Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Forgotten


Author: Cat Patrick
Pages: 288
Publisher: Little, Brown
Source: Library
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
Synopsis: Each night when 16 year-old London Lane goes to sleep, her whole world disappears. In the morning, all that's left is a note telling her about a day she can't remember. The whole scenario doesn't exactly make high school or dating that hot guy whose name she can't seem to recall any easier. But when London starts experiencing disturbing visions she can't make sense of, she realizes it's time to learn a little more about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future. 

 Part psychological drama, part romance, and part mystery, this thought-provoking novel will inspire readers to consider the what-if's in their own lives and recognize the power they have to control their destinies.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

Forgotten was a great book to read. It was readable, fun, and had relatable characters matched with an original and interesting premise.

London Lane (loving the alliteration here) forgets everything at 4:33 AM. How does she live?! By remembering the future. Yes, London can see scenes and events to come. Not everything but important moments when she focuses. Forgetting everything would really suck. Enormously. London does try her best though and she writes little notes about the previous day that she rereads the next. It's a lot of work but it's the best solution for her problem. Writing the notes is smart and I had fun reading them.

London's character is just the kind of character you can't help but like. She's funny, has good relationships and ups and downs like every teenager. She has this voice that will keep you interested in the story at all times. She's also very relatable. It's easy to feel bad for London and to support her. She's that kind of person. Even though she has something bad happened to her, she sucks it up and deals with it. I admire that.

My only semi-issue with Forgotten is that besides friend troubles and a budding romance (which I totally approve of- Luke and London are adorable and have a real relationship) not very much happened in the book at the beginning. Then London learned something that changed her life which was interesting but by that time the book was almost over so this twist wasn't fully explored. It was done a bit quickly and I'm still trying to absorb it. The ending wasn't a hundred percent tied up and it leaves a bit to think about.

I'm not ever going to forget London and Forgotten was a a great debut. I really had a good time reading it (in one sitting) so I recommend everyone to check it out. 4 stars,


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Blood Red Road

Blood Red Road (Dustlands, #1)

Author: Moira Young
Pages: 459
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Source: Library
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
Synopsis: Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back. 

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization. 

 Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

Blood Red Road took me by surprise. The book had a unique story with the most captivating characters. Very memorable and I can't wait to read more!

This kind of book, books about quests are usually hit or miss with me. Moira Young's book was a bulls-eye. It was similar to Graceling in the way that it was the same kind of story and as I adored Graceling of course I enjoyed this book too. The world was dystopian but we didn't know too much about it. The story doesn't focus on the world that much, it was more on the characters achieving their goals.

Saba is awesome. She's the kind of character people may not like in real life because she isn't too kind, considerate or sweet. She's very much cruel and will do whatever it takes to survive and save the people she loves. She's not a perfect heroine and I loved that. She was such a great character because she sucked a bit then did something incredible and etc. Her relationships were unique and entertaining. Her character wasn't a cliché and I think of her as a total badass like Katniss, Tris and Katsa.

Now the romantic interest, Jack... *swoon* I think I fell for this guy even before Saba. The reason they met was a bit strange and, okay, they didn't have a normal relationship. That wouldn't suit this couple though. Their romantic tension was insane. Nothing happened until they were both ready. Jack is a really great character though. He's a slippery thief who's arrogant and provocative on the outside but is good on the inside. Yes, there are many guys like that in YA lit but this one still managed to impress me. I think many readers will like Jack. Oh, and no love triangle so that's good!

The other characters were also well fleshed out. There were many of them and they weren't always focused on too much- Saba was very brief in descriptions- but I did get a sense of most them and I loved them. They all had something special and different about them and were so compelling to read about. I can't wait to read more about them.

The way Blood Red Road is written sometimes confused me in the beginning. I hadn't ever realized how important quotation marks were until I read a book that didn't have them all. It was a little confusing because I'd hav to pay attention to exactly what I was reading to figure out if it was dialogue and I reread some parts. I didn't have a problem with this, I thought it was a good reading exercise and after a while I got more comfortable with it.

The plot of Blood Red Road was full of action and originality. Everything I read was interesting and I loved reading of Saba's journey to find Lugh. After adjusting to the dialect I was hooked to the story and it completely pulled me in. While the main story of finding Lugh was good, I found Saba's small changes in character equally interesting.

