Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Release Date: 1-2-2012
Publisher: Poppy
Format: ARC
Genre: YA, Contemporary
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.


This book has done nothing but make me smile the whole way through! I've been on a contemporary kick lately and have heard so many great things about this story, so I had a feeling I would love it, and clearly I did. I just love the tone of the book and how it alternates between being light and witty, and then real and emotional. You can't help but get caught up in Hadley and Oliver's budding romance, and after a while it's hard to believe that everything they go through has only happened over the course of one day.

The book starts off with Hadley missing her flight to London; where her dad is getting married to a woman she's never met. But missing her flight is pretty much the best thing that could ever happen to her, because it led to her meeting a very swoon-worthy boy named Oliver (who by the way has an English accent, which is always a plus!). The chemistry that these two have and the ease at which they get to know eachother is so delightful and believable, and I loved every second they were together. This is a couple I was rooting for from the very beginning, because it's so clear that they're meant to be together. With them the author does so well at covering all of the emotions that go along with falling in love: the uncertainty, excitement, shyness, longing, compulsive thoughts, and a fear that you're maybe misreading the signs--all of these are honest and accurate depictions.

There were moments when the plot detours into specific memories that belong to Hadley, and I think that fit into the plot well and made Hadley more relatable. It's clear that Hadley and Oliver both have family issues that are weighing them down, which in a way solidifies their connection even more. They were there for eachother at a time when it seemed like no one else could bring them comfort.

I absolutely loved the last chapter of the book because instead of feeling like an ending, it gives you the distinct impression of a wonderful beginning. I will definitely be re-reading this book whenever I need a heartfelt smile and laugh.

So pick up this book if you're looking for a genuine, feel-good novel--one that is made up of first loves, self-discovery, the possibility of fate, and the journey and connection of two people getting to know eachother.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: Mind Over Monsters (A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation, #1) by Jennifer Harlow

Published: 10-8-2011
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Format: Paperback, 273 pages
Genre: Paranormal Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery
Series: F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Very few people know the truth about Beatrice Alexander. She's no ordinary schoolteacher with a fondness for classic movies. Beatrice can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing and dangerous skill that she's never learned to master—or embrace. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins F.R.E.A.K.S. The Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals is a top-secret offshoot of the FBI that "neutralizes" ghouls, trolls, and other monsters threatening humanity.
 
Beatrice has no desire to become Buffy the vampire slayer. But F.R.E.A.K.S. offers training to control her power. Also, she doesn't feel like such a freak next to the other supernatural members, including a cute former detective who's a werewolf and an unbearable vampire determined to seduce Beatrice. Despite a natural instinct to flee from hideous, bloodthirsty zombies, Beatrice must prove herself on her first mission to find a cunning necromancer.

First I would like to thank the author, Jennifer Harlow, for sending me this book! I won it in a goodreads giveaway and she was nice enough to also send me an awesome bookmark, a list of songs on the playlist for the book, and a very nice card/note.

Let me begin this review by saying that this book pretty much rocked my socks! I love all things paranormal, so when I started in on this story I quickly discovered that I'd hit the motherload! In this book is the existence of every supernatural entity you could think of: ghouls, zombies, ghosts, trolls, necromancers, werewolves, vampires, ogres and so on. There are also several individuals with psychic abilities ranging anywhere from mediums to pyrokinetics--anything is possible in this book. Aside from the outstanding characters and creatures, this story is very creative and well-written. The storyline is also very fast-paced and the book is extremely hard to put down.

The protagonist and narrator, Beatrice, is my kind of gal; she's smart, witty and incredibly fun to read about, and seeing things through her perspective is a fun and exciting experience. One of the things I love most about her is how much she grows throughout the novel. She starts off being scared, unsure and isolated because of her gift as a telekinetic; but over the course of the story she ends up being more self-aware and a total badass!

Joining the "F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad" proves to be a very dangerous but rewarding experience for Bea. Her first assignment involves a grueling investigation to stop a murderous necromancer and this process involves a lot of blood, sweat and danger--and the wielding of a machete (yes, Bea's cool like that!). My favorite thing ever is a female character holding her own and kicking some serious butt, and that's exactly what Beatrice did.

Another reason to absolutely adore this book is the hot werewolf and the seductive vampire who are both interested in Bea. These two characters couldn't be more different, but they are both extremely desirable nonetheless. Will, the werewolf, is in charge of the "F.R.E.A.K.S." and he's got plenty going for him; he's smokin' hot, strong, and has a lot of integrity. This man also has a very boy-next-door vibe going on that's impossible to resist. Oliver, A.K.A. the most gorgeous man and vampire in the history of EVER, has a devilishly smooth way about him. At first I wasn't sure how to feel about him, because he's one of those guys that you should probably hate but he's just so darn charming that you can't. His interactions with Bea cracked me up every time, and I grew quite fond of him after some of his many layers were peeled back to reveal a kindness under that pompous exterior. It will no doubt be interesting to see how the tension between Bea and these men carries out.

This book has quickly become a new favorite of mine and to say that I am eagerly awaiting the second book in this series is a serious understatement. I cannot wait to read more about Bea; with her sassy talk and overall amazing demeanor that will never cease to entertain. So, do yourself a favor and get your hands on this book, because you will not be disappointed!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a fun way to exhibit the books we recently acquired.

