Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Title: Hemlock
Author: Kathleen Peacock
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Bought
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Summary: Mackenzie and Amy were best friends.

Since then, Mac's life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac's hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy's killer:

A white werewolf.

Lupine syndrome--also known as the werewolf virus--is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.

Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy's murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy's boy-friend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.
Kathleen Peacock's thrilling novel is the first in the Hemlock trilogy, a spell-binding urban fantasy series filled with provocative questions about prejudice, trust, lies, and love. 


Review: I thought that I was totally done with werewolf books. Most books these days that involve the creatures are good but a tad bit boring. I can safely say that Hemlock is anything but boring. Hemlock manages to come up with something entirely new and spin that idea into a fantastically put together book. 


I wasn't a huge fan of Mac at the beginning of the book. She was a bit of a Debbie Downer but her best friend had just died so I couild cut her some slack. What really bugged me was that she kept having to be saved. But by the end of the book Mac was someone who I whole-heartily liked. She broke off a bit from her dependence from people, aka Jason and Kyle, and started to do her own thing. And I'm so happy that it was actually Mac that was able to figure out this mystery with a bit of good old-fashioned detective work! 


The boys in this one really didn't do much for me. I'm definitely on Team Kyle but at the moment I'm mostly on Team Anti-love triangle. Jason was a bit of a tool, in my opinion. Maybe he'll redeem himself though! 


But what I loved most about Hemlock was the werewolf aspect. I loved how being a werewolf wasn't some big secret kept from society but instead viewed as a taboo. This made for a great dynamic between werewolf haters and supporters. It doesn't hurt that the Trackers, an evil group of hunters, was thrown into the mix. 


Hemlock succeeds in both mystery and mythology, which are two huge things for me. It was lacking a bit in the character department but this was still a great, addictive read that I thoroughly enjoyed. 


Rating:

Monday, July 16, 2012

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Title: Second Chance Summer 
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Source: Bought
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Summary: Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.


Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.


Review: Second Chance Summer absolutely broke my heart to pieces. It made me cry countless times leaving the ink on the page smudged, but it also made me so very happy. This book made me feel so many emotions that I wasn't even sure that I could feel.


I loved Taylor so much. She was a very different girl at the end of the book. She'd grown in inexplicable ways and she learned to face things instead of running away like she usually did. I love connecting with characters in books but usually it doesn't happen. But in Second Chance Summer it kept happening over and over again. I don't share any of Taylor's problems but I just clicked with her. She is truly one of the most three-dimensional characters I've read about it a long time.


And Taylor's just the main character! Her family and friends were all so fantastic. The reason I think I cried so hard was because I got attached to all the characters. Everyone was unique and special in their own way. I'm in love with Henry, Taylor's friend from long ago. I think if he was real I would want to hug him because he's so adorable, sweet and fun! Taylor's dad is a very important character in the story line but he also touched my heart. He was the one that made me realize how grateful I should be to have a living, healthy and wonderful Dad. Taylor's father is one of the best literary dad's in all of YA.

Matson has a perfect writing style of this kind of book. It's not flowery but it's gorgeous. The setting of this one was also insanely awesome. I wish I could go spend a summer in the Poconos!

Second Chance Summer is one of the most powerful reads I've read this year. It's a fantastic book that I don't think anyone would regret reading.


Rating:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Speed Date with Samantha: Dark Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Hi! This feature is hosted by Mary over at The Book Swarm. Speed Dating is basically giving a shorter review of the book and it's ton of fun! Go check it out!


Title: Dark Kiss
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: May 29, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Harlequin!
Add to your shelves 


Summary: I don't do dangerous.  Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. 

Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... 


Review: Dark Kiss a different read for me. I loved that angels and demons had been sent to Earth to work together but something else entirely different was missing. And that, my friends, was emotion.


Yes, there is plenty of emotion that the characters felt but I really didn't care at all for the characters. Their action elicited no reaction or even a smile or frown for me.  Usually it doesn't take much to make me happy but I would have liked to see characters that were more fleshed out and real. Kraven, a demon, was the only character that I felt was very well written. The rest were so-so.

The plot and mythology was engaging, though. Dark Kiss is another quick read that goes by really fast. There's lots of interesting action scenes that definitely kept me satisfied with the book.

I might read the sequel to Dark Kiss but I just wish this one could have been better. 


