Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Having a protective older brother as a sophomore is horrible. Having her brother's best friend, who is extremely good looking and knows it, and also having him be overly protective of her isn't any better.

So when Ellie gets to go to Norway for the summer to visit her grandmother, Ellie is excited. No protective older males to boss her around and scare all of the boys away before she can get five words out.

Except Graham (brother) and Tucker (friend) decided they are going to come out for a few weeks in the summer too, disappointing Ellie just a little bit.

But when she gets to Norway, things are different than 2 years ago when she was there last. The locals are giving her stares and dirty looks, telling her to go back home, that they don't want her there.

And guys, 18 or older, are starting to disappear. They will be with a group of friends and then a minute later, they are just gone. Some have seen a group of guys following strange, beautiful girls to an SUV, so they know that the guys are getting kidnapped in public, though the group of friends they were with don't remember them leaving.

When Graham gets taken, Ellie decides she has to find out the big secret her grandmother has kept from her, and why everyone in Norway hates her on sight.

Turns out that Ellie is half Valkyrie, an ancient Norse Mythology story where the Valkyrie's would take the dead soldiers from battle to join Odin's army.

And now Ellie needs to hone into her Valkyrie heritage in order to save her brother. Though there are, obstacles ahead to getting her full powers that Ellie needs to overcome.

While struggling with this task, Ellie is also finding herself falling for Tucker's flirting. The only thing is, Tucker does this to any female within five feet of him, so she shouldn't take him seriously. But it's very hard when it seems like Tucker is being serious about his feelings...sometimes.

Can Ellie figure out how to save her brother? And what is the secret that Tucker is keeping from her? Read Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a great book! I wasn't sure what to expect but found myself reading this book in one sitting - it was that good!!

I'm an older sister of two, so I can't compare myself to Ellie's situation with having an older protective brother, but I can imagine that Ellie's experience was dead on.

And I was so envious of her going to Norway! The way the author described the area made me want to go myself!

The action scenes from when Ellie was fighting the other Valkyrie was really well written as well. And even though I'm not up to date on my Norse Mythology, I felt like I've been studying this subject for awhile with the way I was able to understand the myth of Odin and Loki.

The best part was with Tucker, though (well for me anyway). He's such a player but acts differently around Ellie. One, because of Graham but also because he can talk to her and not have to act like a player when around her.

I really, really enjoyed this novel. And it's Ingrid Paulson's first novel! She is extremely talented and I will be looking out for more of her works when they come out!

I'm not sure if this is part of a series?! I know that there is a short story called Valkryie Symptoms from Tucker's point of view that is before the setting of this novel. If you want to read it, it's at this website now for a limited time.

I recommend this to everyone! It's a really great novel, written extremely well and I loved every minute of it. I think others will too! And, again, I will be keeping Paulson on my radar for future novels!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Julie goes from high school in Ohio to college in Boston, MA. Mainly to start over and to find friends who really appreciate her love for reading old literature novels about the past.

But when she arrives to Boston and finds out that her apartment that she bought on Craigslist is really a burrito restaurant, things weren't looking too good for her.

Thankfully, Julie's mom called in a favor from her old roommate, Erin Watkins, when she was in college - who just happened to live near Julie's college.

And they had a spare bedroom that they were happy to let Julie use until she found a different apartment.

After awhile, when Julie found out that getting an apartment in a college town with a limited spending fee was extremely hard, Erin offered for her to stay at their house in exchange for picking up her youngest daughter, Celeste, from school.

And speaking of Celeste... she's a bit different than other 13 year old girls. Very different. In fact, she carries around a life-size cardboard figure of her old brother, Finn, who Celeste calls Flat Finn everywhere she goes. Everywhere.

Finn is traveling around the world and Julie is assuming Celeste created Flat Finn because she is having a hard time without Finn around.

Then there is the middle boy, Matt, the 21 MIT genius who wears geeky slogan shirts and is a very big nerd. But he is so good to his sister and does a lot to manage the house when his parents go AWOL.

So Julie is not bored at the Watkins house.

Oh, and another thing? She's been having very long conversations with real Finn through e-mail and Facebook, getting to know the eldest Watkins very well.

And she's sorta, kinda, maybe just a little bit falling for Finn - a guy that she has  never met before in real life but is quite charming over the Internet.

But Julie still wants to know why Flat Finn is there. The family is not a normal family - they definitely have their quirks. Not that Julie minds, but she wants to find out what really happened to make them like that.

However, when Julie really finds out what happened, there is no turning back. The connection between Julie and the Watkins will be stretched so far that there might not be a chance to go back to before. No matter how hard they try... Read Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park to find out what happens!

My Thoughts/Reflections 
When I first heard about this book, it was always connected with Jamie McGuire's novel Beautiful Disaster, which I absolutely loved (and reviewed here)! So I had extremely high hopes for this novel!

And was sorry to find out that I didn't love it as much as I wanted to... There was just something about the characters that I wasn't able to connect with. The way they talked and rambled about random stuff. The way they kept repeating the same thing with different words.

Where I really loved this book was at the very end. When the reader found out the big secret. I was able to guess what happened 3 pages before it was revealed to me and that is when I fell in love with this novel. But that was so close to the end that I didn't get to appreciate my love I gained for this book that much before it ended.

What I also loved was the way Julie became a part of the Watkins family. The way she treated Celeste was amazing. Flat Finn had a brain and Celeste made it known. And Julie didn't even blink by the life-size cardboard brother. She went along with it right from the beginning and had her own conversations with Flat Finn! It was pretty adorable I thought.

So there were good and bad parts to this novel. I did enjoy it, and loved the ending, but it was lacking something. Plus, if anyone compares a book to Beautiful Disaster, I am almost always disappointed because my love for that book is over the top.

However, for readers who want to read about an odd family who a strange girl slowly heals from an event that broke them, just to become a family member herself and falls in love with each and every one of them, this would be a perfect book for you.

Also, this is a New Age book, meaning between YA and Adult. College setting. This genre is starting to become more and more popular lately, which I'm really enjoying!

I'm glad that I finally got to read it and see what everyone was all hyped up about. It was a great story line and definitely makes me look at things differently!

Monday, October 29, 2012

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

When the Garretts moved in years ago when Samantha was 5, her mother said, "Oh, no, not one of those families" and told her two daughters to never talk to them.

What Samantha's mom meant was, the Garretts have 8 children, a messy house and yard, and nothing is ever quiet or in their proper place. A total nightmare for Samantha's mom.

But an intriguing setting for Samantha to observe. She's always been fascinated by the Garretts and has envied their lifestyle, since it's just Samantha and her older sister Tracy with their single mother.

