Monday, January 31, 2011

Daily Dose (7)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share inspirational photos we've found around the Internet. I guess I was feeling romantic today....

<3 Paige

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (7)

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what books we're read, what we're reading, and what we're hoping to read. I'm very indecisive about what books I want to read, but I think I've narrowed it down.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Virals by Kathy Reichs

To Read:
Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Genre: teen fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Series and Book #: Paranormalcy Trilogy, book 1
Pages: 352
Synopsis: Evie's always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only one who can see through paranormals' glamours. But Evie's about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.


I read this book I believe last summer and I was thinking about how wonderful it was a week ago and how surprised I was that I hadn't yet reviewed it. So here we go into a total realm of awesome.

Paranormalcy was one of those books I kept seeing everywhere. Everyone was talking about it, blogs were raving, and when one of my friends bought it, I immediately asked if I could borrow it. A few hearty laughs later and I was beaming at Evie and the excellent teenage writing of White. This book was so awesome.

Evie is such an adorable character, and I love her Taser (that's pink...and BeDazzled). I just fall in love with her on the very first page. What she's going through and how she thinks about it really is part of the main focus of the book; she's worked for the IPCA her entire life and when she meets Lend it all changes. She goes with him and sees what life's like outside of the IPCA; something she's never really gotten a chance to do. She's witty, funny, and also very serious, especially when something happens to her best friend.

The side characters were wonderful too. White really knew how to weave Evie with the side characters so you could see how Evie really depended on the people around her. Reth was one of my favorite characters, also; I love cocky, clever, and evil characters for some strange, strange reason.

Overall, Paranormalcy is just one of those rare, out-of-this-world awesome books. It's unique and special. It even features mermaids, which aren't exactly popular in YA but I still love them. White has done an amazing job with this first novel and I can't wait for the second, Supernormalcy, coming sometime (I hope) in the near future.

The Cover: It's dark, but light. The model looks a lot like how I pictured Evie. Even the dress and hair style is featured in the book! So pretty, and so appropriate.

New and Noteworthy for Lesley Livingston

Lesley Livingston, the amazing author of the Wondrous Strange series, has another book coming out soon called Once Every Never. The cover has yet to be revealed, but there is a trusty banner that gives us a hint to what the cover will look like:


*Thank you to the wonderful Liz over at Midnight Bloom Reads for this extraordiary banner

This is what it's about:

Clarinet Reid is a pretty typical teenager. On the surface. She's smart, but a bit of a slacker; outgoing, but just a little insecure; not exactly a mischief-maker...but trouble tends to find her wherever she goes. Also? She unwittingly carries a centuries-old Druid Blood Curse running through her veins.

Now, with a single thoughtless act, what started off as the Summer Vacation in Dullsville suddenly spirals intoa  deadly race to find a stolen artifact, avert an explosive catastrophe, save a Celtic warrior princess, right a dreadful wrong that happened centuries before Clare was even born, and if there's still time--literally--maybe even get a date.

This is the kind of adventure that happens to a girl once every...never.

Hmm, let me see...adventure, love, and time travel? Count me in! I'll be waiting for the cover reveal this week, so be sure to check back in.

<3 Paige

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Blog Changes

Hello, everyone! If you were just tuning into my crazy blog changes, I'd like to tell you that it's currently done. I'm sorry if you were enjoying a post and then it changed; I wanted to do it quickly for your sake. It's a dramatic change and I hope you like it. Please comment if you do or don't, and if you have problems with links or pictures or something of the sort. Thanks much!

<3 Paige

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Genre: teen fantasy and adventure
Age Group: Young Adult
Book # and Series: no series
Pages: 480
Synopsis: Deadly Grace. Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight--she's a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king's thug. When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change. She never expects to become Po's friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace--or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away....


Eep! I loved, adored, and will-never-stop-thinking-about Graceling! This was a exhilarating, breathtaking, heartbreaking, extremely wonderful novel with an extraordinary cast of characters. Cashore wrote a beautiful world that I just loved!

