Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Want to Go Private

Want to Go Private?

Author: Sarah Darer Littman
Pages: 330
Publisher: Scholastic
Source: Library
Synopsis: Abby and Luke chat online. They've never met. But they are going to. Soon.

Abby is starting high school--it should be exciting, so why doesn't she care? Everyone tells her to "make an effort," but why can't she just be herself? Abby quickly feels like she's losing a grip on her once-happy life. The only thing she cares about anymore is talking to Luke, a guy she met online, who understands. It feels dangerous and yet good to chat with Luke--he is her secret, and she's his. Then Luke asks her to meet him, and she does. But Luke isn't who he says he is. When Abby goes missing, everyone is left to put together the pieces. If they don't, they'll never see Abby again.

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Want To Go Private was another of those incredible contemporary books that need to be on your shelf like If I Stay or Thirteen Reasons Why. There's so much realism and emotion.

Abby is your typical, awkward 14 year old. It's her first year of high school and she isn't too excited about it. Abby doesn't want things to change and has a hard time meeting and accepting new people into her life. She eventually feels very lonely.

What part of that could I not relate to? I started high school two years ago and for the first few months, I hated it. I hated that all my friends were at different schools, that there were these cliques and it was hard to hang out with new people outside of class. I felt the same way as her- alone. Gradually it got much better but I can totally see where she's coming from when she starts talking to Luke.

Abby is relatable. Her relationship with her friend Faith was real, as was her conflict with Lily. She has parents she loves but sometimes can't stand like all of us. She gets high marks in math and science and she's on the honor roll. She's not a stupid or particularly weak girl. When you think of online predators taking advantage of girls, you think "Gosh, how stupid were these girls? That would never happen to me." Want to Go Private was so important in the way that it raises awareness in a way that doesn't insult or belittle the characters.

Also, since the story was told in alternating perspectives, readers will appreciate the impact of what happened on everyone from Abby's family to her friends. We even see how people in school would react. Everyone had their own view which weaves together to create a story so real you can see it happening.

Bloggers most importantly should take warning from this book. We're a group of people who spend hours promoting and building relationships on the web. Also, it's just a really good book that should be often featured.

Want to Go Private was a real, strong view of an important issue. Abby's story is one that will have you emotionally involved and hoping for the best. If I had a kid, I'd give this book to them. If I were a teacher, I'd make my students read it. (Even the most reluctant reader would be able to relate to Abby's troubles.) Want to Go Private fully deserves 4.5 stars. I really thought it was a super read.

**** & 1/2 *

Monday, July 30, 2012

Cover Wars: What's Left of Me vs Clockwork Princess

Cover Wars is when I post two covers, and you basically get a week to vote for your favourite. The winner continues on to next week, and it's kind of cool seeing which covers work and which don't. In the comments section we can discuss what we like about what cover, and it's basically some fun and friendly competition.

What's Left of Me has been a very dominant and well loved cover. Seriously, it is blowing by the competition. This week will be it's hardest challenge. Why? Because What's Left of Me is against Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Princess.

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1) vs Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3)

This is an overload of pretty. I absolutely love both covers. It's really now a battle between a modern looking cover versus a more classic design. Both are beautiful but only one will win and move on to next week.

Now it's up to you. Vote on the bottom or all throughout the week on the poll to the right for your favourite cover. And let the cover wars.. BEGIN!!

Which is your favourite cover?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Exploring My TBR (3)

This is one of my favourite features and it seems to be well received, so I'll be doing two of these posts a month. Enjoy!

How it works

I'll post 5 books from my TBR list on Goodreads, and why they're there. I'll also link to Goodreads so you can add them to your TBR too.  This feature is meant to highlight interesting sounding, but not really current reads. (Btw, I realized this is kind of like The Story Siren's Books To Pine For... but some of these titles are already released, and I'm writing my own synopsis.) This time we're wandering in to the realm of books not published yet. 

