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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Follow Friday

It's Friday and time for another Feature and Follow Friday post! This meme is hosted by the lovely ladies of Parajunkee and Alison Can read and features a new blog each week along with a book related question. This week's question is:

You are a matchmaker- your goal, hook up two characters from two of your favorite books. Who would it be? How do you think it would go?

This is a hard question this week because most of my favorite books have such incredible romances already that I couldn't see the characters with anyone else! Although I do think that Rose from Vampire Academy and Jace from The Mortal Instruments series would make a really interesting couple. Rose isn't the type of character that needs saving and Jace is so suave that they'd make quite a combo. They both are so confident and cocky that their relationship would be hilariously entertaining. That and the fact that they are both so kickass! Could you imagine the kind of villain butt they'd kick?!

Leave links to your Follow Friday post and I'll make sure to check them out! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden #1
Published: April 24, 2012 by Harlequin Teen

In a future world, Vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity. 

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for.

My Review

The Immortal Rules reminded me so much of the movie Daybreakers. The book focuses on Allie, an unregistered human who is risking everything to stay both alive and independent of the reigning vampires. She refuses to offer up her blood to the 'monsters' and therefore lives on the fringe of civilization, desperately trying to stay alive until she is attacked by 'rabids' and forced to make the decision- die or become what she hates most. 

The grittiness of this book is what really drew me in. I loved the post-apocalyptic feel of the settings and the desperation you feel coming off each and every character trying to survive. There is always an underlying fear in every scene that the next monster is going to attack and that will constantly keep you on your toes while reading. The horrors that Kagawa has created are definitely scary, especially the rabids, and will be sure to make your heart race!

Allie as the main character was so badass. She's not afraid to say what everyone is thinking and keeps everything in such a real perspective. I loved her bluntness and hard demeanor. Kagawa does an excellent job showing Allie's progression from human to vampire and her inner turmoils of becoming the monster she hates. She didn't skimp on the story line and spent a good amount of time showing Allie's 'training' period as a new vampire. I like that she didn't just jump right into the role, but instead we got to experience the newness of the experience right along with Allie. 

Along with the always prevalent fear and desperation, there are some really sweet moments in this book. The relationship between Vampire Allie and Human Zeke was really well crafted. The complexity of their relationship, due to secrets and revelations, is portrayed immediately and it is really heart wrenching watching Allie hide her vampirism from Zeke and the rest of the group. 

Even more is the hurt you feel when Allie has to make some incredibly difficult choices for these people she unknowingly falls in love with. The characters are all perfectly written to have individual voices and personalities throughout. Kagawa excelled at juggling these secondary characters and making you remember them just as much as the primary ones. 

This story has just started what is to be an addicting and dark series, one that I am sure to stick with. I recommend this book to any who can still appreciate a good vampire story with strong romance and amazing writing.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the awesome ladies at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is:

Top Ten Books Written in the Past 10 Years that I Hope People Are Still Reading in 30 Years

Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Anything by Sarah Dessen

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins 

Monday, May 28, 2012

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Lost Souls
Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #5
Published: May 8, 2012 by Margaret McElderry

The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

My Review:

I couldn't even begin to imagine that this series could get better, but I am constantly impressed and entertained with where this story is heading. Clare has expertly woven a story line that magically weaves in and out of the imagination with such incredibly addicting plot lines that leaves you breathless! In City of Lost Souls the action, drama, anxiety, magic, and romance all picks up to such an extreme level that you wonder how can one book be so good?!

There were several plot lines that intermingled in this book and the reader jumps from one to another within each chapter. Although I liked giving the spotlight to the other budding relationships (Alex/Magnus, Mia/Jordan, and Isabelle/Simon) I do wish there wasn't so much hopping back and forth. It got to be a little too much at times and took away from the main couple of the story. It didn't make me like the book any less, but was just a consistent task to keep everything straight.

