Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reading Challenge For 2012: 12 Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic in 12 Months

So with the coming new year literally right around the corner I thought it would be fun to challenge myself a little more than the normal read so many books over the year. 
I mean, why not expand that challenge and do something like read so many *insert genre here* instead? I mean, that is fun right? And it gets me to broaden my horizons a little too which I am always up for in books so when I saw the challenge posted on a friend's blog I knew it would be the challenge for me.

The challenge I decided to do?
I know you are just dying to know right? Right?

I decided to go with Rosey's Review challenge of 12 dystopian Post-Apocalyptic in 12 Months.

I realized that this is probably the genre I read from the least but yet when I do read them I really enjoy them, so why not. Plus, lets face it, there are a lot of these books that are coming out next year that just look fabulous or ones even from this year that I just never got around to reading!

So in lew of all those fabulous upcoming releases (and ones of the past), these are the 12 that I have chosen to read. Of course, this could change but for now, here is my tentative, "these books look great I MUST read them next year list."

1. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver. I mean, this was a no brainer because Delirium was FABULOUS so of course I want to read the sequel and honestly I would have even without this challenge.

 2. The Selection by Kiera Cass, I mean look at that gorgeous cover! I have to read it based on the cover alone.

 3. ExtraNormal by Suze Reese, again, look at that cover! Doesn't it just draw you in and beg for you to open it up and read it?

4. Matched by Ally Condie, okay this isn't new as far as released in 2012 but it will be new to me because I actually have this in my TBR pile and have yet to read it, so why not read it for this challenge?

5. Shattered by Kailin Gow. I read the first book in this series, Desire and I really enjoyed it so this is the perfect time to read the second one.

6. Divergent by Veronica Ross, again, I have had this book since it came out and just haven't found the time to read it even though I have heard some amazing things about it. 

7. Eve by Anna Carey. I think I must have a thing for covers because this one is just beautiful and therefore drew me in and is demanding that I read it too.

8. Under The Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. This one just sounds so interesting!

9. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I have heard so many great things about this book that it really is a must read. 

10. This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers. I actually marked this to read on goodreads the moment I saw it.

11. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows. Gorgeous gorgeous cover!

12. Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I am ashamed to admit that once again, I actually own this book and just haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Hopefully I will be able to with this challenge.

So, there you have it. All 12 books, in no particular order that I would love to read and review next year.
Whew! That is quite the list! Think I can get through them all? I really hope I can and I really do plan on doing my best with this list.
But, just in case, wish me luck!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Review: Supernatural Devices by Kailin Gow

Title: Supernatural Devices
Author: Kailin Gow
Series: Book One in the Steampunk Scarlett Series
Published: Oct. 31, 2011 by TheEDGEbooks
Genre: YA Steampunk/paranormal
Source: ARC Paperback Copy from Publisher
Pages: 246
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 Scarlett was a sensible seventeen year old young lady or so everyone thought, but there was definitely more to her. The daughter of famous English Egyptologists and archeologists Theodore and Gemma Seely, she was prone to adventure and all the world had to offer.

It was the 1890s, and she had just received a letter from one of her parents' dearest friend, a certain detective who lived on Baker Street, who needed her help on a case most bizarre.

As she embarks through the supernatural side of London, ventures into the forbidden realms bordering Victorian society; often accompanied by a dashing but infuriating Lord Darthmoor; Scarlett's first case, which had seemed so innocent at first had taken a turn for the unexpected and dangerous.

My Review:

I always like to read Kailin Gow's series to see what new spin or twist she will put on a theme whether it be vampires or witches or fey.
So I was pretty excited to see that she was coming out with a steampunk series because even though I am new to the genre I really like what I have read so far.

And this just isn't steampunk (although, I will admit it is pretty light in that area as far as steampunk goes, so light in fact that I think people who don't like steampunk will still really enjoy this series and be interested in it) this is steampunk with a supernatural twist. Steampunk with vampires and fairies and all beings of the unknown. This is steampunk with, well, spunk.

