Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Title: Going Bovine
Author: Libba Bray
Published: September 2009 by Delecorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
Reviewer: Hannah

Synopsis:

All 16-year-old Cameron wants is to get through high school--and life in general--with a minimum of effort. It's not a lot to ask. But that's before he's given some bad news: he's sick and he's going to die. Which totally sucks. Hope arrives in the winged form of Dulcie, a loopy punk angel/possible hallucination with a bad sugar habit. She tells Cam there is a cure--if he's willing to go in search for it. With the help of a death-obsessed, video-gaming dwarf and a yard gnome, Cam sets off on the mother of all road trips through a twisted America into the heart of what matters most.

Review:


Going Bovine has been on my to-read list for quite a while, but it wasn't until I saw a certain quirky and grin-inducing interview with the author (observe video A on the right) that I decided to--what the heck--finally give it a go.

And, welllll....I'm on the fence about it. In one respect, I love it's bold quirkiness. Bray is not afraid of putting all of her idiosyncratic ideas and thoughts into her writing, regardless of whether or not the reader will like or understand her sense of humor. She doesn't care what people think, and that, in turn, makes me like her.

However, I don't want to confuse my liking of the author to cloud over whether or not I liked her book. In the other respect, I feel like, aside from a few moments of originality, it's just another cliche young adult book. In fact, it's so incredibly cliche, that at times I'm wondering if it is, in fact, meant to be caricatural.

The most cliche moments were the social dynamics of Cam's high school. There is a scene with stoners in the rarely used school bathroom, sitting around smoking pot and discussing philosophy. There is a moment when a Goth girl in Cam's class defies the teacher for no reason at all--just to be nonconformist. Cam's worst nemeses are the meathead jocks and their airhead cheerleader girlfriends. Cam himself is just the music-obsessed slacker high schooler--the exact same protagonist of 80% of all YA literature.

See where I'm going with this?

Another thing that really bothered me was how Bray tried extremely hard to make her characters "relatable" and "real." In doing so, she has done the exact opposite and molded her characters into something of a distant, unattainable quality. For example, Bray attempts to use sarcasm as a tool to make her characters relatable; what most people don't realize is that sarcasm is a defense mechanism, to distance yourself from others so you don't become emotionally invested in them. Soooo....you can see why that didn't work out so well. Not only that, but their excessive sarcasm and incessant trashtalking makes them irritating and annoying.

I can't even count how many times the phrase "If this were a movie..." was used in Going Bovine. Bray is making constant, unceasing comparisons as just how real and not fake her story is; I almost wanted to reach into the book to throttle Cam and scream, "We GET it!! Now shut up!!"

In addition (yeah yeah, I know, I'm almost done complaining--just hold up a bit longer), in an attempt to make the conversations and interactions between characters funny and amusing, Bray has sacrificed the reality of the scene. For example, on page 251, Cam is being introduced to some guys at a party:

A heavy guy in a black wrestling T-shirt greets Justin with a complicated handshake that ends with them  both bumping chests. "Justin. Whassup?"
Justin shrugs, hands in his pockets. "Not much, bro. How's the action?"
The big guy looks around. "So-so. Too many guys, not enough girls. Hey, Tara."
"Hey, Carbine," Tara says, taking a drag off a new cigarette. "This is Cameron. He's dying of mad cow disease."
Carbine nods at me. "Cool. Want a beer?"
"No, that's okay."
He hands me a full cup. "Here you go."
"Thanks," I say, taking it. 

This scene is amusing--yet, real people in real-life situations don't interact this way. This is more of a personal issue for me--if you enjoy books containing interactions such as that, then you'd probably love Going Bovine--but me, as hard as I try, I can't get myself to enjoy it. Not because of it's ridiculousness, but the fact that it contradicts everything else Bray in trying to accomplish. She wants to make a relatable and real story, and yet, she adds scenes like such in it. It befuddles my poor, little, one-track noggin. 

While I liked that, throughout the story, she kept certain elements present that really bring home the truth of Cam's adventures at the end of the story--it's just not enough to save the story. I'm 99.9% sure that I'll never read this book ever again--and to quote Oscar Wilde: "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all."

