Friday, November 30, 2012

Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the second book in the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

My review of #0.5: Daimon.
My review of #1: Half-Blood.

Warning - There will be spoilers from the first two books in this series. Continue reading at your own risk!

Being back at school isn't all Alex thought it would be. Now she gets cracks from not only her classmates, but also from her pure-blood teachers who think she's only at the Covenant because of her connection with her uncle and stepfather.

Also, she now has to hide her tags from the daimons that tried to change her - bite marks all up and down her arms and on her neck. But that doesn't stop the stares from everyone around her.

While also doing school stuff, Alex has to train with BOTH Aiden and Seth, alternating days and weekends with them. It's a lot of testosterone going around where Alex is concerned.

To make matters worse, now that everyone knows half-bloods can turn into daimons, a daimon attack happened on campus, and everyone is looking at Alex and Caleb since they were the latest victims on getting attacked by daimons.

Now Alex has to prove to everyone that she is not involved in the daimon activities happening around the Covenant - which is a little hard since she tends to get defensive when that topic is brought up - especially when it concerns her mother.

Seth has decided to start hanging around Alex more and more, while Aiden has been pushing her away. And to top off everything, her and Seth are connecting a heck of a lot more. Seth can feel Alex's emotions as if they were his own and sometimes Alex can feel certain things about Seth...things she'd rather not know about.

As if Alex hasn't been through enough, her and Caleb were attacked on campus by daimons, and Caleb didn't make it. The grief Alex feels from both her mother and Caleb's death takes the toll on her, causing Alex to act rash - more so than usual.

When Alex goes to the Council to do a statement about what happened with her mother in Tennessee, she knew that she would get grilled. But the council members have it out for her and want her to go into servitude instead of fighting daimons.

Can Alex find a way to convince the council that she is becoming mature and responsible? And what is going on between the trio: Seth, Alex and Aiden? What will happen as it gets closer to her eighteenth birthday, when she will Awaken with her Apollyon powers? Read Pure by Jennifer. L. Armentrout to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
There is so much packed into this novel! I love it!

Okay, this series just gets better and better. If I thought I loved Alex before, she grew on me even more during this novel.

I also have to say that I am really enjoying Seth. I know some are all "Aiden!" because he is sacrificing his love for Alex to keep her safe, but Seth is such a tool but a clown around Alex that I can't help but love him. And saying that will not spoil anything as I have no idea who Alex will pick in the end between the love triangle :)

I feel like I've been on an adventure throughout this novel, but the one thing that broke my heart was losing Caleb. Alex's reaction to his death was spot on for any best friend losing their other half (friend half) and I don't blame her one bit for all that she went through after that horrendous fight.

Armentrout is amazing to be able to come up with so much in this different world from ours and keep it simple so the reader won't get lost in all of the madness and blame fest. I truly enjoy reading this series and am very upset that I have to take a pause and wait until another library lets me check it out (it just came out this month, so it's too "new" to send to me - boo!).

I will be continuing this story, though, and I may just have to buy the series when they are all released to have my own copy.

I urge everyone (well female readers would appreciate it more, I think) to go read this series now! I have fallen in love with it and I think others will too :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the first book in the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

My review of #0.5: Daimon.

After having watched her mother be killed by a daimon, Alex is on the run from a group who are, for some reason, tracking her down. When she was in a fight with three of them, reinforcements came to help - members of the Covenant who she used to know three years ago.

It was all well and dandy that Aiden, the crush she had for years before leaving the Covenant, came to rescue her, but Alex was not very appreciative at the time.

Now she's back at the Covenant, where she finds out that her uncle, Marcus, is the new dean at the school and her stepfather, Lucian, is one of the Ministers of the Covenant. And neither really liked her that much three years ago, so she was expecting some bad news.

With the help of Aiden and two other pure-bloods, they were able to convince her uncle to train over the summer and try to catch up so she can go to school in the fall. And her personal trainer for the duration?

None other than Aiden himself, who Alex has found out she still has a major crush on him.

Just when things were getting to be a routine, her stepfather decides to come visit - which did not make Alex overly happy. And she also found out that the Apollyon (the one half-blood who has all of the powers of a pure-blood and more aether than a pure-blood) was with him.

The minute Alex and the Apollyon, Seth, eyes meet, there is an instant connection. Not attraction, just a feeling Alex gets whenever he is around. And she sees tattoos. Tattoos that none of her friends can see.

