Thursday, January 31, 2013

Vanish - Review

Vanish (Firelight, # 2)

By: Sophie Jordan

Published: September 6th 2011 by HarperTeen (first published September 1st 2011)

294 pages

Source: Personal Library

Reading Challenge: Sequel Challenge

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--An impossible romance.

Bitter rivalries.

Deadly choices.

To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

So I pretty much devoured Firelight. And since I received Vanish at the same time (for Christmas), I jumped right into it.

While Firelight exceeded all of my expectations (my review), Vanish well...fell a little short for me. Here's the problem with trilogies and this trilogy...book 1 is the build up--the one to get you hooked--book 2 is the let down because let's face, no one wants to read about people that are happy all of the time, and book 3 is the culmination and the completion for better or for worse. Well Vanish lived up to this formula for sure.

Vanish was almost the complete opposite of Firelight. Where Firelight had Jacinda's mother whisking her away from the pride and Jacinda wanting to go back home, Vanish had Jacinda back home and even more miserable and now wanting to escape the pride herself. Where Firelight was full of Will, Vanish was full of Cassian. Where Jacinda felt strong and somewhat in control in Firelight, she felt weak and dramatic in Vanish. The list goes on.

I actually ended up being more on Team Cassian after reading Vanish, but I still feel torn between Will and Cassian. Without trying to give too much away, Will isn't too present in Vanish, and Cassian ends up showing more feeling for Jacinda than maybe she knew he was even capable of.

Vanish didn't have a cliffhanger ending exactly, where something big happens and then the book ends right after without telling you what happened. It ended right BEFORE something big was about to go down. Either way, I'm very excited to get my hands on Hidden, book 3, so I can find out what happens next.

Vanish gets 3.5 stars from me. Have you read Vanish? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on The Gathering Dark

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

The Gathering Dark

By: Christine Johnson

Expected Publication: February 12th 2013 by Simon Pulse

352 pages

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--A mysterious teen boy knows the secrets of Keira’s dangerous hallucinations in this gripping romantic fantasy from the author of Claire de Lune.Keira’s hallucinating. First it’s a door hovering above the road; then it’s a tree in her living room. But with her parents fighting and her best friend not speaking to her, Keira can’t tell anyone about her breakdown.

Until she meets Walker. They have an electric connection, and somehow he can see the same shadowy images plaguing Keira.

But trusting Walker may be more dangerous than Keira could have ever imagined. The more she confides in him, the more intense—and frightening—her visions become. Because Walker is not what he appears to be. And neither are her visions.

Sounds mysterious! I'm in! What are you guys waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Top 10 Most Frustrating Characters

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters.

Another topic I can't narrow down to 10 only. Let's get something straight first, the topic is most FRUSTRATING characters, not Top 10 Characters I Hate. Some of these characters I actually like, but that doesn't mean they're not frustrating. Also, it needs to be said that I'm not very sympathetic towards these characters (they are fiction after all). Here goes...

1) Wendy from the Trylle trilogy by Amanda Hocking - Wendy's all heroic and willing to sacrifice herself despite the fact that it only puts herself and her friends in danger. Plus I got really sick of her fawning all over Finn who was giving her NOTHING! Ugh!

2) Lena from the Caster Chronicles by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia - Look dude, I know your uncle died and he was pretty much like you're dad and all, but seriously. MAJOR EMO! And super annoying.

3) Gale from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - I don't do guilt trips very well. Anyone trying to guilt me into do anything is going to get ZERO response from me. Gale worked a major guilt trip on Katniss and I for one was frankly annoyed by the whole thing. Moving on...

4) Simon from the first three Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare and for the same reason Oliver from Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz - Again with the guilt trips. I guess I could have lumped these guys in with Gale. All three of them were in love with their best friends and basically tried to guilt their best friends into being in a relationship with them. That's a no go for me. Simon has moved on in the later MI books, and for that I am hugely grateful and actually really like his current storyline.

5) Jem from the Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare - Great guy. I actually really like Jem. But he's totally messing up my Will and Tessa fantasies. Basically though a great guy, he is dying after all and though this might sound heartless, he's just basically in the way.

