What I'm Reading: Get Even by Gretchen McNeil

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

Does it seem like my blog has been dominated by Richelle Mead recently? I know, I've been reading a lot of her stuff recently. But I can't help it. SO GOOD! Anyway, The Golden Lily is the second book of the Bloodlines series, a companion series to her popular Vampire Academy. I read Bloodlines back in October for the Big Bad Halloween Event. Read that review here. Well, after finishing Bloodlines, I was immediately excited for The Golden Lily.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.

Reading The Golden Lily was so different from reading Bloodlines. When I read Bloodlines, I hadn't read any of the VA books. But between reading that book, and reading The Golden Lily, I read them all. So I was a little more versed in the world of the Moroi, Strigoi, Dhampirs and Alchemists. You can read this series without having read VA. But it is a different experience to have that background. What I Liked: 1) Sydney. I liked her way better in this one than I had in the last. I remember in Bloodlines I felt like Sydney was so alone all the time. She's opened up more, and is more willing to be social. I guess the best way to put it would be that she's learned a little more about social graces. She also isn't as hesitant around the vampires as she was in the first, which is part of the reason she wasn't as isolated. 2) Adrian. Adrian, Adrian, Adrian! I didn't really care for Adrian in the VA books, and I tolerated him in Bloodlines. Oh, but this one, he just kinda made me melt. Seriously. And I could tell where his feelings were, and the subject of his affection was so oblivious, and it just made me giggle! I mean, it was soooooo obvious! I can tell there are going to be some complications with that in the near future! 3) Sonya and Dmitri's science project. If you've read Bloodlines you'll know about the weird stuff that happened during the Strigoi attack at the end of the book. Well, Dmitri and Sonya are on a MISSION to find out why that happened. They are doing all sorts of experiments to see if there is something more they can glean from the outcome. I loved seeing all of this go on, because it just made me even more curious about where the series is going to go. 4) We were introduced to a new group in this book. An ancient offshoot of the Alchemists, the Vampire Hunters are out for blood. Just when I start to think I know all the major players, Richelle Mead throws someone new into the story. I can always appreciate the loops that we're thrown. 5) Jill and Angeline. These two are kind of the comic relief of the story. Between Jill's bizarre moods toward Sydney (if you can't figure out what that's all about, you just aren't having enough fun in showbiz!) and Angeline's outbursts of emotion...yeah. These two add the humor that the story needs to maintain a balance of heavy and light.

What I Didn't Like: The only thing I can complain about now is that I need the next book now!!!

Overall Thoughts: The Golden Lily took all of the things I have loved about Bloodlines and the VA series, and just made them better. The characters are becoming more real, the plot gets more twisted, and everything just gets more fun! Sydney has become a more likeable person, and Adrian is definitely going on my list of book loves! The Golden Lily is a wonderful addition to this intriguing world, and I think everyone who likes the vampire subgenre in paranormal should check out this series!

My Rating: 5 shots

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

I purchased The Girl of Fire and Thorns a few months ago, but with everything else on my TBR list, it got left on the shelf for a while. Finally, after reading some reviews, I knew I had to pick it up and read it!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one. But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will. Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young. Most of the chosen do.

What I Liked: 1) I loved Elisa. Seriously, how interesting to find a heroine like her! There are several passages in the book that I read and just wanted to hug her. I could completely empathize with her at times, especially at times when she felt like she wasn't enough for what people were expecting of her. But I also loved watching her change throughout the book. If anyone out there is ever looking for an example of character growth in a book, I'd recommend the check out Elisa in The Girl of Fire and Thorns. She's a meek, timid girl in the beginning, who would be happier being invisible than anything else, and then to grow into the leader and the fighter that she is at the end. Ah! So great! 2) This was a long book, but it was split into three parts, which I really appreciated. The breaks were in appropriate places and fit well into the storyline. Sometimes breaks like this can stop the flow of a story, but this book is a marathon, not a sprint, and the breaks were definitely a welcome breath. 3) The Godstone. There is so much myth and mystery around the Godstone that Elisa possesses. And with each different place that Elisa visits, she (and the reader) gets to learn more and more about it. It is so much more than just a calling that she thinks she will never live up to. I was so curious about where that was going and what was expected of her. 4) The Malficio. You will have to read it to figure out who exactly these people are, but I loved their attitude, their loyalty, and their bravery. If there was ever anyone to root for, it was these folks!

What I Didn't Like: Where were all the likeable guys? There is supposed to be some romance, and even Elisa begins to learn of romance and love as the story goes on, but I didn't much care for the guys in this story. There was one that I did...and then all of a sudden....yeah. Couldn't believe what all went on with that. It was kind of heartbreaking. But I thought by the end of the book there would be one standout guy that we could look forward to getting more of in the next story. But so far, no.

Overall Thoughts: There were parts of this story that I loved. And there were parts of it that I was disappointed in. For a strong female heroine, look no further than Elisa. She really grows up and comes into her own as the story progresses, and she is the brightest spot of the book. The plot is very interesting and has lots of details, with only a few holes left open. There is great adventure and smart strategy going on and I really appreciated the intellect of the characters. I still wished that I'd felt like there was a stand-out male MC, but there is still time for that in this trilogy! The next book, The Crown of Embers, is set to release on September 18th, 2012 from Greenwillow Books. I've already added it to my TBR!

