Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Dead on the Delta (Annabelle Lee #1) by Stacey Jay

Published: May 31, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: Paperback, 389 pages
Genre: Adult Paranormal Fiction
Series: Annabelle Lee
Rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Once upon a time, fairies were the stuff of bedtime stories and sweet dreams. Then came the mutations, and the dreams became nightmares. Mosquito-size fairies now indulge their taste for human blood—and for most humans, a fairy bite means insanity or death. Luckily, Annabelle Lee isn’t most humans. The hard-drinking, smart-mouthed, bicycle-riding redhead is immune to fairy venom, and able to do the dirty work most humans can’t. Including helping law enforcement— and Cane Cooper, the bayou’s sexiest detective—collect evidence when a body is discovered outside the fairy-proof barricades of her Louisiana town.

But Annabelle isn’t equipped to deal with the murder of a six year-old girl or a former lover-turned-FBI snob taking an interest in the case. Suddenly her already bumpy relationship with Cane turns even rockier, and even the most trust-worthy friends become suspects. Annabelle’s life is imploding: between relationship drama, a heartbreaking murder investigation, Breeze-crazed drug runners, and a few too many rum and Cokes, Annabelle is a woman on the run—from her past, toward her future, and into the arms of a darkness waiting just for her. . . .

The description of this book lured me in with promises of deadly fairies, a murder mystery, rocky romance and a sassy heroine--and it sure did deliver, and then some! This book has an endless supply of excitement and the plot is intense, witty and entertaining. There's also a cast of unique characters that bring the whole story together so nicely.

I'm a big fan of Annabelle Lee! She doesn't hide the person that she is and she makes no apologies. She's also such a mess, which makes her that much more relatable. Right away you can tell that she is very multi-layered, and peeling back some of those layers explains why she has so many hang-ups and why she's the uncensored, sarcastic, commitment-phobic person she is today. Her past and childhood are filled with pure heartache. Even though there were times when I wanted to slap her a little, I knew why she behaved the way she did.

Annabelle's story sucks you in and it's very easy to get caught up in her world. Her job is kind of gross, yet interesting at the same time; she collects fairy waste samples because she is one of the few humans around who is impervious to a fairy's bite. She also assists the local police department in collecting evidence from crime scenes outside of the fairy-proof barrier. After collecting samples from a murdered child, she accidentally becomes an integral part in the murder investigation. Annabelle also stumbles into some unreal situations that end up having a profound effect on her, leading her to associate with some mysterious people. There is a lot going on in this book and fairies aren't the only supernatural element to be weary of.

In addition to everything Annabelle already has on her plate, she's got some serious romantic drama unfolding. She's dating (sort of) a handsome detective by the name of Cane, but then her ex, Hitch, rolls into town and he awakens some emotions in her that have been dormant a long time. These two men are so different but I like them both. One thing's for sure, both of their relationships with Annabelle are extremely complicated and I can't wait to see what happens with them.

Dead on the Delta ended with a bang, and it more than hints at the beginning of something huge for Annabelle. I'm excited to read the next book in this series and I look forward to learning more about this fiery and dysfunctional protagonist.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stacking The Shelves (5)


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's a fun way to share what books we recently added to our bookshelves.
 
*All titles link to goodreads*
 
Here are some of the books I've received recently:
 
 Gifted:

Renegade by J.A. Souders bookmark and card (signed)
Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelley Coriell bookmark

VERY special thanks go out to my best friend, Sarah (The Book Life), for being so generous and surprising me with these awesome books and bookmarks! =D

Bought:


I'm currently reading Halfway to the Grave and I'm LOVING IT!! I knew that I would want to read the next book in the series right away so I went ahead and bought the next three books in the series. I can't wait to read more about Cat and Bones (my new book boyfriend!).

 Thanks for stopping by, and please leave me a link to your post so I can check out the books you received as well!

-Shanon =)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Early Review: Cold Fury (Cold Fury #1) by T.M. Goeglein

Expected publication: July 24, 2012
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Format: Paperback, ARC
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Cold Fury
My rating: 4/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.

Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.


When I first started reading Cold Fury, I had a hard time latching onto the story and getting into it because it had a slow start. But after one-hundred pages or so, the plot picked up considerably and I was hooked! There ended up being a lot of action and fighting, as well as endless secrets about the main character's family being uncovered, and there are a lot of funny and interesting characters to meet along the way.

Sara Jane Rispoli is the main character, and she comes home one day to find her house in disarray and her family missing. This event is the beginning of something huge, and soon Sara Jane begins to piece together shocking information that involves her and her family, and this is when she learns that the Rispoli's have ties to the mob. She's had suspicions for a while that maybe there was more to her family than she was being let in on, and boy does she learn more than she bargains for when she gains access to an old notebook that holds HUGE secrets and information about "the Outfit" and her family's role in it.

