Home     Review Policy      Hot New Titles      Contact Me


Friday, June 24, 2011

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater

ISBN: 9780545259088
Publisher: Scholastic Press

Page #: 388

Source: ARC from the publisher @ BEA


When Sam met Grace, he was a wolf and she was a girl. Eventually he found a way to become a boy, and their love moved from a curious distance to the intense closeness of shared lives.

That should have been the end of their story. But Grace was not meant to stay human. Now she is the wolf. And the wolves of Mercy Falls are about to be killed in one final, spectacular hunt.

Sam would do anything for Grace. But can one boy and one love really change a hostile, predatory world? The past, the present, and the future are about to collide in one pure moment - a moment of death or life, farewell or forever.
First Lines:

"I can be so quiet. Haste ruins the silence. Impatience squanders the hunt. I take my time."
Page 1

This is the third book in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series. Here are my reviews of the first two:

I was so excited that one of my coworkers brought this book home from BEA. It was one that I had been hoping to get my hands on as soon as it came out. It's the third story of Sam and Grace and the wolf pack - and all of the resistance they encounter. The town has grown very anxious with the pack and want them eliminated as soon as possible.

I've described the start of this book to a few people as "super emo." If you've read the first two books, you know that each one starts with one of the main characters alone and pining for the other. It's a love story like that, but they always start out lonely. This time it felt like too much - too much "it's all my fault"; too much "I miss her so much"; and too much "woe is me." At least it was all too much for my taste.

This doesn't mean it was a bad book. It just means that I had a harder time getting into it and loving the story in the end. I did love that like the second book, you had more characters to focus on and learn about. There are also a few more people pulled into the secret of the wolves - which gives the story a more depth.

The big story in this book is that the wolves are under attack from the city. Of course the people want to get rid of them after they've killed a few people. The solution and the way they come to it is wonderful. It gives the book a much more action packed feel than if it was all about the lovey-dovey :). It also separates out the good guys from the "bad." I was impressed at how the author pulled it all together.

I was hoping for more of a conclusion in this last book of the trilogy. There are lots of things that do get wrapped up in the end and I was thankful for that. But really there's not a full ending. You are left wondering how things are going to be from now on for our characters. I guess that's not a bad ending... I just was hoping for more.

All in all, this was a good ending to a fun series. I really think that those into paranormal romance will love these books. I've had to convince lots of readers that these aren't your typical werewolves - they have a lot more to offer. And it seems less weird :). But I do know that these books are loved by lots of readers and will continue to be loved for a long time. I look forward to the next books by Maggie Stiefvater.
Other Blog Reviews:

Eve's Fan Garden
Presenting Lenore
Annette's Book Spot
Logan E. Turner
Book Journey
Parajunkee's View
Chick Loves Lit

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (61)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Eleventh Plague
by Jeff Hirsch
To be released: September 1, 2011

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"Twenty years after the start of the war that caused the Collapse, fifteen-year-old Stephen, his father, and grandfather travel post-Collapse America scavenging, but when his grandfather dies and his father decides to risk everything to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down."

There have been lots of dystopian novels lately, but this one sounds really interesting. I think it's all based on influenza getting out of control. Very realistic. I think the story sounds wonderful and I can't wait to read it! Not to mention that this is a debut novel - sounds like a winner :).

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Title: The Lying Game
Author: Sara Shepard
ISBN: 9780061869709
Publisher: Harper Teen
Page #: 307
Source: From my public library

"The worse part of being dead is that there's nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It's enough to kill a girl all over again. But I'm about to get something no one else does - an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma's desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me - to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she's the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?"
First Lines:

"I woke up in a dingy claw-foot bathtub in an unfamiliar pink-tiled bathroom. A stack of Maxims sat next to the toilet, green toothpaste globbed in the sink, and white drips streaked the mirror."
Page 1

I'm just going to preface this review by saying that I didn't read the Pretty Little Liars series by the same author. I have, however, gotten completely addicted to the tv show... not that it means anything. We all know how things get translated into movie/tv. Not well :). So I figured I would pick this book up instead of trying to start a series that has so much to it.

The story is about twin sisters who have never met. One living a privileged life (Sutton), the other in foster care and bad situations (Emma). Emma learns about her twin and sets out to find her - only to realize that she's been murdered. She inserts herself into Sutton's life and tries to figure out what has happened. Emma learns a lot more about Sutton than she ever thought possible.

