Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Spell Bound

Book: Spell Bound
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall #3
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Hyperion
Pages: 327
Source: publisher (Thank you so much, HBGC!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 4.5/5
Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

(summary taken from Goodreads)

I don't want to write this review. Instead, I want to hide in the corner with a blanket and some tissues so I can read this book all over again because: It. Was. AMAZING!  

Taking place right where Demonglass left off, Spell Bound starts off running and doesn't slow down at all. Every time you think that something is going right and the cast will finally get a break, something else goes wrong that leaves you flipping pages faster than before. Hawkins knows how to write a one-sit read, and she proves it a million times over with this book!   

Sophie has to be one of my favourite heroines of all time! She's the Queen of Snark, the demon you want as your best friend, the kind of girl you can count on... but most of all, she's real. So much happens during the span of this book and this entire series that causes her to continue to grow yet still remain the same fantastic girl we know and love.  

This review wouldn't be complete without mentioning the boys. I love Archer because his snark matches Sophie's in a way that makes him perfect for her, and he has that sort of bad-boyish feel to him that all girls love. But Cal who pulls off the strong, silent, yet really sweet healer like no one else will do some things that will completely win over your heart.  

My only complaint is that there's one HUGE plot twist near the end that I felt wasn't touched on enough! I wanted closure; I wanted recognition; I wanted time to cry, damn it, because it blew me off my feet even though the rest of the end felt perfect in its own way.  

Finales are always hard to swallow because sometimes you're too emotional over the end to feel anything else, but Rachel Hawkins managed to craft a brilliant end to a brilliant series! Spell Bound is as fast-paced, fun, and awesome as I thought it would be, yet it was also intense, gripping, and heartbreaking too. My recommendation for this series is sky high!  

BUY or BORROW?: If you don't have this series on your shelf yet, I have nothing to say to you except to buy it! These books are perfect if you want to read something fast or fun or just plain awesome. I LOVE having them all on my shelf! :)  


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Last Echo

Time for another amazing Wednesday! :)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by the awesome Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating! This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting
In the end, all that's left is an echo...
Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet's talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers.
Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it's Violet's job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by "the girlfriend collector" she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship" and Violet may have caught his eye....

(summary taken from Goodreads
Release Date: April 17, 2012
Series: The Body Finder #3
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters

I love this series so much because it's creepy yet cool, intense yet sweet, and a mystery yet a supernatural book at the same time! :) And it also puts my weakness for best friend romances to the test because Jay is seriously a book boyfriend you will ADORE. ♥ But I can't be the only one intrigued about Rafe as well!



Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Review: The Night She Disappeared

Book: The Night She Disappeared
Author: April Henry
Series: N/A
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Pages: 240
Source: Raincoast Books (Thank you so much, RCB!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 3/5
Gabie drives a Mini Cooper. She also works part time as a delivery girl at Pete’s Pizza. One night, Kayla—another delivery girl—goes missing. To her horror, Gabie learns that the supposed kidnapper had asked if the girl in the Mini Cooper was working that night. Gabie can’t move beyond the fact that Kayla’s fate was really meant for her, and she becomes obsessed with finding Kayla. She teams up with Drew, who also works at Pete’s. Together, they set out to prove that Kayla isn’t dead—and to find her before she is.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

If you're looking for a fast-paced mystery that's likely to strap you in for the full ride, then this is definitely the book for you! One second I was just starting the book and the next I was almost halfway done, wondering where time had gone and why I was so tense! 

The Nigh She Disappeared starts off after a girl named Kayla is kidnapped one night on a pizza delivery run... when Gabie was the one who is supposed to be taken. No one knows whether or not Kayla is actually alive, who the kidnapper is, or if he's going to come back for the girl in the Mini Cooper. You'll be on the edge of your seat wondering what's going to happen! 

One of my favourite things about this book is the creative way that it's told. There are several different perspectives from Gabie to Drew to even the nameless killer himself! as well as autopsy reports, 911 transcripts, newspaper articles, and etcetera between chapters. Those, added to the speedily progressing storyline, make it so easy to get hooked on the mystery! The tension keeps building every chapter until the explosive end.  

