Friday, December 30, 2011

Fave Books of 2011 - Day 5


In anticipation of the new year and all the new releases to follow, I will be doing a countdown of my favorite books in 2011; a different one everyday until the ball drops! Each new fave will be a different category such as favorite book, character, cover, series, bad-guy-you-love-to-hate and ebook.

Originally I was going to make this a six day thing but I decided to stop at five and I'm switching it up a little bit for my final category, so my final Fave of 2011 is:


My favorite bad guy this year is without a doubt Irial of Ink Enchange by Melissa Marr.

Initially, I was perfectly content with hating him and immediately marking him as the bad guy in this story, but then he had to go and get all sensitive and have feelings and make me not hate him anymore. He's still far from being the hero but he's not the jerk I first thought he was. I ended up feeling bad for him in the end, wishing he could have had his happily-ever-after ending, too. Look out for my review of Ink Exchange coming next Tuesday Review Day.

Do you have a favorite villain that you 
ending up liking in the end? 
Well, share!

I hope you've enjoyed my favorites this week as I've enjoyed talking about them and re-living some of my best reading memories to date. 

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fave Books of 2011 - Day 4


In anticipation of the new year and all the new releases to follow, I will be doing a countdown of my favorite books in 2011; a different one everyday until the ball drops! Each new fave will be a different category such as favorite book, character, cover, series, bad-guy-you-love-to-hate and ebook.

So today I wanna drool over some hot covers we've all be given to lust over this year. Although there were a ton of releases with gorgeous covers this year, I only pick my favorites from books I've read (or from a series I am currently reading). I've picked my favorite five with a little snippet of what I liked about them.

I love how Simon is front and center of this cover, shoulders squared, jaw tight, looking ready for anything. It was high time he came out of the shadows and into the light. Still, my absolute favorite part of this cover is the way Clary's hair floats around her like its living, breathing fire.

I love the earth tones/autumn colors of this cover. I also love how in these covers, "Evie" is always outside in what appears to be a very windy evening, yet she's never in the outdoors like that in the story. The cover doesn't really represent the character very well but that doesn't mean it isn't still pretty!


This cover is simple yet I think it is a modest depiction of Bianca. She has these big eyes and this vulnerable yet determined look on her face. I can almost see her facing her next obstacle.

The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy all have fantastic covers. This one shows Sam approaching Wolf Grace in the woods. When this cover was revealed, thousands of readers simultaneously widened their eyes and gasped with awe!

Now, if you're looking at this cover here to my left, I don't think many words will be needed to explain why it is one of my favorites this year. The flower looks as if I can touch it, smell it, hold it in my hand. It is absolutely beautiful.

I hope you liked my favorites and feel free to share your favorite covers below!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fave Books of 2011 - Day 3


In anticipation of the new year and all the new releases to follow, I will be doing a countdown of my favorite books in 2011; a different one everyday until the ball drops! Each new fave will be a different category such as favorite book, character, cover, series, bad-guy-you-love-to-hate and ebook.

Today's category is my favorite series: The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa. Okay, the fact that I love this series is an understatement. I'm not sure how to explain what is so great about these books; the characters, the settings, the adventure, the humor, the love-triangle...none of these things is enough!

Before reading this series, be prepared for heartache, heart break, highs, lows and a ton of holy-crap jaw dropping moments. There are so many wonderful things I could say about this series that it leaves me speechless.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fave Books of 2011 - Day 2

In anticipation of the new year and all the new releases to follow, I will be doing a countdown of my favorite books in 2011; a different one everyday until the ball drops! Each new fave will be a different category such as favorite book, character, cover, series, bad-guy-you-love-to-hate and ebook.

Today's category is my favorite ebook, Pretty When She Dies: A Vampire Novel by Rhiannon Frater. I believe this might also come in paperback but since I read it on my Nook before I got my Kindle, it's my favorite ebook. 

When Amaliya wakes up as a newborn vampire, she has no idea what has happened to her; kind of like when someone wakes up as a ghost yet they have no memory of dying. This no ordinary fluff vampire story, no one there to guide her, show her how to feed on humans without killing them or how to become a vamp-vegetarian! Imagine yourself waking up as a vampire, not knowing how it happened and completely unaware that there are others out there of your kind; now you have to figure out how to survive without being caught, killed or seen! It's excited stuff! For a more in depth review, click here - you won't be sorry!


Monday, December 26, 2011

Fave Books of 2011 - Day 1

In anticipation of the new year and all the new releases to follow, I will be doing a countdown of my favorite books in 2011; a different one everyday until the ball drops! Each new fave will be a different category such as favorite book, character, cover, series, bad-guy-you-love-to-hate and ebook.

