Enter to win a Signed/Personalized copy of Fever by Lauren DeStefano here

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Follow Friday (12)

Question of the Week: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book which book would you choose and why?

For me, its a toss up between Harry Potter and Vampire Academy. Both have incredible story lines and some of the most detailed and creative worlds built up over several crazy-intense books. I think I'd probably pee myself if I could go and live at Hogwarts forever. I mean, come on, its a castle! The Vampire Academy would also be a thrill to live in as well. I'd probably suck at the training, but just living with people like Rose and Adrian would make it totally worth it. And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that the lure of a wizard with an accent or sexy strogi-hunter didn't influence my choice here =)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends. With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

How incredible is Clare's writing?! I mean, her story telling is just insane! I love the details within this book, the way the reader feels as if they're in Victorian London and a part of the Shadowhunters. The story literally comes to life off the pages and its only the gifted authors that are able to immerse the reader into such a fascinating and thrilling world such as in Clockwork Prince.

What is so invigorating about this book is that it is both plot and character driven. There's a perfect balance so that the story will suck you in and the characters will make you fall in love. I of course have a huge soft spot for Will, who is still just as charming and witty as ever, with the best lines of the story. I found myself constantly smiling at his dialogue and rooting for his happy ending. However, no Shadowhunter story is complete without its twists and love triangles, and boy are there plenty of those throughout the story to keep the reader busy.

I found the love triangle in this book to be satisfactory. I tend to pick sides early and stick with the guy I like, so I was disheartened to see that Tessa chose Jem (although Jem is a complete sweetheart) over Will. I was honestly broken hearted for poor Will, but have high hopes things may work out in the end. Overall, its a wonderful sign seeing how invested I got into this book and its characters- always a bonus! The triangle did remind me a bit too much of the City of Mortal Instruments triangle between Clary-Jace-Simon where Will and Jace are extremely similar (but that's just me).

This book has plenty of literary genius to go around. There's a grossly twisted story line that delves into deeper and darker parts of the Shadowhunter world which will keep you blindly reading to the end. I was impressed with the amount of action in this book as well, although there was a greater focus on the training than actual fighting. The romance was there without being overwhelming, teasing you and leaving you wishing for more! One scene in particular between Tessa, Will and some warlock punch will definitely make the temperature rise! I definitely recommend this book to all, and advise you read it back to back with Clockwork Angel. Its been awhile since reading the first book in the series, and some of the minor details were lost on me, and with such a detailed storyline it'd be beneficial to get everything in one sitting!

Happy Birthday to Me Again by Brian Rowe

Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day… again. And this time... he's going backward!

When Cameron proposes to his beloved witch of a girlfriend Liesel, he thinks life can’t get any better. But when he reluctantly breaks off the engagement just days before the wedding, Liesel angrily unleashes another curse on the unlucky guy, this time making him age backward, from eighteen, all the way to zero.

Making matters worse, Liesel mysteriously disappears, leaving Cameron with no options, except watching himself rapidly shrink into a helpless child. Will Liesel be able to save his life again? Or will Cameron ultimately fall prey to his girlfriend's wicked spell?

In this second installment in the Happy Birthday trilogy, Cameron has once again pissed off his girlfriend, Liesel, resulting in an accelerated aging process. This time, however, Cameron begins to age backwards, turing a year younger each day. With his imminent death breathing down his neck, Cameron must find Liesel, who has mysteriously disappeared, and reverse the spell before its too late.

Once again, Rowe has been able to create an original thrill ride with an inventive story line. I was nervous that the story would sound trite as it was so similar to the first book, but there was a definitive difference between the two books. I was happy to see that Cameron had developed into a stronger and more likeable character. I'm a little wary on his decision making skills, since he still loves Liesel after she's cursed him TWICE. I was also happy to see that the story still focused on Cameron's journey and not turned into a mushy love story, especially since Cameron and Liesel get engaged at the beginning of this book.

