Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Darkest Powers Trilogy

Book Series: Darkest Powers Trilogy
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pages: 832
Source: purchased from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
The Summoning
The Darkest Powers Series, Book I

After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home.

At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…

The Awakening
The Darkest Powers Trilogy, Book II
Book II in the Darkest Powers trilogy takes us deeper into a world where the supernatural intrudes on the everyday with riveting effect.

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average 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 group of people who call themselves 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.

I’m running for my life 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 gain our freedom back before The Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

The Reckoning
The Darkest Powers Trilogy, Book III

Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I'm on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We're hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We'll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we'd left behind and take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.
(summary taken from Goodreads)

This series was amazing!

I bought the whole Darkest Powers Trilogy in one bound book, not expecting too much. But once I started, I just couldn't stop! Kelley Armstrong managed to hook me on from page one!

Chloe was an awesome heroine. She wasn't the dumb little blonde that everyone thought she was she was smart, witty, and skeptical-but-not-too-skeptical. Chloe was likable, caring, and intelligent, a combination which tends to be a difficult thing to accomplish in YA books. Plus, she was extremely easy to relate to, often referencing to or thinking of things the same way I probably would in her situation.

Another thing I really liked about Kelley Armstrong's Darkest Powers Trilogy was that there was no love at first sight. The reasons why Derek (♥) and Simon gradually came to like Chloe were merely for the same reasons I adored her as a character. It was realistic but still 100% enjoyable!

The premise of genetically modified supernaturals was perfectly executed, where you have your successes and your failures... and ways of dealing with each. The whole supernatural world was set up effortlessly and perfectly. I loved everything about it!

Armstrong's Darkest Powers Trilogy was a quick, fun read that captured me for the entire 800+ pages! For anyone who loves a good supernatural series with a strong heroine, a distinctive supporting cast, and some quick-witted humor, this one is a must-read!  

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it, for sure! This series makes a perfect edition to the growing collection of recommendations on my shelf! :)


Monday, June 27, 2011

Review: Heist Society

Book: Heist Society
Author: Ally Carter
Release Date: February 9, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Pages: 287
Source: purchased from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.  

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.
For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history—and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

I adored this book!

Out of all the amazing things surrounding this novel, one thing I loved about Heist Society most was Kat, our whimsical heroine. She wasn't your average con artist, since she was always craving for a life other than one of stealing and lying.

But like a good con artist should be, she was still extremely smart, intuitive, hilarious, and unpredictable maybe more so than others, and that's saying something! Naturally, she made an excellent leader to a very hectic and diversified teenage crew.

To be completely honest, I don't think I hated any character in Heist Society. From Kat's ridiculous criminal family to the cool and charming Nick (swoon!) to Kat's best (boy?) friend Hale, I have to say I loved them all!

Hale, especially! My gosh, the way Ally Carter created the chemistry and obvious romantic tension between Kat and Hale blew my breath away! Too bad we never really figure out his first name. Maybe next time? ;)

The whole premise itself about conning being a family business was enough to hook me in. The excellent cast, writing, and carefully constructed details just made it all the more engaging. It left me guessing until the final page was turned, full of twists and turns that I didn't see coming!

I am super excited that this is a series! :) 

BUY or BORROW?: This is a bookshelf must-have! Buy it!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Twilight Saga

Book Series: Twilight Saga
Author: Stephenie Meyer
Release Date: October 5, 2005 - August 2, 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: (Twilight) 498 - (Breaking Dawn) 754
Source: purchased from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Bella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Bella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife—between desire and danger. Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires. This is a love story with bite.
(Twilight summary taken from Goodreads 
This stunning set, complete with five editions of Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn, and The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella, makes the perfect gift for fans of the bestselling vampire love story. 

Deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful, The Twilight Saga captures the struggle between defying our instincts and satisfying our desires.

(Twilight Saga: Complete Collection summary taken from Goodreads)

Okay, first let me start with this: I know that almost everybody has probably heard of, watched, or read the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer maybe all three. And anyone who has done one or more of these things probably has an opinion about Twilight, good or bad.

