What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Hallowed was one of those highly anticipated books for me. I stayed up til midnight so I could download it on my Nook as soon as it was available. When I read the first book of the series, Unearthly, I really enjoyed it and couldn't wait to get my hands on Hallowed. Here is my review of Unearthly. Anyway, the wait is over, and I have once again been able to join Clara, Christian and Tucker in this world of angel-bloods and humans!
Here is the summary from Goodreads: For months part-angel Clara Gardner trained to face the raging forest fire from her visions and rescue the alluring and mysterious Christian Prescott from the blaze. But nothing could prepare her for the fateful decisions she would be forced to make that day, or the startling revelation that her purpose—the task she was put on earth to accomplish—is not as straightforward as she thought.

Now, torn between her increasingly complicated feelings for Christian and her love for her boyfriend, Tucker, Clara struggles to make sense of what she was supposed to do the day of the fire. And, as she is drawn further into the world of part angels and the growing conflict between White Wings and Black Wings, Clara learns of the terrifying new reality that she must face: Someone close to her will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

What I Liked: 1) The Angel Club. I thought adding this aspect to the story was interesting, because it brought the Angel-bloods together to talk and learn about their lives being Angel-bloods. I thought that it was really illuminating. 2) Christian. We got to know Christian a lot better in Hallowed. He was much more a central character in this book, even more so than Tucker. I liked getting to know him a little better, but Tucker will always be my favorite of the boys! 3) Angela. I wasn't a fan of Angela at all in Unearthly. She became more...human (ironically) in this book. I think it's because I started to understand her a little more. Growing up as she did without any guidance in the things that were going on, and suddenly she has a community of people who can help her out...I understand a little more why she's as...intense as she is. 4) The appearance of Clara's Dad. Whoa...did not see that one coming! Just when I think I've got everything figured out, Miz Hand hit me with this big surprise! If you didn't think Clara's life could get any more confusing, think again. 5) Adult Angel-bloods. In the first book, we have Clara and her brother who are the angel-bloods, and of course their mom, who is the only adult angel-blood in their life who can offer guidance and experience. But we are introduced to another community in Hallowed, a group of adult angel-bloods who can offer comfort and guidance to the teens who are struggling with their purposes as angels.

What I Didn't Like: 1) The big finish. Okay. I was saddened by the fact that this had to happen. I'm not saying that it shouldn't have been written this way, because it absolutely made the story what it was, but all the same. Be prepared to have some heartfelt tears for Clara and her family.

Overall Thoughts: Miz Hand is an excellent writer, that much was made clear when I read Unearthly. But her writing improved from Unearthly to Hallowed, and I was so happy to see it. She took her characters deeper, and the plotline became a more intricate web of events that keep the reader engaged from the first word. If you haven't started this series yet, I don't know what you're waiting for!

My rating: 5 shots

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Bone Dressing by Michelle I. Brooks

The premise of this book intrigued me immediately when Michelle sent me a brief summary. Little is given away in the summary, just enough to tease the reader into wanting to dive straight into it. Michelle did forewarn me that this was a darker story, so I wasn't sure exactly what I was getting into, but it didn't take long for me to be completely sucked into the story.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Time is running out & the Dark that's been chasing Syd for many lifetimes has finally caught up with her.

Sydney Roberdeau lost her parents as a young girl. Waiting for her life to start and the freedom that will come with her eighteenth birthday, Syd spends much of her time haunting the local cemetery. It is there, stretched out among the dead, that she feels most alive, most at home. Until one rainy night when Beau, Sarah and T.J. crash her ghostly sanctuary, appearing out of nowhere, turning her already inside-out world one degree past upside down.

Syd must now revisit past lives, dressing in the bodies of her previous selves & bone dressing. Her only chance to outrun the evil breathing down her neck is to face her own worst nightmares and her strongest desires. But if she can't stay out of trouble in this life, how can she possibly fix mistakes from past lives? And just how many lives has she lived, loved and lost? What is Syd exactly, and what will she risk for the life of a man she doesn't remember, the man she spent a lifetime with, the man she loves? Everything including her very own life?

Bone Dressing, the first in a series of seven books, will carry Syd and Beau on an adventure that transcends life itself.

