Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: Team Human
Author: Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal
Release date: July 3rd, 2012
Pages: 352 (ARC)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: ARCycling
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity! 

On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.

Mel has her reasons of being suspicious of the new vampire at school (or of any vampire, at that).  The last thing she wants is to get involved with one, but when her friends welcome Francis to their group with open arms, Mel has to learn how to deal.  Quickly, she can see her best friend falling head over heels for Francis, and she's willing to do anything to protect the people she loves.

Mel is an interesting main character, especially for this story.  She should be used to vampires among humans, especially growing up in a town like New Whitby.  Vampires have never been kept a secret there, but after one particular vampire tore her friend's family apart, she began to think of vampires as being monsters.  They couldn't laugh, they drink human blood and seemed to come from a completely different world.  I wouldn't blame her for being at least a little uncomfortable around one.  Other than being biased, you can tell that she's incredibly stubborn, but very caring.  She just wants the best for her friends and family.

I'm not going to lie, Cathy bothered me more than any other character.  The fact that she fell for Francis immediately after meeting him, willing to become a vampire just to be with him forever, pushing Mel away even though she's just trying to get her to see the situation from her point of view...I just wanted to knock some sense into her.  For being the most intelligent person in this book, she definitely acted dumb throughout the entire story.  And although the book seemed to be based around Francis and Cathy's relationship at first, the plot shifts into something more interesting.  We find Mel teaming up with someone we never thought we'd see her with in order to get to the bottom of things.

Team Human was funny, light and easy to read.  The characters weren't the best, but the story makes up for it.  There's not too much going on, and although it didn't capture my interest 100%, I found myself able to finish with a smile on my face.  I suppose the thing that I liked most about this book was that these vampires weren't necessarily something to idolize, yet they had enough manners not to bite any random human.  They weren't completely good, but they weren't evil, either.  In a way, you can say that they were almost human.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #58

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Love in the Time of Global Warming
Author: Francesca Lia Block
Release Date: August 27th, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. BYR

Seventeen-year-old Penelope (Pen) has lost everything—her home, her parents, and her ten-year-old brother. Like a female Odysseus in search of home, she navigates a dark world full of strange creatures, gathers companions and loses them, finds love and loses it, and faces her mortal enemy. 

In her signature style, Francesca Lia Block has created a world that is beautiful in its destruction and as frightening as it is lovely. At the helm is Pen, a strong heroine who holds hope and love in her hands and refuses to be defeated.

It's written by Francesca Lia Block...which means it's definitely a must-read for me!  :)

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday? 
While you're here, enter my 1,000 follower giveaway to win a huge box of books or two 2013 pre-orders!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill

Title: Meant to Be
Author: Lauren Morrill
Publisher: Delacorte BYR
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary Romance
Release date: November 13th, 2012
Pages: 304 (ebook)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Meant to be or not meant to be . . . that is the question. 

It's one thing to fall head over heels into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the—gasp—wrong guy. Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared. That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket. And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be"). 

But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London. After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts . . . from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way. And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.

Meant to Be follows a young girl all the way across the ocean, on a school trip to London, England.  She's the only student in the group who actually wants to learn, but when she gets paired up with Jason, a popular and seemingly carefree guy, Julia gets the experience of the lifetime.  He teaches her to loosen up, and maybe, just maybe, she'll come to find her perfect match.

I loved Julia from the start.  Her classmates call her Book Licker, because...well, she's a bookworm.  She knows many facts and she's probably the only one that is less concerned about the London fashion and more concerned about how much time she gets to spend in Shakespeare's birthplace.  Unfortunately, the teacher assigns partners and she's paired with her complete opposite.  Jason ends up taking her places she never would have gone to otherwise, and because of that, this spring break turns into one she'll never forget.

When I pick up a contemporary romance, I expect it to make me swoon, and boy did this deliver.  Chapter after chapter filled with witty dialogue, heart-pounding tension and scenes that would make any romantic release a dreamy sigh.  The author knows how to make you laugh, how to make surprise you and how to make your skin tingle with anticipation.  While you read, you'll feel like you're on an adventure with Julia and Jason, and that's one of the things I loved most about this book.