I'm not going to say much more about Blood Red Road since this is already a pretty heavy review so I'll say it's a great read and great for fans of Graceling. This isn't a typical dystopian book, it has more to offer and I think readers should give it a chance. 4.5 stars,

**** & 1/2 *

Monday, November 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (22)

This weekend was crazy busy for me what with my sister's party, decorating, cleaning, and it was also the weekend my teachers realized they were letting their students slack off too much, so it was full of homework too. I didn't get a chance to post all about the amazing books I got from the library last week, but I wanted to share so here they are!

Library Books: 

*Yes, another week of bad photos. Grr! 

Fateful by Claudia Gray (The Book Depository/Amazon)
Shut Out by Kody Keplinger (The Book Depository/Amazon)
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade (Amazon)
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick (The Book Depository/Amazon)
Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin (The Book Depository/Amazon)

There are lots of titles I'm excited for. Fateful I've heard a lot of great things about, plus it's by Claudia Gray and I really liked the first few Evernight books. Shut Out is by Kody Keplinger, author of The Duff which you should totally read because it's so awesome. I loved it so I expect great things from Shut Out. The Ghost and the Goth is one of those series I've been seeing around forever and so many bloggers love it, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and try it out. I'm really curious about it! Silence is part of the Hush Hush series which I have very mixed feelings about, but I'm really curious to see where the story goes. Jenna & Jonah's Fauxmance has a cool title. Seriously, sometimes that's all it takes. I'm already curious and expecting fun.

Anyway, that's what I got in my mailbox. Let me know, what you have in your mailbox by leaving a comment! Thanks for visiting Tantalizing Illusions and I hope you have a great day.

Cover Wars: Exiled vs Endlessly

Cover Wars is a weekly feature at Tantalizing Illusions all about the beautiful YA covers and appreciating them. Every week two covers will be matched against each other. A Defendant (winner from last week) and a Challenger (new cover). Over the course of the week, you'll get the chance to vote for your favourite on the right. Whichever cover wins is entirely up to you.

It seems Exiled is on fire. Seriously. Once again, Exiled triumphed. Will it be able to hold it's spot against this week's Challenger, Endlessly by Kiersten White?

Exiled (Connected, #1)vsEndlessly (Paranormalcy, #3)

Aren't they pretty? This time it's the battle of the blond haired girls on purple covers. Which one do you prefer? I think they're both awesome and this will be a hard vote. But still, you gotta do what you gotta do. So vote now, and have a happy Cover Wars! And remember to check out another awesome Cover Wars done by Book Faery!

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Review: The Locket

The Locket

Author: Stacey Jay
Pages: 288
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Library
Synopsis: On her seventeenth birthday, Katie discovers a locket and decides to wear it for good luck. But when her boyfriend Isaac finds out she cheated on him - with their mutual best friend Mitch, no less - he dumps her, leaving her devastated. 

 And then a miracle happens. The locket burns on Katie's chest and she feels herself going back two weeks in time, to the night she cheated with Mitch. At first, Kate is delighted to be a better girlfriend to Isaac this time around. But as other aspects of her life become inexplicably altered, she realizes that changing the past may have had a dangerous effect on her present. 

 Can she make things right before the locket destroys everything - and everyone - she loves?

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

The Locket was the story of Katie using a locket to go back two weeks in time so she wouldn't repeat a mistake. Of course going back in time isn't without its consequences and Katie will learn the significance of choices and their impact on the world.

Romantic tension all the way through between Katie and Isaac, her boyfriend who cares a bit more about basketball than her, and Mitch, her best friend that may want to be more. I had a good idea of what would happen in the end and so I wasn't surprised with the conclusion. I just wanted to yell at Katie that she would hurry up and make the right choice already. It was a pretty clear choice to everyone except Katie, it seemed.

Katie irritated me a lot. She was so scared of a bunch of things and that lead her to not stand up for herself. She let people treat her wrong and I guess it would be a hard habit to get rid of after a lifetime of it, but I didn't like it. Katie's character did grow in the end though. She wasn't all bad. She was funny, wanted other people to succeed and didn't care for the spotlight. She was supportive and nice but never struck me as special.

The locket part of the story was written in a way where it was important but not that important. I mean that there wasn't an overwhelming magic part to the story. I'd think of this book as contemporary with a bit of time travel. That locket created so many problems and it was very creepy. Things worked out for the best though.