I've been reading this series for what seems like forever. (Maybe three years?) I'm dying to know by now how it ends. I've read 9 books that have heaped on more and more drama, and right now I have absolutely no idea what happens next. But I want to know! I love the mythology in the series. I love the House of Nights and the Guardians, and the magic. And now I want to start seeing the series start to wrap up. 

I thought 13 Little Blue Envelopes was a lot of fun. Travelling the world, gaining new experiences and unraveling a mystery. Seems like this book features even more travelling and fun! Plus now we know the characters a little bit better so more time will be spent on plot than introducing the characters. I don't know why I haven't read this book yet, but I hope I'll make the time. 

 I see this book everywhere. Seriously. At the library, the bookstore, in someone else's hands, in some blog. I don't know why I still haven't read it though. it was an early 2011 debut- right around when I started blogging and it's paranormal and features Fallen angels and some big (epic, I hope) battle between heaven and hell. What's not to like? I'm a huge fan of the paranormal and this is a title I really want to read. 

It's the cover that did it. Yes, you see I adore high contrast and one of my favourite colours is red. So this cover is really appealing to me because I just love the colours. The book itself also sounds very cool. Grace wakes up in a white room all alone and with no recollection of how she got there. She has pens and paper to try to remember everything, and it she remembers some stuff but worries she forgot about something very important. I generally really like these kind of books where characters search for truth and the concept of this book very easily piques by interest. Definitely a must read. 

Funny coincidence: The Liar Society also features a Grace, but this time she's dead and it's up to Kate to work through the secrets at her boarding school and prove that Grace's death was no accident. Murder mystery! Woohoo! I remember for a time all of YA was about boarding schools, but that trends seemed to have faded (Booo! I liked it!). Anyway, I've seen some pretty cool trailers for this book and it sounds really fun. I don't know why I haven't read this book yet. Looks like a gem. :)

So, that's it for this week. Let me know your thoughts on any of the books here, or on any recs you may have. Have a great Friday! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

I'm Participating in the Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge

Addicted 2 Novels

Hi guys! I just wanted to give a heads up that for the month of August, I will be participating in the Ultimate Reviewer's Challenge. (The button is linked to the signup!) I have so many reviews that I need to write and post and this seems like the perfect time to do so. Expect many reviews in addition to all the other features and discussions usually had on Tantalizing Illusions. There are some really great prizes and I hope you guys enjoy the reviews!

My over under for reviews so far is 20.

And, back to your regularly scheduled Thursday afternoon content...

Review: Someone Else's Life

Someone Else's Life

Author: Katie Dale
Pages: 485
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Source: NetGalley (Thank you!)
Synopsis: When 17-year-old Rosie's mother, Trudie, dies from Huntington's Disease, her pain is intensified by the knowledge that she has a fifty percent chance of inheriting the crippling disease herself. Only when Rosie tells her mother's best friend, "Aunt Sarah," that she is going to test for the disease does Sarah, a midwife, reveal that Trudie wasn't her real mother after all. Rosie was swapped at birth with a sickly baby who was destined to die.
Devastated, Rosie decides to trace her real mother, joining her ex-boyfriend on his gap year travels, to find her birth mother in California. But all does not go as planned. As Rosie discovers yet more of her family's deeply buried secrets and lies, she is left with an agonizing decision of her own, one which will be the most heart breaking and far-reaching of all.

Buy the book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Someone Else's Life was one of those books that completely surprised me. A lot of drama happens in it, so much more than you could imagine based on the synopsis and I got a different story than the one I was expecting. That's not a bad thing. I did think the storyline was really unique and I seldom read book like it.

There's not much I can say about the book without spoiling it, so this review will probably be a lot shorter than usual.

Character wise, I found I didn't have as much of a strong relation to the characters as you'd hope to have in such an emotional story. It wasn't as much a fault of the story than the fact that I have never experienced anything close to what any one of the characters goes through. (I'm so lucky.) They have to deal with so much and I really enjoyed reading about their thoughts and reactions. We meet the characters at a time of great difficulty so the characters all make many mistakes or just show off their imperfections. It's great because they're so real, but at the same time it's a bit heavy to read.