Though Jason seems like a total jerk, don't rule him out.  This trip doesn't only help Julia bloom, but Jason definitely shows a different side of himself as well.  The author did an amazing job with the story.  By the time I finished, I felt like I was floating.  The characters were more realistic than I anticipated, and I could relate to Julia in a way, which made me fall in love with the story even more.  Meant to Be shows you that things don't always go as planned, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #56

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

I feel a little silly creating an entire post for this, but this week I only received one book.
And that one book is...* drumroll*

-Ten by Gretchen McNeil
(Hardcover from Melissa @ Must Read Faster)

I've been waiting for what seems like forever for this book, so you can imagine my excitement when it showed up at my door!  I'll be making time for it soon, so expect to see a review up within the next few months!

Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?
While you're here, enter my 1,000 follower giveaway to win a huge box of books or two 2013 pre-orders!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Title: Slide
Author: Jill Hathaway
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Mystery/Paranormal
Release date: March 27th, 2012
Pages: 250 (ARC)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: ARCycling
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth--her sister's friend Sophie didn't kill herself. She was murdered. 

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

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

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

Slide is the surprising story of a girl who has an unusual ability.  Vee has been able to slide into other people's minds for years now, but she hasn't been able to tell anyone about it, because the last time she brought it up, she was taken to a psychiatrist.  Now she's in deep, because she witnessed a murder staged to look like a suicide.  Vee is the only one who can reveal the truth, but while she's trying to deal with that, other parts of her life become chaotic.

Vee was an awesome main character, possibly one of my favorites I've read in a while.  She has pink hair, awesome taste in music (Smashing Pumpkins, anyone?) and I recall a few mentions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the book.  Plus she can use her powers to solve crimes like a superhero.  Many readers will feel for her, because she has very few people that she can turn to when it comes to comfort, but she's always there to comfort those who need it.  Another character I enjoyed was Rollins, and I wish there would have been more of him in the book.

The plot was definitely unique, with many surprising twists and turns.  The first half of the book was intriguing, to the point where you couldn't put it down.  Towards the end, though, things started to get a little sticky.  It's not that we're left with loose ends, I just I didn't care for the direction that the author went.  The idea seemed a little too far-fetched and unrealistic for me, but that's not to say that others won't enjoy it.

Overall, I enjoyed the journey of Slide.  Learning about Vee and the difficulties she's had to deal with because of her 'narcolepsy' was the best part of the book.  When it came to the actual mystery, the story was a bust.  Would I read the sequel?  Probably.  I enjoyed the writing style, the characters and their personalities enough to indulge in the series once more, but I just hope that the ending won't seem as forced as this one.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Isn't this cat adorable?  He looks like a grumpy old man cat!)

Though this year has been a tough one for us, I'm still thankful for many things in life.  I'm thankful for my mother, my boyfriend and my best friend, all of whom I'd be completely lost without.  I'm thankful for my health and the health of my loved ones.  I'm also thankful for all of you, the readers of my blog, authors, publishers, bloggers and all-around book lovers.  Without you guys, I don't think this blog would exist, in which case, I'd be missing out on something spectacular!  

If you haven't yet, I'd strongly urge you to enter my 1,000 follower giveaway!  I have some pretty awesome prizes for both US and International readers and I don't want you to miss out!  You still have quite a while to enter, but this giveaway is the least I could do to thank you!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #57

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: If I Should Die
Author: Amy Plum
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself. 

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want. 

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him. 

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

After the way Until I Die ended, I can't wait to find out what happens next!  

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday? 
While you're here, enter my 1,000 follower giveaway to win a huge box of books or two 2013 pre-orders!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Review: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Title: The Evolution of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Mystery/Paranormal
Release date: October 23rd, 2012
Pages: 544 (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Gifted
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
Mara Dyer once believed she could run from her past. 
She can’t. 