I liked the story but the book didn't hook me in completely. It was a cute story and I enjoyed it. 3 stars,


Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Through Her Eyes

Through Her Eyes

Author: Jennifer Archer
Pages: 384
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Synopsis: Every ghost has a story to tell. 

 The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But it's the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar—a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal—that have the most chilling impact on her. 

 Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away. Tansy must untangle herself from Henry's dangerous reality—before she loses touch with her own life forever.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

I was pleasantly surprised that Through Her Eyes didn't turn out exactly the way I guessed it would. When you hear "paranormal romance", "ghost" and "new girl in town" you automatically expect the girl to fall in love with the ghost but both girl and boy need to let go. She'll make some friends but not too many and maybe there is another guy in the picture that is the reason why she's still living. Well, yes, Through Her Eyes did have some of those aspects but there were some cool differences.

For example, the ghost never appears to Tansy in her world directly. She sees Henry through photographs or objects he left behind which take her back to his time. Tansy only ever interacts with Henry during memories of when he was alive and still not directly. I liked the creepiness of this method. As Tansy spends more time in Henry's world, her own starts to fade away. I guessed what would happen in the end but it was still creepy thinking about everything fading. Tansy's reaction to that was also believable.

Tansy herself didn't strike me as a completely memorable character. She was nice enough, had an interest in hats and photography, judged people too easily but nothing really stood out about her. I liked her and supported her but she wasn't my kind of character. Her relationships were sweet though, especially the one with her grandfather. Tansy really cared about him. Her relationship with her mom was realistic. They loved each other but had a hard time communicating.

Now we have the love interest: Tate. Cute, sweet, slightly damaged and writes poetry. I liked Tate early on;I expect everyone will. What's not to like? Tansy's on again off again relationship with him wasn't exactly what I wished would happen but due to the nature of these two characters it fit them. I would have liked more of them though.

The problem with Through Her Eyes was that I thought the story was a bit slow. Not very much happened and the conclusion wasn't thrilling enough for me. I was never on the edge of my seat; the story didn't hook me in. It's a nice story with fantastic mood and setting but is 400 pages really needed to tell it? I would have enjoyed more happening. But remember, adrenaline junkie here.

Overall, Through Her Eyes was a good read with an interesting story. 3.5 stars.

*** & 1/2 *

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Challenges are one of my favourite parts of blogging. By the end of the year you can look back and just be happy because you accomplished so much. These are some challenges I'll be participating in, but I'm always on the lookout for more!

So I'll be participating in this one. I'm doing the 2011 one (and that reminds me, I need to start posting them reviews!) and it's been fun. Plus, this is the best way to discover new series. No question about it, I'm joining this one. What I need to do is read & review 12 2012 debuts. 

Have you guys noticed how many awesome books came out this year? Especially the debuts- wow. I'm super excited for their sequels which is what this challenge is about. Reading 10 books that are the second book of the 2011 debut authors. The sophomores must be published in 2012 though. 

My list of books to look forward to:
1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
2. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
3. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
4. Fever by Lauren DeStefano
5. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini 
6. Until I Die by Amy Plum
7. Truth by Julia Karr
8. Perception by Kim Harrington
9. A Beautiful Evil by Kelly Keaton 
10. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

Those are just a few- there are tons more. You can check out the Goodreads list here!

For the books that have been on my TBR list for way too long. *winces* This one is for you! This challenge is for books released at least at most in 2011 (or way before) and that have been on your TBR for a while. I'm going to try to read 11-20 books- A Friendly Hug but if it seems to go well, I'll definitely be doing more. There are some prizes and it looks like it will be fun!

Our hosts are:

Evie from Bookish - @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea - @alouetteuette 
Christa from Hooked On Books @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision @mermaidvisions

Goodreads Book Challenge: 

2011 Reading Challenge

*The 2011 graphic is posted because I can't seem to find the 2012 one yet! 

This one isn't really hosted by the blogging community, but it's the one I care for the most. How many books have I read in a year. This year I'm trying to do 300 books (you can see from my widget on the sidebar I'm 91% done) and I'll try the same next year. Just a ton of fun, plus it makes me feel like I'm being productive. To participate you need a Goodreads account and whenever you read a book, you need to add it first to your "currently-reading" shelf, and then your "read" shelf when you're done. 