Now, years later at 17-years-old, Sam's mom is the senator of the state, and Sam has grown up in a very strict household to keep her mother happy.

And it's also the first time Samantha has talked to Jase Garrett - Number 3 in the eight kid household and also 17-years-old.

Soon, Samantha finds herself lost in the Garrett household. She visits their house more often than staying at her own house and has now learned how to feed an army of 8, while also changing her first dirty diaper.

Samantha finds out, though, that she is a natural at it and really enjoys the insanity that happens everyday.

She is also finding herself falling very much in love with Jase. But Samantha is okay with that. She just needs to find a way to tell her mother without being evicted from the house or "ruining" her mother's chance for re-election come November.

Things that are too good to be true often show the dark, ugly side later, as Samantha found out the hard way. Everything is going amazing until her mother ruined not only Samantha's life, but another family's life.

Now Sam has to make a decision. Keep quiet and let her mother run for office with a clean slate, helping her chances of winning again, will ruining a family's life, or betraying her mother to do the right thing, the moral decision that she was raised to do.

Whichever choice Samantha picks, she is going to hurt someone in the end, and Samantha isn't sure what is the right thing to do anymore... Read My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick to find out what Samantha does!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I've been eyeing this book on Goodreads for awhile and was very happy when I checked it out from the library. However, I have to say this book didn't live up to the hype I thought it had originally...

Don't get me wrong, I really liked the storyline even though most of it was just being a rebellious daughter and dating a boy her mother doesn't like.

And there were tons of topics in this novel, like the political side with Samantha's mother and the sport aspect with Sam loving swimming and Jase training to get a football scholarship for college after senior year.

But for some reason I wasn't able to connect with the characters as well as I wanted.

I think the beginning of the book was the worst, especially when Jase and Samantha first talk to each other after 12 years of silence. Jase seemed really weird and his style of talking was abnormal.

Toward the middle and end, though, when Jase and Samantha became comfortable around each other, their personalities got better. But then it just felt like Samantha was trading families and moving from one lonely house to a house with too many people to keep track of.

One thing that I absolutely loved about this novel was Jase's family. Just think, a family of 8 - 10 if you count the parents. It's like 7th Heaven only a little bit more. And a lot more chaotic. Yet Jase's parents made it work, from having a 20-year-old to a some-odd-number month old baby. And I absolutely loved the scenes with the younger Garretts because they talked about the most random topics - just like normal kids to today.

So, this was a good novel, but not a great novel. I would like to see if I can connect with other novels from Fitzpatrick in the future, since this is her debut novel. I think I could get into her writing after reading her style a few more times.

Anyone who wants another read like Maureen Johnson and Sarah Dessen will love this novel. A summer romance ending in a twist, showing how life throws twists and turns in a relationship and whether love can outlast betrayal and family.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

This is the first novel in the Wildefire series by Karsten Knight.

Back in New York, Ashline Wilde witnessed a horrible accident. Even though she didn't commit it, Ashline still feels responsible for what happened so she moves to California to a boarding school in the middle of nowhere.

Things were going fine until she got paired up with other "unnatural" students who are at Blackwood Academy: Raja, Rolfe, Ade, Lily, and Serena.

Turns out that all six of them are gods/goddesses. Raja is the Egyptian Goddess of the Dead; Rolfe is the Norse God of Light; Ade is the God of Thunder; Lily is the Goddess of the Blossom; Serena is a siren. But for some reason, Ashline doesn't know which Goddess she is - only that she is special just like the other five.

Oh, and Ashline's older sister Eve is also a goddess - the Goddess of Weather. And she doesn't use her powers for good all of the time...

Now the teen gods/goddesses are finding out that others are trying to capture them for their unique talents. But Ashline has no idea what hers is... Until it erupts out of her - quite literally. She has a knack for fire, but her real title is the Volcano Goddess.

Then Eve comes back after the horrible accident in New York. And she is starting to cause trouble for Ashline in California as well.

Before, Ashline couldn't stop Eve, but now that she knows her power, can Ashline figure out how to use them in time before Eve strikes again? Or will it be too late and Ashline will be haunted by more of Eve's destruction when she is finished? Read Wildefire by Karsten Knight to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Another book about Gods/Goddesses! Normally I wouldn't be excited for the same topic, but Knight did a wonderful job bringing a new tale and a very different journey with this subject that I was kept very entertained and intrigued throughout this first novel.

I felt for Ashline when she was devastated by what her sister had done in New York. But she toughed it out and moved across country to start over and try to live as normal as possible. Which of course, wasn't that normal when she found out she was a goddess in a mortal body.

I really liked her though. Not only is she a kick a$$ goddess, but she's sporty! She plays tennis and is quite good at it - a way to release the anger inside!

And it wasn't as romantic as it could have been. Sure, there were romantic scenes, but Ashline wasn't one of those girls that needed to have a guy around to save the day.

In fact, Ashline was pretty good at taking care of herself. And there were a lot of fighting scenes in here as well!

This is the first book in a series (so far I know of 3 books in the series - not sure if that is all or if there is more to come though). And the second novel, Embers and Echoes is already out in print! I've ordered it and will hopefully get it soon from the library.

For anyone who is a Percy Jackson fan or fans of mythology, I would definitely recommend this to you! It is told through Ashline's point of view, so there will probably be more girls than guys reading it, but I think guys might enjoy this story as well!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Growing up through foster homes has made Jane very leery and on guard. She doesn't trust many and can figure out if someone wants more than what they are saying.

It also made her work extremely hard to succeed and get an education to get out of the slums of town. So she was happy to get a scholarship at the Birch Grove Academy for Girls who has a prestigious reputation and mostly rich girls go there.

Right away the headmistress Mrs. Radcliffe took Jane under her wing and gave her clothes, food, and a place to stay.

And on the plus side, Jane got to tutor the headmistresses handsome son, Lucien - aka Lucky. But she also saw the other son, Jacob, or Jack, even though it seemed that he hated her.

With the two Radcliffe brothers stealing Jane's attention, she has to really focus and make sure that her grades didn't drop.

But things are very odd at Birch Grove Academy. And Jane is trust right into the weirdness of the history.

Not only does Jane have to adjust from living in the slums to having her own cottage on campus, but now the Radcliffe's are asking her to be a Companion - something that most would jump at the chance to be.

Jane, though, has always looked over her shoulder, and does intense research. When she starts looking into the past of two girls who disappeared from Birch Grove Academy, she realizes that everything is not as it seems. Can Jane get out of this situation before it's too late? Or will she decide to stay and be wanted for once in her life? Read Dark Companion by Marta Acosta to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was an...interesting novel.

