Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: Poltergeeks

Poltergeeks (Poltergeeks, #1)

Author: Sean Cummings
Pages: 320
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Source: Review Copy (Thank you!)
Release Date: October 2nd 2012
Synopsis: 15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection. 

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life.

Buy the Book (Amazon/Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Poltergeeks is a new story from Strange Chemistry and I am honestly so conflicted about what I felt. See, there were a lot of really awesome aspects to Poltergeeks but there were some stuff I liked a bit less. I'll settle by mixing the good and the bad in my review.

First, something I personally loved was that the story was by a Canadian author and took place in Canada! Me being Canadian and all, I loved that the story took place in Calgary (which is further from me than the States, but whatever). Not enough books take place in Canada so I get ridiculously excited when they do. Oh! And bonus points for mentioning Tim Hortons!

A negative would be the story felt a touch immature. I think the story is ideal for younger teens. It's very fast paced and moves along well. I think the entire book took place in two or three days. There's nothing wrong with being fast paced- I personally love it, but it left some scenes feeling underdeveloped and the slightest bit stereotypical. For example, Julie was very clichéd as the outsider with the nerdy friends. She always went on about how stupid the popular kids were and how she would rather be different than one of them. For the record, there was only one popular kid even mentioned by name in the books and he was your typical male bully. I honestly don't see that in my high school so characters like that are unrealistic for me.

Another thing I loved was the language. The story was full of humour. The writing wasn't severe- I absolutely freaking loved that Julie talked the way most teens talk. There was swearing, sarcasm, exaggerations and slang. The best parts were reading something Julie said and being all, "HEY! I said that yesterday!" (True story.) The language isn't very elegant but I consider it very realistic.

Julie herself won't make it to my list of favourite characters. See, she was sometimes a little bit too unreasonable, reckless, one might even say dumb. Like, "Look, some super powerful witch is attacking me and my family?! Grrr, I'm going to confront you all by myself, even when my mom told me not to." She was rebellious and made a lot of mistakes. I did think she matured towards the end. I'm curious to see in future novels how her character has progressed.

I think I've explained the bad things in the novel (slightly clichéd characters) so the rest is all the good. I like that Julie's mom was a huge part of her daughter's life. There was a real relationship between the two and they argued a lot but I liked it.

The ending had some pretty good twists to it. I wasn't really sure about some of the reasoning behind the actions, but I was surprised a bit. (Not too much though- see, I had my suspicions about the villain all along.) The ending also wrapped up the story pretty well but left room for a sequel.

The mythology was also very interesting and new. Ghosts, witches, immortals, oh my! There were a lot of interesting little tidbits (or should I say Timbits? I know, bad joke) of information about the supernatural world and I'm looking forward to reading more about that world in depth. I really liked Marcus and Julie's friendship and I thought they were both really cute together. Slightly awkward, but still sweet.

Overall, Poltergeeks was a good debut. There were some aspects to the story I didn't like but that didn't take too much away from the story. All in all, I enjoyed the fast paced action, the real teen speak, and I liked the the story was very light yet super entertaining. It was a good beginning and I'm really excited to see where the story goes from here. Since I liked it, I'm giving Poltergeeks 3 stars,


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Trailers! YA Book to Movie Updates & Awesome Book Trailers

I haven't been in the loop too much, but I was browsing through Youtube when I found this! I can't wait to see this movie. I'm not sure how it's going to work though. I hope the movie end up being as good as the books.

The Host's book trailer isn't spoiling anything. It looks interesting though- I think I may check it out.

Those were the two trailers I found, but a really awesome list of book to movie trailers can be found here from Big Books Tiny Voices. They have an awesomely comprehensive list.

Now for book trailers... What's Left of Me's trailer ROCKS. It's so good- I can't wait to read that book!

Then I stumbled on this gem. Jay Kristoff sounds like a really cool guy. The more about him I read, the more I think so. Check this out.

The future looks bright for movies and books!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Weekly Progress (I was reading, therefore I wasn't blogging & I still posted late edition)


Last week (and part of this week) was (is) sucky for me as a poster. I admit that. But just because I wasn't posting didn't mean I wasn't blogging. Okay, I didn't write many reviews but that's only because I read such great books and I wasn't sure how I could review them properly. I also realized that grade 11 is significantly harder than tenth grade.

Books Read

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)If I Die (Soul Screamers, #5)Before I Wake (Soul Screamers, #6)

See? How could I blog when I was reading these! Especially If I Die. Oh, my gosh, I LOVED that book. So much that it's one of my favourites (top 3) books of the year. I read it late but I'm glad I did that because I could read Before I Wake straight after. Problem is that now there's only one book left! *sob* I will be so very sad to see that series end. Then I'll buy all the books and reread them. 