*All titles link to goodreads*

Won:


  • The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg (ARC copy)
  • The Future of Us by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler
  • Pizza wallet (Inspired by The Catastrophic History of You & Me)
  • Follow Your Heart luggage tag (Inspired by The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight)
  • Football charm necklace (Inspired by the book, Catching Jordan, which I exchanged for The Future of Us because I already own Catching Jordan)
  • Pumpkin spice soaps (Not pictured)
-I won these books and swag from a giveaway hosted by the lovely Sarah at The Book Life. I can't even begin to express my excitement over winning this prize pack, and I am so excited to read these books! =D



-I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. The author sent me a signed copy of her book; as well as a bookmark, a list of the soundtrack for the book, and a very sweet note/holiday card. I'm about to start reading this book and I'm super excited about it!

Gifted:


-My friend/co-worker, Cindy, gave me this book for Christmas. I recently let her borrow Anna and the French Kiss and she loved it (as did I!). So when she learned that I hadn't bought and read Lola and the Boy Next Door yet, she got it for me. She's so sweet! I can't wait to read this. :)


-My best friend, Sarah, surprised me with an email from Barnes & Noble saying that she bought this for me for my nook! I had no idea you could do that, but it's pretty awesome. Thanks Sarah!

Bought:


  • The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe 
-This is a small book of the poem, The Raven. It came with a raven (as you can see in the right side of the picture) that says "Nevermore" when you press a button. This was left over from Halloween at my local book store, and because of my love for all things Poe, I had to get it!

As you can see I'm in book heaven this week. I can't wait to read all of these!
What's in your mailbox? =)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Dreams of Gray by Maurice Lawless

Published: 12-2-2011
Publisher: Red Iris Books
Format: ebook
Genre: Adult Paranormal Fiction
My rating: 3/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Dreama Cargill is in trouble. She woke up naked, cold, and sporting a back mural. Where did it come from? Tattoos aren’t her usual scene. Then again, neither is blood and a strange attraction to the woods at night. Something is changing her, and not for the better. Can she unravel the mystery before the moon calls her to kill?

First I would like to thank the author and Red Iris Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

Dreams of Gray is a short novel that isn't exactly what I'm used to reading, but it held my attention nonetheless. I usually just read young adult books, but the synopsis for this adult paranormal story caught my eye and I couldn't pass it up. There is a lot going on all throughout the story and there really doesn't ever seem to be a lull, which I liked. There are some sexual situations that take place along the way and while I don't think they necessarily add to the plot, they don't distract or take away from it either.

The book is from the perspective of Dreama, a.k.a. Dree. She's a clever and amusing character and I was instantly drawn into her story! The changes she goes through and her quest for the truth are both scary and fascinating, and I was extremely curious about how things were going to play out with her and her new-found abilities. She meets some interesting people along the way that she is now connected with and unlocks a pretty shocking truth regarding how she came to be the way she is.

The paranormal aspects of this book were pretty interesting and spun differently than what I would have expected, which is one of the things I liked about it. On one hand I feel the end of the book is too abrupt and leaves me wanting more answers, but then I realize that the author probably means to leave the reader wondering. All I know is that there's no going back for Dree!

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a short, but entertaining, paranormal read.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Practice Cake by Dalya Moon

Published: 10-20-2011
Format: ebook
Genre: YA Contemporary
My rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

There’s one thing Maddie finds more tempting than red velvet cake: her coworker, Drew. All it takes is one of his sly winks or a playful hip-check by the cooler, and she’s incinerating the cookies. Her boyfriend would not approve.

When a reality TV crew descends upon the bakery, her simple summer job gets even more complicated. Maddie could become the Bakery Network’s next breakout star, if she can handle the heat of being cast as a show villain. Drew has an alternate idea: run away from everything, with him and his sexy tousled hair. She decides to take the leap, but when she finds out Drew’s been hiding a shocking secret, Maddie looks down at her packed suitcase and takes a moment to think. Should she fly off to Australia with a guy she hardly knows, or should she pick up her suitcase and hit him with it?

Chock full of imperfect people behaving badly, Practice Cake is for readers who enjoy a good laugh.


First I would like to thank the author, Dalya Moon, for giving me the opportunity to read this fantastic book. I'm so glad I requested a copy because I really enjoyed reading it!

Practice Cake proved to be a cute, delightful and enjoyable read. The story flows really well and I didn't find myself getting bored with it once. This book is also very well-balanced; with the right amount of humor, heartache and serious dilemmas. There is also a wide range of characters that are woven into the plot and you'll find yourself wanting to either smack some of them or laugh with them. I admit that going into it I thought the plot was going to be pretty predictable, but I was completely wrong and was pleasantly surprised by things that went in directions I wasn't expecting.

The female protagonist, Maddie, was extremely entertaining and had me chuckling several times. This is a girl that I would love to be friends with! She's extremely ambitious, despite what some of her family and friends say, and she's a very strong individual. Maddie is also very relatable; with very real family problems and boy trouble (speaking of boy trouble, her dating misadventures were quite comical!!). Her sister, Melanie, was one of my favorite characters. I envied their bond and got a kick out of their banter. I also liked Maddie's best friend, Jaslene. She could be a bit passive-aggressive at times but overall her presence complimented Maddie well.