Jane has had a hard life. After her mom died when she was 6, Jane grew up in foster homes. The last place she was at she was there for 4 years before she was able to transfer to the Birch Grove Academy. But being in foster homes and living on the wrong side of the block made her very protective and she knew what to do to get out of horrible situations.

But the way Jane acted around Lucien and after she found out about their secret, I couldn't feel pity for Jane anymore. She ignored her own health and her own wants, thinking only of what would be best for Lucien.

Sounds good in theory, but this girl has been fighting for the past 4 years to get to a better place and she wanted to dehumanize herself just to be like the "rich" people.

Thankfully Jane came to her senses and redeemed herself in my opinion by the end of the novel, but throughout most of the novel I just kept shaking my head at her.

The two characters I loved were Mary Violet - one of Jane's new friends at Birch Grove Academy. She said the most random and hilarious things that I found myself laughing out loud.

The other character I loved was Jack. He was so random and extremely different from his brother. I couldn't wait for the next time he randomly popped up in the book to have an odd conversation with Jane.

So, this book just wasn't for me. But for anyone who wants a Dark Gothic novel about an orphan girl trying to find her way in life, I would definitely recommend it to you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski

When April's dad told her that they (dad, April and step-mom Penny) were moving to Ohio, April was not having it. Everything was going wonderful for her in Connecticut  She had great best friends (Vi, Marissa) and a wonderful boyfriend of 3 years, Noah.

So April and Vi came up with a great plan - have April stay at Vi's house!

Only April's dad is very strict. After an incident 1.5 years ago, April has a 10 pm curfew; and she's 16! So when April heard that Vi's mom will be traveling and not be home, everything is doomed.

Until Vi pretended to be her mom and okayed everything with April's dad! Now they will be living together, just the two of them, as grown ups and no parental control.

Amazing right?

Except things weren't going as planned. April has never lived on her own, so she was testing Vi's patience. April needed to keep all of the lies straight so she wouldn't get caught. But now her and Noah could finally take the next step in their relationship! Except thing seem a little strained for some reason.

And why was April somewhat, sorta, possibly attracted to Hudson, a potential drug dealer since he has so much cash and no one knows where he works at?

But then April gets a call from the doctors and everything blows up. Now she's not sure what to do, who to trust. And she has no parents to go to since her dad is in Ohio and her mom is in Paris.

How could a simple living with a friend to be close to friends and her boyfriend go so dreadfully wrong? Read Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was an entertaining and random book that I really enjoyed reading! It was also very fast paced and I read it in one sitting, so it must have been good, right?

I did think that April was a little naive and stupid. She did a lot of mistakes, but I think it was good for her to learn before she moved out on her own. Her parents spoiled her rotten so it was nice that her character really grew into a mature and responsible adult (well, sorta!).

And by the way, I don't know any parents that would let their kids stay with a friend and not meet the parents - even if they had a good reason for being away. That would have seemed fishy to normal parents, I would think.

There were a lot of issues that were handled in this novel, but I think that Mlynowski did a great job with those tough subjects for teens and making it educational but fun at the same time.

Even though this book was focused around April and Noah's relationship, I really enjoyed the scenes with Hudson. Normally I would hate sequels, but if Mlynowski decided to write another novel about Hudson, I would be perfectly happy about that decision.

So, yes, this is a stand alone; no second novel to be pining over so all of your questions will be answered - hopefully.

I would recommend this novel to older teen girls. It's only through April's point of view and there are some content topics that I think would be best suited for older teens, high school kids. Although I think that many parents would argue and say that their daughters can't read this til they're an adult, but I think this novel could really help a girl answer some questions without having to talk to their parents (though they should if they are ever in a situation that April was in).

Great novel, very entertaining and so random that I think readers will enjoy it. I'll have to start reading more of Mlynowski's works!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols

Leah hasn't been very fortunate while growing up. Her mother has never had a job so she moves around where her boyfriends will "take care of her" and usually has to live in a trailer park next to an airstrip. It's the cheapest place to live.

So Leah decided that she is going to get a job at these airstrips because she constantly has to hear them and she's always been fascinated by the machines that look like they shouldn't be able to fly.

Mr. Hall, the owner of the banner planes (planes that drag banners for businesses) let her take flying lessons and after 3 years, when she turned 18, she was a professional at flying the banner planes.

When Mr. Hall dies, though, Leah finds herself working for his twin sons, Alec and Grayson. Who are also 18. Leah has known them for 3.5 years but has never really talked to them.

Grayson is the more outspoken, gloomy, and impulsive twin who never sticks with a plan that he starts. Alec is the popular, nice and fun twin. For some reason, Grayson has taken over the family business, and he wants Leah to work for him.

But Leah knew that working for an impulsive guy who gives up on all of his past plans is not a good idea. The only way he got Leah to work for him was to blackmail her. See, Leah's mother has no idea that she flies planes and makes a lot of money. Because Leah's mother would take all of the hard working money she's made and saved for college.

So she reluctantly agrees to work for him. But Grayson also has another condition: Leah has to find a way to start dating Alec.

The problem? Leah has had a crush on Grayson for 3.5 years, so she has no romantic feelings for Alec.

But in order to survive and continue to make money, Leah takes the deal so her mother won't find out. Unfortunately, things don't go as smoothly as Grayson and Leah want them to.

Will Leah be able to keep fooling her mother, and Alec? Or will her feelings toward Grayson be too obvious? And will Leah be able to keep her money to afford going to college, eventually getting a pilot's license? Read Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Wow. This was an amazing novel! I've reviewed two novels by Jennifer Echols on this blog and both times I definitely loved her novels, so I think she's one of my favorite authors!

I think Echols did a great job depicting the social differences in this novel. Because Leah lives in a trailer park, she gets a lot of rude comments. Plus, because she's extremely gorgeous, all the guys try to get "favors" from her, thinking that just because she lives in a trailer park she'll do it.

Plus, since her mom is unemployed, for life, Leah has learned to take care of the bills, buy food when she can, go to school, work, and still find time to try and look presentable and "not poor".

I really like Leah's character.

And the twins! They lost their elder brother, Jake, when he was flying in Afghanistan and then their dad died a month after Jake's death. They lost so much recently that they were lashing out and not being their usual selfs, of course.

I wasn't a huge fan of Alec because he always seemed fake to me. But Grayson, he was genuine and smoldering, and hurting. I loved reading about him because one never knew how he was going to reaction to a situation.

Another thing I really enjoyed about this novel is the flying. I've never read a book this detailed about flying and how they do what, so it was really educational for me and something new in this time period of YA literature that everyone writes about the same topic.

So, I'm going to give away one of my questions from above (feelings toward Grayson) and say THE SCENES WITH GRAYSON AND LEAH WERE AH-MAZING!! They made me blush! That. Is. All.