What I Liked: 1) Syd. Syd isn't a shiny happy person. But there is something charming about her...feistiness. There is something about her that makes you want to understand and know more about her. She's a tough girl whose been through a lot, especially the loss of her parents, but she handles it in her own way. It makes for a unique and interesting MC. Also, she has a very sarcastic sense of humor, which I found really entertaining. 2) The concept of "Bone Dressing." Bone dressing, which you can deduce from the summary, is the layers of past lives that lie on Syd's bones. This was a really interesting way to view the idea of reincarnation and time-travel. Two words which I'm pretty sure never appeared anywhere in the book. 3) The plot. There was never a dull moment in Bone Dressing. Once I had started reading, I didn't want to put it down. But even with the exciting plot twists, it didn't get confusing at all. 3) Beau. Beau is the male counterpart to Syd. He takes all of her attitude in stride and calls her on her faults. Between Beau, Sarah, and T.J., I can tell that Syd's life is never going to be the same from the moment she meets them. They develop a relationship unlike any Syd seems to be involved in, and I love how that's helping her grow.

What I Didn't Like: Nothing!

Overall thoughts: Bone Dressing will stun you, startle you, and ultimately, make you fall in love with it as you explore the dark recesses of love, loss, karma and good vs. evil. I loved the story and the plot, and can't wait to see where the characters go next! This is definitely one to add to your TBR list!

My rating: 5 shots

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bedtime Stories

When is your favorite time to read? Do you have time to read during the day, or do you find yourself sneaking a book out of your bag during your lunch break? Do you carve out an hour at night to get your reading done?

Me, I like to read at night. Well, that's really the only time during the week that I have time. I'm one of these people who wakes up at the very last minute so I still have enough time to get ready and make it to work on time, so definitely no early morning reading. Sometimes I listen to audiobooks at work, if there is no one there. But mostly, it's bedtime reading for me.

For my fellow night readers, are there certain books that you won't read at night? I'm one of those people who is extremely susceptible to the power of suggestion from books and movies and have found myself sleeping with the lights on because of things I've read or watched on television. So I'm curious, what makes a good bedtime story for you? Do you just pick up whatever it is you're reading at the time, without a thought as to subject matter? Or is it a conscious choice?

My biggest concern is usually how many books are there on the bed. Too many to keep me from my pillow, it's time to rearrange the bookshelf.

So, what kind of bedtime stories do you like?

Windfall by Krissi Dallas

Not so long ago, I read a book called Phantom Island: Wind. The author self-published it, and I was lucky enough to stumble across a copy in my local, now defunct, Borders. That book has since been republished under the Tate Publishing banner as two volumes, Windchaser and Windfall. About a month ago, I reviewed Windchaser, and you can read that review here. Now, I'm excited to share my thoughts on book 2, Windfall.

Here is the summary from Goodreads: Transported along with four friends onto a mysterious and magical Island, Whitnee Terradora wants nothing more than to return home safely—until she starts performing supernatural feats such as cyclones, healing, and communicating with the plant she accidentally set on Fire.

Suddenly, finding the Island seems like more than just a coincidence. When an ancient prophecy causes a controversy among the leaders of the White Island, Whitnee questions who is looking out for her interests, and who is interested only in gaining power. Even Gabriel, her one ally on the Island, has secrets that both confuse and allure her.

Who can Whitnee really trust to find out the truth about herself and her missing father? Could Whitnee really be the answer to the White Island's problems and if so, is it worth the danger of never returning home?

What I Liked: 1) The setting. I love the Island. If I could choose any place I've ever visited in a book to live, Phantom Island would be my choice. I may have said that during my Windchaser review, because I felt the same way while reading Windchaser. In Windfall, we to explore the Island even more. We visit the Geodorian lands, the Hydrodorian lands, and the Palladium. *fingers crossed that at some point we get to visit the Pyras in their native lands!* I've also heard, or maybe I dreamed it, that in the next book we'll be getting a map of the White Island. That would be awesome, because the one I drew for myself just doesn't cut it. 2) Gabriel. We got much better acquainted with Gabriel in Windfall. He is in my top five book boyfriends. Hot island guy, a bit of an attitude, with a hidden sensitive side? What girl doesn't want that? I love Caleb too, don't get me wrong. I have a sneaking suspicion that we are leading into a Team Caleb vs. Team Gabriel scenario. Sorry Caleb, I've got to go Team Gabriel all the way. I mean, in my imagination, he never wears a shirt. Ever. 3) The characters. We got to know most of the non-island characters pretty well in Windchaser, but you learn more intimate details about their lives in Windfall. If it's possible, they become even more real. Especially the two younger members of the Traveling party, Amelia and Kevin. 4) The antagonist! One thing I'll say about Windchaser is that there is no clear antagonist. In Windfall, you learn without a doubt who the antagonist is. We're not entirely sure why he/she is the antagonist, though there are some hints. It's nice to know who the common enemy is, and not having to be suspicious of everyone Whitnee and her friends meet while traveling the Island. 5) The ending. There is a big surprise at the end, that made me gasp and then smile with pleasure. If hot island boy abs don't do it for ya, know that the ending holds the promise of a great surprise.