Today is my favorite book of 2011 which has to be Illusions by Aprilynne Pike. I can always count on this series to lift me up, take me to a faraway place and fill me with romantic hope! It also frustrates the hell out of me - which only adds to its genius! Pike created a completely realistic faerie world, that I totally want to live in, and characters you immediately fall in love with. Especially Tam! Not only was this book anxiously waited for but also a can't-put-down read! Read my review here.

Illusions is the third book in the Wings series and the fourth, Destined, is due out May 1st!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wordpress or Blogger?

By now, many of you may know that Kristi at The Story Siren has switched her blogging platform from Blogger to She has posted a list of her grievances and reasons why she decided to make the switch (you can read her post here). She informs us that the decision was made over several years of brain-racking back-and-forth and that we shouldn't let her decision to switch affect what we do with our own blogs. But how can we not, at least, consider it? I'm sure without the full intention to, Kristi and The Story Siren has become a role model to a ton of bloggers both old and new and what she says and does can sometimes set a precedent that others will gladly follow.

She makes great points about Blogger having limitations in their design department which can make blogs resemble each other when we're all trying to express our individuality. I know I would definitely like a little more freedom with the look of my blog and making it easier to do wouldn't hurt either. But one issue Kristi had with Blogger is one we should all take into consideration or at least keep in the back of minds is that Google, at any time and for any reason, can delete our blogs WITHOUT NOTICE! Now, I don't know about you guys, but after all this hard work I would be SUPER PISSED if my blogs were deleted!

So it makes me wonder if making the switch to Wordpress is worth doing. Personally, I have no idea how easy or hard it is to switch everything over but I encourage all of you to make sure that the platform you're using is fitting your needs; and if it isn't to do your homework and find one that does.
Have you been thinking about making or
have you recently made the switch?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme created by Breaking The Spine to highlight upcoming books that readers are dying to get their hands on! And just like last weeks WOW, this book I'm waiting on is serious.

(A small tidbit of information from Charlaine's blog)
Sookie gets kidnapped and a character (a man) that Charlaine thought was dead, isn't. 

Are you kidding me?? That little teaser is enough to drive me crazy with curiosity! I've been reading the Sookie Stackhouse novels for a few years now and I love them. Sometimes I can be turned off from a series that has a lot of books like this one (this is the 12th book) but for some reason, I can't get enough; I never want them to end. Okay, it's not just for some reason, it's lots of reasons! Abundance of vampires, werewolves and every other kind of supernatural; tons of Eric - which if you read yesterday's review, you'd know I'm Team Eric; and action action action! These books are non-stop, never a dull moment, amazing! I can't wait!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Tuesday Review Day!

Written by Melissa Marr
Publication date:
Released in Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle & ebook
328 pages

4 stars 

Synopsis: All teenagers have problems, but few of them can match those of Aislinn, who has the power to see faeries. Quite understandably, she wishes that she could share her friends' obliviousness and tries hard to avoid these invisible intruders. But one faery in particular refuses to leave her alone. Keenan the Summer King is convinced beyond all reasoning that Aislinn is the queen he has been seeking for nine centuries. What's a 21st-century girl to do when she's stalked by a suitor nobody else can see? A debut fantasy romance for the ages; superlative summer read.

My Review: I wish the beginning was a little easier to understand. It's one of those stories that you come into the middle of things already happening. Almost halfway through, and I still didn't really understand how the whole staff thing worked with the Summer King and Queen. Touch the staff, don't touch the staff; take the cold, don't take the cold. Being with Keenan is a good thing or a bad thing? I don't know! But I'm on an Iron Fey high so I'm craving some faeries and this felt close enough.

Their names? Don't get me started. The only one I like is Seth and I was never a big fan of that name before. But this guy Seth, BFF/hottie-potential-love-interest, is something else! He's totally hot and totally the perfect guy! He says the most perfect thing at the right moment and doesn't try to be too macho when Aislinn takes control but he's not a wimp either. Now Aislinn, or Ash as she is nicknamed in the book - which confuses me with Ash from the Iron Fey is a pretty cool character. I like how she handles being able to see the fey and having to pretend that she can't. She has a lot of self-discipline and will power and is more capable of resisting temptation than any woman I know! Speaking of temptation, back to Seth. Melissa Marr knows how to write some serious romance. It took, like, no time at all for me to fall in love with him! 


Because if that's the case, I'm TEAM SETH all the way!

Here's a list of other teams I am a long time member of:

Team Damon - Vampire Diaries
Team Shay - Nightshade
Team Eric - True Blood
Team Dimitri - Vampire Academy
Team Jace - City of Bones
Team Ash - Iron Fey
Team Tam - Wings
Team Edward (in the books) Team Jacob (in the movies)-if that makes any sense

Anyway, Seth is romantic, in subtle ways; dropping hints and whispering sweet nothings. And what girl doesn't love a tight squeeze?? No one I know. A quarter of the book to go and I was really not liking the direction of the book. There was no Seth for like, two or three chapters and that was not cool.