This book is not a light, amusing read. A lot happens that will make you think, and the atmosphere within is very gloomy at times. It shows a part of life that is the reality for some people who have to deal with genetic diseases. Frankly, it was pretty hard to read at times because there was no clear answer to the characters' problems. The situation was a tangled mess, which turned out to be surprisingly reflective of life. The story felt pretty believable. There were some events that were really unlikely to happen, but overall everything that happened has the possibility of happening in real life. That helped with the believability of the story.

I read this book while I was in a pretty bad reading slump. This kind of meant that I didn't read very much or very frequently, so it took me longer than usual to read the book and there was pauses in between reading. That being said, while I did enjoy the concept and how the story was handled, nothing really sparked for me. It may have been my mood while reading but I didn't feel compelled to just keep reading till the end. I wouldn't describe this book as a page turner.

Overall, the story will always stick with me, plus I feel a little bit more educated after reading Someone Else's Life. I think it's a pretty good contemporary read and I like that it informs readers about Huntington's Disease, something I had never heard of before. I liked it, 3.5 stars,

*** & 1/2 *

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Thoughts on... Endings That Changed A Series

These days, most books are part of series. Trilogies, sagas, and the like, have become the norm in YA. With all these long winding, complicated stories, there is more excitement, more action, and more suspense than ever in books. Some series have me flipping pages as fast as I can trying to get to the end, just so I can read  the final climax and the accumulation of multiple books full of tension and danger. 

Sometimes, the endings don't disappoint. Sometimes, they really are epic (see: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). Other times, endings leave us underwhelmed. And sometimes, endings change the way we see a series. This is what I want to talk about. 

The conclusion of a series can change how the entire series feels. I usually give conclusions really high ratings because they're what everything's been leading to. Sometimes, a conclusion can change the way you look at a series. I'm going to use three examples of books who's conclusions completely changed my perception of the series. Beware, I will be writing spoilers to better explain my thoughts.

I was a Twi-Hard. Loved the series. Read the books over 5 times each. I remember when I first got the books. I went to the library and asked if they had Twilight because I used to be active on this website called Stardoll (I was in 6th grade, ok!) and I noticed so many people admiring Edward. So when I asked my librarian for the books, she said there weren't any at the moment because the series is really popular. Instead I got a copy from my mom's coworker. I devoured the books. Seriously, within two days I was done the series. 

Eclipse was my favourite. I was totally Team Edward. When I read Breaking Dawn, I wasn't satisfied. I wished there was more action. I couldn't believe that Bella- a character moderately ordinary and who I could relate with, got freakin' pregnant. That's what the whole series was leading up to? Renesmee? 

I'm not much of a fan of the series anymore, and that's partially because Breaking Dawn was so strange to me. It used to be a cute love story, but then there was a baby. It kind of woke me up and changed the way I saw the series. 

Darkest Mercy (Wicked Lovely, #5)I'm a huge fan of Wicked Lovely (I even joined the fansite and forums- I was in the Summer Court) but Darkest Mercy changed my perception of the series. You see, I was an enormous fan of the Summer King, Keenan. And when I say enormous, I mean enormous. I participated in discussions about Keenan and defended him. Whenever I saw the sun, I would always think of him. He was what I thought of as Summer. Guess my reaction when Keenan gave up the Summer Court in Darkest Mercy. :O 

I understand why he did it, but when I read that part I closed the book and cried. It completely changed the series and I felt like my favourite character's identity was changed. I still love the series, but that one part of the ending completely changed my perception of the series. I was cheering on him and Ash so I was upset to see him leave the Court. It was a very bittersweet ending. 

Bloodrose (Nightshade, #3)
Bloodrose made me want to scream. I loved Nightshade, Wolfsbane was less good but I liked it enough because I supposed Bloodrose would feature Ren a bit more. 

Ren. Here's the issue with having a love triangle. When you create a love triangle, a lot of people are going to have difference of opinions on who should get the girl. And when you have people like me who get very attached to characters, the way you treat one of the love interests is very important to me when considering how much I enjoyed the story. 