Graceling is set in a sci-fi medieval ages world. There are seven kingdoms, each with a very interesting king that Katsa explains throughout the book. The world is so different, but similar, to a medieval England. Lady's are required to wear skirts, they aren't supposed to know combat skills, and they are supposed to marry. Katsa doesn't wear skirts, she knows combat skills, and she has vowed to never marry. She's very isolated from the women of her world, but has very close friendships with many of the men.

Katsa is such a wonderful MC. She's very scared of what she can do, but also proud of it. She doesn't like to kill others or torture others for her uncle and you finally see what happens when her uncle pushes her to do something out of her comfort zone. Katsa is strong but she also cares about others more than she really knows and you see that when she's with Princess Bitterblue, Princess of Monsea.

Overall, Graceling was one of those awesome, amazing, wonderful novels. The characters made me laugh and cry, especially Po, who was beyond amazing. There are so many twists to this book, both good and bad, and they had me flipping pages like a maniac. Graceling is definitely one of my all-time favorite books!

The Cover: The sword is so appropriate for Katsa and her ability to kill. The background like a tapestry is so pretty and great for the medieval setting. And they eye in the sword really emphasizes the importance of eye color in this book.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Wolves, Boys, & Other Things that might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler

Genre: literature and fiction, social issues
Age Group: Young Adult
Series and Book #: no series
Pages: 371
Synopsis: KJ Carson lives and outdoor lover's dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she's not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that they're assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted...and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new life.


Just to clear things up, this book is not about werewolves. It seems that most of the people I talked to about this book thought it was about werewolves, even I thought it was about werewolves before I bought it. No, it's about the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park.

This was a informational book that I thought was very interesting. KJ was a strong character when it came to what she believed in, which were the wolves, but wasn't strong when it came to herself. She let Kenner, Mandy, and Joss (the bullies of school) to push her around and even let her dad kind of control her. That's what bugged me about her most. She also messed up everything she did with the wolves which added problems, but got annoying after awhile.

This book is about a very sensitive subject: wolves. Some love them dearly, and some hate them mercilessly and you see both sides in this book. It was informational and was a detailed read. She explains everything about where she lives and the things that happen involving the wolves.

Overall, this book is not for ones who don't like informational and definitely-not-paranormal reads. It was great to read, hearing both sides of the wolf subject. Still not sure where I stand, but this was a very nice informational novel. I thought the book picked up immensely in the end when KJ finally stands up for herself and does what's right and is strong and passionate.

The Cover: This cover is so appropriate and I think I fell in love with the bright background and the dark wolf and model. The model was my image of KJ throughout the entire novel. Very cute.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen

Genre: teen social issues
Age Group: Young Adult
Series and Book #: no series, book 2*
Pages: 243
Synopsis: A heartbreaking past. Three wishes to change her future. Hazel Snow has always been alone. Adopted as a baby and shuffled from home to home, she's never belonged anywhere and has always yearned to discover where she comes from. So when she receives three stunning, magical dresses--each with the power to grant one wish--Hazel wishes to know her mother. Transported to a time and place she couldn't have imagined, Hazel finds herself living an alternate life--a life with the mother she never knew. Over the course of one amazing, miraculous summer, Hazel finds her home, falls in love, and forms the most unexpected friendship. But will her search to uncover her past forever alter her future? In the heart-pounding, luminous sequel to Wish, Alexandra asks the question: If you could wish for a new life...would you?

*this is the companion novel to Wish by Alexandra Bullen. See my review here.


Maybe I'm just a hopeless romantic. Actually, I know I'm a hopeless romantic. I balled through half of this book! I was crying when I finished it, and it hasn't really cleared from my mind.

Hazel bugged me through practically the entire book. She feels so sorry for herself that I thought she was rather selfish and conceited. When she manages to be transported back in time, she didn't even care about her stepdad Roy. She was more concerned with finding her real mom. And when she finds out who her mom is, she just won't accept it. And she had so many mood swings that I sometimes had to take a step back from her confusing thoughts. But in the end, I grew to like her. Although her decision mostly annoyed me. But that was because of her love life that was gone and I hate when a love life is ruined or destroyed. I believe in happily ever after.