-Hannah

Blog Tour | The Gatekeeper's Daughter (Gatekeeper's Trilogy #3) by Eva Pohler

The Gatekeeper's Daughter (Gatekeeper's Trilogy, #3)The Gatekeeper's Daughter (Gatekeeper's Trilogy #3)
by Eva Pohler
Source: Blog Tour Copy
Format: Paperback, 235 pages
Published: May 1st 2013 by Green Press/Eva Pohler  
 
Goodreads Synopsis:
In The Gatekeeper's Sons, Therese and Thanatos, the god of death, met and fell in love. In The Gatekeeper's Challenge, they did everything they could to be together, even break an oath on the River Styx. But the Olympians don't tolerate oath-breakers.

In this final book in the trilogy, The Gatekeeper's Daughter, Therese may have finally succeeded in becoming a goddess, but if she wants to remain one, she'll not only have to discover her unique purpose, but also make some allies among the gods. Artemis sends her on a seemingly impossible quest across the world, while Than searches for a way to appease Ares. To make matters worse, her baby sister's life depends on the outcome of her quest.
 
My Thoughts:
What a great final book! So many great adventures and so many deals to be made with selfish gods!

Therese is a goddess! Yayy! Oh, but you know there is always a but attached to that as we've learned in the previous two books. These gods don't' do anything out of the goodness of their immortal little hearts. In order for Therese to even begin to be happy with Than, they have to jump through a million hoops to get that happily forever after. the best thing about all this craziness is that throughout all this Therese could've gone goddess power hungry and just taken the things she needed but she didn't. She kept her best quality when she went from mortal to goddess, her compassion.

I really enjoyed The Gatekeeper's Daughter because, although it was a little fast, Therese and Than were this close to getting their happy beginning. If you want something bad enough you have to work for it right? Well that's what Therese learns. Also these gods taught her the age old saying of, "You scratch my back and I'll scratch your back." All these missions she had to go on to receive any help from one god was followed by another mission she had to go for another god. Not just Therese, though, it was also Than. Facing Titans, some of the first immortals, dealing with Ares and learning to drive? Not always the easiest thing to accomplish but I fully think Therese did it with grace.

Truly a great way to end a series. All my curiosities were satisfied...except I'm wondering about Jen and Hyp. *raises eyebrow* Had everything I enjoy, Love, Romance, adventure and Greek mythology, if any of these things appeal to you then I suggest you read this series! Seriously! High five, Eve on a great series!
I've rated The Gatekeeper's Daughter:
 
Follow the tour!
May 1- Reading Addiction Blog Tours - Meet and Greet
May 2 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - Interview/PROMO
May 6 - Mythical Books - PROMO
May 8 - Book Lovers Report - Review/Guest Post
May 9 - Into The Wormhole - Review
May 13 - Paulette's Papers - Guest Post/PROMO
May 14 - Buffy's Ramblings - Guest Post/PROMO
May 15 - The Avid Reader - Review/Guest Post
May 16 - Getting Your Read On - Review
May 17 - Sitting With a Book - Guest Post/PROMO
May 20 - My Cozie Corner - Review
May 21 - Bunny's Reviews - PROMO
May 22 - Marked By Books - Review
May 23 - Books and Tales - Guest Post/PROMO
May 24 - Hooked in a Book - Review
May 25 - Wintry Words - Guest Post/PROMO
May 27 - Addicted Readers - Review/Interview
May 28 - Books and Needlepoint - Review
May 29 -Pixie Dust Reviews - Review/Interview
May 30 - Lisa's Book Lair - Interview/PROMO
May 31 - RABT Reviews - Review
 
About Eva:
I write fiction for teens and adults and teach writing and literature at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I live with my husband, three kids, two dogs, and two rats (Katniss and Prim, of course). I'm also an avid reader and book reviewer. I've always said I never want to give up reading for writing or vice versa. I want to do both. My favorite authors are Tracy Chevalier, Ann Patchett, Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, Rick Riordan, and Stephanie Meyer. I have too many to name, but those are a handful of them. When I'm not spending time with the family, working, reading, or writing, I can be found watching The Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, The Middle, and NCIS.

I love to interact with readers and have recently added features to my website at
http://www.evapohler.com with this in mind. If you email me your art and/or stories based on The Gatekeeper's Trilogy, or on Greek mythology in general, I will post them on my website for others to enjoy. I have also added a short video on the Olympians and a fun Jeopardy Game to test your knowledge. Please visit my website for more details.