Bloodrose made me want to scream and forget what I had just read. It made me hate Calla and Shay for both treating Ren so bad. I absolutely hated the last book. Calla led on Ren, and when Ren died I remember being furious. I had never been that angry at an author for wrecking a character I loved. I was upset to the point that I vowed not to read another Andrea Cremer book ever again. Bloodrose wrecked the whole Nightshade series for me. That conclusion is an example of a bad one. 

These are all examples of books with endings that changed the way I saw the series in a big way. They were highly awaited books and each ending engineered a different, yet emotional response. What are some endings that changed a series for you? Yours can be a little more positive than mine were. ;) 

Review: The Sweetest Thing

The Sweetest Thing

Author: Christina Mandelski
Pages: 352
Publisher: Egmont
Source: Library
Synopsis: In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she’s decorating a cake. Unfortunately, everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable. 
But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems—only her dad’s about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed. 

Using just the right amount of romance, family drama, and cute boys, The Sweetest Thing will entice fans with its perfect mixture of girl-friendly ingredients.

Buy the book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

The Sweetest Thing wasn't what I hoped it would be. It wasn't the story for me, sadly.

First, I couldn't really bring myself to like the main character. She acted selfishly so much that I was constantly annoyed with her. She made bad decisions, acted impulsively, and though everyone around her said she was good and amazing, I had a hard time seeing that. Sheridan just wasn't someone I liked and that created complications. To be fair, she did have a hard background and had issues with family and change. She was damaged in a way. I could relate to her but I didn't really like her.

My other problem was that the story didn't really hook me in. Nothing really sparked my interest except an event about 3/4s of the way in. It's not a boring story, but it's a lot about Sheridan's personal growth. Not really action packed and I'm an adrenaline junkie. It was good but a little too plain for my tastes. The story also felt really really long. I wasn't as invested in the story as I hoped I would be.

Now on to good things because if the story was totally awful I wouldn't bother reading it. Sheridan's relationship with her dad was something I loved and hated. I could relate to it and though Sheridan was a bit daft sometimes, I really liked the dynamic shown. It wasn't simple but complex. There were layers of hurt, anger, estrangement and love. Nanny was a sweet character. She made me miss my grandma. I always smiled when she was in the scene. There was a variety of colorful secondary characters which I loved. Some of them were cliché but others were so special and unique and had me thinking of people I've met. I wish there were more of these types of characters in YA.

Overall, The Sweetest Thing had great characters. I do wish I enjoyed the story better but I can see this as a good contemporary story. I'm not the biggest fan of the contemporary genre though. 2 stars,


Monday, July 23, 2012

The Weekly Progress

Hello! Hope y'all had a good weekend and are ready for Monday. Hopefully it will rain next week too. I want my flowers to bloom again.

Anyway, here's The Weekly Progress- an end of the week wrap up post all about chronicling the books of the week.

Books Read

Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Jessica, #2)The Iron Witch (The Iron Witch, #1)The Beginning of AfterCode Name Verity

I had a decent reading week and an awful reviewing week. I think I only did two reviews all week, which isn't very good. Of the books I read, Code Name Verity was probably the best, with Jessica Rules the Dark Side being second and Sweetly being third. I wasn't very into The Beginning of After or The Iron Witch. 

Currently Reading


I got an ARC from Strange Chemistry and I'm really excited to check it out. Looks pretty cool, and I think it's already been established that I love paranormal YA. 

Next I'll be Reading

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1)Hemlock (Hemlock, #1)

As you can see, I'll be reading a lot of paranormal books for the next bit. That's no surprise because paranormal is one of my favourites, if not my favourite genre. 