Sara Jane has to rely solely on her own intuition, playing detective and trusting no one as she jumps from hideout to hideout on her mission to find information about her family's whereabouts. With a crazy masked man (who is massively creepy!) popping up everywhere trying to kill her, she definitely doesn't have it easy. I really like Sara Jane, she's a very skilled boxer and she knows how to give it as well as take it. I never grew tired of her dishing out her justice. What I find most fascinating about her though is her "cold fury", which we get an example of several times in this book, believe me! I won't give anything away, but just know that this is a very surprising and interesting element in the story.

The conclusion of this book leaves you wanting more and poses more questions. There's a lot of mystery within the entire plot and it definitely doesn't cease at the end of the book. I recommend Cold Fury to anyone looking for a story rich with betrayal, secrets, action, the mob, and a strong female protagonist. I'm certainly interested in continuing on this journey with Sara Jane and finding out more about her.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: ReVamped (Angel Creek #1) by Ada Adams


Published: February 20, 2012
Format: eBook
Genre: Fiction, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Series: Angel Creek
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads:

A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.


*Special thanks to Ada Adams for providing me with a copy of ReVamped in exchange for an honest review.*

When I first read the description for ReVamped I was instantly intrigued and had a feeling that I would enjoy this book--I couldn't have been more right! ReVamped proved to be way more than your typical vampire story; with a fast-paced plot and an incredibly inventive story line with a lot of depth. It is definitely safe to say that Ada Adams has been permanently added to my list of favorite authors, and I really want to give her an enthusiastic high five for writing this delightful book!

This book surrounds Dawn, who is the female protagonist and an all around fierce chick. Dawn is ecstatic when her father sends her on her first official mission to a quiet little town called Angel Creek, where she is charged with the task of whipping four misfit vampires into Guardians of the town. But after she gets there she quickly becomes sucked into something bigger than she imagined, and she soon starts to uncover clues that will lead her to a revelation that turns her world upside down. I like Dawn completely; she's funny, smart, badass, and she can single-handedly kick some serious butt. I felt for her at times, because she had to endure some traumatic things in this book, but she's strong and I admire her for that. She starts out as a strong young woman, but grows into something even more fierce.

I had a lot of laughs and "oh my!" moments while reading this book. Dawn's training sessions with the eclectic group of guardians--whose names are Brooke, Sophie, Seth and Hunter--were comical at times, since they really were quite the motley crew. But somewhere along the way they all became friends and like family to one another, and I loved that! Do you want to know what else I loved? SEBASTIAN. On my goodness, I can't get enough of Sebastian! He started off being a bit of a tool to Dawn but after we get an explanation for this, it makes sense. The progression of their relationship was entertaining and very mysterious at times, and they have some undeniable chemistry for sure. I know that I'm certainly swooning over this guy! Ethan, Dawn's other admirer, is pretty swoony as well, and he certainly made a great addition to Dawn's team when some intense scenarios started to play out.

This was definitely a hard book to put down, especially when secrets from Dawn's past started to surface--secrets that Dawn was sheltered from and unaware of until now. I'm not going to give anything away, but I will say that all of the mysteries in this story that unfold are shocking and amazing! Some of the character's connections are those that I never saw coming, and I had several jaw-dropping experiences while reading this book.

So basically, I think everyone needs to read this book! Especially if you are into the paranormal genre and are looking for something completely unique and fantastic to dive into. This book rocked my socks, and I can't even express how excited I'll be when I am able to get my hands on ReAwakened, which is the next book in this series!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stacking The Shelves (4)


Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews. It's a fun way to share what books we recently added to our bookshelves.
 
*All titles link to goodreads*
 
Here are some of the books I've received recently:
 
 Bought:

Something Like Normal by Trish Doller
The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols

A couple of weekends ago Trish Doller had a book signing/launch party for her book Something Like Normal and I was fortunate enough to go! I had so much fun (Trish is SO NICE!) and was able to snag two signed copies of her book, one for me to keep and one to give away on my blog in the near future--so watch out for that, because although I haven't read her book yet, I've heard phenomenal things about it and you'll want to get a copy of it as well!

While I was at the book signing, which was at a Barnes & Noble, I also bought The One That I Want because it sounds like such a cute book and I've been wanting to read it since it was released. I also got a cute bookmark, which is pictured above.