What I Didn't Like: The only complaint I have is impatience. I'm too impatient to get back to the Island, waiting until Spring is nearly torturous.

Overall thoughts: One of the most creative books I've ever read, Windfall is a masterful study in imagery and character development. I love the characters, the wonderful setting, and the exciting plot. The story is so beautifully painted that it enables your imagination to easily bring it to life. Make sure to add the Phantom Island books to your TBR list if they aren't there yet.

My rating: 5 shots

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Vagabond King by James Conway

This book was sent to me by the author for a fair and honest review.
Here is the summary from Goodreads: When his mother dies and he discovers the man he believed was his father is not, sixteen year old Chris is haunted by a mysterious apparition that forces him to question his pampered existence and embark upon a quest to find himself. Hoping she will “make a man of him”, he seeks sanctuary in the home of Magda, a middle aged waitress with a penchant for sex, only to discover she lives with her father, a cigarette smoking, beer swilling immigrant.

Chris hates his shabby new surroundings at the end of the street and the shabby old man at the end of his life who spends his days listening to old blues records and making Chris fetch him fresh cans of beer. But, when the old man tells tales of Communism, torture, escape and the mysterious medallion he wears, Chris learns that, like the old man’s skipping records, history repeats itself and the roles we play have been played many times before.

What I Liked: 1) The overall idea of history repeating itself. This idea was well researched and I thought it was played out very nicely in the story. 2) Chris's convictions. Okay, I may not have agreed with all of his convictions, but he stuck with them, no matter what anyone told him. 3) The ending. There was a lot going on in this book, but everything was nicely packaged at the end. I understood the different plot points a lot better once I reached the end of the book and saw how everything came together.

What I Didn't Like: 1) That being said, it took a long time for me to piece this book together. Throughout most of the book, I felt like saying, "this book is way smarter than me." My confusion led me to have a hard time reading it. 2) Additionally, there were other aspects of the book that I found hard to figure out. For example, the time period. I knew it was sometime post-1960, but beyond that, I couldn't figure it out. Often, being confused about small details like that can distract me for the entire book. Also, Chris's age. I was vascilating between 14 and 18. That's a pretty big age difference, but it was never really confirmed until the very end when I think I finally landed on 17-18. There is a big difference between a 14 year old character and an 18 year old character, and not being able to figure out where on the age spectrum he fell was a hindrance in figuring out the book. 3) What kind of timeline did this book cover? That affects his age too, I guess. Did he start of as a young adolescent and end the book as an adult? I still have so many questions about the story, and it led to my not being able to enjoy what I was reading.

Overall thoughts: I have to come back to the fact that this book was too smart for me. It left me confused and wondering what exactly it was all about. Combine that with a cast of characters that really didn't appeal to me, and I'll admit I had a few issues with this book. That being said, I think that there are some who will enjoy this story. It's an interesting examination of the idea that history repeats itself with historical references and a cyclical story. Unfortunately, it just wasn't for me.

My rating: 2 shots

Waiting on Wednesday (24)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books we can't wait to read!

This week, my Waiting on Wednesday book is.................

Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Release Date: June 12th, 2012

If you haven't read Hourglass, Myra McEntire's first book in this series, you should check it out. I've read it several times, and it seems like I take something different away every time I do. Like making new discoveries every time you read it! Can't wait for more of Emerson's story!

Check Timepiece out on Goodreads!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Does this book even need an introduction?

Here's the summary from Goodreads: In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.

With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.