I did miss the normal wittiness and sarcasm from Jace in this story. Since his character was tied to Sebastian to the majority of this book Jace seemed a bit more demure and 'puppet-like'. It was definitely what Clare was aiming for, but he wasn't the boy Clary (or I) fell in love with. However, the passion and love was constantly present and leaves your heart aching for these two teens. I was surprisingly more invested in Clary for this story who has developed into a much stronger and independent heroine and finally making her own choices to save the day. 

There are just so many incredible moments in this book that create such a wonderful storyline. The darkness and betrayal lurks in every corner; passion and tension in every couple; insane fighting sequences between Sebastian and Clary; and some nail biting scenes that keep you at the edge of your seat. Clare doesn't hesitate to hold back with any part of this book and it is so apparent that this story was meant to give you chills. 

If you haven't read this series I am literally begging you to go out and read the first four books IMMEDIATELY. You will fall in love with this magical world and desperately wish you were a fierce, tattooed, seraph wielding Shadowhunter. 

Dibs on Jace.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (3)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga Reviews. 

I only got two books over the past two weeks. I'm saving money still for BEA in two weeks so no book buying for me! And I was too lazy to make a video this week so we're left with pictures (sorry!)

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa 

For Review
Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga

Title: I Hunt Killers
Author: Barry Lyga
Published: April 3, 2012 by Little Brown Publishing

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper (Jazz) Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could--from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret--could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

My Review

I Hunt Killers is a thrilling and dark tale of one of the most overlooked characters in a murder mystery- the monster's son. The originality of this plot and its focus on a character raised by a notorious serial killer is what initially drew me in and sucked me down such a dark and twisted road (and did not disappoint!) When copy-cat murders start popping up in Jazz's hometown everyone is quick to point fingers at the original killer's son, but Jazz and his ragtag group of friends begin their own investigation into who really is behind the madness. This book is a perfect 'whodunit' story, where the reader is left guessing right along with the characters till the very end. 

The main character Jazz is so complex and is fighting such personal demons that while reading you sympathize so much with him while simultaneously being frightened of his capabilities. This boy literally knows every "Jack-the-ripper" trick in the book and constantly struggles with his choice to remain good. I couldn't imagine how scrambled your brain must feel growing up as the sidekick of such a sick man, but Lyga makes you feel for Jazz which is such literary talent!

The material in this book is definitely for a maturer audience. I'm not one to get squeamish, but the viscousness of Jazz's father is described in stark detail. I think that really gave this book an edge that just made everything more enjoyable (as weird as that sounds). It made the story play out as a horror movie in my mind with an unforgettable ending that I did not see coming. 

I'm definitely anxious to see where this story heads as there was a clear opportunity for a continuation. I wholeheartedly recommend this story to fellow mystery lovers with a need for some heart pounding crime solving action!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday time! Follow Friday is hosted by the lovely ladies Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. The meme promotes new blog followings and features a book related question. This week's question is:

Summer Break is upon us! What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading and relax?

Bora Bora

Or any secluded tropical beach with a hammock will do. I won't be picky. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Keep watching to see what books I got this week and my very cool and exciting announcement. 

Books for Review:
Once by Anna Carey
Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Drain You by M. Beth Bloom

Books Bought:
City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday time! Follow Friday is hosted by the lovely ladies at Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. The meme promotes new blog followings along with featuring a book related question. This week's question is:

This Sunday in the U.S. is Mother's Day, in celebration, what are some of your favorite books with strong mother/child relationships?

I love when a book has a healthy parent-child relationship. Most books that I read don't normally focus on  the mother, if she is even present, so its always refreshing to read about them. The first books that came to mind were Unearthly and Hollowed  by Cynthia Hand. In this series, Clara lives with her single mother, who is ever present and loving. As an angel, Clara's mother serves as a sort of guardian that guides Clara through her mission and her role as a part angel. The love between mother and daughter is beautiful in this book and will tear you apart in Hollowed. Their relationship is truly written with emotion and developed instead of pushed to the side like most stories. 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Title: Insurgent
Series: Divergent #2
Author: Veronica Roth
Published: May 1, 2012 by Harper Teen
Rating: Photobucket                                 
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

My Review

All I can really say is, Wow, this book has literally just blew every distopian away. If Divergent was just the beginning, and the middle was this incredible, then I'm dying to see where this series ends because this story has just gotten started. 

