Monday, September 26, 2011

The Iron Quill (The Pace, #3) by Shelena Shorts

Published: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Lands Atlantic Publishing
Format: Paperback
Genre: Paranormal YA Fiction
Series: The Pace
My rating: 4/5 Stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

With Weston's self-imposed forty-eight hour deadline having already lapsed, Sophie's patience is pushed to the max—especially with her realization that his concern is not for his own well-being, but for hers.

Just when they embrace a reconnection, she'll learn that her greatest threat is not necessarily something that might happen in the future, but something that’s happening… right now. And this time, Sophie and Wes will need the help of more than one person to fix it—even if it means giving up his secret.

With time forever moving, and the dark cloud at its lowest, the third book in the Pace Series stays true to its signature grace and determination as Sophie and Weston take the biggest detour so far.

This book picked up right where The Broken Lake (The Pace, #2) left off. Wes has been kidnapped by some mysterious military special ops group, and Sophie is understandably freaking out. Her and one of Wes' closest colleagues have to work together to find and return him home safely.

Unfortunately, I found nearly the first half of the book to be boring, even though I'm sure the author meant for the reader to get caught up in Sophie's distress and Wes' rescue. You would think that since one of the main character's life/identity is basically being threatened that I would be on the edge of my seat, absorbed in finding out what happens, but that was most definitely not the case. Things were moving way too slow for me and I found myself thinking, "either rescue or kill the dude already, I've got stuff to do today". I honestly feared that I might have to give up on this series if this book continued on the way it started. But I kept reading, and to my delight, I found that the second half of the book pretty much made up for the slow beginning, and it ended up providing me with a fair amount of chuckles as well (Yeah, I know, this review seems like one big mood swing/contradiction, but bear with me).

After Wes' ordeal, some serious, unexpected events unfolded. I knew that there were going to be some acts of revenge being carried out, but to what degree, I had no clue. Those acts, while shocking and upsetting, allowed for some touching events to occur between Wes and Sophie. I don't want to reveal too much, but the last happenings of this book had me close to tears (happy ones). I was also pleased that we received more answers regarding Wes and Sophie's past, and I quite like how the new character, Dr. Carter, fits into their lives.

Although this book had me on an emotional roller coaster at times, I know that I will definitely be reading the last and final book, The Hour of Dreams, because I've become quite attached to the love story of Wes and Sophie. But I know that the story of "star-crossed lovers" can never be cut and dry, so I am sure that these two will probably have the rug pulled out from under them again. However, I am choosing to think positively about their future. So, if you like a somewhat cheesy yet likable romance, with a one-of-a-kind scientific and miraculous twist, then I recommend this series to you.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zompacolypse 2011 Contest

The Story Seekers are having a really awesome contest the month of October involving Zombies! To find out more about it and to enter, click here. They have three books that are up for grabs.

I've never entered a contest like this before and I'm really excited, so you should get on board as well!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Demon Trapper's Daughter (The Demon Trappers, #1) By Jana Oliver

Release Date: 2-1-2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format: eBook
Genre: Paranormal YA Fiction
Series: The Demon Trappers
My rating: 4/5 Stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

It’s the year 2018, and with human society seriously disrupted by the economic upheavals of the previous decade, Lucifer has increased the number of demons in all major cities. Atlanta is no exception. Fortunately, humans are protected by Demon Trappers, who work to keep homes and streets safe from the things that go bump in the night. Seventeen-year-old Riley, only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father’s footsteps. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing attraction to fellow Trapper apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving citizens from Grade One Hellspawn. Business as usual, really, for a demon-trapping teen. When a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood, she realizes that she’s caught in the middle of a battle between Heaven and Hell.

The prospect of a 17-year-old, demon ass-kicking chick was what initially drew me to this book. I like a good story where a female annihilates--who doesn't? So when the first page of this book starts off with Riley (the protagonist) trapping a demon in a library, I knew I was hooked! I've never read a book dealing with actual, scary demons before, so I was pretty excited to delve into Riley's world where Lucifer's minions were very much a reality. Plus, we get to learn about necromancers, witches, angels, and these things that are basically zombies (but not the stereotypical kind). So there are several supernatural aspects to this book to enjoy.