Links From the Week

And some cool links from around the YA book blogging world

Where are the animals in YA?! (We Heart YA)

PJV's awesome BB101 topic this week was about greedy bloggers and ARCs. Very interesting stuff about the purpose of ARCs and getting paid for reviews. (Parajunkee's View)

And here's the line up to what is a really awesome and fun idea. The Authors Are Rockstars Tour Hosted by Fiktshun and Two Chicks On Books. The lineup looks incredible. (Fiktshun)


That's it for this week! I recently have had trouble posting on weekends so I'm going to be trying to post more during the week. I hope everyone is having a great Monday!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Review: Supernaturally

Author: Kiersten White
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Synopsis: Evie finally has the normal life she’s always longed for. But she’s shocked to discover that being ordinary can be...kind of boring. Just when Evie starts to long for her days at the International Paranormal Containment Agency, she’s given a chance to work for them again. Desperate for a break from all the normalcy, she agrees.

But as one disastrous mission leads to another, Evie starts to wonder if she made the right choice. And when Evie’s faerie ex-boyfriend Reth appears with devastating revelations about her past, she discovers that there’s a battle brewing between the faerie courts that could throw the whole supernatural world into chaos. The prize in question? Evie herself.

So much for normal.

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Supernaturally... Wow. You know how there are some books you're so excited for that you don't want to finish? I was so excited for Supernaturally that I didn't even want to start it. Yeah, that's weird. I also probably over-hyped the book in my head.

The most awesome thing about Supernaturally is that, like Paranormalcy, the writing is so full of Evie and her voice. What girl could not like Evie and her attitude? She has a pink taser! Evie is a unique character in the sense that we know her and her likes. For example, I love that she cares about Easton Heights so much. Real people like TV shows, have hopes for the future, vulnerabilities and expectations. That was one of my favourite parts, reading about Evie expecting stuff to be a certain way and then finding out the truth. She's such a great character that you can't help but support her.

Evie and Lend. *Awwww* He's like the best boyfriend ever. He deserves an award for being so sweet and supportive but never boring. I was frustrated with Evie a bit when she wasn't honest with him but I still enjoyed reading about her and Lend. And I'm so glad Jack's character wasn't used to create more drama as a love triangle.

All the paranormals from Paranormalcy were back for Supernaturally, plus a few more. I love that these books have all kinds of paranormals in them. I learned of some new mythologys. And they all fit the story. There were many moral questions raised about the paranormals and Evie herself which I liked to see. I absolutely love morality questions. Kiersten White did an exemplary job making her world gray.

Now on to the plot. I love the writing and the characters so I would have read Supernaturally no matter what. I will admit in this aspect, Supernaturally was good but it didn't impress me as much as Paranormalcy. Mainly because I had for the most part, no idea what the main big problem was going to be. I was expecting some typical storyline so I was thrown off a bit by the more internal conflict. Supernaturally was a book full of revelations that doubtlessly will be important in upcoming books. As a book in a series, it's great. As it's own book, there's something to be desired.

Don't take it the wrong way- Supernaturally is fun, romantic, and addictive, read. I really really liked it and it's a great sequel. 4 stars,


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Cover Wars: What's Left of Me vs Sever

Cover Wars is when I post two covers, and you basically get a week to vote for your favourite. The winner continues on to next week, and it's kind of cool seeing which covers work and which don't. In the comments section we can discuss what we like about what cover, and it's basically some fun and friendly competition.

What's Left of Me is the new cover dominating the competition with a very strong win against Disenchanted. This week, What's Left of Me is up against Sever by Lauren DeStefano. Very tough competition. I'm very curious to see which cover ends up on top.

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1) vs Sever (The Chemical Garden, #3)

Beautiful right? Both covers are very creative and distinct. They both feature very interesting fonts that are huge parts of the cover. I think they're book very pretty, but in different ways. What's Left of Me is much cooler, a bit more neutral compared to Sever which is very bright. I can't wait to see what you think.

Vote on the poll to the right (or at the bottom of this post!) and leave a comment with your thoughts! Have a great week! :)

Which is your favourite cover? Vote now!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Review: Fairy Bad Day

Fairy Bad Day

Author: Amanda Ashby
Pages: 336
Publisher: Speak
Source: Library
Synopsis: While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairyÑand it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Fairy Bad Day was the perfect light, amusing, paranormal read. It's similar to the Paranormalcy, Hex Hall, and Demon Princess books. The key difference though is that Fairy Bad Day isn't part of a series. It's a standalone. That's right; a paranormal standalone which will appeal to many readers.