Thanks for taking the time to read about me and my writing!

Follow Eva: Website | Twitter | Book Club Picks | Publishers Marketplace
Buy: Amazon
 

Teaser Tueday #13

Rings of Enchantment (The Enchantment Series, #2)
Rings of Enchantment  (The Enchantment Series, #2)
She smiles and wrapped her aims around his neck and kissed him gently on the lips. "Fire and Air, the two elements that fuel each other."
-Martha
 
What's your teaser? Leave me your TT links below!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Altered (Revelations of the Evolved #1) by Shawnda Currie

Altered (Revelations of the Evolved #1) 
 by Shawnda Currie
Read in April 2013
Read to Review
Pages: 214
Reviewer: Bobbi

GoodReads Synopsis:
Abandoned by her family, Lacey is sent to a juvenile detention center known as Clear Waters. Her teen years don't look promising until she is befriended by a mysterious stranger named Taylor, a gorgeous guy whose captivating eyes seem to stare into her soul. Convinced she is in danger at Clear Waters, Lacey joins Taylor in a daring escape. (edited).

My Thoughts:

The author, Shawnda Currie, was nice enough to provide me with me copy in exchange for a truthful review of her story. I am so glad I asked for a chance to review her book because I found a new series to read! 

When I first started Altered I assumed this was going to different from the normal books I read, non-parnormal, non vampire, ect. The first few chapters explain the life of the main character, Lacey. Her father re-married to a horrible women who Lacey suspects is slowly trying to push her out of the family picture. Right away I thought this story was going to be a troubled teen story. Sure enough my suspicions were right because she is sent away to a Juvenile Corrections Facility, Clear Waters. Clear Waters is nothing what it seems. It almost seems like an actual prison for "troubled teens" rather than a rehabilitation type center.

Now for those who follow my reviews, you know that  I am an absolute sucker for love stories!! My number one reason for liking Altered so much is because of the adorable love story between Lacey and Taylor :D Taylor's persoanliatiy radiates kindness, yet when push comes to shove he can handle his own against whatever come his way. A perfect combination of kindness and strength!

Aside from the love story that is intertwined with the plot, it turns out Altered is not just a "troubled teen" story...Lacey ends up having special powers that allow her to do some pretty awesome things! Lacey can move things from her mind and communicate with others telepathically, how cool!

Love story? Awesome powers? Sold! :]

Altered is told in 1st person, which is my preferred because you get great insight to the character through various narrations and monologues. While I really enjoyed Altered (and totally recommend for you to read) a few things sort of bugged me. Certain parts of the story could have been elaborated more.The book is only 214 pages, and while the author does a great job telling the story within that amount of pages, as a reader I would have liked the story to be a little longer. Lacey's time at Clear Waters could have been a tad longer. I wanted to find out more about the mysteries of Clear Waters, and I can't help but wonder about what happened to the friends Lacey made while staying there. Maybe book 2 will explain :] A times in the book, Lacey has flashbacks from her past. Those scenes were great!  I do hope book 2 continues those and has more of them.

Altered  is a very fun, quick read that I 100% recommend. Shawnda Currie is an up and coming author, and I only expect great things from this series!

4/5 birdies!

<3 Bobbi 

Cover Reveal: Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Just in case you missed it....



 the cover for Allegiant has been revealed!!!

I don't know about you guys, but I am absolutely ecstatic for the release of Allegiant! And like all good fans I have been waiting a for months now for the cover of the third installment of the Divergent Series by Veronica Roth.

"One choice will define you".

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Seeds of a Daisy GIVEAWAY


GIVEAWAY!!
Title: The Seeds of a Daisy
Author: Alison Caiola
Published: December 2012
Genre: Drama, Chick Lit

Hannah here, and it is giveaway time! This is actually the first of three giveaways I've got lined up, so watch out for the other two. Should be fun!:)

This giveaway is from the lovely Alison Caiola, author of The Seeds of a Daisy, a tragic story of loss and betrayal, romance and self-discovery, heartache and pain... Oh, the madness! Be still my heart...

A synopsis, no?

