Monday, January 31, 2011

Library

I know, I know; you're probably thinking, Sierra, you have an ENTIRE BASKET (the stack is no-more!) of books to read, five or so ARCs (with a new list on the way...) & another book that you won, and you're still going to the library? What can I say? I love that new-book (or, in my case, slightly-used and old book) smell that permeates the air in book stores and libraries :) here's the list!
  • Abby Cooper: Psychic Eye - Victoria Laurie
  • Winged Creatures - Roy Freirich
  • Dream Factory - Brad Barkley/ Heather Hepler
  • Prada & Prejudice - Mandy Hubbard
  • A Rush of Wings - Adrian Phoenix
  • The Life Murder of Bindy MacKenzie - Jaclyn Moriarty
  • When the Wind Blows - James Patterson (because my dad is making me read this, since there are two 'adult' Patterson books with Max, from the Maximum Ride series that I so love)
Yessssssssssss....The Iron Queen is in tranist for yours, truly. :)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss

Anna and the French Kiss- Stephanie Perkins


Synopsis:
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
  As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near - misses end with the French kiss Anna - and readers - have long awaited?

_________________
My thoughts:
  Anna was one hell of a novel! I picked up the book and didn't put it back down until I was well past the 200-page mark. Not only was it fascinating, but it was so well written I just couldn't tear my eyes away!
  I absolutely love Anna, but really, I should say that I absolutely love Stephanie Perkins! She definitely knows what she's talking about—none of that rubbish that makes no sense because the author knows nothing about what she's saying. Perkins seems to really know about teen love/angst and how the characters would act in the situations. I can say that if given the same, I would totally act how Anna did—in each situation! She never really did something that made me think, ‘oh, crap,’ she always did what I would have done. And that’s think FIRST before acting.
  What I really enjoyed is how the book takes place during an entire YEAR. There’s none of that having to read like, four books in a series—and having it only span three months or something of the like. No, I really liked how Perkins didn’t dwell on anything too long, so really, we get to know the characters, but you have to have it in your mind that this is over the span of 12-months. So, Anna is really given the chance (as well as the other characters, too!) to develop, and then I think that this gives readers a better chance to connect and relate to characters and situations.
  Then the setting—Paris. Who doesn’t want to read about an American who doesn’t speak a lick of French survive in the City of Light? That alone should entertain, even without the hot British guy!
  Anna thinks so realistically and...well, teenage-ly, it’s astounding that the author isn't one herself! I thought that being in Anna's head was so fun! The book is funny, cute, and above all, romantic (although, some of that could be accounted to the setting…but not really). What more could you want in a YA book? The description promises tingling toes and melted hearts...and it doesn't disappoint.
  Definitely one of the best debut novels I've EVER read. I really can't wait for another book by Stephanie Perkins. *5/5 stars

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Haven

Haven- Kristi Cook


Synopsis:
Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven.
  At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet's horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical--and deadly--way.


_____________________
My thoughts:
What a great book! I really had no background information on this book prior to reading; I knew very little about the plot, so I had no idea what I was getting into to.
  Let’s just say I loved it.
  The story line, while not so unique, was definitely written better than a lot of books that I could compare it too. As I’m sure you’ll hear, I did see some reflections of other works, but then again, I didn’t (does that confuse you, or make sense?). This book was so good, though, that I very quickly ruled out any comparisons to Twilight, or any other book (*SPOLIER!*) I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that this author jumped onto the vamp-bandwagon. I knew that something was amiss with Aiden and a few other characters, but c’mon, another vampire romance? I was really hoping for something a little bit further away from what seems to be today’s ‘norm’.
  But, above all else, I really enjoyed this book! I read it in under two days, and it’s a pretty lengthy book. Violet is definitely a character I can’t wait to revisit in the future—but I’m hoping for a little more mystique, and a little less predictable. *4/5 stars

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Brush of Darkness

A Brush of Darkness- Allison Pang


Synopsis:
The man of her dreams might be the cause of her nightmares.
  Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and sexy-as- sin incubus searching for his sister, convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invade her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish, as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As she is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, Abby realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.