I will admit that I had less sympathy for Cameron in this story. While reading the book I kept thinking of that saying, "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me". I had a hard time understanding why Cameron still wanted to be with Liesel as she nearly kills Cameron twice, on purpose! The aging process of going backwards also wasn't as sad as getting older, even though they had the same outcome. I found the majority of my frustration towards Liesel, who seems like a controlling and emotional girlfriend who freaks out over everything, resulting in dire consequences. 

Overall, I enjoyed the first story more than this one. The sequel still had great moments of suspense and action that fueled a very inventive story. Cameron is still a strong and 'take charge' guy that makes the reader root for him to find a cure even though he stays with Liesel. I will definitely say that his character makes the story so much more enjoyable. The ending was pretty epic and leaves a lot to be questioned for the third book, Happy Birthday to You.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Must Read Monday (9)

Fans of Fiction
Here it is, another Must Read Monday post. This meme is hosted by the always wonderful Jenna from Fans of Fiction and allows bloggers to share books in a creative and personal way through acrostic puzzles. The theme for this week is: Best rainy day read

Undeserving or unwanted- its both the same. The
Necessity for fresh life is all that matters in this world. Teens must
Work to prove their worth, otherwise they are unwound, their
Innocence cut short so their bodies can be harvested for parts.
Not knowing if your life is worth more than your body is the
Determining factor of who lives and who is unwound.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe

Seventeen-year-old Cameron Martin has a huge problem: he’s aging a whole year of his life with each passing day!

High school is hard enough; imagine rapidly aging from seventeen to seventy in a matter of weeks, with no logical explanation, and with prom, graduation, and the state championship basketball game all on the horizon. That’s what happens to Cameron, a popular pretty boy who's never had to face a day looking anything but perfect.

All Cameron wants to do is go back to normal, but no one, not even the best doctors, can diagnose his condition. When he finds love with a mysterious young woman, however, he realizes his only hope for survival might be with the one person who started his condition in the first place...

Could you imagine physically turning a year older every passing day while mentally remaining your true age? Terrifying, right? This is what happens to seventeen year old Cameron, a star basketball player in the prime of his high school career. A bit cocky and pompous, Cameron has everything going for him, until he is unexpectedly cursed to turn a year older with every day that passes. Faced with his impending death, Cameron begins realizing what is truly important in life and works on living out his final weeks as a normal teenager.

The concept of this book reminded me a lot of the Robbin Williams movie, Michael, and Cameron's curse is explained by doctors to be a similar syndrome. However, there is a lot of underlying oddities and magic surrounding Cameron's condition which makes this story a crazy ride. Following Cameron as he tries to deduce where things ultimately went wrong and caused this expediated aging process was thrilling. Although a bit predictable at times, the story is very original and sure to entertain! There were quite a few hilarious moments throughout this story, between Cameron's aged self and his peers (including a VERY lonely librarian) that is sure to elicit a smile.

Amongst the humor, there was also a sad undertone to the story which really gave the entire book more dynamic. I loved that there was a serious side to this curse, watching Cameron age was truly depressing and there were several moments that I was actually tearing up. Between trying to live as a normal teenager, missing out on a regular life, and ultimately coming to terms with his death, Cameron doesn't have it easy.

It's always satisfying reading a fresh new story, especially an enjoyable one in a male's point of view. After so many female main characters, Cameron is a great change of pace. The story is a quick read with a lot of beautiful moments that really highlight the truth behind 'living life to the fullest'. I recommend this book to those looking for a fun fast contemporary read with a hint of the paranormal. You won't be disappointed!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Must Read Monday (8)

Fans of Fiction

Must Read Monday is a meme hosted by Jenna from Fans of Fiction. Each week a theme is posted on Jenna's blog and participants must create an acrostic poem according to that theme. It's hilariously fun and a really cool way to learn about more book recs. This week's theme is...
A book that you're thankful someone recommended to you

   MeG has big dreams to break
        Out of her dead end town and finally
feel alIve after a scary brush with death.
        Never one to follow the rules Meg 
        Gets a rude awakening that flirting with danger has

       iTs consequences. In her case its servitude with
       Officer John, a hardass, intimidating and
     gOrgeous young policeman with personal reasons to uphold the law.