From the outside looking in, Lily Lockwood, popular star of the hit TV show ST. Joe's, has it all. Recently nominated for an Emmy, her star is definitely on the rise. She shares her gorgeous Malibu beachfront home with her even more gorgeous actor boyfriend. Perfect, right? Not so much!

Within just a matter of days, it all falls apart. The wind is knocked out of her when she finds out that her boyfriend, on location shooting a western, is riding horses all day and his curvy co-star all night. Before Lily can catch her breath, she gets word that her mother, best-selling author Daisy Lockwood, is in intensive care after a near-fatal accident. Lily flies across the country to be by her side. The girl, who has a hard time deciding if her Chai Latte should be a Grande or Venti, is now faced with making crucial life and death decisions.

While rifling through Daisy's papers, she comes across shocking information about her mother that threatens to shake her very foundation. Lily embarks on a journey of self-discovery and closure as she seeks to unlock the mysteries of her mother's past.

The giveaway starts the second you read this sentence and will go on for two weeks, thus ending on the 5th of June. Just drop a comment with your name and email address to enter! There is one copy up for grabs, possibly more, although that assumption yet requires confirmation.

Other news regarding Alison Caiola and her debut novel, I shall be not only reviewing her book, but also interviewing the woman herself:) All in due time. Stay tuned!

-Hannah

Character Interview | Nate & Sophie from The Year of the Great Seventh by Teresa Orts

The Year of the Great SeventhLadies and Gents!
You've seen them on all the major magazines. Wondered who these fabulous people could be. Search no more! I almost too excited to present to you Nate and Sophie! *crowd cheers*

Martha: Welcome, Nate & Sophie! I am so glad to have you both here with me! Please have a seat. *gestures at seats* *turns to Nate and blushes* How are you both? No more red carpets, I hope. *laughs* 
*Nate and Sophie catch each other’s eye with complicity.* 
Nate: Nope. Not for us!  *Nate smirks as they take their seats.* 
Sophie: It’s really nice to be here.  Thanks for having us. 
Nate: Yeah, thanks for having us. *Nate grabs the glass of water as he keeps his eyes fixed on Martha. This seems to make her uncomfortable, as her blushing intensifies.* 
*squirms in seat*  
Martha:  Umm...*remembers where she is* So, can I just say that I love the cover. You guys look so amazing and I love the aerial shot. Quite the superstars!  
Nate: We wish we were superstars, but we were just tagging along for the ride. *Nate grabs Sophie’s hand, squeezing it for a second, and she immediately relaxes.* 
Sophie: Yeah! It was, thanks to Megan. She’s the only superstar. *Sophie’s red sequin mini-dress sparkles with the studio lights as she speaks.*  
Martha:  Nate, how are you feeling about everything that has happened? The last page had me REELING! Ah! *leans into Nate and Sophie and whispers* Can you tell Teresa when you see her that she left me hanging with that last page? No fair! *smiles and sits back.* 
Nate: It’s been a few intense months for us, but looking back, I’m glad I had Sophie by my side the entire journey. *Nate passes his arm over Sophie’s shoulders and squeezes her towards him.* *The audience, mostly females, sigh in one voice.* 
Sophie: If YOU see Teresa *Sophie nods at Martha* tell her I’m going to have a word with her! How can she leave all of us like that for a full year? She said she wants to publish the sequel next summer. 
 Martha: Sophie, you put so much time and effort into helping Nate with his...*thinks of a good word so as not to offend* condition. Did you ever think, “This is not even worth it.”?  
Sophie: Nope. Not for a second.*She glances shyly at Nate for a second.* 
Martha:  *laughs while remembering* Nate, that scene with the eraser had me rolling on the floor laughing! (I was reading on the floor) Why an eraser? Sophie, if that had been me, I would've thrown it back. Did you feel tempted to do the same?  
*Nate burst into laughter.* 
Nate: What did you want me to throw at her, mashed potato?  
*Audience laughs* *Martha turns scarlet.*
Martha:  Good point. *turns to Sophie* Sophie, being a history buff, is there any decade you would go back to if you could? I know trying to pick one is pretty hard. At least it is for me, but I think I'd choose the 1880s or the 20s or the 50s. 
Sophie: This is a bit corny, but I love the eighties. I thought their dressing style was nuts.  
Martha: *laughs* I agree with you there. I have to say that Paul, the tour guide, made me giggle several times. If things were different, would you guys have gone to the concert he mentioned? *looks at them curiously* 
*Nate jaw tightens* 
Nate: We didn’t really like the band.  
*Martha feels that she stepped into hostile territory, and quickly changes subject.* 
Martha:  I'm sorry to say this, but Preston? Yeah, he creeped me out from the beginning. I saw that one coming from a mile away. And the diamond ad girl on his arm that night you all met? Was it just me, or did we all want to shake her a bit? 
Sophie: I think she’s one of those girls who gets easily misinterpreted. Her intentions were good, but she was under Preston’s spell. She trusted him, and not for a minute did she realize he was manipulating her. 
Martha:  Nate, can you share with us a tiny bit we can expect from book 2? *looks at Sophie with pleading eyes* Just a tiny bit? *whispers conspiratorially* I promise I won't tell Teresa that you told me. 
Sophie: I don’t think Teresa would mind. *Sophie moves a lock of hair away from her face* 
*Nate hesitates.* 
Nate: Mmmm, I hope we don’t get into trouble. In the sequel you’ll see a more mature Nate and Sophie. The story will still have a fantasy element, but we will be moving away from Ancient Egypt. 
Martha:  Sophie, brownie points for being a history buff in the land of acting and fame! Nate, is this why you fell so hard of her? *waggles finger playfully at him* It is, isn't it? *smiles at them both* 
*Nate rolls the sleeves of his shirt slightly up his arms. He seems to be thinking about how to answer this.* *People in the audience are holding their breath.* 
Nate: I don’t think that mattered too much. Even if she had been interested in acting, she would’ve been the one. *He slides his arm over her shoulders and plants a kiss on her cheek.* She’ll always be the one. 
*The audience cheers in excitement.* 
Well, that's all for today, guys. *stands and air-kisses them both* I really look forward to having you both back really soon! *crowd claps like crazy* 
*The three of them stand in from of the audience as they clap. Sophie’s red sequin dress glitters under the spotlights. Nate doesn’t look too bad himself with his white shirt and black pants.  Nate stands in between Martha and Sophie, and holding their hands, they bow to the audience as the studio lights dim.* 
 