The side characters were so sweet and nice. Rosanna was so sweet to Hazel in the past, and she was just a perpetually good person. Jaime was...temperamental. But you could see her side of things through it all. Luke was, is there anything Luke wasn't? Besides a horrible boyfriend? He was so sweet, and nice, and was willing to take Hazel back even though she ran away from him, like, three times. *Sigh* I love fictional men.

Overall, Wishful Thinking was a warm, heartfelt novel that really delved deeper than Wish into the sacrifices you have to make to really live your life. I was crying through most of the novel. Bullen's writing is so beautiful and she really made me look at things. A great book, just beautiful.

The Cover: GORGEOUS! I can't say it enough. The butterflies (excuse me, las mariposas), the gold, the font, and the model all are so perfectly set together against the black background. It gives it an extra push against the other novels you may see on the shelf.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Release: The Charmed Return by Frewin Jones

By the light of the pure eclipse, two worlds will be as one... She was once a princess of Faerie, the seventh daughter of King Oberon. But sixteen-year-old Anita Palmer has no memory of the Faerie Realm; her true Faerie princess identity; her love, Edric; of her quest to save Faerie from a deadly plague that ravaged it. With the help of an unexpected ally, Anita must figure out a way to reawaken Tania, her Faerie self--but how? Now Anita--or is she Tania?--doesn't know who, or what, to trust, including her own memories. With no time to spare, Anita must act. A thrilling final battle is soon to be waged that will affect not only her destiny but the fat of both Faerie and the Mortal World. Loyalties will be tested, true love questioned, and nothing is what it seems.


I've read the first four books in this series (The Faerie Path, The Lost Queen, The Sorcerer King [also published as The Seventh Daughter], and The Immortal Realm. Number five is The Enchanted Quest) and have yet to read the fifth, but these books were very good from what I remember of them. The book is based in London, considering the London author, which is a fresh new twist to YA. The Faerie world that Tania lives in is very sweet, too. They are very happy in Faerie, unlike some of the darker twists to Faerie. Jones' writing is just right, with the right blend of descriptive and vague. I remember being entranced by the first novel and just having to finish it. Very good novels, although The Immortal Realm seemed to just be an add-on. I think she could have stopped at The Seventh Daughter, but I can't really remember them that well so I don't really think I'm inclined to make a decision.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daily Dose (6)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share the wonderful and inspirational photos we've found.

(Doesn't the fourth one sound a little like a book you've read? I know for me it does...)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (6)

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what books we've read, what we're currently reading, and what we're hoping to read. I don't even know what to say about this past week. Hectic would be a word I'd use, but let's get started, shall we?

Wish by Alexandra Bullen
Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen (to be posted later on)

Graceling by Kristin Cashore

To Read:
I honestly have no idea.
Fire by Kristin Cashore would be the most likely, though.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wish by Alexandra Bullen

Genre: teen social issues
Age Group: Young Adult
Series and Book #: no series, book 1
Pages: 336
Synopsis: If you could have anything, what would you wish for? For brokenhearted Olivia Larsen nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone...until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical--it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back. With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second change at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses--and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.


This was an amazing novel. Sure, it took me awhile to read it. It's very descriptive and is slow towards the beginning, but late last night I finished it and, man...this was a breathtaking novel. Bullen hit it spot on in Wish, depicting a struggling girl trying to understand her life without the sister that she loved.

I really loved Olivia. Her name's pretty, and she has a huge heart. She doesn't quite understand life without her sister and comes to conclusions about her life in Willis before she moved to San Francisco. She realizes that she just doesn't know how to live without her sister being gone and I really felt for her throughout the book. Her wishes weren't stupid and I didn't hold her over the last wish, the one she mistakenly made. She was a lovable character that I came to, well, love.

Violet was somewhat annoying. The way she coached Olivia on how to live was nice of her, but when she told Olivia about what she had done to Olivia and Soren's relationship (Soren being Olivia's boyfriend) I was about ready to wish her goodbye. But Violet really loved her sister and she loved her family. She wanted to live again, but couldn't, and you could see that she was having a hard time understanding it all when she saw her parents and Olivia living. Violet struck nerves, but she was a thoughtful character.

