Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review: Unearthly

This review is done for Review Appreciation Day so check that out at The Cait Files where you can link up your reviews and check out others awesome reviews. 

Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)

Author: Cynthia and
Pages: 448
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
Synopsis: 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 that 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?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.

Unearthly is a nice cool spin on angels and the paranormal genre. It's refreshingly new and has one of the most gorgeous covers I've ever seen.

The story is about Clara, a normal-ish teenager who also happens to be a quarter angel. Clara's been having visions of her purpose and so her family moves from California to Wyoming so that she can achieve it. Clara understands the importance of that and she's a cool character, not too drab but relatable. I love that Clara does small things that seem so normal that I can imagine doing the exact same thing.

This is another angel book and I know that might turn some people off because the other angel books haven't always been too unique but Unearthly is different in many ways. First, this isn't about a regular girl falling in love with a boy with a secret- for once the girl has a secret and is aware of it. I love finally being in the know and it's cool to be on the other side of the "What are you?" conversation. The mythology is new and so much fun to read about, you'll love this world. I have to admit there isn't too much mythology yet, but I expect there will be more.

Even though we know who our supernatural is from pretty much the beginning, there's a ton we readers and Clara don't know. Clara's mother wont tell Clara basically anything and it's annoying but believable. It also puts a wedge in their relationship. Clara and her mom actually have a relationship unlike many books where there is not responsible guardian and if there is, they don't understand. I'm really interested to see how their relationship progresses.

You can expect a bit of a love triangle in Unearthly, but it's very significant to the plot and not there for fun so I like it. Plus I can actually imagine it for once! Both boys are amazing in their own ways and for the first half of the book I was rooting for Christian but for the second half I switched and stuck to Tucker. They're both very daydream-worthy literary crushes.

One thing I wasn't not over the roof about is the pacing. It's not necessarily slow but not much happens quickly. However, I wasn't really bored and this book kept me interested. The end was a big surprise though, and it made me love of the book so much more. Now that I'm done I have a feeling I'll enjoy the second book even more.

Unearthly is a great start to what I think will be an amazing series. I can't wait to read more of this world and I'm already in love with the characters. 4 stars,


Remember to vote for your favourite cover on the right! Always a Witch or Beautiful Days?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Faery Tales and Nightmares

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that features all the books readers can't wait to get there hands on.

Me, I can not wait for Melissa Marr's anthology, Faery Tales and Nightmares. I'm a huge fan of her Wicked Lovely series and I simply need more after reading Darkest Mercy.
Faery Tales And Nightmares

Faery Tales and Nightmares is a collection of my short stories. 

Current Table of Contents: 
"Where Nightmares Walk" 
"Winter's Kiss" (fairy tales) 
"Transition" (vampires) 
"Love Struck" (selchies) 
"Stopping Time" (WL World) 
"Old Habits" (WL World) 
"The Art of Waiting" 
"Flesh for Comfort" 
"The Sleeping Girl and the Sumer King" (WL World-ish, the short story that started the series) 
"Cotton Candy Skies" (WL World) 
"Unexpected Family" (WL World) 
"Merely Mortal" (WL World) 

Isn't that the most beautiful cover? AHH! I love it! I can't wait to read it! It's being published on February 21st 2012. That's a long wait. Oh well, it will be worth it.

What are you waiting for?! Leave a link! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Trailer: Plague

As I was searching through youtube, I found this trailer. And I was so surprised. "I love Michael Grant's Gone series. Why haven't I see this?" I asked myself. Anyway, here is the really cool trailer for Plague. Which I'm terrified and excited to read in the future.

Review: Mad Love

Mad Love
Author: Suzanne Selfors
Pages: 336
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Source: Library
When you're the  daughter of the bestselling Queen of Romance, life should be pretty good. But 16-year-old Alice Amorous has been living a lie ever since her mother was secretly hospitalized for mental illness. After putting on a brave front for months, time is running out. The next book is overdue, and the Queen can't write it. Alice needs a story for her mother-and she needs one fast.