6) Nora from Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick - Nora went through one of the whiniest phases ever in Crescendo. I was glad to see that she was mostly recovered from this in Silence, but had she not, I wouldn't have been able to take much more.

7) Sansa from A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin- Sansa bless her. I like her character more where I am now in the story (beginning of book 4, A Feast for Crows), but in book 1, A Game of Thrones, her ignorance was hard to handle. She dreams of a world that doesn't truly exists. She's learned and grown past most of that ignorance and innocence, but not fully.

8) Zara from the Need series by Carrie Jones - Um...seriously don't get me started. Zara is SO annoying to me. I had high hopes for book 1, and book 2 wasn't awful, book 3 I pretty much hated--everything about it annoyed me.

9) Aislinn from the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr - As stupid as this may be, her first strike is that I'm not 100% sure how to pronounce her name. So yeah. Frustrating. Plus though I really liked Seth in Wicked Lovely, I'm just kind of tired of it all by Fragile Eternity. Have Radiant Shadows in my possession, but haven't brought myself to read it yet.

10) Jared from The Host by Stephenie Meyer - RUDE. Dude didn't even try to understand what was going on. Granted, I'm thankful that he didn't just fall for Wanderer because she was in Melanie's body, but how about make an effort?

11) Lydia from Pride and Prejudice and Isabel from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen for the same reasons - Both of these characters almost come off as purposefully daft. Only interested in two things (silliness and themselves) these characters were difficult for me to read they are so frustrating.

12) Adam from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater - Um yeah, so you're poor and your friends aren't. Really? This is a big deal why? Your friends obviously don't care. Pride is not always an attractive quality when it keeps you from bettering yourself. Plus I don't like the idea of Adam and Blue being together. I guess I'm Team Gansey, and again that means Adam is in the way.

13) Minnie from Ten by Gretchen McNeil - Oh boy. I do not handle needy people well. Yeah so Minnie has bipolar disorder, doesn't make her any more likable or any less frustrating. IJS.

Some of these characters frustrated me in a single book, and some frustrated me throughout an entire series. What are your top 10 most frustrating characters? Let me know!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Fault in Our Stars - Review

The Fault in Our Stars

By: John Green

Published: January 10th 2012 by Dutton Books

313 pages

Source: Personal Library

Reading Challenge: 2013 Wish List Challenge

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

I didn't put off reading The Fault in Our Stars for any particular reason. Truth be told, I waited to read this one mostly because I was low on fundage to spend on buying books. Despite everyone else's ravings about The Fault in Our Stars, I just put off buying it until my mom gave me a gift card for Christmas. And thus it was purchased and thus it was read.

I now firmly agree with the raving John Green fans out there that this man is perhaps brilliant. And The Fault in Our Stars is definitely brilliant. I was hooked on the story and Hazel, the main character, no later than page 10 and laughing out loud no later than page 19. And of course squalling like a baby before the end.

John Green takes you on a magnificent and emotional journey. There are many of witty lines that would have won me over alone, but add to it the nature and content of the story and I was pretty much blown away.

I will say that emotionally I had to put the book down for a bit. Some friends we know through church lost their seven week old son tragically and I just couldn't read a "cancer book" while also thinking about what they must be going through.

All in all The Fault in Our Stars must be read. There were multiple quotes that I actually noted and want to share with you, but they are all spoilery in nature, so yeah, sorry. You'll just have to read it for yourself. And that you very much must do.

The Fault in Our Stars gets 5 very well-deserved stars from me. Have you read The Fault in Our Stars? What did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Post - 30 & Stacking the Shelves - 3

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

Yesterday, we had our third Pinterest party. This one was Valentine's Day themed. Again, for those of you who might not be aware, our idea for a Pinterest party is that everyone bring a dish from a recipe they found on Pinterest, and whoever is hosting the party that month picks somewhere around 3 crafts from Pinterest for us all to do. The hostess buys all of the items needed for our crafts, we split the cost and pay the host before or after the party. It's a lot of fun and a great way to try a bunch of recipes and crafts from Pinterest at one time.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Shadows (Lux, # 0.5) by Jennifer L Armentrout (4.5 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Settings to See More Of