I requested God Save the Queen from LibraryThing last month but I didn't get picked to receive an ARC, which had me super bummed. BUT, it just recently came out so I was able to buy it from Amazon. I'm so excited to read it, and Braine from Talk Supe gave it an awesome review so I know I'll enjoy it!

Won & Gifted:
 
Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Venom by Fiona Paul bookmark (signed)
Black City by Elizabeth Richards bookmark (signed)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund bookmark
 
I won a gift card for Amazon from the wonderful Cimmaron and Braine over at Talk Supe! That gift card paid for Halfway to the Grave and Obsidian. Thanks so much, ladies!! I'm dying to read these!
 
Also, special thanks to the very gracious and nice Jenna from Making the Grade for sharing the wealth and giving me the awesome Venom, Black City, and For Darkness Shows the Stars bookmarks! They are so pretty!
 
 
Thanks for stopping by, and please leave me a link to your post so I can check out the books you received as well!

-Shanon =)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Expected publication: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Tor Teen
Format: ARC, Paperback
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
My rating: 5/5 stars

Synopsis from goodreads: 

Orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress’s gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true.

They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien’s brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?

As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove—and what she would risk to stay there….


First off, I HIGHLY recommend this exquisite book! It's so very rare to find a book that completely surprises me, and that is exactly what this one did. Dark Companion has a bit of a Jane Eyre feel going on, which is also mixed with mystery, folklore and supernatural elements. Marta Acosta has crafted such an intriguing novel with new and creative concepts that will most definitely surprise and awe you.

Jane is an orphan who is given a scholarship and a rare opportunity to escape her hard life and live up to her potential at the Birch Grove Academy for Girls, which is a very prestigious school. I really like Jane, she's a fighter and a hard worker whose past is marred with tragedy and heartache. She is a heroine that is impossible not to root for. She comes from a very rough place, and attending a fancy new school with privileged kids is quite an adjustment for her but she's determined to make the best of it. After spending some time in her new life, however, Jane has to wonder if it's all too good to be true--because she's noticing some pretty odd occurances and behavior within the community. Plus, things don't add up when she hears about the death of a faculty member and the hasty departure of a fellow scholarship girl.

Much like Jane, the reader is left in the dark throughout the progression of the plot, and there was always a touch of something lurking in every chapter that I just couldn't quite put my finger on. There are some puzzling and disturbing things that Jane allows herself to get manipulated into and all I wanted to do was scream at her in frustration because things felt so off, but at the same time I understood where her head was at in those situations. She also has to contend with the very obscure vibes and dialogue she gets from the headmistress' sons, Lucky and Jack. Jane has very different reactions and experiences with these boys. Lucky confides in her and gives her random attention, while Jack confuses her with his banter and tells her to get out of town.

Jane eventually gets some answers and gets pulled into something way bigger and extraordinary than she could have ever imagined. I'm not going to go into too much detail, because I don't want to give anything away, but I will say that the author's twist on a certain supernatural group is very refreshing and interesting. But that's only one of the many mysteries to be addressed throughout the book--Jane also uncovers answers to a past she thought she forgot, as well as startling information that no one else at the Academy knows. The ending was filled with jaw-dropping revelations and the promise of something spectacular.

On a lighter note, I have to mention how much I absolutely adore certain characters in this book! Aside from Jane, I was a huge fan of Jack from the very beginning. I wanted to slap Jane and tell her to go spend some more time with Jack, immediately! He was very vague at times and he frustrated Jane on several occasions, but he was always loyal, as well as funny and pretty darn sexy! But the character I wish I could have gotten more of is Mary Violet, who became fast friends with Jane when she came to Birch Grove. This chick is HILARIOUS!! You are guaranteed a laugh whenever her character is present, and she is definitely on my top five funniest characters list of all time! Her quirky French translations, clever poetry, and dramatics add some spice to the pages of this book, that's for sure.

So in case you couldn't tell, I'm completely in love with this book! I highly recommend Dark Companion to anyone looking for something new and amazing to read in the paranormal genre.

To conclude my review, I want to share some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Why do the girls here say 'coitus' all the time?" -Jane
"Because you can tell someone to coitus off and you won't get detention." -Mary Violet

"I confided in you how Teagan Bartholomew stuck his tongue down my throat and then dropped trou with no warning whatsoever. After my mother's paintings, I'd assumed everyone had a hoo-ha and I was so shocked that I screamed. I thought he had a disfiguring tumorous growth. True story!" -Mary Violet

"When did you get so bossy? I kind of like it. Beat me, whip me, make me write bad checks."
-Jack
"I'd like to slap the sass right out of you." -Jane

"Everyone's doing the dance-with-no-pants except for me." -Mary Violet

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