Yet maybe it's because this book is so short but I never felt connected to the characters. Gabie had a right to be freaked out in her situation, but some of the things she did still made me wince. And her relationship with Drew didn't have any spark or chemistry; it was just there. Drew himself was fun to read about because he was never that perfect YA male character, which I found really refreshing. As a high school girl, I think the realism was spot on! ;) 

Fast-paced and gripping, The Night She Disappeared is a short yet intense mystery that will give you the chills! It may not be the perfect book, but I'd still recommend that you give it a shot anyways because it's full of twists and entertaining to read! :) 

BUY or BORROW?: I think this was more of a borrow read for me, BUT my friend, who is an even bigger mystery junkie than I am, absolutely adored this one, so it really depends on you! 


Monday, March 26, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie Review!!

I've never done a movie review before, but I decided to make an exception for The Hunger Games movie because it was SO AMAZING (and it was based off the awesome book series, which makes it definitely book-related). I went to see it on opening night and had to wait over an hour to get it, but it was so completely worth it. I'd do it all over again if I had to! ;)

(And don't worry, this is all SPOILER FREE!)

First off, I have to start with the cast. When they first announced the actors playing each of these characters, I have to admit that I wasn't thrilled. I didn't hate any of them, but they just didn't fit how I pictured the cast in my head. But now I don't think that anyone could've played these characters like they did!

Jennifer Lawrence is a very subtle actor, and that's what made her so great and Katniss so real.I can't believe I doubted her for a second! Liam Hemsworth as Gale was a great match (even if he didn't have many lines but hey, you can tell these things!); Wooly Harrison played Haymitch's irritating-arrogance-that-somehow-makes-you-love-him perfectly (although a lot more sober); and Elizabeth Banks as Effie had to be one of my favourite things! (She offered comic relief in those tense times with her ridiculouslness!)

And I have to admit that my friends and I used to harbor huge crushes on Josh Hutcherson when he starred in Bridge to Terabithea, and he did an even better job as Peeta in this book! He was charming and sweet and absolutely adorable, which is just how I pictured him in the books.

Isn't the Capitol fashion awesome? x)

Admittedly, the movie did cut out some scenes from the books that I wish had been included like the fact that Madge wasn't in the movie, Peeta's dad didn't visit Katniss before she left, etc. but that's only to be expected since they had to compress 374 pages of awesomeness into a 142 minute film.

But the movie still stayed very true to the books! There are no grand surprises like making one of the guy characters into a girl or something, which would've been really strange and it's almost as if Suzanne Collins was sitting right next door while they were filming it.

The characters, the scenery, the districts, the Capitol, the TECHNOLOGY (holy wow, was the technology of the games so cool to see!)... They were all interpreted in an awesome way! :)

Isn't President Snow creepy?

If I had to rate it? Undoubtedly 5 out of 5 beautiful stars! It didn't disappoint one bit, and if you haven't seen the movie yet, then you should definitely make time to go soon. It's definitely one of the best books-to-movies out there!

And if you haven't read the books yet, then I think I might have to sit you down and force-read them to you. Seriously! This series is one of my absolute favourites and it's probably going to stay that way for a really long time! ;)

(You're probably tired of the hype about it now haha, but I wholeheartedly believe that the hype is all well-deserved!)

Have you watched the movie yet? What did you think of it? Did it live up to the books for you? What was your favourite part?

Do you think you could survive The Hunger Games? :)


Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #23

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we spotlight the books that we've received for review, swapped, or purchased that week. It's a really great idea and I'm excited to take part! :)


Grave Mercy by R.L. LaFevers
The Hunted by Kristy Berridge
Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

*dances in that embarrassing way that makes people want to look away* Look at these amazing books! Don't you just want to hug them?? I sure do (and did)! A gazillion THANK YOUs to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kristy Berridge, HarperCollins Canada, and Macmillan for sending me these!

Also, I already had an ARC of Shadow and Bone, so I'm working on finding a beautiful new home for this extra one, but it's amazing nonetheless! Seriously you want to read this book! :)


Above by Leah Bobet
Blood Feud by Alyxandra Harvey
Out For Blood by Alyxandra Harvey

I've already read and completely adored Blood Feud and Out for Blood because they're both such fast and fun books! The Drake Chronicles series is easily becoming one of the sweetest group of one-night-reads ever I can't get enough! 

