Friday, April 30, 2010

Soul Screamers Series Review

MY SOUL TO TAKE and MY SOUL TO SAVE (Soul Screamers 1 & 2)
Written by: Rachel Vincent
Titles in Series: My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save and My Soul to Keep released June 1, 2010
Publication date: August 1, 2009 and December 29, 2009
Released in Paperback

4 stars
Synopsis: Something is wrong with Kaylee Cavanaugh. She doesn't see dead people, but....

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next...

How I Came to Read This: Come on, who could pass up a premise like that? I just had to find out what was going on!

My Review: This book was definitely not like anything I've ever read before, in a good way! I thought it was creative, suspenseful and tricky. I called it tricky because this is a story about a type of "being" that you might not know anything about and so, you're reading this story and you have no idea where it's going or how it's going to get there! The two main characters, Kaylee and her boyfriend Nash, were easily likable. Kaylee was smart, worked well under pressure (which there was plenty of!) and I liked that about her. I don't like a character that quivers in the background or rushes into things too hastily either. I fell in love with Nash because he was always cool and collected. He was protective of Kaylee but not in that "Enough already!" kind of way.

It was comical and suspenseful.

Who Should Read This: Anyone into the paranormal but looking for something a little different, this was a nice change of pace. And I can't wait for this:

My Soul to Keep #3 coming out June 1, 2010!

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves


Written by: Dia Reeves
Publication date: January 5, 2010
Released in Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: Love....can be a dangerous thing.

Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas, in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

How I Came to Read This: I just saw this in the store and when I read the inside jacket, I knew it was going to be a good one!

My Review: As soon as I started reading this book, I knew I wasn't going to put it down until the end.

Hanna, main character, narrator, manic-depressive and optimist, is by far one of my favorite female heroines. She's very funny and completely out of her mind. She's not the kind of crazy where it's written all over her face; she's that subtle, sneak-up-on-you kind of crazy. You could know her for several weeks before you start to realize a few screws might be missing. She's learned to live with her disorder, embrace it really, which is why I think she's always looking on the bright side of things. If not for the silver lining, she would sink into her disorder and never have a chance at a real life. However, when you live in a town like Portero, TX, a little thing like insanity is a walk in the park. Nobody can even tell there's anything wrong with her! I love how Hanna handles herself. She never loses her cool when confronted with a tough decision, not even when faced with life or death. She truly is bad ass!

In the beginning, Wyatt was kind of a jerk. He was wishy-washy. You couldn't tell where his loyalty was. But later in the story, I started to really like him. He's definitely a hardcore Mortmaine, but I felt that Hanna upstaged him throughout the book. Whenever he was around, he held my attention and I cared what he said, that is until Hanna said or did something. Don't get me wrong, the story couldn't hold up without him, he was definitely necessary. He was as thoughtful, caring and loving as his duty allowed him to be; as much as the Mortmaine allowed him to be. Another tortured soul, but with a very different spin.

The way Hanna is so casual, so nonchalant about things that would otherwise require a little more tact, it really fits my vision of her. You can't ever forget that Hanna, essentially, is crazy. If you forget that important fact, it could potentially ruin the story. But Dia Reeves wrote this story so well, I don't think anything could ruin it.

The flow of the story is so smooth. There's just enough descriptive detail to keep me from getting lost. I hate when a book has so much detail, the story is what ends up getting lost. Reeves maintains a perfect balance between description and story.

I love in this story, how everybody is so accepting of each others weirdness. I mean, they all live in Crazy Town, USA anyway, so really what's the big deal?? Still, it's nice to read a book that skips over the long process of acceptance and denial by one of the main characters. In this case, everyone's like, "Oh, you're crazy? Cool." Now we can get straight to all the good stuff. And Bleeding Violet is just full of good stuff!

The ending wasn't spectacular - but the reality is that, when you fall in love with a book, you don't want it to end, so no ending will ever really be satisfactory. I did get closure, as much as it could give me.

The only disappointing part of this book was that it had to end at all! There were no slow parts, no lulls, nothing I would change!

Who Should Read This: EVERYONE!!!!!! You're the crazy one if you skip it!


SHIVER (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
Written by: Maggie Stiefvater
Titles in Series: Shiver, Linger released July 20, 2010 and Forever released July, 2011
Publication date: August 1, 2009
Released in Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: The cold. Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf - her wolf - watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.

The heat. Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.

The shiver. For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human - and Grace must fight to keep him - even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.

How I Came to Read This: The cover is beautiful. There's a little something hidden in it and it immediately caught my attention on the shelf. Besides, I can't resist a girl-meets-wolf love story!

My Review: I never expected to fall in love with this book as much as I did. I liked the way each chapter switched narrators. You were able to get both sides of the story without a third-party narrator. There were moments of sadness, excitement and laughter. It was not your typical werewolf/shapeshifter tale, changing at will or at the full moon. Maggie Stiefvater switched it up and made this story completely unique. I've read plenty of wolf stories, but never anything like this and I think the twist that she put on it had a lot to do with my enjoyment of this book.

