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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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Interview with Rebecca McKinnon

I have the great pleasure of having Rebecca McKinnon on the blog today! Lost Amongst the Shelves is part of the blog tour for the release of Rebecca's second book, Cantrip, in The Refuge trilogy. I have reviews of Annexed and Cantrip up this week, so go and check those out!

Before I begin with the interview, I must say that Rebecca is the sweetest! Not only did she put up with my horrible memory (I totally forgot to send out my interview questions on the right date) but she remembered that today was my birthday! So on to the questions!!

Hi Rebecca! I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for asking me to be on the tour for your second novel in The Refuge Trilogy.   I’d also like to offer you a HUGE congrats for publishing your second novel! These books have been an absolute thrill for me to read and I’ve enjoyed getting lost in The Refuge!

Thanks, Kristan. I’m really excited to visit Lost Amongst the Shelves. Also, I wanted to wish you Happy Birthday!

To start off, why don’t you give us five fun facts about yourself!

I have the ability to get hurt standing still doing nothing (which once caused me to break my nose).

Most of my best friends are characters in books.

I’m deathly afraid of moths—yes, I know it’s crazy, but twice in my life I’ve had a moth try to burrow into my ear!

As a kid, I read books while roller-skating.

I can’t buy my favorite ice cream without driving two hours. Aggie Ice Cream is made at the Utah State University creamery. While it’s not the university I went to, I’ll always root for USU—just because of their delicious peppermint ice cream!

Now, how about five fun facts about your books in The Refuge Trilogy, such as some hidden behind the scenes facts about the book, personal stories woven into the pages, crazy edits that didn’t make the final cut, etc.

When I picture The Refuge, I see it tucked high in the Rocky Mountains—probably because I was born and raised in their shadows.

The symbols used to depict Insertion and Absconding are designed in quadrants. Celtic knots that have these four sections are considered “protection knots.” These protection knots are wards to keep malicious influences from crossing through the barrier from the outside world.

Mac has become more controversial than I expected him to be. Some people love him and wish Narissa had fallen in love with him, while others think he has a hidden agenda. My view on Mac will become clear in the third book.

If things in The Refuge had gone according to tradition, Leah would be the next Council Head.

Cell phones not only work in The Refuge, but can cross over the barrier. Around The Refuge, flagpoles hide antennas. To cross into the outside world, the signal is sent through the computer link connecting the realities.

Twitter is really popular amongst bloggers nowadays. Describe this series in a tweet (160 characters or less).

A tale of adventure, choices, and different kinds of love. Narissa learns to live beyond her past and embrace the present.

Could you describe your own personal writing process? Any fun tricks or necessities you have to have in order to write?

My process isn’t very interesting, really. Generally, I have my kids playing around me while I write (which doesn’t actually work that well, but it’s what I can manage)!. I sit at the computer and go at it. For the first book in the trilogy, I did more revisions than I like to think about. I was trying to learn how to focus on more than one aspect of the book at once, but I made a pass through the book for the general story, then for details, then voice, and on and on and on. The second book I managed in three or four passes. Hopefully I’ll get through the third in two or three!

I love a great fantasy. You’ve created this incredible new realm for readers in the Refuge. How did you come about the idea for this story?

I didn’t exactly come up with this idea—the idea found me. It basically invaded my mind and wouldn’t go away. What else could I do? I wrote it down to make it stop taking all my attention.

The concept of this alternate reality that the characters reside in was absolutely mind-blowing and very creative! Did you have any difficulties with trying to relay this story to the readers?

I don’t think so—but feel free to tell me if I didn’t pull it off!

Narissa is a fantastic protagonist. I love her rebellious streak and strength throughout the series so far. She was definitely a fun read for me and by far my favorite character. What was it like creating her character? Did you model her after anyone in your own life?

I didn’t have to do much to create Narissa. She came to mind fully-formed. I did refine some things about her—and, I’ll admit, I gave her my habit of speaking without thinking.

Personally, when I read I love to picture the story like a movie in my head. If you could cast your favorite characters from the series so far, which actors would you choose?

On this one, all I can say is that I wouldn’t want anyone too famous. People would see them and picture their famous characters. If I were able to set that aside, I think I’d want Bonnie Wright to play Narissa. Christie Burke would also be fantastic!