My Rating: 4 shots

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (41)

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

 This week my WoW is.............. 
What's Left of Me by Kat Zhang
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t… For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable–hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet…for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.
This sounds interesting. I mean, the whole two in one body kind of thing. I just don't see how that can be resolved! That's why I'm excited to read it!
 What are y'all waiting on this lovely Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rapture by Lauren Kate

When I first read Fallen, I wasn't sure I was that into it. But I read it again, several months later, and just fell in love with these characters. Then I didn't like Torment as well, but when Passion came out, I really enjoyed it. I think that for me, I was so curious about the history of Luce and Daniel, that until I could figure some of that out, I was too distracted. So I, like many others, anxiously anticipated Rapture, the finale of this series.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: The sky is dark with wings . . . . Like sand in an hourglass, time is running out for Luce and Daniel. To stop Lucifer from erasing the past they must find the place where the angels fell to earth. Dark forces are after them, and Daniel doesn’t know if he can do this—live only to lose Luce again and again. Yet together they will face an epic battle that will end with lifeless bodies . . . and angel dust. Great sacrifices are made. Hearts are destroyed. And suddenly Luce knows what must happen. For she was meant to be with someone other than Daniel. The curse they’ve borne has always and only been about her—and the love she cast aside. The choice she makes now will be the only one that truly matters. In the fight for Luce, who will win?

What I Liked: 1) The characters. I'm amazed that even though we're four books into this story, we can still learn new things about these characters. The development from book one until the very end has been wonderful. Miz Kate has mastered the art of revealing small pieces of information - not so little that you can't connect with her characters, but not so many that the mystery is gone. I love this about her writing. 2) Daniel. Ah, how can you not like Daniel? He's strong, but sweet and caring also. And very smart. 3) The big reveal. There is something odd going on throughout most of the book. Memories and reactions that Luce is having to different things that are happening. When the cause behind all of this is revealed (as much to Luce as to the reader), you should be expecting it, but hopefully pleased by it. I was. It explains so much, and really tied the story together. Some may be disappointed that it becomes so obvious, but that didn't bother me. 4) The adventure. There is so much going on in this book. They travel all around, much like in Passion, but there are unique goals to accomplish and a strict timeline. There were times when my heart was pounding wondering how they were going to get out of whatever scrape they'd gotten themselves into. If you hadn't found something to root for before now, you certainly will in Rapture. 5) The very end. Reading this was like....reading the end of Harry Potter. That's how I described it to my sister. It's comforting, but at the same time leaves you feeling that this story will continue, Luce and Daniel and Cam and Arriane and everyone else. They lives will go on, even if we aren't reading it, and we are left to our own imaginations to decide what would happen next for them. When I closed the final page, I just sat quietly and kind of digested everything I'd just read. It gave me warm fuzzies, and I loved that. 6) The story isn't without some heartbreak. I'll throw that out there. It made the ending a little bittersweet, but it also brought a certain seriousness to the whole story, scaring Luce especially into realizing that everything that was happening was definitely real.

What I Didn't Like: Nothing. I loved everything.

Overall Thoughts: Rapture was a perfect ending to the Fallen series. All of the outstanding questions were answered, but without a finality that implies that the story just ends. Like all good stories, it keeps moving forward, whether we are reading it or not. It opens up a lot for our imagination. It was creative and inventive, packed with adventure and romance. I'm looking forward to reading the whole series again, wondering what new things I'll pick up on now, knowing how it ends!

My Rating: 5 shots

Monday, June 25, 2012

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

I really love mermaids, and always have ever since I was a little kid. I took a little break from mermaid books for a while, but decided the other day to pick up Of Poseidon. I've seen some great stuff about it, so I was really excited to give it a read.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Galen, a Syrena prince, searches land for a girl he's heard can communicate with fish. It’s while Emma is on vacation at the beach that she meets Galen. Although their connection is immediate and powerful, Galen's not fully convinced that Emma's the one he's been looking for. That is, until a deadly encounter with a shark proves that Emma and her Gift may be the only thing that can save his kingdom. He needs her help--no matter what the risk.


What I Liked: 1) Syrena - never once were the characters referred to as mermaids (though in my head, that's how I pictured them). This was a different take on the mythical creatures that we think of mermaids being though. They are stronger and more powerful, and can appear human, or semi-human when they need to. It was just different and kept me interested. 2) Galen. Hm.....kinda yummy. Then again, I always picture him with 6-pack abs and not wearing a shirt. No matter what he was doing. I kind of felt that we didn't get to know him all that well, but part of that was due to how formal he seemed to be all the time. He just wasn't comfortable mingling in the human world for as long as he was, so his formality became a barrier to getting to know him. 3) Emma learning about her gift. That was definitely fun to see her learning about it, learning to use it and to trust it. I don't want to give too much away, but the parts of her story that are with Galen and centering around the Syrena are some of my favorite scenes. 4) The big twist. There is a big twist at the very end, and I saw it coming a mile away. I was close to shouting out loud at Galen for not realizing it sooner, but even though I saw it coming, I'm still glad that it turned out to be true. I can tell that's going to make a huge difference in what happens later in the series.

What I Didn't Like: I think Emma needed to be a little more true about who she was. She was like, trying to act all shy and sweet, and she even talked about her personality was the sweet one, but I never once saw that. I'm not trying to imply that she was not a nice person because she was, but she was very forceful, and had a strong personality. It was good, but I got a little tired of her waxing poetic about how "sweet" she supposedly was.

Overall Thoughts: A new kind of mermaid story, Of Poseidon brings some new elements to a classic mythical creature. It's easy to fall for the slightly formal, but definitely hunky Syrena Prince, Galen, and MC Emma has a forceful personality that she at times seems to be ashamed of, but ends up learning to embrace. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what will be coming next in this series!