She used to think her problems were all in her head. 
They aren’t. 

She couldn’t imagine that after everything she’s been through, the boy she loves would still be keeping secrets. 
She’s wrong.

In this gripping sequel to The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, the truth evolves and choices prove deadly. What will become of Mara Dyer next?

The Evolution of Mara Dyer picks up right where The Unbecoming left off.  Mara swore that she saw her ex-boyfriend, but that can't be...because he's supposed to be dead.  She made the mistake of telling what she thought she saw, and now no one believes her.  They think she's insane, and her family's past begins to unravel in front of her eyes.  There's a possibility that all of this may be inside her head, but with the help of Noah Shaw, she quickly learns the truth behind it all.

This installment in the Mara Dyer series had me at the edge of my seat.  It was hard to guess what was actually happening to our heroine throughout the book, and I'd say that might be my favorite part about the series.  I love stories that have a lot of psychological elements, and being uncertain as to whether Mara is completely sane or not is exciting.  She has to work so hard to convince others that the things she's seeing are real, but in a way, she can't even really convince herself.

How can I go without mentioning the romance?  Oh, Noah Shaw.  He's so protective over Mara, it hurts.  There were quite a few scenes that made my heart pound this time around.  I haven't swooned over him before, but that sure has changed!  Mara and Noah team up in order to dig through her past (and even a bit of his own).  He's the only one that believes her, which gives her hope and keeps her strong enough not to turn on herself the way so many others have.

I think that many readers will get drawn into the series once they read The Evolution of Mara Dyer even if they didn't exactly care for the first book.  Michelle Hodkin draws you into this world where everything is upside-down and nothing is right-side up.  Many secrets will be revealed and almost all of them will shock you.  Creepy, surprising and absolutely beautiful, I can definitely call this book a new favorite.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

In My Mailbox #55

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

Last week I didn't get any books, but this week sure made up for it!

-Pivot Point by Kasie West
-The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale
(ARCs from HarperTeen)

-The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett
(ARC from Tor Teen)

-The Dead and Buried by Kim Harrington
(ARC from Scholastic)

-Covet by Melissa Darnell
(Finished copy from Harlequin Teen)

-The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff and Tessa Gratton
-The Best New Young Adult Paranormal Reads
(Signed ARC and sampler from Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf)

I won a 90's mixtape from author M. Beth Bloom!  It's filled with songs that go along with her book, Drain You.  Truly one of the coolest pieces of book swag I've received!

-Dance of Shadows by Yelena Black
-Hysteria by Megan Miranda
-Also Known As by Robin Benway
(eGalleys from Bloomsbury/Walker)

-The Ivy by Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur

Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?
While you're here, enter my 1,000 follower giveaway to win a huge box of books or two 2013 pre-orders!

Friday, November 16, 2012

1,000 Followers Giveaway!

I can't believe my blog has surpassed 1,000 followers!  To thank all of you for following my blog and watching it grow, commenting on my posts and encouraging me to read more than I ever thought I could, I'm going to hold the biggest giveaway I've ever held.  It's nothing huge, just something to help celebrate this milestone.  :)

There will be two prizes, one for a follower in the US or Canada and one for my international peeps.

One US/CAN winner will receive a LARGE box of (mostly) YA books.
How large is LARGE?  Well, I've managed to fit 16 books inside.  I won't tell you what all of the titles are, but you can see a few in the picture below.  Of course, Water for Elephants isn't a YA book, but it is the only adult title in the box.  Inside are a mixture of ARCs (released in 2012, with one surprise 2013 release), paperbacks (one signed) and hardcovers (two signed).  Excited?  Me too!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, for one INTERNATIONAL follower, I'm going to list some highly anticipated 2013 releases, and you will get to choose two books from that list!  
Sound good?  I hope so!

Enter using the Rafflecopter below!

