jimmy Buffet? Hula dancer? Surfer? 
Carwyn: Though displaying my Hawaiian shirt collection is tempting, I will also be going with something classic. 
Beatrice: Please, not a priest outfit. 
Carwyn: Of a sort. I shall be donning the mask of... El Santo! (blank stares all around) 
E: Uh... who? Carwyn: Surely you’ve heard of... well, really. What kind of—Gio, you know who I’m talking about, don’t you? 
Gio: (clears throat) I admit nothing. 
Tenzin: This has to do with some wrestling show, doesn’t it? Beatrice: Oh, for heaven’s sake— 
Carwyn: El Santo was only one of the most iconic lucha libre wrestlers ever! He was the first to don a mask! I shall be attending Don Ernesto’s party dressed in an exact replica of El Santo’s costume. Mexican wrestling royalty! I’m sure your grandfather will appreciate it. 
Beatrice: Uh, Carwyn? He’s a three hundred year old Spanish don. I’m not sure that he’s much of a wrestling fan. 
Carwyn: Well then, education is clearly the order of the day. 
Tenzin: Are you going to body-slam someone at the party? That would be highly amusing. Gio: Can I nominate Baojia? (Beatrice slaps Gio’s thigh) What? 
Beatrice: Carwyn, I’m sure your costume will rock. Elizabeth, how about you? Any plans to scare the kiddos while you’re escorting Small Boy around the neighborhood? 
E: Oh, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll get some fangs, a slinky dress, and be the Bride of Dracula. (Carwyn/Beatrice/Tenzin laugh) 
Gio: (bares fangs and winks at Elizabeth) I approve. 

There you have it, folks. I hope you’ll come over to my blog and look at some of the other links for the tour. There are reviews, excerpts, and I’m giving away a signed paperback of Building From Ashes, the first book in the expanded Elemental World series.
Here’s the synopsis: In a world teetering on the edge of change, two beings struggle to find their purpose. Will their paths lead them closer together or tear their worlds apart? For a thousand years, powerful earth vampire Carwyn ap Bryn has served others. God. His family. His friends. But tragedy and loss disrupt his peaceful existence, causing him to question everything he has committed his eternity to. Brigid Connor has known about vampires since they rescued her from a painful childhood. But not even their vast elemental power can save her from the demons that torment her. As loyalties are tested and new paths are forged, a lurking danger slowly grows in the Elemental World. Carwyn and Brigid learn that even secrets revealed can come back to haunt you when you least expect it. 

I want to thank Elizabeth, as well as Carwyn, Gio, Beatrice, and Tenzin for stopping by!

And don't forget, Carwyn's book, Building from Ashes releases today! Kelsey and I both highly recommend this series! And if this one wasn't enough of a treat for you guys, there are now FOUR giveaways going on right here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! The final Halloween giveaway went up this morning, so make sure you enter!

Trick or Treat Tuesday (Spooks)

Trick or Treat! It's Tuesday again, and so I have a fourth (and final) treat to giveaway!

I don't have a Vampire book to giveaway this week, though I guess I could have scrounged around to find something. But instead, I decided to throw out there a copy of the newly released TEN by Gretchen McNeil. This story pays tribute to one of my favorite mystery novelists, Agatha Christie and her ever-popular And Then There Were None. It seriously kept me up half the night because I was scared! You'll see my full review of it next week, but for now, enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, to recap, there are 4 giveaways going on right now! You can enter to win any and all of these prizes:
Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
TEN by Gretchen McNeil

This button will link you to all of the posts so you can enter them all incase you've missed something! Don't forget you can tweet about each of them everyday! And they are all open until Midnight on Halloween, so there is still plenty of time!