My Rating: 4 shots

Friday, June 22, 2012

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins Version: eGalley from NetGalley Release Date: June 26th, 2012 The idea of this being a story of an Amish boy and a not-so-Amish girl falling in love immediately sounded interesting to me. I don't know much about that culture, but I knew enough to know that it sounded like trouble!

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Your heart misleads you. That's what my friends and family say. But I love Noah. And he loves me. We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms. It should be ROSE & NOAH forever, easy. But it won't be. Because he's Amish. And I'm not.

What I Liked: 1) The most interesting thing about this story was that it was between an Amish guy and what he calls an "English" girl. This was a new take for contemporary fiction, at least for anything I've ever read. Miz Hopkins definitely pulled in a lot of comparisons without being too blatant about it. 2) Alternating POV. The chapters alternated between Rose and Noah's POV which I liked. Occasionally the switch felt a little forced, but I just don't think the book would have been as good if it had only been one-sided. Especially if it had been Just from Rose's POV. I was very interested to see the story from the side of Noah and his Amish family. How they lived and what they did for work, and for fun, for communication and travel. 3) The whole forbidden love thing. Maybe it's cliche, but I've always been a sucker for a good Romeo and Juliet story (minus that double suicide thing) and so I enjoyed that part.

What I Didn't Like: 1) There was no give and take in their relationship. It was pretty much going to be one way or the highway. No compromise. If books are supposed to teach lessons, then that wasn't a very good one. On the other hand, it made the story very interesting, and opened the door for another story. It's been a while since I've read a contemporary series, so that could be interesting. 2) The love story was also kinda like insta-love. I try hard not to complain about stories like that, but this one was a little much for even me to take.

Overall Thoughts: Temptation is an interesting debut with a sweet, if slightly unbelievable, love story. Learning about the Amish culture was one of the best parts of this story, because it was just so unlike everything I'd read. It followed a somewhat traditional forbidden love pattern, and the ending won't surprise you at all. But readers will still get swept up in the secrecy of Rose and Noah's story, and feel conflicted when it comes down to the decision they have to make.

My Rating: 3.5 shots

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

When Bitterblue (book 3 of this series) came out in May, I started seeing it all over the place. I thought it sounded interesting, but there was no way I was going to read it without reading Graceling and Fire first. So I picked up a copy of Graceling and dove into it.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight—she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace—or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away . . . a secret that could destroy all seven kingdoms with words alone.

What I Liked: 1) Katsa. She was definitely different than most female main characters. And one of my favorite things about her was watching her grow and change throughout the book. She went from thinking she was who she was, this terrifying person with a killing Grace, to someone who was figuring out that maybe she could be more than how everyone saw her. Loved that. 2) Graces. I thought this idea was really cool. People are born with a special gift or talent, but they are viewed as dangerous or the undesired members of society. Everything about the Graces interested me, from the way they discover them to the different people who had them, to what exactly they were and how they were used. 3) Po. How could you NOT like Prince Po? He was genuine and caring, but also strong and smart. Total package! He was able to teach Katsa more about herself and lead her through some really interesting self-discovery. 4) The action. With Katsa, being the killing machine and Po being Graced with self-combat, you should expect a lot of action. But I thought the way the action fit into the story was great. It didn't interrupt the flow of the story, no matter how many times they stop and start taking swings at each other. It actually becomes a part of the romance between Katsa and Po. Almost like their version of tickling. Made me think of a scene from a cheesy Rom-Com (which I LOVE, btw) where the guy grabs up the girl and starts tickling her. Or they get caught up in some epic snowball fight.

What I Didn't Like: The only thing I noticed was that it was very long. I thought some of it was a little...unnecessary for the story. But it was split up very nicely, so it wasn't that much of an issue!

Overall Thoughts: Graceling was a unique and interesting story. Katsa was a very different kind of main character and the development of her personality was one of my favorite parts of the book. There is also a ton of great action that flows with the story in perfect fashion. I'm already looking forward to reading Fire and Bitterblue, even though I understand that these books follow different characters, like companion stories instead of sequels!

My Rating: 4 shots

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (41)

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


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

 
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson 
Release Date: July 3rd, 2012 
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . . Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter. With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

I'm excited for this twist on the Peter Pan story, and glad to see that it comes out so soon!

What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

White Cat by Holly Black

I know this has a new cover, but this is the cover I have, and I like it better. I know a lot of people have already read this trilogy, since all of the books are already out, but I was just now able to work it into my schedule. I actually have several Holly Black books on my TBR list, but this one was the one I decided to read first.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they’re all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn’t got the magic touch, so he’s an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago. Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He’s noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

What I Liked: 1) I wasn't prepared for the grittiness of this book, and I loved it. The gloss-free writing fits completely with the story that Miz Black is telling. It is almost as if the images that I conjured when reading were mostly in black and white, just small pops of color, and dark ones at that. Kinda like the cover. 2) Cassel. I loved Cassel. And you can't help but feeling sorry for him. He is the only one of his whole family who isn't a curse worker, so he doesn't really fit in with them. But he doesn't really fit in with anyone else either, because he comes from a family of cons. Not to mention this horrible secret that he's lived with, of killing his best friend when they were younger. But underneath it all, he's got a lot of care and concern for the people around him, no matter how he was raised to con or use them. 3) There is a big reveal towards the end of the book, something having to do with this white cat, and you start seeing it coming when Cassel is starting to figure things out. But I was glad that this wasn't the end of the book. There was still probably a fourth of the book to go when you find out what the deal is with the white cat. I was very excited that the story didn't just abruptly stop with that. *yes, I had to dance around that to keep from giving away spoilers. It wasn't easy, but that's how much I love y'all!* 4) The plot. The plot moves with such a smooth pace that you'll be lost in the story and won't want to pull yourself out of it. It twists and turns in subtle ways, and Miz Black is slow to reveal different pieces of the puzzle as she takes you through the story, giving you just enough to keep you interested, but not so much to give anything away to quickly. Her writing style fit perfectly with the story that was being told, and it's easy to follow without feeling bored. 5) Character development. Cassel, along with his fellow characters were all so well developed that its easy to imagine them as real people. Not only was Cassel's voice perfect for the character as he was telling the story, but even the supporting characters had fully explored stories. 6) I loved the concept of the curseworkers. This secret society of people who have been cursed (instead of gifted) with this brand of magic. So unique and creative!