You're seeing the story through the eyes of Sutton, who is now destined to haunt her twin. There are a few times I forgot that and had to reread parts of it... there's a few bits where she interjects her own feelings about something. And it's very interesting that Sutton's ghost self remembers nothing of her old life. Watching your life play out before you could show you more about yourself than ever before. I can't imagine doing that.

The story is a good mystery and you start to suspect every person that Emma comes in contact with. Even the people that Sutton would have trusted the most. That's one of the things that really kept me interested in the story - trying to figure out who would have killed her. Especially since that person is threatening Emma with what they know and what the will do to her if she tells. Very spooky.

Honestly, I do find it hard to believe that people didn't recognize Emma as different. Yes, they are identical twins... but you know they have to have totally different manarisms. Definitely if they've grown up separately and have never seen each other. Emma's reactions to things are totally different than Sutton... just their faces are the same. Of course, that sort of plays into things toward the ending - that people probably know it, but they aren't saying anything because it makes them guilty.

Recommending this book will be easy to the people who love a good mystery, but shrowded in chick lit. Kinda :). I do feel the similarities to PLL, but it's got its own character. I'll be reading the next book in the series to see where the story is heading. It's definitely worth figuring out how things are going to turn out.
Other Blog Reviews:

YA Booklover Blog
Inkpop Blog
The Reader Room
Novel Novice
Reading Angel
Taming the Bookshelf
Teen Space Blog (Hamilton Public Library)
Murphy's Library
Reading Nook

Waiting on Wednesday (60)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

Damned (Crusade #2)
by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
To be released: August 30, 2011

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"There is a fine line between love and sacrifice….
Antonio would do anything for his beloved fighting partner Jenn. He protects her, even suppresses his vampire cravings to be with her. Together, they defend humanity against the Cursed Ones. But tensions threaten to fracture their hunting team and his loyalty—his love—is called into question.
Jenn, the newly appointed Hunter, aches for revenge against the Cursed One who converted her sister. And with an even more sinister power on the rise, she must overcome her personal vendettas to lead her team into battle.
Antonio and Jenn need each other to survive, but evil lurks at every turn. With humanity’s fate hanging in the balance, they must face down the darkness…or die trying."

I really liked the first book, Crusade. Here's my review of that one. I recall really loving the characters, so I look forward to more from them. I do have to say that I'm not as taken with the cover as I was for the first book, but I'll definitely be picking this one up!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Title: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
ISBN: 9780062024022

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Page #: 487

Source: From my public library


"In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue - Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is - she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are - and where, exactly, romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves... or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series - dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance."
First Lines:

"There is one mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair."
Page 1

Before I picked up this book, I read lots of insanely good reviews. I got a little worried that there was going to be a hype situtaion and I would be left disappointed. All that worry for nothing. This book lived up to the hype and more. And while I'm not going to compare this book to another one (like several have), I will say that my husband - who only reads comic books - said, "I haven't heard you this excited about a book since you read Hunger Games." And he means that in excited-ness... not the story. This definitely ranks in my top five books this year.

Okay, so before I get involved in my gushing... This is the story of Tris who lives in a world where everyone is divided into factions when they are sixteen. They must live and breathe their factions - "faction before blood" is quoted throughout the book. But before they can be full members, they must survive the initiation process. Tris finds herself in a situation where she is being tested physically, mentally, and emotionally. She then finds out that things outside of her new faction aren't going well - and soon she finds herself in the middle of it.

Tris is a character that I cannot wait to learn more about. She starts out as this very meek, very quiet girl... one who blends in with the backgroud. On purpose. It's amazing how much she grows throughout the book. I really was rooting for her from the get-go. Her new faction is a full of new experiences and friendships - down to the details of differences in food. I mean, she had never had a hamburger. I love that the factions are that well fleshed out.

This first book is really focused on three out of the five factions. I am excited to see how the other two are used in the coming books. Hopefully we will get a better feel for them. The whole concept of the factions really fascinates me. Can you imagine living in a world where you are fully defined by one aspect of your personality - to spend your whole life focusing on being selfless. It just seems like such an amazing idea. But I also love how things start to unravel in the society because of this rigid focus.