By the time I reached the end, I had already experienced a multitude of emotions, I'd practically bitten my bottom lip to shreds! I can't tell you how elated I was to find out that Linger was going to be released as well as a third one, Forever. I was happy with just the one book and now with two more? I just feel plain ol' spoiled!

Who Should Read This: Everyone. Why not? It was an amazing story. I loved it. Aside from my own opinion; this is it. This is what's hot right now and Maggie Stiefvater is everywhere! I think she's an amazing author and she has great insight.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kiss, Kiss, Kiss

Written by Laini Taylor
Publication date: August 1, 2009
Released in Hardcover

4 stars

Synopsis: Back Cover: There is a certain kind of girl the goblins crave. You could walk across a high school campus and point then out: not her, not her, her. The pert, lovely ones with butterfly tattoos in secret places, sitting on their boyfriends' laps? No, not them. The girls watching the lovely ones sitting on their boyfriends' laps? Yes. Them.

The goblins wants girls who dream so hard about being pretty their yearning leaves a palpable trail, a scent goblins can follow like sharks on a soft bloom of blood. The girls with hungry eyes who pray each night to wake up as someone else. Urgent, unkissed, wishful girls.

Like Kizzy.

Inside Jacket: Everyone dreams of getting the kiss of a lifetime - but what if that kiss carried some unexpected consequences?

A girl who's always been in the shadows finds herself pursued by the unbelievably attractive new boy at school, who may or may not be the death of her. Another girl grows up mute because of a curse placed on her by a vindictive spirit, and later must decide whether to utter her first words to the boy she loves and risk killing everyone who hears her if the curse is real. And a third girl discovers that the real reason for her transient life with her mother has to do with belonging - literally belonging - to another world entirely, full of dreaded creatures who can transform into animals, and whose queen keeps little girls as personal pets until they grow to childbearing age.

My Review: Goblin Fruit: I liked how Kizzy was the outcast yet she still had her small crew of friends. She knows her family is different. She tells her friends about the weird things that happen in her home, knowing very well that no one could possibly believe her. Her friends are just as kooky and strange, but only in theory, not in real life, like Kizzy.

In just the few short chapters in this story, you can grasp that Kizzy is just like a real high school girl. She wants the popularity and the cute guys that come with it, and the kisses that come with them.

Kizzy grew up knowing that mythological creatures, such as goblins, were real. She knows how they come for young girls and that they eventually do. She's always on her guard, remembering the lessons she was taught. But when the hot new boy in school pays attention only to her, she can't help falling for him. As you read the story, you want her to have her Prince Charming, her happily ever after, yet you can't help but think that something just isn't right.

Spicy Little Curses: This story had one of the most original plots I've read in a long time. A woman charged with the responsibility of negotiating with a demon, to protect the world's children from being dragged to Hell before their time. Her name is Estella and she's a take-no-crap kinda lady! She's not afraid of this demon, Vasudev, as she's been dealing with him for a very long time. Besides, bartering for the lives of innocent children is not a light subject. Vasudev will take anyone to back to Hell with him, but Estella is there to keep the balance.

However, in the midst of negotiations, Vasudev trades the lives of ten children if Estella will deliver his curse upon an infant. The child is never to utter a word or kill everyone around her with the sound. This was the one story that convinced me I wanted to read this book. The child grows up without ever speaking but struggling everyday with the authenticity of this curse. When she falls in love with a soldier she finds she must put this curse to the test!

Hatchling: This was the longest of the three stories with the most intricate plot. It's about a mother and daughter who have spent the last fifteen years practicing long forgotten beliefs in order to protect themselves from dangers they never even see. The mother, Mab, knows them to be true, though. She knew one day they would come for her and her daughter, Esme. When Esme's left eye suddenly changes color, everything in her life turns upside down.

I really liked Mab in this story. As a mother myself, I found her character easy to relate to. She is extremely protective of her daughter and loves her fiercely. The dangers she survived to give Esme the simple life she has now, almost cost her her own life. She has been fighting ever since.

Esme is stronger than she thinks. When she starts "remembering" memories that aren't hers, she's brave enough to find out the truth, even though it scares her half out of her mind!

Laini Taylor writes in each story, beautiful descriptions, in such depth that your own surroundings blur and all you can see is what you're reading. I love an author who can do that! There are twists and turns at the end of each story that just blow your mind. These are not ideas that have been done before, so you have no idea where Taylor is leading you! My eyes will be open for anything else she's written!

Who Should Read This: Looking for something paranormal yet different than all the vampires, werewolves, fairies and ghosts? This was a nice break from all of that.



I'm always reading about references being made to the classic vampire tales, but I hadn't read any of them. I wanted to be able to appreciate a reference, so I decided on a few classics to add to my list. So these are the few that I've read so far.

INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE (The Vampire Chronicles #1)
Written by: Anne Rice
Publication date: March 18, 1997 (first published in 1976)
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

2 1/2 stars

Synopsis: find synopsis on

My Review: There were parts of this book that I enjoyed but mostly I was bored and disappointed. I guess it made a much better movie than novel. I found Louis to be whiney, depressing and a drag to be around. He marveled in his ability to see things the way they really were with his new vampire eyes, but he sulked in his immortality. He never learned how to make the best of a bad situation. He spent centuries complaining about something that could never change. He should have changed his company a long time ago. Basically, he was the most depressing vampire I'd ever read about; and maybe that was the point, but for me, it didn't make a very good read. A lot of events happened in the book that shocked and surprised me and things that were interesting, but these moments were too far between.