What advice do you have for other aspiring authors? Especially Indie authors like yourself?
Work hard, and don’t listen to anyone who tells you the only people who self-publish are the wannabes who can’t get published any other way. Learn to have a thick skin, but still be able to learn from your critics.

Mostly, though, just don’t quit. I don’t care who you are, you can always be better with more practice!

Cantrip by Rebecca McKinnon

She spent the summer in The Refuge.
Now, she’s come home.
Within days she realizes:

She wants back in.

Only two things stand in her way. The sister Narissa has protected for years can’t decide if she wants to go with her. And, of course, Narissa has no idea how to return to the splinter reality.

Complicating matters, Narissa discovers she can no longer avoid the problems her unexpected trip allowed her to escape.

Through it all, there’s one thing that keeps her going. She’s not the only person to have left The Refuge.

Cantrip, the second book in The Refuge trilogy, takes off exactly where Annexed ended with a major cliffhanger. In this book, Narissa is back in the real world, but this time Damon has followed her. Where Annexed ended with a lot of unresolved conflict, Cantrip begins the steady resolution to some of the major relationship kinks between Damon and Narissa. This is especially important because Damon is now in the real world and must solely rely on Narissa to survive. It was very fufilling seeing that relationship reversal where Narissa is now Damon's protector.

With this second book we delve deeper into the personal life of Narissa and her family dynamics. There are a lot of screwy things festering on the surface of the relationship between Narissa and her mother. NEVER have I loathed a character quite as much as Narissa's mother. It was to the point that I would physically want to slap that woman upside her head! Hearing her try to pimp her daughter out and promote promiscuous behavior really gets under your skin throughout the entire book. So kuddos to McKinnon for envoking such strong emotions toward her character!

The development between Narissa and Damon is also present in this book. We see their love deepen even more as the story progresses. Their's is very sweet and kind, not the steamy firey passion that we normally see in YA stories (although there were some moments when things heated up) but I enjoy reading about their relationship. Sometimes you really don't need that 'stick your tongue down your throat, fire burning in my stomach, rip our clothes off' moments. Its the sweet gestures, like cooking dinners, protecting little sisters and understanding each other's boundaries that really strengthen the relationship.

Of course, no book is complete without a little suspense! I really liked following along with Damon and Narissa's struggles trying to find their way back to The Refuge. There was a lot of digging and researching that really leaves the reader on edge. I kept flipping through the pages, dying to find out when (or if) they'd ever make it back! It was killer! This story has been fun to follow along with and I'm eager to learn what's in store for the third and final book!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Annexed by Rebecca McKinnon

Friends or family?
Desire or responsibility?
She thought she'd made her choice.

Now, finding herself trapped in a world splintered from her own, Narissa is determined to return home. Learning that the means of crossing between realities has been lost, she vows to find the elusive gateway.

Narissa doesn't plan to make friends. She certainly doesn't intend to fall in love.

Faced with the decision, will she choose the life she wants, or return to the world where she belongs?

This book had a very interesting premise to it. Narissa is a teenage girl, uprooted from her troubled home life and annexed into another realm called The Refuge. Here, a small plot of Utopia is runned by The Council and life is much simpler. While trying to find a way back home to her younger sister, Narissa emerses herself into The Refuge, becoming a type of 'foster child' to a loving family and undertaking certain responsibilities in the town. Unbeknownst to her, Narissa begins falling in love with life at The Refuge, along with a certain council member, that makes her decision to stay or leave that much harder.

I really enjoyed the originality of Annexed. The book was very creative as it centered around this alternate universe, reminiscent of The Village. At the Refuge, life is much simpler and people (for the most part) much kinder. However, the Council is very involved with the everyday runnings of its people, instilling unnatural fears, such as swimming in open water and internet access, into the town as an undermining way of controlling them. Its a very seedy government that opens a lot of questions to the reader and leaves you wondering what they are trying to hide.

I appreciated how the main character, Narissa, was bold enough to stand up to the Council. Personally, I would have expected anyone to be cowering in fear after being transported to the Refuge, but Narissa holds fast to her own beliefs and isn't one to be bullied. She's definitely a strong character with even stronger beliefs. I found it a little questionable how easily Narissa adapted to her new life in the Refuge however. With such a drastic life change, it seemed a bit unrealistic how fluid the transition was for her. Its hard to believe anyone could be THAT strong.