I love the blooming romance throughout this book. There are some books that sort of hit you over the head with it - but this one feels more real. How things start, how they progress, how they react... it all just feels right. The way you learn more and more about the love interest gives the story some serious depth as you go along. Through the first half of the book, you really don't think that a love story is coming. But when it does... I honestly think it's beautifully written.

The ending of this book was fantastic. It's full of action and craziness... and death, really. But it's written in a way that you understand how things are changing and how your main characters fit into it. I've described this ending as a video game. My husband is a gamer, through and through. And this ending really reminded me of all those first person shooter games he plays. Lots of bullets wizzing through the air, running from location to location (elevater to hallway to tunnel, etc), and facing the enemy - who is not who you think it is.

All in all, I truly loved this book. I am very picky about which books I purchase for my own collection... and this is one I'll be getting. I think many people will love it for years to come. I'm very excited to read the next installment of the trilogy, but I'm so satisfied with this one at the moment that i don't even need it yet :).

While I want to recommend this book to literally everyone, I think it's gonna be mid- to older teen and up because of the violence. But I do think anyone who reads it will love it. There really is something for everyone. And even though our protag is a girl, I think guys will get into this book just as well. There's nothing overly girly about it - and add in the whole video game ending and you're good to go! So, highly recommended to EVERYONE. Get your hands on a copy. You won't regret it.
Other Blog Reviews:

Read ~ Knit ~ Blog
Candace's Book Blog
Bookpeople's Blog
Sara's Urban Fantasy Blog
Bewitched Bookworms
Bookanista Reviews
Chick Loves Lit
Morgan and Whitney Dish
These reviews only scratch the surface of the number of people who have reviewed and loved this book.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Title: Hades
Author: Alexandra Adornetto

ISBN: 9780312656270

Publisher: Feiwel and Friends

Page #: 422

Source: ARC from the publisher (BEA)


"Even the love of her boyfriend, Xavier Woods, and her siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can't keep the angel Bethany Church from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, Jake Thorn bargains for Beth's release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well. can he be trusted in this wager?"
First Lines:

"When the final bell sounded at Bryce Hamilton, Xavier and I gathered our things and headed out onto the south lawn. The weather forecast had predicted a clear afternoon but the sun was fighting an uphill battle and the sky remained a cheerless, gunmetel gray."
Page 1

Okay, so this book comes out in August, but I was lucky enough to get a copy from BEA. Or, rather... one of my coworkers got it and was nice enough to share :). I really fell in love with the first book, Halo. Check out my review here.

So... this book picks up where the last one left off. Beth and Xavier are going strong. Life is now all about school and friends. After a careless seance, Beth gets tricked into being taken into Hell. Angels aren't meant for Hell, so she is trapped and miserable. Gabriel and Ivy search for ways to get her out, while Beth tries to bargain her way back to Earth.

I really felt like this book suffered from that second book slump. It took a while for the story to really pick up. Once it did, I was all hooked and ready to go. It just took about 100 pages for that to happen. The Beth/Xavier relationship had something to do with that dragging beginning. They are even called out in the book for being too close and together all the time. It's a little too sugary for my taste. Not to mention the number of times she waxes lyrical about his hair and eye colors.

It's really interesting to me to have a book set in Hell. I mean, there's so much to discover in a world like that. There are a few locations that you visit while Beth is learning where she is and how to get out... but I felt like we never get a real picture. There's a lot of talk about tunnels, so I envisioned totally rock and enclosed. But her hotel room has a view of something. Not sure how I'm supposed to interpret that. I just wished for more landscape discussion. But I suppose it's more of a character driven book like that.

The last 100 pages or so are packed. There's lots of action and drama and such. It's a little too convenient. Oh, they just happened to be at the right spot, etc. But the amount of characters colliding and action stuff, it's the fastest part of this book. The very end leaves you on a huge cliffhanger. I mean, something semi-small happens and there's a reaction... and it's over. The last sentence is an action sentence.

Because of that cliffhanger, I will definitely be picking up the last book. It'll be a while since this one hasn't been released yet. But I'm definitely interested to see what happens. I think fans of Halo will view this second book as almost a necessary story to get you to the last one. I'm not sure about that, having not read the last one yet. I'm hoping this review isn't too harsh - I think I just had really high expectations for Hades because I loved Halo so much.