Well I really hope you liked the Interview! These character are awesome and I really hope you get to read The Year of the Great Seventh because it is just spectacular! Keep an eye out for an Author Interview with the evil genius behind these two characters, Teresa Orts! My review will be posted closer to it's pub date in July so keep an eye out for that one as well.

Teresa OrtsStalk Teresa: Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Goodreads Synopsis:
Sophie has always felt out of step—an outsider, even amongst friends in her high school with all the hype about celebrity culture. Her life in L.A. seems to have been already written for her, but when her junior year starts, it all takes a drastic turn. When she crosses paths with the school's heartthrob, Nate Werner, they fall for each other in a way neither can understand. What they don’t know is that by giving in to their desires, they are unlocking an ancient Egyptian prophecy that threatens to return Earth to the dark ages.

To undo the curse, Nate and Sophie embark on an adventure that takes them across the country. But their quest is not only to save the world as they know it. It is also a fight for their very survival. Behind the scenes, there are those that are counting on them to fail.

Teaser Tuesday #12

Altered by Shawnda Currie
"Maybe he wasn't actually an evolved  human
from the future but a vampire line in "Twilight" that 
mood control".
-Bobbi

 
The Sacrificed
The Sacrificed
"The figure was behind her; she was sire of it. It held a golden scepter in its left hand and a sword in its right, about ready to execute her."

-Martha

Leave us your TT links below! :D

Monday, May 20, 2013

Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Dare You To (Pushing the Limits, #2)
Dare You To (Pushing the Limits #2)
by Katie McGarry
Source: ARC Review Copy
Format: Hardcover, 462 pages
Expected publication: May 28th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Buy: Amazon | B&N 
Author: Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Goodreads Synopsis:
Ryan lowers his lips to my ear. "Dance with me, Beth."

"No." I whisper the reply. I hate him and I hate myself for wanting him to touch me again....

"I dare you..."

If anyone knew the truth about Beth Risk's home life, they'd send her mother to jail and seventeen-year-old Beth who knows where. So she protects her mom at all costs. Until the day her uncle swoops in and forces Beth to choose between her mom's freedom and her own happiness. That's how Beth finds herself living with an aunt who doesn't want her and going to a school that doesn't understand her. At all. Except for the one guy who shouldn't get her, but does....