The relationships Narissa builds with other characters was executed perfectly. Particularly the progression between Narissa and her love interest Damon. Everyone knows that one of my greatest pet peeves is insta-love, so it was refreshing to see Narissa and Damon build their relationship first. It was really sweet to pick up on the small clues of Damon's feelings while reading Annexed, such as him building Narissa a desk and decorating her work space. It was like being a new relationship myself: denying the other person's feelings at first and then having that big 'ahaa' moment when he reveals his true feelings.

This book has definitely been one of my favorite Indie reviews so far. The story is engrossing and well planned so that every detail has its own purpose. There is plenty of romance, mystery, and emotion tucked away in the pages of Annexed that is sure to fill any book lover's imagination. The creativity and originality of the story is inspiring and leaves the door wide open for a thrilling series.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Must Read Monday (6)

Fans of Fiction
Second win! I'm very excited that my Ella Enchanted was a hit!

This meme is hosted by the lovely Jenna from Fans of Fiction. Please go and check her blog out, she's a total sweetheart! The rules are simple, just create an acrostic puzzle about your favorite book from the week's genre. This week the theme is...A book that made you laugh out loud
A new adventure for Jasmine Kiss, leads her to a blossoming
Music career with the band, C-side.
Playing the guitar, she must impress her new bandmates or be
Left homeless on the streets in California. An
Intense attraction to fellow bandmate Sean and a house
Full of guys leads to a few awkward encounters (To say the least!)
Insane parties, packed gigs, and a job at a psychic's shop 
Encompass some of the madness of Jasmine's new life, but her
Dreams of making it in the music business are too real to give up.
I feel like I've been talking and tweeting about this book a lot lately, but its just so good. And hilarious!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Follow Friday (9)

As always, its time for another Follow Friday. This wonderful meme is hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Each friday two blogs are featured in an effort to expand one's blog. Go and check out both of these sites to learn more!

Question: It's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. so we want to know what you are Thankful for - blogging related of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?

There are so many bloggers that I've been so lucky to come into contact with since starting my blog 3 months ago. You all have been so wonderfully sweet and made this experience that much better. I really have loved getting to know you all through your blogs. There are a few bloggers in particular that I've loved getting to know.

Michelle from Book Briefs was one of the first bloggers to ever email me. We communicated back and forth and she's been so sweet with answering my blogging related questions. It's really so cool knowing that a blogger with such a large following takes the time to welcome and help those of us just starting out!

Jenna from Fans of Fiction has also been another favorite blogger of mine. She's a complete sweetheart with a lot of similar tastes in books as I do. I've loved emailing back and forth with Jenna and continuing to participate in her meme Must Read Monday. (You all should totally check it out!) She's the blogger I've gotten to know the most and I'm so happy she started this blogging friendship.

Before I even started my book blog I used to follow Amber from Just Your Typical Book Blog. She was one of my few followers when I had a personal blog and have loved her reviews since the beginning. She's absolutely hilarious and never fails to make me laugh with her witty remarks. Her reviews are always honest and she's never lead me astray with a book recommendation. She's another big name blog who still has time to talk with a newbie. I'm so excited that after two years she still remembers me and can freely email with her like old friends.
Lastly, I've been emailing with Rebecca from Reading Wishes after meeting her on Goodreads. She started her book blog up around the same time as I did so it was really fun going through the same technological troubles together. We both bounced ideas and woes back and forth with one another while getting our blogs up and running. It's also really exciting to be able to communicate with book bloggers from around the world with the same love as you do (Rebecca is from Australia).

In the case of books, I'm thankful for each and every book I've been lucky enough to read and enjoy. They are a true passion for me and have open my eyes to another world of imagination.

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.

But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.

A zombie spin on a New World Victorian age? Yes, please! As you all know zombies are my not-so-secret pleasure, so I will jump at the chance to read anything having to do with the Walking Dead. This book, however, was a little outside the normal realm of my zombie-loving self. In Dearly, Departed, the zombies aren't mindless cannibals (or at least all of them aren't) and they all aren't bad. Instead, there are good zombies working as secret soldiers for the government and bad zombies who are fast moving monsters out for blood. It was a little hard to wrap my head around the good zombies, who are essentially just the same as the living good guys, except for the part that they're in fact dead. It was different, but cool, and I liked that Habel stepped out of the box with her zombies.