Over all, I thought that Wish was a wonderful novel on how to live your life to the very end. Olivia was sweet and kind; Violet was lively for a ghost; and the other characters really sold the book for me. It wasn't just Olivia trying to cope with Violet's death, it was her parents. And the side characters really made the novel in my opinion. Such a beautiful book.

The Cover: This cover is pretty and I love the font they used for the title. The model looks exactly like what I pictured Olivia to look like, and the stars with the dress were really apart of the novel. A very pretty cover that doesn't have too much flash.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lets Talk Covers: The Faeriewalker Series by Jenna Black

I've heard many good things about the Faeriewalker series, although I haven't read them myself. I especially love the covers of these books, Sirensong being my favorite.

I see the point the artists were trying to make in Glimmerglass, although the darkness of the background threw me. The model is very pretty, and the smoke around her face is beautiful. I don't know if the dots are there for glitter, or if they're just fillers. I don't think they stand out as much as they do in Shadowspell. It's a very pretty cover, and I like the dark-light contrast that's going on.

Shadowspell looked beautiful...from a distance. As soon as I saw it up close, I took a double take. On the deer or moose or whatever is in her hands. I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for the deer/moose, but it looks strange in her hands. The model, again, is beautiful and the smoke is very enchanting, but the dots this time just look a little out of place. I don't know if they're reflective and the Internet can't show me that, or if they actually are that flat. Either way, this wasn't my favorite cover.

Sirensong is just amazing. The model is wonderful and the flower petals are just right. The dots look more in place. The cover looks a little out of place for the series, seeing how it's much lighter than the others and has pink and white rather than dark blue and a purplish color. It's a very light booking book and I think it sounds intriguing, especially the siren part of sirensong. I've always been a fan of mermaids, and I love when they're incorporated into YA novels also.

(There's another companion novel, Remedial Magic, that's for Kindle on Amazon. Don't know if you have a Kindle, but if you're a fan and you do, here you go!)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Daily Dose (5)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share inspirational photos we've found.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (5)

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what books we've read, what we're currently reading, and what we hope to read. My, my, the week has flown by (no rhyme intended) and I've read two wonderful books!


Wish by Alexandra Bullen

To Read:
Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen
Virals by Kathy Reichs 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vampire Crush by A. M. Robinson

Genre: teen fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Series and Book #: no series, book 1
Pages: 416
Synopsis: I swear, my life was always totally normal. Normal house, normal family, normal school. My looks are average, I don't have any superpowers, no one's showing up to tell me I'm a princess--you get the picture. But when my junior year started, something not normal happened. There were new kids at kids with a wardrobe straight out of a 19th-century romance novel, and an inexplicable desire to stay at school until sundown. And on top of that, James Hallowell showed up. James, who stole my sandwiches in fourth grade and teased me mercilessly through middle school. James, who now seems to have the power to make my heart race any time he comes near. But something weird is going on. Because James rarely goes out during the day. And he seems stronger than your typical guy. And he knows the new kids, all of whom seem to be harboring some kind of deep secret....


I know that the synopsis sounds really dumb, and honestly, it looks like a Twilight wanna be. But once I started it, it was clear that this had no intention of being a Twilight wanna be.

This was hilarious, sarcastic, witty, and a whole different look on vampires. It mixes popular culture with the original vampire myths, which is very hard to do when you have Stephanie Meyer as your competition. Robinson wrote Sophie as a normal girl who wants to stay normal and doesn't mind her obscurity in high school. And then the new kids come, and she doesn't think they're normal from the beginning considering that one (namely one named Violet) wears dresses from the mid-1800's.

Speaking of the vampires, they were so funny! They hardly knew anything about modern day and were still living in their times, even though they knew what was happening around them. I thought the plot was just about Sophie figuring out that her classmates were vampires, but then it got way more interesting when you figure out that Vlad (main evil vampire) wants to find a girl that may bring him out of obscurity. So awesome!!!