Girl of Nightmares deserves some love to. I thought it was a pretty good ending to the series. I liked the conclusion and how it was satisfying. I'm definitely curious to see what else Kendare Blake will be writing. 

Currently Reading

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)Brave New World

I'm reading two books for school- Divergence (Divergent en francais), and Brave New World for English. So far I'm enjoying both. And I'm also so super duper over the moon excited to be reading Froi of the Exiles. I adored Finnikin of the Rock so I'm expecting some awesome things from Froi. 

Usually I include a 'next I'll be reading' section, but I honestly have no idea what I'll be reading. See, my Kobo got broken a while back but I have all these books I need to review for October (3 from Kobo, two paper) so I need to start writing and reading those. You can always friend me on Goodreads to find out what I'm reading (I post every book I read on Goodreads.) 

Random Thoughts 

I said I was away because I was reading... that's only partially true. I've been away a lot because of Netflix. See, we got it and I've been trying to figure out which devices it works on (Smart TV- nope, Wii- yes, Android- TBD), and what kind of Internet bundle is the best. Because I absolutely hate how in Canada, we basically have two big ISPs and then we have a bunch of nobodies. Seriously, what companies do people know of besides Bell or Rogers? Maybe Techsavvy? 

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any recs for stuff to watch on Netflix. I've watched In Time, and some kid stuff though I'm not sure what else there is to watch. I think I'll try Breaking Bad or The Walking Dead- any thoughts about those? 


Pretty pathetic recap... I posted a review of a contemporary read (yes, I do read those... on occasion) called Rival. It was amusing enough and it's about two girls passionate about music. 

I also posted a new Cover Wars- Flutter vs. With All My Soul. I'm a bit overwhelmed by the support, especially since I didn't really promote it as much as I would have, had I been around more. If you haven't checked it out, vote there. 

In Conclusion

Last week was a lazy week (blogging wise). I'm going to attempt to organize my time better this week. I already got one post done!

Thanks for visiting everyone and let me know what you're reading in the comments! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Cover Wars: Flutter vs. With All My Soul

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 was the most successful Cover Wars yet. 127 votes. Flutter got the win and now it shall compete against Rachel Vincent's With All My Soul, #7 in the Soul Screamer's series.

FlutterWith All My Soul (Soul Screamers, #7)

Both covers are on the warm, brown scale and feature some very pretty titles. Flutter has more colour variety and its colours are more vivid, while With All My Soul's cover is more dramatic what with the high contrast and all. They're both stunning (I love YA cover designers!) but only one will win and move on. The battle is on.

Vote for your favourite cover in the poll below, which will be available all week long, and don't forget to comment to share your choice.

Let the Cover Wars... begin!

Which is your favourite cover?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Review: Rival


Author: Sara Bennett Wealer
Pages: 336
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Library
Synopsis: What if your worst enemy turned out to be the best friend you ever had?

Meet Brooke: Popular, powerful and hating every minute of it, she’s the “It” girl at Douglas High in Lake Champion, Minnesota. Her real ambition? Using her operatic mezzo as a ticket back to NYC, where her family lived before her dad ran off with an up and coming male movie star.

Now meet Kathryn: An overachieving soprano with an underachieving savings account, she’s been a leper ever since Brooke punched her at a party junior year. For Kath, music is the key to a much-needed college scholarship.

The stage is set for a high-stakes duet between the two seniors as they prepare for the prestigious Blackmore competition. Brooke and Kathryn work toward the Blackmore with eyes not just on first prize but on one another, each still stinging from a past that started with friendship and ended in betrayal. With competition day nearing, Brooke dreams of escaping the in-crowd for life as a professional singer, but her scheming BFF Chloe has other plans. And when Kathryn gets an unlikely invitation to Homecoming, she suspects Brooke of trying to sabotage her with one last public humiliation. 

As pressures mount, Brooke starts to sense that the person she hates most might just be the best friend she ever had. But Kathryn has a decision to make. Can she forgive? Or are some rivalries for life?

Buy the Book (AmazonBuy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide)

There's nothing like reading a great contemporary novel. Since blogging, contemporary has been one of the genres I've been reading more of as I hear about all the recommendations other bloggers have. With contemporary titles you can directly relate what happens in the story to your own life. It's an escape but a real one if that makes sense. Rival was a great example of it.

There were two perspectives in Rival: Brooke and Kathryn. They're enemies though you won't find out why until later on. They both have one important passion in common: music. They're both incredibly talented.

