Friday, May 27, 2011

Follow Friday #1

Hey there! :)

For those who don't know, Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted by the super-duper awesome Parajunkee! It's a super neat way to meet new people and expand your list of friends over Blogger! :)

All you have to do is:
  1. (Required) Follow Parajunkee at her awesome blog. 
  2. (Required) Follow the featured blogger of the week. 
  3. Put your blog name and URL in the Linky thing. 
  4. Grab the the button from Parajunkee's blog and place it in a post (so people can say hi in the comments!).
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just only a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs! Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI!"
  6. If someone comments and follows you, share the love! Follow them back ;)
  7. If you're new to the Follow Friday hop, comment and let Parajunkee know, so she can stop by and check out your blog! 
This is my first time joining this awesome blog hop, so here's a bit about me:

My name is Mimi Valentine. I'm fourteen and a huge book lover. Mostly I read YA paranormal, but I like to expand my variation (as long as it's not horror!). I also adore anything sweet, and have a HUGE phobia of bugs!

Q: How many books do you read in a week? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them? 

A: Usually I read about one or two books a week, sometimes more if I recently went to the bookstore and sometimes less if I have tons of homework at the moment. I'm also one of those girls who likes to have a hard copy of every awesome book I've read (which is how I constantly waste my babysitting money), so my bookshelf is mostly made up of actually printed novels. 

Who are you? :)



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Nightshade

Book: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: October 19, 2010
Publisher: Philomel
Pages: 452
Source: bought from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.

But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

(summary taken from Goodreads)

Do you ever get that feeling when you read a book where you have to put it down but don't want to because it's all so overwhelming and intense? That's exactly the feeling I had while reading Nightshade. Multiple times! The action and romance created in this single novel just took my breath away! 

I adored Calla. She was strong and brave and completely loyal to her pack. And to top it off, she was set to inherit the new pack with the hot Ren Laroche, who was another character that I liked! 

Shay was the other boy vying for Calla's affection. His carefree and somewhat childish attitude made him naive but intelligent at the same time, something that was important in creating the intenseness of this book. I can honestly say I liked almost every character!

But even with this amazing cast of characters, the plot was what made this book completely maddening (in the best possible way, of course!). It was just so intense with plenty of action and romance to satisfy the hungers of those previously disappointed with other werewolf-themed love triangles. 

With a beautifully written plot in the mind of a tough and strong-willed heroine, Nightshade is definitely a book that you should add to your TBR (to be read) pile!  

BUY or BORROW?: Do you even need to ask? Buy it for sure! The beautiful cover and well crafted storyline would make it a perfect edition to add to your bookshelf. :)  


Friday, May 20, 2011

Review: The Secret Circle #3-4

Book: The Secret Circle #3-4 (The Captive Part II and The Power)
Author: L.J. Smith
Release Date: January 1, 2009
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 390
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 4/5
Cassie has joined the most alluring and deadly in-crowd imaginable. But power comes with a price, and it's more dangerous than she knows. Torn between the dueling desires of the two leaders of the Secret Circle, she must ultimately choose between saving all of the New Salem, and her own dangerous love for bewitching Adam, which threatens to tear the circle apart. In the ultimate battle between good and evil, will Cassie's supernatural powers be strong enough to lead the coven out of danger? Or will she fall prey to the dark forces within?
(summary taken from Goodreads)

After reading the first book in one sitting, I just had to get my hands on the second!

And I actually like the second book better, mostly because you can definitely see the changes in Cassie from the once-timid outcast to the leader. She's intelligent and thinks things more clearly, and it's so much easier to read a book when the protagonist is the least bit likable.

And my book-crush on Nick continues. Honestly, how could you not love him? He's hot and thoughtful and protective, too. He's the budding image of my future husband!

The only thing I really wish was that the characters would break out of their box-shaped shells. As enjoyable as this book was to read, I could see the ending from a mile away and I'm the type of person who likes gut-wrenching surprises!

Still, the Secret Circle # 3-4 was a the perfect ending to an adorable series. If you loved any of Smith's other novels, then I'm positive that you'll like this one!

BUY or BORROW?: This book is so easy to read that I would love to have on my bookshelf! :)


Review: The Secret Circle #1-2

Book: The Secret Circle #1-2 (The Initiation and The Captive Part I)
Author: L.J. Smith
Release Date: August 1, 2008
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 396
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 3/5
The circle's power has lured her home.