What I Didn't Like: The only thing I was left wanting at the end of this book was the next book! It was great!

Overall Thoughts: Holly Black's White Cat is a gritty paranormal with a refreshingly curious main character with sarcastic wit and hidden compassion. The plot sinks its claws into you from the beginning and never loosens its grip. Full of suspense but with subtle twists, White Cat will make you want to keep reading, late into the night and you'll be itching for the next book as soon as you've finished.

My Rating: 5 shots

Monday, June 18, 2012

Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

I was drawn to Love and Leftovers by the super cute cover. When I read the summary and realized that it was written in verse, I almost decided not to read it. For some reason I find books in verse harder to follow. But I went ahead and picked it up.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: My wish is to fall cranium over Converse in dizzy, daydream-worthy love. (If only it were that easy.) When her parents split, Marcie is dragged from Idaho to a family summerhouse in New Hampshire. She leaves behind her friends, a group of freaks and geeks called the Leftovers, including her emo-rocker boyfriend, and her father. By the time Labor Day rolls around, Marcie suspects this "vacation" has become permanent. She starts at a new school where a cute boy brings her breakfast and a new romance heats up. But understanding love, especially when you've watched your parents' affections end, is elusive. What does it feel like, really? Can you even know it until you've lost it?

What I Liked: 1) I actually liked the fact that it was in verse. I usually have trouble following stories like that, because they seem less like a story to get lost in and more of assigned reading. But this one was easy to navigate, and I really appreciate that. 2) The plot. It's easy to get swept up in the love story as it unfolds. It's predictable as far as teen love goes, but that doesn't detract from the emotion of it. If anything, the fact that it is written in verse makes it less like a generic teen love story, and instead a sweet song about falling in love without reservations. 3) You get to know Marcie, the MC, very well, as the story is told from her perspective. This really is her song, the trials she's facing through her parents' split and her own realizations about love and where loyalties lie. I think she begins to understand her parents' trouble as she starts to experience her own questions about love. So much of this story is laid on the table for you, and the fact that it is written in verse does nothing to hinder that.

What I Didn't Like: 1) My chief complaint is that while we got to know Marcie fairly well, the rest of the characters were a bit of a mystery. This I think was the main problem with the book being written in verse, it made it so much harder to develop the characters that weren't speaking directly. I expected to find a guy in here to fall "cranium over converse" or really, cranium over flipflops in my case, for, but the lack of development for both Linus and J.D. make it a little hard. They both had potential, but I just wanted more.

Overall Thoughts: Love and Leftovers was a creative and sweet teen love story, with a typical teen MC. What stands out most about this this story is the way the verses create a love song about the trials and tribulations anyone in love, or thinking they are in love, can face. It isn't designed to make you fall in love, rather to make you think about the emotions and loyalties that come with love and learning to love. I wished for more character development from the boys, because I like falling for guys in books, but overall Love and Leftovers will touch several emotions in you as you get lost in its pages.

My Rating: 3 shots

Friday, June 15, 2012

Congrats! (Goddess Interrupted Winner)






Congratulations to Jennifer Kalman who has won the copy of Goddess Interrupted! And thanks to everyone who participated! Stick around for some more fun stuff to be going on here on FCB!

Love y'all!
Courtney

Vampire Academy (books 4-6) by Richelle Mead

I reviewed the first three books of this series a little earlier. I'm reviewing the last three in a similar format. I read them all back to back, and since they've all been out for a while, I thought this would be the best way to share my thoughts on this beloved series. Oh, and as much as I love the fact that you've taken the time out to stop by my blog and read my reviews, if this is a series that you haven't read but think you might someday, I should warn you not to read this. I won't give spoilers for these books, but the summaries all allude to things that happen in the first three books. So if you haven't read those, I'd advise you to skip reading this particular review. Instead, why don't you check out my blogroll and see what some of my favorite bloggers are reading and reviewing?! Muah!


Book 4, Blood Promise

Summary from Goodreads: Rose Hathaway's life will never be the same. The recent attack on St. Vladimir's Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose's neck, a mark that says she's killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life's vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She'll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved? Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir's and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

True to the Rose I've come to know, she sets out on her own to find the man she loves. This story followed the well-established pattern of intrigue and suspense, as well as the action and emotion that I found in the first three. Some new characters were introduced that I really enjoyed getting to know. I've come to expect a lot of great character development from Ms. Mead, and she delivered both in her new characters, and especially with the character of Dimitri. I learned a lot about his back story in this book, and it made me like him even more. And feel bad that now he was Strigoi and had to die.