The bakery where Maddie works is an interesting setting, especially when you combine the reality t.v. crew that wouldn't be there if it wasn't for her. Despite all of the drama going on in that place, it seemed like a fun place to work. There was definitely never a dull moment where Maddie was concerned.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a fun, real and satisfying read filled with unexpected laughs-- you won't be disappointed!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Published: 9-27-2011
Format: Hardcover, 452 pages
Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
Series: Mara Dyer
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:


Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.
                                                              
This book is just so many wonderful things all at once. Michelle Hodkin weaves a very intricate and suspenseful plot that is incredibly impressive and fresh. The entire story is a mesmerizing and mind-blowing experience, and it's impossible not to experience an onslaught of emotions while reading this book. There is a hearty dose of mystery, intrigue, adventure, copious amounts of humor and snark, and emotional depth that will be sure to keep any reader satisfied. I loved everything about this book, seriously, and I just cannot say enough good things about it.

Mara is such a complex character, and it was so easy to fall into her world and experience things right along with her. The book basically starts off with her waking up from a coma and having no memory of where or what she was doing before that, but it's clear that she's had an accident. After Mara wakes up and is able to leave the hospital, she can't shake the bad feeling that she has, and then really strange things start happening to her. These things continue and intensify after her family moves to a different state for a fresh start. She is surrounded by mystery and unanswered questions, and she's not sure what's real anymore (and neither is the reader!). I won't go into detail about too much, because there's just no way to discuss everything I want to address without ruining the story for those who haven't read this book yet, but I will say that the unusual things that happen to Mara seriously messed with my mind. I honestly had no idea what the heck was happening, and I had no inkling as to what the big "reveal" in the book would be; but it was shocking, and there was more than one!

As Mara tries to move on with her life after her accident, she is thrust into a new school and encounters some interesting people. Noah, the sexy boy with an English accent, becomes a delightful and integral part of Mara's life. He is just....SO VERY SEXY. I mean, really, this dude is the complete package. He's infuriating, hot, smart, chivalrous, mysterious and understanding. I really liked how Mara didn't instantly fall at his feet, though. She stood her ground and called him out for being arrogant and jerk-like at times. But when they get to know each other better and their attraction grows stronger, things get steamy and intense, and we find out that Noah has his fair share of mystery as well. There is so much more to these characters than meets the eye. Noah's connection to Mara is still confusing and alarming, but no matter what, I'll never get enough of these two, and I can't wait to discover more about them!


Also, I really hope we get to see a lot more of Jamie, Mara's new friend, because he provides many laughs and he's super awesome. Daniel, Mara's older brother, was fantastic as well. He's a great support system for Mara, and he's a great guy. Mara's entire family is pretty great, actually. I'm interested to see how certain things will play out with them.

One of the things I loved about this book was that the reader is kept so far in the dark for a while, but then as soon as one thing is revealed, it's like a dam of information has been broken, and the whole tone of the book kind of changes. Even after discovering everything that is revealed, there is still so much more to learn. Seeing how certain people and things are connected will be quite interesting and I'm extremely curious to see how everything comes together and is connected, because the ending is just so mind-boggling and gasp-inducing!

I highly recommend this book, and believe me when I say that you will not be disappointed. There's just no way to know how amazing it is until you read it! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Review: Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Published: 10-4-2011
Format: Paperback
Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
Series: Carrier Trilogy
My rating: 2 & 1/2 out of 5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

From the moment she sets foot at her new school in Ireland, Megan is inexplicably drawn to the darkly handsome Adam DeRis. But Megan soon discovers that her feelings for Adam are tied to a supernatural fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that unites them could be their ultimate destruction.

This electrifying debut novel was first discovered on inkpop.com. the online community for aspiring writers. THE CARRIER OF THE MARK sizzles with unbridled romance, a unique supernatural hook, and a breathtaking Irish setting, and will entice fans of the Need series by Carrie Jones and the House of Night series by P. C. and Kristin Cast.


Let me start this review by saying that this book left me feeling terribly conflicted; so much so that I had a difficult time trying to figure out how to rate it. On one hand, some aspects of this book are pretty original and I appreciate the fact that the author was able to introduce me to some things that I haven't come across in a paranormal book before-- for instance, the story behind the "Carrier of the Mark". However, on the other hand, there were far too many similarities between this book and a popular series that I've read in the past. Some of these similarities are so small that they could possibly be called a coincidence, but then there are some huge ones that are undeniable and too alarmingly familiar to overlook.

The frustrating thing about this book is that it has so much potential. I really wish that the aspects of this story that I found so terrific could prevail over the many things that bothered me, but they can't-- they're at least evenly matched, though. Aside from the bothersome occurrences of deja vu in this book, I also found that the love that developed between the main characters, Megan and Adam, was too contrived. There was absolutely no build-up to their union, they were just like "Hey, let's run into each other at a party and make out under a tree without first having any kind of conversation that has substance". I mean, seriously, this dude has a shite-ton of explaining to do and Megan doesn't even bother demanding any explanations from him before they start swapping saliva? That's just plain silly. I can usually be okay with the whole, "instant and undeniable attraction" thing, but for some reason, this time it didn't sit well with me. I also felt like these two were way too obsessed and intense with each other, to the point of being selfish at times. But at the risk of sounding wishy-washy, I feel the need to add that there were things about them I liked. I really started off the book liking Megan a lot. It wasn't until she got all needy that I began to resent her a bit. Overall, she's not that bad, and by the end of the book I gained a little more respect for her on some levels, and the same goes for Adam. But yes, I'm still annoyed with them, because on several levels they still look like creepers.

Although this book gave me hardcore mood swings, I want to add that I really liked several of the other characters in this book. The members of Adam's family are terrific, and I would definitely be more inclined to continue reading this series if it were mostly about Adam's sister, Aine, or his sexy older brother, Rian. Megan's friend Caitlin is a great character as well, she was just an all-around nice person.