There was one element of this novel that I loved and hated. Anne Rice can describe a scene with such detail, you know how many tables are in a room and what is on each table. I love just enough detail to make me feel as though I'm part of the story but I felt this story had way too much detail! I often skipped paragraphs and paragraphs of details because it was just never ending. There was more description than there was story, at times.

Who Should Read This: I guess if you're interested in reading it, it was just okay. Have patience and persistence.

THE VAMPIRE LESTAT (The Vampire Chronicles #2)Written by: Anne Rice
Publication date: November 29, 1997 (first published in 1985)
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

3 stars and let me tell you why. Even though I didn't really care for this (I didn't even finish it) it is a classic; an original. The writing is masterful and I don't think you should skip it all together. They say to appreciate the future, you must first learn from your past. I don't know if anybody ever said that, but it sounds good!

Synopsis: find synopsis on

My Review: In addition to Interview with the Vampire, this book was also amazingly descriptive. It had its "wow" moments but again, too slowly paced. I felt like Rice didn't have enough story to fill the page requirement so she used up a lot of space describing things for two or three paragraphs. I didn't like how Lestat seemed to be a completely different person than Louis depicted him in Interview. I don't know how it all turned out, if Lestat ended up becoming what I expected, because I just couldn't endure it all the way to the end.

I kept stopping to read other books and starting again. It took me weeks just to make it halfway!

Who Should Read This: I don't often read a book that I encourage people not to read, but this one was just painful. I honestly couldn't get through to the end, only about half way. It was too boring, too slowly paced.

These are some other classices I plan to read:

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Beautiful Creatures Review

BEAUTIFUL CREATURESWritten by: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Titles in Series: Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness to be released October 26, 2010
Publication Date: December 1, 2009
Released in Hardcover

4 1/2 stars

Synopsis: There were no surprises in Gatlin County. At least, that's what I thought. Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.

There was a curse. There was a girl. And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

How I Came to Read This: When I saw this book on the shelf, the cover immediately caught my attention. I read the jacket and I was intrigued. I just had to know what the secret was!

My Review: What I enjoyed most in this novel, was the relationship between the characters. The connection between Ethan and Lena was endearing, so adorable. It was reminiscent of Edward and Bella without the whole, "I could kill you if I lost control" thing. Ethan and Lena's relationship was just as intense but with different elements in their situation. My favorite part was when they first encounter each other. Ethan has a great way of adding light to this book with his great sense of humor! I couldn't get enough of these two!

There was never a dull moment. It was full of suspense, secrets, twists and turns, always causing guessing and speculation. You just never knew who was in on the big secret and who wasn't. In a town where everyone knows everything about everyone, half of them seemed to be living a double life.

The ever-changing house was a nice touch too! There wasn't anything like it in anything else I've yet to read!

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl wrote a beautiful story with amazing characters! I can't wait for Beautiful Darkness and more! Five novels total from the way I hear it! AAHH!

Who Should Read This: I find it hard not to recommend every book I read to everyone! This is a great story with new ideas, new twists and it was a very fun ride!

The Tear Collector

Written by Patrick Jones
Publication date: September 1, 2009
Released in Hardcover

4 stars

ALSO: Lookout for The Tear Collector #2 (no release info yet)

Synopsis: Between hookups, makeups and breakups, there isn't a day at Lapeer High School without drama turning to trauma turning to tears.

And tears are just as essential as air for Cassandra Gray. She and her family are vampires who thirst for human sorrow, and the energy that they soak in from a good crying jag can keep them fueled up for days.

Anytime a friend needs a shoulder to cry on, Cass is there. Anytime a boyfriend gets too secure, she breaks his heart. Cass's work as a school peer counselor and hospital volunteer also provides the perfect cover and access to her family's energy source. But she is getting tired of all the lies and manipulation - especially now that she's actually fallen in love with a human. Can she bear to betray her family for a chance at happiness and a life lived with joy?

How I Came to Read This: I was in Borders one day, saw the title and picked it up. I just had to find out what kind of vampire sustains itself on tears, and how. My curiosity always gets the best of me, but with books, I don't usually regret it!

My Review: The story starts off very mysteriously, only giving you hints as to what kind of person Cassandra Gray is and what kind of family she hails from. Just reading the first chapter, I knew I wasn't going to put it down until the end. The reason wasn't because Cassandra was the warm and fuzzy kind; but because I needed to find out how the author was going to take this cold and heartless person and turn her into a character that discovers her own human emotions in her very inhuman life. Cassandra has a spectator view on life and people. She just goes through the motions because "caring" is just a means to an end.

There is some language in this book, which I'm starting to notice, bothers some people. I'm not some people.

Lapeer High School where this story pretty much takes place, sounds like the worst place on earth to grow up! There isn't one true friendship among any of the students. Everyone is 'friends' with everyone else only because they're getting something out of the deal. Lies, rumors and more lies seem to be what the kids of Lapeer High wake up everyday for.