Happy Haunting!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber

Vampire Kisses is book one of a series that's been out for a while. There are nine books in the series, the final of which just came out in May of this year. Vampire Kisses was released in 2003 - OMG, the year I graduated from high school - and was one of my picks for Vampire Week this year!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: In her small town, dubbed "Dullsville," sixteen-year-old Raven -- a vampire-crazed goth-girl -- is an outcast. But not for long... The intriguing and rumored-to-be haunted mansion on top of Benson Hill has stood vacant and boarded-up for years. That is, until its mysteriously strange new occupants move in. Who are these creepy people -- especially the handsome, dark, and elusive Alexander Sterling? Or rather, what are they? Could the town prattle actually ring true? Are they vampires? Raven, who secretly covets a vampire kiss, both at the risk of her own mortality and Alexander's loving trust, is dying to uncover the truth. Ellen Schreiber's spooky and stirring romance tells the story of two outsiders who fall in love in a town where conformity reigns, and ends with a shocking surprise.

What I Liked: 1) Humor. It was very funny. MC Raven has a lot of spunk, and she voices her opinions with well placed jabs at...well, whatever it is. Her brother. The town she lives in - which she always refers to as Dullsville. 2) The Haunted House - what good urban legend doesn't have a spooky, haunted house in it? I love stories that have the old, broken down homes that are the subject of rumors and dares for the local kids and teens. 3) The length. This was a short fluffy start to a series that you can sit down and read in a matter of hours. It pokes fun at the darkness that are often found in other vampire stories, and that's what makes it unique.

What I Didn't Like: The lack of substance in the book. There was little development both of plot and character. It was hard to get into because it was almost like, there wasn't anything to get into. I have my vices when it comes to books that are fluffy and lack substance, but I am usually able to develop some attachment to the characters, and that just didn't happen in this one.

Overall Thoughts: This book was published in 2003, 3 full years before the world was propelled into a vampire frenzy with Twilight. And its longevity provides a much better review than can my simple thoughts on it 10 years after publication. This series is not for me. Maybe I already have enough vampires in my life. But it's survived ten years, and withstood the Twilight overtake - sparkly vampires and all.

 My Rating: 2 candy corns

Friday, October 19, 2012

Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

This book sat on my bookshelf for a while before I picked it up, but then I knew it would be perfect for Witch Week. So I opened it up and got started.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

What I Liked: 1) The back story. There are a lot of historical references in the book, and the way they were all tied into what was going in the present was really interesting. I think that it brought a lot to the story. 2) Tamsin and Gabriel. These two were perfectly in sync with each other, almost too much. Well, other than their very first encounter in the book, which was funny. But they have this way of knowing what the other needs, which was cool. 3) The ending. Actually, the way the story just unwound itself as you read. It was awesome pacing all around with every piece being revealed a little at a time.

What I Didn't Like: The pacing was awesome, but there were some gaps in the story. It was enough so that it affected the flow of the story - a lot of stopping and starting. Like, how did we get from there to here? It just created a little of a problem for me staying connected with the story.

Overall Thoughts: An intriguing story with some fluffy characters, Once A Witch is a fun piece of fantasy that is short and enjoyable. There were a few gaps in the storyline which led to a little disconnect, but overall it was a fun little fantasy with a simple take on witches.

My Rating: 3 candy corns

There are three books up for grabs right now as a part of Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaways! Make sure you've entered all three!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Diviners by Libba Bray