Another positive about this book was reading about what it means to be a "Carrier of the Mark", because it proved to be unique and interesting. This was one of the elements of the book that I truly enjoyed, because you can really tell that the author put a lot of thought and effort into making sure that her facts come together to clearly explain all of the paranormal aspects that are present. I admit that at times I felt like I was on information overload, but I would much rather have too much information thrown at me than not enough.


I apologize if this review seems scattered and jumbled with a side of contradiction, but as I said before, my outlook on this book is conflicted. I really don't hate it, I'm just disappointed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Best of the Bunch: November 2011


"Best of the Bunch" is an awesome meme hosted every month by the lovely Lyrical Brown at Lyrical Reviews. It spotlights our absolute favorite book we read this month. My Best of the Bunch pick for November is:

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though - she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team... and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.

My choice for the Best of Bunch award actually came down to a tie between this book and Anna and the French Kiss. My decision ultimately had to land on Catching Jordan though; because I literally sat down and read this book in one sitting after UPS delivered it to my door. I honestly can only think of one other instance when I've done such a thing, so this is why Catching Jordan is my favorite this month. It will forever be one of the best contemporaries I've ever read!

The synopsis given for this book doesn't even come close to how AMAZING and addictive it is, and you don't have to be a football fan or an avid contemporary reader to love it either. Jordan is a fantastic character, and the guys in her life are drool-worthy and absolutely lovable. Please do yourself a favor and get this book-- you won't be disappointed! My review can be found HERE.

What book received your Best of the Bunch award? =)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review: Skid Out (Heavy Influence) by Ann Marie Frohoff

Published: Kindle Edition published on 9-12-2011
Format: e-copy
Series: Heavy Influence Trilogy
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

A novella prequel to the Heavy Influence Trilogy about young, reckless love between a rising rock star and his younger muse. Follow their journey through temptation, deception & forbidden love.

17 year old high school senior, Jake Masters, front man of a rising rock band, finds new interest in his younger freshman next door neighbor Alyssa Montgomery. Their relationship breaks hearts; stirs jealousy and band infighting. When they’re brought to new found awareness of body and soul, will rightful boundaries be crossed? Will the right decisions and choices, which are detrimental to the band and its future, be made through the haze of infatuation? Will Jake’s absences on the road lead to another filling his shoes? Jake and Alyssa’s lifelong friendships are strained and tested; secrets are kept, admitted and shared. Family bonds are broken, as others grow stronger. Who knew a first love could cause so many problems? Then again, in their eyes, there are no problems as long as they’re together. In the end, will his new found muse bring down everything he’s worked so hard to achieve or will she inspire positive creative change; that will carry him and his band to stardom.


First I would like to thank Annie Frohoff for emailing me a copy of Skid Out and the Mp3 that goes along with it. I listened to the song, "Transpose", before diving into the story of Jake and Alyssa and I found that it was a nice touch. So, thanks again for giving me the opportunity to read and review your book!

Skid Out is the prequel novella to the Heavy Influence Trilogy, and it is pretty radtastic! In this short novel, we are introduced to the two main characters: Jake and Alyssa. Jake is the lead vocal and guitarist in a band that's in the early stages of taking off, and Alyssa is his younger next door neighbor. The attraction between these two is both unexpected and undeniable. I really enjoyed the fact that this novel was from the perspectives of both of them; and I appreciated the fact that the author was able to keep their point of view's from bleeding together, because the characters are two unique individuals.

Jake seems like a great guy. He's focused and committed to his band. His attraction to Alyssa is a little heartbreaking on one hand because he seems to be battling with himself about how to handle his feelings for her, since up until now she was only ever the kid sister of a friend. Alyssa is also confronted with the same degree of feelings and possible doubt about their budding relationship. She's young and inexperienced, and Jake has inadvertently awakened a part of her that she never knew existed. These two have me hooked, and I'm extremely interested to see where their road to first love will take them.

I recommend this book to anyone who appreciates music and wants to read a believable story about life and love, among other things. This prequel gave me a taste of what is sure to be a fantastic story, and it left me wanting so much more. I will definitely be on the lookout for the Heavy Influence Trilogy because I can't wait to see what Jake and Alyssa will become. 

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Published: 12-2-2010
Format: Paperback, 372 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

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?


This book has me so smitten! Stephanie Perkins sure does know how to write an engaging story; and it doesn't matter if contemporaries are your preferred genre or not, it's impossible not to get swept away with Anna and Etienne. This entire book is a delightful experience, and all of the complicated dilemmas and situations throughout this story are so real and possible. I love when a book can be so believable and really make me feel so many different emotions right along with the characters. Also, the majority of the book takes place in Paris and the author is so fantastic at describing it and making you feel like you're there, which is a truly magical experience as well.

Anna is one of my most favorite characters I've ever come across. She is so incredibly relatable, and has a multitude of endearing quirks that make her even more likable. Her inner monologue is something that I got such a kick out of. I laughed so loudly throughout this book that I'm pretty sure my poor cat is scarred for life (he likes to sit on the arm of my chair, and he found himself alarmed several times by my loud outbursts!).

Anna is complimented well by Etienne, who is the swoon-worthy boy with the English accent that quickly becomes Anna's best friend/love interest. This guy has serious charisma. He's so much better than I thought he would be. The time that Anna and Etienne spend together is so real, and you can actually feel the tension and chemistry between them. Their love story is among my top favorite love stories of all time.