_________________
My thoughts:
  For a debut, this was one awesome book! Not only is Abby (the main character) as real and true as they come, but she’s so spunky and badass; I loved her from the get-go.
  The story line is definitely something to ponder. Being a forever-lover of the paranormal and weird world, I thought that this book was a perfect entry into the category. I really enjoyed the weird-factor, because when I’m being honest, that’s what draws me into paranormal books: creepy, crawly situations that are so action filled that my heart pounds.
  The writing is also something to think about—and by that I mean awesome. Normally, in a debut from a new author, the writing is all over the place, since they haven’t got the knack or found their rhythm in the words. Pang, on the other hand, writes as though she’s been doing it for years! Each character, setting and situation is artfully and carefully explained, making everything that more believable and interesting.
  Brystion is also awesome. He’s funny and hey, let’s be honest, as freaking hot as they come.
  I was a little shocked at a few concepts in the book—a good thing, if you know me. A Brush of Darkness has everything I love in a paranormal: a kickass heroine, mysterious mysteries that make you think, creepy-crawlies, and, let’s not forget; the romance that is definitely hot enough to scorch. That being said, A Brush of Darkness definitely wins a gold-status in my book. (And I can’t wait for more from Allison Pang!) *5/5 stars

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cryer's Cross

Cryer's Cross- Lisa McMann

Synopsis:
The small town of Cryer’s Cross is rocked by tragedy when an unassuming freshman disappears without a trace. Kendall Fletcher wasn’t that friendly with the missing girl, but the angst wreaks havoc on her OCD-addled brain.
  When a second student goes missing—someone close to Kendall’s heart—the community is in an uproar. Caught in a downward spiral of fear and anxiety, Kendall’s not sure she can hold it together. When she starts hearing the voices of the missing, calling out to her and pleading for help, she fears she’s losing her grip on reality. But when she finds messages scratched in a desk at school—messages that could only be from the missing student who used to sit there—Kendall decides that crazy or not, she’d never forgive herself if she didn’t act on her suspicions.
  Something’s not right in Cryer’s Cross—and Kendall’s about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.


___________________
My thoughts:
  Can I just throw it out there, that I absolutely LOVE Lisa McMann? Not only is her writing style different, but it's so intense and awesome that readers are just sucked in so immensely that they can't put the book down until, oh, hey, I finished it already!
  To get to read an ARC of her new book, Cryer's Cross, is so epically awesome I'm still a little bit speechless. I've been waiting for this release for MONTHS, ever since I finished the last book in the Dream Catcher Trilogy.
  Moving on, Cryer's Cross is unlike any book I've read. I'm not just saying that, either. It is literally so drastically far apart from what I normally read, that it doesn't even register on my scale of 'weird'. Cryer's Cross was just that, weird...But in a good way! It's chilling, and slightly frightening to read late at night (as I did), and it has that 'guessing' factor that I so love and adore in books (meaning, I never once foreseen what was going to happen; it wasn't predictable to me).
  Each page draws you further and further in along with Kendall and the mystery surrounding Cryer's Cross. I really liked her character, and to me, she was real. She wasn't a flat, boring character that I see in lots of books these days. She was well developed and, most importantly, believable. Her OCD makes her quirky and cute, and having a bit of OCD myself, I completely understood her. I felt as though I'd known her for years, as odd as that sounds!
  Jacián (not JAY-se-un; Hah-see-AHN) was also a cool character. At first, I thought he was a jerk, but once I learned more about him, I totally fell in LIKE with him. I really did like how he was dedicated to help Kendall find her missing boyfriend, Nico, but I also liked his smart-aleck mouth and actions.
  Then the ending. Oh, by then I was gripping my seat, wondering what the hell was really going on, and how the hell it was going to fan out; in a way that wasn't exaggerated or fake. And it did; fan out right, I mean. As I said, I didn't see the ending coming, mainly because how unpredictable this entire story line is.
  So, I gotta say I loved this book. And if I had my way, I would get to read more about Kendall and Jacián; but I don't think that this is a new series, just a totally awesome stand-alone novel.
  Kudos, Miss McMann; for you've managed to enrapture me again...for the forth time! I can’t wait for more of your writing. (5/5 stars)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I Am Number Four