I loved this book and would recommend it to any female reader, since it was through Leah's point of view. And I have to say, read Jennifer Echols books! So far they have not been a disappointment to me and I think others will really enjoy her work!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

The year is 2024. Gas is low, so everyone is required to travel by public transportation. Electronics are run by a main corporation: National Connectivity. They control every single electronic and none have failed to work since the switch.

Until now.

Dean and his brother Alex were running late for their bus for school. But they should have missed it.

While they were in the bus, a severe hailstorm came - hail the size of basketballs. Fortunately, they were able to get to a secure location: a supermarket (think Walmart).

However, the bus drive that survived decided to go to the ER and see who survived and what was going on.

So that left 14 kids in the store, alone. Caroline, Henry, Ulysses, Max, Bastiste, Chloe, Sahalia, Alex, Josie, Dean, Astrid, Brayden, Jake, and Niko. That was all.

When the bus driver left, they decided that Jake would be in charge, though the jock wasn't a good leader in this crisis.

The kids went to the multimedia center after finding out that their electronics didn't work and found an "old" television that connected to CNN (our TV's now are considered "old").

There was a huge natural disaster that started with the volcano on La Palma in the Canary Islands errupting. It covered the whole western front of the island which set off a megatsunami.

When the megatsunami hit the eastern coast of the U.S., that also set off a severe weather condition including the Rocky area in Colorado where hail came down fiercly and triggered an 8.2 earthquake.

Then the chemical plant in Colorado Springs blew up, sending a toxic cloud 800 miles from the plant. The chemicals affect by blood type. O Type becomes rabid - killing everyone in sight. AB Type becomes paronoid; A Type gets blisters all over their body. B Type stays normal but they become sterile after being in the toxic air.

So the kids are trapped in the store. Thankfully they have enough provisions to last for over a year, hopefully waiting out the toxics in the air.

But people from outside are trying to get inside the building. The kids are keeping their territory under lock and key, but can they keep it safe forever? Read Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
When I read the back of this novel, I was very intrigued and wanted to find out more. The idea of kids being locked inside a supermarket seemed so out of the ordinary that I thought I would like it.

And I did like it... for the most part. I think I would have liked it more if it were just high school kids and no little kids. The little kids, for the most part, annoyed me.

But then again, I think the little kids were more mature than most of the high schoolers, so I take that back.

I dunno. There was something missing from this book that made me love it.

I did like the idea of a natural disaster trigger other disasters all over the world. It's a possibility in the future which makes this book possible to see the future.

It was an interesting read, and I think it was very realistic if a group of kids were trapped inside of a super center. They would whine, complain, fight, cry, play excitedly with toys and eat all of the junk food.

Maybe that's why I didn't enjoy it - it was too kidish and not grown up. ...Dare I say I wanted it to be more my age?! 0_0

Anywho, there were some good parts to this novel and I really enjoyed the topic. I think readers who are interested in apocalypse and dystopian will really enjoy this.

Also, Dean is the narrator of this novel, so I think that guy readers will like it because it's not a girl complaining about being stuck with a bunch of kids, but rather what Dead was thinking through the 12 days being stuck in the supermarket.

This is the first novel in the series and the sequel, Monument 14: Sky on Fire, will be released sometime in 2014. If I happen to see it, I might read it but I'm not sure if I will go out of my way to get it.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein

All Sara Jane Rispoli can think about is that in 2 years she'll be able to go to Rome, Italy after graduating and finally see the place of her heritage.

That was the only thing worth being concerned about.

Until Sara Jane came home one day to find that her mom, dad, and younger brother were kidnapped from their house and a guy in a ski mask was there to get Sara Jane.

Thankfully, Sara Jane has been boxing for 10 years - since she was 6 years old. She knows how to defend herself. So after getting away from the Ski Mask Guy, she goes to her boxing coach.

And then Sara Jane realizes that she has been ignorant of her real family history. What she once thought of as her family's baking industry was really just a cover up for being part of the Outfit, an underground mafia where each family has a "front" business to the public to keep from getting caught by the government.

The reason her family is part of the mafia is because they have ghiaccio furioso - cold fury. When a Rispoli has ice blue eyes, they can get the gene of having cold fury. Sara Jane got that gene, even though most Rispoli's previously were male, so no one expects her to have it.

When Sara Jane gets extremely angry, she feels a blue fire inside of her that calms her in intense situations and heightens her reflexes. It also, when staring at another person directly through the eyes, will paralyze the other person with so much fear that they will agree to anything to get away from their gaze. That's cold fury.

Now Sara Jane has to use any and every force possible to find her family. And she will stop at nothing to find them. Will she become the next big Rispoli in the Outfit mafia to save her family? Will she find them in time before it's too late? Read Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Wow. I knew going in that I would like this novel, but it surpassed what I thought it was about.

The thing that I loved most was that Sara Jane was no damsel in distress. She is a boxer - she knows how to fight and to take care of herself, not needing a family member or a male to look out for her.

I also really liked Sara Jane. Most girls in her situation would have ran away scared or wouldn't know what to do with herself, but Sara Jane really delved into her family's history and was smart enough to find clues to hidden passage ways and figure out how to use the Outfit mafia for her own personal use.

There were some places where I glimpsed through, especially the detailed information about Sara Jane's ancestors and how the Outfit was created, but it was information that was needed to explain what Sara Jane was learning.

The fighting scenes were really well written and I loved how Sara Jane took punches along with giving them.

Also, there wasn't too much romance in this novel. There were ideas of romance, but the farthest Sara Jane got to a boy besides knocking him out was holding hands - that's it.

Because of that, I think that guy readers would like this novel. Tons of fighting, the mafia, and racing around Chicago in fast cars - what's not to like?

I would definitely recommend this to any reader. It is the first in a series, although I'm not sure what #2's title is or when it will be released. I will be watching out for it, though, and pick it up when it comes out!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

This is the first novel in The Sweet Trilogy series by Wendy Higgins.

Weird. Unusual. Abnormal. That is what everyone thinks about Anna. She's klutzy and stares off into space. But nobody knows that Anna is very different.

She can see auras, colors around everybody that change depending on their moods and feelings. Anna doesn't want to see them, so she stares off trying to give everyone their privacy. She can also feel their feelings, when they are strong enough.

Other abilities she has is to hear a mile a way, see the smallest details, taste the tiny portion in a dish, and feel every touch of thread in her clothes. Anna keeps all of these heightened senses on the down-low, trying to be a normal girl.

So far it was going alright. Until she saw an unusual aura of a drummer in a popular band. He didn't have colors showing his feelings, but a red circle in the middle of his chest.