       Falling for each other was never in the lesson
       And both must learn that sometimes just letting go
   is Reason enough to feel alive.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

Hello Everyone! It's early Sunday morning and time for another IMM post. This meme is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. I had a pretty light week, only one book for me. Since Christmas is right around the corner I've been saving my money and spending it on presents for my family. I will say that my IMM after Christmas will be pretty epic considering I went a little Amazon-wishlist-crazy! So, this week I bought....

Ahh I've been dying to read this book right after I finished Clockwork Angel. So far I am not disappointed! That's all for me this week. Leave me comments below with links to your IMM and I'll be sure to check them out.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Have you heard all about the hype surrounding Shatter Me? Every last piece is true. This book is one hundred percent beauty, truth, and raw emotion. I loved every bit of it and sincerely think that everyone will too.

What first caught my attention with this book was Mafi's style of writing. The narrative is very poetic and captures such a unique perspective of the story. It's almost as if you're reading Juliette's train of thought, although not as scattered as you would think. Phrases are repeated, thoughts are crossed out and there are an abundance of metaphors, and all the while you are able to read the true feelings behind Juliette. This literary technique is genius and fits with the story perfectly as you truly feel like you're inside Juliette's mind.

There was also a great romance in Shatter Me between Juliette and Adam. The two characters have a misty background together which only amplifies their feelings toward one another when Adam is charged as being Juliette's guard inside the The Reestablishment. I found their progression was a tiny bit rushed, but is explained away due to their history with one another, which I was able to accept. I definitely loved the two of them together, expecially those shower scenes which really got the heart pumping. The sweetest though, was Adam's desire to save Juliette from her captor, Warner, and give her the freedom and love she's never had.
The corruption of the government was also fairly complex which not only plants doubts in Juliette's mind, but the reader's as well. Everything isn't so black and white, which makes it difficult for Juliette to remain absolutely against her captors. There was also plenty of action, especially towards the second half of the book, that keeps the reader on edge with anticipation.

Despite being labeled a dystopian, I didn't really find a lot of focus on that aspect of the book. The world is explained slightly through Juliette's eyes where plants and animals are dying, there is a lack of resources and The Reestablishment has the population living in closer quarters so that many areas are now abandoned. Since Juliette spends the majority of the book either locked in a cell or trapped in Warner's mansion, we do not see a lot of the country's ruins.

Overall, Shatter Me was an excellent debut from Mafi. There was plenty to keep the reader enthralled with this story, love, secrets, corruption, betrayal, all molded together. The ending just barely begins to explain the future for Juliette and her powers which leaves you anxious to find out how she will choose to use them. I'm definitely captivated by Juliette and Adam's journey and desperate for the sequel!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Follow Friday (11)

Even though its actually Thursday night, around 10 at night, ITS FOLLOW FRIDAY TIME GUYS! Such an awesome meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee that features two blogs and a book related question.  This weeks question....

Keeping with the Spirit of Giving this season, what book do you think EVERYONE should read and if you could, you would buy it for all of your family and friends?

Of course I would urge everyone to read Harry Potter. Those books are magical, literally, and shaped my entire childhood growing up. The first books came out when I was in fifth grade so I was lucky enough to follow Harry right along his journey and believe that everyone should be that lucky.

(Thats my sister, me and my roommates at Harry Potter world this past summer. EPICNESS!)