The other friendships that Anna forges while in Paris are also quite memorable. Her entire group of friends are entertaining and diverse, and I found myself so swept up in all of them. They had their arguments and times of tension, but that's reality. Real friends stand by you, and Anna's friends are a true example of that.

I'm so glad I took my friend's advice and picked this book up, because Anna and the French Kiss turned out to be such a delightful read about friendship, first love and self discovery. This is a book I will definitely be re-reading whenever I feel I need a good dose of amusement and happiness.  

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a fun way to exhibit the books we recently acquired. =)



*All titles link to goodreads*

Bought & Reviewed:

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

-This book was so fantastic! It's definitely one of my favorite contemporaries I've ever read. I urge you to read it. My review can be found here.

Bought:

Steampunk Poe -Illustrated by Zdenko Basic & Manuel Sumberac

-My best friend Sarah @ The Book Life spied this while we were at the bookstore a couple of days ago and I went crazy over it! I am a huge fan of Edgar Allan Poe so naturally I just had to buy this. This book is basically just some of Poe's best stories and poems with amazing Steampunk illustrations that go along with the theme of what the stories and poems are about. Here are a couple of pictures of the illustrations:


This one is from the poem The Raven.

This is from The Masque of the Red Death (My favorite story!).

What's in your mailbox? =)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: Deadly Cool (Deadly Cool #1) by Gemma Halliday

Published: 10-11-2011
Format: Paperback, 303 pages
Genre: YA Fiction, Mystery
Series: Deadly Cool
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Hartley Grace Featherstone is having a very bad day. First she finds out that her boyfriend is cheating on her with the president of the Herbert Hoover High School Chastity Club. Then he's pegged as the #1 suspect in a murder. And if that weren't enough, now he's depending on Hartley to clear his name. Seriously? Not cool.

But as much as Hartley wouldn't mind seeing him squirm, she knows he's innocent, and she's the only one who can help him. Along with her best friend, Sam, and the school's resident Bad Boy, Chase, Hartley starts investigating on her own. But as the dead bodies begin to pile up, the mystery deepens, the suspects multiply, and Hartley begins to fear that she may be the killer's next victim.


This was such a fun and entertaining read. Gemma Halliday combines suspense, mystery, humor, and teen angst to produce a great book that's hard to put down. This book had me from the very first page, which sent me into fits of laughter, and it only got better from there!

The main character, Hartley, is hard not to instantly like. The book starts off with her playing the role of detective to find out if the news of her boyfriend's infidelity is true. After she connects the dots she makes an even more startling discovery, which leads to her boyfriend, Josh, being named a prime suspect for a murder. She knows that even though Josh is a cheating douchebag, he's not a killer. Hartley then winds up with the daunting task of trying to prove Josh's innocence, because she seems to be the only one who can. This proves just how good of a person Hartley is and it's one of the things I really liked about her. Even though Josh betrayed her trust, she's still able to overcome her negative feelings towards him because she wants to do the right thing.

Hartley and her investigative team were awesome. Her best friend, Sam, complimented Hartley's character perfectly and she proved to be a great best friend to have. The shenanigans that these two got into was priceless, and their attempt at stealth on several occasions had me cracking up. Chase was a great edition to the story and team as well. He has a very upfront sort of personality that I admire. He's also rocking somewhat of a bad boy vibe that makes it hard for a girl to resist (I know I wouldn't resist!). His ability to fluster Hartley on several occasions was certainly proof of that. I couldn't help but grin when they were around eachother. It'll be interesting to see where things lead next between them, and I'm excited to see more of Chase in the next book.

I had a fun time trying to guess who the killer was throughout this story, because believe me, there are a fair amount of suspects to chose from. I couldn't read fast enough towards the conclusion of the book once the identity and motives of the killer were discovered. I am really excited to see what Hartley will get herself into next in the second book in this series, because I'm definitely hooked!

Review: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Format: Paperback, 281 pages
Genre: YA Contemporary
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

The day I got this book in the mail I sat down and read it in one sitting because I just could NOT put it down. I can only think of one other instance where I've done that. So, obviously I'm incredibly in love with this book! This is definitely one of my favorite contemporaries I've ever read. The storyline is believable and there is both a serious and hilarious tone to the book. The characters are so likable and fantastic as well. Plus, there's a ton of hot boys in this book, and you can never go wrong there!

Jordan Woods is captain and quarterback of her high school football team, where she's a star. In this book, she struggles to overcome the obstacles of being a female in the world of football and she strives to be taken seriously in the college football scene. She's always dreamed of playing college ball, but she soon realizes that not everyone is as open minded as the many who support her in her home town. Along with this dilemma, Jordan also finds herself developing feelings for the new guy in town who joins her team and threatens to take her position as quarterback. Things are complicated, to say the least.

I really liked Jordan! I had such a great time seeing things through her eyes. She's a very confident and capable young woman who has an impressive amount of determination. She's also quite funny. I envied her close relationships with several of her male teammates. I love how protective and supportive they were of her. I especially adore her best friend, Sam Henry (A.K.A. Henry, since everyone calls eachother by their last name in this book. Which is something I found charming). Henry was so awesome, with his sense of humor and solid friendship. He cracked me up in this book. He is a great guy to have around for sure and I couldn't get enough of the moments when him and Jordan were together.