But I'm not going to lie when I say that I loved the Twilight Saga. I read Twilight in 2008 when I was going into grade seven after Breaking Dawn came out and at the time, I only heard good things about it. My cousin had left her copy on the counter, and I thought in curiosity and boredom, Why not? A book about vampires couldn't be that bad. I hadn't expected to like it but then I ended up staying awake all that night until I finished it! 

Twilight was the book that got me hooked onto reading the whole YA paranormal genre. To be honest, it was the book that got me hooked onto reading in general. Sure, I'm not a huge fan of the move franchise (actually, my disappointment with the movies is kind of extreme), but the books were amazing. I loved them to death!

So even though the movie Breaking Dawn: Part 1 is coming out in November, I felt that it was necessary to write this review because Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga is honestly and truly a must-read series. To anyone who hasn't picked it up for fear of the content after the overexposure and good/bad publicity, my advice to you is to go out and read these books anyways.

Just like for the novels and movies, there will be people who agree with my review and people who don't. There will be people who think Bella is a Mary Sue, and those who think she's a character that is extremely easy to connect with. I know that opinions are a big part of the blogosphere, so I'm just adding mine to the pile:

The story, the writing, the characters, and every little carefully constructed detail of the Twilight Saga was absolutely brilliant. :) 

BUY or BORROW?: Buy these books, no questions asked!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: Along for the Ride

Book: Along for the Ride
Author: Sarah Dessen
Release Date: June 11, 2009
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Pages: 399
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 4/5
It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.

In her signature pitch-perfect style, Sarah Dessen explores the hearts of two lonely people learning to connect.
(summary taken from Goodreads)

This is actually the very first book I ever read by Sarah Dessen! I've heard so many great things about her novels, so I was super excited to be able to pick up a copy of Along for the Ride

I can honestly say I adore almost every character in this book. From Auden, whose mind is beautiful and melancholic at some points (and whose name I love), to her dad's new wife Heidi, who we expect to dislike at first but actually turns out to be such a strong female character.

And Eli, the boy who comes off as quiet and sort of dark at first but we quickly realize is just haunted by guilt. He's the final push that Auden needs to come out of her perfect little shell. They have so many moments together that are sweet and funny and completely heartwarming that you know they're perfect for each other!

(Just be prepared not to like either of Auden's parents.)

Along for the Ride is an such a touching and enjoyable read! I love how realistic yet magical Sarah Dessen managed to write this story. I'm definitely going to look out for more of her books! :)

BUY or BORROW?: If you're a lover of a sweet and heartwarming contemporary novel, Along for the Ride is a must have!  


Review: Clockwork Angel

Book: Clockwork Angel
Author: Cassandra Clare
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Pages: 476
Source: purchased from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
Magic is dangerous--but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What's more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world...and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.
(summary taken from Goodreads

Cassie Clare's Mortal Instruments series is one of my favourites of all time, so when I figured out that there was going to be a prequel series to it, I just had to go out on the very first day to buy it! And I wasn't disappointed!

I loved everything about this book! From the fact that it took place in Victorian London, to Cassie Clare's amazing writing skills, to the fact she included so many recognizable surnames everything about it stole my breath away!

And the same way that I adored all of her characters from TMI, I fell head over heels for almost all of these Londoners especially Will and Jem, the two love interests of our heroine Tessa (who I absolutely adored).

Cassie always creates the most complex and intriguing stories I've ever read. I could get lost in the Shadowhunter world for hours on end. Clockwork Angel is definitely added to my very long list of favourite books!

Beautifully planned and executed with unexpected twists at every turn, Clockwork Angel is a book equal parts action, romance, and the hilarious wit that had you rolling on the floor laughing in TMI. :)

BUY or BORROW?: Do you even have to ask? Buy it!! Every time I re-read it, those unexpected-yet-expected funny parts never fail to make me laugh!