Rating:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (87)

Hi everyone! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine to share books we can't wait for! 


This week's pick is:
Note: The summary could have spoilers if you have not read the second book, A Million Suns.


Shades of Earth by Beth Revis
January 15, 2013


The final book in the trilogy by New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis!

Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceship Godspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience. But this new Earth isn't the paradise that Amy had been hoping for. Amy and Elder must race to uncover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. But as each new discovery brings more danger, Amy and Elder will have to look inward to the very fabric of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been meaningless.



I'm such a huge fan of this series! I so exciting so see what will happen in this new book because Revis always has so many surprises up her sleeve! I do like the new direction of the covers. And while they don't match, they are unique and different! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

Title: Unraveling
Author: Elizabeth Norris
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Source: Bought
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Summary: Two days before the start of her junior year, seventeen-year-old Janelle Tenner is hit by a pickup truck and killed—as in blinding light, scenes of her life flashing before her, and then nothing. Except the next thing she knows, she’s opening her eyes to find Ben Michaels, a loner from her high school whom Janelle has never talked to, leaning over her. And even though it isn’t possible, Janelle knows—with every fiber of her being—that Ben has somehow brought her back to life.

But her reincarnation, and Ben’s possible role in it, is only the first of the puzzles that Janelle must solve. While snooping in her FBI-agent father’s files for clues about her accident, she uncovers a clock that seems to be counting down to something—but to what? And when someone close to Janelle is killed, she can no longer deny what’s right in front of her: Everything that’s happened—the accident, the murder, the countdown clock, Ben’s sudden appearance in her life—points to the end of life as she knows it. And as the clock ticks down, she realizes that if she wants to put a stop to the end of the world, she’s going to need to uncover Ben’s secrets—and keep from falling in love with him in the process.
From debut author Elizabeth Norris comes this shattering novel of one girl’s fight to save herself, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming. 


Review: Unraveling didn't just knock my socks off it blew them straight to the moon and back. This is a book that is fantastically written with characters that I absolutely fell in love with. There's nothing about Unraveling that I didn't love. 


First of all, who wouldn't like a heroine like Janelle? She's brainy and has quite the mouth on her. It doesn't hurt that everything that comes out of Janelle's mouth is somewhat hilarious. But what I loved most about her was her determination to try and save the world, as we know it, from collapsing. It was amazing to see Janelle grow stronger and stronger during the book. 


Janelle is a great main character but the supporting characters made Unraveling even better. Janelle's father, and her best friend just won my heart. I don't think the book would have ever been the same without them. I admit, I do have a soft spot for Ben, Janelle's love interest. He's quite the interesting boy, to say the least, and I loved their interactions. 


Unraveling is also addicting and fast-paced. I blew through this book in record time. I don't think I was physically able to turn the pages fast enough. Norris writes in a style that was wonderful. It wasn't overly complicated or simple-it was just right. There's this huge reveal somewhere in the middle of the book that blew my mind. There's no way anyone could ever predict the huge curve ball that Norris sent flying in Unraveling. And, guess what? It was jaw-dropping and most of all it was awesome. All I can say is that sci-fi rules. 


Unraveling  is a book that I could read over and over again. It has all the elements that you could possibly want in a book. It contains great characters, a mind-blowing plot and it had a great emphasis on family. If you haven't got around to reading this one, I'd recommend you start now. I wasn't able to put this one down and I predict it'll be hard for other readers to do just that. 


Rating:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Speed Date with London: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

Hi! This feature is hosted by Mary over at The Book Swarm. Speed Dating is basically giving a shorter review of the book and it's ton of fun! Go check it out!

Title: Forgotten
Author: Cat Patrick
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Source: Bought
Add to your shelves 


Summary: Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come.

When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting—before it destroys her future. 


Review: Forgotten is such a compelling read from the very beginning.  It features such a unique concept that it is so hard to put Forgotten down. There are so many exciting reveals, twists and turns that I read this one straight through.


Forgotten reads very fast and the words just flow on the page.  It's just that London has such a unique voice that was very well-written.  

London isn't my favorite character of all time but she definitely got better towards the end of the story. She developed well and grew throughout the story, which is something I love. The romance in this one is so sweet. Luke is  adorably hot and I don't think any reader couldn't fall for him.  