I enjoyed Cassandra's narration. I've been trying to find the words to describe her cadence, her mentality, her attitude, but I haven't been able to. Realistic is the best I can come up with. Hopefully if you've read this book or plan to, you might better understand what I mean. Maybe one of you can help me?!

In other vampire stories, we're supposed to believe that they are incapable of feeling human emotions; that they don't view human life the same way we do. Yet, we know that vampires usually turn out to be these tortured souls that deprive themselves of emotions in order to keep people away from them, to keep them safe. Cassandra, however, seems to really be devoid of human emotions. She doesn't even know what they feel like. When she does start to experience them, she can't even put a name to what she's feeling.

I thought the random mentioning of the crimes that were occurring alongside the story would have fit in better with the overall scheme of things, if Cassandra had talked about it to some degree during her day to day. Still halfway through the book there were only the newspaper articles and no sign of who was responsible. I guess that added to the suspense but it felt more like a different story. Trying to guess whodunnit is half the fun! There weren't any characters that raised enough suspicion.

The only surprise at the end was the room for a sequel. I'll read the follow-up, just because I need to know the true ending.

Who Should Read This: It was a different kind of vampire story, the most unique actually, as it didn't involve a single drop of blood. Maybe for a younger audience, the tone of the book wasn't quite mature enough for my taste.

Reviews of Tantalize and Eternal by Cynthia Leitich Smith

TANTALIZE (Tantalize #1)Written by: Cynthia Leitich Smith

Title in Series: Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed to be released in 2011
Publication Date: February 13, 2007
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

2 stars

Synopsis: Quincie Morris has never felt more alone. Her hybrid-werewolf first love is threatening to leave her forever. And just as she and her uncle are about to unveil Austin's first vampire-themed restaurant, their chef's brutal murder leaves Quincie scrambling to transform fresh-faced Henry Johnson into a culinary Dark Lord in time for opening night. But there's more than meets the eye to this new hire, and Quincie is about to learn a whole lot about love...and blood.

How I Came to Read This: I remember seeing this on the shelf, reading the back and thinking that it didn't sound like that great of a story. However, when I read that the characters would be making "appearances" in the sequel Eternal, which did sound good, I decided I would read this one first if I had to.

My Review: Well, I can't exactly say I enjoyed this book. I honestly didn't. It focused a lot on the restaurant business that Quincie has and it bored me to tears! There wasn't enough paranormal in it for me either. It was kind of like the main course was the restaurant and the vampires were the side dish. I feel bad because I almost always enjoy every book I read and this one just didn't do anything for me. And the love story aspect was definitely lacking. I hardly felt a deep enough connection between Quincie and...and the wolf. What was his name again?

[Quickie:] I wouldn't want anyone else to fall into the same trap I did; thinking that in order to read Eternal, you have to read Tantalize first. Well, you don't. There is no connection to each other. It's not a continuation of the same story or of the same characters. There is a third installment to this series titled Blessed (2011) and unless the characters all come together here, I don't see any reason to read them in order.

Who Should Read This: Unfortunately, this is not a book I would really recommend. There wasn't anything special about it. Too light on the vamps for my taste!

ETERNAL (Tantalize #2)
Written by: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Publication date: February 10, 2009
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: Classified Ads: WANTED: Personal assistant to her Royal Highness. Duties: Whatever asked without hesitation, including but not limited to secretarial/administrative, household, defense, blood donation, driving, companionship, prey disposal, and love slavery.

At last, Miranda is the life of the party: all she had to do was die. Elevated and adopted by none other than the reigning King of the Mantle of Dracul, Miranda goes from high-school theater wannabe to glamorous royal fiend overnight. Her reckless and adoring guardian angel, meanwhile - fighting in human guise as the princess's personal assistant - has his work cut out for him with the Master's Death Day gala fast approaching. Can Zachary save his girl's soul and redeem himself before all hell arrives, quite literally, on their doorstep?

How I Came to Read This: I saw the cover, which right away said to me - angels! It's not often you get a story about them, let alone a guardian angel! The whole vampire/guardian angel thing could have only turned out one of two ways: disastrous or awesomeness!

My Review: The result, you ask? AWESOMENESS!!! This book was different, funny and exciting. Having just been turned into a vampire - a royal one, at that - Miranda fumbles with etiquette and the way things are done in her new life. She does so in a very comical way that makes it easy to imagine yourself in that situation. Trying hard to fit in while trying to make it look natural at the same time. Zachary is truly the comic relief in this story, though. He is quick-witted and for an angel, he doesn't take any crap! Although I really enjoyed everything about this book, he was the highlight for me.

If you read my previous review of Tantalize, it wasn't very pretty. When I read Eternal, I felt like I was reading an entirely different author. You just have to read it for yourself! You won't be sorry.

Who Should Read This: Eternal was different than your average vampire story. It was a love story, yes. But not mushy or heartbreaking either. It was just fun to read.