When confronted by him, Anna finds out about who she really is. She's Nephilim - a child of a fallen angel. Her father is the Duke of  Substance Abuse, which explains Anna inexplicable draw to spirits and drugs. She doesn't want them, but her body craves them.

Anna is not quite like the other Nephilim, though. Each son or daughter has a duty to provide chaos in the world. Anna has never done that, because she has the ability to get rid of chaos. Her mother was a guardian angel. Her father a fallen angel. Two opposite angels bore a child, giving Anna the choice to do what she feels is right.

But when the Duke of Lust and his son, the drummer, Kaidan, find out about Anna, she is expected to take her place as the Daughter of the Duke of Substance Abuse.

And her infatuation with Kaidan is forbidden in the Nephilim world. They cannot be together, no matter how attracted and curious they are about each other.

Learning the ways of the Nephilim is going to be hard for angelic and demonic Anna. Can she convince the Dukes of Lucifer that she is on their side, or will her angelic heritage get in the way? Will Anna and Kaidan be able to stay apart, knowing it's better than being together and getting killed? Read Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
The title of this novel is very accurate. And I loved every bit of this novel! I couldn't put it down and wanted more scenes with Anna and Kaidan together, though I had to be patient. Even with the small amount of scenes, it was definitely worth being patient for!

I wasn't sure how I would feel about this novel since the topic of angels and demons has been very popular in YA literature.

This was definitely different, though, and left me wanting more!

The idea behind having dukes of the seven deadly sins was really great. It shows that the children of the fallen angels are forced to work for them depending on what deadly sin they represent. Poor Kaidan had to have lust as his sin and corrupt girls to have sexual interactions before marriage, sinning their souls.

Anna has the sin of substance abuse, and even though Anna has stayed away from drinking alcohol and doing drugs, she needs to tempt humans to do either of them to corrupt their souls.

I absolutely loved Anna. She is troubled by both sides of herself and always has an inner battle going inside - especially when she is around liquor and drugs.

And the chemistry between Anna and Kaidan was phenomenal! I could feel myself blushing while reading the scenes they had together - that's how good it was.

The only bad thing about this book is that it's the first of a trilogy and I DON'T HAVE THE SECOND ONE!!! It doesn't come out until 2013 sometime - I don't have the exact date yet. It's on my "to-read" list and I will be getting it right away when it releases.

To anyone who wants a different version of fallen angels and wants some steamy scenes between the guy and girl, read this ASAP. It will leave you wanting more, but it is an amazing read!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky

Because she has the traveling bug, Dylan goes from Wisconsin, her home state, to Arizona to "house sit" her aunt's house.

Really, she just got paid to sleep there and take a photography class at the local community college in that area.

Dylan does not take life for granted. She looks beyond the artificial surface of everything and everyone, trying to figure out how things/people work and ask questions that would not seem normal to everyone else.

The one thing that Dylan did not see coming in her summer trip to Arizona was falling in love. Her main goal was to find a friend since she didn't know anyone. When she saw Gray at the college campus, she knew she needed to get to know him better.

The more time Dylan and Gray spent together, the more she kept thinking about him and impatiently waited for the next time they could go on an adventure to learn more about the world around them.

Gray's life ended 8 months ago when his twin sister died in a car accident. Everything changed for him. He gave up his full ride scholarship for baseball at New Mexico University and went to Mesa Community College in Arizona just to have a reason to get out of his depressing house.

His parents are never around and he stopped talking to his friends from high school.

Gray has lost the will to live.

Until Dylan burst into his life. Every since he met Dylan, he has something to look forward to everyday: seeing her. Dylan is so random and says the most unexpected things that Gray has no idea what they will do from one day to another.

So it was to be expected that he would fall in love with her. She is the most interesting and honest girl Gray has ever met, and he knows that she is the one for him.

But Dylan needs to travel. She wants to see the world. And Gray wants her to move to New Mexico with him when he goes back to college to play ball.

Will Dylan and Gray find a way to be together, even though their lives are not on the same path? Can long distance really work for them, or will the succumb to the inevitable breakup that happens to most summer romances? Read First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was an interesting novel. I've never read any of Kacvinsky's books before, and I definitely noticed a different style of writing right away that sucked me in.

Dylan is a great character. I wish I was like her because she is always thinking of others over herself. She doesn't care what she looks like, and is always trying to find a way to help others have a better day than what they were having.

And Gray has had a hard time before meeting Dylan. Which is exactly why it was a great thing for them to meet. Dylan found a way to help Gray through his grief and be able to bring him back to the living.

There were some parts of the book that I felt dragged on, but I did enjoy the overall story and the struggle that the two characters had individually and together as a couple.

This is very realistic to summer or high school romances when the two in the relationship go in opposite directions. I really liked the ending and think that the author did a great job describing a young couple in love for the summer.

This is told through both Dylan and Gray's perspective  so we get their thoughts about one another in detail. I think that any readers would enjoy this book - especially the character of Dylan. She was entertaining and so unique that the reader will be compelled to read more to find out what random thing she will do next.

It also looks like there is another novel following this one, called Second Chance, where it follows after the first novel ends. According to Goodreads, it's only in eBook format right now, but hopefully it will be released in book format so I can  pick it up and see what happens to Dylan and Gray!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Quiet, shy Jill Jekel has always followed the rules without question. But when her father was murdered and the mysterious box that she was told to NEVER open was sitting in his office, Jill sort of broke the biggest rule of all...

When Tristen Hyde came to Jill's high school, there were a lot of jokes between Jill and Tristen's last name, always linking them together. It never mattered that they were different social status's at school; the Jekel and Hyde team were together. 

After awhile, the joke grew old and students stopped talking about it. 

But both Tristen and Jill are extremely smart at school. They are also really smart in chemistry class, giving them the opportunity to compete in a competition to receive a $30,000 scholarship for college. 

When Jill found out that her father stole her college fund, she decided to do an experiment for the competition and, following their chemistry teacher's advice, got Tristen to partner up with her to create the "Jekel and Hyde" duo to grab the judges attention. 

And the experiment? Well, recreating the potion that Jekyll made in the novel, The Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of course. 

See inside that box in her father's office? It's the original notes written by Dr. Jekyll to get rid of the curse he created known as Mr. Hyde. 

Tristen was a little leery to join Jill in this experiment, but after having blackouts and not remembering events that other people do remember, he realizes that the Hyde curse has taken over Tristen. He wants to recreate this potion to get rid of the monster inside of him before he completely takes over. 

The chemistry between Tristen and Jill is undeniable, but Tristen won't get close to Jill because of the monster trying to get control - especially when Jill is around. He needs to banish the monster forever before he can start something will Jill. 