So those are my challenges for now. I may add more if I see something that will be challenging and sounds fun, I'll join. I may even have my own challenge... but you'll here more about that later. Like, in February. ♥ 

What are you guys joining? Excited?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write

Author: Victoria Hanley
Publisher: Prufrock Press
Source: Review Copy (Thank you!!)
Synopsis: Do you wish you had a published writer's secrets at your fingertips, ready to help you achieve your goals of publication, success, and the chance to be the next great teen writer? In Seize the Story: A Handbook for Teens Who Like to Write, Victoria Hanley, award-winning author of young adult fiction, spills the secrets for bringing action, adventure, humor, and drama to stories. All of the elements of fiction, from creating believable dialogue to exciting plots, are laid out clearly and illustrated with examples taken straight from story excerpts by excellent writers. The book is packed with writing exercises designed to encourage teens to tell the stories that are theirs alone. 

In addition, other published authors of young adult literature share their insights about the writing life. Teens can gain firsthand advice from accomplished writers T. A. Barron, Joan Bauer, Hilari Bell, Chris Crutcher, David Lubar, Lauren Myracle, Todd Mitchell, Nancy Garden, and many more.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

When I was asked to review Seize the Story, I was a bit hesitant. I thought the book sounded great but writing isn't something I do all the time, even though I like it.

I'm going to talk about my experiences a lot in this review as the book made me reflect on my writing. Two years ago I attempted to write a book. I had an idea that wouldn't leave my mind and it's still there! I made all sorts of promises and goals and outlines, but I never finished this story. I made the awful mistake of letting people read a first draft of the first part of the first book I've ever read. Over the next two years I've been thinking of my story, and it's something I always want to finish writing. I just never knew when. Victoria Hanley's Seize the Story reminded my why I love to write.

It's a book for teens so everything is written in a way I can actually understand and with lots of examples (like from Harry Potter, Twilight and The Hunger Games) that I was familiar with. I feel like I learned a lot about writing and it makes me want to write. For example, I've always heard that writing rule "Show, don't tell," but I never really knew what it was until I read the section about it. With all the examples given, it made sense. I know November is NaNoWriMo and though I can't participate, Seize the Story is a valuable tool to use.

Though there were many technical aspects of writing that were learned, the most important lessons were about writing as a craft. No one I know writes so learning that published authors feel like their first draft is crap, get bored with it and feel insecure just made me feel better. I felt strongly encouraged and like a writer. It made me see writing less as something I do randomly but like a process that people go through and that is different for everyone. It's a hard road, but rewarding. I respect authors even more now! I also think Seize the Story helps me review books better now that I know more about writing good stories.

There were many pictures and exercises and if I wasn't so constricted in time I know I would of stopped and just tried out everything to learn for myself. I know that at some point in the future I'll re-read Seize the Story and just write. For now, it has encouraged me to just get writing, which is enough for me.

This book is great for writers, especially teens. It's encouraging, informative, and interesting. I really liked it. 4 stars,


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cover Wars Exiled vs Girl of Nightmares

Welcome to Tantalizing Illusions' Cover Wars, a feature just about appreciating the awesome covers of YA.  Every week, (the day seems to change every time) I will be posting two covers. One cover is the winner from last week's Cover Wars and it will be known as the Defender. The other cover is the Challenger, who is here to try to win against the Defender. They way the winners are chosen is up to your votes on the poll to the right. If you love a cover, make sure to vote for it!

Last week there was the battle of Exiled, versus Everneath. Exiled won again for the second week in a row. Now, Exiled will battle to defend itself against our new beautiful challenger, Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake.

Exiled (Connected, #1)vsGirl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)

Hard choice, eh? Exiled is a stunning, colourful close up while Girl of Nightmares is seductively dark and a full body shot. Both of these covers could easily win.

So now that you've seen the competition, get ready to VOTE! Let the Cover Wars... begin!

Remember to leave a comment letting me know what you think and your suggestions for future Cover Wars. Also, visit Book Faery for more exciting Cover Wars!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: On the Jellicoe Road

On the Jellicoe Road

Author: Melina Marchetta
Pages: 300
Publisher: Penguin
Source: Library
Synopsis: My father took one hundred and thirty two minutes to die. 

 I counted. 

 It happened on the Jellicoe Road. The prettiest road I’d ever seen, where trees made breezy canopies like a tunnel to Shangri-La. We were going to the ocean, hundreds of kilometres away, because I wanted to see the ocean and my father said that it was about time the four of us made that journey. I remember asking, “What’s the difference between a trip and a journey?” and my father said, “Narnie, my love, when we get there, you’ll understand,” and that was the last thing he ever said. 