And that's my mailbox for this week! I don't think it's possible to not be excited whenever you get a book in the mail! ;) Thank you so much again to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Kristy Berridge, HarperCollins Canada, Macmillan, and as always the fantastic publisher representatives and authors for these beautiful books! :)



P.S. Have you guys watched The Hunger Games movie yet?? I went to see it on opening night and it was AMAZING! You guys should definitely go watch it!! :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

COVER LOVE: Bye Bye, Winter Edition!

Winter officially ended a few days ago, which I think is YAY-worthy (even though we've been having strangely warm weather here in Canada anyways haha)! :) But to celebrate the hopeful promise of warmer weather, I thought it'd be cool to check out some summery covers like these ones:

Crewel by Gennifer Albin
(The Crewel World #1)
Release Date: October 16, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.
Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
(Starcrossed #2)

Release Date: May 29, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon | Chapters

As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos.

As an unforgettable love triangle emerges, Josephine Angelini’s compelling saga becomes ever more intricate and spellbinding. The eagerly awaited sequel to the internationally bestselling Starcrossed, Dreamless delivers with a huge emotional impact that will leave readers satisfied—and longing for more.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Release Date: June 14, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon | Chapters

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them… until one summer evening Jase Garrett climbs her trellis and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love and stumble through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first romance, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own - even as she keeps him a secret from her disapproving mother and critical best friend. Then the unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A debut novel about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

Through To You by Emily Hainsworth
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon | Chapters

A romantic sci-fi thriller about love and second chances.
Camden Pike has been grief-stricken since his girlfriend, Viv, died. Viv was the last good thing in his life: helping him rebuild his identity after a career-ending football injury, picking up the pieces when his home life shattered, and healing his pain long after the meds wore off. And now, he’d give anything for one more glimpse of her. But when Cam makes a visit to the site of Viv’s deadly car accident, he sees some kind of apparition. And it isn’t Viv.
The apparition’s name is Nina, and she’s not a ghost. She’s a girl from a parallel world, and in this world, Viv is still alive. Cam can’t believe his wildest dreams have come true. All he can focus on is getting his girlfriend back, no matter the cost. But things are different in this other world: Viv and Cam have both made very different choices, things between them have changed in unexpected ways, and Viv isn’t the same girl he remembers. Nina is keeping some dangerous secrets, too, and the window between the worlds is shrinking every day. As Cam comes to terms with who this Viv has become and the part Nina played in his parallel story, he’s forced to choose—stay with Viv or let her go—before the window closes between them once and for all.

You can probably tell how much I love finding new covers by now. ;) But don't they just make you really excited for summer? We still have to go through spring to get there, but that doesn't mean we can't dream about sun-soaking and beach-swimming and sight-seeing!

I hope that wherever you guys are, the weather is as nice as these covers! :)

What book are you most excited for?  


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: The Immortal Rules

Book: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 485
Source: publisher (Thank you so much, Harlequin!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon CA | The Book Depository | Chapters
Stars: 5/5

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

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

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

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

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for. 

(summary taken from Goodreads)

Holy sweet goodness... There's a reason why the world loves Julie Kagawa and this is IT. Her writing is flawless; her creativity is out of this world. She could probably write about flying chickens and it would still be amazing!   

The first thing you have to know is that this book can hardly be compared to The Iron Fey series because they're so DIFFERENT (in the best possible way!). The only things that remain constant are Julie's talents for writing, fantastic world-building, and creating a cast of realistic characters that you'll be handing your heart to before you know it (like Kanin and Caleb!)

The Immortal Rules is set in a world where vampires dominate and humans have the choice to either be well-fed blood sources or starving Unregistereds. The way it was crafted was flawless. No plot holes here! Vampire stories may be a dime a dozen nowadays, but Julie proves that there's still hope for originality in the bunch. 

Both as a human and a vampire, Allie kicks ass and I completely love her for it! She's fierce, determined, and loyal, but she's also REAL in ways that other a lot of other books can't pull off. And then there's Ezekiel Crosse Zeke for short who is so sweet and sexy and wholeheartedly good (yet still hot with a weapon) that falling for him is non-negotiable!  