I wasn't sure I was going to read this book. I had read another of Libba Bray's books and didn't really like it that much. I didn't get the humor. But then...I went to ATBF. Miz Bray was the keynote speaker at ATBF this year, and she was awesome. She was funny, and inspiring all at the same time. I couldn't help but want to read more of her stuff. And after listening to her talk about The Diviners, I decided to pick up a copy.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies." When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.
What I Liked: 1) The setting. I LOVE the 1920s. Love them. The history, the inhibitions, the clothes, the lingo...I think I would have done really well in the 1920s. I could totally be a flapper. Heh. It's very obvious that Miz Bray did her research when writing a book in this atmosphere. At Austin Teen Book Festival, she mentioned that one of the things she loved about this world was the language, and let me tell you, it was awesome. I think we should being back jargon from the 20s. And I have the urge to add "-ski" to the end of every word! 2) Evie. I thought she was a fun main character. She had her flaws, but for the most part she was just a bundle of energy and fun. She was trying to balance playing so many different roles at the same time, and so she spent a lot of time spinning in circles. 3) The magic. This book, after I read it, probably didn't fit into Witch Week, because The Diviners aren't witches who do spells and things. But they do have powers that have developed as a sort of signal to what is coming. And for most of the book, we are following around several of these Diviners, not just Evie (though she is the main character.) 4) The writing. Sometimes I am just so stunned by an author's capacity for words. Miz Bray was able to do that in this book. Sometimes YA books have a kind of...casual language. As if teen readers won't understand, or don't like having big words in their books. But I always appreciate when an author expects more of her readers and uses advanced language that can teach the reader something.

What I Didn't Like: It's really long. Like, really, really long. And it ain't an easy readski. But it really isn't a problem. Just be forewarned that you need to be able to devote a lot of time to it.

Overall Thoughts: The Diviners is a great, scary novel with some awesome magic thrown in. The characters all have rich, interwoven stories that slowly unravel as the book continues on. But the historical aspect is really the showstopper of this book. The 1920s come alive as you read, and you'll find yourself feeling transported back to the time of prohibition, speakeasies, and flappers. Remember to leave the lights on when you get tangled up in this story, otherwise you might find yourself hearing whistling in the darkness...

My Rating: 4 candy cornskis
And don't forget to get entered in the Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaways! There are currently three open for entry, so don't forget to enter all three!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (50)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books we are most anxiously awaiting.

Well, it's Witch Week, so my WoW this week is..............

Spellcaster by Claudia Gray 
Release Date: March 5th, 2013 

There isn't even a summary yet for this book on Goodreads, but I like Claudia Gray's other books, so I know I'm going to read this one!

What are y'all Waiting on this Witchy Wednesday? Leave me your links so I can visit when I get back in town!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Trick or Treat with Aimee Agresti

Trick or Treat everyone! So, I've already offered up one treat for the day, don't forget to get entered into today's giveaway, but because y'all are so awesome, I have a little something extra! Today, Aimee Agresti, author of Illuminate, which I completely loved everything about, has joined us and brought along all my favorite characters! And those characters that I thought were so great, are back here, to tell us about their Halloween plans!

So, join me in welcoming Aimee Agresti to Fuzzy.Coffee.Books!

I’m a huge fan of Halloween--in fact, I’m nibbling on candy corn right now!—so I’m thrilled to get to be part of the fab Fuzzy.Coffee.Books celebration! (Thanks, Courtney!)

In my novel, ILLUMINATE, teen angel Haven and her pals Lance and Dante are thrust into a world full of Halloween-worthy horror when they’re forced to battle a pack of soul-stealing devils. But how might this trio mark the holiday if they weren’t busy fighting demons? 
Let’s take a peek at what they’re up to…. 

Dante appears at Haven’s locker first thing Halloween morning. He’s wearing a headband of red, sequined devil horns. “It’s ironic, don’t you love it?!” he asks with that mischievous twinkle in his eye. In between bites of a mini-Snickers bar, he begs her to join him in crashing the big bash a senior football player is throwing that night. Dante knows it’s a long shot, they’re not the party-going types, but “everyone” is going and he admits he’s kind of curious. “Don’t worry about the costume thing, just wear your work uniform, be a sexy nurse or whatever,” he jokes.
She rolls her eyes. “Please. I wear scrubs at work. Scrubs!” she shakes her head. He, of course, knows this, and is making fun of her. “Anyway, I have that AP Euro test to study for and…” 

“Blah, blah, blah,” he cuts her off, giving up. “I know, I know. Forget it. Plan B,” he declares.
Plan B? A candy-filled scary-movie marathon at his place.