As for the faeries, I don't blame Aislinn for avoiding them like the plague. I wouldn't be comfortable with that many "invisible" "people" walking around either. Then to be stalked by one? A royal one that is not likely to let her go now that he's found her? That's something completely different! Keenan is far more difficult to read. It's hard to tell what his intentions and his motives really are. But early on when Ash drops a bomb on him about having competition (Seth) and the fact that Keenan is left speechless is hilarious! I guess it is if you're Team Seth! LOL. Keenan can be such a jerk and at other times, kind of sweet. You start to feel a tug-o-war when it comes to him. You want him to be happy, to find what he's been searching for...just not with Aislinn.

Donia is the Winter Girl (wtf is a Donia??), and Beira (again, wtf?) is the Winter Queen. Maybe I'm not pronouncing these names correctly and that is why they sound so terrible, but these names made it a little hard to read for me. Although I know Donia is supposed to be an important character in the story, I don't really feel anything about her. I don't like her but I don't hate her either. I do feel sorry for Donia though, she sounds miserable and desperate to be free of the cold she holds within her. Problem is that she, like all others, is under the Queen's thumb. I'm sure the Winter Queen is quite the bitch to deal with seeing as how she's so powerful and all, but honestly, I didn't see a whole lot of displays of the power that had everyone so scared of her. It was hard to view her as a true villain when all I had was the notion that she was truly evil.

Melissa Marr's vocabulary is undoubtedly extensive. It did not make for a breezy read, but one that kept you curiously wanting more. The tone, the conversations between characters was so seamless and fluid. I mean, the characters actually interrupt each other which sounds weird for it to be a good thing but it makes things realistic - the visual is without interruption and easier to play out in your head. It took a little getting used to at first because a lot of other books can feel so scripted - perfectly set-up - snapshots of moments. I don't care either way, I just love a good story. Marr is also a genius with metaphors; for example:

"Seth slid a hand around her waist and kissed her like she was the air,
and he was suffocating." (pg.131)

Isn't that beautiful??

Overall: The cover is infinitely more awesome once you know the meaning behind it. Slow progress. A lot of things happening but not a lot of wow moments. The twist at the end was something I had suspected for a while. It wasn't a surprise but still, it's always nice when a book ends the way you think it will. It wasn't a book I was in love with afterwards. I didn't crave more. With one exception, Seth...delish!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Double Tuesday Review Day!

So happy to finally be on board with the Iron Fey, I read The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen back to back - which is a big deal for me these days that I even have the time to read one book, let alone two! However, with SIX WEEKS of winter break I plan to spend it doing fun things with my daughter and reading once she's all worn out and fast asleep!

Being that I was so into these two books, I mean I just couldn't get enough; all wrapped up in this crazy love triangle between Meghan, Ash and Puck, I couldn't out them down. Therefore, I didn't write down my review as I read and I've been noticing a difference between my reviews when I've written them while I read and when I don't. The written ones are more detailed and specific to the qualities of the book I liked or didn't like. My freestyle reviews are kind of just all over the place. You ever read an amazing book and when you try to tell your friend why it was so good and why they should read it, all you can say is, "Omg, it was good. It's like..omg..idk how was just so good, you have to read it!" Well, yeah, they're kinda like that. So I've decided to spare you two all-over-the-place type reviews and post them into just one sporadic mess! Enjoy :)

Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey—ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her. 

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.


My Review: In the Iron Daughter, the love triangle between Meghan, Puck and Ash really comes to a head in this sequel. So many things come to light as we learn more and more about the Iron Fey and who among the Winter Court are their allies.

There are countless twists and turns constantly throwing you in a different direction just when you think you're beginning to put things together. Meghan is a prisoner of the Winter Court and Mab has sealed off her powers. Meghan spends what she considers to be more than enough time in this frozen palace among the Winter fey, foul and murderous creatures. All but her Winter Prince, Ash - who is nowhere to be found. Upon return to the Winter Court he disappears and Meghan is unsure of his departure; did he leave because of her or was he sent away?

During a celebration of the exchange of the scepter from the Summer Court to Winter marking the change of the seasons, the Iron Fey attack and kill an important member of the royal winter family and Meghan is (again) the only eyewitness. The only problem is that no one believes her about the Iron Fey, especially Mab. After miraculously making it out of the Winter Court alive - and with her Ice Prince in tow - they are joined by Puck in one of those grand entrances he loves to make so much. And of course the return of Grimalkin - my favorite character of all.