Wednesday: Waiting on Never Too Far

Thursday: Review of Firelight by Sophie Jordan (4.5 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Most Frustrating Characters

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday: Review of Vanish (Firelight, # 2) by Sophie Jordan

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Beg for Mercy (Cambion, # 1)

By: Shannon Dermott

Published: August 7th 2011 by Wicked Truth Pubishing

473 pages

Source: Borrowed from my SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Everyone dreams of that first kiss. Of that magic moment when your lips finally meet those of that special person you’ve waited your whole life for. A little awkward, a little scary, a little hot and every bit amazing. We speculate that the whole world will shake and time will just stop. No one, however, ever imagines that kiss to bring Death himself knocking.

Sixteen year old Mercy Moore's life just got more complicated. The kiss that originally could have meant she would finally have a boyfriend now was the kiss that could have very nearly ended his life. A small detail her mother conveniently never told her will take her life for an abrupt u-turn. Dating, no love, was now completely and utterly impossible. And the boy well, that boy would never be the same.

But life, however cruel, goes on. Far too soon for her taste, Mercy finds herself at a senior party with the elite students of her school and her best friend. And of all things, playing a stupid game that could very well mean the death of someone in that small room. If it were not for her best friend, the hottest guys in school, and a small need to fit in, she may have been able to escape the disaster that was to come. Her worst nightmare, her personal curse, her very life, only gets dangerously worse.

This is a young adult paranormal romance novel.

That's it for my shelves and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What did you add to your shelves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Firelight - Review

Firelight (Firelight, # 1)

By: Sophie Jordan

Published: September 7th 2010 by HarperTeen

326 pages

Source: Personal Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--A hidden truth.

Mortal enemies.

Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

First off, isn't this a beautiful cover. I put this book on my wish list like 2 years ago just because it has a beautiful cover, but then I saw a couple of people talk about how much they loved it. And so thus I was sold on checking it out. And I wasn't disappointed.

I read Firelight in a day pretty much. I don't know how but I've gotten several reads done in a day a piece lately--must be because of the weather and holiday break mixed with some really good books. (I'm writing this review just after New Year's. This was my last read of 2012.) But anytime I can get a book finished in a day either means it's just that good, or I just have the time to read. Firelight fits both categories.

I do love my paranormal/supernatural YA fiction, but let's just be honest...sometimes this genre is very repetitive. But I've never seen a twist on a paranormal creature quite like Firelight, and that alone is reason enough to read this book. Dragons people...dragons. Why are there not more dragon stories like this?

Sophie Jordan's writing was more lyrical and flowing than I expected, and so I really appreciated that and will most definitely be on the look out for other books by her.

Without getting into too much detail, I truly felt (and still feel--reading book 2, Vanish) sorry for Jacinda. It truly seems to me and to her that she can do nothing right. She's truly been trapped in a lose, lose situation. She can't stay, she can't go. She can't be happy. She can't be herself. Her twin sister resents her. And her mother doesn't accept her for who she is. Though I've wanted to hate these characters for being this way, I also truly felt for Jacinda's mother and Tamra, her twin sister, because Sophie Jordan did such a good job writing them in a way that you completely understand their actions and feelings despite each of these characters not being the main character. I guess that stems from Jacinda understanding how they feel and why. I truly wanted to hate Tamra because she can be a brat, but I found that I just couldn't. She's been through too much and gotten the short end of the stick so many times. She's been hurt and she's been bitter, and while that makes for a particularly nasty combination at times, I can understand it.

And then there's Will and Cassian. Of course a love triangle that's not a huge love triangle because Jacinda seems pretty decided on her feelings. Will is a reflection of her. He can relate to her feelings of being alone, being trapped, having a parent that doesn't accept you for who you are and what you want, plus having lost one parent at the same time, not being what everyone around you expects and wants from you. Plus they have this connection. But he's human. He's a hunter. Cassian represents everything Jacinda is running away from. He's what has been chosen for her. She thinks he's only intrigued by her talent and no more. But he can keep her safe in ways that Will can't. Plus he's draki, same as her. And I believe he reaches parts of her that I'm just not convinced Will can reach. So at this point, I'm torn. I know who I feel like she's going to choose. I know the one that she leans more toward, but I also know that there might just be more there than we're seeing from the other at this point. We'll have to see how it plays out.