The story is about Emma Jobes, student at Burtonwood which is a special school for students who have the sight. These students train to become slayers of an elemental. Emma is furious when she's given the job of slaying fairies instead of dragons. What harm could these mall-obsessed, skittle-addicted, donut-stealing creatures do? Then she discovers a killer fairy and as the first ever fairy slayer, it's her job to take care of it.

Emma is 15 and you can tell. She's stubborn, hot headed, and self absorbed in the way people can be when they don't notice anyone but themselves. I loved her! She was flawed but funny. Her interactions with her friends were always fun to read about. Emma's life had it's good parts and bad parts which made for a unique character. She acted like a real teenager.

What I loved about this book was how light it was. There was danger and serious stuff but I wasn't drowning in angst and tears. Fairy Bad Day is the kind of book you read while smiling. The kind of book you read for entertaining fun. There were parts that were not realistic but that was part of the fun.

The world is one I'd love to be able to explore more, but one I have a good understanding of the way it is. Not everything is fully fleshed out but that's probably because this is a standalone which focuses more on the story than the setting.

I feel like I should briefly mention the romance. Which was nice. I didn't really feel like it was needed or it was anything too special but it didn't take away from the book. Pretty cute overall.

All in all, a wonderful escape full of romance, Fairy Bad Day is full of fun. It's the kind of feel good story that is a nice variation in paranormal YA. 4 stars,


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Review: Circle of Fire

Circle of Fire (Prophecy of the Sisters, #3)

Author: Michelle Zink
Pages: 362
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: Library
Synopsis: With time dwindling but her will to end the Prophecy stronger than ever, Lia sets out on a journey to find the remaining keys, locate the missing pages of the Prophecy, and convince her sister Alice to help--or risk her life trying. Lia has her beloved Dimitri by her side, but Alice has James, the man who once loved her sister--and maybe still does. James doesn't know the truth about either sister, or the prophecy that divides them. And Alice intends to keep it that way. There are some secrets sisters aren't meant to share. Because when they do, it destroys them. This stunning conclusion to Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy will make saying good-bye bittersweet for readers.

Buy the Book (Amazon/ The Book Depository)

Circle of Fire was a very fitting conclusion to the Prophecy of the Sisters trilogy by Michelle Zink.

I love these books. There's something so unique about them. They're chilling and dark. They're creepy and complicated. They're impossible to put down. And something about the writing, the voice... It's exactly like Lia talking. Her essence is in the writing making it easy to get into the story. The plot is complex, the characters are worthy, and the world is full of danger and hope. That's the full package, people. After finishing the series, I looked back fondly and thought "What great books. Totally worthy of rereading."

Lia in Circle of Fire is different. Her character has matured since the beginning. She's changed, become less trusting, less forgiving. Less innocent. Lia tries to fight the darkness with her strength. I couldn't help but support Lia fully. She has had such a hard time and she's still holding on. That kind of strength is admirable. She's not invulnerable. There are moments when she feels like giving up but she doesn't. Part of that is because of Dimitri. Their love is mature and I never once doubted it. They supported each other and were an exemplary couple.

The relationships in Circle of Fire were fascinating in the most realistic way. Somehow, in between all the save-the-world stuff there was time for friendship, romance and family. While the keys didn't make as much of an appearance as usual, they were part of the story in a believable way. Never once did anyone act in a way that had me questioning reality. There was again, so much complexity. Redemption, loss, betrayal, everything. I did shed tears at the end. There will be much to think about when you're done Circle of Fire.

I think the ending fit. I'm content with it. I was dreading getting to the end and wished I could read slower. I didn't realize until I was done what a great series this is. It's different from anything else and I will be sure to read anything by Michelle Zink since I have acquired so much faith in her writing. If you haven't read Prophecy of the Sisters, you're in for a dark, decadent, treat. 4.5 stars,

**** & 1/2 *

Friday, July 13, 2012

Trailers! Code Name Verity, Seraphina, The Paladin Prophecy, and Fear

It's that time of week again. I was looking at my posts, trying to insert some variety and decided to start looking at more book trailers.