This book is so much more than you could imagine. There are real issues going on throughout the story that are tense and heartbreaking at times. This is an emotional tale of new love, disappointment and discovery. Also, let me point out that you don't have to be a fan of football to like this book. I know pretty much nothing about the sport and found that my lack of knowledge didn't have any effect on my absolute fondness for this story. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a read that will leave you smiling and content. I am definitely a fan of author Miranda Kenneally now and I will gladly read anything else she writes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Published: 9-27-2011
Format: Hardcover, 418 pages
Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy YA Fiction
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?


Laini Taylor has quickly become one of my favorite authors! In Daughter of Smoke and Bone, she weaves a very intricate and dynamic story that will have you on the edge of your seat until you reach the very end. The other world that is described seemed so vivid and I could picture everything that happened so perfectly. This book is also beautifully written and unbelievably descriptive, and the premise is so unique. The characters in this book are divine as well. This entire book is magical.

Seventeen year old Karou doesn't exactly lead the most "normal" life. She pretty much has two separate identities: Art student in Prague by day and errand runner for a horned beast named Brimstone by night-- for whom she collects teeth. I really felt for Karou. She lives her life in a state of emptiness that she can't quite put her finger on. She has no clue where she's from or who her parents were, only that she was taken in by Brimstone and him and a few other non-humans (A.K.A. Chimaera) are the only family she's ever known. I really got so caught up in Karou and her journey throughout this book. Learning about other worlds and races was so incredibly fascinating. Her Chimaera family was so great, all of them so unique. I relished the moments when she stepped through the portal into "elsewhere". I was also in shock and awe every time Karou would stumble across vital bits and pieces of information she had yearned to discover all her life. Believe me, there are so many revelations and discovered truths that will leave your head spinning!

At the heart of this tale is Karou and Akiva. Oh, Akiva........what an experience he was! Some of the moments that he shared with Karou just about set me on fire. This man is, for lack of a better word, HOT. Once we get to know him he proves to be filled with a passion and fire that is irresistible, especially to Karou. Delving into the unexplainable connection that these two share was both beautiful and heartwrenching. You can't help but crave more of them.

This book is filled with an almost palpable intensity at times, but some of the lighter moments that I really quite enjoyed were when Karou and her best friend Zuzana were hanging out. In fact, I can guarantee that pretty much every time I would burst out laughing hysterically, Zuzana was always involved somehow. I hope there's more of her in the next book. Only she can turn a widow's peak into a sexy, dirty and hilarious joke!

I feel like I'm not doing this book justice in this review, because the awesomeness of this story has scrambled my brain. But please take my word for it when I say that you NEED to read this book. It will far exceed your expectations! I can't wait to read the next installment of this series and see what's next for Karou, because the ending of this book left me with so many more questions. But I am sure that whatever happens next will be equally as enchanting and clever!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a fun way to exhibit the books we recently acquired. =)


*All titles link to goodreads*

Bought:

Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Immortal by Gillian Shields
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions by Various Authors (some of my favorites!)

--I'm extremely excited to read all of these! Especially the Shade series. I have heard so many wonderful things about it, one of those things being a hot Scottish boy-- count me in!

Bought & Read:


--This book was so amazing! Definitely one of my favorites in this series. My review can be found HERE.

What's in your mailbox? =)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Last Breath (The Morganville Vampires, #11) by Rachel Caine

Published: 11-1-2011
Format: Hardcover, 335 pages
Genre: Paranormal YA Fiction
Series: The Morganville Vampires
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

With her boss preoccupied researching the Founder Houses in Morganville, student Claire Danvers is left to her own devices when she learns that three vampires have vanished without a trace. She soon discovers that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is someone new to town—a mysterious individual named Magnus. After an uneasy encounter with Morganville’s latest resident, Claire is certain Magnus isn’t merely human. But is he a vampire—or something else entirely?

This book was perhaps one of my favorite books in this series. This is book eleven in The Morganville Vampire series, and it seemed to me that there was a much bigger creep-factor to the story than I ever remember there being in any of the other books--which is great, because I love being creeped out! This book also made me more emotional than any of the previous ones. I laughed, fretted, gasped, and even cried a little (which is something I pretty much NEVER do). Yes people, it was THAT awesome! If you haven't started this series yet, I highly recommend it! You would think that because this series is already eleven books in, that Rachel Caine would be running out of things to make happen in the town of Morganville. But no, the plot twists and story lines are as original as ever, and the characters are just as fantastic.

This book is mostly from the point of view of Claire, one of my favorite protagonists of all time. But we also get the perspectives of Amelie, Shane, Michael and Eve. At first I wasn't sure if it was completely necessary to have so many P.O.V.'s, but now I feel like it was important to be able to witness things through the eyes of these other characters so you can be more in tune with the story.

There are so many characters in this book that I love, and ones that I also love to hate! Claire was great, and she's just as smart and tough as ever. Her and Shane still have me rooting for them, after all this time. Speaking of Shane, we get to see a side of him that we've never seen before, and he just about broke my heart! Eve and Michael are fantastic as well. They are definitely the kinds of friends that I would want in my corner. Myrnin.......oh Myrnin, how I love thee. I don't want to give anything away, but in this book he shows us just how much he cares for Claire. Under all that crazy, he's a big softy, and I love it. Amelie and Oliver of course are the characters that I love to hate. They will continue to make you feel conflicted as to how you feel about them. One minute they're acting like emotionless and lethal creatures, and the next minute they do something that reveals their humanity.