                                                                       Book 5, Spirit Bound
Summary from Goodreads: Salvation has its price. The words stunned Adrian for a moment, but he kept going. "You're lying. What you're describing is impossible. There's no way to save a Strigoi. When they're gone, they're gone. They're dead. Undead. Forever." Robert's next words weren't directed at Adrian. They were spoken to me. "That which is dead doesn't always stay dead...." After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa Dragomir. It's graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives outside of the Academy’s cold iron gates to finally begin. But even with the intrigue and excitement of court life looming, Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri. He's out there, somewhere. She failed to kill him when she had the chance, and now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever. But Rose can't forget what she learned on her journey—whispers of a magic too impossible and terrifying to comprehend. A magic inextricably tied to Lissa that could hold the answer to all of Rose's prayers, but not without devastating consequences. Now Rose will have to decide what—and who—matters most to her. In the end, is true love really worth the price?

Is there a way to save the Stigoi, to save Dimitri without killing him? I loved that we got to see Dimitri as a Stigoi. For as long as we've been involved in this story now there was a lot we didn't know about them. It was great to develop that group of characters and to learn more about what exactly they did and were. I also loved Lissa in this one. She became less of a weak little Princess and more of a strong person who could stand on her own. I was not expecting the ending of this one to go the way that it did!


Book 6, Last Sacrifice

Summary from Goodreads: Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come. Now the law has finally caught up with Rose—for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir. But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back... and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you?

I was sad for this series to come to a close. But since I've already read Bloodlines and am eagerly getting into The Golden Lily, I'll survive. I don't think I could have asked for a better ending. From the election leading to a new King or Queen of the Moroi, to worrying whether Rose and Dimitri can get back on track, or wondering whether or not Rose is going to live. I can't help but feel bad for Adrian, who really seems to care about Rose, all the while knowing that she'll probably never be able to love him the way she loves Dimitri. But the real ending of the book was completely satisfying, and left me exactly where I was hoping to be.

Overall Thoughts: I ended up loving this series. From the characters to the plotline, even the settings were a wonderful way to visit this paranormal world. It managed to remain lighter than so many other books in this genre without feeling unsubstantial. Quite the opposite, you run through so many emotions throughout the series, particularly in these last three books when things get so much more complicated. If you love fun and exciting vampire stories, or if you've never read a vampire book before (are there people out there who haven't?), this would be a great place to start!

My Rating: 5 shots

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

I picked up this book feeling for sure I was going to enjoy it. I'd never read a Robin Wasserman book before, but the summary sounded interested, and I love a good murder mystery, especially with some history thrown in for good measure.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark. But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer. Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

What I Liked: 1) I loved the way it began. "I guess I should start with the blood." Robin Wasserman certainly knows how to grip you and pull you in from the very beginning. The first few chapters served as a great hook. 2) The mystery. I loved all the coded messages and the traveling, and how it was almost like a big scavenger hunt. There were all these great clues to follow, but first they had to figure out what each one meant. That was really an interesting twist. 3) Nora. She was smart, intuitive, and compassionate. She was an easy main character to like. It's always refreshing to see an MC with a quick mind who is eager to use it. 4) The setting. I loved the descriptive setting of this book, especially the parts that were set in Prague. I've never been though it's on my list of top five places to visit. Even though I haven't been there, the fantastic writing and descriptions I was easily able to picture everything and see the events in my mind as they were unfolding.

What I Didn't Like: 1) Parts of the story were hard to follow. I don't know if it was because there were things I was unfamiliar with, or maybe the writing style just didn't jive with me. It's hard for me to get into a book when the story keeps getting interrupted because I don't understand or can't comprehend something. It was a little discouraging as a reader to need to re-read things, pulling myself out of the flow of the story. 2) The main guys. Max and Eli. I wanted to like them both. And there are times when you do, when you are almost there. But there is just something holding me back from liking them. Part of it was suspicion. That was good, because you are supposed to be suspicious of them. But there was just something missing from their development that kept the reader for completely falling for them.

Overall thoughts: The Book of Blood and Shadow comes with an onslaught of information that can easily leave a reader confused and discouraged. It is smart and witty, but left a little to be desired from me as the reader. I needed more connection with the characters other than Nora, and something more succinct explanations of what all was happening. There is a great hook in the beginning, but I generally found that the rest of the story did not hold up. Readers will enjoy following along with Nora as she decodes messages and follows clues to answer the murder of her friend Chris and attempt to clear her boyfriend's name. There were definitely parts that intrigued me, but overall it just wasn't for me.

My Rating: 2 shots

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

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


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



The Turning by Francine Prose 
Expected Release Date: September 25th, 2012 from HarperTeen

Check out this 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?
 Creepy much? Glad this one comes out near the end of September, because it's going to be perfect for the annual Halloween event here on FCB!

What are y'all waiting on this lovely Summer Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Enchanted by Alethea Kontis

Show me a fairy tale book, and you're almost guaranteed I'm going to read it. I just love fairy tales and I love how creative authors can get when they are retelling them. So when I read the summary of Enchanted and thought, Oh, a Princess and the Frog retelling, I thought it would be awesome.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: It isn't easy being the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him back into Rumbold, the crown prince of Arilland—and a man Sunday’s family despises. The prince returns to his castle, intent on making Sunday fall in love with him as the man he is, not the frog he was. But Sunday is not so easy to woo. How can she feel such a strange, strong attraction for this prince she barely knows? And what twisted secrets lie hidden in his past - and hers?