Brooke is honestly a very different kind of character. All she cares about is music. She hates being fake and isn't into the popularity thing. Of course, she is the most popular girl in school. Brooke doesn't care about it though except to use her influence when she needs it. She doesn't think she deserves to be that popular either, it's something about her. She fascinated me. I loved and hated Brooke. She had seemingly everything but she felt so lonely. She hurt Kathryn without even thinking it. She has her issues though, like how she feels like she's way too tall.

Kathryn is our Cinderella. She lives with her whole family and is embarrassed by her sweet dad and having her mom make her clothes. Kathryn needs money and unlike Brooke, has practically no friends with the exception of Matt, her geeky friend. Matt was stereotypical but there were some very cute moments with him. I wish we could have seen more. Kathryn herself had me rooting for her and rolling my eyes at her. I think this is exactly what Sara Bennett Wealer wanted.

At the end of the day, I can't pick which of the two girls I like better. Both of them I've hated and loved. Not one of them is better than the other. That's exactly how it should be and I'm pleased to feel that way.

What I liked most about Rivals were two things: the music, and the characters.

I'm not a huge music buff so most of the references didn't mean much to me but I loved that Brooke and Kathryn had something they both cared for so much. They knew about music the way some bloggers know books- intimately well. That was their passion and I loved reading of it. I think everyone should have something they care about like that- something that takes time and energy and work. It needs to be rewarding though and music was. I understood that.

The characters (and by this, I mean mostly Chloe) were very unique and memorable. Chloe was the popular girl's best friend. She was always trying to make sure Brooke "fulfilled her duties". Those were running homecoming campaigns, taking down anyone in Brooke's way and finding the next generation of popular people. She wasn't really a friend and acted fake all the time. It was so easy to hate Chloe but then you'd learn something about her that had you wondering. Chloe is the character who I consider needs the most help and I would love to read a book about her to get to know her better. It's rare that a side character leaves that kind of impression.

The plot itself wasn't the special part. As plots go, I'd say it was fairly good. The way it was done was the great part. If you haven't done so already, I recommend you check out Rival to see what you're missing. 4 stars,


Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Weekly Progress (Success! Thank you so much edition)

I said last week that I was kind of sucky at posting blog posts. Well, this week I seemed to remedy that. You guys definitely helped though- 300 PAGEVIEWS for one post is absolutely insane. I never ever thought that I'd ever get close to that when I started blogging. I've always dreamed of it, but the fact that it actually happened makes me beyond happy. So thank you.

In other words, here is my week in books. 

Books Read

Light from a Distant Star: A NovelUnderworld (Abandon Trilogy #2)Until I Die (Revenants, #2)

This week was not my best. Light From a Distant Star ended up not being my type of book at all. I didn't finish it. Underworld and Until I Die were both entertaining, but left a little to be desired. I still love their covers though. 

Currently Reading

Embrace (The Violet Eden Chapters, #1)Divergence (Divergence, #1)

Very curious to see read Embrace- I haven't heard too much about it but I'm hoping for some paranormal fun. Also, I'm re-reading Divergent- but in French for French class independent reading. So far it's just as good the second time around. 

Next I'll Be Reading

Girl of Nightmares (Anna, #2)Wake (Watersong, #1)

I'm dying to read Girl of Nightmares, and Wake seems pretty cool too. Good books ahead! 

Random Thoughts

Labour unions have been messing up my junior year. So far my teachers canceled all clubs and there's an NHL lockout. You know, the sport I only became a real fan of last year? 

The worst part is that as a student and a fan I'm getting screwed by both of these disputes, yet there's no one I can really blame. Ontario needs to cut down debt. Teachers are entitled to the right of striking, as it's written in the Charter of Canadian Rights and Freedom. Players shouldn't be forced to always give up money and salary to billionaires. And the owners should be able to have healthy, and profitable franchises. 

I'm taking Law class for homeroom so if there's one good thing about all this is that I can probably do a really awesome summative. 


It started with a pretty great battle between Asunder and Flutter for last week's Cover Wars

I also got two reviews posted- The Power of Six and Hades. I wasn't overly impressed with either title, honestly. 

I also tried something I called TV Talk Thursday where I talked about an upcoming show on the CW called Arrow.

As for a blogging week, it went very well. I got a decent amount of posts, as well as variety. 

Oh, and do not forget to check out the awesome giveaway going on! 4 books! 

In Conclusion

Last week was very awesome. This week will be even better. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Review: Hades

Hades (Halo, #2)

Author: Alexandra Adornetto
Pages: 424
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: Library
Synopsis: Bethany Church is an angel sent to Earth to keep dark forces at bay. Falling in love was never part of her mission, but the bond between Beth and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier Woods, is undeniably strong. But even Xavier’s love, and the care of her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep Beth from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, the demon Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well.

