Friday, October 29, 2010

Fear Street Flashback (9)

Why? Because FEAR STREET was like, my favorite series growing up.

Originally released in September, 1990.

I totally loved the character of Niki in this story. She's deaf but so strong and capable! Someone to look up to, for sure. At first I thought the chole competition between the Wimps and the Jocks was a little dated, even for 1990. But then as the party at Justine's house progressed, I started to get into the pranks. Who doesn't love to hear a story about a really good prank? And speaking of Justine, what a totally creepy girl, especially for being so new and innocent looking. This book was deliciously spooky and a fantastic addition to the Fear Street collection.

Fear Rating: 3 out of 3 Screams

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 10/27/10

UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what it is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place--and out of place, at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make--between honesty and deciet, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

I know we just saw this one in the purple covers post, but I am obsessed with it! What a beautiful cover! And an angel story that sounds totally hot. Angel stories are so in right now! Can't wait to read this one. Keep your eyes peeled for a review closer to the release date.

Release Date: January 4, 2011

Monday, October 25, 2010

Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton

Teagan is a fairly normal teen. Going to high school, hanging out with her best friend Abby, and working part-time at the local zoo are all part of her daily life. Then her unknown cousin Finn Mac Cumhaill comes to stay with her family and suddenly her world includes the vast array of mythical beings from her father's bedtime stories, from the evil cat-sidhe to mean old Goblin royalty. And if all this isn't enough to handle, her father goes missing, setting Teagan and her brother Aiden off on an adventure to remember.

This book was a disappointment for me. I had to really push myself to finish it. I was more interested/impressed in Teagan's time spent with the apes than with the fantasy elements. Her friend Abby had some truly hilarious dialogue, and I was way more into her than Teagan. The timing jumps very quickly in some places, which took me out of the story momentarily, while I tried to put the pieces together myself. Some chapters would take place a few minutes after the last, while others would skip months. I also had a problem with how readily Teagan accepted the fact that such mythical creatures were actually real. She never seemed to question this at all, and I was taken back by the lack of how unlike a teenage girl this would be. And speaking of not acting like a teenage girl, it was slightly disconcerting how Teagan would crush on Finn while routinely referring to him as her cousin. Even though they were not blood related, this made me a little uncomfortable. On a more positive note, however, Kersten Hamilton wrote some pretty cool action and fantasy scenes. When I could get into the story, I found myself stunned by the visuals she described of the folk creatures. Perhaps the next book in the Goblin Wars will pick up the pace and offer something more to this world.

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Beautiful Dead: SUMMER by Eden Maguire

Two of the Beautiful Dead have been helped by Darina to solve the mystery surrounding their death. Now it is Summer's turn. Her case is going to be much harder to solve than the previous two because she was shot down in a seemingly random act of violence at the local mall. The more Darina looks into possible suspects, however, the scarier things become for her. Add to that a disintegrating relationship with her Beautiful Dead boyfriend and pressure to put together a concert tribute for Summer, and Darina is up to her ears in stress.

Can I say how awesome it is to have this whole series ready for reading? No waiting and waiting for the next book. Which is good, because it is a REALLY good series. Summer's story was powerful. I genuinely had no idea where the story was going or who Darina was going to go talk to next. Hunter's character changed dramatically in this story, though I can't really say how without giving away plot. But it definitely caught me off guard, as well as a few other major plot points. Eden Maguire is seamlessly tying together the lives of her Beautiful Dead and the townspeople. As much as I'm not ready to say goodbye to Phoenix, his book is up next and I can't wait to read it!

Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Rating in Series: Hmm... tough call. This one was way more horrific than the first two, but not as good. Third in line, so far.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 10/20/10


When Trei loses his family in a tragic disaster, he must search out distant relatives in a new land. The Floating Islands are unlike anything Trei has ever seen: stunning, majestic, and graced with kajurai, men who soar the skies with wings.

Trei is instantly sky-mad, and desperate to be a kajurai himself. The only one who fully understands his passion is Araene, his newfound cousin. Prickly, sarcastic, and gifted, Araene has a secret of her own . . . a dream a girl cannot attain.

Trei and Araene quickly become conspirators as they pursue their individual paths. But neither suspects that their lives will be deeply entwined, and that the fate of the Floating Islands will lie in their hands. . . .

Gotta say this one looks and sounds beautiful. Not entirely convinced it is the right read for me, but boy oh boy will I give it a chance!