Will they be successful to recreate the potion to 1) cure Tristen and 2) save Jill's financial crisis she's in? Or will the monster overtake Tristen and do what it does best: kill those who Tristen's attracted to? Read Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
If you've ever read the classic story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you'll love this creative, well written, unique tale spun by Fantaskey. 

Or if you've only heard of the story, that's alright too since this goes into a more dark, haunting story about two characters who are connected from an ancient tale and a curse that goes back in both families. 

This novel is told through both Tristen and Jill's point of view, giving the reader a chance to delve in both characters and read their inner most thoughts and reactions to finding the cure for Tristen and Jill. 

I absolutely adore Jill. She reminds me of myself a little bit back in high school, though I wasn't as smart as her (especially in science, shudders). And I have to admit that I found the idea of her wearing glasses amazing, as many main characters in books I've read don't wear contacts or glasses. 

And Tristen is so torn up inside. He knows he's cursed, he knows there is a monster waiting to come out, and he knows he's done horrible things because of the monster. 

But he wants to get better and destroy the monster so he can be a better person again. And he also wants the monster gone so he can be with Jill. The chemistry between them is undeniable, but he still finds a way to resist her so she won't get harmed by the monster in case it comes out. 

I really enjoyed this book. Also, on the plus side, it's a standalone novel, so no waiting for the rest of the story to come later. 

I would definitely recommend this to any reader. I think guys might like it as well because Tristen has a voice that they can read and relate to. And to anyone who likes science  this is definitely up your alley! Pick it up today and get lost in the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde through Jill and Tristen's point of view. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Raft by S.A. Bodeen

Living on an island with no cell phone reception and internet/television that goes in and out gets old for a teenage girl.

So that's why Robie likes to go to the mainland to hangout with her cool aunt and eat fast food.

But when Robie's aunt, AJ, has to leave for a week, Robie is excited to be on her own with no grown-ups - not that AJ is strict or anything. The idea of being on her own sounded freeing though.

That was until she got attacked outside by a crazy man. Then Robie just wanted to go home to her parents so they could protect her. The idea of being on her own was not so enticing anymore.

Robi decided to get on the plane that takes supplies to Midway, her home island. She's done it before and knows the pilot - they always let her on if she wants to go home early.

But things went downhill when the plane's engine stopped working. There were 3 people on the plane: Robie, Larry the pilot and Max the co-pilot.

Max and Robie were able to get out of the plane before it hit the water, but Larry died right away trying to keep Max and Robie safe.

They were able to get a raft open and got into it after jumping from the plane. But Max and Robie didn't have any food or water, and were soaked to the bone.

Max hit his head and was out most of the time, leaving Robie alone to worry about their situation. Things weren't looking very good, but Robie always tried to think of something worse than her situation.

But can Robie and Max survive this in time for someone to find them? Or will they be stuck on the raft until they die? Read The Raft by S.A. Bodeen to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This novel reminded me of many different tv shows/movies. First off, Castaway with Tom Hanks, and also Lost television show. I also found it humorous that Robie talked about Lost and The Hunger Games, making this relatable to today's readers.

I thought this novel was alright. It wasn't my favoriet, the beginning really lagged but I think it was supposed to since she was stranded in the middle of the ocean with a guy who was sleeping most of the time.

Also, I've never been in this situation before, so I can't say it was really lagging. Robie was very strong and fought to find water, food, land, shelter, fire.

For a girl who doesn't really go out in the wilderness too often, I say she did an amazing job fighting to stay alive until someone could find her when they realized she was missing.

I think this could appeal to teens who like the television show Lost. It's not exactly the same; in fact it's more similar to Castaway but both are the main idea for this novel.

Also, I think that either guys or girls could read this. There is no romance and even though it's through Robie's point of view, I think guys could really get in the story line because Robie is just trying to live day by day.

This was my first novel that I've read by S.A. Bodeen and I really enjoyed it. It was a fast paced book, small, and I'll be looking out for more books by this author.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Until I Die by Amy Plum

This is the second novel in the Revenants series by Amy Plum.

My review of #1: Die For Me.

Now that Kate has fought the numa and is part of Vincent's revenant pack, she's getting the revenant treatment and learning how to fight with weapons.

She also gets to spend more time with Vincent and is learning more and more about the history of revenants.

But she can tell that it's extremely hard on Vincent not to help humans and die for them. So now he's trying a new experiment to see if he can withstand the urge to die while Kate lives.

Kate doesn't like the way the experiment is treating Vincent, though, because he is becoming weaker and bruising up everywhere. She decides to try and find a different cure without letting Vincent know because he wouldn't want her out on her own just to help him.

There's also two new revenants in town and staying at the palace where Vincent lives: Violette and Arthur. Because Charlotte, one of Kate's closest girl friends besides her sister, left with her brother, Violette is starting to become another close friend to Kate.

Things start to get intense when the numa's are breaking into the houses of revenants and looking for something in particular.

Then the revenants find out that the numa knows who killed their previous leader, Lucien. Only no one can know that in less it was a member of Vincent's kinship at his revenant house.

Someone is betraying Kate, Vincent, and Vincent's family. Will they be able to figure out who that person is in time? And will they be able to stop them before they find what they are searching for in the different houses they are breaking into? Read Until I Die by Amy Plum to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Hmm. I'm not sure how I feel about this sequel to If I Die. It didn't seem like there was a lot going on. Sure, Vincent and Kate both had their different agendas to help Vincent fight the urge to die, but it seemed very slow paced for me.

All of the action came at the end when the traitor was revealed and a fight broke out. But the time it took to get to that point seemed long and boring for me.

I still love Kate. She is a true fighter and has a pure, kind heart by trying to help Vincent even though he wouldn't want her to do it. And she is very smart and a little sneaky, which I have to admire in a character.

I wish that there was a little bit more plot, or at least so more steamy scenes between Vincent and Kate throughout the novel.

Even though I wasn't impressed with this sequel, I am looking forward to reading the third and final book in the series, If I Should Die in May 2013. Hopefully everything will become easier for the two characters and there will be more action and plot to follow as the story concludes.

I would recommend this to anyone who's read the first novel and wants to read more about these characters. I would suggest that you read the first book in the series before this one to clarify terms and what occurred first as this does follow right after the previous book.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Die For Me by Amy Plum

This is the first novel in the Revenants series by Amy Plum.

After Kate and Georgia's parents died in a car accident, they decided to move to Paris to live with their grandparents. Paris has always been a part of their lives since they visited their grandparents every summer, so it wasn't a huge change as far as the culture and language.

But Kate has been dead inside. The death of her parents was extremely hard on her and her sister.