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

CITY OF BONES (The Mortal Instruments Series #1)
Written by: Cassandra Clare
Titles in Series: City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels to be released March 31, 2011
Publication date: March 27, 2007
Released in Paperback

5 stars

Synopsis: When Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder. Much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with odd markings. This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons - and keeping the odd werewolves and vampires in line. It's also her first meeting with gorgeous, golden-haired Jace. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in an ordinary mundane like Clary? And how did she suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

How I Came to Read This: I had just finished reading Twilight shortly before picking up this series and Stephenie Meyer was quoted on the cover of City of Bones as saying, "The Mortal Instruments series is a story world that I love to live in. Beautiful!". So when I saw these books on the shelves, I stared at them for a long time. Read the back cover over and over, debating if I really wanted to get into it. I would leave the store without buying them several times before I finally caved. I never expected to fall in love with this series so much so, that it almost beat Twilight out of the top spot!!

My Review: First, there is a complicated love triangle - which, let's face it, is always fun to watch - between Clary, Jace and Simon. I felt that all of the characters were fun and quickly loveable! Clary Fray, the main character, is 15 and from time to time behaved as such. She would often make rash decisions, putting herself and her friends in danger. I guess that's all part of the drama though, huh? If everyone always acted rationally, then who would have all the fun?? Although at times it annoyed me, I understood her motives. She willingly put herself at risk for the sake of others. She was brave at times and knew how to act under pressure. The other main character, Jace, I have to admit, is my favorite. It isn't really hard to understand why. He's hot, first and foremost, but he's also self-sacrificing, brave and sarcastic! Oh, and he definitely kicks butt! The other main character, Simon, was just delightful. Another master of sarcasm. I can't wait to read more about him in City of Fallen Angels. This book focuses on Simon but also incorporates more of Clary and Jace. Or at least I hope so!

CITY OF ASHES (The Mortal Instruments Series #2)
Publication date: March 25, 2008
Released in Paperback

Synopsis: Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? Clary would love to spend more time with her best friend, Simon. But the Shadowhunters won't let her go - especially her handsome, infuriating newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil - and also her father. When the second of the Mortal Instruments is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor suspects Jace. Could Jace really be willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

My Review: I enjoyed watching Clary come into her own. She's young and inexperienced but has just as much heart as any other Shadowhunter. This sequel, like the others, had plenty of action and twists and turns. Clary is learning about where - and whom - she came from. She doesn't know who to trust or believe as she's been lied to her whole life. She continues to struggle with her feelings for the man that is proved to be her brother, and her best friend. It's an interesting love triangle and one that forces Clary to choose not only between the two men in her life, but what her life would become by choosing either one.

CITY OF GLASS (The Mortal Instruments Series #3)
Publication date: March 24, 2009
Released in Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: To save her mother's life Clary must travel to the City of Glass, the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters - never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death. To make things worse, she learns that Jace does not want her there, and Simon has been thrown in prison by the Shadowhunters, who are deeply suspicious of a vampire who can withstand sunlight.

As Clary uncovers more about her family's past, she finds an ally in mysterious Shadowhunter Sebastian. With Valentine mustering the full force of his power to destroy all Shadowhunters forever, their only chance to defeat him is to fight alongside their eternal enemies. But can Downworlders and Shadowhunters put aside their hatred to work together? While Jace realizes exactly how much he's willing to risk for Clary, can she harness her newfound powers to help save the Glass City - whatever the cost?

My Review: This book had so much information, it was almost hard to keep up; but it added to the suspense of the series. I couldn't put it down because I was always trying to guess what was going to happen next, what else what going to be revealed. This one ties together everything that is foreshadowed throughout and always throws in a little something extra. There's a little something for everyone; fighting, magic, love and humor. Lot's of humor!

Who Should Read This: I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for the next series to fall in love with. If you're tired of everyone ranting and raving about Twilight, then read City of Bones, and get everyone talking about that instead! It isn't heavy on the vampires or werewolves, though they do play a role. Instead, you find yourself falling for the ever mysterious Shadowhunters!

Thirst Series by Christopher Pike

Written by: Christopher Pike
Titles in Series: Thirst No. 1, Thirst No. 2 and Thirst No. 3 to be released October 5, 2010
Publication date: August 4, 2009 and January 5, 2010
Released in Paperback

4 stars

Synopsis: As to blood - ah, blood, the whole subject fascinates me. I do like that as well, warm and dripping , when I am thirsty. And I am often thirsty....

Alisa has been in control of her urges for the five thousand years she has been a vampire. She feeds but does not kill, and she lives her life on the fringe to maintain her secret. But when her creator returns to hunt her, she must break her own rules in order to survive.

Her quest leads her to Ray. He is the only person who can help her; he also has every reason to fear her. Alisa must get closer to him to ensure her immortality. But as she begins to fall in love with Ray, suddenly there is more at stake than her own life....

How I came to Read This: Initially, it was the title that caught my attention. I immediately assumed it was about vampires, and I was right. That fact that the main character, Sita, is five-thousand years old and the last vampire, I thought it would be cool to read her stories.