First, Haven swings by her after school job at Evanston General Hospital (where her adoptive mom, Joan, also works) to join in the festivities in the pediatric ward: costumes, sweets, face-painting, good cheer. With a witch’s hat perched on her head, Haven snaps photos of the patients and their families-- she knows everyone well--for a collage she’s planning to put together.

After work, Haven walks to Dante’s house. His mom answers the door, gives her a hug and sends her into the TV room. Lance is already there, he’s carving the pumpkins that had been sitting on Dante’s front porch, giving them perfect, mathematically symmetrical faces. He’s also armed with all manner of trivia on the history of All Hallows Eve. “Quick: name the Celtic holiday that Halloween derives from,” he greets Haven as she arrives. 

Easy: "Samhain, ancient festival of the dead,” she says, planting herself on the floor in front of a coffee table laden with treats. Dante, the budding chef, has whipped up cupcakes decorated with pumpkins, spider webs, and ghosts all artfully constructed from frosting. They’re almost too beautiful to eat. He pokes his head out of the kitchen where he’s roasting pumpkin seeds, the toasty scent wafts out as he opens the oven door.
Haven pulls the DVDs from her backpack: all highbrow horror classics, of course, because she takes her movie selections as seriously as she does her schoolwork. Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and “Psycho.” Stephen King’s “The Shining” and “Carrie.” “…Because every day of high school feels like being doused with pig’s blood, doesn’t it?” Haven deadpans as she presents her film choices to the boys. They nod in agreement. She also takes out individual goodie bags of candy Joan has prepared for all three of them. Snacks in hand, they trade quips about what they’re missing at the party then cue up “Carrie” and  settle in on the couch. 

By the end credits, Dante and Lance have dozed off and Haven has cracked open her AP Euro book. A truly scary thought for Halloween: The idea of not being prepared for tomorrow’s test. 
Anyone else want to chill with these three? Cause I do! And I really want some toasted pumpkin seeds! Big thanks to Aimee for joining in the festivities, and if y'all haven't read her book Illuminate, you are really missing out! Add it to your TBR so you'll be ready when Infatuate hits the shelves in March!

Trick or Treat Tuesday (Witches)

It's Trick or Treat Tuesday once again on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! Today's Treat is a copy of Melissa Marr's Carnival of Souls! You know the deal, so enter below for the chance to win a copy of this one!

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

I'm outta town this week, in Disney World with some of my favorite people in the world (other than y'all, of course!) but there is still a ton of fun stuff going on, so don't forget to visit!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr

I read all of Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series, and thought they were pretty good. A little...watered down. But I loved her creativity, so when I found out about her new series, I was excited to see what she'd come up with next.

Here is the summary from Goodreads: In a city of daimons, rigid class lines separate the powerful from the power-hungry. And at the heart of The City is the Carnival of Souls, where both murder and pleasure are offered up for sale. Once in a generation, the carnival hosts a deadly competition that allows every daimon a chance to join the ruling elite. Without the competition, Aya and Kaleb would both face bleak futures--if for different reasons. For each of them, fighting to the death is the only way to try to live. All Mallory knows of The City is that her father--and every other witch there--fled it for a life in exile in the human world. Instead of a typical teenage life full of friends and maybe even a little romance, Mallory scans quiet streets for threats, hides herself away, and trains to be lethal. She knows it's only a matter of time until a daimon finds her and her father, so she readies herself for the inevitable. While Mallory possesses little knowledge of The City, every inhabitant of The City knows of her. There are plans for Mallory, and soon she, too, will be drawn into the decadence and danger that is the Carnival of Souls.