The story that Alexandra Adornetto built in her New York Times - bestselling debut, Halo, comes alive in action-packed and unexpected ways, as angels battle demons, and the power of love is put to the test.

Buy the Book (Amazon/Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

The Halo series by Alexandra Adornetto seems to be a hit or miss among reviewers. Either you'll love it or you'll hate it. That's why I was really nervous to read Hades. I thought Halo was okay but I was getting scared by the reviews of Hades. I finally told myself that as a reviewer I'd have to face my fear and if I wanted to read the book, I should. With such a beautiful cover, and me being as vain as I am, I couldn't ignore this title.

I didn't hate it. After reading Hades all I feel is a bit of disappointment due primarily to how the story ended. I'll start with the good though.

It's hard to stop reading once you've started. I wouldn't say it's an addiction but Hades just draws you in so well and you're always going to question what will happen next. The premise is fantastic and though there are a few clichés, they're easy enough to overlook if you like the story.

If you don't like the story you may have some issues. My first issue was with the characters. I remember loving Bethany and Xander in Halo and hating Jake. I completely switched sides. Bethany and Xander as a couple are codependent. I love that even Bethany's girlfriends, some characters barely seen except to prove that Bethany does have friends, even say so. You might say it's true love and then I'd be stumped because I haven't encountered that yet. Except that this not being able to live without each other kind of love never rang true. Instead of being empathetic and rooting for the happy couple I was thinking how I'd react if I met a Bethany and Xander in real life. Bethany and Xander don't do much without each other. I would have rather Bethany had a personality and individual interests outside of him but she doesn't. I can't really admire that as being individual is really important to me.

I didn't really like any of the characters either. Ivy and Gabriel fell flat again and I saw them as robotic. They were in a way. They're angels and not really human. Mollie was one of the most frustrating characters I've read. I liked that she had a clear personality but that personality bothered me to no extent. The only character I really wanted more of was Jake. He made awful, awful choices and then good ones. In the end I was so fascinated with him that I had to continue reading. The only thing I couldn't understand was why Jake had a thing for Beth. I thought that was a cliché and it really wasn't explained so I was disappointed in that regard.

In Hades we're in a brand new setting: Hell. Even though there were numerous descriptions, Hell never really came alive for me. I liked the concept but we were more focused on Bethany who cared more about Xander. There were some things well done though- "Big Daddy" made me giggle for instance. I would rather have seen more.

What Hades had a ton of were moments where I really wondered how real it could be. Some of the actions by the demons had me wondering how demonic they were and some of heaven's choices made me not root for the other team either. There were too many beautiful people between the angels and demons and at one point I was wishing for someone normal to appear. Thankfully, they did. I was really pleased with one of the very minor character's story for one. (Sorry for being vague but vague is much better than spoiling.)

Plot wise, I also wasn't impressed. I really wish I was but I feel like not much happened. There were 400 pages in this book- above average. That made for a long read as not much stuff happened. There was potential- Bethany was in hell. Hell is a setting where so much is possible but I didn't feel anything. And the conclusion didn't overjoy me either.

All in all, though I did ramble on about what I didn't like there is a reason I keep reading this series. It reminds me of Lauren Kate's Fallen series- you know it's not the best book out there but something about it has you hooked. If you want to read Hades, I won't discourage you. Every book deserves a chance. 2.5 stars.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

TV Talk Thursday- Arrow

Personally, I consider myself to be a fan of stories. I love seeing another's perspective, witnessing their battles and cheering on their victories. That's why I thought this might be a pretty interesting topic to cover- TV. TV Talk Thursdays is not a feature as of yet, it really depends on whether I find a cool TV show to cover. So far I've found two. Anyway, this week I thought I'd talk about the CW's arrow.

The CW is one of my favourite networks because a lot of the shows they do are about teens, or would appeal to teens. I always keep a track on new shows on the network because you never know when a show is going to be incredible (The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural) and the perfect fit for a YA audience.

Arrow is one of the CW's new shows this fall. And it looks fabulous.

What I like about Arrow is that it has potential. The story sounds vaguely The Dark Knight-ish, but it's a TV show.

The show is about billionaire Oliver Queen, who went missing and was thought to be dead after an awful shipwreck five years ago. He returns home to Starling city but he's changed. He tries to make up for all the times he was awful to his family and begins to craft another identity- that of a vigilante named Arrow who who tries  "to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory."