As with all Gow novels we have a fantastic heroine who is no wussy female waiting for a man to save her or come to her rescue. Instead we get a woman who is fierce and smart and knows how to be tough when she needs to be, act like a lady when it is appropriate and be a warrior when needed. Someone who doesn't fit the ideals of a gentlewoman in London in the late 1800's where this novel is set.

I love the Sherlock and Watson spin on this series, how Scarlett knows them and works with them to help solve cases and as she is about to get her very first solo case to work on things don't always go as planned. In fact, it is downright chaos in the making.

Of course this being a Gow novel we have a love triangle, or maybe love rectangle is more appropriate, or love square? Either way we get some very swoon worthy and even supernatural men for Scarlett to choose from. Each great in their own way and even a little dangerous and mysterious as only Gow knows how to write them.

I really enjoyed this read, even more than I thought I would if I am being completely honest.

I will most definitely be buying the second book when it comes out in a few months and I can't wait to see what adventures are in store for Scarlett as the series continues. Who Scarlett will end up with, what her powers will show and what the future will hold for this feisty detective and her friends.

Indie Book of the Week: Straight To Hell by Michelle Scott

Title: Straight To Hell
Author: Michelle Scott
Series: First Book in Lilith Straight Series
Published: September 8, 2011
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
The moment Lilith Straight dies, the Devil appears to claim her soul and cash in on a family curse. Now, Lilith has no choice but to work for him. The job is bad, the boss is worse and she can’t imagine how she’ll explain her new reincarnation to her eight-year-old daughter. But then an arrogant, yet oh so yummy, incubus shows up…and hell heats up just a little more.
My Review:
Michelle Scott is a very talented writer and her book was very well written and will definitely capture your attention with its witty dialog and unique storyline.

The humor is very well done, I really like Lilith's sarcastic sense of humor and her family is just as humorous. To their crazy lifestyle to their witty comebacks. None of them have it easy in this book, in fact they down right have a horrible go at just trying to make it on their own and survive.
And while this book was lighthearted it dealt with some real hard issues throughout with Lilith just trying to make good choices and do what was right for her family and herself and still stay afloat.

My only issue with this book is that, while Lilith was a strong character and I understand some of the choices that she had to make, I couldn't help but be disappointed with her choices and the path she choose to follow. I didn't find myself really liking her all that much to be honest and I was a little sad that the ending didn't have any kind of real conclusion to it.

I do understand this is the first book in a planned series so I look forward to seeing what Scott has in store now for Lilith and just where her life and chooses will take her from here.

I think this will be a great fun series and I really think a lot of people will really enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

And The Winner Is.....

And The Winner Of A Paperback Copy of Illuminated by Erica Orloff is....

Danielle Smiley!!

I will be emailing you shortly with your mailing info!

BIG thanks to all of my followers and new followers as well. I wouldn't be here doing this without all of you!!

Review: The Fairy Letters by Kailin Gow

Title: The Fairy Letters (Frost Series Novella)
Author: Kailin Gow
Series: Book 3.5 of 5 in the Frost Series
Published By: TheEDGE Books ( Aug. 1. 2011)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
A series of letter from the Winter Prince Kian of Feyland to the Summer Queen Breena during the time of their separation. Their love was forbidden as Winter and Summer Fey are at war with each other. Promised to each other at birth during a brief interlude of peace between the warring fey, Kian and Breena have always known they were each other's destinies. Now grown they are now the brokers of peace. In order to broker peace between Winter and Summer Fey, however, Kian and Breena must sacrifice their love. But in doing so, they made a promise to each other. A promise Kian thought would never be broken. But it was... Meanwhile, sharing a similar fate in love is Kian's sister Princess Shasta and her Summer Knight love Rodney....but her ways are different from her brother Kian's.

My Review:
I will admit that I wasn't too sure about this series when I first started it but it really has grown on me with each new installment.

These letters are a great insight into not only Kian's feelings for Breena but also into Feyland itself. We get to hear some of the legends involving the Fey and the wolves as well as glimpses into the Summer and Winter Court and into Kian and Breena's childhood.

This really was a great addition to the series that adds a whole new level to everything that is happening.