What I Liked: 1) Well, first of all, this was anything but "watered down." There was much more emotion from the characters in this story, and that's something that I always love to see. Seeing the characters connect to each other (and I don't always mean in a good way) made it a lot easier for me to jump in and connect with the characters. 2) Emotional connection aside, the way that all of these characters are connected to each other - I guess spatially would be the best word to use - was awesome. There were all these overlapping storylines that we as the reader have an easy time following, but we are watching the characters try and unravel them. On top of the overarching storyline, this was a very fun addition to the plot. 3) Aya. Aya was my favorite character, with her kick-butt fighting skill and the secrets that she is trying to protect. She was multi-dimensional, giving the reader a lot of ways to connect with her. 4) The setting. We were jumping between The City, and the human world. So there wasn't anything special really about the human world (ah, the reason I tend to like spec fic comes to light!) but The City is shady and mysterious, and was one of the biggest questions I had about the story. I would love to just walk around it and peer around corners. You know, explore. Though it was pretty dangerous, according to Kaleb and Zevi!

What I Didn't Like: Well, there are still so many questions left unanswered that just made me anxious for the next one. Like any good cliffhanger!

 Overall Thoughts: Melissa Marr really hit one out of the park with Carnival of Souls. Her level of creativity cannot be denied as you get wrapped up in this story of a magical world competing with the human world. With an intriguing cast of characters that span the magical spectrum, Carnival of Souls has a character that everyone can feel connected with, and a story that will ensnare you from the beginning. This series is one I know I'm going to love!

My Rating: 5 candy corns

Don't forget to be entering the Trick or Treat Tuesday Giveaways, those are running until Halloween at midnight, and there are some great treats! Also, I'm currently at Walt Disney World on vacation, so if I don't reply to your comments immediately, I am getting to see them and appreciate them! If you follow me on Twitter, be watching for some fun pics from the World!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Finishing off Ghost Week, we have a review of Kendare Blake's Girl of Nightmares, the second book in the Anna Dressed in Blood series. I reviewed Anna Dressed in Blood last year for Halloween, and you check out that review here. I loved the first book, but held off on reviewing this one 'til Halloween. (If you haven't read the first book, look out for spoilers - I won't spoil book 2, but there are spoilers for book 1 in the summary!)

Here's the summary from Goodreads: It’s been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can’t move on. His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they’re right, but in Cas’s eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with. Now he’s seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong... these aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears. Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor.

What I Liked: 1) Cas following Anna. He fell in love with this ghost in the first book, but the lengths to which he is willing to go for her really become apparent in Girl of Nightmares. It was a very strong emotion, and it was easy to feel as I was reading. 2) I still like his sidekicks, Carmel and Thomas. They added a lot to the story. But in this one a new person was added, Jestine. I think I was expecting something specific from her, but even though that didn't show up, her presence was a fun change. It gave Cas something to fight for other than Anna. Everything that Jestine brought into the story was gave Cas reason to look into the history of the atheme and how it came into his family's possession in the first place. I loved getting to know some more about that history. I didn't miss it in the first book, but as this one went on, it made me more and more curious. 3) The final battle scene. This was what the whole book was building up to. And it was so nerve-wracking, and action-packed. It seemed to go on for such a long time, but not in a dragging on way, just in a, how can he take that much kind of way.

What I Didn't Like: 1) Some parts of the book were a little repetitive, and unlike the battle scene, did seem to drag on. I knew there was a point coming, but by the time we got there it was just too convoluted to be recognizable. 2) There was not as much character growth as I have come to expect from Miz Blake's writing. At times I felt like the plot was dragging the characters through the motions, while Cas and Crew dug in their heels.

Overall Thoughts: I've had a hard time not comparing Girl of Nightmares to Anna Dressed in Blood. I was so impressed by the writing and character metamorphosis in ADIB that when I didn't encounter that in this book, I was sad. I still loved the creativity that Miz Blake brought to her story, and some new characters brought a different dimension to Cas's life and his purpose. The scare factor wasn't as high as Anna Dressed in Blood, but still made for a fun ghost story with a definite evil dude! Anyone know if this is the end of the story?