I will continue to recommend the first book to anyone who is remotely interested in Angels. I think it's a really cool concept and there's so much to be done with it. This second book is harder for me to recommend, but I think those who loved the first one will be reading it anyway (just like I did). I have high hopes for the third book... fingers crossed! :)
Other Blog Reviews:

So yeah, couldn't find any others yet. I'm sure there will be a bunch soon. But as of yet, I couldn't find any.

Waiting on Wednesday (59)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

The Cupid War
By Timothy Carter
To be released: August 08, 2011

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"Seventeen-year-old Ricky Fallon was contemplating suicide when he slipped and fell, only to find himself a Cupid in the afterlife, but between the bad boss, a pink bodysuit, and attacks from shadowy entities called Suicides, he is not feeling much love."

While it seems like this book may deal with some serious issues (suicide), it looks like it will be done a little tongue-in-cheek. There are have been a few summaries that make this book sound hilarious... aside from the suicide stuff. I'm definitely intrigued and will be picking this one up.

What are you waiting on this week?

Friday, June 3, 2011

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Fallen Angels
Author: Cassandra Clare
ISBN: 9781442403543
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Page #: 424
Source: My public library

"The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And - most important of all - Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine's Circle, provoking the tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that coud lead to a second bloody war. Clary's best friend, Simon, can't help her. His mother just found out that he's a vampire and how he's homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side - along with the power of the curse that's wrecking his life. And they're willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he's dating two beautiful, dangerous girls - neither of whom knows about the other.

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels."
First Lines:

"'Just coffee, please.'
The waitress raised her penciled eyebrows. 'You don't want anything to eat?' she asked. Her accent was thick, her attitude disappointed."
Page 3

The first two books of the Mortal Instruments series were pre-blog, but here's my review for the third one: City of Glass (It's a pretty crappily written review. So let's look past that, shall we?)

The fourth book starts a whole new story line. Well, same people. Same problems. But the trouble comes in a different form. The first three books conclude one complete story arc, so we're on to the next big thing. The next big thing are crazy ass demons, in case you were wondering. And lots of love troubles. Everyone seems to be having trouble with someone.

You get a much better look at the relationship between Clary and Jace in this book. You start to see where there might be room for problems - especially considering where they've come from. I really found myself rooting for them to make it work. As always, there are complications... but giving away that would be like giving away the ending.

Speaking of the ending, you're left on a super cliffhanger. Once you get close to the end, you think you're done. Things are completed and there's no turning back. But you'd be wrong. I should never get comfortable with endings before I get to the last page. Not wise on my part. Of course, this definitely gets me excited for the next book.

There's also a big focus on Simon's new life as a vampire and how he's dealing with it. Especially since he's like no other vampire, ever. But you see more into his life and the problems he encounters. He is, of course, being chased by tons of people who want to take advantage of his newfound powers. I think he becomes a much more well rounded character in this book. Before I kinda felt sorry for him and wished for him to man-up a little. You see a lot more of that man in this book, and I'm super excited to see where he's headed.

Just as a note, this may be the start of a new story(ish)... but you're going to need to read the first three books anyway. There's lots of detail that you're going to need to understand what's going on in this book.

I absolutely recommend this series to people who love the whole vampire/supernatural/love story stuff. I can barely keep these books on the shelf at work to hand them out - which is a good thing, I suppose. Honestly, I sometimes get this series confused with the Blue Bloods books when I haven't read either in a little while. But once you get started reading, I hardly can put these books down. Very worth their weight :).
Other Blog Reviews:

Krystal's Stellar Book Blog
Wondrous Reads
Girlz Lyfe Blog
Figment Blog
Confessions of a Bookaholic
Novel Thoughts
Katie's Book Blog
What's Your Story?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (58)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Here's what I'm waiting on this week:

by Karsten Knight
To Be Released: July 26, 2011

Summary from Baker and Taylor:
"After a killing for which she feels responsible, sixteen-year-old Ashline Wilde moves cross-country to a remote California boarding school, where she learns that she and others have special gifts that can help them save the world, but evil forces are at work to stop them."

I know this summary sounds a little vague - like just another boarding school story. But I read another one that said there were gods and goddesses involved at the school. I'm all for that. I also love the cover. So pretty!

What are you waiting on this week?

Search This Blog