Review: Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides to Every Story edited by Kelly Milner Halls

Title: Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides to Every Story
Author: Edited by Kelly Milner Halls
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary, Anthology
Release date: December 28th, 2011
Pages: 204 (ARC)
Rating: 3 out of 5
Source: Won
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

What do guys and girls really think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of "he said/she said" stories-he tells it from the guy's point of view, she tells it from the girl's. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There's the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved; the basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen. Each story in this unforgettable collection teaches us that relationships are complicated-because there are two sides to every story.

Girl Meets Boy is a short anthology which revolves around relationships of many kinds. Each short story is told from both male and female perspectives, which is what made this book unique.  Stories about love, respect, admiration, equality and even loss will keep you interested to find out what will come next.  Some will shock you and some will leave you with a small ache in your chest, but all six of these fictional experiences will leave you feeling a little more whole, because there's something for everyone between these pages.

I don't usually prefer short stories, so I very rarely find myself reading anthologies, but this one sounded like something I'd end up loving.  While it was different and enjoyable, I was a little disappointed in the book altogether.  Some stories gripped me, especially the one about the gay boy and the girl he met online, but most stories didn't leave me wanting more.  My only real complaint is that the cover chosen for this book is way too cutesy, which is misleading.  There are no stories within that are even relative to the vibe the cover gives.  Most readers will be expecting pages full of adorable romance, but that's just not what they'll find.

Overall, this book shows readers what it's like for many different couples in different situations, because no two relationships are exactly the same.  The stories are emotional, difficult and honest, but most of all, they're worth a read.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #56

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Dance of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

Araby Worth’s city is being torn apart by death, disease, and corrupt forces wanting to claim it for their own. She has lost her home. Her best friend is dying. Her mother has been kidnapped. The boy who made her feel something again has betrayed her. And her father may be a murderer. But Araby has found herself. Despite the death and destruction all around her, she will fight for herself, for her friends, for her city. Her rebellion will take her, finally, to the mad prince’s palace, for the decadent –and sinister—masked ball. It could be a trap. It could be the end of them all. Or it could be the moment that Araby becomes the kind of hero she never dreamed she could be. The tragic, dark, and steamy conclusion to Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death saga.

If you've seen my review of Masque of the Red Death, it's pretty obvious why I can't wait to get my hands on its sequel! I just love the story and can't wait to find out what happens next!

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday? 
While you're here, enter to win a book involving love, magic, and self-discovery!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Title: Burn for Burn
Author: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: September 18th, 2012
Pages: 368 (ebook)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: PulseIt
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister. 

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she's ready to make her pay. 

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. And she's ready to prove it to him. 

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they each had a taste.

Burn for Burn was surprisingly addictive from the very first page.   I was so curious to find out about the lives of these three obviously different girls, and let me tell you, I was pleased.  Nothing could be sweeter than revenge...except for when it goes unbearably sour.  In this story, we learn that letting your actions speak isn't always the best for anyone involved.

The story begins with Mary's arrival on the island, Lillia's last days of summer fun at the beach with her friends and Kat's unusual fling with a boy who is so not her type.  On the outside, these three girls couldn't be any more different, but they quickly learn that they have a lot more in common than they realized.  All three of them get screwed over by someone they cared for, and in return, they decide to get revenge.  They meet up in secret, plan how to make their enemies suffer, then sit back and watch as the damage is done.  One by one, they will take those traitors down.

What I loved the most about this story is that the characters are all connected to each other.  You won't see it at first, but it's interesting to find out everyone's background stories.  My favorite character is probably Kat, mainly because she's tough, but she's not afraid to show her feelings when it matters most.  All the girls have good reasons to get even, but it's how they come together that really makes the story worthwhile.

Overall, Burn for Burn is a fantastic and exciting story.  The mystery of the main characters' lives kept me turning the pages, and the book turned out to be a fairly quick read because of that.  There are paranormal aspects to the book, and we're left on quite a bit of a cliffhanger, but I believe that's what made the book so much better.  Highly recommended to those who are in a reading slump!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight 
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Fantasy 
Release date: November 6th, 2012
Pages: 528 (ebook)
Rating: 5 out of 5
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. 