That's when she meets Errol, a strange boy who claims to be Cupid, who insists that Alice write about the greatest love story in history: his tragic relationship with Psyche. As Alice begins to hear Errol's voice in her head and see things she can't explain, she must face the truth-that she's either inherited her mother's madness, or Errol is for real.

Mad Love was a nice story but it left me a bit unsatisfied. I think it's because the premise of the Cupid and Psyche story was so original and interesting that I became excited and expected something different.

Since this book has Cupid who shoots love arrows, it would be considered a paranormal novel (or urban fantasy, I still don't understand the difference much) but I thought it felt more like a contemporary book. The Cupid and the Gods story line wasn't as major as the Queen of Romance or all the parts about Alice's mother. There were some parts that I felt made little logical sense. I'm not sure if Mad Love is a series because it read like a standalone but there were some story lines that dangled but were never fully explained.

I have to say, Errol is a brilliant name for Cupid. It's unique but close to Eros. Every time I read Errol, I'd giggle a bit. I don't hear the name much so I loved its use.

The characters had problems, faults and merits. I could see all that but I never really connected with any character. I still feel like I don't know some of them well. There was just something missing, the life in them, if you know what I mean.

I read on other blogs about the 50 page rule so while I finish everything I start, I check at 50 pages to see how I feel the story moved along. When I checked in Mad Love, I was surprised that not much happened. We were introduced to Alice's life and she first met Errol. The pacing could have been a bit faster, but the author was very thorough with what she explained.

Overall, Mad Love had fabulous potential but it wasn't the book for me. An nice romantic book, it gets 3 stars.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Cover Wars Always a Witch vs. Beautiful Days

Welcome back to the feature known as Cover Wars is a fun little peaceful feature all about letting the most beautiful and well loved cover win. Every week the defender (winner of the previous week) will fight against a new, randomly chosen challenger in the battle to win it all. Let the fight begin.

A few weeks ago Crossed by Ally Condie fought hard but couldn't seem to win against Always a Witch, which I think was the second (or possibly third!) victory. Wow. Trust me when I say that I had no idea how the games would end. Always a Witch won by one vote. Every vote counts, folks!

This week Always a Witch is against Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen.

Beautiful Days (Bright Young Things, #2)vs.Always a Witch (Witch, #2)

Which cover do you prefer? They're both hard so I'm very curious as to the outcome. Vote now to the left! May the best cover win!

Song of the Week: My Immortal by Evanescense

Basically where I get to post the song that has been stuck in my head all week. This song has been in my head all week. I love it! Though it's sad, it's haunting and the melody stays in my head.

What do you think? Do you have any recs based on the song? I'm new to any genre other than pop so I'd love to hear about similar songs.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Me
Author: Brian Rowe
Pages: 322
Publisher: CreateSpace
Source: Review Copy (Thank you very much!)
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day. High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a mischievous pretty boy who has never had to face a day looking anything but perfect. It starts with a slowing metabolism, followed by gray hair, wrinkles, and heart palpitations. Within days his girlfriend dumps him, his plastic surgeon father forces him to get a facelift, and his terrifying high school librarian seduces him to have sex with her. All he wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a young woman who may or may not be an all-powerful witch, he realizes that the only hope for his survival might be with the one person who instigated his condition in the first place...

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe was an unforgettable read. Cameron's aging day by day was one of the most terrifying things I've ever read of, and how he changed the way he lived his life was nothing but sweet. I am definitely going to be celebrating my youth much more.

Cameron is an epic jerk in the beginning. To a hilarious degree. He basically treats the world like he's the center of it. The way he pretends it's his birthday so that everyone at restaurants has to give him free cake and sing happy birthday made me think he has serious issues. Reading about this guy at the beginning made me hate him. But what he faced later on was so hard and I wouldn't wish it on my enemy. He grew up in the end and that was what counted to me. I even may have shed a tiny tear or two because of his maturity.

My favourite character in the book was Cameron's sister. She was so sweet and pure and just an amazing, unusual character. She loved her brother unconditionally and she ultimately made me like Cameron even more. Her character added depth to Cameron's character, and she was just really well thought out.