What I Liked: 1) Tessa. I liked Tessa much better in this book than I had in Clockwork Angel. In Clockwork Angel, I mostly felt sorry for her, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But you definitely see more of her in Clockwork Prince, how she has grown and how she handles the struggles she's handed. 2) Parabatai. The blood brothers aspect of Jem and Will's relationship. I like the way they complement each other. I'm loyal to Jace, but I definitely see the appeal of both of these guys! Jem is sweet and sensitive, and Will is all passionate and broody. I'm Team Will, but my sister is Team Jem. I'm not going to say what happens at the end of the book, but my jaw definitely dropped! 3) Questions and Answers. This is one of my favorite things about Cassie Clare's books. Throughout the plotline, there are many twists and turns, and so many new questions popping up all the time. But she introduces all of these new questions without confusing the reader. It isn't predictable, but sometimes I think that authors try to keep readers engaged by throwing problem after problem at them, and things get too confusing. Not the case in Miz Clare's writing. 4) MAGNUS BANE! If you haven't read any of the Infernal Devices or The Mortal Instruments, then you are unaware of the fabulosity of Magnus Bane. He's one of my favorite characters! 5) Continuity. The Infernal Devices books generations before The Mortal Instruments but I love being able to pick out the family members of the characters that I love from The Mortal Instruments. I've found that I've learned a lot more about TMI from TID. 6) Emotional assault. Okay, that's a weird way to say it. But so many emotional things happened in this book that I felt like I experienced the rainbow of emotions. It's true, that was great!

What I Didn't Like: How long until the next book?

Overall thoughts: As expected, Cassandra Clare delivers another phenomenal addition to the World of the Nephilim. If you haven't read any of her books, I suggest you get on it, stat. The whole series captures you and lets you explore an incredibly imaginative and spellbinding world.

My rating: 5 shots

Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal

Anyone inspect your life and think, yeah, this is totally not what I expected ten years ago? Not like, oh, dang, just you could never have predicted what life would be like for you in ten years? Sweet Valley Confidential is ten years after high school for the Sweet Valley Twins. I grew up reading the Sweet Valley books, so when I learned this book was coming out I was very excited. Of course, it's written when Jessica and Elizabeth are 27 years old. Technically, if it was 2011 in Sweet Valley Confidential, and the twins were 15 when the first SVH book was published in 1983, they'd actually be 43 now. Not 27. But still, I couldn't help but want to read this book.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Ten years after graduating from Sweet Valley High, the Wakefield twins have had a falling-out of epic proportions. When Jessica commits a complete and utter betrayal, Elizabeth flees to New York to escape the pain and immerse herself in her lifelong dream of becoming a journalist.

Jessica remains in California, dealing with the fallout of her heart-wrenching choices. She has a career she loves and lots of old friends, but misses her sister, her oldest friend. With Elizabeth as her enemy, Sweet Valley is no longer the idyllic town of their youth.

Jessica longs for forgiveness, but Elizabeth can't forget her twin's duplicity. She decides the only way to heal her broken heart is to get revenge. Always the "good" twin, Elizabeth is now about to turn the tables...

What I Liked: Reading SVC is like catching up with old friends. Ya know after you are gone for a while, then come back and have to catch up with everyone. Going back to school after summer break, or meeting up with old high school friends after being away at college. Nothing about Elizabeth and Jessica's lives were what I would have anticipated. That is an interesting perspective about books. When I finish a book or series that I've become really invested in, it's almost like the characters have become so real, I just assume that their lives continue even after the books have ended. And what I had pictured for the Wakefield twins was so completely different than this book. But something about being back in that universe was like...comfort food for my soul. 2) Alternating perspective. I know, I know, I am usually anti-alternating perspective. But it works for this book. Maybe that's because I know the characters so well. But this book would not work without the alternating perspectives of the twins. 3) Continuity of characters. Ms. Pascal did not leave us to wonder what became of very many of our beloved characters in Sweet Valley. At the very end, she even gave us a list of the characters and a small bio as to where they were now, 10 years later. I loved reading that. 3) Unexpected surprises. There were many surprises about the futures of the people of Sweet Valley. Not all of them pleased me, but in my opinion, if everything was as I imagined it would be, this book wouldn't have been very interesting.

What I Didn't Like: I know that the Sweet Valley books weren't the best or most creative books ever written. But I can't bring myself to criticize something that made me as nostalgic as this one did.

Overall thoughts: For fans of the Sweet Valley series, I suggest you pick this one up. This is a great opportunity to catch up with some old friends and see what they've made of their lives. You'll be surprised, excited, happy, and sad at different points in the story. Be prepared for a round of nostalgia as you travel to the old stomping grounds of Sweet Valley, California.

Overall rating: 4 shots

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

This was a long-awaited book for me. I thought the premise sounded so cute, and I'm always game for a new contemporary romance.