My Rating: 3 candy corns

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox

My cousins used to tell ghost stories when I was a kid, and I'd always get freaked out by them. I'm either lucky, or unlucky enough to fall almost directly in the middle of a long line of cousins, so being freaked out was probably the goal. Despite or perhaps because of these stories, I still have an affection for ghost stories. So I was naturally drawn to The Dead Girls Detective Agency by Suzy Cox.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Pop quiz: What would you do if you had to solve your own murder to get anywhere in death? Maybe if I hadn't slept through my alarm, slammed into Kristin--my high school's reigning mean girl--or stepped in a puddle, destroying my mom's new suede DVF boots (which I borrowed without asking), I wouldn't have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, and I wouldn't have been pushed in front of that arriving train. But I did, and I was. When I came to, I was informed by a group of girls that I'm dead. And that because I died under mysterious circumstances, I can't pass straight over to the Other Side. But at least I'm not alone. Meet the Dead Girls Detective Agency: Nancy, Lorna, and Tess--not to mention Edison, the really cute if slightly hostile dead boy. Apparently, the only way out of this limbo is to figure out who killed me, or I'll have to spend eternity playing Nancy Drew. Considering I was fairly invisible in life, who could hate me enough to want me dead? And what if my murderer is someone I never would have suspected?

What I Liked: 1) Nearly the whole book, all of our characters are ghosts. I never stopped to think about how uninhibited a cast full of ghosts can be. They can "port" or move from one location to the next instantaneously. No messy cabs, cars, or subways. It was fun to trek along with these MCs because they were able to do things that the Living can't do. 2) Solving crimes! Crime-solving shows are my favorite to watch, so I loved getting to read along as Nancy, Lorna, Tess, and Charlotte (first person narrator) were working to solve Charlotte's murder. That's the whole idea, that in order for her to get out of "Limbo" - which is more like a high-end hotel - she has to solve her murder and receive her key. That was what made this whole thing so interesting. 3) The Mean Girls. It kind of surprised me, but these were girls I loved to hate. They just kind of swooped in after Charlotte died, making them the obvious suspects. 4) Edison. I didn't really comprehend him as hostile, more like, lost, in a sweet way. Well, you have to dig deep to find the sweet part, but it was pretty obvious that he was using his tough guy exterior to hide his pain. All that aside (as well as him being a ghost), he was a hottie!

What I Didn't Like: 1) Well, the ending kind of came out of left field. We had been working up to this ending, solving her case the whole time, and when it came it felt random. Out of all the suspects...this person was probably the least likely. Also, does anyone know if this book is going to have a sequel? I hope so.

Overall Thoughts: The Dead Girl Detective Agency was a light-hearted ghost story that managed to fall just shy of slapstick. I'm always afraid that when a ghost story doesn't choose the horror route, they become slapstick, but this one didn't. It was just good fun. Like, Casper. Yes, this is the Casper of ghost books! The characters all complement each other well, and their cause, solving the murders of teen ghosts, is admirable, and one they take seriously. The ending was...unexpected and a little random but it left an opening for another book. It is an easy read that many will enjoy curling up with on a Fall evening!

My Rating: 4 candy corns

Make sure you remember to enter this week's Trick or Treat Tuesday, for a chance to win a copy of Daniel Marks' Velveteen!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (49)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are most anxiously awaiting!

For Ghost Week, I have an exciting WoW...... 

Spirit and Dust by Rosemary Clement-Moore 
Release Date: May 14th, 2013 

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Daisy Goodnight can speak to the dead. It’s not the result of a head injury or some near-death experience. She was just born that way. And she’s really good at it. Good enough to help the police solve the occasional homicide. But helping the local authorities clear cold cases is one thing. Being whisked out of chemistry class by the FBI and flown to the scene of a murder/kidnapping in Minnesota? That’s the real deal. Before the promotion can go to Daisy’s head, she’s up to her neck in trouble. The spirits are talking, and they’re terrified. There’s a real living girl in danger. And when Daisy is kidnapped by a crime boss with no scruples about using magic—and Daisy—to get what he wants, it looks like hers is the next soul on the line.