Firelight was really good and kept me entranced until I completed it and moved straight into book 2, Vanish. Firelight gets 4.5 stars from me. Have you read Firelight? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Never Too Far

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Never Too Far (Fallen Too Far, # 2)

By: Abbi Glines

Expected Publication: February 26th 2013

( Goodreads )

Goodreads description--He had held a secret that destroyed her world.

Everything she had known was no longer true.

Blaire couldn’t stop loving him but she knew she could never forgive him. Now, she was back home and learning to live again. Moving on with life… until something happened to send her world spinning once again. What do you do when the one person you can never trust again is the one that you need to trust so desperately?

You lie, hide, avoid, and pray that your sins never find you out.

So that's what I'm waiting on. What about you guys? What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Top 10 Settings to See More Of

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Settings to See More Of.

1) Forks/La Push - I'd love to read about Jacob. I'd even love to find out what's going on with Leah these days. And of course, I'd LOVE for Midnight Sun to finally be finished and released.

2) Hogwarts - Even without the Dark Lord to contend with, there's still endless possibilities with this world.

3) Vampire Academy/Bloodlines - Yeah, okay. So Bloodlines isn't finished. Doesn't mean I'm satisfied. Perhaps if I had my hands on The Indigo Spell I might be.

4) The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Love zombies and I really enjoy Carrie Ryan's writing. There's almost an endless amount of possibilities that Carrie Ryan could go in as well.

5) The Seven Kingdoms - Okay, again I'm not finished with A Song of Ice and Fire series, and George R R Martin isn't finished writing them either, but I need more.

6) Panem - Even though we know that other Games won't have the happy ending that The Hunger Games had, I think I could totally stand to read some stories of the other annual hunger games.

7) Graceling Realm - Again with the endless possibilities. And I loved this world that Kristin Cashore created. Monsters and Gracelings. Let's have more of both.

8) Shadowhunters - Despite having multiple series, The Mortal Instruments, The Infernal Devices, and upcoming The Dark Artifices.

And for once I've got less than 10 picks. What settings do you want to see more of? Let me know!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Shadows - Review

Shadows (Lux, # 0.5)

By: Jennifer L Armentrout

Published: February 21st 2012 by Entangled Publishing (first published February 20th 2012)

179 pages

Source: Borrowed from my SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.

Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.

Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.

Captivated. Lured. Loved.

Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.

So I have no idea what happened to my original review of Shadows, but it has apparently disappeared. Whoops! That being said, it's been almost a month since I've finished Shadows so I apologize if this review isn't the best.

Though I love some Daemon, changing things up and reading more about Dawson was really nice. And I might have enjoyed it just as much if not more than the other books of the series.

Dawson is typically the good brother, whereas Daemon tends to cause trouble. So when Dawson decides to risk it all for Bethany, everyone pretty much freaks out.

I liked Bethany's reaction to Dawson's secret. It was realistic yet not the exact same as every other reaction of a heroine in similar circumstances.

Above all else, Shadows added an extra layer of depth to the Lux series. Everything makes more sense, and I'm thrilled to have this extra piece of the puzzle. Shadows gets 4.5 Stars from me.

Have you read Shadows? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Post - 29 & Stacking the Shelves - 2

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

It's been a good week. We went to my parents' house Friday night. This past Father's Day my siblings and I bought my dad a video camera so that we could record all of his childhood stories. He used to tell us these stories before bed as kids, and he's a really great storyteller. Some of these stories I feel like I'm hearing for the first time even though I know I've heard them before. It was a really great night. If your parents have stories like these, I highly suggest capturing them.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of Onyx (Lux, # 2) by Jennifer L Armentrout (4 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10(ish) Fictional Crushes

Wednesday: Waiting on Scarlet

Thursday: Review of Opal (Lux, # 3) by Jennifer L Armentrout (4 Stars)

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Shadows (Lux, # 0.5) by Jennifer L Armentrout

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Settings To See More Of

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday: Review of Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Friday: Feature & Follow (possibly)

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Ten

By: Gretchen McNeil

Published: September 18th 2012 by Balzer + Bray

294 pages

Source: Borrowed from my SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--SHHHH!