 We heard her almost straight away. In the other car, wedged into ours so deep that you couldn’t tell where one began and the other ended. She told us her name was Tate and then she squeezed through the glass and the steel and climbed over her own dead – just to be with Webb and me; to give us her hand so we could clutch it with all our might. And then a kid called Fitz came riding by on a stolen bike and saved our lives. 

 Someone asked us later, “Didn’t you wonder why no one came across you sooner?”

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

I've finished reading the fantastic Jelicoe Road and all I wish for is to be able to re-read it. It saddens me that I don't have the time.

Jellicoe Road is a story of loss, hope, courage, love, depression and friendship. During most of the last half of the book, my eyes were teary. Awful things happen to these special people but life goes on. Traditions are made, secrets unveiled, families lost and families reunited. I felt their pain. The story was unique in the way that all these people dealing with so much could feel better with each other. It was emotional and true so I loved it.

The characters were a huge part of it. I adored everyone including Webb, Tate, Narnie, Fitz and Jude and Taylor and her friends. These people were multi-layered and their lives were complicated. So many quotes here just made me want to cry and reread them. Their relationships were beautiful and special. I connected with them all: Jessa, Chloe, Jonah, Santangelo, Raffy. The romances had me cheering. Many moments were so sweet that I was filled with that glow-y happy feeling you get when you know how incredible life is.

The way the story was told was in two parts: italicized and regular. Italicized included bits and pieces of Hannah's story and the rest was Taylor's story. These two stories intertwined. How much so wasn't revealed until near the end. It was a cool way to tell the story. I wasn't sure the relevance of each part to the other at the beginning but in the end I understood. Jellicoe Road was so readable that as soon as I opened it I was hooked. I encourage people to not do what I did though. Don't read this book quickly; take your time to savor it.

A heartfelt story that's definitely a must read. 5 stars,


Possible Challenge: Book Blogger Love

Hey guys, I came up with an idea the other day that I'm pretty excited about. As book bloggers, we all have reading challenges. They can be for audiobooks, picture books, debut authors, historical, sci-fi, anything and everything is out there. But I want a challenge that focuses more on the blog and the book blogger community.

What do you think of a sort of  "blogger love challenge" (with a cooler name of course) all about visiting different blogs and commenting. Everyone could set a goal like say 5 blogs every day. At the end of the week there could be a post about your favorite posts, or stuff that you noticed while browsing.

The point is that just like some people have a hard time reading enough books, audio-books, whatever, some people may have a hard time just appreciating everyone else's content.

What do you think? Are you interested? Is there already something similar like this that I can join?

Monday, November 14, 2011

100 Followers? Thank you to my followers ♥

*a letter to my followers*

Dear Followers of Tantalizing Illusions,

First and foremost, thank you. This does mean a lot.

I value more than anything the fact that you awesome people seem to be interested in what I read, and my bookish thoughts. Thank you for caring. 

I'd also like to say that blogging is hard work and there have been times I've felt like it's too much and I'll never succeed, but because of you followers, your lovely comments and your votes on Cover Wars and tweets, I've continued. You bring me joy and this, talking to people about books is what book blogging is all about. 

A million thanks,


(P.S I will be celebrating with a giveaway soon☻☺) 

Review: Balefire


Author: Cate Tiernan
Pages: 974
Publisher: Speak
Source: Library
Synopsis: The whole Balefire series by Cate Tiernan is now in one edition. After seventeen-year-old Thais Allard loses her widowed father in a tragic car accident, she is forced to leave the only home she's ever known to live with a total stranger in New Orleans. New Orleans greets Thais with many secrets and mysteries, but none as unbelievable as the moment she comes face to face with the impossible — an identical twin, Clio. 

 Thais soon learns that she and the twin she never knew come from a family of witches, that she possesses astonishing powers, and that she, along with Clio, has a key role in Balefire, the coven she was born into. Fiery Clio is less than thrilled to have to share the spotlight, but the twins must learn to combine their powers in order to complete a rite that will transform their lives and the coven forever.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

Balefire was really an incredible read. It was exactly the kind of book (or series) I had been pining to read and I finished it quickly.