Dark and gritty and a page-turner from the very start, The Immortal Rules does not disappoint! My only warning is to not start this book without time set aside to read because you won't stop thinking about it even after the last page is turned. :) 

BUY or BORROW?: Buy buy buy buy it! This book is written by Julie Kagawa. (And the heroine wields a katana along with her fangs!) Why are you hesitating?? x) 


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Unraveling

Time for another amazing Wednesday! :)

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by the awesome Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating! This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 

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

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

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

(summary taken from Goodreads
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Series: N/A
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Everyone keeps talking about how amazing this book is (you know who you are ), so I can't help but listen! Because really, an FBI agent's daughter with a mysterious sort of supernatural aspect couldn't possibly add up to anything other than awesomeness! ;)



Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Review: Slide

Book: Slide
Author: Jill Hathaway
Series: Slide #1
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins
Pages: 256
Source: publisher (Thank you so much, HCC!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Publisher
Stars: 4/5
Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

Wow! Slide defines what an awesome murder mystery novel should be like: twisting, original, somewhat creepy yet completely unexpected. I couldn't put this down until I was certain who the killer was, and in this rare case, it wasn't until the very end of the book!  

Fast-paced and enticing, this is the kind of novel you should clear your schedule for because you won't be able to stop! Not only is this one of the most surprising mysteries I've read to date (and as a girl who dreams of being the next Nancy Drew, I've read a lot!), but Slide also incorporates a really cool supernatural element too.  

Our fantastic, spunky, and pink-haired heroine Vee can slide into the minds of other people. She can literally see things from a person's eyes just by touching an item that belonged to them. Vee is such a multi-layered and realistically flawed character that I felt for her from the beginning, and connected with her even more as the story progressed.  

Each of the secondary characters from Vee's little sister to her dad to her best friend Rollins (who was an amazingly genuine character!) had their own little mysteries surrounding them, and that made it all the more intense to read. You also can't help but second-guess the incredibly sweet new boy, Zane, just because the sweet new boys are always suspicious.  

I bet that 99.9% of you won't guess the killer correctly if you were to stick with one person! My only wish is that the mystery could've been wrapped up a bit better because mysteries should be able to stand on their own (although that doesn't mean this end on a cliffhanger at all!), but other than that, Slide is definitely one of the better YA mysteries out there! ;) 

BUY or BORROW?: This book is a must-have for anyone who loves a great mystery especially a riveting murder mystery with a cool supernatural element, awesome characters, and a twist at the end that will throw you off your feet! :) 


Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: Torn

Book: Torn
Author: Amanda Hocking
Series: Trylle Trilogy #2
Release Date: February 28, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 291
Source: Kaylee (This girl is completely made of awesome!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Stars: 4.5/5
Amanda Hocking is an indie publishing sensation whose self-published novels have sold millions of copies all over the world.  Step into the world of the Trylle, and prepare to be enchanted…

When Wendy Everly first discovers the truth about herself—that she’s a changeling switched at birth—she knows her life will never be the same. Now she’s about to learn that there’s more to the story…
She shares a closer connection to her Vittra rivals than she ever imagined—and they’ll stop at nothing to lure her to their side. With the threat of war looming, her only hope of saving the Trylle is to master her magical powers—and marry an equally powerful royal. But that means walking away from Finn, her handsome bodyguard who’s strictly off limits…and Loki, a Vittra prince with whom she shares a growing attraction.
Torn between her heart and her people, between love and duty, Wendy must decide her fate. If she makes the wrong choice, she could lose everything, and everybody, she’s ever wanted…in both worlds.
As a special gift to readers, this book contains a new, never-before-published bonus story, “One Day, Three Ways,” set in the magical world of the Trylle.
(summary taken from Goodreads)

You know you have an amazing sequel when you love it more than the first book and that's exactly the case with Torn! I wasn't expecting to be as blown away as I was but I ended up loving it from the beautiful cover to the heartbreaking end.

From the very first page, I already knew I was going to lose sleep reading this book! It still gives enough information to remind you of what happened in Switched, but the recap isn't boring or overwhelming. We also get to learn more about the Trylle lore, with its beautiful and magical trolls that are separated into two quarreling kingdoms (both of which have automatically made it onto my list of Fictional Places I Want To Live In).