Friday, June 24, 2011

Follow Friday #4 & Faery Day

Hey everyone!

For those who don't know, Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted by the super-duper awesome Parajunkee! It's a great neat way to meet new people and expand your list of friends over Blogger, and it's really easy to join too! :)

All you have to do is:
  1. (Required) Follow Parajunkee at her awesome blog. 
  2. (Required) Follow the featured blogger of the week. (I'm a Book Shark)
  3. Put your blog name and URL in the Linky thing. 
  4. Grab the the button from Parajunkee's blog and place it in a post (so people can say hi in the comments!).
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just only a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs! Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI!"
  6. If someone comments and follows you, share the love! Follow them back ;)
  7. If you're new to the Follow Friday hop, comment and let Parajunkee know, so she can stop by and check out your blog! 
Q: In the Light of the Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer... let's talk about faeries. What is your favourite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fey?  

A: Ooh, I used to have this really big thing for faeries! I love both kinds: the tiny little fairies that are the size of half a pencil and flutter around on pixie wings, and the faeries that are (in most stories) sensitive to iron, mystically beautiful, and good at blending in easily with humans. 

For question one, my answer would definitely be The Beauty and the Beast. This story is an absolute fave of mine! It's just so sweet and romantic, with characters you can't help but adore. Not only the beautiful Belle and the self-depreciating Beast, but all the talking objects too! It's a cute & fun classic.

Answering the second question, I'd have to say that I love so many faery YA books like The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. But a series like The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare which explores a world with multiple supernatural creatures (vampires, werewolves, warlocks and the like) is fun to read too!


Speaking of the awesome Julie Kagawa, she's having a really cool giveaway on her blog in celebration of Faery Day: a chance to win a signed copy of each of her books! *squee!* All you have to do is post your favourite faery quote somewhere via blog, twitter, facebook, etc. More info on her blog here

This is mine, taken from Julie's own first novel, The Iron King:  

"Oh, we're playing nice now? Shall we have tea first? Brew up a nice pot of kiss-my-ass?"

Because I have a thing for hilarious boys, and Puck fits perfectly into that category. But I'm still Team Ash ;)



Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blog SpotLight: The Story Siren

Blog SpotLight is a monthly thing that I started in May, where I spotlight a blog that I think is absolutely fantastic. I've been a little slow with updating this, but now that I've finished with my exams (YAY!), I'm sure I'll have more time!

For the month of June, the spotlit blog is The Story Siren! Managed by the awesome Kristi, it's basically a YA review blog led by a girl who just speaks her mind about books like I do! Except her blog is much more organized and frequently updated than mine ;)

Why it's awesome: I love Kristi's blog because I can always trust her reviews to be truthful and thorough, and the YA books she usually reads are ones that I either have read or am dying to read. And like every easy-to-access-and-super-awesome blog should have, an alphabetical list of Reviews is easily found on her tab bar!

You should definitely check it out! It's a YA review blog at its best! :)


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Reaper

Book: Reaper
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release Date: December 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 64 (eBook)
Source: purchased from Kobo Books
Stars: 5/5
Tod Hudson was a typical teenager. He liked girls, sports, food and tolerated his younger brother, Nash. In fact, he had his whole life in front of him--and due to his bean sidhe heritage, it was going to be a very long life indeed. And then the car accident occurred. 

Suddenly Tod's future wasn't so sure, and he had to make a choice. Life... Death... or something Between....

An eBook exclusive Soul Screamers series novella.
(summary taken from Goodreads)


Is it possible to express in words how much I loved this novella? Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series is one of my favourites of all time, and this little gift that Rachel wrote for her fans (which is available for download free here) honestly takes the top spot of all her books!

The quick wit and humor present in the printed novels of this series are most definitely a big part of this novella, and that this is written in Tod's perspective (my favourite reaper and character of all time) just makes it that much more hilarious!

This novella delves back to when Tod first becomes a reaper, and even though I may have wondered that a few times before, I never would have guessed that it could be this intense. And sad. I'm not even exaggerating when I say that I cried reading this.