What made this story so endearing for me was the good zombies. They were essentially treated like expendable military weapons, but accepted their fate and untiringly grueled through their despicable treatment in order to do good and rescue the main character Nora. I loved how pure and goodhearted they were, especially Bram, who sounds like the most delicious zombie ever. He was that gentleman with an edge- just enough sweetness with that alluring dash of spice. His inner struggles with falling for Nora were amazing and the tension between the two was so palpable throughout the story. I love when you get that feeling from a book, where the relationship feels so real and you're screaming at the characters to just admit how they feel for each other. It's how I know that I'm really invested in the story.

My only real issue with this book was the lack of zombie pandemonium. There were some great zombie infestations into the city of living that caused utter chaos, which I absolutely loved. There was action and zombie fight scenes and death, which was all great and just my cup of tea, but being such a die-hard zombie fan I was looking for a little more. It was like the book was just at the edge of zombie greatness, but just didn't have that last exta 'umph' to push it over. For example, Nora's friends are trying to escape the zombie hoards in the city and find temporary refuge in a museum before Nora and the good zombies come to rescue them. Instead of having some major rescue/flight sequence, the scene just felt kind of skimmed over. I woould have just liked a little more zombielishess detail showcasing the panic and confusion and fear.

Despite that one minor detail, I absolutely loved Dearly, Departed. How much better can a book get, with zombies, action, romance? It's literally all there. This book was both plot driven and character driven, with a story that will such you in and characters that will infect you. The originality and creativity of this story were stellar with just enough gasp-worthy moments to keep you hanging on. I definitely deem this book a page-turner that is so hard to put down because the story is just that compelling. If you're like me, and a zombie lover, then you'll be sure to fall in love with this book as well.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

I haven't done one of these in a REALLY long time, but figured I'd get into the festive mood a little bit early. This meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The Top Ten this week is....Top Ten Authors You'd Like to Invite to Thanksgiving!

First off, kuddos to any of these authors if they could survive Thanksgiving with my dysfunctional family. But, I'd love to have them all over anyway!

1. J.K. Rowling- This is a give in. I think I'd invite her over and just keep feeding her so she'd never leave. And then we'd talk Harry Potter all night long. How EPIC would that be?!

2. Sarah Dessen- Another all time fave of mine. I was lucky enough to meet Sarah on her tour for Along for the Ride. I don't lie when I say she's the sweetest lady ever! I would try to cook up some Southern style food for her (I know she loves deviled eggs) but being from the North and an awful cook I'm not sure how that'd work out. (That's my sister, friend and I meeting Sarah!)

3. J.R. Ward- She's an adult author, but I'm in love with the BDB so she'd have to come to dinner. I'd love to pick her brain on the series and haver her tell me more stories about Rhage and the boys. If I can sneak some info on Thor's upcoming story, even better!

4. Stephanie Perkins- Because who wouldn't want the creator of St. Clair over for dinner?! I think I'd incessantly ask questions about Anna and St. Clair and beg for her to tell me more stories about that wonderful boy. Then I might try bribing her with some Frech croissants to learn a little more about her third book!

5. Richelle Mead- Another amazing author of a fave series of mine. I think I'd sit her next to J.R. Ward so that the three of us could have a paranormal discussion over some mashed potatoes or something. Then I could gush all about Adrian and my love for him.

6. Stephanie Meyers- I'd invite Stephanie over to basically plead with her to write the sequel to The Host. I'd throw in some homemade dessert as some incentive. How funny would it be to see her sweat it out with the author of those badass BDB vamps too? Sorry, sparkles just don't do it for me.

7. Cassandra Clare- Again, I think I'd have to figure out some great bribery foods so I can get my hands on some MI and ID info. She's absolutely wonderful at creating some of the most realistic dialogue and witty remarks in her stories so I know conversation with her would be a blast.

8.Carrie Ryan- What's Thanksgiving without some zombie talk? I'd so have Carrie Ryan over so I could have someone to nerd out with over zombies. Her series was incredible and had two of my favorite elements: romance and the walking dead. So of course, her invite is a must.