In the first book, Wendy was only discovering her Trylle heritage and she was admittedly a little childish with her actions. But in Torn, you watch her grow and develop and have to go through so many sacrifices to protect her kingdom that you can't help but love her! My heart was on an inconsistent rhythm, but it was always in sync with hers.

Wendy's birth mother, Elora, also surprised me with how much I grew to like her. And even though you watch Wendy's forbidden romance with Finn dwindle before your eyes, which is as painful and heartbreaking to us as it is to her, we get to meet Loki (who completely stole me heart)! How can you not fall for a guy who's fun and sardonic yet still adorably sweet??

Beautifully written and crafted, Torn is a book that I think everyone should have on their shelf! The lore is original and enchanting, the romance is sweet and heartbreaking, and Wendy's sacrifices will tear you apart. I can't wait to get my hands on the final installment! :)

BUY or BORROW?: Definitely a book worth buying! If not for the gorgeous cover, then buy it for the coolest trolls you will ever read about in your life! ;)


Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox #22

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we spotlight the books that we've received for review, swapped, or purchased that week. It's a really great idea and I'm excited to take part! :)


Partials by Dan Wells
Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

I actually just finished A Monster Calls and it was honestly one of the most beautifully heartbreaking books I've ever read! If you don't have it on your TBR pile yet, please add it! I already know I'm going to end up buying my own copy to add to my shelf!


Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink


Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
Torn by Amanda Hocking
Masquerade by Cambria Hebert

I won Harbinger from the amazing Sharon @ Obsession with Books and was really ecstatic when it came on the mail (because I love having the gorgeous cover on my bookshelf)! Thanks so much, Sharon! :)

Kaylee hilarious and sweet girl extraordinaire! gifted Torn to me because she knows how much I adored the first book, and because she knows how crazy things are for me at home right now. I heart you SO much, Kay! :') ♥ Having this surprise come just made my day!

And Cambria Hebert (one of the sweetest authors out there!) sent me a copy of her book, which made me really happy because I'm participating in her Masquerade read-along next month! It's being hosted by Heidi @ Rainy Day Ramblings, Steph @ Five Alarm Book Reviews, Candace @ Candace's Book Blog,  Veronica @ Mostly Reviews and Cambria Hebert. (My first read-along I'm so excited!) If you haven't signed up yet, what are you waiting for? ;)

My camera is down for the week so I couldn't take pictures like I usually do (which made me sad because of how many beautiful books I have this week!), but that doesn't lessen the awesomeness one bit! March break is officially over so I won't have as much time to read as I'd like, but I think I can give up a few hours of sleep to make it work! ;)

Thanks so much again to Cambria Hebert, Kaylee (who I'd link to if she still had a blog *hint hint*), Sharon @ Obsession with Books, and my mailman (who would probably be glad that he wasn't around when I found all of these in my my mailbox because I would've hugged him)! :)



Friday, March 16, 2012

COVER LOVE: Wow Edition!

Sometimes you come across a cover where all you can think is: "WOW." And here are some covers I recently stumbled across that had that effect on me! :)

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon

Generations ago, a genetic experiment gone wrong—the Reduction—decimated humanity, giving rise to a Luddite nobility who outlawed most technology.

Eighteen-year-old Luddite Elliot North has always known her place in this caste system. Four years ago Elliot refused to run away with her childhood sweetheart, the servant Kai, choosing duty to her family’s estate over love. But now the world has changed: a new class of Post-Reductionists is jumpstarting the wheel of progress and threatening Luddite control; Elliot’s estate is floundering; and she’s forced to rent land to the mysterious Cloud Fleet, a group of shipbuilders that includes renowned explorer Captain Malakai Wentforth—an almost unrecognizable Kai. And while Elliott wonders if this could be their second chance, Kai seems determined to show Elliot exactly what she gave up when she abandoned him.

But Elliot soon discovers her childhood friend carries a secret—-one that could change the society in which they live…or bring it to its knees. And again, she’s faced with a choice: cling to what she’s been raised to believe, or cast her lot with the only boy she’s ever loved, even if she has lost him forever.

Inspired by Jane Austen’s PERSUASION, FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.