I Am Number Four- Pittacus Lore


Synopsis:
Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books but we are real.
  Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.


But they know.
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.


_________________
My thoughts:
You know those books that you read, and they end up staying burned in your memory for days, if not weeks? I Am Number Four is definitely one of them.
  Admittedly, I didn’t think I would read this. For one thing, I hate guy POVs, for some reason I just can’t relate, since I’m a girl. But, Number Four (aka, John) was a really interesting character to read about.
  The idea alone is…just so outrageous and ludicrous it’s amazing. In the end, it is what really draws you in: I mean, c’mon, how can you resist a book about “aliens” on Earth? I think though, that the most interesting thing was how the 9 kids couldn’t be killed out of sequence: and if someone tried, what they had tried on the Number would happen to them (I think that makes sense…) instead.
  Another thing: Being a resident of Ohio myself, I couldn’t get over all of this happening in my home state! I kept reading the stereotypical things that John said about our state to my family, and they, like me, shook their heads in amusement. (I mean, cows and deserted towns? Yea, they’re here, but not EVERYWHERE!) And anyway, I think that James Frey putting the setting in his home state is pretty cool as well.
  Pseudonyms are fun and baffling things: and Pittacus Lore is actually James Frey and Jobie Hughes. And because of this, I had my eyes peeled for references to them. I finally found them in the book (Look for them: Jobie Frey & James Hughes) and I couldn’t stop laughing for some reason!
  Okay, back to an actual review: I also liked Six. (Cool name, eh?) She was my kind of girl. Kick ass and just awesome, I loved the stuff about her, and can’t wait to see more of her in the next book (coincidently called The Power of Six).
  One more thing: This is definitely not your happily-ever-after kind of book. The ending is as shocking and wonderful as the rest of the book…which is just the perfect way to end a book.
  I look forward to the next in the series…and the movie.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Last Sacrifice

Last Sacrifice- Richelle Mead


Synopsis: 
  Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules.
  She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come.
  Now the law has finally caught up with Rose- for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir.
  But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back… and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you?


______________
My thoughts:
When I finally got my hands on my copy of Last Sacrifice, I swear my fingers tingled in anticipation. After enduring weeks of waiting, I finally got to crack that cover open, and feast my eyes on…awesomeness!
  Before starting the book, I read at least fifty reviews of it (I didn’t start it until about three weeks after its release) but, each and every one of them had something in common: A 5/5 star rating and a raving review. Which didn’t surprise me, but hell, I was just dying to see what all the hype was about.
  Vampire Academy is definitely one of my favorite series, and Mead is one of my favorite authors (I absolutely adore the Georgina Kincaid Series as well!) And I’m so glad to say that the newest, and final, edition to her best selling series is a definite winner. Each page seemed to get better-and-better!
  I only have one complaint, and really, it’s something that has bothered me throughout the series: I hate how Rose can be in Lissa’s head. Sure, in the beginning it was cool and different, but now it seems that the author just puts Rose in Lissa’s head to fill momentary lapses in stuff that’s going on in the “now”. Of course, I read each and every chapter that was ‘Lissa’ and I know how important those pages are, but still. I can’t change how I feel about that.
  Moving on, I really, really, really loved this book! It took less time to finish then I originally planned, but heck, it’s to be expected to devour the pages (*small spoiler!* and I was so happy to see that Dimitri was almost always with Rose in the book; it made it more fun to read).
  Also with reading reviews, I’ve been following all the speculation sites—places where VA fans chatted about who they thought killed Tatiana; and I was happy to find out that I was right (not to brag or anything, but it’s kinda obvious…I think).
  The ending requires a review in itself, but I don’t want to spoil the book by saying anything. ;) 5++/5 stars!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Please Ignore Vera Dietz