What I Liked: 1) Okay, this book was so much more than just The Princess and the Frog. It begins with a similarity to that story, but the more you read into Sunday's family and her sisters who are all named after days of the week, the more you realize that Enchanted is really a story that encompasses many of the popular fairy tales. Imagine if all those fairy tale stories you loved actually happened to one family. In Enchanted, the main characters from these stories were Sunday and her brothers and sisters. I absolutely loved this idea, and thought Miss Kontis was so creative in the way she wove each of these beloved stories together. *feels love overflowing for this book* In case you're wondering, I'm not telling you which stories she used, because part of the fun for me was making the connections, and I wouldn't want to take that away from anyone. 2) Rumbold. Looking past his bizarre name...No, he was a sweet guy. He was very considerate and caring, worried about Sunday and her family. The backstory of why her family hates him and his family so much is a little convoluted, so mostly I was on his side. I would definitely like to be his princess! He's a little weak-willed at times, but he seems to regain his strength as the story progresses. 3) Sunday. I loved having this story come from her perspective. As the youngest of the Days of the Week siblings, she can explain the stories of the siblings from her point of view, which of course has changed as she's gotten older. *feels love for this book overflowing again, reigns it back in.* Sunday's particular brand of magic happens in the stories that she writes, which is her main outlet as the youngest and sometimes overlooked seventh daughter. Her imagination is part of what makes her such an interesting character. 4) The plot. I never would have imagined how all of these stories could have fit together, creating a competent, fun, and understandable story. Each fairy tale has it's unique storyline, but Miss Kontis has brought them all together beautifully without losing what made us love them in the first place.

What I Didn't Like: 1) Well, I said before that the back story between the Woodcutters and the Royal family is a little convoluted, and it is. I didn't understand it very well, and I'm almost certain that Sunday doesn't either. Since everything happened before she was born, she was born with a dislike for them, without knowing why. 2) The second thing I didn't like was that I couldn't figure out Thursday's story. Maybe it's a fairy tale that I am unfamiliar with, but I just didn't know who she was supposed to be!! This is not really a dislike, more like a general wondering. If anyone knows, I'd love for you to tell me!

Overall Thoughts: I cannot praise this book enough. I loved the characters, I loved the idea, I loved the plot and having all of my favorite fairy tales coming together in one place. Miz Kontis's writing style was perfect in keeping with this theme, and the end result is a lovely story full of magic and drama, pulling together classic characters and classic stories in new and exciting ways. This is not to be missed!

My Rating: 5 shots

Monday, June 11, 2012

Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday

This one came out back in October, and it's been on my TBR list for a while, so I was excited to dig in once it rolled around. I haven't read anything by Gemma Halliday before, so this was going to be new for me!
Here's the summary from Goodreads: Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he’s pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren’t enough, now he’s depending on Hartley to clear his name. But as much as Hartley wouldn’t mind seeing him squirm, she knows he’s innocent, and she’s the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school’s resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer’s next victim.

What I Liked: 1) The humor! Miz Halliday definitely knows how to find the funny in a murder mystery. That's honestly the first thing that struck me about Deadly Cool, that this was not going to be a typical, dark, murder mystery book. MC Hartley's amateur sleuthing adds a lot of humor, but the reactions of all the of the high school kids, from overdramatics to nonchalance! 2) Hartley. The new Nancy Drew, anyone? As the MC, Hartley has a big role to fill, and she does it well. She's got a big personality, and enough compassion in her to try and clear her ex-boyfriend's name even after learning he cheated on her. She was easy to follow along with, and I think her maturity level fit right in with her age. Some books it seems like the characters act either too young or too old for their age, but that's not so with this story. I was glad to see that. 3) The mystery. I loved following Hartley around as she looked for clues to try and solve this mystery. It was kind of like...Nancy Drew + Pretty Little Liars (which we all know is my guilty pleasure) all rolled into one. There is a lot going on, and even I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out. 4) Chase. Okay, he couldn't be the bad guy, he just couldn't! Chase was a fun character to get to know because he's kind of the brooding bad boy type, so he doesn't really speak a lot. When he does talk he has some smart things to say, but it's his actions that really give away his real character. Heh. You'll know what I mean when you read it! 5) The ending. Loved the way it turned out. I wasn't expecting the bad guy to be the bad guy, but I completely knew once it was revealed why! Plus it left an opening for us to return to Hartley and her snooping!

What I Didn't Like: Josh. The boyfriend. Or, ex-boyfriend as it is. Geez, could you be any more shallow? He's a jerk. But it's okay, because it cleared the way for me to like Chase. :)

Overall thoughts: Deadly Cool is a light, and fun read with feisty characters and an engaging plot. The mystery will keep you in suspense even as you're laughing through some of the funnier antics. Hartley's determination drives she and her friends to keep pushing to solve the murder, and her compassion keeps her working to clear Josh's name even after he's been such a jerk. This is a perfect read for those of you who enjoy murder mysteries, but are looking for something that isn't going to drag you down into the depths of despair by it's heavy darkness! Summer would be a great time to check this one out!

My Rating: 4 shots

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sunshine and Summertime

Yes, that's a title of a Faith Hill song. No, this blog post is not about Faith Hill or country music. (though I do enjoy country music!) Summer's here, folks are getting out of school, busting out the flipflops, and hopefully getting some quality lounge time! Even for those of us who don't run on a "school year" schedule anymore (and still trudge to work everyday, summer or not,) can still appreciate the subtle shift in atmosphere. At least for me, things get a little more relaxed.

Thinking about the shift in my general mood and surroundings made me start to think about if my reading habits change at all. So I thought I'd pose a question! Do your reading habits change with the seasons? Maybe you read more or less during a certain time of year? Does the genre or subgenres that you read most often shift?