What I didn't expect was the humour. I laughed many times when reading Happy Birthday to Me. There were some scenes where I swear, I was thinking "Oh no, that COULDN'T have just happened." But it did. And it was memorable. I don't think I'll ever read a novel quite like Happy Birthday to Me again.

The one thing I wasn't too fond of was that the whole story didn't feel believable to me at times. Mostly the character's actions and reactions. During some heartfelt scenes I was suspicious for the character changing. I couldn't understand or relate to their choices. Some of the dialogue didn't feel real to me too but it didn't bother me enough to have an issue with the book. I would have enjoyed learning a bit more about the characters but that I expect will be resolved in future books.

Overall, I had fun on Happy Birthday to Me's ride. It was a sweet, cute novel and that's why I'm giving it 3.5 stars,

*** &1/2 *

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Review: The Book Thief

The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Pages: 576
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Source: Library
Synopsis:  It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Nazi Germany was a terrible time in human history. There was so much death on both sides and in that period, the true natures of humans were shown. There were many heroes, many cowards, and many survivors. The Book Thief is the story of a girl, Liesel, narrated by Death.

This story was original in every way. It explored a different and less seen side of that hard time. Liesel wasn't a Jew, but she was a strong girl who understood what was happening was wrong.

Liesel's story is unique and beautiful. She lives with many hardships like the death of close family members but she also finds joy in simple things like books, friends, and the accordion. Her family adores her and she begins to feel the same way easily. It's easy to like Liesel. She's fierce but gentle too. Though none of the story is told directly in her perspective, the reader will connect with her. Liesel isn't always a hero. She makes mistakes and is sometimes very rude but she's a good person at heart.

The plot of the story was like life- there were some parts that were intense and full of action but most of it was Liesel coping. You might have thought it would get dull reading over 500 pages of life but the narration was done with such amazing voice that each page was fun to read.

The end of the story had me in tears (don't worry- I won't spoil it for you!) even if I was expecting a sad ending from the beginning. The story never pretended otherwise. The Book Thief is all about the power of words. How they can affect a life. Hitler did terrible things because he had the power of words to persuade people to do what he wished. He was able to make a whole nation submit to him. That level of power could have been used for good or evil. Liesel also understood the power of words. She calmed and soothed, she saved lives with her words. Reading what her words did is inspirational. It makes me look at books in a whole new way.

I loved this book. It was a pleasure to read and it gave me insight on a harsh time in history. The Book Thief should be read by everyone because it has such a powerful message and a cast of lovable, 3D characters. A definite must read, 4.5 stars,

****  1/2 *

I'm Backkk!

I'm free! Everything that needs to be done is done! Now it's time to focus on what matters most- my blog. I have read so many awesome books while I was away and I can't wait to share my reviews. I also have a whole bunch of books coming my way which means more reviews. YAY! ;)

Anyway, I've created a schedule I'll do my best to follow. I think this schedule is going to work because instead of wondering what to post every day, I'll actually have written it before time so I can spend more time improving my blog and checking out other people's blogs. :) I feel so out of the loop. What's been happening in the blogosphere when I was gone? Have I missed any new must-read books? It's been too long.

So here is my schedule:

Sunday: IMM and/or review
Monday: One song (I think there's something called Music Monday?) and/or Cover Wars.
Tuesday: A book trailer and/or a review
Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday and any other bookish news or thing I'd like to share.
Thursday: Review/Bookish whatever
Friday: Discussion Post/blog hop/post about me
Saturday: Movie/TV/book review

Rinse & repeat.

I obviously am trying some new stuff and branching out to other mediums but that's because Tantalizing Illusions is a book blog, but it's my blog too and those are a part of my life too. I won't be compromising the bookish content for anything else though. Just trying to... expand my horizons. And I hope you enjoy reading it.

As always, I love recommendations. Recommend me a song, TV show, book, movie, whatever and I'll check it out. I honestly have nothing to do in the summer so you'd be doing me a huge favor.

This is the start of a fabulous summer and I for one can not wait to get started. ^_^

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

June 27th AKA FREEDOM!