Silver by Talia Vance
Release Date: September 8, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon

Beauty is pointless when no one's looking.

Brianna Paxton has been invisible to guys since the eighth grade. She’s pretty enough, it’s just that no one bothers to look. There’s almost nothing that can’t be explained with science, and Brianna has a theory: she’s missing the pheromone that attracts people to one another. Brianna’s theory is shot to hell in one frozen, silver moment, when time stops and Blake Williams not only sees her, he recognizes something inside her that she’s been hiding from even herself.

Before Brianna fully understands who and what she is, she accidentally binds her soul to Blake. Forced to find a way to reconcile forbidden love and her bloody heritage, Brianna discovers that there's nothing pointless about her, and Blake may be in the most danger of all.

Innocent Darkness by Suzanne Lazear
(The Aether Chronicles #1)
Release Date: August 8, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon

Wish. Love. Desire. Live.

Sixteen-year-old Noli Braddock's hoyden ways land her in an abusive reform school far from home. On mid-summer's eve she wishes to be anyplace but that dreadful school. A mysterious man from the Realm of Faerie rescues her and brings her to the Otherworld, only to reveal that she must be sacrificed, otherwise, the entire Otherworld civilization will perish.

And I'm not sure if this cover is official or not since I just saw it yesterday, but I'm super excited for it nonetheless! :)

The Soul by Stephenie Meyer
(The Host #2)
Release Date: August 8, 2012
Links: Goodreads

You can't tell me you don't want to read any of these books! There's a Jane Austen-inspired story, soul-binding, faery steampunk, and a sequel to one of the coolest books I've ever read! I'd say that makes for a couple of awesome books! ;)

What book are you most excited for?  


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: Take a Bow

Book: Take a Bow
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Series: N/A
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Publisher: Point
Pages: 278
Source: publisher (Thank you so much, Scholastic Canada!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Stars: 5/5
From the fantastic author of The Lonely Hearts Club and Prom & Prejudice comes a story of all the drama and comedy of four friends who grow into themselves at a performing arts high school. 

Emme, Sophie, Ethan, and Carter are seniors at a performing arts school, getting ready for their Senior Showcase recital, where the pressure is on to appeal to colleges, dance academies, and professionals in show business. For Sophie, a singer, it's been great to be friends with Emme, who composes songs for her, and to date Carter, soap opera heartthrob who gets plenty of press coverage. Emme and Ethan have been in a band together through all four years of school, but wonder if they could be more than just friends and bandmates. Carter has been acting since he was a baby, and isn't sure how to admit that he'd rather paint than perform.

The Senior Showcase is going to make or break each of the four, in a funny, touching, spectacular finale that only Elizabeth Eulberg could perform.
(summary taken from Goodreads

You know those books that are so adorable, so sweet, so subtly inspiring that they make you want to hug the author and all of the people involved in publishing them? Take a Bow is one of those books!

My first thought after reading this was that I wanted to become a singer which is completely untrue because I'm a writer-girl, and singing and I don't go together unless it involves broken windows. But Elizabeth Eulberg wrote this novel in a way that made me want to jump in and follow these four teenagers on their aspiring path to stardom.

Take a Bow is told through four alternating perspectives, which I originally thought would be confusing, but it works for this book! The four teens are so different, both in personalities and aspirations, but their stories are weaved together perfectly. Each of them are real and imperfect and relatable. I was surprised by how quickly I became attached to all of them, and how invested I became in rooting for them to reach their dreams.

The plot is so well-paced that you will undoubtedly finish this book in one sitting. And the music aspect was brilliant. Even if you can't really hear the music, you'll feel like you're soaking up in the melody anyways because of the flawless way the author described it.

Beautifully written and full of heart, Take a Bow is a book that will bring a smile to your face and make you want to pursue your craziest dream. I'd recommend it to all wholeheartedly!

BUY or BORROW?: This book is made for those days when you just want to read something that's sweet and awesome and smile-worthy. That makes it buy-worthy, in my opinion!


P.S. I usually don't include quotes in my reviews, but I just wanted to give you a taste of the awesomeness I'm trying to explain. Here's one from Carter's point of view!