First off, there's Code Name Verity's trailer. I'm reading the book right now and so far, it's pretty good.

This next one looks so good. I hadn't heard much about Seraphina beforehand but wow, this trailer makes it seem like a must read. Maybe I'll finally find a dragon book that I'll love?

You know what I love about YouTube? Discovering new books through their awesome trailers. Seriously, sometimes a book cover makes me read a book. Other times it's a book trailer. This trailer for The Paladin Prophecy looks so crazy awesome. I'll probably read the book just because I love the trailer (and the premise). See for yourself.

So, this isn't a trailer but OMG IT'S SO AWESOME. I had to include it. I'm a huge, enormous, mega fan of Michael Grant's Gone series and this is a pretty fun interactive video. Would you survive the world of Fear? Check it out. There are some spoilers for the previous books though, I just thought I should let you know.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Review: Dead Rules

Author: Randy Russel
Pages: 376
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Synopsis: When Jana Webster dies in a tragic accident, she finds herself transferred to 'Dead School' in the afterlife, where students fall into distinct cliques. Risers (good kids who died innocently), Sliders (bad kids, who have one foot tied to earth) and Virgins (there are fewer than Jana would expect). Jana's boyfriend and love of her life - Michael - is still in the land of the living. Michael is Romeo to Jana's Juliet and as the story goes...even death can't keep them apart. Tired of waiting for him to kill himself over his grief of losing her, Jana decides she needs to do it for him. To kill Michael she'll need the help of a dangerous and sexy Slider - Mars Dreamcoate. But Mars has a goal of his own: he wants to save a life to atone for having taken one in a drunk-driving accident. And to complicate matters, he was trying to save Jana when she died and saw what was really going on when her 'accident' happened. Jana decides to do whatever it takes to get Michael back, and nothing - not even Mars' warm touch or the devastating secret he holds about her death - will stop her.

Buy the Book (Amazon/ The Book Depository)

Dead Rules took me by surprise. I loved it! The characters made realistic choices, the story was interesting and the whole concept is one I'd love to revisit.

Jane loves Michael a lot. So much that she doesn't want to be dead without him. She'd rather he join her at dead school. That only made me like Jane. She was different. Some characters in books are so heroic and perfect that while I admire them and think they awesome, I'm intimidated by how good they are. Having a character like Jane who was good but wanted this over everything was refreshing. Jane was so unique and determined. She was ruthless to get what she wanted. I won't forget about this girl.

The plot itself wasn't too complicated. Somehow it was addictive though. The story wraps itself up at the end and it's satisfying, but it leaves you wanting more. I want to know more about Mars and the sliders and how they're different compared to the Risers. I wouldn't object to a short story.

There is a fair deal of darkness here too. Dead Rules makes you think of love, following the rules and morality. I loved that part. The story wasn't very unpredictable but I liked it a lot. Something about it hooked me in... Very readable.

Overall, Dead Rules is awesome, fun and entertaining. Teenage love, death, redemption, all the good stuff can be found here. 4 stars,


My New Blog Look... What do you think?

Most people know how I love pretty things. That's why I have a feature just for pretty books, called Cover Wars. I also like new things. I got the bird design a while back and I thought it was beautiful. However, it's summer now and I really wanted to change things up. So now, I downloaded the "lemon" template from my favourite website for blog designs EVER, The Cutest Blog on the Block. Check them out- they have some really awesome stuff.

I love this design. I love how clean it is, and I have always loved high contrast designs. I started off with a black and hot pink design. Then I moved on to a more red and blue design. Now I'm on to a yellow design.

What do you guys think? Do you like it? Do you have any blog design sites you love?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review: Twisted

Twisted (Pretty Little Liars, #9)

Author: Sara Shepard
Pages: 320
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Series: Pretty Little Liars (#9)
Synopsis: It’s been a year since the torturous notes from A stopped and the mystery of Alison DiLaurentis’s disappearance was finally put to rest. Now seniors in high school, Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily are older, but they’re not any wiser. The Pretty Little Liars have more secrets than ever - twisted secrets that could destroy the perfect lives they’ve worked so hard to rebuild. 