No matter how hard I try I can't keep blogging and reading and being a court head at the Rath and do school. One of these things gets neglected, and that's sadly blogging. So I'm going to say in advance you will probably not see me very around in June until my school ends. June 27th is the official beginning of summer vacay and don't cha worry, I'll be here then.

I'm still reading and reviewing, though pretty much none of that is going to be posted. I will keep updates on Goodreads since I want to see if I finish my goal of 180 books (or get to 200. It's possible!)

Basically, au revoir. Till we see again, on June 27th.



Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book Trailer: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

WOOT! What an AMAZING trailer. This is how trailers should be done. I am 100% gonna pick up this book. I'm so impressed. Check this book out!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

Welcome to another great week of IMM hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren which is a great way to feature books that might not necessarily be reviewed. This week I'll just post 5 books I got, though I did get more! I'll link to Amazon this week since I've had a crazy day.

The Anti-PromHuntressThe Summer I Turned PrettyBloodline RisingThe Daughters Take the Stage
The Anti-Prom,HuntressThe Summer I Turned PrettyBloodline RisingThe Daughters Take the Stage

Overall a pretty good book week. How about you? What did you get in your mailbox? (AND, welcome to Tantalizing Illusions!)

Psst! Vote on the right for your favourite cover! The covers are at a tie and that can NOT happen!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Blindsided

Before I begin, I know what you're thinking. Whoa, P.E. actually posted a review for once? Is it the apocalypse or something? I actually write a review every two or three days. I have trouble posting them though, since I write better on my ipod. I have 22 reviews written that I need to post, not including this one. Whoa. I better start posting, eh?

Author: Priscilla Cummings
Pages: 240
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Source: Library (I ♥ libraries!)

In many ways, Natalie O'Reilly is a typical fourteenyear- old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months.

Suddenly her world is turned upside down. Natalie is sent to a school for the blind to learn skills such as Braille and how to use a cane. Outwardly, she does as she's told; inwardly, she hopes for a miracle that will free her from a dreaded life of blindness. But the miracle does not come, and Natalie ultimately must confront every blind person's dilemma. Will she go home to live scared? Or will she embrace the skills she needs to make it in a world without sight?

Blindsided was the story of Natalie, a young girl slowly becoming blind.

I have okay vision at the moment. It upsets me that every time I go into a restaurant I have to ask someone to read the menu posted up high or that I need to squint to read signs but I'm lucky I'll keep my sight. Natalie wasn't lucky.

Natalie was a typical goody girl. Nice friends, did well in school, decent parents. The fact that she was becoming blind was an alien possibility and for a good while Natalie was in denial until she was sent to a school for people with vision impairments where's she'd have to prepare for living sans vision.

I would have been just as terrified in Natalie's position. She was quiet and didn't resist too much out loud. Her struggle was real though. How can you prepare for becoming blind? Nat was a good protag for the story. Her friends were also interesting, from Bree to Serena.

Blindsided shed some light about what it feels like to be blind. All through out the story I learned a ton about things such as canes and how much more difficult it is to do simple things such as counting money.

There were some parts in the story that I didn't believe were too realistic, more dramatic. They were interesting to read of but they took away from the reality of the story. However, this is a fictional tale so it was probably just my false expectations.

Overall, Blindsided was an interesting story of living with a disability. It's easy to read and likable and it deserves 3.5 stars,

***&1/2 *

Son of Neptune (SNEAK PEAK LINK & COVER!)

Okay, for those who don't know, I LOVE Rick Riordan and his books. I've gushed about him before and I'll do it again. That's why this cover reveal and sneak peak made my day. OMG.

I love it! What's even more OMG worthy? A sneak peak of the first chapter. I read one word of it which made my day. PERCY. I love Percy as much as Harry and that's a lot. So, if you want to read the first chapter, check it out HERE!!

That is all. I'm also currently reading The Red Pyramid so I'm in a Rick Riordan mood. :)

OH, and if you haven't already, vote for your favourite cover! Always a Witch or Crossed? They're tied and there's only two more days to vote.
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