"My diet has been a serious topic lately since the producers feel the need for my character to appear shirtless. A lot. Because most seventeen-year-old guys hang out at home in khakis and nothing else. In one scene, I take off my shirt before I open up a book. I don't get it, but apparently the viewers like it. It's beyond embarrassing."
~Carter, page 54 in the ARC
See what I mean? ;)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: Abandon

Book: Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Series: Abandon Trilogy #1
Release Date: April 26, 2011
Publisher: Point
Pages: 304
Source: KPL
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Stars: 3/5
New from #1 New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot, a dark, fantastical story about this world . . . and the underworld.

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

(summary taken from Goodreads

Meg Cabot will always continue to be one of the wittiest authors on my watch, and that doesn't change with this sweet re-telling of the Hades and Persephone myth!

Although Abandon was a little slow to start, it was such an easy book to fly through in one sitting. I loved how you could never tell exactly where it was going. You just had to sit back and enjoy the ride, which was really refreshing! The only thing I found hard to swallow was how many flashbacks were incorporated in the story because it slowed down the pace.

Our heroine, Pierce, was such a kind, caring, and considerate girl, but I felt like she was made from a mold I'd seen so many times before: shy and a little too selfless. The story was very well-written but I never felt like Pierce's voice shone through and that made it really hard to connect with her. I wanted to see more of the strength that the author implied was there! 

But John complete with his dark and broodiness that made him a totally swoon-worthy character was the perfect love interest for Pierce! Their whole relationship was so incredibly sweet, and near the end, I found myself smiling at their interactions. This may have been a Hades/Persephone re-telling, but they put their own captivating spin on it.

Thoughtful and sweet, Abandon may not have been a favourite, but it was a beautiful start to a bound-to-be enticing trilogy. You should definitely give it a shot! I'm really excited to see where Meg Cabot will take this story with the future installments! :)

BUY or BORROW?: This was more of a borrow read for me, but if you're a Meg Cabot fan or a huge Greek mythology lover, then you might want to look into investing in this book!


Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Pure

Book: Pure
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Covenant #2
Release Date: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 329
Source: publisher (Thank you so much, SHP!!)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
Stars: 5/5
There is need. And then there is Fate...

Being destined to become some kind of supernatural electrical outlet isn't exactly awesome--especially when Alexandria's "other half" is everywhere she goes. Seth's in her training room, outside her classes, and keeps showing up in her bedroom--so not cool. Their connection does have some benefits, like staving off her nightmares of the tragic showdown with her mother, but it has no effect on what Alex feels for the forbidden, pure-blooded Aiden. Or what he will do--and sacrifice--for her.

When daimons infiltrate the Covenants and attack students, the gods send furies--lesser gods determined to eradicate any threat to the Covenants and to the gods, and that includes the Apollyon... and Alex. And if that and hordes of aether-sucking monsters didn't blow bad enough, a mysterious threat seems willing to do anything to neutralize Seth, even if that means forcing Alex into servitude... or killing her.

When the gods are involved, some decisions can never, ever be undone.

(summary taken from Goodreads

I think it's an understatement to say that Jennifer L. Armentrout has taken this world by storm! First she stunned everyone with Half-Blood, then she took our breath away with Obsidian. Now there's another huge explosion where I admit that I have Pure is the best one yet! 

There are no words to describe how fantastic Jennifer L. Armentrout is at toying with your emotions! I wanted to laugh and cry and pull my hair out. She managed to hook me on from the first page, blindfold me, then strap me onto a roller coaster that would not let go. Even if I despised Greek mythology (which is the opposite of true!), I would've loved this book anyways because of how breathtakingly twisting and original everything about it was!  

Alex, our half-blooded heroine, has to be one of the best, kick-ass, snarky, and totally fun characters I've ever read about! You do not want this girl on your opposing team. She's equal parts strength and vulnerability that make her as easy to admire as she is to connect with.  

The romance was pure and absolute perfection! Somehow, even as I was falling deeper in love with Aiden (the forbidden pure-blood), Seth managed to wedge his way into my fictional-boy-filled heart. Between all the twists that occur, you don't know what to think! Then there is The Pool Scene. And you may never breathe again.  