Ryan Stone is the town golden boy, a popular baseball star jock-with secrets he can't tell anyone. Not even the friends he shares everything with, including the constant dares to do crazy things. The craziest? Asking out the Skater girl who couldn't be less interested in him.

But what begins as a dare becomes an intense attraction neither Ryan nor Beth expected. Suddenly, the boy with the flawless image risks his dreams-and his life-for the girl he loves, and the girl who won't let anyone get too close is daring herself to want it all....

 My Thoughts:
Oh. My. Gosh! Katie McGarry you are officially one of my favorite Contemporary authors! Actually no, scratch that. You are one of my favorite authors.

As soon as I found out that Harlequin Teen had review copies available on jumped ship and decided I would plead, grovel and beg for a copy. Yeah I wanted to read it that bad. I fangirled so hard when I found out I'd been approved on Netgalley that my little pup ran away from me! :D

Beth as you read in Pushing the Limits, is Noah's friend. The rocker chick with a HUGE chip on her shoulder. Well you don't know the whole story. Dare You To shares all of Beth's secrets. Huge issues with her mum, drug abuse to drown that out and to top it off she's now being taken to live with an uncle that up this point was practically ignoring her. Now mix in an aunt who absolutely doesn't want her near and a cute boy who is just...just...daing I can't think of good to describe him! The thing about Beth is that she's completely relateable. At least to me, I may not have gone through the exact situation but I know how she feels. There were a few times when she almost cracked and went 2 steps back and half of one forward but sometimes we have to help ourselves before we can help anyone else. She learned though. That's what I love about McGarry's characters, they grow! They learn from their crappy and miserable lives and (in the words of my ex) keep on truckin'! It's okay to ask for a little help. It doesn't mean your weak. Sometimes we need that reminder too. What she did need was the courage and that dare to move forward.

I really can't say a single bad thing about McGarry's writing. It's beautifully written but not in that "hah I'm an author and I'm going to try to go all fancy on you" It's written from teenagers perspectives and so you can practically hear the way they say things. I could see it all perfectly. Definitely two thumbs up(if I had more thumbs they'd go up as well!).

You can read Dare You To on it's own without being crazy confused but why would you want to miss out on Pushing the Limits? One way or another, you HAVE to read this one! HAVE TO! No excuses!
I've rated Dare You To

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2)
by Richelle Mead
Source: Library Copy
Format: Hardcover, 418 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Razorbill

Goodreads Synopsis:
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.

But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.

When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she's supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she's been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.

Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart? 

My Thoughts:
I should already know that Richelle Mead does not disappoint. I seriously thought I would hate it because it wasn't Dimitri and Rose but I am falling in love with Adrian, Eddie, Jill, and of course Sydney. Love getting to know Sydney more. What makes her tick. Her mannerisms. It's funny because when I read about her clean freak-iness I immediately want to clean my room (I'm a reader I don't have time when the life of a fictional character is on the balance!) and weirdly enough I do clean it. I know!
So, in The Golden Lily things between Adrian and Sydney intensify! She's of course still fighting against him because of what she's been taught but come on! You can't resist Adrian! He's Adrian! It's not humanly possible! Someone should really clue in Sydney on this little fact.
Did I love every word of it? HECK YES! I am loving this series. VA is till my favorite Mead series but this is a VERY close second. Cannot wait till I get my hands on The Indigo Spell and finding out who this oh so mysterious Marcus character is and what trouble they'll get into! *waggles eyebrows*
I've rated The Golden Lily

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson

Title: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing: Traitor to the Nation, Vol. One: The Pox Party
Author: M.T. Anderson
Published: September 2006 by Candlewick Press
Genre: YA, Historical, Gothic, Mystery
Series: Octavian Nothing #1
Reviewer: Hannah

Synopsis (Goodreads):

He is a boy dressed in silks and white wigs and given the finest of classical educations. Raised by a mysterious group of rational philosophers known only by numbers, the boy and his mother--a princess in exile from a faraway land--are the only people in their household assigned names.