Although I love this book so much, I strongly advise people not to start off this series with this novella. I have several friends who have (and they love it nonetheless), but it's so much more fun to read the other books first because then you know the characters even better.

Brilliantly written and extremely enjoyable, Reaper is an eBook that is essential for all Soul Screamers fans. And for those of you who haven't started this series at all, I recommend wholeheartedly that you do so! You won't regret it! :) 

BUY or BORROW?: Well, considering that it's free in PDF format on Rachel's website here, you should definitely buy it! But I'm not lying when I say that I'd pay the retail price to read this book over again! :)


Review: My Soul to Steal

Book: My Soul to Steal
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 343
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 4/5
Trying to work things out with Nash—her maybe boyfriend—is hard enough for Kaylee Cavanaugh. She can't just pretend nothing happened. But "complicated" doesn't even begin to describe their relationship when his ex-girlfriend transfers to their school, determined to take Nash back.

See, Sabine isn't just an ordinary girl. She's a mara, the living personification of a nightmare. She can read people's fears—and craft them into nightmares while her victims sleep. Feeding from human fear is how she survives.

And Sabine isn't above scaring Kaylee and the entire school to death to get whatever—and whoever—she wants.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

In case you don't know, this series is one of my favourites ever! I love it!

My Soul to Steal takes place not too long after the awful cliffhanger at the end of the previous book, My Soul to Keep. It's every bit as breathtaking as all of the other books. My heart wouldn't stop speeding up and sometimes I swear it stopped completely!

I adored Kaylee! She's such an amazing character, being strong and smart but selfless at the same time. The entire cast in this series continues to take my breath away especially Tod, who will probably continue to be one of my favourite male characters ever!

The only thing I really didn't like about it was the amount of jealousy in this book. I've never been a fan of stories that focus on envy, but I guess that it was important in this novel. Rachel did a good job portraying the whole demonic ordeal!

In conclusion, I have to say that My Soul to Steal isn't exactly my favourite book in the series, but I loved it nonetheless. I can't wait until the next installment, If I Die hits the shelves in September! So excited!

BUY or BORROW?: Every single book in Rachel Vincent's Soul Screamers series is a definite must have! Buy it! :)


Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: My Soul to Keep

Book: My Soul to Keep
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 296
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 5/5 
Kaylee has one addiction: her very hot, very popular boyfriend, Nash. A banshee like Kaylee, Nash understands her like no one else. Nothing can come between them.

Until something does.

Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how? Kaylee and Nash have to cut off the source and protect their friends—one of whom is already hooked.

And so is someone else…

(summary taken from Goodreads)

This book left me breathless.

I loved the first two novels, My Soul to Take and My Soul to Save, so much that they took high spots on my very long favourite reads list. My Soul to Keep was no exception!

Kaylee was as lovable as ever, strong and smart and confident-but-not-too-confident like she always had been. And the incredible cast behind her continues to grow on me, especially Tod ( who is one of my favourite characters ever).

So many things happened in this book that made me want to cry. Several times! There were so many surprises and heart-wrenching moments (like the ending that left me in tears). But I guess what happens in this book will only help Kaylee grow stronger than she already is.

As a warning, this book does not end on the best of terms but it was amazing nonetheless. Fast-paced and intriguing with surprises at every turn, My Soul to Keep was a perfectly written third installment for a series that has always been a favourite of mine!

BUY or BORROW?: Anything that has to do with a Netherworld full of bean sidhes (banshees) is definitely something you should have on your shelf! Buy it! :)


Review: My Soul to Save

Book: My Soul to Save
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release Date: December 29, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 297
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 5/5
When Kaylee Cavanaugh screams, someone dies.

So when teen pop star Eden croaks onstage and Kaylee doesn't wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can't cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad's ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend's loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls: a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can't possibly understand.