So she was surprised when she got a glimmer of life back after seeing a French boy at a cafe shop.

Kate got to know Vincent a little bit more when they kept bumping into each other at cafe's and museums.

However, Vincent is not a normal boy. Not at all. Turns out he is a revenant - a dead man walking. Not really a zombie, not really a ghost, but someone who died in the 1940's and woke up in his body 3 days later.

When some people die in the place of another, they come back to life. Vincent died while protecting another, saving his life but sacrificing himself, so he was "chosen" to come back to life to save more people who are about to die.

There are more revenants in Paris that live with Vincent and they do the same thing that Vincent does.

Kate was not supposed to find out about Vincent and his family. But after seeing one of his friends die by a train and then was alive 3 weeks later, it was a little difficult to explain. And Kate also saw an obituary for Vincent from the late 40's - so she was getting some of the clues before she was let in on the secret.

But the revenants have an enemy - the numa's who basically do the opposite of what the revenants do. They get humans to commit murders so when they die, they can come back to life to keep murdering.

Kate met Vincent's mortal enemy - Lucien. And found out that her sister, Georgia, was an item with him. Can Kate convince Georgia to stay away from him without giving away Vincent's secret? And will Kate be able to stay in a relationship with Vincent knowing that he will die and come back to life every time he saves a human, with her history of death in her family? Read Die For Me by Amy Plum to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a breath of fresh air!

I've never read a book quite like this before. Like I said, they aren't quite zombies and they aren't quite ghosts, even though they have similar abilities to both supernatural creatures.

Plus, if they were anything like zombies, I don't think Vincent would be nearly as gorgeous as he is described in this book ;-)

Kate is very brave. After the devastating way her parents died and how close she was to them, dating an undead guy who will die every time he saves a human from dying to give them another chance to live would be extremely hard to do.

But she has a physical and emotional attachment to Vincent, just like he does to her. It was harder for them to be apart than together, so an alternative plan had to be created.

I also really liked how well the author describe Paris! For the readers who have never been there, I sure felt like I was sitting at the cafe with Kate or at the nightclubs! It's also a change of scenery for me since I usually read stories based in the U.S.

I'm glad I finally got this book to read - it's been in my "To-Read" list on Goodreads for awhile. But, the plus side of waiting so long for it is that I have the second novel right next to me to pick up and read it right away :) Which is what I'm going to do after writing this post!

I would recommend this to anyone female who wants to read something different with a interesting plot line and a steamy romance! I think I read it in 2 sittings, in one day, so it's very easy to read and you will be left wanting more of the characters!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Mary Zane
When she was younger, Mary grew up on Jar Island. She and a fellow classmate, Reeve, would take the ferry to the main land for school. You wouldn’t exactly call it a friendship since Reeve tortured Mary about being overweight, but they grew friendly since they had to spend so much time together.

Until Reeve did something so unforgivable and humiliating toward Mary that she finally left Jar Island. But now she’s back. Different than before and wants to make Reeve pay for what he did to her when they were younger.

Lillia Cho
Lillia always loved coming to Jar Island for the summer vacations and spending time with her summer friends that she finally convinced her parents to live their year round. She’s the popular girl, cheerleader, and her family is wealthy.

But when Lillia finds out that one of her friends, Adam, was seeing her younger sister, Nadia, in secret, along with doing something so horrifying, Lillia decided she was done with guys. That guys needed to pay for how horrible they treat girls.

Kat DeBrassio
Kat is considered “white trash” at school. She lives in the poorer part of town and everyone thinks she does drugs because of her older brother. Many don’t remember that Kat used to be best friends with Lillia and Rennie, until Rennie ditched Kat when Lillia came to live at Jar Island year round.

Many also don’t know that Kat spent a lot of her summer vacation hanging out with Alex Lindly – one of the “popular boys” who don’t associate with Kat during the school year. School isn’t exactly the best of times for Kat, so when Reeve says one too many untruthful statements, Kat decides to get revenge. Reeve will be sorry she was so mean to Kat all of these years after she’s done with her.

Read Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian to find out how each girl gets their revenge!

My Thoughts/Reflections
When I heard that Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian were writing a book together, I was so excited! I love both of their novels and knew that they were going to create an amazing book together – which they did!

This was a great novel. Each character has a reason for getting revenge and their back story, or flash backs, were a great key idea for the reader to really get to know the characters and see why they are ready to seek revenge.

I think my favorite girl out of the trio is Kat. She’s down to earth and fights for what she wants. She’s the one who initially came up with the idea to get back at the ones who tortured each girl. And I think I can relate to her out of the three of them.

The nice thing about this book is there are three girls, so the reader should have someone they can relate to. There are different situations for each girl: one fighting her weight, one living in a high class society – both at home and at school, and one trying to get through senior year so she can leave a prejudice island full of people who know everything about everyone.

This is part of a series and the authors do leave us at a little cliffhanger, so I’m excited to read the next book Fire with Fire sometime in 2013 (no date that I know of yet)!

Also, I labeled this book as a contemporary, which for the most part it is, but at the very end I think the authors are cooking up something supernatural? Maybe? I’m excited to find out more in the continuing books!

I would recommend this to every female reader. There are so many situations and events that happen that I think any girl can relate to and it is so well written that I flew through the book really fast!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Cover Reveal - The Elite by Kiera Cass

Ohh!!! The  new cover and blurb has been revealed for the next book in The Selection series by Kiera Cass! (Yes, I know I'm late, but I'm still posting about it :P)

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I reviewed the first novel in the series, The Selection here.

And now, drum roll, please!!!!!!!!

Ta Da! The Elite:

And the blurb:

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Illea. 

America still isn't sure where her heart lies. When she's with Maxon, she's swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can't dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over - and time is running out for America to decide. 

Just when America is sure she's made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she's struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending. From Goodreads

It sounds amazing!! Can't wait for it to come out!! April 23, 2013 is the date set on Goodreads right now, so I will be anxiously waiting until then to find out what happens to America, Maxon, and Aspen! :D

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

It's a weekend to die for. The most popular girl has invited Meg and Minnie to her beach house for a weekend party that is exclusive for only certain people.

Meg doesn't want to go. Jennifer is not her friend and hasn't been nice to Meg since she came to school. But Minnie wants to go and Meg makes sure that she makes Minnie happy since she is not stable.

When the two get on the island, they find out that Jennifer hasn't shown up. Instead, it's a group of people that they do and don't know. By the end of the night, there are 10 of them, so they expect Jennifer to come the next morning.

But she doesn't show.

And one of the ten teens committed suicide by hanging herself.

Or that's what they think. One by one, one of the teens dies.