With her stepfather comes bad news - her mother is alive. But she was changed into a daimon. And for some reason, she is coming back for Alex, and killing any pure or half-blood in her way to get Alex.

Now Alex, after finding out that she herself is the second Apollyon of this generation - something that caused a fuse the last time two were alive at the same time - has to deal with this news along with the idea that her mother is a daimon and might have to kill her so she won't kill anyone else.

Life for Alex is not all that grand lately. What will happen to Alex since Marcus and Lucian know she's the second Apollyon? What is the connection she feels with Seth, even though she's very much attracted to Aiden? Will Alex have to kill her mother, or is her mother stronger than Alex and will kill her first? Find out all of these answers by reading Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout today!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This book was amazing. I was not bored once throughout the novel and read it in one sitting. There was also so much information and action in here that I was thrown for a loop time and again with the new content Armentrout shoved in here - very eloquently shoved, but still shoved.

Alex is amazing. Purely amazing. She had to leave her mother when she was murdered, fight off daimons after no training for three years, face her uncle and stepfather, not knowing the outcome, go to school and train with her hard-core crush, learned that her mother WASN'T dead, but turned into the thing she is training to kill, found out that she's the second Apollyon, when the last time that happened, they killed BOTH Apollyon's, AND still had time to break a few rules here and there.

She's amazing.

And there are so many boys! Ha, just kidding, but Aiden is very serious, and so is Seth though they are a different serious from one another. Caleb, Alex's best friend, is hilarious and her two elders (uncle and stepfather) are just plain weird.

Overall, this was a great book. There was a lot of information, but it was well spread out really well to give the reader enough time to get over one shock after another.

I cannot wait to read the next books in the series to see what happens with all of the characters. I think I'm going to enjoy this Covenant world very much :)

I think all should read this. It's different than other stories and has many twists and turns. The only thing I'm upset about is that not all of the books are out so I can read them back to back. Guess I'll get over that, though!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout

This is the prequel novella (#0.5) in the Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout.

For three years, Alexandria, or Alex, has been living in the human world and trying to blend in like a human. Even though she's not. Far from it.

She's actually a half-blood: half human and half God. Her mother is a pure-blood and her father was human. Because of that, Alex has superstrength and speed. Before moving to the human world, she was being trained to protect all pure-bloods from daimons - half-bloods gone rogue.

Daimons one mission in life is to get the aether from pure-bloods - the essence that makes them a God, basically.

Alex doesn't know why her and her mother left the place where all God descendants live: the Covenant. She tried to ask but her mother never gave her an answer.

But one day, the daimons came to Alex's house. And they killed her mother when taking her aether. If that wasn't hard enough, for some reason they are also chasing after Alex, who has a smidgen of aether inside of her as she is only half-blood.

Now Alex has to decide what to do. Fight every daimon that comes after her, or go to the Covenant, the place where her mother has been running from for three years. Whatever Alex decides, it will change the life she knew for good. Read Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I'm glad I read this before the first two novels that I have staring at me right now because this novella really explained the setting and world that I'm about to dive into. I also got to meet Alex without the who love fest that will eventually happen, so I can remember her as an individual and not a love-couple.

I felt like somethings were missing, but I wasn't too concerned by it since I do have the next book to delve into. I really like Alex and think that I will keep liking her throughout the series.

I also like having the background story for one of the main characters.

Because it was such a short novella, I don't have too much to say. I would recommend this to any reader who is in love with Armentrout's works and who wants a very unique twist on mythology. If you want to know more about this series, I will have the review for the first whole book tomorrow, so come back and read it! There will definitely be more details about this unique world!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Nick was having a pretty normal night. He was playing with his band - minus a drummer - as an opening act for a band and was really getting into the music.

Then his ex, Tris, walked in the room - whom he still wasn't over yet. He thought she was there to see him, until he saw the model guy next to her and she started to "moon" over him.

Things were looking down then, until he saw a girl in a flannel shirt next to him in the crowd, after his set on stage. To take his mind off of Tris, he asks this random stranger to be his girlfriend for the next 5 minutes.

When Norah was approached by the lead singer of the last band on stage to be his fake girlfriend, her first thought was "NO!". Then she saw her frienemy, Tris, coming her way and didn't want to deal with her, so her response to Nick was to kiss him.