Over all, Vampire Crush was adorable, witty, and hilarious. Sophie was a sweet and strong MC who knew what had to be done and was determined to get it done. And James, oh my goodness, James. Amazing!! It was really funny when he read her thoughts when she didn't realize it. I could go on and on about this book, but I'll just say that you should add this to your TBR pile or your MRL. This is one of those diamond-in-the-rough books!

The Cover: I don't really get this cover, and I don't think that it portrays the book well, but I like the little bat in the middle.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Matched (Matched #1) by Ally Condie

Genre: teen science fiction and dystopian
Age Group: Young Adult
Series and Book #: Matched, book 1
Pages: 384
Synopsis: In the Society, Officials decide. Who you love. Where you work. When you die. Cassia has always trusted their choices. It's hardly any price to pay for a long life, the perfect job, the ideal mate. So when her best friend appears on the Matching screen, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is teh one...until she sees another face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path no one else has ever dared follow--between perfection and passion.


I had heard amazing things about this book, and there wasn't a doubt in my mind that it would be great. But I never thought it would be AMAZING!

The beginning bugged me, the way Cassia fawned over the Society and how great it is, and how perfect everything is. It creeped me out, too, because the Society measured everything and predicted everything. They predicted who Cassia would be Matched with, they predicted she'd come in second in a race up a hill, they predicted when she was too tired to run anymore on her tracker. It was so precise and purposeful. The Society sounded perfect, with no blemishes or scars, but they way they handled everything, resorting to violence when nothing seemed to work. They pushed Cassia to her edge, which was bold of them.

Cassia is an interesting character. She loves the Society and their choices, but she doesn't totally trust them. She knows that Xander should be her Match, but her love for Ky runs deeper than her love for Xander, which was so awesome. The romance development between Cassia and Ky was suspenseful and kept me reading.

Over all, Matched was just totally amazing. It grabbed you and pulled you in. It showed you flaws and outrageous ideas and events. It made you feel, like every book should. I loved the characters in this book, how they surprise you. Truly amazing. Add to your TBR pile or MRL.

The Cover: This is a perfect image of how Cassia feels trapped by the Society and I loved the incorporation of her Matched dress.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Let's Talk Covers: Passion (Fallen, book 3) by Lauren Kate

For some of you Fallen fans out there, you are probably awaiting the next installment, Passion. I was awaiting the cover, even though I've never read the books. But when I saw it...I kind of looked again, making sure I had the right book. The covers for Fallen and Torment were amazing with dark, beautiful covers that were very eerie. But with the newest cover, I just don't see eerie or beautiful. The display of light for the clouds would be pretty...just not on a dark book. The bottom of the book is dark blue, which is what's most likely bothering me most. The dresses aren't the same, I don't even think the models are the same, and the darkness that I loved on Fallen and Torment just isn't there in Passion. The books are good, the first two covers are beautiful, but the last cover just doesn't hit home for me. What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph

Genre: teen social issues
Age Group: Young Adult
Book #: one
Pages: 320
Synopsis: High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out -- doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T -- and to everyone's shock, she's a hit! Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest -- and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize -- Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare....


I really loved Shrinking Violet. It was a sweet, short read with an amazing and relatable main character. Tere is quiet and feels out casted. She's more relatable than, say, Clary from The Mortal Instruments or Chloe from The Darkest Powers because she's not a girl with super powers, or a vampire boyfriend, or even a friend with some kind of magical talents. I don't mean to be harsh on other MC's because they're amazing and their boyfriends are amazing, but, really? They're not relatable.

Tere is a sweet girl trying to grow up to be who she wants to be rather than who others think she should be. She's so shy and adorable. She has self esteem issues and hardly any friends. She has a crush on a guy at school, she has every issue most girls have.

Although Joseph was amazing with Tere herself, I thought the plot was very quick. One chapter, Tere's wishing for a job at SLAM and the next, she does have a job at SLAM. It went by very quickly and I found myself turning back pages to figure out exactly where I was.