Don't spread the word!

Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.

You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

That's it for my shelf and recaps of my past and upcoming week. What new books did you add to your selves this week? Any bookish news you want to talk about? Let me know!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Opal - Review

Opal (Lux, # 3)

By: Jennifer L Armentrout

Published: December 11th 2012 by Entangled Teen (first published December 1st 2012)

382 pages

Source: Borrowed my SNL's, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love, kindle

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love.

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

I'm having difficulty writing a review for Opal. Most of the people I've seen have commented that Opal was their favorite of the Lux series so far. But I'm not sure I can say that.

It wasn't that Opal was lacking anything a good read needs to have. There was interesting conflict. Romance. A hot guy. Kissing. Danger. Characters to hate. Storylines left off in previous books that came back to be completed so they weren't just left hanging. But I stopped reading Opal about 50% through and read two other books in the meantime that completely blew me away, so I'm still kind of trying to get my bearings back after reading those. And I've noticed that anytime I read a book that blows me away, the other books I read/finish after just don't measure up. Even if they would have under other circumstances.

Had I not taking a break smack in the middle of Opal to read these two other books, I probably would be rating this one higher. But circumstances play into my ratings because I can't help it.

Foreshadowing was pretty heavy throughout Opal and for me that made it fairly obvious what was going to happen with the cliffhanger ending that didn't really feel like a cliffhanger (to me).

I'm still a huge Daemon fan. And it was really nice to see more of Dawson. I feel like Dawson really added to the story. And I'm really interested and excited to see what's going to happen next.

Despite my somewhat apathetic review, I did really enjoy Opal and I can see where had I not taken a break from it, I might be giving and entirely different review here. Still, Opal gets 4 Stars from me. It's definitely worth the read.

Have you read Opal? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting on Scarlet

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, # 2)

By: Marissa Meyer

Expected Publication: February 5th 2013 by Feiwel and Friends

464 pages

( Goodreads )

Goodreads description--Cinder returns in the second thrilling installment of the New York Times-bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother and the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she has no choice but to trust him, though he clearly has a few dark secrets of his own.

As Scarlet and Wolf work to unravel one mystery, they find another when they cross paths with Cinder. Together, they must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen who will do anything to make Prince Kai her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Since I'm currently reading Cinder, this was the perfect choice for this week for me. So what are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Top 10 Fictional Crushes

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten 2013 Debuts,mbut I'm not so good at that kind of thing. I do good enough to pick a Waiting on Wednesday choice each week and even that can be rather difficult for me.

So instead of Top 10 2013 Debuts, I'm choosing an old topic, but one I've been looking forward to doing. Top 10 Fictional Crushes. (In no particular order...) ....Though none of these fictional characters measure up to the very real person that is my husband.

1) Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead - Obviously I have a thing for older, more mature man. Dimitri fits the bill and then some.

2) Adrian Ivashkov from Bloodlines by Richelle Mead - Adrian wasn't right for Rose, but I am rooting for him with Sydney. No matter what, I still find him extremely attractive.

3) Edward Cullen from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - YEAH! I went there. Perhaps without the sparkles, and despite being a RP fan, I prefer book version of Edward better than movie version of Edward.

4) Will Herondale from Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare - Will and Jace are very similar, but I am just a huge Will fan. Plus I tend to prefer dark hair to blonde. IJS.

5) Peter from My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking - I dunno...there's just something about him that does it for me. Perhaps it's his willingness to let Alice have what she needed despite what he might have wanted.

6) Sam from The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater - Loved Sam's romantic, poetry filled self. Plus he plays an instrument which is hugely attractive.

7) Ed from Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowly - Again...the tortured artist definitely stands out from the crowd for me. Love a guy with talent (just so happens that Husband is an artist too).