That does sound an awful lot like Batman's concept, but it's based on the Green Arrow comics. I haven't read them (not much of a comics reader) though I still find the show intriguing. Something interesting is that even though the Green Arrow is a superhero that has special powers, the show has decided to stay away from magic powers. Arrow is simply someone who wants to do good, and is especially talented in stuff like archery. Arrow also seems to be pretty dark- the main character kills people.

Check out the trailers and leave a comment letting me know what you think. Would you watch Arrow?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Review: The Power of Six

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2)

Author: Pittacus Lore
Pages: 406
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Library 
Previous books in the series: I Am Number Four
Synopsis: I've seen him on the news. Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio. John Smith, out there, on the run. To the world, he's a mystery. But to me . . . he's one of us.

Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us—if we all still believe in our mission. How can I know? There are six of us left. We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another . . . but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight. Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for? And what about Number Five and Six? Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams? The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine? The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio—and failed.

I am Number Seven. One of six still alive.

And I'm ready to fight.

Buy the Book (Amazon/Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide)

I'm very undecided when it comes to the Lorien Legacies series. The nonstop action is awesome but overall I'm not satisfied.

It may be the characters. I don't think I truly like any of the characters who's perspectives we're in. I love the side characters but the people that tell the story feel inadequate. John and his "feelings" for Sarah made me roll my eyes a lot. I was bored with Marina's perspective too. Something about her constantly bugged me. Maybe the fact that she never had a friend her age outside of the Lorien stuff. I hate to sound obnoxious but she acted like everyone else was out to get her. I don't believe for a second that all the girls in the convent were mean. There were also many decisions and inconsistencies that didn't really make sense.

The side characters stole the show. I loved reading about Six. She's badass and reasonable with a hard past but she deals with it. She's mature and also human. Something about her has always made me like her. I wish I could have read the story from her perspective. Marina's life didn't really interest me until a revelation that had me dying for more. I won't spoil it for you. You'll just have to read the book to find out what happened. ;)

I did mention I wasn't really interested at some parts. That's maybe because of the split perspectives. Usually I adore them. I love to know how people think. The problem was the story would end on a cliffhanger in one character's perspective and then I'd be all "OMG what happens next?" but then I'd have to read about the other character doing something mysterious before I got back to the original perspective and by that time by interest waned. Action scenes being cut with slower scenes in between sounds nice but the truth is you get to a point where you feel like the story would go much faster and be much more exciting if it wasn't so cut up. That was kind of my issue.

The premise as always had me hooked. What's in the Chests? Will Lorien triumph against the Mogs? When will we meet more of the Garde? This series has so much epic potential. It's just being drawn out so much. There's so much suspense and I expect so much action that sometimes I feel like I'm not getting it. I think the last volume will be incredible as I expect every book to have more and more action as the series progresses. Till then I'll stick around and eagerly await each new title.

While I did have my issues with The Power of Six, ultimately I liked it. I want more from this series but only because I think this series could be huge and I'll always be excited for more. I'm giving it 3.5 stars,

*** & 1/2 *

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cover Wars: Asunder vs Flutter

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.

We have a new champion! Asunder managed to knock out Alice in Zombieland, but it was close. Very close. This week, Asunder will face another pretty cover. Asunder vs. Flutter is this week's Cover Wars.

Asunder (Newsoul, #2)Flutter

Battle of the cool colours, fonts, and faces. Asunder is obviously the more cooler cover with the colder, more neon colours while Flutter is warmer but also has its fair share of colours. I also adore the fonts on both covers. Seriously, I almost never comment on this but I had to this time because they're so pretty!

Now it's up to you to decide which cover is the best. Vote now and leave a comment sharing your vote!

Let the Cover Wars... Begin!

Which is your favourite cover?

Remember, you have all week to vote so spread the message! :)

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Weekly Progress (Late, Back to School Edition)

School has started. Woohoo. I'm now an upperclassmen. That's cool. The only significant thing about Grade 11 so far is that I seem to be strangely busy, and I get more homework than normal. Not too bad then. It also has made me a sucky blogger and reader. This is a very slacker Weekly Progress post.

Books Read 

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1)Struck (Struck, #1)

Not much in the "read" department. Last week was a whirlwind, I'm hoping this week will be quieter. Of the two books, I preferred Struck (love the concept and action), but they're both decent reads. And I'm going back to what I love- paranormal. 

Currently Reading

Light from a Distant Star: A Novel

Not having a very good time reading this :(. It doesn't seem to be my type of read. I'm going to persevere though and hope more happens. 

Next I'll Be Reading 

Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2)

Probably more books to be added to this list, I'm just undecided on them currently. 


Last week wasn't my best, but I managed to get a review posted of Demonglass (which was a pretty fun read), as well as an Interview & Giveaway with author Heather Beck. Check those out! 