Please Ignore Vera Dietz- A.S. King




Synopsis:
Vera's spent her whole life secretly in love with her best friend, Charlie Kahn. And over the years she's kept a lot of his secrets. Even after he betrayed her. Even after he ruined everything.
  So when Charlie dies in dark circumstances, Vera knows a lot more than anyone—the kids at school, his family, even the police. But will she emerge to clear his name? Does she even want to?
  Edgy and gripping, Please Ignore Vera Dietz is an unforgettable novel: smart, funny, dramatic, and always surprising.






_____________
My thoughts:
 Please Ignore Vera Dietz was definitely one of my favorite books of 2010. I think that when authors take a break from the norm, it always turns out so sweetly. I really, really liked Vera in this book. She wasn’t the…um, nice girl that she’s perceived to be. Her dry-humor had me laughing aloud nearly every page.
  I think that Charlie’s little chapters were just icing on the cake. Not only do we really get to see how Vera feels, but how Charlie feels (or felt), even from The Beyond. Charlie being dead, you would think that he’s barely mentioned, and that Vera is always grieving and sad and all ‘wahhhh’ but she wasn’t, and the book was so freaking different and shocking that I’m STILL thinking about it! (No, really, I am. Everything is so fresh in my mind, as though I just read it yesterday!)
  Boy/Girl books being my favorite, this book was destined to get ‘golden status’ from me, and earn a spot on my shelf forever.
  What else can I say? Oh, yea, READ THIS. I don’t normally just out-right tell people to read this book, but I am now. If you like books that are…well, unusual, then this is the book for you. It’s exciting, and things happen (happened) that were just shocking. So much so that on numerous occasions I think I may have gasped aloud (which I hate admitting), and even cried over.
  Such a great book! The writing was just perfect as well. (And could the cover be any cuter? It’s so simple…but you will get the meaning of the lighter within the first 50 or so pages. Oh, and the color reminds me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which is a bonus for both reader and author, since that book is so popular.)  5/5 stars!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Entice

Entice- Carrie Jones


Synopsis:
Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out. For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla? And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't turned into just any pixie. . . She's Astley's queen.




___________
Mt thoughts:
Can I start this review off by saying how beautiful the cover is? Obviously, the cover is what helps determine if you’re going to read the book (don’t deny you do it!) and I just think that each cover in the series has been awesome and definitely fits for the story-line.
  Moving on…I gotta say that Entice angered me a few times. Yes, obviously, I’m a reader of the series, but after Need (the first book) the books sorta…declined? The story line seemed to change a little, and I wasn’t too fond of the changes. Of course, change in necessary in books for them to stay interesting, but…I don’t know, I just didn’t like them.
  Zara, having lost Nick already in Captivate, basically spends the entire book trying to get him back. (And I’m not saying anymore on that topic, so I don’t ruin it.) But, without straying from my point, I want to say that I liked the book, even if at times I thought that I wasn’t going to finish it (and each book is so SHORT! I don’t know why I would put down a barely-over-200-pages book…ever), but in the end I did and I liked the ending. Really, I did. It was well thought out, and I was glad with how it was planned out.
  So, that said, I would not suggest you stop reading the series with this book. I wasn’t even sure I was going to read Captivate, since I felt that Need ended perfectly…but I did. Anyways, I really don’t know where the series is going to go from here, but I will say that I’m probably going to read whatever is next.
  Like the other books, the writing was different. I thought (as I always have…) that Zara is sorta…attention deficit; she jumps from topic-to-topic with an energy that makes no sense for the matters at hand. Aside from that, the writing was fine, and being a phobia-conscious person myself, I always enjoy reading little phobias throughout the books.
  Zara’s a cool character, so it’s always fun to see what she’s up to. :) 3/5 Stars

Friday, January 7, 2011

Matched

Matched - Ally Condie


Synopsis:
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
  The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.