My Review: They weren't you're typical creature-of-the-night stories either! They were spiritual, funny, a little gory and nothing short of exciting. Sita's detached way of speaking about death serves as a reminder of exactly how old she is. So much went on in these books and yet, I didn't feel overwhelmed, I felt hungry for more. There were twists and turns everywhere. Have the patience to see this series to the end and you won't regret it.

I was sad when I finished these books. I felt like I was dumped back in my podunk little town after having spent summer vacation with my wild and crazy cousin, who took me on a whirlwind adventure. But guess what? I recently discovered that a third book in the series will be released in October of this year! I can't believe it. Just when I thought there wasn't anywhere left to go, Christopher Pike throws one more at me! I thought the story was pretty much wrapped up, now I can't wait to see what happens!

[Quickie]: In these two books titled Thirst No. 1 & Thirst No. 2, there are six separate stories. Six books compiled into just two. These titles were previously published individually back in 1996!

Who Should Read This: These are incomparable. They aren't like anything else. Like I said, if you have the patience to read a book that throws a lot of different things your way, while maintaining a great story, pick it up. It begins in one place and takes you on a world-wide adventure to end somewhere completely different!

Here's a look at the cover of Thirst No. 3

Twilight Graphic Novel Review

TWILIGHT: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL VOLUME 1Written by: Stephenie Meyer, Art and Adaptation by Young Kim
Publication date: March 16, 2010
Released in Hardcover

4 stars - I gave it 4 stars only because, it doesn't compare to the full story that you get in the original.

Synopsis: When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret....

How I Came to Read This Book: Well, when I first saw online that this was being published, I laughed at it. I thought it was getting redundant, overkill. But when I actually saw it on the shelves, I glanced inside and realized how cool it was to be able to read Twilight with pictures. Yeah I saw the movies, but it wasn't the same.

My Review: I read this book in about 2-3hrs one morning. It wouldn't have taken so long if my daughter wasn't so crazy! If you've already read the original, then this is a fun follow-up. The graphic novel to me, is an easier adaptation of the original novel. It gave you the gist of the story without diving into the gushy stuff (which, personally, I loved). It also skipped over the banter between Bella and the other characters. I think the illustrations also make it easier to read and more fun for the younger fans. I think for the older fans, the illustrations were just fun. It was like seeing the book in action, but in a completely different way from the movie. At first I thought I would be disappointed that the characters in the graphic novel didn't resemble the actors - because Robert Pattinson is just so scrumptious! - but it turned out to be for the best. The reason being is that I was able to focus on the dialogue and the pictures rather than staring at the hot guy!

Because Stephanie Meyer was so involved with the making of this rendition, it is a much closer interpretation of the original novel than the movie was. Maybe Stephanie Meyer should have directed the movies! I'm just saying.

I really appreciated the type of illustrations - kind of like anime. I really enjoyed the scene where Edward reveals himself to Bella. With the rest of the story in black and white, the color added here brought it to life for me.

I enjoyed this book. I'm glad to have it to add to my collection, the first of its kind. I look forward to the release of Volume 2. It would also be nice to have Midnight Sun (in Hardcover) to put on my shelf too. I'm just saying.

Who Should Read This: If you have a tween, or you are a tween, I think this version of Twilight is great. I also think that any Twilight fan should read it. There really isn't any reason not to.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Allow me to Start at the Begining

Written by: Stephenie Meyer
Titles in Series: Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn
Publication date: October 5, 2005
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret.

What Bella doesn't realize is the closer she gets to him, the more she is putting herself and those around her at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back....

How I Came to Read This: My best friend read all four books when they were first released. She ranted and raved about it for months, telling me everything about them, basically trying everything in her power to convert me! At the time, I just wasn't interested. The series had yet to become the phenomena it is today. My friend continued to insist that I read them and then finally, the movie was released. I watched the movie, still without having read the books, yet. After watching the movie, I bought the book the next day. Once I started, there was no stopping me and I literally couldn't put them down. I would have read them in my sleep.

My Review: I think all four books were very well written. Stephenie Meyer was able to put into written words the unexplainable connection two people can have after only having just met. The feeling you get when you know deep within yourself that this person is meant to be in your life, even if you can't yet see the reason. It's not just about the cool vampire parts, it truly has a love story inside. Yeah, he sparkles, get over it!

I enjoyed Bella in the books a lot more than I did in the movies. I love that Stephenie Meyer made her such a klutz, always tripping and bumping into things, and then pairing her with the grace that only a vampire can have! It only makes the differences between them more strikingly apparent. Yet, Bella and Edward's love story, their magnetism, is palpable. A tangible thing. You feel Bella, you become her.

Edward, the immortal tortured soul. He loves Bella immensely yet, he doesn't want her involved with his kind because of the danger. Therefore, he's constantly struggling with himself between pursuing the woman he loves and putting her life at risk, or facing eternity of heartache and loneliness.

If you haven't read this story yet, I don't know if it's possible to verbalize how amazing (I think) it is. The characters, the background stories, the relationships and interactions; these are the things that get you. The factors of the books that grab you and hold you. If you have read this book and you loved it, well then, you know what I'm talking about.