Random Stuff

I'm going to be reading Divergent in french! I'm not sure if I posted my review of Divergent but if I did, you'd notice it was all a gush. Love the book and I'm ready to relive the awesome while also improving my French! 

In Conclusion

Last week was good, but I gotta do better! Have a great week everyone! And let me know what you're reading in the comments. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Interview & Giveaway with Heather Beck

Hey guys! I recently was able to interview screenwriter and author Heather Beck. Hope you enjoy it! At the end I'll explain the rules for the giveaway.

1. Tell me a bit about your work and your new book, Whispers In the Shadows.

I’m probably best known for my work in The Horror Diaries. It’s a series of scary stories for kids that include Haunted, Journeys Through The Unknown and Creatures Of The Night as well as the forthcoming titles, Supernatural, The Sands Of Time, Shivers and When Darkness Falls. These are suspenseful but fun tales filled with creepy characters and fantastical plots. I also write mainstream young adult books such as Vocations and Girl In Crisis (both titles are currently being prepared for a second edition release) as well as literary romances for teens like the forthcoming Assorted Candies. As for my adult books, they include What Legends Are Made Of and my latest release, Whispers In The Shadows. Both books are part of the Legends Unleashed series. This paranormal romance anthology series features strong female characters who lead ordinary lives until they meet some very extraordinary men. Like The Horror Diaries, Legends Unleashed is suspenseful and filled with fantastical plots, but it’s also very sexy and seductive. Finally, I write screenplays and teleplays in all the above mentioned genres. My films include Young Eyes, The Rarity and Too Sensible For Love, with several more projects in development. Returning to my latest release, I’d like to share descriptions of the stories found in Whispers In The Shadows.
Where Feelings Go To Die
While on a working vacation at Black Heart Lake, journalist Ashleigh uncovers a century-old story about a love triangle that turned deadly. Upon coming face-to-face with the vengeful ghosts, she learns the hard way that some feelings just won’t rest in peace. Adding to the danger is the return of Ashleigh’s recently deceased, cheating ex-boyfriend who wants more than just her love. Trapped in a haven for ghosts, her only defence is to find their weakness.

Hot Egyptian Nights
While on vacation, Hailey falls in love with Egypt’s awe-inspiring beauty, fascinating history and Zade, her sexy tour guide. Hailey’s new relationship is magical until Zade tries to sacrifice her in a hidden pyramid that’s filled with bubbling oil. Hailey’s intense encounter with him the next day reveals that her kidnapper is actually Said, Zade’s twin brother. Since entering an ancient tomb, Said has been cursed by a king who won’t rest until Zade, and everyone Zade loves, is dead. Hailey will do anything to destroy the curse, even if it means betraying Zade.

Rival To Survival
There’s something special about the Dark Forest, and its secret can be found in the magical mushrooms which forever sustain life. Two hundred-year-old Harv will do anything to ensure that his mushroom supply is abundant, even if it means betraying an old friend. Harv’s passion to live forever is intensified when he meets Scarlet – a woman whose passion matches her great beauty. All he has to do now is convince the skeptical Scarlet to embrace his mysterious, dangerous world and, of course, survive in it.

The Truth About Fairy Tales
Lila would do anything to find her prince charming, even if it means using a cheesy internet dating service. Matched with the handsome and courteous Phillip, Lila thinks she’s found a man who is the epitome of perfection. When Phillip is ambushed and taken away by a secret government agency, Lila fights back. What she uncovers is an advanced technological prototype that proves Phillip really is too good to be true.

Lure Of The Merman
A sudden storm strands Bree on the beach, forcing her to take shelter in an old cave. When she falls into a watery hole, she is rescued by the mysterious Sandy who appears from the ocean. Through romantic letters and unusual gifts, Sandy slowly wins Bree’s heart from afar. When she finally sees him at the beach, she boldly kisses him. That’s a big mistake because Sandy is a manipulative merman and Bree’s kiss transferred her legs for his fishtail. As a mermaid, she must navigate a new and dangerous world while preparing for the ultimate showdown with Sandy.

2. You write MG, adult and YA titles. What's different when you write for a YA audience?

I’m definitely aware of my audience while writing. For young adults, the main characters are always in their teens, and I usually write about universal themes that face this age group. I’m particularly interested in exploring young love, such as all the things that can go right as well as wrong in a relationship. I also like to explore the unique bonds of friendship and the events which can either strengthen or destroy these special relationships. All my young adult titles feature coming-of-age elements since this is such a transitional time in one’s life, and my writing is always filled with honesty, compassion and relatable characters.