I will admit that the letters towards the end started to break my heart a little though as I felt Kian's anguish over Breena's engagement.

I can't wait to see what book 5 will hold for them.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Title: Every Other Day
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: Stand Alone, Possible New Series
Published By: EgmontUSA (Dec. 27th, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 Every other day, Kali D'Angelo is a normal sixteen-year-old girl. She goes to public high school. She attends pep rallies. She's human.

And then every day in between . . .She's something else entirely.

Though she still looks like herself, every twenty-four hours predatory instincts take over and Kali becomes a feared demon-hunter with the undeniable urge to hunt, trap, and kill zombies, hellhounds, and other supernatural creatures. Kali has no idea why she is the way she is, but she gives in to instinct anyway. Even though the government considers it environmental terrorism.

When Kali notices a mark on the lower back of a popular girl at school, she knows instantly that the girl is marked for death by one of these creatures. Kali has twenty-four hours to save her and, unfortunately, she'll have to do it as a human. With the help of a few new friends, Kali takes a risk that her human body might not survive. . .and learns the secrets of her mysterious condition in the process.

My Review:
I really enjoy Jennifer Lynn Barnes writing, she is a very talented writer. She has the rare ability to make her books almost seem poetic at times and I love that. I love how beautifully they flow. The story lines never seems forced or rough. They are always original and well thought out.

Her latest book, Every Other Day was no exception to her amazing abilities.

This was such an unusual story. Very different from others out there right now.

Kali is a demon hunter, one that every other day she is human with all the traits and characteristics that come with being human but after so many hours she transforms into a kick butt demon slayer with supernatural abilities and a hunger to kick some demon butt along the way.
She learns a lot about herself in this book, who and what she is. Where she came from and what exactly her purpose is here.

This book was completely fast paced, it seemed like before I knew it I was completely immersed in the story and then in a blink I was done.
This did end with some unanswered questions and with a little bit of heartache and left you wondering where the story was going to go from here but, I think that will be a good thing. I think it will leave it wide open for a sequel, which is something I would really like to see and read. I would love to watch Kali's character grow and see what is in store for her.

I think Barnes has the beginning of a great unique series that will be like nothing else out there right now and many readers will really enjoy.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Review: Winter Longing by Tricia Mills and a Holiday Greeting

I truly hope that you all had a wonderful holiday yesterday and were able to spend time with family and friends and appreciate all that is around you.

I truly love this time of year. I know it can be hectic and crazy but I think there is something to be said for the magic that is in the air. For the excitement of the little kids as they see presents under the tree and are read the Christmas Story for the first time.

I love the generosity lots of people display this time of year as they express love to others and lend a helping hand.

I wish that we could all remember how good it feels to love and to be loved by others. To help when we are needed without thinking twice about it.

Oh how much better the world would be if we could carry some of that magic and kindness with us everyday and share it with others!

I wish you all a fabulous week as we celebrate the remaining holiday week and hope the new year brings you lots of happiness and good reads!

Title: Winter Longing
Author: Tricia Mills
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Razorbill (Aug. 5, 2010)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 When Winter's boyfriend is killed in a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness, she's robbed of the future she'd only just allowed herself to believe might be hers. Winter and Spencer had been destined for one another. And after his death, Spencer's presence continues to haunt her.
But when her next-door neighbor becomes an unlikely friend, Winter begins to accept all that she can't change. Can she open herself to a new future . . . and a possible new love?

My Review:
So admittedly this probably wasn't the best book to read right before the holidays because it deals with loss and love and moving on, but, it was an exceptional read and one that just grabbed hold of your emotions until you felt the MC's heartache and you felt like your heart was breaking too.

This book drew out so many emotions. It truly was very well written and just well played out.

There were no easy answers or miraculous recoveries or discoveries. Instead you were left moving along with Winter and as she slowly took this journey life through at her and grew from it. Not only did she grow from it, but I think in the end she coquered it as much as someone can in a situation like this one.

As she learned to deal and let go of the pain and accept what life now had to offer her I felt like I was right there with her, holding her hand and rooting for her to make those hard choices and to pick herself up and mend her broken heart.