Publication date: September 6, 2006
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: I felt like I was trapped in one of those terrifying nightmares, the one where you have to run, run till your lungs burst, but you can't make your body move fast enough....But this was no dream, and, unlike the nightmare, I wasn't running for my life; I was racing to save something infinitely more precious. My own life meant little to me today.

For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen. But being in love with a vampire is even more dangerous than Bella ever could have imagined. Edward has already rescued Bella from the clutches of one evil vampire, but now, as their daring relationship threatens all that is near and dear to them, they realize their troubles may be just beginning....

My Review: The more people I talk to about this series (especially since New Moon the movie was released), the more I hear how many people disliked this book the most. Complaining that Bella was too needy and that she should have just gotten over Edward leaving her. Have these people ever been in love?? I think that Bella was so in love and so enamored with Edward that she literally felt the physical pain of his absence. I think I was in a similar way when I had my first and most serious heartbreak. The loss is too much to bear, it takes it out on your body as well as your spirit. I thought New Moon was extremely deep and emotional and if you don't have the heart to understand that, this book, this whole series actually, probably isn't for you.

Publication date: August 7, 2007
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: "Bella?"

Edwards soft voice came from behind me. I turned to see him spring lightly up the porch steps, his hair windblown from running. He pulled me into his arms at once, just like he had in the parking lot, and kissed me again.

This kiss frightened me. There was too much tension, too strong an edge to the way his lips touched mine - like he was afraid we had only so much time left to us.

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob - knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

My Review: This is my favorite one of all four books!! This is the book where the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob really starts to come to a head. Jacob is in love with Bella who is (irrevocably) in love with Edward. The back and forth between Edward and Jacob adds so much humor to the situation. The suspense this book creates, which directs you to the next one, is unbearable! I can't wait to re-read this one before the movie comes out!

Publication date: August 2, 2008
Released in Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: When you loved the one who was killing you, it left you no options. How could you run, how could you fight that beloved one? If your life was all you had to give, how could you not give it? If it was someone you truly loved?

To be irrevocably in love with a vampire is both fantasy and nightmare woven into a dangerously heightened reality for Bella Swan. Pulled in one direction by her intense passion for Edward Cullen, and in another by her profound connection to a werewolf Jacob Black, she has endured a tumultuous year of temptation, loss, and strife to reach the ultimate turning point. Her imminent choice to either join the dark but seductive world of immortals or pursue a fully human life has become the thread from which the fate of two tribes hangs.

Now that Bella has made her decision, a startling chain of unprecedented events is about to unfold with potentially devastating and unfathomable consequences. Just when the frayed strands of Bella's life - first discovered in Twilight, then scattered and torn in New Moon and Eclipse - seem ready to heal and knit together, could they be destroyed...forever?

My Review: Action, action, action! Not the butt-kicking kind of action, the kind of action where in every paragraph something amazing is happening. All loose-ends get tied up in this final book and does it ever! This is where all your questions, speculations and guesses get answered and it couldn't have happened any better! I was very satisfied at the end of this book yet very, very sad. It's over! What am I supposed to do with myself now! The whole series had that hypnotizing feel to it. For two happy weeks I was able to live in Forks (not literally!) and then at the end of that last page, I was forced back to reality cold turkey! Talk about a hole in my chest, tearing at the edges!

Who Should Read This: Before you can appreciate these books, you have to stop comparing them to classics such as Dracula. The Twilight Saga is meant for young girls as well as the young girl in every woman. Stephenie Meyer gives us that "happily ever after" that we love so much! That being said; I think everyone should read them. Absolutely everyone!! Even the haters - because you might not be one afterwards! I understand a person who wants to hate something for the simple fact that, well, everyone else loves it. Look beyond what you've seen in the movies and give the book a chance. They're beautifully written and you'll want to hang on their every word.

Evernight Academy Review

EVERNIGHT (Evernight #1)
Written by: Claudia Gray
Titles in Series: Evernight, Stargazer, Hourglass and Afterlife to be released March, 2011
Publication date: June 1, 2008
Released in Paperback

5 stars

ALSO: Look out for the upcoming spin-off series, Balthazar, released in 2011

Synopsis: Bianca wants to escape.

At the eerily Gothic Evernight Academy, the other students are sleek, smart, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

When she meets handsome, brooding Lucas, he warns her to be careful - even when it comes to caring about him. But the connection between then can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart...and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

How I Came to Read This: I saw it in the store, read the back cover and took it home. It sounded similar to Vampire Academy, which I loved, so I said, "Why not?" Usually, when I find a book or series that is similar to another series I loved, I hesitate because I'm always afraid I won't love it as much. That would be very disappointing.

My Review: The only similarity between the Evernight series and Vampire Academy is that they both take place in an school for vampires. But that is where it ends. The two series were very, very different. I really enjoyed them. I loved it, actually. There was no shortage of action, secrets or blood-sucking! The story takes such a radical twist, it left me hungry for more! After Hourglass was released in March of this year, I read it in a couple days and now I'm starving as I wait for Afterlife!

This too had a great love story. Two characters that connect to each other and the reader! The main character, Bianca, feels believable. She's not overly brave, jumping into new and dangerous situations all willy-nilly. She's real, she has real fears and hesitations but a love strong enough that it keeps her standing, fighting for what she believes is right for her and the man she loves, Lucas.