Forced to move from sunny California to gloomy New England, Cassie longs for her old life. Even so, she feels a strange kinship to a terrifying group of teens who seem to rule her school. Initiated into the coven of witches that's controlled New Salem for hundreds of years, she's drawn into the Secret Circle, a thrill that's both intoxicating and deadly. But when she falls for the mysterious and intriguing Adam, Cassie must choose whether to resist temptation or risk dark forces to get what she wants—even if it means that one wrong move could ultimately destroy her. 
 (summary taken from Goodreads)

I honestly adore books about witches, and the Secret Circle was no exception!

This book was pure, enjoyable fun! Even though I'll admit the characters were a little cookie-cutter predictable, I was never bored reading about them. Cassie was an adorable main character, and I loved seeing her start to break free from her timid shell!

The plot was also fun to follow. L.J. Smith's flowing writing style made it extremely easy to breeze through in one sitting! Even though I'm extremely against keeping secrets, I still couldn't help but root for Cassie the entire way through. And the romance between her and Adam was so, so sweet!

Overall, the first two books in the Secret Circle were very enjoyable! You should definitely try these out, especially if you're a fan of any other L.J. Smith books! :)

BUY or BORROW?: Buy or borrow doesn't matter you should just read this book!


Blog SpotLight: Gripped into Books

Blog SpotLight is going to be a new monthly thing that I'm starting. Every month I'll spotlight a blog that I think is absolutely fantastic! Then you -- as my very few readers of the moment -- will hopefully check it out! :)

For the month of May, the spotlit blog is Gripped into Books. It's a YA book review blog hosted by Mia, Sophia, Bella and Clarisse who are all book obsessed like me!

Why it's awesome: I love their blog because they always have very valid points when reviewing that fit perfectly into what I think! Also, the selection of awesome YA books that they've reviewed are very easy to find on their Reviews page. It's so much easier to find a review when everything's in alpha order! :)

PLUS: Gripped into Books blog is celebrating their 500 followers giveaway (something that I'm very proud to have helped them achieve!)! And as a celebration, they're having a giveaway featuring some very awesome books. More info on that here.

Do you have a blog that you want me to check out? Don't hesitate to message me! I don't bite! :)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book News: Half-Blood

2011 has to be the most exciting year for so many awesome debut books, and Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of them! I can't even tell you how excited I am for this book! After reading the prequel novella Daimon, and the first and third chapters of Half-Blood, I have to say I'm in another book crush! :)

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure-bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.  
Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:
Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.
Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
 (summary taken from Goodreads)
Sounds amazing, doesn't it? I honestly can't wait until September 15th when the first Covenant novel is scheduled to come out! If you haven't read Daimon yet, there's a free download available here. And if your hoping to win a signed ARC copy of Half-Blood (like me!), then go to Jen's blog and check out the contest rules here!

If you've read Daimon already, you'll understand what I mean when I say that September's a hell of a ways away! Alex is the most kick-butt character I've ever read about, and I can't wait to see where she takes us to next! :)


Book News: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

I can't be any more excited about this book! The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin comes out this September on the 27th, a nice eleven days before my birthday, and I wanted to get you just as pumped! :)

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. 

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.
(summary taken from Goodreads)

Doesn't it sound just amazing? And the cover is absolutely gorgeous as well. Right now, Michelle's giving away a special ARC of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer on her blog, so go ahead and check it out here!

I hope you're as excited for this as I am! :)


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: Delirium

Book: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 441
Source: bought from Chapters
Stars: 4/5
Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Haloway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.
(summary taken from Goodreads)

I picked up this book because the whole premise was breathtaking. A world where love was a disease? How amazing does that sound? And I adored it!

Lena was a great and realistic character. She was far from perfect, but watching her grow throughout the story was one of the things that makes this story so great. And her relationship with Alex absolutely gorgeous and swoon-worthy Alex was as raw and beautiful as first love should be.

Lauren Oliver's beautiful writing style captured me from the very first page. Sometimes I just wanted to jump up and down to hurry to the good parts but I'm glad I stuck through it, because Delirium was absolutely and beautifully amazing. And in those last few pages, I swear I only took one breath.

In conclusion, I loved Delirium! I'm anxiously awaiting for the next book, Pandemonium, to come out!  