This was a truly great read. Mills is an excellent author. She brought out all the emotions and feelings you want in a good well written read. I felt connected to Winter in a way that isn't always easy to do as a writer and a reader.

I will most definitely be seeking out her other work and reading it as well.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Illuminated by Erica Orloff

Title: Illuminated
Author: Erica Orloff
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Speak (Dec. 8, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Pages: 256
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
An epic romance full of mysteries that transcend time—fans of Romeo and Juliet and The Time Traveler’s Wife will rejoice!

Some loves are not made to last . . . Like Romeo and Juliet, Heloise and Abelard were doomed from the start, and their romance was destined to pass into history. Yet when sixteen-year-old Callie Martin discovers a diary hidden within an antique book, their story—and hers—takes on another life. For the diary leads Callie to the brilliant and handsome August, who is just as mysterious as the secret the diary hides. Their attraction is undeniable. As the two hunt down the truth behind the diary—and that of Heloise and Abelard’s ancient romance—their romance becomes all-consuming. But Callie knows it can’t last . . . love never does. Will their love that burns as bright as a shooting star flame out, or will these star-crossed lovers be able to defy history?

My Review:
I love tragic tales of star crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde so I knew this was something that I wanted to read and if that wasn't alluring enough, the gorgeous cover made it a shoe in for something that I just knew I had to read.

I am going to admit that I had really high expectations for this book so I was a little leery about reading it, I mean, I really hate it when I am excited about a book and then it turns out to be a huge let down.
Thankfully, while this story wasn't quite all I hoped it would be, it was still a fantastic read and I was very happy with it.

I loved Callie from the start. She is smart and independent and just likeable. She is one of those people that you would love to have as a friend because she is loyal and trustworthy and you know she would be there when you need her rain or shine.

Her uncle is fantastic and such a great secondary character that you can't help wishing you had an uncle just like him. I am a huge history lover as well so his job of finding and investigating ancient books and text just sounded fascinating to me and something I would love.

And then we get to meet the delicious August. He is smart and sexy and so so kind that you can't help loving him as well and rooting for him and Callie to be together.

I loved the mystery behind the illuminated pages they find (something I found so fun to read about!)and the real history of the story of Heloise and Peter Abelard, which I am ashamed to admit I have never read about before. True star crossed lovers and their tragic love story.

This whole book was a whirl wind adventure filled with mystery and intrigue and sweet romance and passion with a slight paranormal element that will leave you wanting more.

I had so much fun reading and learning about Heloise and Abelard and their child and watching Callie and August discover each other along the way that I really do think this will be a story that a lot of people will really enjoy and love, especially those with a love of history and star crossed lovers like I have. 

And if you haven't already, don't forget to sign up for a chance to win a copy of this book!

Review: Rapid Dawn by TK Steiner

Title: Rapid Dawn
Author: TK Steiner
Series: Stand Alone With Option For A Sequel
Published By: Indie Book (Oct. 29, 2011)
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Goodreads Description:
 A young heiress has her idyllic life turned upside down when her father’s kingdom is overthrown by a sudden revolution. Only after a narrow escape does she realize that she, and her telepathic abilities, will play a critical part in an audacious plan to save her people. To succeed she’ll have to enlist the help of two young men from the past. John is a mason’s son living in the eighteenth century, while Clay is a young man from the twenty first century.

Together, the unlikely trio races to reverse the sands of time and save a peaceful civilization from extinction. Along the way, they face a sinister foe whose mysterious abilities and dark vision for the future threaten all of humanity. 

My Review:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book really, three different people from three different times coming together to save a kingdom.
I wasn't sure how it would all play out but you know what? It worked.
The three different character point of views worked well together and the story line was interesting and moved at a quick pace.
It was neat getting to see into the lives of three very different people from very different eras and seeing them come together with a common goal to defeat Nigel and his followers from doing harm to Tess and really the future of the whole world.

I think Steiner created a very unique world that a lot of fantasy lovers and even sci fi lovers will really enjoy and like and can relate to. There is both modern technology involved and some creative futuristic things as well that make this a really quick and fun read.