Now this is the point where I start to mix the stories up, remembering which events took place in which book. So to avoid blurting all the juicy parts out, I'll try to keep it vague. A traitor is discovered in the Winter Court, one that Ash will feel conflicted about facing. And while Winter faeries begin to take sides with the Iron fey, there are those in the Iron realm that are taking sides with those that are supposed to be their enemies; the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and all that.

We venture into plenty of new territory, always exploring the endless borders of the Nevernever and everywhere in between where Meghan finds someone she didn't even know she was looking for.

Now moving more into the Iron Queen, Meghan learns to defend herself, to be part of the battle instead of playing the role of bench-warmer any time there's trouble. There is that tricky part of having two kinds of glamour at her disposal, ones that cancel each other out with most inconvenient side-effects. I have to say, this installment is probably the most riveting, so far. There was so much going on, so many secrets being revealed and the ante on the romance has just been raised! Meghan goes through a lot of internal back and forth with her feelings about Puck and Ash. She has her moments with both of them but she holds a very bright light for only one of them and a special gesture made between them is heart-wrenching. Again, more twists and turns and surprises you probably weren't expecting but never, not once, a disappointment!


Plus, if you have access to ebooks, don't forget about these two:


Great fillers between books 1 & 2 and 3 & 4!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesday Review Day!

Written by: Julie Kagawa
Publication date: February 1, 2010
Released in Paperback by Harlequin Teen
363 pages

4 1/2 STARS

Synopsis: Meghan Chase has a secret destiny; one she could never have imagined.

Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school or at home.

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar, and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change.

But she could never have guessed the truth - that she is the daughter of a mythical faery king and is a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, to stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face; and to find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

My Review: I'm going to be honest. I don't know what kind of review this is going to be. I have some things to say about this book and I'll probably spoil something so I wouldn't continue any further if you haven't read it yet.

I have no idea what A Midsummer Night's Dream is. Not a clue. Now, both reading and writing have been my hobbies my whole life; is it bad that I don't know my classic literature? Whatever. THIS book, I DID read!

I'm not sure how I feel about Meghan. I have a hard time remembering her name; not many call her by it. They like to use more fitting names like princess or half-breed. I admire her courage, which sounds corny but I don't think it has another name. She's not well-off, lives on a farm and is tormented at school, yet she makes the best out of it. I'm never fair when it comes to how I feel when the main character first encounters the paranormal. I always want them to accept it right away and not question what they thought they saw - just believe. Of course, it never happens that way and that's okay because when Meghan finds out that her brother has been kidnapped and a changling left in his place, she sets out on a mission to find him and never - and I mean never - backs down. Each character stood out uniquely enough in their own way that it was easy to remember who-was-who and who-was-what. Each action scene was intense but a little hard to play out in my head, but maybe that was just me. I noticed that Kagawa liked to use the same words too closely together, a paragraph or two after the other. I like variety. Impress me with your extended vocabulary and visually stimulating metaphors! 

I've read a lot of reviews on the Iron Fey series because everyone is talking about how great they were and everyone was either Team Puck or Team Ash and...and I wanted to be on a team so I knew I had to read them. I anticipated the next Twilight-type romanticism and that by the end, I would know where I stood. However, I didn't get that at all. Puck has always been there for Meghan and it sounds like he expects her to be with him. He's very much the big brother/protector to her as well as playful and cheerful. It wasn't until one very awkward moment when Puck is preparing to fight (someone I don't remember - maybe Ash), he asked Meghan for a kiss. Even she was confused! Never before had Puck showed that he was into her like that. But watching him get jealous over Meghan and Ash's flirting was pretty amusing, which brings me to my next point.

The Ice Prince and Meghan have an odd "relationship". It consists of very little, if any, emotional sharing but more lingering looks and close encounters. Um, and he's trying to kill Meghan and Puck in the beginning and by the end I think he still would. When Meghan and Ash venture into the Iron Kingdom to stop the Iron King, they grow closer and discover intense feelings they have for each other. But with them being fey of opposite courts, Summer and Winter, it seems it will be impossible for them to be together. Of course there are still those lingering yet confusing feelings she has for Puck!

Grimalkin is by far my favorite character. A cat that knows just about everything, is impressed by nothing yet is utterly entertained by Meghan and the precarious situations she finds herself in. He tends to disappear when the going gets tough (he's not a fighter) yet reappears when Meghan needs him most.

In the midst of all this is the discovery that the man she knew as her father, is not but instead the king of the Summer Fey, Oberon. He speaks of her as his daughter but doesn't treat her like one which only increases my wonder as to why I've always wondered why fey were not more kind and loving. Why do they have to be so...feral, all the time? Speaking of which, Oberon's wife and Summer Queen, Titiana as well as the Winter Queen, Mab, are not friends of Meghan or her antics in the Nevernever.

Overall: The combination of all these characters and the danger that faces them all make for a very exciting read! Action, light romance and a can't-put-down adventure!


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