Lucas and Bianca come from two completely different worlds and because they love each other, they strive to be together in spite of the obstacles between them. Neither one being able to survive in the other one's world, they find themselves fighting their way to a new life, one where they can leave the past behind them and just be together.

STARGAZER (Evernight #2)
Publication date: March 24, 2009
Released in Paperback and Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: The vampire in me was closer to the surface.

Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all - vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas - a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross - or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning....

My Review: This sequel was great. There was a little bit of a love triangle in this one and it really heats things up! There are some great characters here that you can genuinely like and even more you can hate!

Bianca and Lucas are my favorite young couple. They truly love each other above all else and despite what comes at them. They risk it all for each other. They have the sweetest and most kindest relationship I've read so far.

 HOURGLASS (Evernight #3)
Publication date: March 9, 2010
Released in Hardcover

5 stars

Synopsis: Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas. After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at its hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend - the vampire Balthazar - hiding is no longer an option.

Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can't escape her destiny.

Bianca, has always believed their love could survive anything...but can it survive what's to come?

My Review: This book was so tricky. I never knew what was going to happen. In this one, Bianca and Lucas are literally, living with Black Cross. They're both at risk of Bianca being discovered for what she really is and Lucas for loving her and bringing her into their hideout. It was like a roller coaster - after a lull of (great) dialogue it would peak and I'm sitting on the edge of my seat thinking, "That's it - they're busted!" And when it didn't happen just yet, I got to roll down again, craving for more. Bianca and Lucas' relationship in this one is tested over and over again. They get closer to each other and you really get to see their relationship develop.

The ending? So uncool. Thank the book gods above that there will be another one!

Who Should Read This:  This series is definitely for Twilight and Vampire Academy fans.

A whole year before Afterlife is released! Aah!! Not only that, but a great character in the books named Balthazar, will be getting a self-titled spin-off! How exciting! I will definitely be counting the days, ugh, make that years!

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Written by: Mary Roach
Publication date: May 15, 2004
Released in Paperback

5 stars

Synopsis: Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers - some willingly, some unwittingly - have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

How I Came to Read This: I found this book years ago and when I read the premise, I just couldn't pass it up. I love a book I can enjoy and learn from!

My Review: I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mary Roach has a great sense of humor. I've recommended this book to several people and they never read it! I felt so disappointed because I knew that they were missing out. Mary Roach researchs the use of cadavers for all sorts of reasons. The one I found most interesting was how they're used to determine the amount of damage a living person would sustain in an impact.  For example, throwing a cadaver from an airplane, thousands of feet in the air.

Mary Roach gives you a great story with wonderful information and great humor.

Who Should Read This: This book provides great off-the-wall conversation. If you enjoy being a well-rounded kind of person (like myself), who can dabble in all types of topics, this is for you!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Even More New Books!!

I picked up four more books today! I'm such an addict - buying books faster than I can read them! Here's what I got:

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Lament by Maggie Stiefvater (my fave!), has been on my list for months! I've had Ballad for a while but its prequel was just always either sold out or not in stock! But I finally got it and now I can find out what everyone's been talking about!

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Here!

Salvaged arrived today! I have to go pick it up and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Nothing like the feel of a new book! Makes me all jumpy and giddy!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It's Not Me, It's You!

Everyday, several times a day to be honest, I check out book reviews on This is my absolute favorite website and without it, I never would have found half the books I've read or plan to read. So today while looking, I discovered a book titled What Was I Thinking? 58 Bad Boyfriend Stories by Barbara Davilman. Even though I'm completely submerged in the YA world, I think this book is just something I've got to read! I might even add a few of my own bad boyfriend stories!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Nothing Like a New Book - Or Two!!

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I went to my one of my favorite places today - Borders! So today I picked up The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong and Maria V. Snyder's Inside Out (which I had to get in paperback, ugh; I'm a hardcover gal). I can't wait to get into these two, but I have a LONG list of books to read! So many books, and nothing but time!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who's On First?

Soul Screamers Series by Rachel Vincent. Have you read these? Well (so far), I've read My Soul to Take and My Soul to Save. I was cruising the web looking for new books and new-to-me blogs and anything else of reading interest. In the process of doing so, I discovered that My Soul to Lose is actually a prequel to the series not a part of the trilogy still to-be-released. I was so confused! I've never seen it on the shelves before and now I know it's because it's been released for nearly a year! Now I have to go on a mad hunt for this! I don't mind though, I like this series. Wish me luck!

"My body was being torn apart"..."and I knew I was dying."

Well, thank you Stefne Miller and!

This morning I found out that I won a First Reads copy of Salvaged written by Stefne Miller. This is the first book I've ever won and I'm super excited about it! I can't wait to get my copy so I can read and review it! Thanks again!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

There's Only One Good Type of VD...

And that's Vampire Diaries! I just took a look at L.J. Smith's blog and she announced that she will be releasing another Vampire Diaries trilogy! Unbelievable! I haven't even read Vampire Diaries Secret Circle yet!


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