8) Will Cooper from Slammed by Colleen Hoover - Um yeah...again with the poetry. HOT! Plus Will's had to grow up extremely fast and I do so love maturity in the opposite sex.

9) Fitzwilliam Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - I mean DUH!!! Darcy's efforts to become a better person in order to be worthy of Elizabeth....yeah, it doesn't get much better than that.

10) Captain Wentworth from Persuasion by Jane Austen - Had his heart broken, and though he tried, just couldn't move on from the one that stole his heart so many years ago. 11) Yes....I'm cheating...who could possibly stop at 10?

11) Sean Kendrick from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - Love his love for the horses. Seeing that vulnerability in another human being is heart melting.

12) Michael Hosea from Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers - Um yeah, a man with values and who knows the work of his hands, that's hot too. Plus the way he brings Angel around and the multiple times he chased after her....*sigh* So I guess that's all for now. There were plenty others that I find hot that just didn't make the list. What are your Top 10(ish) Fictional Character Crushes? Let me know!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Onyx - Review

Onyx (Lux, # 2)

By: Jennifer L Armentrout

Published: August 14th 2012 by Entangled Teen

366 pages

Source: Borrowed my SNL's Kindle, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.

Something worse than the Arum has come to town…

The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

I started reading Onyx literally immediately after finishing Obsidian, and since finishing Onyx I’ve already started reading Opal. I have to say that I’m struggling a bit to keep each book separate in my mind.

As I said in my review of Obsidian, Jennifer L Armentrout knows know to write some tension and some steamy hot making out scenes. There was a bit of that initial frustration for me because it seemed like Katy and Daemon had gotten to a much better place by the end of Obsidian, and then we turn around and enter the new conflict of Katy running from Daemon with their connection as her flimsy excuse. But any guy who’s willing to prove himself to the girl he cares about is pretty much swoon worthy in my book. Because sometimes that’s what it takes to build trust after it’s been damaged and one person has been hurt. If he’s not willing to prove himself, then he’s probably not really remorseful for the damage he caused.

I don’t remember feeling much surprise while going through Onyx…meaning nothing happened with the plot that I couldn’t exactly see coming. But as with plenty of other books this didn’t have a negative effect on Onyx. Obviously, when someone throws a knife at your head, you can probably bet that there’s something off about them. (Note to self.)

Despite how little I’m finding myself saying about Onyx, it was still a really good read—one of the better ones I’ve read over the last several months. And as I said above, I’ve already started Opal, ready to see how this all ends. I do wish that there was a little more to Katy and Daemon’s connection than the tingling sensation of knowing when the other one is nearby. But it also prevents there from being too many convenient rescues and such I suppose, which I know I would find annoying.

Onyx is a great follow up to Obsidian and leaves off in a place where you’ll be excited and ready to move straight into book 3, Opal. I’m giving Onyx 4 Stars. Have you read Onyx? If so, what did you think? Let me know!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Post - 28 & Stacking the Shelves - 1

This week I'm doing something different. My decision to try Stacking the Shelves versus In My Mailbox has nothing to do with last years drama. This might not be a permanent switch for me, but I'm trying it out. I'll keep you all posted.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ The Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~ It's a chance to share News. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This week has been good. My husband is getting over the flu. He actually ended up with the flu, bronchitis, and a sinus infection. Bless his bones! But he's feeling better now.

This was my first full week back at work, and it sure did feel long. But I've managed to squeeze in a good bit of reading so far. I just keep wondering when this roll I'm on is going to end.

THIS PAST WEEK:

Monday: Review of The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay (5 Stars)

Tuesday: Top 10 Bookish Goals for 2013

Wednesday: Waiting on Pivot Point

Thursday: Review of Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (4.9 Stars)

Friday: Feature & Follow 1 - Answering the question of which supernatural creature/being would you like to be real.

UPCOMING THIS WEEK:

Monday: Review of Onyx (Lux, # 2) by Jennifer L Armentrout

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday - This week's topic is Top 10 2013 Debuts, but I might do a different topic. Haven't decided.