In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. 

While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. 

But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Days of Blood and Starlight is the highly-anticipated sequel to one of last year's most talked about YA fantasies, Daughter of Smoke and Bone.  Readers will find all of the things they loved about the first book within the pages of its sequel.  Tension runs high, some chapters will shock you and some will give you hope.  Needless to say, this book does not disappoint.

Jumping into Karou's world, the story begins where Daughter of Smoke and Bone left off.  She doesn't quite know who to trust anymore, for all of those she loved are gone and the one she trusted most took them away from her.  Now she's forced to help the Chimera, because they're the only family she truly has left, even if they don't treat her the same.  Zuzana is the loyal friend who sticks with Karou through thick and thin, but even this situation is wearing their friendship down.  Even Akiva can't help but stay away for good.

The story is filled with witty dialogue, heart-pounding action and a darker plot than the first in the series.  The characters will surprise many.  Some have changed for the better, especially Karou.  She's definitely more mature and has a tougher shell that she uses to her advantage this time around.  Though she's had time to get used to her new surroundings, the reader may need some time to adjust.  Though I found myself more involved in the first book, there was so much energy, intense emotion and beautiful descriptions to keep the book exciting from the first page to the last.

Laini Taylor is an incredibly imaginative and talented author.  The writing is as beautiful as ever, and if anything, that's what draws me to her work the most.  The world, its intriguing creatures and the lives they live will draw readers in and hold on.  I couldn't have asked for more from this book.  It's perfectly-paced, thrilling and gives you the smallest, but most satisfying taste of what's to come.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #55

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by, Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we can't wait to get our hands on! 

Title: Sweet Peril
Author: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

Anna Whitt, daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a claim. She’d been naive about a lot of things. 

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind. 

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

When I read Sweet Evil earlier this year, I completely fell in love with the story and Kaidan Rowe. He's one of my favorite guys in YA ever, so how could I not want to continue the series? :)

What awesome title are you waiting for this Wednesday? 
While you're here, enter to win a book involving love, magic, and self-discovery!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review: Frost by Marianna Baer

Title: Frost
Author: Marianna Baer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Mystery, Thriller
Release date: September 13th. 2011
Pages: 396 (Hardcover)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Won
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school starts with a cruel shock: Frost House, the cozy Victorian dorm where she and her best friends live, has been assigned an unexpected roommate—eccentric Celeste Lazar. 

As classes get under way, strange happenings begin to bedevil Frost House: frames falling off walls, doors locking themselves, furniture toppling over. Celeste blames the housemates, convinced they want to scare her into leaving. And although Leena strives to be the peacekeeper, soon the eerie happenings in the dorm, an intense romance between Leena and Celeste’s brother, David, and the reawakening of childhood fears all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. But does the threat lie with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind…or in Frost House itself?

Frost is a thrilling novel packed with suspense and a lot of suspicion.  Leena has been looking forward to living in the Frost House from the time she first discovered it.  It was supposed to be her and her 3 best friends, the perfect living situation.  Except there's been an accident, and the girls are stuck with a rather unusual new roommate named Celeste.  A presence seems to have followed Celeste into the house and Leena begins to think it may not just be her imagination.

The book definitely keeps the reader involved with the story.  It plays with your mind, makes you believe that it's something paranormal, but then switches to make you believe it's all in the main character's head.  You never really know the truth, and that's one of the things that I loved about this book.  One thing that disappointed me, though, was that I was expecting more of a scare factor.  The book definitely had it's creepy moments, but I expected my heart to pound or my skin to crawl, and that just didn't happen.

The only character I really enjoyed was Leena.  I found myself frustrated with Celeste a majority of the time, even though she's the one I thought I'd enjoy most.  I usually love the eccentric characters that aren't quite like the rest.  I never really knew whether or not to trust Celeste's brother, David, which made it difficult to like him half of the time, as well.  He wants the best for his sister, or is that just what he wants you to believe?  The author did such a great job of making you feel what her characters were feeling.