Over all, Shrinking Violet is a sweet, heartfelt read with a very interesting story behind it. Joseph wrote Tere to be like any other girl and I found myself relating to her in subtle ways. The end was amazing, although for me a little predictable, and I saw a lot of character growth not only from Tere herself, but from some of the side characters, also.

The Cover: A sweet, adorable cover but it mostly has to do with the title of the book more than the book itself. A shrinking violet does come up, but only once or twice. But I love this cover in it's lighthearted and cute feel.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Daily Dose (4)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share inspirational photos we've found. Although, most of these are cute more than inspirational. But maybe you'll see something I don't.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (4)

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey where we share what books we've read, what we're reading, and what we're hoping to read. This week, I read the amazing Darkest Powers Trilogy! Check it out:


Matched by Ally Condie

To Read:
Vampire Crush by A. M. Robinson
Wish by Alexandra Bullen

The Reckoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #3) by Kelley Armstrong

Genre: teen fantasy and science fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Book #: three
Pages: 391
Synopsis: My name is Chloe Saunders. I'm fifteen and I would love to be normal. But normal is one thing I'm not. For one thing, I'm having these feelings for a certain antisocial werewolf and his sweet-tempered brother--who just happens to be a sorcerer--but, between you and me, I'm leaning toward the werewolf. Not normal. My friends and I are on the run from and evil corperation that wants to get rid of us--permanently. Definately not normal. And finally, I'm a genetically altered necromancer wh ocan raise the dead, rotting corpses and all, without even trying. As far away from normal as it gets.


Oh, my goodness! The Reckoning was, in my opinion, the best one out of the three in the Darkest Powers trilogy! (See my reveiws of The Summoning and The Awakening.) The plot was amazing, the twists were surprising, and the mysteries were nail-biting thrillers.

Chloe is no longer innocent and immature in this book, which I found to be gratifying. I can only stand so much of a wimpy main character. This book was the one I was expecting throughout the entire Darkest Powers Trilogy. There were perfect twists (and, trust me, there were a LOT of twists) and the mysteries keep piling up.

There are half-demons, full demons, telekenetic demons, werewolves, murderous shamans and necromancers, witches, sorcerers, and, of course, ghosts. That is also something that I got more of in The Reckoning than in the other two. Ghosts! They were everywhere! It was amazing!

Over all, Armstrong hit it dead on in The Reckoning. It was at-a-lose-of-words amazing, with gripping scenes and on-the-edge-of-your-seat action. A swoon-worthly and hilarious romance and hair-raising spectacles! Need I say more? Add these series to your TBR piles, people. It's gonna be worth it!

The Cover: Again, the cover really had nothing to do with the book. But we do find out what the necklace is used for! It kind of summed up my guesses, too. But the necklace isn't purple. I believe it's still blue.

P.S.: this counts for yesterday! Oops :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Awakening (Darkest Powers Trilogy #2) by Kelley Armstrong

Genre: teen fantasy and science fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Book #: two
Pages: 357
Synopsis: If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage teenage girl--someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I'm as far away from normal as it gets. A living science experiment--not only can I see ghosts, but I was genetically altered by a sinister organization called the Edison Group. What does that mean? For starters, I'm a teenage necromancer whose powers are out of control; I raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have Ever. Now I'm on the run with three of my supernatural friends--a charming sorcerer, a cynical werewolf, and a disgruntled witch--and we have to find someone who can help us before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.


I had hopes for this book, and those hopes did come true. The Awakening was better than The Summoning (see my review here). It was more action packed, there was more side character and main character interaction, and it was just better.

Chloe is stuck in the Edison Group's lab where she plays innocent until she gets a chance to escape. Derek and Simon haven't been found, and she just found out that Liz is a ghost. Tori is also there because of her mother's connections. Chloe is looking for a way out, when Dr. Davidoff (the man doing this to everyone [that is, the kidnapping, the interrogations, the manipulating]) gives her a perfect opportunity. When Chloe is sent to the library, she opens up Dr. Davidoff's computer and finds out that she, Derek, Simon, and Tori are all a part of a Genesis project to heighten their powers. Chloe finds out that Liz, Brady (another boy from Lyle who left before she got there), Tori, Simon, Derek, she, and others, are all a part of the project. And that Brady and Liz were killed because of it. It was so awesome, I couldn't put the book down by this part.