I look forward to seeing what Steiner will come up with if there is to be a sequel to the book.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Review: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Title: Everneath
Author: Brodi Ashton
Series: Book One in the Everneath Series
Published By: Harper Collins (Jan. 24, 2012)
Source: ARC Copy Netgalley
Genre: YA Paranormal/Mythology
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars

Goodreads Description:
Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

My Review: 

If I had to choose one word to describe Everneath I think breathless would just about cover it.
I felt myself holding my breath throughout the book, wondering what would happen next, agonizing over the ending, hoping against hope I wasn't right about certain things.
And then other times the sweet romance and beautiful writing were the things that took my breath away.
So yes, I think breathless would be a good word to describe this amazing book written by a very talented debut author.

I am actually surprised that the reviews for this one are kind of all over the place. I don't know about others but I found myself completely captivated by this story. Whisked into the story and held there captive by the characters and writing. It demanded that I gave it my attention and refused to let go until its story was told.

It was beautiful and haunting and mysterious and even though I saw the ending coming I still gasped out loud at the injustice of it all and wanted more. I turned to the last page sad that it was over and wishing that the next books release date was right around the corner instead of long agonizing months away.

This book completely blew me away. The writing, the characters, the mythology. Everything.
Brodi Ashton is a debut author and you would never know it from this book. It is seriously amazing. I don't even have the words to describe it. The story stuck with me long after I finished reading it, days even, heck I am still thinking about it.

I just know this series will quickly become a favorite.

I fell in love with Jack and even, despite my better judgment, found myself caring about Cole and softening towards him as the story progressed. I know there is so much more to learn about him, Nikki and Jack and what their future holds for them..
I can't wait to see what Ashton has in store for the next book. I want more Jack, Nikki and Cole. I was not ready for their story to end.

Review: Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr

Title: Redwood Bend
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Book 18 in the Virgina River Series
Published By: Mira (Feb. 28, 2012)
Source: ARC Copy Netgalley
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Rating: 3.5-4 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Katie Malone and her twin boys’ trip along the beautiful mountain roads to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, the rain has set in, the boys are hungry and Katie doesn’t have the first clue about putting on a spare. As she stands at the side of the road pondering her next move, she hears a distinct rumble. The sight of the sexy, leather-clad bikers who pull up beside her puts her imagination into overdrive.

Dylan Childress and his buddies are on the motorcycle trip of a lifetime. But the site of a woman in distress stops them in their tracks. And while the guys are checking out her car, she and Dylan are checking out one another.

In one brief moment, the world tilts on its axis and any previous plans Katie and Dylan might have had for their futures are left at the side of the road.


My Review:
This was my first Robyn Carr book and while I haven't read any of the rest of the series I didn't feel lost at all with starting this book. Each new book has a whole new set of characters while still giving you glimpses into the characters from previous books, which was really nice.

This was a really sweet story. I really liked Katie and how strong and independent she was. I love that she didn't have to depend on a man for her own happiness. That she was willing to do what needed to be done to take care of her and her children but at the same time also willing to let others help her out when she needed it.

Her little boys were adorable and I loved Katie's interaction with them throughout the whole book, very realistic and not over done in the least.

Dylan was a nice character but I just didn't find myself loving him. He wasn't really swoon worthy and while he did redeem himself in the end I just didn't, I don't know. I guess his character maybe just could have been better.

This was a great read though and all of the characters were a lot of fun to get to know and I know that I will definitely pick up another of Carr's books in the future.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Masquerade Blog Tour Stop: Review

Masquerade (Heven and Hell #1) 
By Cambria Hebert
Release Date: December 16, 2011
Number of Pages: 360
Format: Available in e-book and Paperback

Goodreads Description:
 Before. Everything was so much better Before. I wasn’t haunted by nightmares, my place at school was secure and my face was flawless. Now, I’m a freak and everything has changed. The worst part is that I can’t remember the night I was sentenced to the shadows. The memory has been stolen from me and I just can’t shake the feeling that someone, something is out there -watching.