Kaylee can't let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk…

(summary taken from Goodreads)

My Soul to Save is the second book in Rachel Vincent's amazing Soul Screamers series which is truthfully one of my favourites of all time. It has the same amount of humor and wit as the first, with a plot that is far from predictable and a cast that I love even more than before (unbelievable, right?)!

Kaylee is back and as awesome as ever with her bean sidhe (pronounced banshee) heritage. Along with her is her boyfriend Nash (who is hot to the max), her best friend Emma (who, in all her ridiculousness, is impossible to hate), and my favourite character by far, Tod (who literally brings tears to my eyes because he's so hilarious in a sarcastic way).

Overall, My Soul to Save was an amazing sequel! I could almost say that I liked this one better, because we're more efficiently introduced to the Netherworld and the awful creatures that lie within it!

Those who haven't picked up this series yet should definitely do so! To say it's enjoyable would be the understatement of the century! 

BUY or BORROW?: Two words buy it. Need I say more? ;)


Review: My Soul to Take

Book: My Soul to Take
Author: Rachel Vincent
Release Date: August 1, 2009
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises
Pages: 384
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 5/5
Kaylee Cavanaugh doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die.
And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

The Soul Screamers series has to be one of my favourites of all time! The synopsis may not attract very many people because of how it's about bean sidhes (pronounced banshee), and let's face it: no one really wants to read about girls screaming for dead souls. But My Soul to Take was actually an amazing book!  

Our heroine, Kaylee, is a sixteen-year-old girl that is extremely easy to like. She's kind and smart and has a killer sense of humor. And she's such a strong person; I find that really important in a likable character. 

Plus, Kaylee has perfect charisma not only with Nash (the hot senior who turns out to be a bean sidhe like her), but her best friend Emma and the awesomely hilarious and sarcastic reaper Tod (who is my favourite character of all time!). The casts just fits extremely well together.  

My Soul to Take is an quick and enjoyable read. Even though the summary doesn't exactly sound appealing, I definitely recommend this book to everyone and anyone anywhere. It has the right amount of humor, drama, and supernatural creatures to keep your eyes glued onto the pages until the very end. It's the perfect first book in a certainly-going-to-be good series!

BUY or  BORROW?: This is a novel that I definitely want on my shelf!! Buy it! 


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: Hex Hall

Book: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Publisher: Hyperion Book
Pages: 323
Source: KPL
Stars: 4/5
Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

Oh my gosh, I adore this book! It's cute and different and knee-slappingly hilarious!

Sophie is just such an awesome character! She has this sense of natural humor about her that makes you laugh your head off, and she's always truthful and straightforward no matter the circumstances. She's exactly the kind of person that I'd want as my best friend! Her roommate, Jenna, is just as lovable with her vampirish love for pink. And some of the stray Prodigium on campus are so ridiculous that it makes me smile too.

Then there's Archer Cross, the hottest warlock on campus. There are some things he does that I don't understand, some things he does that make me want squeal in delight, and some things he does that make me want to punch him out. 

But I honestly adore him to death, and his snarky and somewhat arrogant attitude only makes me love him more. Plus, he has perfect chemistry with Sophie which is important to me when reading about book relationships.

Overall, Hex Hall is 100% enjoyable, with an awesome cast of characters and a storyline that has some things you expect and some things that you most definitely do not. It's a fast-paced and exciting book with a hint of mystery that was entertaining until the very end!

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it! It's an awesome book for laughs and really easy to read. Some passages were so awesome that I have them committed to memory! ;)


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Review: Wither

Book: Wither
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 358
Source: KPL
Stars: 5/5
What if you knew exactly when you would die?  

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb — males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.  

When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape — to find her twin brother and go home. 

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limited time she has left.
(summary taken from Goodreads)

Can I first just say how much I love this cover? I know that you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but this one is literally one of my favourites of all time!

I've read so many awesome reviews for this book and they were all spot on! Lauren DeStefano's writing was brilliantly beautiful. I was never bored reading this book! Like author Carrie Ryan said in the blurb on the back cover, Wither was "exactly the kind of book I've been craving to read!"