Though the book wasn't your typical ghost story, I enjoyed getting to the bottom of what was really going on in Frost House.  The outcome surprised me, and though I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had more paranormal aspects to it, I still have the story on my mind days after reading it.  Baer's style of writing is perfect for this type of book, which is definitely one of the things worth reading it for.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

In My Mailbox #54

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren

-Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
(Paperback from Bethany House)

-The Lies That Bind by Lisa and Laura Roecker
(Paperback from Sourcebooks Fire)

Slow book weeks are completely bittersweet for me.  On one hand, I'm happy that I've only received 2 books this week because I have so many others on my TBR, but on the other hand, getting books is one of the few things that brightens up a bad day, and I've been having a lot of those lately.

Look out for giveaways of these books sometime this month (Starflower) and in January (The Lies That Bind)!

Thanks for stopping by!  What have you received in your mailbox?
While you're here, enter to win a book involving love, magic, and self-discovery!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Review & Giveaway: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman

Title: Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft
Author: Jody Gehrman
Publisher: Magic Genie Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal
Release date: June 30th, 2011
Pages: 293 (Paperback)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Author
Goodreads | Amazon | Author

Falling in Love, baking a magical cake, fighting an evil necromancer—it’s all in a day’s work for Audrey Oliver, seventeen-year-old witch-in-training. 

When her mother goes missing and her twenty-one-year-old witchy cousin shows up out of the blue, Audrey knows something’s gone horribly, dangerously wrong. Now it’s up to her to get her own magical powers up to speed before everyone she loves is destroyed by the sorcerer intricately connected to her mother’s secret past.

Strange things seem to happen when Audrey is overcome by intense emotion.  People get hurt and inanimate objects begin to move on their own.  When she finds out that her seemingly irrational thoughts of her mother's disappearance aren't so far from the truth, Audrey knows that there's a lot more going on than anyone can tell her.

When her eccentric older cousin, Sadie, shows up to take care of her and her younger sister, Audrey quickly learns more about herself than she ever would have imagined possible.  After only a few days of living together, Sadie notices the differences between Audrey and her sister and chooses to confront her about it.  Once Audrey learns the truth, that's she's a witch and so is her mom, Audrey begins training sessions in order to get full use out of the powers she has.  This isn't the only obstacle, though, as Audrey begins to fall for a boy named Julian at the same time she discovers who she really is.

The characters were all done really well and they all fit perfectly where they were supposed to.  Audrey was just trying to get a handle on the situation, Meg was full of angst, Sadie was the perfect mentor and Julian was oh so yummy.  The magical aspects of the book, from basic training to using what she learned in battle, were definitely my favorites...aside from the romance, of course.  What I enjoyed most about the romance was that Julian understood that Audrey couldn't tell him her family's secrets and why strange things always seem to happen around her.  Though they had a few rough times because of it, they never denied their attraction to each other.

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft is absolutely enchanting.  Many readers will be drawn into this fast-paced story from the first page and hold on until the very end.  The mystery behind Audrey's bloodline will keep you guessing and the action will keep you on edge.  Definitely a must-read for all fans of the paranormal!

Thanks to Jody, I have an exciting giveaway to offer my readers!
I'll be giving away one signed paperback of Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (US/CA)
and one ebook (International!)

Giveaway will end on November 16th
Enter the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Wrap-Up and November TBR

For some reason, I just haven't been following my TBR lists, so this month I'll try to keep it shorter.

The books I managed to read:
-Every Day by David Levithan
-The Suburban Strange by Nathan Kotecki
-Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
-Who I Kissed by Janet Gurtler
-Velveteen by Daniel Marks
-Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
-The Elementals by Francesca Lia Block
-Blind Spot by Laura Ellen
-Possess by Gretchen McNiel
-Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman (Review to come)
-Frost by Marianna Baer (Review to come)

The books I will definitely read in November:
(books I've gotten for review)

The books I hope to get to (list may change depending on mood):