Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: Firelight

Firelight. Sophie Jordan

Author: Sophie Jordan
Published by: HarperCollins Children
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Synopsis (from Amazon): Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. She longs for the freedom to make her own choices, but when she breaks the 'no flying' rule, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defence is her secret ability to shift into human form. And her rare ability to breathe fire makes her desirable, and important, to the survival of the draki. Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. There she meets gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: he and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slipping away, and if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Firelight was a cute story. It wasn't something I loved because I had some issues with it, but there were some really nice parts too.

Jacinda didn't cut it as a memorable main character for me. I was usually irritated with her. I mean, she said she broke the rules, but only minor ones. When her mother moved to a desert, she didn't do anything but sulk a bit, even though the move was literally KILLING a part of her. She let her mother make that choice, and as much as she resented it, she didn't do much about it.

Jacinda's sister, Tamra, also made me annoyed. Tamra was a character readers will (or are at least supposed to) sympathize with. Tamra was always overshadowed by Jacinda since Jacinda had the rare ability to breathe fire while Tamra couldn't even manifest into a dragon. Okay, that must suck being normal while everyone else was special and having the boy you like chase your sister just for her powers. But the way she treated Jacinda, constantly reminding her of how hard it was for herself and Jacinda should try harder to fit in and be happy bugged me. When you love someone, you love them for who they are. You don't try or ever force them to change. That part of the story just made me upset.

That being said, there are many good points too. Dragons are so cool! The mythology with the Earth, gems, flight, was really interesting. The fact that dragon blood might be able to heal was cool too. It gave a reasonable motive for the reason hunters, well, hunted.

There were some really interesting characters. Cassian for one sounds super cool, though a bit of a jerk. I'm really excited to learn more about him in the next book. Will was also pretty cool, but a bit average. There wasn't anything that made me love him, but maybe that will change again in the second book?

This story has real potential, so while I didn't love it, I will be reading sequels. I think for a good book, it gets 3 stars,


Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Weekly Progress

The Weekly Progress is a post I do every week on Sunday basically organizing the books I've read, will read and thoughts on the past week. It's my way to keep every neat, tidy and organized. This week has been a great week, so here it is!

Books Read:
NevermoreThe Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga)Beautiful Dead: Jonas Bk.1 (v. 1)The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)Firelight. Sophie JordanEverlastingBlood Feud (Drake Chronicles)The Lying Game
I've reviewed The Duff and Firelight out of that list and am planning to review at least one more. It's a tie between Blood Feud and The Lying Game. Anyway, I'm very proud of myself for reading so much.

TBR Soon:
Prom and PrejudiceAll Just GlassMercyOnce in a Full MoonPathfinder
I'm really excited to finally start reading some books for the Debut Author Challenge.

Super awesome blogger:
This a week, I received a signed copy of City of Bones by Cassandra Clare after I won a contest from Liz at Midnight Bloom Reads blog, so a huge thank you to her! And a review of that should be expected.

This has been the best blogging week ever! I've met so many new bloggers and discovered many awesome blogs, which makes me so happy. Thank you to my followers, and for everyone who leaves a comment. Every time I check my email and see I got a comment, it's like a present and I feel like it's my birthday or Christmas this week. :) 


Review: The Duff

The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)

Author: Kody Keplinger
Pages: 288
Source: Library
Synopsis (from Amazon): Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

The Duff surprised me. It was a story completely different from what I was expecting, and it was awesome.

Bianca was a character I loved right away. She was cynical, bitter, but also smart and loyal. She was a true character with a real life that didn't completely suck, but wasn't so easy either. She had her faults and insecurties, and was overall very relatable for me. She was also clever and witty and her dialogue was hilarious. It was a treat to read from her perspective.

Best of all? She actually swore. A lot. I'm in no way a potty mouth, but what surprises me is how little swearing there are in books about high school students. High school student swear— a lot. Even the people who don't swear much occasionally get mad and do it at least once a week. That made Bianca so much more real. I could easily imagine her as a student at my high school. That level of reality makes me wonder why I don't read more contemporary novels. *I really should and will*

The story was about being a duff. I actually never heard the word before the book, but once I heard it, I completely understood what it meant (out of a group of friends, being the insignificant, least special). The story did an amazing job at showing what a duff is. Of course, it was against the word and the implications.

While reading The Duff, I thought Bianca was really cool. So were her friends. None of them were "duffs". I was explaining this book to a close friend of mine (who kindly pretends to be interested in my bookish obsessions) and she said that she was the duff in our group of friends. I was surprised because she was so pretty and everyone likes her. It made the message of the story so much more true. Everyone feels like a duff sometimes.

The plot of the story wasn't super shocking. I mean, by reading the synopsis, everything that happened was pretty much expected but it was still an engaging read. When I got this book, I couldn't stop reading. It's written really well, as if it were real. All the characters had dimension, and Bianca's reactions to everything was so real again.

This is getting to be a long review, so I'll just cut to the chase. This book has a lot in it. It's not simple. It's not as cute as it looks. It has some very sexy scenes, and it has a new literary crush of mine. I would reccomend this to anyone who ever felt like the duff or ever ran away from their problems.