I adored Rhine! With her strength and determination, she was never a stranger to me. Each and every character in this book was so flawlessly created that I couldn't help but have distinct opinions about each.

Of course, I'm sure that there will be many people who will dislike this book because of some tough subjects that it deals with. But I'm positive that there will also be many people who love it as much as I do!

I don't want to spoil anything for those who haven't read it yet, but I just have to say that Wither is and will probably remain one of my favourite books of the year. I have no doubt that it'll be sticking with me for a long time!

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it! I borrowed this book because I wasn't sure if I was going to like it, but now I'm definitely going out to the store to get myself a copy so I can re-read it as I please! :)


Friday, June 17, 2011

Follow Friday #3

Hi again, everyone! :)

For those who don't know, Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted by the super-duper awesome Parajunkee! It's a great neat way to meet new people and expand your list of friends over Blogger, and it's really easy to join too! :)

All you have to do is:
  1. (Required) Follow Parajunkee at her awesome blog. 
  2. (Required) Follow the featured blogger of the week. (Rhiannon Paille)
  3. Put your blog name and URL in the Linky thing. 
  4. Grab the the button from Parajunkee's blog and place it in a post (so people can say hi in the comments!).
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just only a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs! Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI!"
  6. If someone comments and follows you, share the love! Follow them back ;)
  7. If you're new to the Follow Friday hop, comment and let Parajunkee know, so she can stop by and check out your blog! 
Q: Genre Wars! What's your favourite genre and which book in that genre made it your favourite? 

A: Oh, geez, this one's hard! I'm in love with so many different genres as long as they fall into the Young Adult category. But I have to say that the final showdown is between YA urban fantasy and YA dystopian. 

For urban fantasy books, The Mortal Instruments series by Cassie Clare has to be one of my favourites of all time but I have to admit that it was The Twilight saga that got me hooked. Actually, Stephenie Meyer's well known books were the ones that made me fall in love with reading in the first place.

And for dystopian, The Hunger Games is the first of the genre that I've read! It literally blew me away, and so many new dystopian novels (like Divergent by Veronica Roth) just keep me wanting more! My shelf is packed with this genre.

I guess I'm pretty mainstream considering that these two are very popular genres as of now, but these books are just so good!

What's your favourite genre? :)



Saturday, June 11, 2011

Review: Divergent

Book: Divergent
Author: Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Pages: 487
Source: bought from Chapters
Stars: 5/5
In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

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

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

(summary taken from Goodreads)

Oh. My. GOSH!

I can't tell you how much I loved Divergent! It's no secret that dystopian fiction is one of my favourite genres of the moment, but this book literally sets the standard over the top! People have been comparing this to The Hunger Games (one of my favourite series of all time) which I found ridiculous at first, but Divergent truly and honestly deserves every praise it gets.

It's a fast-paced novel that sucks me in from page one with a heroine that I can't help but fear and adore. And I absolutely adored Four! His chemistry with Tris is breathtaking. Everything about him makes me want to swoon because he's such a strong character. Four is no weaker than Tris is.

I don't want to spoil this book for anyone who hasn't read it yet, but let me just say this: Divergent is an amazing book filled with thrilling challenges, lovable characters, unexpected turns and just enough romance to satisfy the cravings of a reader.

This is a novel that I definitely recommend!  

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it!!! Divergent is a must have for your literary shelf!


Friday, June 03, 2011

Review: Paranormalcy

Book: Paranormalcy
Author: Kiersten White
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 335
Source: KPL
Stars: 4/5
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 person 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.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

Oh, bleep, I loved this book!

Evie was an awesome character to read about! She was smart and snarky, kick-ass and hilariously funny. Not once did I think that she was a weakling who couldn't take care of herself. Sure, she may have had her moments of immaturity but all those little things were easy to understand, considering she'd been living in a containment facility practically all her life.