I know I definitely read more over the summer. Everything about my life is more relaxed, even the atmosphere at work. It leaves me feeling less stressed, and less like I have to run myself ragged. So more time for reading. But the biggest change for me is in genre. Not even genre really, but I prefer to have lighter books during the summer. When I'm all blissed out and stress-free, I like to keep it that way, and not weigh my brain down with heavy, emotional, nailbiter books. I don't put them all aside 100%, but I read fewer "hard core" books, and more "light and fluffies." I don't use either of those terms disparagingly either. I like both equally.

The summer is also when I like to take my vacation, which definitely means more reading. Vacation is definitely about the "light and fluffies" but also a genre that I think of as "beach reads". "Beach reads" is a topic for another discussion. But I'd really like to know if the change in season has anything to do with what and how much you'll be reading over the next few months? Changing it up, or just following the TBR list as scheduled?

 One thing's for sure that during the summer, this is where I want to be, book in hand! 

http://www.stockfreeimages.com/

Happy Summer!
Courtney

Thursday, June 7, 2012

When The Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellison

This cover is creepy, is it not? Arranged marriages, faked deaths, and vampires? Oooo...intrique.

Here's the summary from Goodreads: After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend, Ilven, kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous, wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.

What I Liked: 1) I liked the mysterious magic that is swirling around in this world. It's unlike any magical type of theme that I've read before, so that definitely intrigued me. 2) The details. The world of Pelimburg was explained very thoroughly, so with just a little imagination you can easily conjure up images of each and every scene as it unfolds. You could definitely tell that a lot of creativity and imagination went into this story. 3) I liked the cover. That's what drew me into the book at first, though it also gave me the wrong impression of what I was reading. 4) Jannik. Vampire guy. Which, the other people in Pelimburg call Bats. I thought that was interesting.

What I Didn't Like: 1) I've read the whole book now, and I have no idea who the good guys are. Where are all the good people? Okay, Jannik. He was a good guy. But no one else was. Everyone was bad. I even didn't like Felicita very much. She has kind of an impossible decision to make, but still. And in the end, she ends up making what I personally think was the worse of the two options. *punches all the things* This book kind of made me angry. Like something evil crept out of it and into my soul. *as a side note, books that can pull strong emotions, be they bad or good, should all be commended.* I just want more good people. 2) For as detailed as the descriptions were of places, and what things LOOKED LIKE, there was little as far as explanations go of history and the back story of this magic, and the craziness that comes from everything. Sad. I'm sad at the end of this book. Sad and angry. *punches things again*

Overall Thoughts: Eh. Sad and angry. Lots of people are going to think this book was great. I can tell that, because the writing style is succinct and the story is very dark with unexpected twists and a unique plot. As far as for me...it wasn't my cup of tea. More good people.

*wanders off to find happiness*

My Rating: 2 shots

This book was read as a part of the Debut Author Challenge 2012!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

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


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


This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers
Release Date: June 19th, 2012 (soon!!)

Here's the summary from Goodreads: It’s the end of the world. Six students have taken cover in Cortege High but shelter is little comfort when the dead outside won’t stop pounding on the doors. One bite is all it takes to kill a person and bring them back as a monstrous version of their former self. To Sloane Price, that doesn’t sound so bad. Six months ago, her world collapsed and since then, she’s failed to find a reason to keep going. Now seems like the perfect time to give up. As Sloane eagerly waits for the barricades to fall, she’s forced to witness the apocalypse through the eyes of five people who actually want to live. But as the days crawl by, the motivations for survival change in startling ways and soon the group’s fate is determined less and less by what’s happening outside and more and more by the unpredictable and violent bids for life—and death—inside. When everything is gone, what do you hold on to?


I read my first Courtney Summers book earlier this year, and thought it was a great piece of contemp fic. I haven't read any others yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing what she does with this zombie novel! Can't wait!

 What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Goddess Interrupted by Aimee Carter

Last week I reviewed Aimee Carter's The Goddess Test, and you can read that review here. I had book 2, Goddess Interrupted on my shelf already, so I was ready to dive in. Also, I'd suggest just not reading this review at all unless you've already read The Goddess Test. The summary has spoilers from book 1! And make sure you enter to win a copy below!
Here's the summary from Goodreads: KATE WINTERS HAS WON IMMORTALITY. BUT IF SHE WANTS A LIFE WITH HENRY IN THE UNDERWORLD, SHE'LL HAVE TO FIGHT FOR IT. Becoming immortal wasn't supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she's as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he's becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate's coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans. As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future. Henry's first wife, Persephone.

What I Liked: 1) I liked that there was a second book after the first. The story could very well have ended when book one was finished. But instead of just having to wonder what was to become of Kate and Henry, we get a look at what is next for them. I guess you could say I just like this book's existence. 2) Kate. I kind of expected Kate to lose something of what she was in the first book. She has a spark that I thought she might lose once she didn't think she was fighting for her life. But she's still got it. She does become a bit needy at some points, but that's more because of the way Henry is acting, rather than her changing because all of a sudden she's a goddess. 3) The setting. We spent the whole time in the Underworld, exploring different parts of it, and what the afterlife is like for different people. I loved the way that Aimee wrote all of that, that everyone had their own version of what the afterlife should be. It really gave the reader a lot to think about. 4) The Titans. The Titans, or at least Cronus, has made an appearance now in the story, and there are just tons of places that can go. It opened up a whole new idea about where the story can go. 5) Family. There is a sense of family between the gods and goddesses. I really love how they all move around each other and care for each other like family. Although it's a strange family....my mother, my sister....yeah.

What I Didn't Like: Henry was a big jerk throughout most of the book. It has to be said. It kind of gets explained, but I was just angry with him alot. Man up, dude! You're the King of the Underworld, stop acting like a child.