Then Dr. Davidoff recruited her and Tori to help find the boys (Derek and Simon) so that they could come back to the lab. And they take that as their chance to run. A few brawls later, Chloe and Tori are huddled in a warehouse until Derek and Simon come to save them. That's when they break out and head for a hiding place that Derek and Simon had set up ahead of time. But when they're discovered, they're back on the run and Derek and Simon tell them of an emergency contact that their dad had left before he'd disappeared. A man named Andrew who could help them. That's when it all gets more and more interesting.

The entire book is generally Chloe, Simon, Derek and Tori on the run from the Edison Group while trying to find Andrew without looking too suspicious. Derek and Chloe get separated from the group when Derek gets sick and needs to Change (into his werewolf form, that is). Chloe stays with him and they head out together where they get into more brawls and run from truck drivers, werewolves, and the Edison Group. They eventually make it to Simon and Tori, but that's at the near end of the book. I got my times mixed up throughout the book, mostly because times seemed longer than they were.

Over all, The Awakening was far better than The Summoning. I loved the action, the mystery, and the side character-main character interactions. Chloe seemed less opinionated  and considered other ideas more. She seemed to grow more in this book, taking in the rough surroundings and street-smarts as she went along with Derek. I really liked this book and am very excited for The Reckoning.

The Cover: her necklace does come up more in this book and it does turn blue, but the model is wrong again. This time, Chloe has to dye her hair black because her father has a reward put out for her. There's still no answer to the talisman, but this cover is my favorite of the three in the Darkest Powers Trilogy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Summoning (Darkest Powers Trilogy #1) by Kelley Armstrong

Genre: teen fantasy and science fiction
Age Group: Young Adult
Book #: one
Pages: 416
Synopsis: She sees dead people--and they see her. Chloe Saunders used to have a pretty normal life. But that changed on the day she met her first ghost. Locked up in Lyle House, a group home for troubled teens, she finds out that there's more to the home's teen residents than meets the eye. Will Chloe be able to uncover the dangerous secrets of Lyle House...or will its skeletons come back to haunt her?


Maybe my expectations for this book was too high, but this was not one of my most favorite books. It bugged me most of the time, and the ending left me going, "Are you serious?" Hopefully the rest of the trilogy will be better.

It starts out with a young Chloe and her encounter with ghosts in her basement. That's when I said, "This book is going to be amazing!" Then it got into Chloe's life as a teenager, undergoing school and such, and I thought, "OK, just giving me a feel for Chloe." But then she got sent to Lyle House and nothing happened. The entire time, she talked about Liz, Rae, Tori, Simon, and Derek (the other inmates), but there was nothing mysterious about Lyle House until they go into the closet in the basement and up into the crawl space. That's when I said, "This is going to get really lame if nothing interesting happens." And nothing interesting did happen until the last couple of chapters.

There were hardly any ghosts to! That's what probably bugged me the most of this book. It says, right up there, first line in summary, "She sees dead people--and they see her." But there are only the ghosts in her basement as a child, the burned janitor, and the one in the basement at Lyle House. Other than that, zilch! Three ghosts in a book about a necromancer (someone who can see and talk to ghosts). Another thing, Chloe was so willing to accept her "condition" even though the facts were staring her in the face that she wasn't mentally ill and that they were lying to her! Ugh, frustrating!

Over all, The Summoning was not one of the best books I've ever read. But I wouldn't be setting it aside just yet. As annoying and frustrating as Chloe is, the book had its strong points. The idea that the home is a place for paranormal teenagers is very creative. There is mystery surrounding the home itself, but Armstrong pushes it aside with Chloe's thoughts about the home and Chloe's conclusion about the home. The Summoning was frustrating, but the sequel (The Awakening) has been very interesting so far. I have hope for the trilogy yet.