9. Veronica Roth- Could she bring Four with her? No serious, I'm in love with that character. She'd be another author that I'd bribe with some turkey just to get info on the sequel. I'd also love to hear more about the upcoming movie. Maybe cast my vote on some of the prospective acotrs?

10. Suzanne Collins-Last, but certainly not least, you have to have the author of The Hunger Games for dinner. I'd probably sit there awe struck with Suzanne, and bumble around like a fool, becuase I just love her writing so much. If I could manage a conversation, I'd go insane with questions about how she came up with one of the coolest stories I've ever read.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Must Read Monday (5)

Fans of Fiction
This meme is hosted by the lovely Jenna from Fans of Fiction. Please go and check her blog out, she's a total sweetheart! The rules are simple, just create an acrostic puzzle about your favorite book from the week's genre. This week the theme is...Fantasy

An Enchanting tale of a cursed girl,
   ELla is born with the 'gift' of obedience.
   ALways obeying orders, Ella is desperate to rid herself of this curse.
     An evil stepmother and sisters destroy Ella's hope of true happiness.

      Escaping their rule is difficult, but Ella is determined to
   FiNd Lucinda, reverse the spell, and gain her independence.
      Creepy ogres, magical elves, and a dashing Prince are all met along
     tHe way, but Ella is determined to break this
    bAll and chain.
      Never forgetting her own strength, Ella
      Takes charge of her own destiny and proves that
      Every girl deserves a fairy tale and sometimes the
      Damsel needs to save the Prince.

This book has been a favorite of mine since I read it back in middle school. It's one of the sweetest fairy tales! And what girl can deny a 'Happily Ever After' with Prince Charming?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (10)

Double Digits baby! I've finally reached my tenth IMM post!!!! There were a few weeks I skipped when I didn't receive any books, but it's still pretty dang exciting to reach number 10. Anywho...IMM is a meme hosted by the ever wonderful Kristi at The Story Siren and has bloggers showcase what books they bought or received over the course of the week. Basically, its the best way to make me insanely jealous!

This week I bought Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi:

I also forgot to mention last week that I received Anomaly by K.C. King for review. I'm just finishing up this ebook and hopefully will have my review posted later this week!

Ok that's it for me this week. My birthday is coming up on the 30th so I'm hoping I'll have an epic IMM for you all that week. I've been dropping hints like crazaaaay! Send me your IMM links in the comments and I'll be sure to check them out and comment.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Fateful by Claudia Gray

In Fateful, eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, overbearing family she works for. Once the ship they’re sailing on reaches the United States, she’ll strike out on her own. Then she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets....

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves are real and they’re stalking him—and now Tess, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

I like reading stories that are different. It's tiresome seeing the same plot used over and over. That's one of the reason's I enjoyed this book. Although the story involves werewolves, a popular paranormal creature, its in a way that I never would have expected, on the Titanic. Now some may think it disrespectful to create such a fantasy aboard a tragic story, but Gray did a wonderful job keeping to the truth of Titanic's voyage and demise. It was evident with this story that a lot of research and time went into preserving the authenticity of the Titanic, something an author and reader can appreciate while reading this book.

Another refreshing aspect of this book was the characters. Tess is an older teenager, 18 years old, and so her maturity and independence reflects her age. I enjoyed reading about an older character for once in a YA book. The romance involved with this story is very much like Jack and Rose's story from the movie except reveresed, with the poor maid falling in love with the wealthy aristocrat. Forbidden romances have always been a guilty pleasure of mine and so I found myself getting lost in Tess and Alec's taboo affair.

One might find it farfetched to read a story with werewolves on the Titanic. I had some difficulty at first, but when you realize that this is FICTION and just a story, its easy to get lost in the paranormal and romance set on such a historically tragic voyage. As can imagined, there are some thrilling sequences of events, involving both the werewolves, their history and the ship, that amp up this story. A lot of the story is involved in the history of the werewolves and their reasons for being on the ship. I found their background to be very creative and inventive. I do wish that there was more focus on the Titanic's sinking as a lot of the story was a buildup to that event. It seemed like that last night on the ship was a little rushed in comparison to the rest of the trip. In all fairness though, an overly dramatized version of that night isn't always necessarily needed, and in the case of the Titanic's sinking sometimes less is more.