I really can't say too much about the things that creeped and skeeved me out in this book without revealing everything, but I will say that Magnus (as described in the synopsis) is eighteen different kinds of freaky. With him comes an introduction to a whole new species of monster. The situations that Claire and her friends find themselves in while this character was involved are unforgettable and we have definitely not seen the last of this guy. The end of the book leans a little on the cliffhanger side and I'm certain that the next book will definitely be one heck of a ride--I can't wait!  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Review: Anna Dressed In Blood (Anna, #1) by Kendare Blake

Published: 8-30-2011
Format: Hardcover, 316 Pages
Genre: Paranormal YA Fiction
Series: Anna
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
 
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
 
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
 
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

This book was superb in so many ways! I have to admit that I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy reading from a male point of view, because I tend to relate more to female characters, but I had no problems at all-- in fact, I found it refreshing to have a male's take on things. There were so many great elements to this book: ghosts, romance, action, gore, creepiness and humor. The author does a great job of explaining things and piecing together the story. This book also reminds me a lot of my all-time favorite television show, Supernatural, which is a plus for me!

Cas is a great main character. He's funny, sarcastic, badass and smart. He has embraced his calling as a ghost hunter, and he's extremely focused and passionate about his duties. So of course when Cas learns of a ghost in Ontario called Anna Dressed in Blood that viciously murders anyone who sets foot in her house, he straps on his deadly athame and travels to Thunder Bay with his mother to rid the town of her presence. But when Cas finds himself thrown into a situation with Anna, he is surprised when she spares his life, on more than one occasion. As Cas and Anna develop an inexplicable bond, he finds himself torn between what's right and wrong when the pressure to kill Anna becomes more urgent. Because there is more to Anna's tragic story than anyone can imagine, and when Cas uncovers the shocking/horrific details of Anna's murder he realizes that although she has taken many lives, she is also a victim herself and needs to be saved.

Anna is a constant presence in this book and you can't help but feel for her, despite the heinous things she's done. What's interesting is that she's part monster, and part regular girl; which makes the relationship she develops with Cas both beautiful and heartbreaking. She also becomes an important ally to Cas and his friends when they find themselves dealing with another malevolent force in town (which is, by the way, really freaking creepy!).

The surprising friendships that Cas forges were a great addition to the story as well. I was pleasantly surprised by Carmel. She proved to be a very loyal and understanding friend. Thomas, the geeky telepath, was quite a trip also, along with his colorful grandfather. Cas' mother was outstanding. She's a very strong woman and highly supportive. I can't wait to see more of these characters!

I'm eager to see what happens with Cas, Anna and their team of "ghostbusters" because this book ended with surprise, triumph and devastation. I'm sure the next book will be filled with just as many interesting things. I can't wait!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: Bitten (Dangerous Girls & The Taste of Night) by R.L. Stine

Published: 9-1-2010
Format: Paperback, 484 pages
Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction
Series: Dangerous Girls
My rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

You'll love them—to death.

Twin sisters Destiny and Livvy Weller return home from summer vacation with a dark secret . . . and an inhuman desire to drink blood. What have they become? Can they ever turn back? As their deadly secret becomes harder to keep, more questions arise and loyalties are tested. And as one sister descends into darkness, the other must find a way to save her—and herself. Who will live to see the glow of the next full moon? Which sister will survive?

In Dangerous Girls and Dangerous Girls #2: The Taste of Night, published together in Bitten, bestselling author R.L. Stine explores the dark creatures of the night.

Let me just say that R.L. Stine is the one who sparked my passion for reading several years ago, and for that I thank him! When I was younger I couldn't get enough of his Goosebumps and Fear Street books. So when I bought this book, I was feeling nostalgic and eager to channel my inner twelve-year-old again. I read this book before Halloween, because when I think of this holiday, I think of R.L. Stine. This book is actually two books combined into one. The first book is called Dangerous Girls and the second is called The Taste of Night (Dangerous Girls #2).

Twin sisters Destiny and Livvy Weller come back from summer camp very different. They have these unexplained bite marks on their necks, things start happening to them that they don't understand, and an attractive boy named Renz is following them. Not to mention, their town is buzzing with rumors of vampires and vampire hunters. Things become even more frightening when Destiny and Livvy's friends start turning up murdered. So, basically in the first part of this book the twins are trying to figure out who they can trust and what they can do to stop their impending transformation into full-fledged vampires. The end of the first book, Dangerous Girls, leaves us with some surprising revelations and questions. I pretty much saw certain things coming and the plot twists that were intended to be shocking didn't have that exact effect on me, but I still appreciated them and was able to enjoy the story.

The Taste of Night picks up where the first book left off. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that Livvy's character ticked me off more in this part of the story. She's selfish and reckless and I didn't much care for her. Her actions and secrets in the first book that were later revealed proved just how self-involved she is. She pretty much leaves her sister and entire family in the lurch with everything. But in the end, she somewhat redeems herself and she's there when it counts. The ending of the story isn't really a cliffhanger, but it left me wanting just a little more. However, it was still an acceptable ending.

I recommend this book to those who are fans of R.L. Stine and his writing style. He definitely gave an interesting take on vampires and the plot twists are enough to keep you interested.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Best of the Bunch: October 2011



"Best of the Bunch" is a meme hosted every month by Lyrical Reviews. It spotlights our absolute favorite book we read this month. My Best of the Bunch pick for October is:

Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls #2) by C.C. Hunter

Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities.  But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold. 

To make matters worse, just when she’s about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away.  When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie’s feels more conflicted than ever. Her weekend with her mom should have been just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point.  Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie--and it'll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive...