 However, since the majority of my friends are just as addicted to Hogwarts as I am, my next choice would be.....Saving June by Hannah Harrington. Its a book I've been praising ever since I read it and just can't get it off of my mind. Its the most sadly sweet story and will make you realize how important it is to cherish every second you have with a loved one. Being an older sister, the book made me so incredibly aware of how important my friendship is with my younger sister. She's my best friend, and I knew that before reading the book, but value it so much more after finishing it.

This is my younger sister, Jamie, and me!

Comment below with the links to your Follow Fridays! I would love to check them out! 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Legend by Marie Lu

Born into the slums of Los Angeles, fifteen-year old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. A mysterious boy with no recorded image or fingerprints. A boy who should no longer exist. A boy who watches over his family until one evening, when the plague patrols mark his family's door with an X--the sign of plague infection. A death sentence for any family too poor to afford the antidote. Desperate, Day has no choice; he must steal it.

Born to an elite family in Los Angeles' wealthy Ruby sector, fifteen-year old June is the Republic's most promising prodigy. A superintelligent girl destined for great things in the country's highest military circles. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country--until the day her brother Metias is murdered while on patrol during a break-in at the plague hospital.

Only one person could be responsible.


And now it's June's mission to hunt him down.

The truth they'll uncover will become legend.

Legend is one of the main reasons why I love dystopian novels. The amount of creativity and imagination that goes into creating a fantastically realistic end of the world scenario is beyond me. I find it totally incredible how authors can continusously think up new dystopian scenarios, making them fresh, inventive and completely original. All of this is true for Legend, where a plague has overrun The Republic, inducing a desperate and dire lifestyle for those families living in the slums. Then there is the polar opposite, where the wealthy reap the benefits of militaristic education and security.

Living in two different worlds, the two narrators of this story, Day and June are inexplicably bound to one another. Day, the most wanted criminal in The Republic and June, a prodigy from The Republic's military school, are destined to meet. The tension between the two jumps off the pages. June is written as the ultimate hunter- the passion that she exhibits trying to capture Day enfuses the reader. She's desperate for vengence. The same sort of passion is also seen in Day, who is only fighting to keep his family alive. Both characters come alive in this book and each POV is enjoyable to read, a rarity noawadays,

The enfusion of desperation, grittiness, chaos and lies throughout the story are definite elements that will keep you on edge. There are huge plot twists that make you unsure of which character to trust and question where the story is turning next. There's a ton of action as well that keeps the pace going as well as a dirty government that will incite anyone's temper. Above all is the romance that develops between two swarn enemies. Its electric! All of these qualities fuse together to form one of the most standout dystopians of the year. Absolutely loved this book and reccommend it to all who love a gritty dystopian as well as a beautiful romance.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

In My Mailbox (11)

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren. It allows bloggers to share what books they bought, received, or borrowed over the week. This week was relatively quiet for me. I only got two books, but this lets me catch up on my TBR pile (I hope). I still have so many books I want to read and I know that next week I'll be entirely devoted to Clockwork Prince (SO EXCITED!) So on to my mailbox:

Legend by Marie Lu

Received for Review:
Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer

I would like to mention one other book related gift I got this week. Wednesday was my birthday and my dad ordered a book necklace for me off this really awesome website. I'm so in love with it and have gotten a ton of compliments so I wanted to share it here!

Hope you all had a great week! As always, leave your links to IMM posts below and I'll be sure to check them out!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Anomaly by K.C. King

22-year-old Bree Spencer hates prejudice of all kinds – especially the blatant elitism she is subjected to as a resident staffer at her aunt’s exclusive estate, Blackall Manor. So when Bree nearly winds up as road-kill on account of the wealthy Sebastian Templeton, she struggles to reconcile her inexplicable attraction to him. On the surface Sebastian epitomises all that Bree usually despises, yet her draw to him is irrefutable.

Events become decidedly more unusual upon Sebastian’s arrival as a guest at Blackall Manor. Despite her reservations, Bree finds Sebastian intriguing; but his insistence to get to know her triggers a raft of niggling suspicions – heightened by a series of strange dreams and phenomena – until eventually, she learns the truth.