BUY or BORROW?: If you have a growing collection of dystopian YA novels on your bookshelf (like me!), this is definitely one you need to add to the list! :)


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Review: Where She Went

Book: Where She Went
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 264
Source: bought from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
It's been three years since the devastating accident ... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. 
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Julliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.
 (summary taken from Goodreads)

What can I say about this book except that I loved it just as much as If I Stay, if not more? Ever since I found out that there would be a sequel to the novel that won the award for the "Book That Made Mimi Cry Like a Baby" of the year, I had to run off to the bookstore in the first week it came out. And needless to say, I was not disappointed! 

Told from Adam's point of view, Where She Went still has the beautiful prose similar to the first book. That they're both musicians may have a play in that, or maybe it's because Forman is an absolute genius at creating characters that are impossible to hate. 

Everything they feel, you feel. When they cry, you cry. When you get even a taste of how much Adam loves Mia, you melt into a puddle and fear that you will never be able to be put together again.

I don't want to spoil this for anyone who hasn't read the book yet, but I'll tell you this: I loved it. Every little piece of it, I loved. Not unlike the first book, the little bits and pieces of the past thrown in perfectly have a large impact on the present. You'll find yourself falling for Adam all over again. 

You will love Where She Went guaranteed! If you haven't read this amazing duo of touching books yet, then I recommend you start! Gayle Forman has a talent for crafting the most amazing stories. 

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it! Buy it! Not only is the cover beautiful, but this is a book that you'll want to read again after a terrible break-up :) 


Friday, May 13, 2011

Review: If I Stay

Book: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 9, 2009
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 196
Source: bought from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... 

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
(summary quoted from Goodreads)

I can't even express how much I loved this book! It's just one of those stories you can't put down once you start and can't stop thinking about once you finish. Mia's story is absolutely incredible and touching and so sad that I cried several times.

Forman creates the novel beautifully, following Mia through one miraculous day where she has to decide whether she wants to stay alive or not after a terrible accident that takes out her family. Mia is such a strong and amazing character that I adore from beginning to end.

And I loved Adam cool, rocker boyfriend Adam who does everything in his power to get himself into the Extensive Care section of the hospital where Mia's body lies. He may be far from perfect, but every moment that we see him through Mia's eyes makes us fall for him too.

Beautifully written and crafted, a perfect mixture of the present and memories of the past, If I Stay is definitely a book that I recommend to everyone! Five out of five stars, no question about it!

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it! I've re-read this book twice already and it never fails to make me cry! 


Book Lungs: 300 Follower Giveaway!

Isn't this so exciting?? The amazing Lilly at Book Lungs blog is hosting an awesome giveaway featuring some of my favourite books of the year! You can find more about it here. Go ahead and enter your name in the draw! The contest ends on May 15 so be sure to do it soon! :)

I read and adored Delirium, the Gathering, Divergent, and so many more from that list of books! And I'm anxiously awaiting time until I can get my hands on a copy of Demonglass so I'm ecstatic for a chance to win one!

Any of these books interest you? Why don't you head over to Lilly's blog then? And while you're there, you might as well follow her because she has lots to say! :)


Sunday, May 01, 2011

Review: City of Fallen Angels

Book: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry / Simon & Schuster
Pages: 424
Source: bought from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.
(summary taken from Goodreads)

Can I just start by saying how much I love this series? It has everything you could ever want in an amazing series and more! The Mortal Instruments series is undoubtedly one of my favourites of all time!

Like the first three books in the series, City of Fallen Angels starts off pretty quick. It dives straight into the action but that doesn't mean it confuses you like many other books do with introductions. Cassie Clare makes sure you're familiar with the Shadowhunter world before getting straight to the brutal point.

And it was amazing! With the amount of detail in this book, you'd think that Cassie Clare planned to have a whole spin off series when she wrote the original trilogy because everything fit perfectly into place. I adored all of the characters new and old and I can barely wait until the next installments come out! 

Even though I felt like it didn't quite live up to its predecessors (although, considering how high the bar was set, I don't exactly blame it!), it was still amazingly intense and breathtaking. This series is home to one of my favourites casts and worlds of all time!  

In short, I loved City of Fallen Angels! If you haven't read this book yet (or started this series at all!) then I recommend you go to the bookstore right now and blow your live savings! It'll be worth it! ;)  

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it! You definitely want to have this series on your bookshelf!