The Cover:  This cover hardly has to do with the book. Chloe is described as a petite girl with strawberry blond locks with red streaks. Her necklace does pop up in the book, but it's only barely brushed upon and hardly comes up. I do like the models position, though. And I think it would get my attention at a library or book store.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell

Genre: teen adventure
Age Group: Young Adult
Book #: one
Pages: 368
Synopsis: Like her parents, 16-year-old Vassar is a Planner with a capital P! She leaves nothing to chance (guess where she plans to go to college?). Never, that is, until the doorbell rings one night, and before you can say unexpected, Vassar finds herself backpacking through the jungles of Southeast Asia with Gertrude, her madcap artist grandmother. How could her parents have permitted this? Well, it has something to do with what Vassar thinks of as The Big Secret. Will she solve the mystery before she's completely undone by fallout from Grandma's relentless acts of spontaneity?


This is one of those books that don't get well known, even though they should. I was introduced to Carpe Diem last summer (which is the summer of 2010) by a friend of mine who had picked it up at the library. She had adored the book and I read it while on vacation, and it was a laugh-out-loud read. Cornwell did an amazing job of making a teenage girl who was raised to plan, and then suddenly switch her into a girl who couldn't. The change challenged Vassar and I thought Cornwell was wonderful at the switch in emotions.

The best part of this book was the humor. Vassar's friends were cute, although not dwelt upon. They show up in the beginning, before Vassar goes with her grandmother on their vacation, and during the vacation, when Vassar answers their emails. Vassar herself was hilarious in what she does when she's forced to make the epic change from planning everything to having to wing it all the time. Vassar's grandmother was so funny when Vassar mentioned planning and sanitation. Hanks, Vassar's crush throughout most of the book, was Vassar's knight in shining armor, saving her from every weird thing she got herself into. I couldn't stop laughing!

Overall, I loved Carpe Diem. Cornwell's plot was so unique and creative, it couldn't compare to many other teen books. Vassar was funny and different and Cornwell's perception of the teenage girl was great. The side characters weren't dwelt upon, but they were there, adding twists to the book. The mystery of the Big Secret was shocking, and it left me laughing in a strange sort of way. Although the mystery is there, Cornwell writes so much happening around it that that's not the central part of the book. Amazing. Marvelous. Hilarious!

The Cover: I think this depicts the book well. I thought that it doesn't really speak Vassar until the end of the book, when she really learns to LIM. I love the neutral colors and how they represent Vassar's time in southern Asia. I also think the natury feel of the cover fits the mood perfectly.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Release: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand and Night School by Mari Mancusi

In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees. . . Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what it is, though, isn't easy. Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place--and out of place, at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make--between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

After their parents' shocking revelation about their fae heritage and an attack on their lives, the McDonald twins are forced to hide out deep in the Swiss Alps at Riverdale Academy, a secret vampire slayer training facility. And with no way to contact their vampire boyfriends for rescue, they're going to have to play nice with the locals.But when Sunny starts acting strange, Rayne realizes that there's more to fear at Riverdale than getting staked by the student body-leading to a showdown in Fairyland that may cost the twins their lives.


I have heard nothing but good things about these two books (actually, I've heard nothing but good things about the single Unearthly book, and I've heard good things about the entire Blood Coven Vampire series). Unearthly is said to be "...a perfect a perfect blend of realism with a supernatural twist, not to mention a unpredictable plot line and a beautiful love story." --Kristi from The Story Siren. And I've had a friend who has read the Blood Coven Vampire series and said it was hilarious and amazing. I've also heard it's a totally different twist to vampires, which is always welcome. Unearthly is also said to be nothing like the other angel books out there, which, in my opinion, are generally the same plot wise (girl meets fallen angel, girl falls for fallen angel, horrible battles occur, etc. etc.). Both are on my must read list and I hope they are as good as they seem.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Daily Dose (3)

Daily Dose is a meme hosted by Good Golly Miss Holly where we share inspirational photos we've found around. Like, on other blogs, floating on the Internet, or on websites.