Intensely gripping and action-packed from the start, Pure is undoubtedly one of the best sequels I've ever read! It easily makes my favourites list and leaves me craving for more. If you haven't started this series yet, what are you waiting for? ;) 

BUY or BORROW?: This should not be a question. Or if you have to ask anything, it should be BUY or BUY? because this is one amazing novel that you must have on your shelf!  


Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox #21

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we spotlight the books that we've received for review, swapped, or purchased that week. It's a really great idea and I'm excited to take part! :)


Fated by Alyson Noel
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Article 5 by Kristen Simmons
The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Is it just me or is my mailbox STUNNING??? I'm still so giddy inside for receiving all of these that I can't stop smiling! Thank goodness it's March break (YAY!) or else I wouldn't be getting any sleep at all. x)

I also already have one finished copy of Article 5, so it was a nice surprise to have another one come from Tor Teen. I've already found a beautiful new home for it with a fellow blogger. :) You can read my 5-star review for it here!

Thank you so much A MILLION, GAJILLION times to Raincoast Books, Tor Teen, Harlequin Canada, HarperCollins Canada, and each of their amazing representatives for being as fantastic as they are! :)



Friday, March 09, 2012

COVER LOVE: Deathly Cool Edition!

I'm pretty sure you all know by now that I'm addicted to eye-catching covers! x) Here are some deathly cool ones that I've been keeping my eye on lately:

Underworld by Meg Cabot
(Abandon Trilogy #2)
Release Date: May 28, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon

Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce Oliviera isn’t dead.

Not this time.

But she is being held against her will in the dim, twilit world between heaven and hell, where the spirits of the deceased wait before embarking upon their final journey.

Her captor, John Hayden, claims it’s for her own safety. Because not all the departed are dear. Some are so unhappy with where they ended up after leaving the Underworld, they’ve come back as Furies, intent on vengeance…on the one who sent them there and on the one whom he loves.

But while Pierce might be safe from the Furies in the Underworld, far worse dangers could be lurking for her there…and they might have more to do with its ruler than with his enemies.

And unless Pierce is careful, this time there’ll be no escape.

Rift by Andrea Cremer
(Nightshade Prequel #1)
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon

Before Calla Tor, there was Ember Morrow...

Sixteen-year-old Lady Ember Morrow fulfills a family obligation by joining her friend Alistair in the Conatus Guard and begins training to help with the order’s true mission, to seek out and stop evildoers and their unnatural creations.
**This is the prequel to the ever-awesome Nightshade series! How can you not want to read this book?? If anyone knows how to write werewolves, it's Andrea Cremer! ;)

Dark Star by Bethany Frenette
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon

Audrey Whitticomb has nothing to fear. Her mother is the superhero Morning Star, the most deadly crime-fighter in the Twin Cities, so it’s hard for Audrey not to feel safe. That is, until she’s lured into the sweet night air by something human and not human—something with talons and teeth, and a wide, scarlet smile.

Now Audrey knows the truth: her mom doesn’t fight crime at night. She fights Harrowers—livid, merciless beings who were trapped Beneath eons ago. Yet some have managed to escape. And they want Audrey dead, just because of who she is: one of the Kin.

To survive, Audrey will need to sharpen the powers she has always had. When she gets close to someone, dark corners of the person’s memories become her own, and she sometimes even glimpses the future. If Audrey could only get close to Patrick Tigue, a powerful Harrower masquerading as human, she could use her Knowing to discover the Harrowers’ next move. But Leon, her mother’s bossy, infuriatingly attractive sidekick, has other ideas. Lately, he won’t let Audrey out of his sight.

When an unthinkable betrayal puts Minneapolis in terrible danger, Audrey discovers a wild, untamed power within herself. It may be the key to saving her herself, her family, and her city. Or it may be the force that destroys everything—and everyone—she loves.

And even though this kind of stands out against all the blue, it just got released yesterday so...

Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
(Caster Chronicles #4)
Release Date: October 23, 2012
Links: Goodreads | The Book Depository
| Amazon

TA-DA! What do you think?? These are all authors I love: Meg Cabot, Andrea Cremer, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl... and one new debut by Bethany Frenette about superheroes! If that doesn't spell awesome, I don't know what does! ;) 

What book are you most excited for?