Release Date: February 8, 2011

Monday, October 18, 2010

Matched by Allie Condie

Cassia Reyes lives in a Society where all members are Matched sometime during their seventeenth year. Cassie is thrilled to be going to her matching ceremony on the very day of her seventeenth birthday. As she stands and watches the screen, she has no idea that her Match is going to be Xander, her best friend growing up. But then when she goes home to review her Match materials, she sees another childhood friend pop up on the screen. Now she is unsure if her real match is Xander or Ky. And the more she thinks about it, the more unsettling the rules put out by the Officials become.

I was shocked by how different this book was from what I thought it would be like! Cassia's is a very sterile world, not unlike Aldous Huxley's Brave New World or Scott Westerfeld's Uglies. I loved how romantic it was that Cassia feel in love with Ky through his ability to be creative. The sensitive guy crush is a nice change from the tough guy crush. Not that Ky isn't tough in his own way! There were times I felt Ally Condie's writing was a little cliche, especially when it came to thoughts in Cassia's head. But she captured the confusion and innocence very well. The Match Banquet scene was my favorite - so much tension!- and the hiking scenes with Cassia and Ky were vividly beautiful. I was pulled along page by page without wanting to stop reading. My only complaint with this book was that I thought the conspiracy was revealed to easily and early, though I can't say any more than that without giving away plot. I would also be curious to hear more about the world of the Outer Provinces, though I am guessing Cassia will soon learn more as well. Highly anticipating the next book in the trilogy!

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Friday, October 15, 2010

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Andi Alpers is devastated when her brother Truman dies, a situation that has since caused her to sunk into a depression. The only thing that can ease her pain is playing her guitar. Her mother isn't handling it well either, and when Andi's father enrolls her mother in a hospital for a few weeks, he takes Andi with him to Paris. She is hesitant to go, but staying home with failing grades and an even worse reputation doesn't sound much better. However, it isn't very long before Paris becomes much more interesting for Andi. She meets an alluring boy named Virgil, explores the dark catacombs, and finds an old journal with an intriguing history written on it's pages.

Donnelly's previous YA book A Northern Light is on my list of favorite books of all time, so I have been eagerly awaiting her next one for quite a while. When I saw the cover and read the synopsis of this one, I was largely uninterested. It sounded so boring! When I actually started reading, however, I was soon proven wrong. I fell into Andi's pain and depression almost immediately. I haven't read anything this deliciously angsty in a long time. The poor girl! The short length chapters helped pull me through the almost 500 pages in about two days. I would tell myself "one more chapter" and then suddenly a hundred pages will have gone by! The romance between Andi and Virgil was HOT and I wanted more, more, more of him! There were a few moments when I thought Andi was a little too cliche ("Boys let you down but music never does."), though that didn't turn me off too much. The parallel story written in the journal wasn't nearly as interesting as Andi's story itself, but perhaps the reader needs to be more interested in the French Revolution than I am. All in all, the similarities to Dante's Inferno were well matched, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Overall Rating: 3 Stars

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 10/13/10


In a secluded village, magic sparkles on the edges of the forest. There, a young girl named Evie possesses unusually strong powers as a healer. A gypsy's charms—no more than trinkets when worn by others—are remarkably potent when Evie ties them around her neck. Her talents, and charms, have not escaped the notice of the shy stonemason's apprentice. But Evie wants more than a quiet village and the boy next-door. When the young king's carriage arrives one day, and his footman has fallen ill, Evie might just get her chance after all . . .

I recently read Julie Berry's The Amaranth Enchantment and was swept off my feet. Don't have to wait too long for this one, which is good, because I can't want to see if Berry can woo me with her second book!

Release Date: October 12, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Beautiful Dead: ARIZONA by Eden Maguire

After solving the mystery surrounding Jonas' death, Darina is back with the Beautiful Dead. This time it's Arizona's turn. Almost a year ago, her death was ruled a suicide by drowning in Hartmann Lake. But a few newly discovered details make it look more like a murder. Hunter, the leader of the Beautiful Dead, knows he needs Darina to help them out more than ever. And Arizona needs her to pass along important messages to her family. However, as Darina gets closer to learning the truth, she finds her life becoming endangered by those who want it to be kept a secret.

Oh man, I devoured this book. It is a sure sign of a good series when you can pick up the next book and jump right into the story. If the author needs to spend time reminding the reader of what occurred in the previous book it is not nearly as well-written. Eden Maguire seemlessly ties this book in to come after Jonas' story. The best part of this story was Arizona, by far. You get such a small hint of her in the first book, but this one peels her like an onion. So many layers going very deep. Darina was also a much stronger character this time around. Maguire set up the world and the paranormal elements so well in the first book, there was really no need for her to spend time describing them again, and therefor I could enjoy spending more time with the characters. Next up is Summer's story, and I am looking forward to learning about her!

Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Rating in Series: A tough call, but I think this one was better than the first. There was more for Darina to overcome in order to solve the mystery and a lot of depth to the characters.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cover Colors Part 4

Something happened to me not to long ago that has never ever happened before: in the dark early morning hours, my boyfriend accidentally grabbed my book to take to work instead of his. I went an entire day without being able to read my book! How could this have happened, you ask? This strange mix-up probably occurred simply due to the fact that both books had bright, full purple covers. Yes, PURPLE. So today I bring you a vast array of recent purple book covers. There are a lot of them!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday 10/6/10

IN THE DARK OF DREAMS by Marjorie M. Liu

She could never forget the boy with the ice blue eyes . . .

She was only twelve when she saw the silver boy on the beach, but Jenny has never stopped dreaming about him. Now she is grown, a marine biologist charting her own course in the family business—a corporation that covertly crosses the boundaries of science into realms of the unknown . . . and the incredible.

And now he has found her again, her boy grown into a man: Perrin, powerful and masculine, and so much more than human, leaving Jenny weak with desire and aching for his touch.

But with their reunion comes danger. For Perrin and Jenny—and all living creatures—their only hope for preventing the unthinkable lies in a mysterious empire far beneath the sea . . . and in the power of their dreams.

I am a HUGE Marjorie Liu fan, from her comics to her blog, but her Dirk & Steel series is above and beyond my favorite. Have had to wait extra long for this next installment due to switching publishers. Can't wait!

Release Date: November 30, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hero by Mike Lupica

Despite the fact that Billy Harriman's father is a national hero, what he actually does remains top secret. So when he suddenly dies in a plane crash, Billy mourns both the loss of his dad and the exciting action stories he used to tell before bedtime. Billy also doesn't think the crash was a mistake. A short trip out to the crash site and Billy runs into a mysterious man who calls himself Mr. Herbert, who tells Billy that he has the same magic in him as his father did. Suddenly Billy is discovering incredible powers he never knew he had. Together with his best friend Kate, Billy travels all over New York City trying to figuring out what is happening to him and who he can really trust.

In all these years, I have never read a book by Mike Lupica. Hard to believe, right? I'm glad this was my first though, because I really liked it! There have been a ton of superhero YA books to come out in the recent years, but I thought this one had a nice flavor of it's own. Billy is anxious to test his limits and see what he can do, but I liked how ultimately he discovered his powers slowly. I thought it was clever that Lupica didn't rush the reader right into being all powerful after being completely normal a moment before. I found myself wanting to see more of the school bully Spence. He was a cool antagonist in the beginning but then he dropped away somewhere in the middle. Lupica inserts a subtle message to readers teaching them to think more about their political candidates. The references are very relevant to today's news stories. I also liked the giant mystery Billy is trying to figure out surrounding who is and where he comes from. And with Lupica's background in sports writing, the action scenes ROCK! Hero is sure to snag that elusive young male reader. Check it out!

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Friday, October 1, 2010

Wrangler in Petticoats by Mary Connealy

Sally McClellan is on her way to visit her pregnant sister Mandy when her group is ambushed by gunmen on the trail. She ends up being shot off her horse and tumbles over a giant cliff. The last thing she sees before blacking out is the face of a man leaning over her. Later, she finds out that man is Logan McKenzie. He was out in the wilderness minding his own business and sketching when he saw Sally tumble. Now his only thought is to keep her alive. While Sally slowly recovers, she finds friends in Logan and Wise Woman. But as the terrible gunmen are closing in on her tracks, will she and Logan find a way to keep their lives and love safe?

*sigh* Why is it that I never tire of reading Mary Connealy's books? I cruised right through this one, the only interruption being a day at work. The story moved along at rapid-fire speed! I kept turning the pages, reading ravenously until the very end. I've said it before, but Mary Connealy excels at writing action. Seriously. Edge-of-your-seat action. I totally feel for poor Mandy, who is in the toughest spot imaginable - with a no good man, but still trying to do the right thing. I liked watching Wise Woman repair broken Sally and seeing the techniques that would have been used back in 1882. And a last little note worth mentioning is that I think this is the steamiest book from Mary Connealy yet! There weren't any sparks between Sally and Logan, there was a downright SMOLDER. Very romantic and swoony. I am waiting with baited breath to read Sharpshooter in Petticoats and get some closure in Mandy's story!

Overall Rating: 4 Stars