Being a history buff with a love for historical fiction I did enjoy this story and give it 4 out of 5 stars. There's plenty of romance, thrills and heart wrenching moments that will keep any reader at the edge of their seats. The ending definitely has the element of surprise which will catch you off guard. If you can keep an open mind going into this story you will definitely be satisfied with its outcome.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Follow Friday (8)

It's Friday and time for another Follow Friday hosted by the ever wonderful Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. The rules for the meme are up on both sites and I urge you to check them out! This particular blog hop works in trying to expand and promote up and coming blogs. This week's question is...

Letter to Santa: Tell Santa what books you want for Christmas!

Dear Santa,

I promise I've been a very good girl this year and any naughtiness I may have taken part in I can totally explain. If you find it fit not to leave me piles of coal then I would love a few cool books. You wouldn't even have to wrap them, just pile them up Santa Baby! I'd really love Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare. It's been on the top of my wishlist forever. Its also the perfect season to curl up with some Will. And Santa, if you could get your hands on some arcs (Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver, Insurgent by Veronica Roth, and Fever by Lauren DeStefano) I promise I'd stay at the top of your 'Good List' all year long.

With love and chocolate chip cookies, 


Dirty Little Secret (5)

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by the 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 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!

We hope you join us and let us know your Dirty Little Secrets!

This weeks question:

"Which paranormal creature do you wish would 'come out of the closet' and reveal themselves to the real world?"

Can I cheat and say all of them? I seriously have a soft spot of all of them after reading so many paranormal books. If I HAD to chose one though I would have to go with Vampires. And not the sparkly ones. I'm talking actual sexy vamps like from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I was really close to saying zombies for my answer, but I'm thinking that would be pretty disasterous. So, if I could have a vampire like Rhage on my arm I'd be set.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Amplified by Tara Kelly

When privileged 17-year-old Jasmine gets kicked out of her house, she takes what is left of her savings and flees to Santa Cruz to pursue her dream of becoming a musician. Jasmine finds the ideal room in an oceanfront house, but she needs to convince the three guys living there that she's the perfect roommate and lead guitarist for their band, C-Side. Too bad she has major stage fright and the cute bassist doesn't think a spoiled girl from over the hill can hack it. . .
My list of ultimate favorites just got a little longer after reading Amplified. This story is an incredible mash up of music, independence, romance, and all forms of hilarity. It follows recent high school graduate Jasmine as she breaks free from her overbearing father and for once in her life follows her own passion, playing guitar. Of course this means she's completely lost, trying to find a place to live, a band to work with and a job to pay for everything, but thats only half the battle. Throw in some mixed signals from the hot bass player, the critical eyes of her dream band and an extreme case of stage fright and you could call this book 'the next big hit'.

Kelly did an amazing job creating this very real and relatable character of Jasmine. She's a good girl who's just always wanted to have a choice for her own. Any person could relate. I ecpecially loved the girl because she takes the initiative to do something for herself once, even if its the scariest and most impossible decision ever. The girl has guts and that made me respect her even more. On top of the stress of trying to make it on her own, she never once pulls a 'whiny girl' moment. She's strong and fierce and makes me wish that when I was that young I could pull something like this off.

The story itself was perfect. The progression of Jasmine being welcomed into the band was very realistic and the troubles of trying to fit in and please everyone was to be expected. I loved that Kelly didn't just write about a band practicing or a band playing a gig. She acutally incorporates the nuances and chemistry of music into the writing. And for someone who couldn't tell you the difference between a guitar and a bass it was incredibly cool to read. The music itself felt like another character; the passion behind it was so well written that it comes alive on the pages just like it does for music-lover Jasmine.

The band itself was another fantastic aspect of this book. Each character held their own individuality and no one fell to the background. Despite being vastly different from one another, they all gelled really well together and made up a hilarious rag-tag family. One of my top favorite things about this book would be the chemistry and banter back and forther between the group mates. They pick on each other and joke around and make you laugh at their hysterics. It was great and totally made me feel like one of their groupies.