Just when I think I have my life handled, Sam, with his intimidating golden stare and shiver inducing voice, makes me realize that I don’t know anything. He makes me see that my scars don’t matter. That they never mattered. I can’t help but fall for him, completely unknowing that he knows exactly how I got this way. Not knowing he was involved.


Heven has no idea how closely death stalks her. She has no idea what I have done to keep her alive. I fear the day she learns my secrets, finds out what I really am. But even then I cannot stop, I vow to make things right. Finally her hunter will be hunted, Heaven and Hell, faith and sin will battle, and we will be victorious. But first, Heven must learn to be what she never imagined. I know her strength is there – I feel it. If we are to overcome all odds, she must push past her flaws - her frailties - to become much more.

I absolutely adored Cambria's prequel to Masquerade, Before, (review can be found here: ) it left me in suspense over what would happen next and I just couldn't wait to find out all about Sam and the mystery of the Hate and Hope and even Heven, so I just knew I would really Masquerade and I wasn't wrong. 
What I didn't know and wasn't expecting was just how much more I was going to fall in love with this series. And let me tell you, my expectations for this book were already high and yet, Cambria still managed to blow them out of the water with her beautiful writing, loveable characters, her creative and imaginative story line, the sweet forbidden romance and the mystery surrounding it all. 
This book really is like no other. This series is like no other.
It is fun and so hard to put down. The characters feel real and you just completely fall in love with them. You get so caught up in the story that it is hard to put it down. In fact once I started it, I had to force myself to stop and do other things that needed to be done, like you know, eat and sleep.

I love that in this book we not only get Heven's point of view but also Sam's and then they mysterious names of Hate and Hope. 

Heven is strong character that has been through so much already in her life, from being popular and beautiful to lonely and disfigured. She really is just lost trying to find her way in this new life that was created for her.

And then there is Sam. Sam stole my heart.

He is so wonderful. He is loving and devoted and strong and just wants to be good. He sees the best in Heven and is there for her no matter what. He constantly puts his life on the line for her and doesn't even think twice about it, in fact he would die for her.
He is the ultimate bad boy with a heart of pure gold.

There are so many twists and turns through this story that you can't help but be swept away with it. Cambris is a master at grabbing hold of your attention and refusing to let go. The world she created was captivating and I just was left wanting more and sad that it had ended.

I truly can not wait for the second book in the series and know that this will quickly become an all time favorite for anyone who tried it.

Cambria is a very talented writer that shows a lot of promise and I know that her writing will just keep getting better and better and I am so glad that I will be here reading it and watching her grow.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Review: Under Witch Aura by Maria E. Schneider

Title: Under Witch Aura (Moon Shadow #2)
Author: Maria E. Schneider
Series: Second Book in the Moon Shadow Series
Published By: Bear Mountain Books (Dec. 15, 2011)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 5 Solid Stars

Goodreads Description:
There’s an ill wind blowing in Santa Fe, and it’s touching every witch Adriel knows, including White Feather, who is far more important to Adriel than just any warlock. In search of answers, she delves into ancient magic, a family secret and dangerous religious rituals. Whoever is manipulating the elements appears to be after the ultimate goal: forbidden power over life and death.

Adriel will go to the ends of the earth to keep those she loves safe, but if she lures the enemy away, will she be able to save herself? Her only hope is to use earth magic to hide from the very air she breathes as she hunts down an unseen and untenable evil.

My Review:
What can I possibly say about this fantastic series other than I love the gorgeous cover? Isn't it fabulous?

Lets see, these words come to mind: beautifully written, fun, entertaining, exceptional, creative, original, mysterious, captivating, will suck you in and refuse to let go. Okay, okay, that last one was more than one word but, you get the point.

I adore this series. Maria is so utterly talented. Her writing just flows so nicely and is so descriptive that you feel like you become a part of the story. It makes me long to be in New Mexico and be a part of Adriel's world.

I am so thankful that I was able to read this book. I loved Maria's first book in the series, Under Witch Moon. I fell in love with the characters White Feather, Linx, and Adriel. And was so excited when I learned another book was on the way. I jumped at the chance to read it and be immersed in their world again.