The idea of forgetting things everyday was enough to keep me sold during Forgotten. But what's cool about London is that she knows what happens in the future!

Forgotten is quick read that will win hearts easily with its romance and concept. 


Rating:

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (86): Fourth of July Edition

Hi everyone and happy Fourth of July! Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine!

This week's picks are red, white and blue!

RED:
Hysteria by Megan Miranda
February 5, 2013


Mallory's life is falling apart. Her boyfriend was stabbed. He bled to death in her kitchen. Mallory was the one who stabbed him. But she can't remember what happened that night. She only remembers the fear . . . 

When Mallory's parents send her away to a boarding school, she thinks she can escape the gossip and the threats. But someone, or something, has followed her. There's the hand that touches her shoulder when she's drifting off to sleep. A voice whispering her name. And everyone knows what happened. So when a pupil is found dead, Mallory's name is on their lips. Her past can be forgotten but it's never gone. Can Mallory live with that?



This doesn't come out for awhile but I had a hard time finding a cover with red in it that came out fairly soon. Plus, I think this sounds exciting and insanely creepy!


WHITE:
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
September 18, 2012

“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

This book, like the first one, sounds very creepy and good. I a bit scared of ravens so the cover is enough to freak me out.  But I love all of Stiefvater's books so hopefully this one will be fantastic. 

Blue:
The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa
October 23, 2012

Don't look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase's unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he's dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister's world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myths and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

My name is Ethan Chase. And I may not live to see my eighteenth birthday.

absolutely loved the Iron Fey series so I'm interested to see where this series will go. I've always liked Ethan so I can't wait to read about him now. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown

Title: Lies Beneath
Author: Anne Greenwood Brown
Publisher: Delacorte
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Delacorte
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Summary: Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on ususpecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.


Review: Lies Beneath is a lot different from any other mermaid book I've read. Sure, I've read books about killer sirens but killer mermaids was a new one for me. Fortunately, it was pulled off very well, and I enjoyed that aspect of the book immensely.


The best part of this book was by far the mermaids. There wasn't nearly enough information about them to keep me satisfied. What Brown does give you is fantastic, but I kept getting a feeling there just had to be something more. I don't know about anyone else but I just love the idea of killer mermaids feeding off others emotions

Calder is interesting, to say the least. He's not exactly a very caring or nice guy. I know that I had a hard time connecting with him and I have a feeling other readers might too. He's was a bit two-dimensional and dull for my tastes but he did keep the book entertaining and light. And that is always a plus. I'm also sad to report the romance department is quite lacking in Lies Beneath. Calder and Lily seemed like they were off to a good start but then it just turned into an "I will do anything for you" fest.

I read Lies Beneath in one quick setting. It's a fairly short read but it was still engrossing. There are a couple of odd parts in the book that I didn't particularly care for but it still managed to be a nice afternoon read.

Lies Beneath manages to be a quick and entertaining read with a new brand of mermaids. It definitely had its downs but it's still a worthwhile read if you're looking for something different and new.


Rating:

Monday, July 2, 2012

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: June 5, 2012
Source: Thanks Netgalley and Henry Holt
Add to your shelves 


Summary: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. 

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. 

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.


Review: Shadow and Bone was not what I expected. I didn't expect a fantasy that would absolutely blow my mind with its characters, setting, or writing. Shadow and Bone is just plain wonderful.

Alina starts as a mapmaker and not even a very good one. But she won my heart over immediately. It was impossible for me to not become attached to Alina. I loved seeing her comfortable with her new powers and being, well, powerful and awesome with them. Alina is still the same girl she was at the beginning of the book but she was a lot stronger. And I think anyone can admire her for that.

But what to think of the Darling or childhood friend Mal? (Don't worry this isn't really a love triangle in truth.) The Darkling was just as promised. He's mysterious, a bit mean and dark. (Now there's a dark reference to the Darkling!) Let's just say it was very easy for me to be captured by his spell. Mal is just the opposite. And frankly he's a lot easier to care about. I might be a tad bit in love with Mal.

I'm always telling myself that fantasy really isn't my thing. But Shadow and Bone proves that it kind of is. The world is so vivid and just so fantastically described. I'd almost want to go live there if it wasn't so dangerous!

Shadow and Bone is truly something special. To me it was more then just a fantasy; it was so much more. I absolutely loved it. 

Rating:

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