Paranormalcy, despite the dominant paranormal aspect, was realistic. Kiersten White managed to write this novel in a way that was extremely easy to believe (especially since there was no love-at-first sight drama)... except maybe the fact that the vampires could be taken down with a pink taser.

(Maybe I'm just too used to reading about the glamorized and perfect vamps who can run back and forth across a field before you even blink an eye.)

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Paranormalcy! It was a nice and flirty read with a very modern voice and characters you couldn't help but adore (like Lish! And Lend!). I can't wait until the sequel, Supernaturally, is released!

BUY or BORROW?: If I wasn't as broke as I am (which sucks), this book would definitely be part of my large collection of books!


Follow Friday #2

Hi again, everyone! :)

For those who don't know, Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted by the super-duper awesome Parajunkee! It's a great neat way to meet new people and expand your list of friends over Blogger, and it's really easy to join too! :)

All you have to do is:
  1. (Required) Follow Parajunkee at her awesome blog. 
  2. (Required) Follow the featured blogger of the week. (Backseat Reader)
  3. Put your blog name and URL in the Linky thing. 
  4. Grab the the button from Parajunkee's blog and place it in a post (so people can say hi in the comments!).
  5. Follow, follow, follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just only a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs! Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI!"
  6. If someone comments and follows you, share the love! Follow them back ;)
  7. If you're new to the Follow Friday hop, comment and let Parajunkee know, so she can stop by and check out your blog! 
Q: What are you doing to prepare for an upcoming zombie apocalypse and/or the return of Mel Gibson to the silver screen? (Both of which could be terrifying.) 

A: I love zombies! I mean, who doesn't? According to many stories, once you get past the undead part and the kind-of-disgusting smell, they aren't half bad. But I guess that turning into a zombie myself after an apocalypse isn't exactly something I'd want to do... so maybe I'll carry a can of Zombie-Off. My friend bought one before from a gag store. x)

As for Mel Gibson, I honestly don't know much about him so I can't judge. But he can't be as scary as rotting zombies, right?

This is now my second time joining this awesome blog hop! I'm still quite new to the blogosphere though, so I'd be ecstatic if you stopped by to say hi! :)



Thursday, June 02, 2011

Review: The Iron Queen

Book: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: January 25, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 358
Source: gift from KM
Stars: 5/5
My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

How can I express my feelings for this book without seeming like a gushing moron? Because I honestly don't think there's away. The Iron Queen was just that amazing!

The first two books blew me away with the amount of character growth that Meghan went through, so that she still continued to mature made me so happy! She was strong. She was selfless. She learned to fight. But she was still Meghan, and I loved that too.

Everything that happened in this book just blew me away. From the carefully constructed faery world to the amazing cast of characters, The Iron Queen was breathtaking from page one although I've come to expect nothing less from Julie Kagawa!

Beautifully and magically inducing, The Iron Queen is a perfect third installment to the Iron Fey series! I can't wait until The Iron Knight, which is Ash's Story (!!), is released in October. 

BUY or BORROW?: For Julie Kagawa's books, this question is becoming kind of pointless. You definitely need her books on your bookshelf! :)


Review: The Iron Daughter

Book: The Iron Daughter
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: August 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 359
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 5/5
Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. 

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

As much as I loved the first book in this series, The Iron King (read my review here), I loved this one even more!

Julie Kagawa has such a beautiful way of making me fall for her characters, even after I loved them so much already. How much Meghan continues to grow amazes me and Ash is just so swoon-worthy on his own. Their love is pure and strong and heartbreaking, but not one bit cheesy.

But where the first book was slightly repetitive with the amount of times Meghan was captured by gremlins, The Iron Daughter continues its destructive path the entire way through! Everything was original, nothing repeated. The story captures you from the very first line and my eyes were practically glued to the pages until the last one was turned.

All in all, The Iron Daughter was amazing! I don't think that there are very many sequels that I liked better than the first novel, but this was one of them. 