Here is the summary from Goodreads: Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

What I Liked: 1) The idea. I will always read a book with a title like this, because I am a self-admitted hopeless romantic. I believe in things like fairy tales and love at first sight. Yep. Anyway, so the idea of this book appealed to me on an emotional level. And I thought it was well executed. 2) The time frame. So much of this book is about timing. Hadley was 4 minutes late for her plane. If she hadn't been, the rest of the ensuing events wouldn't have happened. And the entire book takes course over the following 24 hours. I really liked that sense of timing. 3) Hadley's relationship with her father. Okay, to say I liked it...that's different. I liked the realness of it in the book. She really doesn't have a great relationship with her dad, he lives far away, he left she and her mom, and now he's getting remarried. The complicated relationship they have was very well, and fully examined in the book, and I really enjoyed that part of it.

What I Didn't Like: I'm one of those people who has to feel connected to the characters. I know there have been discussions regarding what draws people into a book, plot versus characters. And for me, it's characters. I have a harder time getting into a book when I don't connect to the characters. And while I think that Oliver and Hadley are characters that SOME will relate to, I just didn't feel that connection.

Overall thoughts: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is a cute story with a well thought out and interesting plot line. The relationships that are developed are very real and change throughout the book. I think fans of romance stories will be intrigued by the Hadley and Oliver and how quickly their relationship develops.

My rating: 3.5 shots

Cheers and Happy Reading! Oh, I have a question for y'all! Can you read the font on the summary, the blockquote? I'm fiddling with some of the design aspects so I was curious if y'all found it hard to read. Thanks for the input!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (23)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine. It highlights the books that we just can't wait to be released!

This week, my WoW is............

The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
Release Date: May 1, 2012

I can't say that I've read all of Rick Riordan's books, because he's written a series of adult novels that I haven't ventured into. But I have read all of his children's books - Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, and the Kane Chronicles. The Serpent's Shadow is the third and apparently final (boo!) installment of the Kane Chronicles, a series about Egyptian mythology. I have enjoyed The Kane Chronicles as much, if not more than Percy Jackson, and suggest that if you are a Percy fan, you look into this series. I can't wait to find out how he wraps this series up!

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

I purchased this book back in October at the Austin Teen Book Festival. I hadn't ever read a book by Melissa Walker, and I didn't make it to her panel at ATBF either, so I was very unfamiliar with her. As a result, this book ended up staying on my shelf until I pulled it down over the weekend. Now that I've read it, I'm kicking myself for not reading it sooner.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Does falling in love mean falling out of faith? Small Town Sinners is the story of Lacey, a small-town girl who is excited to star in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, until a childhood friend reappears and makes her question her faith.

What I Liked: 1) Lacey. I just...understood her so well. She was a lot like 16-year-old me in a lot of ways. Well...maybe more like 14 year old me. I was more outgoing once I hit sixteen. But, her good girl, shy personality. That's all familiar. But what really hit home was the questions she had about her faith. It's the questions that I've always been too afraid to ask. Too worried that my own faith would be called into question if I vocalized my wonderings. Okay, before this becomes a religious discussion...2) The Hell House concept. I know places have them for Halloween, but it's nothing I've ever experienced, and I'd like to some day. I wonder what it would be like. I tried to visualize the different parts, because I felt like they'd been described in detail. It usually works for me, but this is something I'd like to see in person. I think. 3) The secondary characters. I consider everyone other than Lacey to be a secondary character in this book. Maybe some wouldn't consider Ty secondary, as he is part of the reason Lacey is lead to her questions. But I think she would have gotten there without his influence anyway. Maybe I'm projecting myself onto her because I see so many similarities between us, but still. His influence is, in my opinion, no greater than the influence of Dean and his struggles, Starla Joy and Tessa and their struggles, and Lacey's parents. But together, these characters create a circle of influence around her and they all lead to her questions and ultimately, her answers.

What I Didn't Like: Nothing.

Overall thoughts: This book stunned me. I've been thinking about it with alarming consistency ever since I finished it. It's very thought-provoking. I loved absolutely everything about it, so much so that I've had a hard time putting my thoughts into words. One of the highest compliments I can pay to a book is that I want to talk to people about it. Not just tell them to read it, but have lengthy conversations about what it is, what it means. In the way that scholars discuss Dickens, Shakespeare or Proust. And this book is one of those rarities. *ruined for all other books for now* Thank you, Melissa Walker, for writing this novel that displays truth in fiction.