Sebastian is a guardian, a powerful descendant of a sacred ethereal line; and Bree’s uncanny gift has prompted him to find her. But while an anomaly inspired their connection, an ancient prophecy and ethereal lore forbid it. And with Sebastian’s purist brother determined to honour both at any cost, an epic battle with unthinkable stakes could be Bree’s only chance at survival.

There is only one word that really comes to mind when I try to describe this book and its 'different'. Not in a bad way, but in a never-read-a-book-quite-like-this. First off, the story reads as a contemporary with no hint of any supernatural or paranormal underlyings until the main character, Bree, meets Sebastian. That's when the reader is introduced to this secret realm of guardians.

I'm going to admit, K.C. King does an incredible job providing details to this etheral world and its workings. The amount of research and planning to describe the organization of these guardians is immense. At times, I got a little lost and I still can't fully explain how the guardians and their break down actually works. I tried rereading certain paragraphs again, but there is a ton of information thrown at you all at once, so its a little hard to digest.

What I was more interested in was the romance between Bree and Sebastian. They were very sweet together and self-sacraficing for one another. They faced many obstacles, including a prophecy which warns of doom should the two be together, but they fight for one another on many occasions. I loved seeing that kind of connection. Although I will say their relationship was a little rushed, but that is also explained through Bree and Sebastian's guardian connection.

Overall, this book was definitely a fast read with a well built story line and background. The writing was very eloquent and beautiful which was noticeable throughout the entire story. The author definitely put a lot of time and effort into making sure this story sounded perfect and the reader will definitely see this. I wasn't too fond of the insta-love (as we all know) but the romance was definitely there in full force as well as some great action.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Follow Friday (10)

It's time for another Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This meme encourages blogger fellowship and promotes the expansion of book blogs!

Question: What is your biggest pet peeve when it comes to books? Maybe you don't like love triangles or thin plots? Tell us about it!

This is easy, I post about it ALL the time. I can't stand insta-love. When a girl sees a guy and just completely falls into an unhealthy infatuation with him that could definitely border obsession. AND SHE DOESN'T EVEN KNOW HIM! I mean come on, he could be some crazy kid with some skeletons in his closet, but because those eyes are so dreamy and his body so chiseled none of that matters. Its love...gag.

What's worse is when the guy feels the same way and they're in this blissful relationship and it's only page 10. They whisper sweet nothings and kiss all the time and everything is just perfect in their little bubble together. I can't stand that! I want progression in a relationship with rocky issues and roller coaster emotions. I want grit and angst and everything that makes a relationship worth having. Give me something real that I can grab on to because that other lovey dovey instantaneously crap just makes me want to throw up. 

So really, I just want to see characters actually fall in love, not lust.

Dirty Little Secret (6)

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under the Covers. Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets.  We hope that you will all join us!

To participate in the meme all you need to do is:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image (code above) and copy instructions.
3. Answer the question we propose! This can be done in any way you like, post a video, write a post etc.
4. Then add your link below.

Non-bloggers: We want to hear from you as well!!!  Let us know your answer in the comments!

"Which fictional character would you like to kiss under the mistletoe?"
There's a theme going around for this week's DLS and I don't mind it one bit! I would definitely pick Rhage from The Black Dagger Brotherhood to kiss under the mistletoe. I couldn't go with one of my more popular book crushes, because they're from YA books and being slightly older than them I'd find that pretty creepy. Plus, I'd rather be wrapped up in the arms of a man and not a teenage boy =)

There's so much to love about Rhage: movie star good looks, sensuality, he's incredibly dangerous, but above all he's got the best sense of humor. I absolutely love it when a guy can make me laugh. Then there's the way he would sacrafice anything just to save Mary, total heart melter. So yes, Rhage would be my man this holiday.