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it! Go to the bookstore right now and flash your wallet because this book is one you don't want to miss ;)


Review: The Iron King

Book: The Iron King
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: February 1, 2010
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 363
Source: borrowed from Lexie
Stars: 5/5
Meghan Chase has a secret destiny—one she could never have imagined…

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth—that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

Oh my gosh, this is definitely my newest favourite faery book!

I can't even tell you how much I adore Meghan! She's strong, hilarious, sweet, and so easy to relate to. Even in Julie Kagawa's mystical and beautiful faery world, the characters are so realistic and well-written that every scene paints a picture in my mind.

But one of the most interesting aspects of this story is the iron fey. Not only does it fit in perfectly with how the old blood faeries are weakened by iron, but it also parallels the real world and how people are obsessed with the progressing technology. Amazing isn't a strong enough word to describe it!

And let me say this without being maimed by Puck fans: I'm definitely Team Ash!

With excellent writing and a lovable cast, The Iron King definitely takes a spot on my list of recommended reading! Add this to your "To Be Read" pile if you haven't already! 

BUY or BORROW?: Buy it! For sure, without a doubt, buy it :)


Review: Summer's Crossing

Book: Summer's Crossing
Author: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: June 1, 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 304 (eBook)
Source: downloaded from Kobo Books
Stars: 5/5
A Midsummer's Nightmare? Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Summer Court prankster, King Oberon's right hand, bane of many a faery queen's existence—and secret friend to Prince Ash of the Winter Court. Until one girl's death came between them, and another girl stole both their hearts.

Now Ash has granted one favor too many and someone's come to collect, forcing the prince to a place he cannot go without Puck's help—into the heart of the Summer Court. And Puck faces the ultimate choice—betray Ash and possibly win the girl they both love, or help his former friend turned bitter enemy pull off a deception that no true faery prankster could possibly resist.

An ebook exclusive novella from Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series.

(summary taken from Goodreads)

First off, let me just say that I absolutely love The Iron Fey series. Julie Kagawa was able to create an entire world that was both beautiful and frightening, with characters that you couldn't help but adore.

I love Puck! He's funny and sarcastic and witty in a way that's completely endearing. I may be Team Ash, who was also super awesome in this book, but Puck is the guy I can always count on to make light of even the most awkward of situations. 

I also love how he's the same mischievous redhead from A Midsummer Night's Dream, Robin Goodfellow. Shakespeare may be dramatic, but his stories are classics. And his characters are easy to read about, something that Julie Kagawa had no problem in continuing. 

Enough about the characters (whom I love); I could go on all day! All I have to say is that Summer's Crossing is definitely a book to read, especially if you've also fallen for Julie Kagawa's other books like I have. Puck is as witty as ever and Ash is still extremely hot for a Winter prince. And the Faery world is just as interesting to read about! 

I recommend this series wholeheartedly! :)

BUY or BORROW?: Well, considering that this book is free, I'd say buy it! You can download it now at Halequin's eBook Store or Kobo Books with no charge! 


Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Book News: The Iron Knight


The ever amazing Julie Kagawa just released the cover for The Iron Knight (the fourth installment in the Iron Fey series) on her blog today! Isn't it gorgeous? With the beautiful design, it's just as stunning as the first three.

The Iron Fey series is honestly one of my favourite faery tales of all time! It has a cast of extremely lovable characters, intriguing faery lore, and a Winter Prince who's hot enough to melt ice. That this book is going to be written from that aforementioned prince is something that only makes me squeal in anticipation. It's going to be cool to be able to read Ash's mind for once (pun intended).

Can't wait until October 25, 2011 when this book is set to be released!

Also, Summer's Crossing, a free Iron Fey novella told from Puck's point of view, is available for download at Harlequin's eBook Store or from Kobo Books as of today. Another beautiful cover and another story that I'm ecstatic to read. Hurry and download it now before it's no longer free! ;)

Have you read Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey series yet? If not, then I recommend that you do so! It's a series that you don't want to miss! My reviews for the books will be up soon :)