Aria’s jealous of her boyfriend’s new exchange student. Spencer’s getting a little too cozy with her soon-to-be-stepbrother. Hanna’s one scandalous photo away from ruining her dad’s Senate campaign. And Emily will do anything to get a swim scholarship. 

Worst of all: Last spring break in Jamaica, they did something unforgivable. The girls are desperate to forget that fateful night, but they should know better than anyone that all secrets wash ashore … eventually.

Buy the Book (Amazon/The Book Depository)

Sara Shepard has a Twisted mind (hahaha... Yeah, not that funny). The drama in these books are unbelievable.

I know what you're thinking. I thought the same thing. A ninth book? But everything was closed off in the eighth! What else could possibly happen? This is ridiculous! Is there even a genuine story?

And I'll say that to enjoy this book, you're going to have to let go of some things. Let go of any preconceptions that Pretty Little Liars is realistic. Expect the unexpected. Don't even think "That's not possible!" because, it is. Ignore the need for characters to stop behaving the way they do and creating huge trouble for themselves. That trouble is what the story is based on. And as all the fans know, reading about the drama is an addictive, guilty pleasure. Accept the books for what they are: entertaining, fun, surprising.

That doesn't all come without a price though. This series has gone way down my list from being well thought out to amusing, to quick entertainment. It could have been so much more... But I should follow my own advice and accept the books for what they are.

Twisted begins with this huge secret that you don't know which was driving me insane. Curiosity was killing me. There were tantalizing little hints but not until later on do we fully piece what happened and still then we're left astounded. The plot is a bit slow and it seems like pointless drama for a bit till we get to the end and a revelation appears.

I have to say, I lost respect and faith in Spencer, Emily, Aria and Hanna. I thought these girls were capable of taking the good things they had and not messing up. They're good people- why can't that translate into actions? That wouldn't make much of a story though. I was frustrated with the way they all made decisions in Twisted.

I like these books. They're not the most eloquently written, not the most haunting story, but they're easy to read and make a great tv show. I say if you've read all the previous books, why not read one more? 3 stars,


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cover Wars: What's Left of Me vs. Disenchanted

Cover Wars is when I post two covers, and you basically get a week to vote for your favourite. The winner continues on to next week, and it's kind of cool seeing which covers work and which don't. In the comments section we can discuss what we like about what cover, and it's basically some fun and friendly competition.

Last week, What's Left of Me managed a win against the almost unbeatable Want, propelling Kat Zhang's book to this week's competition. And the competition is tough. Disenchanted by Sherry Soule is hear to challenge. Which cover do you prefer?

What's Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles, #1)vsDisenchanted

Let the Cover Wars... begin!!!!

Wait! Don't leave yet! Remember to vote on the right, and then leave a comment about why your chosen cover is the best. 

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Weekly Progress

So last week was kind of a "holiday". I spent a lot of time with my family and didn't blog as much as I should have. No problem though, since I did read a decent amount, plus I cleaned up my email. (I had requests dating back from February so I needed that.) All book covers link to Goodreads.

Books Read

Ashes (Ashes Trilogy, #1)GiltImpulse (Impulse, #1)Beauty QueensDark Angel (Dark Angel, #1)Ripple

Of those, my favourites would probably be Ashes, Impulse and Beauty Queens in that exact order. I have reviews for Ashes, Beauty Queens, and Dark Angel. Maybe Gilt too, but I can't seem to remember if I wrote about it.

Currently Reading

Shattered Souls (Souls #1)

I'm on the first chapter and I'm curious about this book. I've seen good and bad reviews, so hopefully I'll enjoy it. 

Next I'll Be Reading 

Stolen AwayAu Revoir, Crazy European ChickThe Beginning of After

Sounds good right?! 

It was a pretty good book reading week so hopefully this week will be a better book blogging week. Have a great week everyone! 
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