As the boy's regal mother, Cassiopeia, entertains the house scholars with her beauty and wit, young Octavian begins to question the purpose behind his guardians' fanatical studies. Only after he dares to open a forbidden door does he learn the hideous nature of their experiments--and his own chilling role in them.

Review:

Okay, when I picked up Octavian Nothing, I knew it was gonna be good. No questions about that.

I didn't know it was going to be this good though.

Octavian Nothing (or The Pox Party, whichever you prefer) is a fantastic Gothic mystery. It takes place in the 18th century, and basically details the sick experiments of these pious philosophers and professors. No, they aren't cutting off limbs or starving people or anything like that (this ain't Saw).

Instead, they have taken a pregnant woman from Africa, and are raising her and her son Octavian like royalty in England. They aren't being generous; they are experimenting to determine if the African race is indeed inferior to their own.

Doesn't seem too horrible an experiment, right? Wrong. They are completely screwing this child's life up. Once he discovers that he is indeed the subject of an experiment, it weighs heavily on his mind. From then on out, it becomes psychological torture. Nobody would ever want an existence like that.

Anderson has crafted a masterpiece. The terminology he utilizes has a certain old-timey feel to it, but not so much as to lose the interest of the reader; it is intelligent, and thought-provoking. This is the kind of books teenagers--adults even--should be reading. It's a deep, moving story of slavery, human experimentation, and just how evil mankind can be.

I highly recommend Octavian Nothing. Definitely move it to the top of your to-be-read pile.

-Hannah

Teaser Tueday #11



A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight, #1)A Shimmer of Angels (Angel Sight #1)
"We're not flying agin, are we?" I whispered.
"No. Too dangerous during the day." He tugged a hand through the back of his hair.
If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was a lie. But no. I was fresh from the mental institution, being paranoid. Of course we couldn't fly around during the day where everyone could see us.
-Martha




Altered by Shawnda Currie
"I sat at a table with my new group of friends. Taylor did not disappoint me with his heaping plate of food. He had two chicken burgers, a side of fries, a side of coleslaw, a bowl of fruit salad, a glass of milk and a glass of water. I had one chicken burger, a side of coleslaw,  an apple and a glass of milk and I knew I probably wouldn't finish it all".

- Bobbi








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Monday, May 13, 2013

The Silhouette (Alan Quinn and the Second Lifes #1) by Thomas William Shaw


The Silhouette
The Silhouette (Alan Quinn and the Second Lifes #1) by Thomas William Shaw


Goodreads Summary

As far back as Alan Quinn can remember, his family has been on the move. It isn't until they find a house in Ashton, Kansas that Alan feels he can finally call a place home. Three weeks later, his father disappears, leaving him alone to be raised by his mother who quickly gives up on the search  for her missing husband. Distraught, Young Alan Quinn takes it upon himself to take things into his own hands. On the search, he meets local friends, the LeCarre's, a new dog, Peaches, and a mysterious new ally named Darius who appears to know more than he leads on. Together, they bring Alan closer to the answers he seeks and awakens a species his father only described in the stories Alan grew up hearing: The Silhouettes.

Nitza's review

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to see this book through. I was having difficulty grasping the whole dream study concept. Once the action picked up, however, and more things were explained, I was engrossed enough to see it through. And the ending was a complete surprise. One of those endings where who you thought was good isn't and you're left thinking, what just happened.

Alan Quinn has lived the life that many military children have lived; constantly being uprooted and moved from place to place, many times with very little notice. However, Alan is not a military child. His father, Reese Quinn, is employed by a mystery man who provides him with unlimited funds for dream studies and "to further explore his field." The reason that they move so often is because of a clause in Reese's contract that allows him to move from a location at any time if he felt uneasy about the location for whatever reason. As Alan points out, this is not the best offer for Reese because he had a tendency to get uneasy about everything from the candles on Alan's birthday cake going out (which he claimed was the work of an invisible person) to believing that new neighbors were spying on him. On top of that, his father had a group of men (called "dream chasers") that followed them from location to location who were just as paranoid as Reese. They would meet on weeknights and discussed dreams they had. Reese's dreams were the most bizarre of the group as they included dragons, a magical city, and shadow people he referred to as Silhouettes. 

The last meeting Reese had with the "dream chasers", his dream took a realistic turn. He now believed that the Silhouettes were out to recruit Alan. The next morning, Alan awoke to find his father gone. 