This was the kind of book that once I started, I couldn't stop. I'd say "I'll just read this chapter" and 200 pages later I'd finally stop. The kind of book that just gripped me and made me forget of everything except itself. A real page turner, it was. There was always something happening and I loved the mystery and suspense. The storyline was interesting and complicated. I devoured this book.

What I liked best were the characters. I related so strongly and I loved them all so much. The book was written in alternating point of views so we got to see a little bit of everyone. There was a huge cast of characters from the Treize to Clio's friends and almost every person was unique in their way with a backstory. Almost because there wasn't enough time for everyone to shine. I got attached to these characters who were both good and bad and made surprising choices. Richard and Claire along with the twins were among my favorites. It was fun to read of everyone's relationships.

The magic was very good too! Based on the few other books I've read by the author, Cate Tiernan knows her magic. She made Bonne Magie believable. The magic was complicated and interesting. I loved that the magic had consequences that were scary. Magic wasn't portrayed as something awesome you can always use. It was something awesome that should be used wisely.

My only complaint is that the ending left some loose threads that are pretty much going to drive me crazy. I wouldn't object to another book to close things off even more. Or even a short story. I just want more. ;)

If you love witches and magic, with romance, darkness and danger you'll love Balefire. 4.5 stars,

**** & 1/2 *

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox is an awesome meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren all about the awesome new books bloggers received in the past week. These can be books bought, borrowed, for review, whatever really. 

This week I got some titles I'm super excited about! Sorry for the bad colour on these images- it was either too bright or too dark. Just know that these covers are gorgeous! 

For review: 

Sliding Beneath the Surface by Doug Dillon (The Book Depository/Amazon)
Dearly Departed by Lia Habel (The Book Depository/Amazon)

Thanks to Doug Dillon and Bookurious' Blog it Forward group!

Library Books:

Frost by Marianna Baer (The Book Depository/Amazon)
Eve by Anna Carey (The Book Depository/Amazon)
Goliath by Scott Westerfeld (The Book Depository/Amazon)

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (The Book Depository/Amazon)
After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel (The Book Depository/Amazon)
Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer (The Book Depository/Amazon)

There are some titles here I've wanted for months. Seriously. There are also some books by authors I love like Scott Westerfeld and Carrie Jones which I can't wait for. There are many new titles and authors too so I'm excited for every one of them. 

Thank you for visiting Tantalizing Illusions! Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you got in your mailbox. Have a great weekend! 

Cover Wars: Exiled vs. Everneath

 I hope you forgive the late post. Last week was crazy but this week will probably be way smoother so I can post and generally be around more. Anyways, let's get to the good stuff:

Welcome to another fabulous edition of Cover Wars, a feature at Tantalizing Illusions all about appreciating the beautiful covers in YA. The way it works is that every week there are two covers- one will be the Defender which has won last week's war and is ready to defend it's position this week against the new Challenger, which is a cover ready to take on the Defender. You can vote for who you think will continue every week on the poll to the right.

Last week's war was just so incredible. Incarnate vs Exiled- it was a hard pick. There was so much support for both covers though in the end, Exiled was triumphant. This week, Exiled has to defend it's position against Everneath by Brodi Ashton.

Exiled (Connected, #1)vsEverneath (Everneath, #1)

We do have two stunning covers this week, don't we? They're both so different too. Exiled has a beautiful face shot with butterflies and is overall wild and full of fantasy while Everneath is darker with a gorgeous red dress that descends into what looks like some kind of dark water or smoke.

Now that you've seen the beauties it's time to vote for your favourite. Yup, only one can move on though they both deserve spot. And that one can be chosen on the right!

Thank you for all your support and let the Cover Wars BEGIN! ☻☺

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Trailers

I think it's time again for three new book trailers to check out. I think these are all entertaining and I can't wait to read the books!

I love the movie feel of the Unleashed trailer. It's intriguing and dangerous and it makes me want the book right now. I expect good things from this book!

Gosh! WOW! I have Modelland at home but I never really knew what it was about... but this trailer makes me want to read it. The trailer promises suspense and mystery plus fashion and I'm curious to see how it all turns out. I think I'll either find Modelland a hit or miss, but I'm hoping for a hit. ☻

I know, everyone has probably already seen this and replayed it a billion and million or so times. I just had to include it though because I think the trailer was really well done. Seriously, I love it! And I love this series.

Any trailers catching your eye? Feel free to link to your trailers!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Review: Timeless

Timeless (Timeless, #1)

Author: Alexandra Monir
Pages: 304
Publisher: Delacorte
Challenge: Debut Author Challenge
Synopsis: When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance. 

 Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

Buy the Book (The Book Depository/Amazon)

Timeless was a story of endless love and I really liked it!

Michele's a cool character who's a normal teenager with an awesome mom. When "tragedy strikes" (and while I won't say what the tragedy was, I will say I was upset by it) Michele goes to New York to live with her grandparents. Her grandparents are part of the Windsor line so they're incredibly rich and live in extreme opulence. Michele feels out of place though (which I totally understand). Michele was a cool character whom I do relate with. Some of her reactions were spot on and I want to learn more about her.

Then there's time-traveling which leads to meeting the gorgeous, incomparable Phillip. Phillip is the guy Michele's been dreaming about all her life who turns out to be real. They both have an instant connection and they love each other. The love was pretty quick for me- "the one" after about one date?- but it was adorable. They obviously cared for each other immensely and I'm really interested if they can make their love "forever".

I wasn't sure where the plot was going in Timeless. The end completely surprised me. It was a tantalizing morsel of information that made me gasp, and then I turned the next page to find that it's over. I love and hate those endings. I was surprised how fast I flew through Timeless. I don't even remember checking the page numbers, I just started it and all of a sudden ended up on the last page.

All in all, I enjoyed Timeless. It was a nice, light and romantic read with darker parts. I'm giving it 3.5 stars because though I flew by it, the story didn't reach a level that I call obsessive love which means I won't constantly be waiting around for the next book. I wasn't too emotionally invested in Timeless but that's probably just me. I will eagerly read the next one though.

*** &1/2 *

Sunday, November 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren all about the new books you've received throughout the week. These can be review titles, books you bought, books you borrowed, whatever! IMM is about show casing these new titles. 

I have said I've  been on a book getting ban which is why I didn't get anything last week. (*sobs*) So this week, when I saw the books that came in for me at the library I completely ignored that ban and took them all. I'll probably never finish them all in time but I couldn't let these titles go. 

For Review

Seize the Story by Victoria Hanley (The Book Depository/Amazon)
First off, thank you Prufrock Press! I know November is NaNoWriMo but I can't participate because of school. But I can still write! I'm really excited for the tips & tricks here. Plus, the cover is so much fun to look at. Every time I notice something new. ☺

From the Library

The Hidden by Jessica Verday (The Book Depository/Amazon)
I've always liked this series and I can't wait to see how everything turns out. Plus I'm curious about that ring!
Fury by Elizabeth Miles (The Book Depository/Amazon)
I've heard some great stuff about this one. Plus, the cover is soo pretty!
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (The Book Depository/Amazon)
Anna and the French Kiss was awesome, which gives me more than enough reason to read Lola!
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson (The Book Depository/Amazon)
I've also heard so much good stuff about this one, and with the creepy cover and premise filled with suspense, it's one of my must reads.
Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles (The Book Depository/Amazon)
I'm such a huge fan of this series and I love Simone's books! I know I'll devour this book and I can't wait to read about Luis' story. 

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (The Book Depository/Amazon)
I met Margaret on tour and she was awesome so I'd probably read any book she writes... but I do love this series too! I ♥ Casters!
Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst (The Book Depository/Amazon)
This title is amazing. The cover looks awesome. Plus, I make it my personal mission to read anything in YA about slaying and hunters. Yeah, I'm a Buffy and Supernatural fan. 
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr (The Book Depository/Amazon)
Sara Zarr comes with huge recommendations so I wanted to try this book. Also, the title reminds me of that song How to Save a Life and I liked that so I couldn't pass on this book.
Dark of the Moon by Tracy Barrett (The Book Depository/Amazon)
I honestly have no clue what this book is about, but the title and the cover make it seem right up my alley. I'm ready to be surprised!
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (The Book Depository/Amazon)
I've seen nothing but good about this book. Seriously. I need it. Plus the cover and premise look awesome. 
Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen (The Book Depository/Amazon)
I love Anna's books, plus Bright Young Things was great! I love reading about the 20s!

So that's what I got in my mailbox this week. I honestly just want to take three weeks off school and finish all the books on my TBR so I can start these. They sound great and I'm looking forward to reviewing them. Anyway, thanks for visiting Tantalizing Illusions! Feel free to comment and leave a link. Let me know what you got in your mailbox!

Happy reading! 
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