3. How did you first get published? Is there any kind of story?

I actually began writing my first novel for a writer’s craft course I was taking in high school. Although I’d always wanted to be a writer, I wasn’t planning on having this school project turn into my first novel; I just loved the idea and kept working on it even after the class was finished. While writing, I did thorough research on the publishing industry by going to related events, networking and reading books on the subject. I then sent out query letters and was extremely fortunate to land a contract with a small, but traditional, publishing company on my third query. Since then I’ve worked with eleven different publishers and have been lucky to learn every aspect necessary to successfully run a small publishing company.

4. What's the best thing about being an author? What's the best about being a screenwriter?

The absolute best thing about being an author and screenwriter is seeing the final product. There’s not much that can rival the feeling of holding your new book or seeing your story come to life. Even though I’ve been in this industry for over a decade, the excitement I feel when receiving the final product is as strong as ever. Other perks to being a writer includes getting to share my stories, receiving letters and e-mails from readers and being interviewed for newspapers, magazines and blogs. Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides to being an author and screenwriter. For starters, when I first meet people and they ask me what I do, they sometimes don’t believe me when I say I’m an author of ten books and that I also write movies and TV shows. Perhaps their disbelief stems from the fact that I’m only 27. Nevertheless, I find that very irritating. Another downside is the constant hard work and perseverance that this industry requires. For the most part, writers aren’t fairly compensated for their work, and this is especially true with the rise of e-book piracy.

5. You're Canadian! I am too! What's your favourite Canadian thing? It can be anything at all- favourite food, place, event, etc. 

I love Canadian nature. From the forests and the lakes, to the prairies and the rockies, our landscapes are varied and vast. It’s all so beautiful and there are a lot of activities, such as hiking, fishing, climbing, etc., we can enjoy because of our surroundings. Canada also has a great wildlife population; my favourite animal is the wolf. Additionally, most of Canada gets to experience all four seasons.

 6. Are you into specific genres of books? 

I enjoy a variety of genres but my two favourites have always been scary stories and paranormal romances. I love suspenseful, creepy tales but I hate gore and excessive violence, so it’s hard to find a horror story that appeals to me. That’s why I wrote The Horror Diaries series. I wanted to create a new subgenre of horror which is fun rather than gross. As for paranormal romances, I think it’s such a great genre because the possibilities are endless. I’ve always been interested in mythical creatures, such as vampires, werewolves, mermaids, etc., and I am intrigued by the mythologies of supernatural species.

7. What do you do when you're not writing new books or screenplays? 

As I mentioned before, I love nature, so most of my favourite activities include being outdoors. I enjoy hiking, fishing, swimming and just generally being in the forest, at the beach or near water. Volunteering with non-profit organizations is another one of my passions which I’ve pursued since a young age. Additionally, school and then work has taken up a lot of my time. 

Just for fun 

Skittles or M&Ms? Peanut M&Ms.
Hockey or Baseball? I prefer badminton and soccer.
Coca Cola or Pepsi? Neither. Water and milk are my liquid staples.
Sweet or salty? Salty.
Twilight or The Hunger Games? Twilight. Go Team Jacob!

You can also visit Heather's websites for more information. 


One lucky reader will get PDF formats of 

All you need to do is leave a comment with your email. (ex: tantalizingillusions(at)gmail(dot)com)
This giveaway is international and for ages 13+ (make sure you have your parents' permission)
For extra entries, tweet about the giveaway (make sure to include @AshesTantalize) and leave a link of your tweet in the comments below. One tweet a day = an entry a day. 

Giveaway ends October 5th. 

Enjoy it guys! 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Review: Demonglass

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Pages: 359
Publisher: Hyperion
Source: Library
Other Books in the Series: Hex Hall 
Synopsis: Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. 

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?

Buy the Book (Amazon/Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide)

Demonglass is one of those awesome books that are so much fun to read. It has some supernatural mayhem, a smexy love story and a funny protagonist. It also has a really dangerous plot that isn't overloaded with angst. I love it!

Honestly, it's been a long time since I read Hex Hall and I didn't remember it 100%. I remembered Sophie, Archer, Jenna, and the cover but it took some time before everything clicked again. This is not a fault of Rachel Hawkins but one of mine- that after reading 250 books ever year, I didn't really remember all the details of every single story (note- currently I read less than I have before so this statement is no longer valid). I had the pleasure of reacquainting myself with Sophie's world and Sophie herself.

Sophie: I love her. She's too funny; I literally laughed out loud at her sarcastic comments. She reminds me of Evie in Kiersten White's series (Paranormalcy). Both girls are kickass but don't have total warrior personality. They make jokes. It makes for delightful reading. At the same time, Sophie wasn't all sunshine and daisies. She did have to deal with issues and make important choices.