I'm a big fan of her writing, and I loved Texas Gothic, the companion to this one. I am eager to get my hands on a copy of this one. We have a long time to wait still!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trick or Treat Tuesday (Ghosts)

Boo! That's right, it's Ghost Week and you're in for another treat today to celebrate Halloween here on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! Did y'all see my review of Velveteen yesterday? I've been so excited to share it with you, and since it is now available, I'm offering a copy of Velveteen up for grabs!

This giveaway is open anywhere Book Depository delivers too, and runs from now until midnight on Halloween. This is a separate giveaway from the one last week, so make sure you enter this one too! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now isn't that treat better than candy? Definitely less calories...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Velveteen by Daniel Marks

It's Ghost Week! So I just had to start this one off with a book that has been highly anticipated for a long time!
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Version: eGalley from Netgalley
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Random House Children's Books

I wanted to read Velveteen just from the title and cover. Yes, I totally judged this one by its cover. But my judgment was positive, so I think that's fine. But in case that cover isn't enough for you...

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem. The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind. Bonesaw. Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days. It'll be brutal . . . and awesome. But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker. Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

What I Liked: 1) Velveteen. Her name alone is perfection. Think about what velvet is, smooth and soft. Velveteen (the girl) is exactly not those things. She's kind of like...rough, and hard core. But she wears the name perfectly. At the same time, she is also more caring than I think she lets on. I mean, she's trying to save people, after all. 2) The uniqueness of the story. This is the first story I've read that takes place primarily in Purgatory, where the main characters are ghosts. Or spirits. I think I was expecting something more morbid, and while it was kinda morbid, it wasn't so morbid that it interfered with the story. There were a lot of unique aspects to this story, but I don't want to mention them all, rather let you be surprised when you read it for yourself. 3) The colors! This story comes alive (ironically) through the descriptions of setting and character. I don't know if this happens for y'all when you're reading, but for me, with really well-written books seem to come alive in vivid pictures as I'm reading. That's what the excellent descriptions were able to do in Velveteen. I always think of these as the colors, because instead of black and white words on a page, I see it all in color. 4) Nick. He was a different kind of male MC. He doesn't come until well into the story, and he takes a backseat to Velveteen. Seems like in a lot of YA stories, the guy is the...Alpha. Not so in this book. Velveteen definitely takes the lead ALMOST all of the time, and it gives Nick an interesting role to play. 5) The surprise. Not saying anything else. Don't even ask.

What I Didn't Like: The ending was a little gory for me. Seriously. I cover my eyes when they show blood on Grey's Anatomy though, so take from that what you will. I would soooo never make it as a doctor. But yeah, the end, it's descriptively gory. That should tell you just how good the details are in this book though.

Overall Thoughts: Velveteen is a deliciously morose story that is full of fire. The main and supporting characters play the equivalent of super hero/policemen/ghost hunters in their world, but they do it with an edge that comes from living in the land of purgatory. And then you get to go along with Velveteen as she illegally haunts the aboveground. Everything about this story is unique and appealing to anyone who loves a good story!

My Rating: 5 shots
This book is officially released tomorrow, so make sure you're ready for it!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

I'll be the first to admit that I love Alice in Wonderland. It's one of my favorite stories, so when I come across new interpretations of it, I always get excited to read it. And throw in some zombies, I was definitely looking forward to see how this would all work together.

Here is the summary from Goodreads: She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever. Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone. Her father was right. The monsters are real…. To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies…. I wish I could go back and do a thousand things differently. I'd tell my sister no. I'd never beg my mother to talk to my dad. I'd zip my lips and swallow those hateful words. Or, barring all of that, I'd hug my sister, my mom and my dad one last time. I'd tell them I love them. I wish... Yeah, I wish.