Although she's a very strong-willed individual, Riley's character is also very naive about a lot of things. I really enjoyed experiencing her character develop-- she deals with a lot of heartbreak and devastation throughout the story that forces her to mature and open her eyes. She's a fighter and I was rooting for her the whole way. It's not easy being the only female demon trapper in The Demon Trapper's Guild. She's surrounded by men, some who think she doesn't deserve to be a part of the Guild because of her gender. But she holds her ground. She's also very humorous at times, which is always a plus for me. 

Besides my fondness for Riley, I also quite enjoyed several other characters that were introduced, especially the boys in Riley's life. Denver Beck (a.k.a. Beck) is a true Georgia boy with the most charming/backwoods southern drawl you could imagine, and I am definitely a fan of his. He's cocky, smart, isn't afraid to speak his mind, and he REALLY knows how to get under Riley's skin. I was highly entertained by their constant banter. Simon, on the other hand, is sweet and a gentleman. In my opinion, he's a little boring and too cheesy, but some chicks are into that. A couple of the other guys that are present in this book are Peter and Ori. Peter is Riley's best friend, who is sort of a geek, but totally awesome. We don't know a whole lot about Ori yet, other than he's insanely swoon-worthy. I'm interested to see what kind of shenanigans Riley will get herself into involving one or more of these four guys, because it's bound to happen!

In addition to Riley and several of the other characters, I got such a kick out of some of the different kinds of demons that were introduced in this book. Some of them were super creepy and lethal, but others were just comical and somewhat adorable. I also found humor in how some of them were trapped. I've got to hand it to the author for her creativity. She also did very well in creating so many different characters that you know you maybe shouldn't like, but you do anyway because you just can't help yourelf!

The end of the book wraps up with more action, devastation, and questions. But there is also encouragement and hope for Riley. I'm interested to see how things will play out for her and the people in her life, as well as learn the back-stories of some of the characters that I am extremely curious about. I'm sure Soul Thief (The Demon Trappers, #2) will not disappoint.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (4)

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. =)

I wasn't messing around this week when it came to buying books! I think this is the most I've ever bought in one week, but I'm totally cool with it. :)

Bought for my Nook (I got a great deal on all of these!):

Camille by Tess Oliver
Sworn (Book #1 of the Vampire Legends) by Emma Knight
Feather (Feather #1) by Abra Ebner
Hollowland (The Hollows #1) by Amanda Hocking
Madison by Mirriam Smyth
  • Camille sounded really awesome to me. Werewolves and old-timey England? Yes, please!
  • Sworn is about vampires. So is The Vampire's Warden, Turned at Dark (this is a bonus story for the Shadow Falls series. The first book is Born at Midnight and is AWESOME) and Born to Darkness. For some reason I never get tired of reading about vampires.
  • The Charmer appealed to me because it's about werewolves, and I'm a sucker for them as well.
  • Doomed reeled me in because I already own, but haven't read yet, A Job From Hell.
  • Feather sounds pretty original and interesting, can't wait to see what the deal is with the main character.
  • Hollowland is by one of my all-time favorite authors, Amanda Hocking, and it's about ZOMBIES! If you haven't read any of her books yet, I urge you to do so!
  • Retro Demonology is a short story from The Demon Trappers series. I am about to start reading The Demon Trapper's Daughter, and I'm excited!
  • Madison is a bit of a mystery to me, but it's a short story so if I end up hating it then I won't feel too bad about it.

Bought at the book store:

Blood on the Moon by Jennifer Knight
Jane by April Lindner
Generation Dead (Generation Dead #1) by Daniel Waters

  • Blood on the Moon promises werewolves, vampires AND hot boys!
  • Jane provides a modern twist on Jane Eyre, and I have been wanting to read it since I first discovered it.
  • Generation Dead just sounds so amusing/awesome that I couldn't pass it up! I believe the supernaturals in this book are zombies? I guess I'll find out.

-What's in your mailbox? =)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Liebster Award!

Thank you so much, Rabiah @ Confessions of a Readaholic, for nominating me for the Liebster Award!!
The Liebster Award is awarded to those blogs with less than 200 followers.

-The rules for this award are as follows: 

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Have faith that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers.
5. And most of all--have bloggity-blog fun!