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday

Thursday: Review of Opal (Lux, # 3) by Jennifer L Armentrout

Friday: Possibly going to do Feature & Follow again. We'll see.

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Anna and the French Kiss

By: Stephanie Perkins

Published: December 2nd 2010 by Dutton

372 pages

Source: Personal Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets √Čtienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, # 1)

By: Marissa Meyer

Published: January 3rd 2012 by Feiwel & Friends

390 pages

Source: Personal Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Reflections (Whisper Cape, # 2)

By: Susan Griscom

Published: October 24th 2012 by Amber Glow Books (first published October 8th 2012)

312 pages

Source: Got as a kindle freebie.

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Gerry has loved Maia from the very first moment he laid eyes on her and now that she’s pregnant with his child, he’s over the moon with happiness. Likewise, Maia is overjoyed about having Gerry’s baby, except when she begins seeing and hearing an old woman who warns Maia about the pregnancy, Maia starts to think she is losing her mind. But Maia’s nightmare has only just begun...

A most sought after beautiful woman, the talented lead singer in an up and coming rock band, sets her sights on Gerry determined to rekindle an old flame. But murder befalls the sleepy town of Whisper Cape once again, creating suspicion and betrayal, and a love once considered invincible, begins to crumble and fall apart.

That's it for my past week and upcoming week. What about you guys? Anything bookish you want to discuss? Let me know!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Feature & Follow - 1

Feature & Follow is a weekly meme that is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read

This week's question: Q: If you could choose one supernatural being/creature to really exists what would it be and why?

My SNL, Holly @ Words Fueled by Love has been trying to get me to participate in this meme for a while now, so here I am giving it a shot.

Tough question. I do love my supernatural creatures in fiction. Let's list our supernatural options...witches, wizards, vampires, zombies, werewolves, faeries, shape shifters, aliens, incubus (what's the plural for that???), succubus, nephilim, shadowhunters, psychics, gracelings, monsters, dragons, trolls, mermaids...I'm sure I'm missing some.

As cool as some of these supernatural beings are, I think I'd have to go with the water horses from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I've never seen a take on this type of being before...never seen any other story featured around supernatural water horses, and Maggie Stiefvater made these creatures extremely beautiful, intriguing, and dangerous. And I would totally be into taking a trip to Thisby to check them out. Plus it'd just be a bonus to meet Sean Kendrick and see him work with them.

Dragons would be super cool too though.

What do you guys think? Which supernatural being/creature would you choose to be real if you had to pick? Let me know!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hopeless - Review

Hopeless

By: Colleen Hoover

Published: December 2012

391 pages

Source: Personal Kindle Library

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

I couldn't say 100%, but I'm pretty sure that Colleen Hoover must have read The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay not too long before writing (or perhaps while writing) Hopeless. Read Hopeless, you'll see what I mean. It's not a bad thing though.

Hopeless was everything that I dreamed it would be once I heard Colleen Hoover say she was releasing another book but one more dark in nature. I'm not sure I can compare Hopeless to Slammed/Point of Retreat because they are two very different creatures with very different circumstances and very different characters. I might have emotionally been connected with Will and Lake slightly more than Sky and Holder, but only just slightly.

As with Slammed and Point of Retreat, Hopeless has plot twists and such that can't be spoiled for the potential reader. Some of these twists are a bit more visible in their revelation for me in Hopeless than in Slammed or Point of Retreat. But I won't spoil them. I can't. As I experienced with The Sea of Tranquility (my review), even when I was pretty certain I knew what happened, I still wasn't sure. I still had questions. Colleen Hoover did a wonderful job of keeping me feeling like the earth was constantly tilting from one side to the other.

All is not as it seems. And everything has it's reason.

Beautifully written and fast paced, I couldn't put Hopeless down. I stayed up until 2:45 am one morning reading in the bed because I just couldn't stop. Well... until I hit this one section and I emotionally needed a break (and sleep). At which point I slept for a few hours, then woke up and laid in the bed until I finished.