There is a killer on the island. Meg has found a diary that seems very eeriely close to what's happening in the house.

So is the killer an unknown person picking them off one by one? Or is it one of the 10 teens who are stuck in the house until Monday morning when the ferry comes back?

Meg is a watcher, a listener, so she is trying to figure out who is killing them and why. But will she figure it out in time for her to save her friends? Or will she find out too late? Read Ten by Gretchen McNeil to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I loved this novel!!

I got sucked right away into the story and I just had to find out who the killer was. I also tried to figure out myself by the clues hinting throughout the novel to see if I could predict it.

Yeah, I really didn't figure it out until 1 page before the killer was revealed.

I also really liked Meg. She has the patience of a saint with having a friend like Minnie. Minnie is not stable, she needs to lean on Meg and Meg is like another mother for her. That's not a friendship that one should have in high school.

While reading this, I was on my seat. I didn't know what was going to happen next and I really wanted to find out. I was left guessing until the last chapter and I didn't want it to end!

This is the first time I've read a novel by Gretchen McNeil and now I want more! I will have to go and see what else she has written and read them to see if it's as good as Ten!

I've read some reviews that they didn't like it, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a YA thriller/horror story. It's not perfect, but I really liked it and think others would too.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This is the first novel in The Raven Cycle series by Maggie Stiefvater.

Living with a family of psychics is interesting. For Blue, it's normal when random strangers come to her house to get their reading done, and hearing phrases that would normally make other people raise an eyebrow.

Also, ever since Blue was 6, her mother and her two friends Calla and Persephone have stated that she will kill her true love with a kiss. And it's not just Blue's friends and family who have said that - other psychics around the country have stated that same phrase.

So, it's safe to say that Blue has never had a boyfriend, nor really any guy friends for 10 years.

One night during their yearly visit to the graveyard where Blue's aunt hears the names of all the souls that will die within the year, Blue sees a boy.

Blue never sees a boy, or any other spirit on this night.

See, Blue isn't psychic like her mother. But she can make any psychics ability 10x stronger just by being in the same room.

So when Blue saw the boy, it meant one of two things. One, he was her true love. Or two, she was going to kill him.

After finding out his name, Gansey, Blue meets up with him in real life along with his 3 friends Noah, Adam, and Ronan.

Now Blue seems to be friends with not only one, but three guys when she has obviously sworn off boys for life.

But Gansey and his friends are looking for the ley line - the magical area where magic can be used if only the person knows what to sacrifice in order to possess the magic.

Gansey has been looking for this for over a year, and he's getting close now that he's met Blue and her eccentric family.

Will the secret of possessing the ley line magic get uncovered? And why did Blue see Gansey that night when she's having some feelings for Adam, his friend? Does this mean Gansey isn't her one true love? Read The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I have been a devote fan of Maggie Stiefvater since she first wrote Shiver of The Wolves of Mercy Falls series (which I haven't wrote about!!! I will fix that!!) and her recent novel The Scorpio Races.

So of course I would love this new book by her!

It was a little different though. The narration switched between multiple characters so we got a lot of different viewpoints.

And honestly, if I wasn't a devoted Stiefvater fan, I'm not sure if I would have been as interested in this book as I was. I'm hoping that someone who hasn't read her novels before would still pick this up and like it, but it was very deep and delved really far into the story line before coming back out crystal clear (well, kinda).

Blue is a unique girl but she kind of has to be when growing up she never got any commands - just simple remarks that her mother made letting her decide what she wants to do.

And the Raven Boys - boy are there some deep, troubled things going on which each of these boys. I love all of them for different reasons, but I think Gansey was my favorite. Being a nerd who likes to do research is not always found in lead boy characters, so of course I fell for him!

There is a lot of content in this book and once the reader gets to the end, everything makes sense. Just stick it out!

I would recommend this anyone who wants to read about magic, friendship, society, and second chances. I am looking forward to the sequel, which won't come out until September 2013 so I have a while to wait, but I'll be picking it up when it gets released!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Thing About the Truth by Lauren Barnholdt

After getting kicked out of the Concordia Prep school in town, Kelsey is forced to go to school at the public high school, Concordia Public.

Kelsey is not worried about going to public school, but she is worried about getting scholarships for college as she doesn't have the "prep" in her school name anymore.

So she decides that she is going to create a new school organization and run it to make her applications look more unique for when she applies to college.

Issac is always known as the senator's son. And he was recently kicked out of his old school for starting a fight, so Concordia Public is the last stop for him before being forced to go overseas to boarding school.

So he's going to try his best not to get kicked out anymore.

When he meets Kelsey on his first day of school (her's as well, though Issac doesn't know it), it was not a love at first sight relationship.

In fact, Kelsey was extremely rude to Issac and instead of brushing it off, Issac couldn't stop thinking about the girl in the school office.

When Issac decides to butt in on Kelsey's organization idea (which the principal approved after Issac wanted in, just because Issac's dad is the senator) they are forced to work together on this organization.

Face it Down Day is their new organization. They are going to get kids from Concordia Public and Concordia Prep to come together and discuss questions to open up and get to know each other from the two schools.

This is supposed to help the students realize that just because one is a "preppy" school and the other is the "poor" school, everyone is the same and are just kids trying to get through high school.

Instead, everything goes extremely wrong and now both Kelsey and Issac are facing the prospect of getting kicked out of another school...

Will things be able to smooth out so they aren't forced to leave Concordia Public? Will the relationship that has been building for Kelsey and Issac continue, or stop because of the Face it Down Day events? Read The Thing About the Truth to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I'm a big fan of Lauren Barnholdt's books, but for some reason I didn't enjoy this novel as much as I thought I would...

The story line was great. Getting kicked out of school and finding someone who was also kicked out, only to be attracted to him/her and  knowing that you shouldn't? Amazing story.

And the way Barnholdt told it was through both perspectives: Kelsey and Issac. It was also told in alternative time areas. One that was "Before" the incident at Face it Down Day and the "Aftermath" of the event.

So the reader knew something had happened and just had to wait until the end of the novel to find out why.

But the ending was bland. We found out what happened and then all of a sudden the book was done.

Just. Done.

It seemed too perfect of a wrap up and there was no final answer about something (not gonna say, you'll have to read to find out! :P)

Also, I don't think I really liked Kelsey's character. She was a hypocrite and only did things when they helped her, not anyone else.

Oh! And one other thing! In the book, Kelsey has brown hair and Issac has blonde hair. The cover is not revealing the truth to the reader ;-)

For anyone who wants to read a novel about high school, this would be up your alley as it really revolves a lot around the different types of schools. For me, it was a little disappointing compared to the other Barnholdt books I've read previously.