There are so many fantastic blogs I follow!
5 blogs I feel are worthy of the award are:

Go check these bloggers out if you haven't already! =)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Hidden (The Hollow, #3) by Jessica Verday

Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Paranormal YA Fiction
Series: The Hollow
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Abbey knows that Caspian is her destiny. Theirs is a bond that transcends even death. But as Abbey finally learns the full truth about the dark fate that links her to Caspian and ties them both to the town of Sleepy Hollow, she suddenly has some very hard choices to make. Caspian may be the love of her life, but is that love worth dying for?

Beautifully spun, emotionally gripping, and irresistibly romantic, The Hidden will leave you breathless.

Words can barely express my love for this trilogy!! Initially I picked this series up because I learned that the author incorporates The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, By Washington Irving, into her story. That in itself guarantees for an awesome story (if done correctly), in my opinion! I believe that if Jessica Verday had decided to go a different route, leaving out all of the Sleepy Hollow connections (yes, it could have been done), I would still have adored this tale that she so uniquely spun, I just wouldn't have adored it as much. So kudos to the author for taking an iconic legend, and adding it to the many fantastic ingredients she already had in the mix!

One of the things I really appreciated about this series was that there were no infuriating love triangle situations. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy getting caught up in a juicy triangle (or sometimes square) from time to time, but sometimes I feel that it takes away from the story. It seems that from day one, it was always Abbey and the swoon-worthy Caspian, although we were always left to wonder what would become of them. In this final installment of The Hollow trilogy, Abbey struggles with the realities of what will happen if/when she decides to fully commit herself to Caspian, because nothing is cut and dry when it comes to their situation. Which is another reason as to why I am rather fond of them and their connection. I devoured every second of the time they were together.

When I wasn't completely wrapped up in Abbey and Caspian, I was really enjoying the other characters in this book. Abbey's small group of friends are entertaining and hilarious. Ben is a mixture of boyish charms, witty remarks and extreme intelligence (I want one! haha). Beth is very straightforward and forceful at times, but in a good way. She's a good friend to Abbey. There was a new character introduced in this book that I would have loved to learn so much more about, and that is Cyn. She's the new girl in town who ends up being assigned a locker right next to Abbey. Right away it is obvious that she is a little.....different, I totally loved her character though. She was very honest and sort of abrasive, but not necessarily in a rude way. I really wanted the author to elaborate on her character, but sadly that never happened. We are left to draw our own conclusions on her involvement and abilities. All I know is that she's awesome, and I would have befriended someone like her in a heartbeat! Some of my other favorite characters, Nikolas and Katy, are just as sweet and caring as ever in this book, and we get to spend some more time with Uri and Cacey (which is nice, because they were still kind of a mystery in the previous book). Vincent is a level 10 douche-bag, enough said!

I am SO glad to have finally gotten to the bottom of the Revenants and the Shades. I will not go into detail about these characters because I don't want to reveal too much, but I will say that I really enjoyed a couple of the Revenant characters in particular, as well as the Shades. The idea of Revenants and Shades is so fascinating, I have never read a book involving these elements before so it was refreshing to read something so new to me. Also, the whole deal with Kristen (Abbey's dead best friend) is finally revealed. The circumstances involving her death are a bit of a shock and not entirely what I expected.

The ending of this book literally gave me goosebumps and left me all kinds of emotional! I really appreciate books that can do that to me, really make me FEEL something. All in all, I found the close of this story to be very shocking and pleasing, and not necessarily in that order. This is definitely a series that I will read over again, because it was THAT good. I will never be able to get enough of Abbey and Caspian. So, if you enjoy a great romance with several extraordinary elements, then I urge you to read this trilogy.

-On a completely random note, I would just like to say that I got such a kick out of the Vampire Diaries and Supernatural references! I am an avid fan of both t.v. shows, so when they were mentioned, I was extremely excited and amused (clearly it doesn't take much, don't judge me! haha).

In My Mailbox (3)

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. =)

Bought & Read:
The Hidden (The Hollow, #3) by Jessica Verday

-I literally just finished reading this book tonight! I LOVED it! This is one of my all time favorite trilogy's. I'll post my review soon-ish. =D

Bloodlines (Signed Copy!! Woot!) by Richelle Mead
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

-I had initially decided to wait on purchasing Bloodlines (which seems like blasphemy). But when amazon e-mailed me that they had signed copy's for just $9.50, I couldn't help myself, I had to go ahead and buy it! I am so excited to read it!
As for Claire de Lune, I just added it to my to-read list, and then WHAM, there it was at my local Books-A-Million store for just $3.97. It was fate, and I'm a sucker for werewolves.