With all the fun of this book, there were definitely some depressing undertones to balance everything out. The struggles Jasmine faces to make her father understand her decision were heartbreaking and the strain in their relationship is evident. Then, the rollercoaster ride between Jasmine and Sean would kill any girl's last nerve as well as melt her heart. It's enough to drive me crazy. Although Jasmine gets her happy ending, this book showcases the difficutly of making that tough choice to follow your dream and that sometimes happiness isn't some cake walk. I definitely give this book 5 out of 5 stars and think everyone, music lover or not, would fall in love with this story!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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.

Why didn't I read this book sooner? This story was a terrifying ride through the darkest corners of urban legends. It preys on your nerves, triggering that under the skin itch when your mind knows something isn't right. With each turn of the page my heart beat louder and louder, trying to figure out whether Cas was going to survive his latest mission, killing Anna. The story behind Anna was both sadly devastating and outright creepy! In the beginning, when first meeting her ghost, I was completely terrified. Blake really knew how to put in just the right amount of detail to get your heart pumping. It may have been the fact that I was reading this while home alone, but I was actually scared while reading!

I'm not lying when I say I have a high tolerance for scary stories and movies. I get a rush out of being scared and therefore it isn't easy to spook me. However, Blake is able to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up with Anna's story. There are several terrifying elements throughout, between Cas's initial meeting with Anna to finding out the mystery behind his father's death. The gruesome details behind each scene paints such a horrific and creepy feel that was enough to scare this hardcore horror fan. I cannot give enough praise to the attention to detail that Blake has with her writing style. Every word flows throughout this book and has signficant meaning to the story. Each scene is vital and makes you pay such close attention to the story! It will hook you in!

I loved the relationships throughout this book. The dialouge is so relatable and real, giving a paranormal read the most realistic feel. I can't stand it when I'm reading a book and a character will have a line that you know no normal teenager would ever say. That is definitely not the case in this book. The conversations, despite being about ghosts, were so real. Each of the characters shone in all the situations set forth, even the secondary ones. It was amazing how Blake was able to make me root for everyone, the popular and sometimes bitchy girl Carmel, nerdy Thomas, and even the ever terrifying Anna. Their characters were so individualized and real that despite being in the background of scenes, they really shone through.

I highly recommend this book to all fans of scary stories. This book really delivers a great scare and heartfelt romance entertwined with some crazy ghost hunting. I therefore give this book 5 out of 5 stars and am dying to read its sequel, Girl of Nightmares. I'm seriously hoping for some retribution for Anna and a happy ending for Cas.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Hunger Games Movie Trailer

Ok, watched it like a million times already and get goosebumps on top of my chills. This movie is going to be beyond EPIC. I'm so wishing March was here already! Who else is freaking out with me?!

Must Read Monday (4)

Fans of Fiction

Hey everyone, sorry I missed last week's MMM, but I'm back and ready to participate again this week! This meme is hosted by the lovely Jenna from Fans of Fiction. Please go and check her blog out, she's a total sweetheart! The rules are simple, just create an acrostic puzzle about your favorite book from the week's genre. This week the theme is...A Book so Powerful it Changed you in Some Way

I have the PERFECT book for this:

                    Suffering from the loss of her older sister June, Harper
             embArks on a trip cross country with June's stolen ashes
           discoVering there was more to her older sister than she ever knew.
                 WIth Harper's best friend and mysterious new guy Jake, she slowly
              learNs what it is to live without June. The hole in her heart
         slowly Gets smaller, but the ache is constant for Harper.

           And Just when Harper thinks she knows her sister, she finds out the real
                 hUrt and truth behind a girl she never really knew.
                   Now Harper must come to terms with June's final wish and
                  sEe that sometimes the pain is too much to carry alone.

I absolutely fell in love with this book and urge you all to at least check out it's proper summary on goodreads or look up my review in my blog's archive.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (9)

Another week another IMM hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I guiltily went on another book buying via Amazon (darn their discounted prices...but not really). I'm counting on these books holding me over for a bit, but I've already finished three. Good thing my birthday is coming up! Thank goodness for birthday lists =)

Fateful by Claudia Gray
Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
Enclave by Ann Aguirre
Amplified by Tara Kelly
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
The Deepest Cut by J.A. Templeton
Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts
Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick

That's it for me...and my wallet. Let me know what you all got this week and leave the links below so I can come check them out!