Pretty much every book I read this month has been radtastic, and if I could list all of them as my Best of the Bunch then I would. But since there can only be one, I definitely pick Awake at Dawn. This series has been one that I've consistently LOVED. This book is the second book in the Shadow Falls series, the first book is Born at Midnight. If you haven't started this series yet, I highly recommend that you do--especially if you fancy shapeshifters, werewolves, vampires, fairies and witches. This book has a little something for everyone! There's also a fair amount of romance/sexual tension and humor. Plus, several of the characters are extremely awesome, especially Kylie! My spoiler-free review of this book can be found HERE. =)

Which book received your Best of the Bunch award?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1) by Maureen Johnson

Published: 9-29-2011
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Paranormal YA Fiction
Series: Shades of London
My rating: 5/5 stars


Synopsis from goodreads:

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

This book was incredibly radtastic! The author's writing style is quick and witty, as well as snarky and sarcastic at times--in other words, her style is just plain delightful! The theme of this book is also very hard not to like. I've been fascinated with the whole Jack the Ripper case ever since I first learned of it as a kid. Who hasn't though? I mean, it's been over 100 years since the murders took place and people are still coming up with theories as to who the killer was. "Rippermania" is still being kept alive by some, and if you don't know what "Rippermania" is, you will most definitely find out about it while reading this story. You will also get a dose of the ghost activity around London, which makes this book all the more enjoyable and interesting.

Aside from all of the riveting facts on the Ripper and his victims that I wasn't aware of before and the incredible suspense that this book puts you in, it's an absolute delight to follow Rory and her friends through London. I've never been out of the country, but let me tell you that London is now a place that I would LOVE to visit. Also, I always enjoy reading about the life of a boarding school student. Even better than the location of the book, though, is Rory and her interactions with the other characters in this book. She is hilarious, random, brave and a little goofy, even. I could go on and on about how awesome she is, but you really just have to read this book to get the full effect. I absolutely love her friends as well. Especially her roommates (Jazza & Boo are so great in their own ways) and the "ghost police" she comes into contact with. I will say though, that I'm not entirely wowed by her love interest, Jerome. Don't get me wrong, I liked his character just fine and he'd be fun to be friends with, but as a match for Rory, I'm just not feeling it. I'd much rather see her with Stephen, the young policeman. There's just something about him that's hot. Maybe it's his confidence and somewhat powerful demeanor, but whatever it is, I'll be glad to see more of him.

This book opens up so many possibilities and I know that there will be so much more to uncover about Rory, the secret "ghost police" and London. I can't wait to add to the already shocking and unexpected knowledge I gained from this book-- Maureen Johnson definitely has my attention! I have several more thoughts on this story that I would love to convey, but then this review would be way too long. So, I suppose I will just have to stick with saying that this book will not disappoint you and I very highly recommend it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls #2) by C.C. Hunter

Published: 10-11-11
Format: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal YA Fiction
Series: Shadow Falls
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities.  But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold. 

To make matters worse, just when she’s about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away.  When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie’s feels more conflicted than ever. Her weekend with her mom should have been just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point.  Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie--and it'll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive...

This book is the second one in the Shadow Falls series, Born at Midnight is the first book. I absolutely adored Born at Midnight and I am so pleased to report that Awake at Dawn was JUST as fantastic! The plot is easy to keep up with and it runs pretty smoothly as far as jumping from one moment to the next. There's also quite a bit of teenage hormones and angst, which is one of the aspects of this book that is completely believable. I also really enjoy the fact that C.C. Hunter creates characters that make me laugh like a crazy person, and that her characters are so diverse that there's a different reason to enjoy every one of them!

After Kylie accepts once and for all that she isn't completely human, she struggles with gaining answers and a definition to just what exactly she is. It was amusing and interesting to see her go through many changes in this book, both emotionally and physically. It becomes obvious that she's unique, and trying to guess what she is proves to be extremely difficult for both the reader and Kylie. Unfortunately, she's got bigger problems than her lack of answers involving her heritage. She has the difficult task of trying to decipher the urgent message of a ghost and trying to defend herself against a very unstable rogue vampire and unseen presence--all of which are creepy on different levels. 

Kylie's quest for self-discovery and dealings with dead/evil beings aren't the only complicated things in her life, though. Here enters Derek and Lucas: A smokin' hot fairy and a very seductive, bad-boy werewolf. I STILL don't entirely know which one of these beautiful specimen I want Kylie to end up with. Like so many other frustrating love triangles, it's hard not to like them both for entirely different reasons. Sigh. But I must say, I got a kick out of the enormous amounts of sexual tension that were filling the pages of this book whenever Kylie was around these two boys. I think it rings incredibly true to how a young adult/teenager feels in these types of sutuations.

Kylie's friends are also a very satisfying component in this book. The diverse group of people she hangs out with are stellar, and learning about their different abilities is pretty interesting. Della and Miranda are her best friends and roommates, and they crack me up. They each have their own endearing quirks. Kylie's mentor, Holiday, is also a favorite of mine. She sort of plays the role of the caring, big sister. I've also come to really like Burnett, the FRU agent and hot vampire who has some serious, angry sexual tension brewing with Holiday--can't wait to see where that leads!

If you couldn't already tell, I definitely recommend this book/series. It's got the perfect combination of humor, drama, action, creepiness and romance-- all with a supernatural twist. I'm eagerly anticipating what will happen next with Kylie and her friends, as she discovers more about who she is and what she can do. I'm also hoping she continues to kick some more ass, because it's awesome when she does!

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