What's in your mailbox?? =)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Shut Out" by Kody Keplinger

Release Date: September 5, 2011
Publisher: Poppy
Format: Hardcover
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes' play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.

I became an instant fan of Kody Keplinger after reading her debut novel, The DUFF; so I wasn't surprised when I fell in love with her newest book, Shut Out. If you like reading books that are very real, believable and honest, then I definitely recommend this one. The storyline in this book is a clever way to reveal and talk about the realities of sex, and how everyone is different-- there is no "normal" or "abnormal" when it comes to the subject, as indicated in the book. Also, aside from the serious subject matter, there are also a lot of laughs to be had from this book! The author's sense of humor is great.

I really enjoyed and appreciated Lissa's character. She had her idiosyncrasy's and insecurities, but she was overall a great person and her character really grew throughout the book. She proved to be someone that her fellow classmates could admire. I also really liked her relationship with her dad, and how much she took care of him. Her best friend, Chloe, is hilarious! I loved how she was very open and honest about herself, and how good of a friend she was to Lissa. The other female characters in this book were fun to read about as well, all of them dealing with different issues. Each character paints a different picture, which I liked.

Lissa's boyfriend, Randy, and her other love interest, Cash, are like night and day. It was interesting to see how Lissa's relationship progressed with these two. I just loved Cash, he sounded so adorable and his personality was just so likable. Randy........well, let's just say that he was kind of a manipulating smooth-talker. His character reminded me a lot of someone I dated several years ago (see, I'm not lying when I say this book is believable!).

I feel like there is so much more I could say about this novel, praising it, but I am not as good with words as the great, Kody Keplinger. So, you'll just have to get yourself a copy of Shut Out and trust me when I say that it's fantastic!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Jenny Pox (The Paranormals, #1) By J.L. Bryan

Pub. Date: 11-9-10
Publisher: J.L. Bryan
Format: eBook
Series: The Paranormals
Age Group: Young Adult

Jenny has a secret. Her touch spreads a supernatural plague.

She devotes her life to avoiding contact with people, until her senior year of high school, when she meets the one boy she can touch, and she falls in love.

But there's a problem--he's under the spell of his devious girlfriend Ashleigh, who secretly wields the most dangerous power of all.

Now Jenny must learn to use the deadly "Jenny pox" she's fought her entire life to hide, or be destroyed by Ashleigh's ruthless plans.

This series initially appealed to me because the story sounded unique and got a great review by one of my favorite authors, Amanda Hocking. This book had so many different elements that I truly loved: romance, horror, gore, poetic justice, sexuality and a relatable protagonist. I feel the need to point out right away that this is NOT a book for the squeamish! The author is very descriptive regarding some very intense and disturbing situations. Also, this book has some mature sexual situations that I'm not used to seeing in a YA novel. However, I didn't feel like it took away from the story and it didn't make me uncomfortable, so it was fine--I just wanted to put that out there.

I like how relatable Jenny's character is; not because I can infect the plague upon anyone who touches me-- but because I know what it's like to feel like an outcast (much like everyone else out there who has probably felt this way at one time or another). I couldn't help but feel empathy for her and I truly wanted better for her.

Because of Jenny's condition she is forced to distance herself from everyone (making her a social pariah), until she meets Seth. I was a little reluctant to like Seth at first, but after a while I relented. He seemed to awaken something in Jenny that she was never capable of, or allowed to render, before. I will say that I was initially annoyed at how fast their relationship seemed to progress, but by the end of the book I understood why it did.

The character of Ashleigh was just plain awful, and to say that she was the quintessential "mean girl" would be an understatement. She was a huge reason as to why several people went out of their way to taunt and berate Jenny, unjustified. The hate-fueled relationship between Ashleigh and Jenny reminds me of the stigma that goes along with being "different", and that it's easier for people to jump on the hate-bandwagon than it is to try to think for yourself and show a little humanity for the people and things you don't understand.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely make it a point to read Tommy Nightmare, the next one in the series. I can't wait to find out more about Jenny's abilities, and those like her. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. =)


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