The Duff is a brilliant story of insecurities, families, love, and the power of words. This story is just something I loved personally because the plot is everything I like in a book, so I'm rating this two ways.

My inner fangirl: ***** LOVE IT!
The more cautious reviewer: **** A great book. ;)

Whatever it is, I reccomend at least trying The Duff out.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop

Happy Friday everyone! Friday is my favourite day of the week. And as per usual, I'm participating in some blog hops. But there is a twist- I'll participate in both of them at once this week! I know, completely mind blowing, right? Anyway, here they are:

Hosted by Parajunkee, this is a fun way to visit, follow, and discover new blogs. This week's featured blogger is NaKesha of Totally Obsessed. Also, this week's question is...

Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...

First of all, I LOVE this question! I love tv and I love to talk about it. Since this may be my one and only chance to rant about my fave tv shows, I thought I'd introduce you to all 3 of them. 
#1. THE VAMPIRE DIARIES! Seriously, my love of this show is a force to be reckoned with. TVD has action, drama, suspense, friendship, violence, mystery, HOT GUYS (Team Damon), real characters, and basically everything I love. Every episode is OMG worthy and I love it. Too bad the next episode won't be till April. 

#2. SUPERNATURAL. Gosh, I love this show. It has so much action, suspense, and amazing characters and plots. This show addicts and thrills me, plus it's actually really scary. Anyone interested in books about demons, hunters, etc. (the books where monsters are monsters, not people to be worshipped) should check this out.
#3. Last there is my guilty pleasure, GOSSIP GIRL. I love the characters and the clothes. There's so much drama, it's fun. It's  not a show for everyone, but it is a show I watch every Monday.

Hehe, that's it now, I promise. On to blog hop number 2...
Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word!  This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! 

This week's question comes from Jen B. who blogs at I Read Banned Books:
 "Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"

Hmmm... really hard question. Sometimes I wish I chose a name more book related. Tantalizing Illusions took forever to make up, but it's a name that could be for a design blog or something, not a blog about books. But since the name is unique, it's easy to remember. I wanted an original name so I think the name works. What do you think?

Well, that's it for today! Thanks to everyone who stopped my blog, and please leave a comment! I'll be sure to visit you too! Happy Friday everyone and hope y'all have a great weekend!



Thursday, February 24, 2011

I'm NOT a Proffesional

I've been reading my reviews and realizing how less formal they sound with each one. To be honest though, they sound like me. I'm in no way a professional reviewer. I do it for fun, and I mostly end up gushing when I love a book, or being slightly calmer, but a bit disappointed if I didn't like a book. I think it's good that I can see more of myself in my reviews. It shows I'm more comfortable reviewing, which is super important because a review should sound like me. Also, it's just way more fun (and interesting) to read and write.

I've also read that each blog should have something that makes it unique. Well to me, the obvious answer is me. I'm unique. My thoughts are unique. Bringing myself into my blog is one thing that make it unique— unless I have some scary doppelgänger or evil twin, but I haven't seen any of those so so far, I'm safe.

No, don't worry! I won't go sloppy on you! I promise to always have a book cover, synopsis, actual capitalization and as good grammar as I possibly can in my reviews. The content will just be more liberal. It will truly be my thoughts with less of a limitation.

By now, you're probably wondering what's the point of this post. It's because I want to know what other bloggers think. Am I way out of line? Do you like to read more professional reviews? Any opinions whatsoever are welcomed. :)

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

PS: I actually do have two more reviews ready to post, but I'm interested in what people think of reviewing styles first. And this just possible may have been thought of because some drama I heard whispers of in the YA bloggoverse.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Supernaturally

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine which feautures our pre-publication must haves. This week, I can't wait for

Supernaturally by Kiersten White. It doesn't have a synopsis yet, but it's the second series in the Paranormalcy books which means it will be amazing since I loved Paranormalcy. Plus, the cover is so gorgeous. I love it! It's being released on August 30 2011, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. 

What about you? What are you waiting for?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Weekly Progress

The Weekly Progress is a feature I do every Sunday on my blog that basically organizes my bookish life.

This week I also got a new layout for my blog which I hope you guys like. I really like it since it's black and pink, dark and fun which basically sums me up perfectly.

This has been a pretty good book week for me. Though not a good blogging week, which I'm sorry about. I need to blog more during the week instead of posting three or four times on the weekend. Also, if anyone wants to always know what I'm reading, they can add me as a friend on Goodreads which I do visit a lot. (Just click the G button on the right.)

Books Read:
The Glass Demon: A NovelAwakened (House of Night)Castration CelebrationHunger: A Gone NovelThe Lost Saint: A Dark Divine Novel
Of those books, I've reviewed The Glass Demon, Hunger, and The Lost Saint. If you'd like me to review another  book or just share my thoughts about it,  let me know! :)

Currently Reading: 

TBR Soon:
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella (Twilight Saga)Beautiful Dead: Jonas Bk.1 (v. 1)The DUFF: (Designated Ugly Fat Friend)EverlastingFirelight. Sophie Jordan

I've checked out way too many books from the library so I won't include that.

Anyway, I had a good week and I hope you did too!


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