My rating: 5 shots

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Kiki Hamilton's debut, The Faerie Ring was one I was definitely looking forward to. I enjoy stories about the myths of faeries and I because the setting was historical, it sounded like a new kind of book.
Here is the summary from Goodreads: The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…

What I Liked: 1) I liked Tiki. I thought she was a well-written and very personable main character. Her relationships with Shamus, Fiona, Toots and Clara were very strong and familial, and as a big sister myself, I definitely related to her protective nature to her adopted siblings. 2) Reiker. I wasn't sure what to make of Reiker in the beginning, there is a mystery surrounding him that I never understood until it smacked me in the face. Okay, not literally, but I didn't figure it out until Miz Hamilton spelled it out for me. I enjoy that kind of mystery and always appreciate it when an author can make me feel foolish for not figuring it out sooner! 3) The setting. Set in London, it's easy to visualize and understand where everyone is going, and what they are doing. I'm pretty certain that every place that was described was a real place, and things like that always make faerie tales feel more real to me. 4) Accurate Faerie myths. There are many myths about faeries, but there are some that everyone knows. And it's always obvious to me when an author does his or her research well enough to know what those are, but is also able to put their own spin on things. And Miz Hamilton does that very well.

What I Didn't Like: I expected more about the faeries, honestly. Because of the word faerie being in the title, I expected much more involvement along that story line. But the title isn't wrong. It's called The Faerie Ring, and the ring of the Faeries is truly the main connection from Faeries. We did meet a few though, so I expect that in the future books, there will be more Faerie involvement.

Overall thoughts: The Faerie Ring was an unexpected and fun story. The characters were all very real and personable, and the setting made the story all the more interesting. I still have some questions about who, what, when, where, why and how regarding the faeries, but I'm intrigued enough to know I want to read the next book, The Torn Wing, slated to come out sometime in 2012.

My rating: 3.5 shots

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (22)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme (though I'm not good about doing it weekly) hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that highlights the books we are anxiously awaiting!

This week I'm waiting on...

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
Release Date: August 7th, 2012

I read book one of this series, Anna Dressed in Blood around Halloween. Read my review here. I really loved the Anna and Cas's story in ADIB, and I can't wait to see what is going to happen now. Is Cas's going to continue to ghost-bust now that Anna's been cast into Hell? Girl of Nightmares is definitely going on my TBR list, you should add it to yours too!

Cheers and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

December Wrap-Up

Happy New Year! Wow, 2012! I have a high school reunion coming up soon...Anyway, here's a quick wrap-up of what I read and reviewed during December 2011.

5 Shots
The Fate of the Muse by Derrolyn Anderson
Crossed by Ally Condie
Windchaser by Krissi Dallas
A Hidden Fire by Elizabeth Hunter
Destined by Jessie Harrell
Clockwise by Elle Strauss

4 Shots
The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
Prized by Caragh M. O'Brien

3 Shots
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi (3.5 shots)
Ruthless by Sara Shephard (3.5 shots)

Also read (some of these you'll see reviews of very soon!):
The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Windfall by Krissi Dallas
This Same Earth by Elizabeth Hunter
The Christmas Chronicles by Jeff Guinn
Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal
The Return of Rafe McKade by Nora Roberts
The Pride of Jared McKade by Nora Roberts
The Heart of Devin McKade by Nora Roberts

I didn't have as much time during December to get reading done, but I did finish my Goodreads goal for 2011! Happy New Year, once again!

Cheers and Happy Reading!


Hi friends! Please forgive me for my absence, I have been very ill, and it's kept me from doing much of anything, reading, blogging...being human. But I'm getting better now, and it's time to announce the winner of the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway!

There were well over 200 entries, plus all the extra entries from you guys. I am so blessed to have all of you as supporters and followers, and I'm glad to be able to share stuff with ya! And thank you for everyone who participated in the trivia questions! I got those all added up and tallied, some of you had 19 entries! That was so much fun for me, to be able to add a little game to my giveaway! I wish I could give everyone prizes. Unfortunately, I can only choose one winner. And Random.org has spoken. Entry number 28, is our winner of the year of new releases!

Congratulations to Amber from The Musings of AlMyBnEnR!

The winner has been contacted, but if I don't hear back in 48 hours, I'll choose another winner! Thanks again for everyone who participated! Stick around, there are going to be more fun reviews and giveaways on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books!

Cheers and Happy Reading!