Insurgent brings readers face to face with a whole new load of obstacles. The impending war between Euridite and Dauntless raises the stakes in this book, forcing the remaining factions and factionless to decided where their allegiance lies. The action has intensified with grittier violence, heart wrenching sacrifices and cruel betrayals that will leave you shocked out of your mind! The fighting sequences are so well choreographed and scripted that you honestly feel like you're watching a movie inside your mind!

I loved that we get to travel into the headquarters of the other factions- Candor, Amity, and even the factionless warehouses - it widened the scope of this series and introduced a lot of new and amazing characters to these books. We also got to learn more about the customs of each faction which I found fascinating. One scene in particular, where Candor (the 'truthful' faction) interrogates Tris, literally gave me goosebumps. 

The dystopian bar has definitely been raised with Insurgent. The level of intensity and desperation amongst the characters is magnetized and so clearly felt by the reader. There are countless scenes that just leap off the pages with adrenaline. This is not only true for the more dangerous encounters but also for the romance between Tris and Four. Their relationship has developed into a much more complex and deeper love that has been built beautifully. If it is even possible, Four has become even more swoon worthy!

My only advice going into this book: if you read Divergent awhile ago, to do a quick review. Starting Insurgent, I didn't realize that Roth does not do any summarizing or back tracking. Therefore, if you're like me and read Divergent when it first came out some of the parts are a bit hazy coming into its sequel. You don't need an extensive recap, just something to freshen the details.

It is hard to describe my love for this series. This is a story that transcends two books perfectly with a plot line that continues to mold and develop with some of the wildest twists and turns. With incredibly shocking revelations (OMG THAT ENDING!) you will be left with your heart pounding and jaw hanging open. I can only urge you all to go and pick up this series. You will be sucked in and you will fall in love!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish
This week's theme is: Top Ten Favorite Quotes from Books. I could seriously look up book quotes forever and it took a lot of will power to leave this list at 10.

Life is an awful, ugly place not to have a best friend
 Sarah Dessen, Someone Like You
 Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all those who live without love-
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

One must always be careful of books and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us

Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel

My daddy said, that the first time you fall in love, it changes you forever and no matter how hard you try that feeling just never goes away
 Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

I love you. Remember. They cannot take it
 Lauren Oliver, Delirium

And I'm supposed to sit by while you date boys and fall in love with someone else, get married...? And meanwhile, I'll die a little bit more every day, watching
Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heart beat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment 
 Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever

You don't forget the face of the person who was your last hope
 Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

Being with you never felt wrong. It's the one thing I did right. You're the one thing I did right
 Becca Fitzpatrick, Crescendo

He took his pain and turned it into something beautiful. Into something that people connect to. And that's what good music does. It speaks to you. It changes you
 Hannah Harrington, Saving June

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews!

Books Mentioned:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Autographed Bookmark from Michelle Madow (THANKS MICHELLE!)
Autographed Walking Dead action figures from AMC

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Slated by Terri Terry

Title: Slated
Author: Terri Terry
Series: Slated #1
Published: May 3, 2012 by Orchard Books

Rating: Photobucket

Can you know the truth if your mind has been wiped?

Kyla's memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost forever. 

She has been slated. 

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance- as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla's mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth? 
My Review:

 Slated is a book that I normally wouldn't come across during a regular book haul. Its one I hadn't heard much about and it didn't seem to monopolize the book blogging radar. However, the summary sounded intriguing and very reminiscent of The Adoration of Jenna Fox so I decided to give it a try. I AM SO GLAD I PICKED UP THIS BOOK! Slated is a thrilling tale that will warp the way you think and leaving you desperate for its sequel!