Within weeks of his disappearance, Alan's mother gives  up on the search and turns to wine for companionship. But Alan refuses to give up. His search introduces him to a variety of strange characters and Alan learns more about Reese than he ever knew. With every discovery, Alan's world turns upside down and he realizes that Reese may not be as crazy as Alan always believed. 

Even though this is a relatively short novel, the beginning was a bit slow, at least to me. Alan basically explains his life traveling from place to place and about his father's dream studies and dreams. When he first describes Reese's "job" and the dreams he claims to have, I said okay this is a little too out there for me. But once Alan meets up with Darius, Reese's employer, the story picks up as Alan's world changes. All the events that happen to Alan and every new piece of information that is revealed kept me turning pages. 

One thing I enjoyed about the setting of the book is the town that Alan currently resides, Ashton, Kansas. It has so many references to Alice in Wonderland from street and business names to decorations. I think this was interesting because as all of the events unfold, Alan probably feels very similar to Alice. That he has somehow fallen down a rabbit hole in his search for his dad and is now in Wonderland. 

I rate this book only 3 birdies because even though in the end I didn't end up hating it, I didn't love it either. It's interesting and definitely different than anything else I've read, but I wasn't overly impressed by it. I won't overwhelmingly recommend it, but if you are into this type of bizarre fantastic novel, then it wouldn't hurt to give it a shot. 

--Nitza

Friday, May 10, 2013

White Lines by Jennifer Banash

White Lines
White Lines
by Jennifer Banash
Source: ARC Review Copy
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 4th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
Purchase: Amazon | B&N 
Author: Goodreads | Twitter | Website 

Goodreads Synopsis:
A gritty, atmospheric coming of age tale set in 1980s New York City.

Seventeen-year-old Cat is living every teenager’s dream: she has her own apartment on the Lower East Side and at night she’s club kid royalty, guarding the velvet rope at some of the hottest clubs in the city. The night with its crazy, frenetic, high-inducing energy—the pulsing beat of the music, the radiant, joyful people and those seductive white lines that can ease all pain—is when Cat truly lives. But her daytime, when real life occurs, is more nightmare than dream. Having spent years suffering her mother’s emotional and physical abuse, and abandoned by her father, Cat is terrified and alone—unable to connect to anyone or anything. But when someone comes along who makes her want to truly live, she’ll need to summon the courage to confront her demons and take control of a life already spinning dangerously out of control.
 Both poignant and raw, White Lines is a gripping tale and the reader won’t want to look away.

My Thoughts:
Truly and completely amazing! White Lines is one of those that just stays with you. Grips you heart and soul and tells you, "Hah! As if I'm going to let go!" Yeah that's what it told me. I can't go over it!

Cat, oh what can I say about Cat? I want to hug the girl. I can't completely empathize with everything she's been through but I can sympathize. 17 is a crucial year for any teenager and having the parents she has made NOTHING easier. When she be getting excited about finishing up high school soon and moving on to college she is doing drugs to escape everything and clubbing. Although I loathe and do NOT condone the use and abuse of drugs, I totally get why she did them. All she really needed was a hug from her mum or her dad instead she's saddled with abuse from her mother and neglect from her father. NOT COOL! Let me say that I am not the crying type. At all. I've seen some things that would make and macho man bawl like a baby and I was dry-faced (so not a word! :D) but White Lines? Yep had me tearing up every few pages! I had a meeting I had to go to and I showed up to said meeting with red eyes! Probably thought I was having a mental breakdown or was high off of some drug or another. I literally had to pull the book out and read the passage that had me tearing up!

Jennifer, two thumbs up on the writing! Loved how everything flowed. It wasn't "Ahhh, hold to your canoes because we're going down!" or "Ahhh...sleepy time on my floaty whilst I soak up the rays in this pool." It was perfect. There were small spikes of awesomeness to keep me turning the page that lead up the climax. Man, what a climax! I mean, I know that what happened would happen but I still couldn't put it down. ALWAYS a good thing!

If you haven't already picked up your copy of this AMAZING book by this ASTOUNDING author then you are very seriously missing out! How many times can I say highly recommended before it become redundant? *shrugs* Eh. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND WHITE LINES!
Thank you Jennifer for my awesome ARC!
I've rated White Lines

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