There is romance in this series. I was worried about a love triangle and those fears weren't unreasonable but Sophie knows who she wants. I'll let you read Demonglass to figure out who that is if you don't already know. Archer or Cal? I gotta say, there was great romantic tension. I was enjoying this romance a lot.

The plot does not disappoint. The revelations surprised me but I enjoyed them. I loved meeting Nick and Daisy and I want to read more about them. I had no trouble at all getting into the book and losing track of the outside world. It was a perfect escape!

One thing I would have enjoyed is, well, more. I can't really say more what though. I really do love Rachel Hawkins' series but there's something about it I can't explain that doesn't make it 5 stars for me. I love to read when I have the books but three months after reading an installment I don't think "Damn, I want to know what happens next!" unless I see some blogger with the newest ARC. It's not a series that will change my life or that I'll never ever forget. It is though, one of the most fun books to read and I enjoy these books while I can.

Are you still there after all that rambling? Sorry about that. Anyway, there's no other conclusion than to give this book 4 stars. Read this series if you love original, supernatural fun.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Cover Wars: Alice in Zombieland vs Asunder

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.

Alice in Zombieland is beating up the competition! With over 70% of the votes, Alice in Zombieland won against Fissure to go on against Asunder by Jodi Meadows. 

Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles, #1)Asunder (Newsoul, #2)

These covers are opposites. One of them colourful in a very cool, neon-ish way, and the other is darker and more dramatic. It's really a matter of personal preference and you can not go wrong when it comes to these two covers. I absolutely adore the difference uses of colour and I'm very interested in seeing what you think. 

Now that you've seen the covers, it's time to vote. Which is your favourite cover? 

Which is your favourite cover?

Thanks so much for visiting and leave a comment letting me know which cover you prefer and why! 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Weekly Progress (Non-stop Babbling Edition)

Sigh... School has (kinda) started. Last week, I went to do some volunteer thing at school from Wednesday to Friday and it showed me how hard it will be to blog consistently with school. I think I can manage it though with some actual use of a calendar (I hate schedules).

So, I'm probably going to be consistently inconsistent starting from this inconsistent feature that is supposed to be posted every Sunday but hasn't been posted for like a month. Well then. I'll stop with the inane ramblings now.

All book covers link to Goodreads.

Books Read

The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden, #1)The Far WestThe Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)

Yes, I had a freaking FANTASTIC book week. I may have not read very much, but seriously I had a lot of fun reading and reviewing (reviews written for The Forsaken and The Immortal Rules) these books. I cant pick a favourite because they all literally were strong in very different areas. The Far West is a pretty unknown book in a great series so I totally recommend checking the series out. It's so fascinating!

Currently Reading

Of Poseidon (Of Poseidon, #1)

I still love the cover. Just sayin', but it may not be the best representation of the book because the story so far feels pretty light and is surprisingly humourous at times.

Next I'll Be Reading

Light from a Distant Star: A NovelStruck (Struck, #1)Underworld (Abandon Trilogy #2)

Light From a Distant Star is for review, so I'm expecting some good things. Struck and Underworld both look like some fun paranormal reads. I think this week will continue my good books streak! 

Other stuff & recap 

In other news, The Ultimate Reviewers' Challenge is over. Boo. I hope you all enjoyed the crazy amount of reviews. I'm going to try to be a little more balanced now. Something really awesome happened and I won Prize Pack 1 from For What It's Worth! I am beyond excited about that- I did a happy dance when Karen emailed me. :) 

Also, last week's Cover Wars was freaking INSANE. I set a new page view record for Cover Wars- 103. Wow. Thank you all for visiting and voting, it truly means a lot! I hope you guys stick around for tomorrow's Cover Wars! 

I actually managed to participate in some kind of meme last week. Crazy, but I did a Top 10 Bookish Confessions post.

I also reviewed a bunch of books, but Code Name Verity was one of my favourites. Check out my review of it!

Really Random Thought

My computer, phone, and every other spell check in the world is annoying me. I AM CANADIAN. I spell honour, flavour, and favourite differently than Americans. Don't you dare change it without me noticing. *I'm looking at you iPod* 

In Conclusion

I'm kind of crazy right now. Pretty hyper which is weird because I'm really hungry but won't let myself eat until I finish this post. Probably some back to school nerves, because this year will definitely be very different from others (from a social standpoint) and I'm honestly not sure what to expect. I'm hoping for an awesome year for me, and a great week for you too, especially if you're still reading this post. Books-wise, I'm set. :) 

Thanks for visiting! 

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