Overall Thoughts: Goddess Interrupted is a good sequel. It didn't fall into that "middle book" syndrome that some do, where it just doesn't hold up to the first. It added new storylines, and interesting ideas to an already fun plot. The characters (for the most part stayed true to who they were from the first book, and I'm glad to see that the danger that came up in the first book hasn't dissipated even after we found out who was causing it.

My Rating: 4 shots


And thanks to Harlequin Teen, I have a copy to giveaway! US and Canada only, please! Fill out the form below to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Timepiece by Myra McEntire

Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Version: EGalley from NetGalley

The first time I read Hourglass, I didn't really get it. I think I was distracted while I was reading. And I was probably thinking of it as a ghost story, instead of a time travel story. Don't make that mistake. Once I took stock of what I was actually reading, and read it again, I definitely enjoyed it. There was a ton going on, and the writing style was really fabulous. When I saw Timepiece on NetGalley, I decided I'd see what was up next for Emerson and Michael.
Here's the summary from Goodreads: A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking... Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results. Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

 What I Liked: 1) Kaleb! (!!!!!!!) Here's a trap that I get caught in sometimes. Often, when I see a book by an author I've read and enjoyed before, I just decide to read it. I don't check out the summary, I don't read reviews, I just trust that I've enjoyed this author's work before and dive in. Especially if it's the next book of a series I've already started. Such was the case with Timepiece. So imagine my shock when I begin reading and find that suddenly, we aren't reading from Emerson's point of view, such as with Hourglass. Oh no, now we're reading from Kaleb's POV. And I LOVED (IN ALL CAPS!) it! I actually liked it much more than the first book being in Emerson's POV. He has a unique way of looking at things, and he is struggling so much with some of the events that have happened/are happening (this is where time travel gets confusing) that getting inside his head is a story in itself. 2) Adventure. There was a great action/adventure feel to this book. The characters (and the reader) explore new settings and encounter even more challenges - some scary stuff - in this book. There was always something exciting going on, never a dull moment! 3) The plot. The plot flows so seamlessly that from page one, you've sunk deep into the story, and won't come out again until you close the back cover. 4) Lily. Emerson's best friend makes another appearance, and has much more substance in this book. Whereas in Hourglass she was kind of a background character, she is a major part of this book. And her personality completely threw me off guard at first. She was nothing like what I had built her up to be from the menial role she played in Hourglass. Good stuff. 5) Kaleb! I would like to say again that I love him. I like him way more than Michael. Team Kaleb, Team Kaleb!

What I Didn't Like: Nothing. Not one little thing. Even the cover is beautiful!

Overall thoughts: Timepiece takes the Hourglass series to a whole new level! I loved everything about Timepiece, from the new POV to the fast-paced plot. I always talk about loving books that are more character-driven than plot-driven. Well, you don't have to decide with Timepiece, because they are equally wonderful! Even if time-travel isn't your thing, give this one a chance. Everything is so involved and beautifully described, you'll love it from the first page!

My Rating: 5 shots

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cover Reveal x2

Some new covers were released today! Twitter has been all aflutter with new exciting cover art, and I wanted to jump in and share the excitement with y'all!

First up, The Collector by Victoria Scott


He makes good girls...bad. Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag. Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment: Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within 10 days. Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect—he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.

That cover is flippin' awesome too! I can't wait to read this debut, but sadly, we'll have to wait until March 2013 to get it from Entangled Teen!

Secondly, released last night was the cover art to the third Heroes of Olympus book, The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan


In The Son of Neptune, Percy, Hazel, and Frank met in Camp Jupiter, the Roman equivalent of Camp Halfblood, and traveled to the land beyond the gods to complete a dangerous quest. The third book in the Heroes of Olympus series will unite them with Jason, Piper, and Leo. But they number only six—who will complete the Prophecy of Seven? The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land—Greece itself—to find the Doors of Death. What exactly are the Doors of Death? Much of the prophesy remains a mystery...

I love the Percy Jackson books, and feel like I've been waiting forever for this one! Release Date from Disney-Hyperion is October 2nd, 2012!

May Wrap-Up

It feels like I haven't done a monthly wrap-up post in a while. I know I skipped a few months in there because I wasn't reading as much. But now that it's June 1st, I think it's time to look back and see what all I read and reviewed during the month of May.

5 Shots
Vampire Academy (books 1-3) by Richelle Mead
Watercrossing by Krissi Dallas
The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan
Starters by Lissa Price
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
The Selection by Kiera Cass

4 Shots
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock
Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Partials by Dan Wells
The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers
Pure by Julianna Baggott

3 Shots
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen (3.5)
Thumped by Megan McCafferty (3.5)
Take A Bow by Elizabeth Eulburg

Read but not (yet) reviewed: 
The City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
Timepiece by Myra McEntire
Vampire Academy books 4-6 by Richelle Mead
When The Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellison
White Cat by Holly Black
The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
Love and Leftovers by Sarah Tregay

Also this month, FCB got a brand new look, thanks to Icey Designs! I love it! Make sure that if you have FCB on your blog roll, you update to the new badge! Thanks, loves! Lots reviewed and even more read, but there is still plenty of exciting things coming up on Fuzzy.Coffee.Books! And FCB's First Birthday is coming up one month from today, so be looking forward to some fun events for that as well! Happy June! Bring on the summer reads!

Congrats to the Winner of the Starters Giveaway!

Congrats to Katie @ BlookGirl who is the winner of the signed copy of Lissa Price's Starters! Thanks to everyone who participated, and stay tuned for more great giveaways!