What I Liked: 1) The first thing that stood out to me was the language. It was hilarious. Ali and her friends have very good senses of humor, so their jokes were funny, but it wasn't even so much what they said, as how they said it. Also, probably some of the funniest comments were made by Ali's grandparents who were looking up teen slang online and then trying to use it. It will keep you laughing throughout the book. 2) Cole. I don't know what it is about Cole - actually, no, I do know what it is. It's the black hoodie, the ninja moves, and the who-the-hell-cares attitude. This is a guy that the more you need to stay away from him, the more you can't, and that's the way that Ali saw him! 3) Kat - probably my favorite character. She was unapologetically egotistical - okay, let's call it confident, she was funny, and the kind of person I would like to be friends with. She's got some issues (issues is completely the wrong word, but I'm using it to avoid spoilers) that I hope get resolved (if that's possible) in the upcoming books. And it's obvious in her name who exactly she represents from the Alice story. 4) Zombies. This is a different kind of zombie than I've encountered in other books. They seem to be...evolving. Smarter, faster. It's actually kind of creepy!

What I Didn't Like: I didn't make some connections to the Alice story. I'm sure there were a lot more than I found, and our characters represented other characters from the Lewis Carrol story. I think, honestly, this is my fault. I think I was too excited to find out what was going to happen to pick up some of the more subtle hints. I know I'll be reading it again, and maybe I'll change this once I do!

Overall Thoughts: For my first Gena Showalter book, Alice in Zombieland hit this one out of the park. There are some vibrant characters and a completely unique story, with subtle nods at an old favorite of mine. I loved getting to know these characters and seeing a new kind of zombie coming into this popular subgenre. I'd recommend it to anyone who loves Alice, or zombies, or both!

 My Rating: 5 candy corns

Don't forget to enter the Trick or Treat Tuesday giveaway, for a chance to win a copy of this awesome book!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Book Behind The Mask

There is a trend that has appeared recently in YA books that I've noticed - Masks as a part of the cover. I've always loved masks, and what they represent as far as giving someone the opportunity to be someone different. Or, in a less positive light, to conceal their identity. And isn't dressing up a HUGE part of Halloween? Here are some of my favorite masked covers! What are some of yours?

Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
Venom by Fiona Paul
Remembrance by Michelle Madow

Asunder by Jodi Meadows
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor


It would seem that masks are becoming as popular as the ever-present, Girl-In-Dress cover. But at the same time, I never feel like any of these masked covers look the same or even similar. I just think they're lovely, and would love to recreate some of them for Halloween!

Make sure you enter this week's Trick or Treat Tuesday for a chance to win a copy of Gena Showalter's Alice in Zombieland!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (48)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we are most anxiously awaiting!

I know it's Zombie Week, but I just don't have a Zombie book to throw out there for y'all just yet. I'm just waiting on covers - you know how I don't like to post them without covers. Anyway, this week my WoW is............

Ashes of Twilight by Kassy Tayler 
Release Date: November 13th, 2012 

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Wren MacAvoy works as a coal miner for a domed city that was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century to protect the royal blood line of England when astronomers spotted a comet on a collision course with Earth. Humanity would be saved by the most groundbreaking technology of the time. But after nearly 200 years of life beneath the dome, society has become complacent and the coal is running out. Plus there are those who wonder, is there life outside the dome or is the world still consumed by fire? When one of Wren's friends escapes the confines of the dome, he is burned alive and put on display as a warning to those seeking to disrupt the dome’s way of life. But Alex’s final words are haunting. “The sky is blue.” What happens next is a whirlwind of adventure, romance, conspiracy and the struggle to stay alive in a world where nothing is as it seems. Wren unwittingly becomes a catalyst for a revolution that destroys the dome and the only way to survive might be to embrace what the entire society has feared their entire existence.

Definitely sounds interesting, doesn't it?

What are y'all waiting on this Spooky Wednesday? 

And don't forget to enter to win a copy of Alice in Zombieland as a part of this week's Trick or Treat Tuesday!