_______________
My thoughts;
Matched is the kind of book I would recommend for sci-fi readers and lovers. It’s definitely not a ‘normal’ teen book, since its not all cookie-cutter and expected outcomes. It’s not your normal girl-goes-to-school-falls-in-love-with-bad-boy story. In fact, the book is definitely different…which is why I (a long time sci-fi lover/reader) loved it.
  I thought that the idea/concept of the book was fascinating (which is why I got it) but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was! I was thinking, okay, this is going to be different, but…I’m sure it will be a good different. Which is was! There were factors that I never would have imagined would have worked in a book, but damn…they did.
  Cassia (the MC) was fun to read about. What I think that I really liked about the book (despite its weird-factor) was how the ‘Society’ basically chose everything for its patrons. I think it added an air of mystique that is (in my opinion) important in books. Without it, the book would have not been as interesting, nor would Cassia basically had to revolt against it.
  So, in a Society that controls what you do, who you love, and when you die, what do you do? That was what I kept wondering. And hell, the ending was just so…I don’t know, I don’t want to ruin it, so I won’t finish that. But I can say that I will definitely be reading the next in the series.
  The writing was good too. It wasn’t lacking, and I think that the characters were well-developed. Sure, there is always room for improvement, but I think that all the needed information was provided for an easy and ‘smooth’ read. (5/5 stars)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cover Reveal: Passion, Lauren Kate/ Cover Discuss: Unearthly, Cynthia Hand

So far, I've seen at least two other covers for this book that weren't final. But, without further ado, here is the OFFICIAL cover for the next,  installment for Kate's popular Fallen series:



Okay, we all know how much I take covers into account. Now, I'm not saying that I don't read a book because its cover is lacking, but still. Covers ultimately help me decide if I want to read the book. I think that the cover should represent something of SIGNIFICANCE in the book. Not something stupid and pointless. (Like some books I shall not mention.)
  The Fallen covers have, in the past, been beautiful. I even voted Torment's cover for 'Cover of the Year' for the 2010 Goodreads awards. Anyways, back to this cover: Sure, it's beautiful and all, but it is so...different from the others. Of course, you have your troubled MC, Luce (I guess that's who the girl is representing, right?) and a...flower? Niceeeeee. 'Nother thing: The clouds? They look really fake. (Sorry in advance to anyone who thinks they're cool, different, dynamic.) They don't merge smoothly with the background color, which is so freaking important for a believable cover! You can't just cut-and-paste your girl onto any old images! It's not right!
  I think though, that after reading the book, I will GET why Luce is holding a lone flower in the middle of some creepy, foreboding forest and what not. And hell, maybe I'll even figure out why the heck her skin is that weird porcelain/crème color.
  Okay, I'm done. I just get so heated when I see book covers. And since I know a LITTLE about graphic-design, I just wanted to express how I felt when I seen this cover.


In other news, the cover of UNEARTHLY (by Cynthia Hand) is so freaking awesome! Now THIS is my kind of cover! Just look at all that awesome; the text ALONE makes this cover sweet. (Gotta say though, purple tint looks much cooler than the blue you will probably see on some book sites.)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Library

Went yesterday, but forgot to post the books I got :)

  • South Beach - Aimee Friedman
  • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer - Lish McBride
  • The Blonde of the Joke - Bennett Madison
  • I Now Pronounce You Someone Else - Erin McCahan
  • Royal Blood - Ellen Schreiber
  • Once in a Full Moon - Ellen Schreiber
  • Sorcery and the Single Girl - Mindy Klasky
  • Magic and the Modern Girl - Mindy Klasky
  • Bitten - Kelley Armstrong
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