Hopeless did not disappoint. Everything you've come to expect from Colleen Hoover's writing was here and more. I'm giving Hopeless 4.9 Stars. Have you read Hopeless? If not, please do, but read The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay first (that's not a must, just my personal recommendation). If so, what did you think? Let me know!

P.S. After you've read Hopeless, read the "the best fist kiss" from Holder's POV that she posted on her website. HHHHHHOOOOOOTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Waiting on Pivot Point

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Pivot Point

By: Kasie West

Expected Publication: February 12th 2013 by HarperTeen

320 pages

Goodreads description--Knowing the outcome doesn’t always make a choice easier . . .

Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.

In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.

Totally sounds interesting to be able to see both potential outcomes of the future. I'm intrigued. What are you waiting on this week? Let me know!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Top 10 Bookish Goals for 2013

Top 10 Tuesday is a post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2013.

For those of you who saw my Recapping 2012 - Looking Forward 2013 post, this will be a recap.

1) Read the Bible (again).

2) Read 104 books.

3) Read 6 classics.

4) Read 5 witch/witchcraft books for the 2013 Witches/Witchcraft Challenge (see my page on 2013 Reading Challenges).

5) Read 12 books on my Wishlist from before the beginning of 2013 for the 2013 Wish List Challenge (see my page on 2013 Reading Challenges).

6) Read 15 sequels for the 2013 Sequel Challenge (see my page on 2013 Reading Challenges).

7) Reach 750 GFC followers.

8) Read 6 non-fiction books.

9) Don't request everything and anything from NetGalley. :)

10) Be a more active participant in this wonderful community of book bloggers!

That's my top 10. What about you? Any bookish goals for 2013? Let me know!

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Sea of Tranquility - Review

The Sea of Tranquility

By: Katja Millay

Published: November 13th 2012 by Atria Books (first published September 5th 2012)

448 pages

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!!)

( Goodreads | Amazon )

Goodreads description--I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk.

Full of rage and without a purpose, former pianist Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone discovering her past and to make the boy who took everything from her pay.

All 17 year-old Josh Bennett wants is to build furniture and be left alone, and everyone allows it because it’s easier to pretend he doesn’t exist. When your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, a hot mess of a girl who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. The more he gets to know her, the more of a mystery she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he may ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a slow-building, character-driven romance about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

Please Note: This book contains mature content including profanity, drug/alcohol use, and sexual situations/language.

Whew. I’m still reeling from this book, and I don’t know that I can write a review of it that’s at all thought out any analytical or anything even remotely not some form of babbling.

I was reading Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout and coming off just finishing Obsidian and Onyx only days before. For those of you who are huge JLA fans, you’ll appreciate how much this means. I was only able to get in snippets of The Sea of Tranquility while mainly reading Opal, but at some point The Sea of Tranquility took over. I was 50% finished with Opal, but I couldn’t get The Sea of Tranquility out of my head. And that’s saying A LOT because I was really enjoying Opal. I mean REALLY enjoy it. Cause Daemon’s HOT! But that goes to show you how firmly The Sea of Tranquility took hold of me.

Nastya and Josh’s story had a little bit of everything in it. Moments I’m soaring in the heat of passion and new found love despite such harsh circumstances only to plummet into the debts of darkness due to what Nastya and Josh have been through and what they do to each other. There’s love and loss, happiness and heartbreak. Love and hate. Hurt and healing. The Sea of Tranquility is a story that can’t be kept from cutting into the depths of your soul. You’ll fall in love with these characters and your heart will break over these characters. Nastya and Josh are both extremely vivid and come off the page and I can’t express how happy I am that I’ve read so many great characters that have come alive for me lately.

Katja Millay does a great job of giving you information all along so that you don’t completely piece Nastya’s story together too soon. You think you have all of the details, but you still question just as much as you think you know, whereas Josh’s story is told pretty early on and very directly.

There was a bit too much cursing and too many f-bombs for me, but the story compels you forward and I always try to overlook what I can.

The Sea of Tranquility is an extremely heavy story, but all I can say is read this book and just try not to get invested in these characters. I dare you. Seriously, read it! The Sea of Tranquility gets 5 stars. Have you read The Sea of Tranquility? If so, what did you think? Let me know!