This book blew my mind, which if you read it is pretty ironic. The story follows newly slated Kyla, a teen with a troubled past who as a result has her mind completely erased in order to be given a fresh start. The Slating process involves completely starting over- the person must relearn every basic function, is adopted out to a new family, and must wear a Levo bracelet, which is a monitoring device limiting the slated's mood, until they are 21. Those who have been slated are closely watched by the government, their emotions cannot fluctuate in fear of regressing back to violence, they must attend support groups to learn coping and integration methods, and are generally ostracized as 'government spies' by the majority. For Kyla, living as a slated is a learning experience especially as she soon realizes that she is different. 

I absolutely loved Kyla's character. Reading through her perspective is so imaginative- it truly felt like you were learning about the new world right along with her. Facts about this future government as well as Kyla's mysterious past sprung up throughout the story, bringing about new realization for both the reader and Kyla. I definitely appreciated Kyla's curiosity. She wasn't as accepting of this new life as most slated and wasn't afraid to question the practice.

The relationships in this book are also so wonderfully written. Kyla and her new sister Amy had such a loving and sweet partnership that reminded me of my own sister. Kyla's new mother was also a refreshing and complex character. I actually enjoyed her voice in this book more than I initially thought. And of course, Ben, the ever present love interest, who undoubtedly stole my heart! Watching the innocent encounters between the two slateds was enamoring!

Its the plot though that will really make you fall in love. This story is so original and thrilling. There were countless moments that I was left with shivers because this story is so riveting!

This book will enrapture your mind. The writing is fabulous and the plot is perfectly constructed. Every piece of this story fits so well into leaving you with a lasting impression. There is a lot of depth in this story that will definitely make you think, which is my favorite part of any book. I highly recommend this Slated to all!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Title: Sweet Evil
Author: Wendy Higgins
Published: May 1, 2012 by HarperTeen

*A copy of this book was provided by HarperTeen for review

What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences? This is life for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

A cross-country trip to meet her father forces Anna to face the reality that hope and love are not options for her kind. When she confronts her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My Review: 

Forget everything you know about Angel books because Sweet Evil has just twisted this fast growing genre into a tumultuous love affair! This book is all bout bringing the bad to the angelic and corrupting the innocent in such a dark and twisted way. Its utterly addicting and will tempt any girl into bending her halo.

The premise of Sweet Evil screams maturity. (I mean, look at that title!) Anna is a good girl with some special abilities- she can detect others' emotions through colorful auras- a strange gift with significant meaning. When she meets bad boy Kaiden, self control walks right out the door. He has a dark soul with a purpose of tempting people with his body allowing lust to take over. While the two work on discovering Anna's role with fallen angels, their relationship steams up. Anna and Kaiden's paths become deeply intertwined, moreso than either realize, and they must both decide whether their feelings are worth defying nature to pursue.

My favorite aspect of this book was its brazen approach toward the mature themes. There are a lot of topics presented that aren't normally in typical YA books: sex, drugs, alcohol. These aren't necessary for a successful read, but for this story in particular it added the edge that sent this story to the top. Being a 'bad angel' meant that Kaiden and his friends needed to use and manipulate these subjects and it made the story  so much darker and enjoyable! I'm so glad that Higgins wasn't afraid to add these elements to the story!

The romance is also incredible. The chemistry between Anna and Kaiden is electric and there are some steamy scenes between the two that any girl will appreciate. I love that their relationship faces numerous obstacles, making the fight much more real and appreciated. It also doesn't hurt seeing the 'bad boy' with a good side, although Kaiden hardly shows it. It also ALWAYS a bonus when the guy has an English accent. 

Although the book does have a slow start, once you've gotten into the heart of this story you won't be disappointed. The characters are easy to fall for and then plot will suck you in. Get ready for Sweet Evil's dark temptations!