This sequel did not disappoint me at all, in fact, as hard as it was to imagine, this book was even better than the first and that is just something that doesn't always happen with second books in a series.

This book had even more mystery and intrigue and romance (huge YAY on this one!!), even more great characters and adventure. Better bad guys and well, you get the idea.

And did I mention Martin. Oh. My. Gosh. Martin.
I have to say I fell in love with Martin. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at the scenes with him in it. He was so disgusting and funny and just loveable in a weird sort of scary uncle kind of way.
Seriously, one of the best secondary characters ever.
I loved snarky sarcastic, chip on her shoulder Tara, crazy loveable and fun Mat, Adriel's sweet loving mom and yes, I even loved (gasp for your benefit Maria) the vampire.

This book had even more magic than the first, which I love reading about. I love how Maria uses so many Earth elements and herbs in her stories that I feel like I actually know what she is talking about and I smell them and see them right along with Adriel and White Feather.

Truly I could go on and on about this book but really, you just need to buy it and read it. You will NOT be disappointed. It is worth so much more than you will pay for it.

Maria is truly a talented writer and knows her stuff.

Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Title: What Happened to Goodbye
Author: Sarah Dessen
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Penguin Young Readers (May 10, 2011)
Genre: Realistic YA
My Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads Description: 
 Who is the real McLean?

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

My Review:
I love Dessen's work. I know when I pick up one of her books that I am going to get a well written wonderful, heartwarming story, with loveable characters with real problems and situations that could be anyone's and her latest book What Happened to Goodbye was no exception.

I love that all of Dessen's characters are so real. That they all have to come to terms with things in their life that they don't want to face in order to better themselves, find out who they are and be able to grow and move on.

I mean how many of us growing up didn't have to find out who we were, sometimes in the most painful ways? Or had to deal with things that we thought no one else did or that no one else would understand what we were feeling or going through? How many of us sometimes didn't wish that we could become someone different, even just for a day?

Dessen has a real talent in being able to bring your feelings and emotions out in her stories. She has a way of making you connect with the characters because you can feel their pain and heartache and experience their mistakes and feel their joy in their triumphs that will have you cheering for them one minute and tearing up for them the next.

I really enjoyed this story and felt everything Mclean was going through. I was her at one point in my life, moving around way too often and just trying to find out where I belonged and who I was so maybe that is why I enjoyed it so much or maybe it is just that Dessen is a fabulous writer. 

Either way I think anyone will enjoy this book and should give it a try. 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Sourcebooks Fire (Dec. 1, 2011)
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

My Review:
 I knew I would like this book, I just wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did. So much so in fact, that I couldn't even put it down. I read it in a matter of hours. I read it when I really should have been doing something else productive like, you know, laundry or dusting or probably numerous other things but hey, those could wait, Jordan and gang could not.

In all seriousness, I really loved Jordan. I loved how strong she was, not just physically but mentally and emotionally too. She was sort of fierce really but still super naive about a lot of girl things like makeup and dating and wearing dresses and boyfriend.
She was a tomboy through and through and that by no means made her less, in fact it made her even better.

She didn't shirk away from a challenge, instead she took it head on and threw a challenge of her own out there.

She didn't let others dictate her future instead she made her own dreams and she stuck with them.

I loved her teammates, every single one of them was just fabulous. I wanted to know them and be a part of their group. And Henry, I have to say, I feel in love with Henry after the first chapter. He was such a great character, I think it would have been hard for anyone not to love him, warts and all.

I thought about this book long after I was done with it and couldn't start another one right away because this one was just on my mind so much that I couldn't get into another book.

I am not much of a sports fan but I do like football and all the references in this book were great. It didn't hinder the book at all, in fact, it just added to the greatness of it.
I know that sounds weird but it is true.

This truly is a book that you just have to read to know what I am talking about. You don't need to be a football fan or even know the sport to get it. Football was more of a secondary subject in this book. The real story was Jordan, her dreams, her hopes and her journey along the way in discovering who she really was and what she really wanted along the way.

I will most definitely be reading anything Kenneally writes in the future.