Unfortunately, that didn't make Tris go away - but had the opposite effect.

But Norah did not realize what an amazing kisser this boy was going to be. She didn't want to stop after their first, but was rudely interrupted.

After that, Norah needed to take her friend, Caroline, home since she was wasted. Nick's friends were ecstatic that Norah was keeping Nick's mind off of Tris that they took Caroline if Norah would take Nick and keep him company - get his mind even further away from Tris.

So after that, they decided to go somewhere else. And somewhere else. And both Nick and Norah cannot deny the chemisty they feel for the other. Which is insane since they met at 7 p.m.

But since they are strangers, the question is: will it be a one night deal, or will they keep connecting and getting together afterward? Because anything could happen for just one night. Read Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I can't believe that this book - the WHOLE book - is about one night. From about 7 pm to 5 am the next morning. That is how long Nick and Norah know each other - even though it seems like they have been associated for a lot longer.

This is told through both Nick and Norah's viewpoint, alternating chapters throughout the chapter. And I really liked that because it gave the reader a chance to see what both characters were thinking - sometimes about the same topic as the other, depending on what the chapters ended/began.

Norah is so responsible and mature, as is Nick. It was very entertaining to read Norah's reaction to Nick's sexuality when she was questioning if he was straight or not. She figured out the answer to that very quickly :)

The way the book was written, there were a lot of paragraphs with the narrator's thoughts instead of action or dialogue. Usually that is a huge no in my book because I tend to skip over long paragraphs and look for more one on one scenes, but I made myself re-read when I did that to fully appreciate the novel.

Overall, I found this really entertaining and realistic to the band/music crowd. There was some language and content that I think is appropriate for older readers, but the connection between Nick and Norah will really get to readers, I think.

I can't believe it took me this long to read this book, even though tons of my friends have read it. I will be reading their other novel, Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, soon and will feel up to date with all of my book lover friends :)

Go read this novel if you want a night to remember! Only 160 pages and it will keep you up until the last page!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill

Going to London for a school trip is like an early Christmas present for Julia. She gets to see the birthplace and home of William Shakespeare, see all of the London culture, and the place where her parents met and fell in love.

But her trip started down hill and only went more south from then on. The plane ride was excruciating  the class clown from her class, Jason, was making obnoxious noises, and rude gestures toward Julia. 

And since Julia is a control freak and needs to be prepared for everything, Jason is not her best friend. But then they get stuck as buddy partners for the 9 days they are there - where one goes, the other needs to follow to keep one another company and safe.

The other interesting part of her trip is a mysterious person who texts her on the cell phone her teacher gave her. Julia always has her MTB - her meant to be guy who she thinks she'll be with for the rest of her life: Mark. 

When Julia and Mark were 5 and 6, they were neighbors and got "married" in their back yard. Since then, Julia has been pining for him and thinks that they will be together once Mark starts talking to her again. 

So when she gets contacted by the "mysterious man", she doesn't want anything to do with Chris. Mark is the only one in her future. But Jason finds out about Chris and decides to help uptight Julia get to know him and loosen up during this trip, for a price. 

Now Julia and Jason are roaming around London trying to find the mysterious texter, while also trying to follow the rules for their trip. However, because Julia is partnered with Jason, following the rules is out of the question. 

Julia isn't sure what to do anymore. And it only gets more confusing when Mark randomly pops up in London at the end of her trip. So now Julia is juggling Mark, Chris, and Jason all at once. It's enough to make any sane girl go crazy. What will Julia do? Which boy will be her MTB? Read Meant To Be by Lauren Morrill to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I can't believe that this is a debut author! The way Morrill writes, I thought she would have had a ton of books out!

I really loved this story. One, because it reminded me of my trip to London for 8 days during one semester in college. I recognized the sights that Morrill wrote about and could really relate to Julia when she was wandering the streets of London. 

Secondly, this was such an epic story of falling in love and discovering new things. I started reading it and didn't put it down until I read the very last word - that's how much I loved it!

Jason, being the class clown, did make me chuckle a few times throughout the novel. There were some other times that he made me cringe with what he did or say, but mostly he was very humorous and I loved the times where he was actually serious with Julia. 

While reading this novel, I had my own version of how it was going to end, knowing that I was right and couldn't wait to see the reactions of the characters. 

I ended up guessing completely wrong and thrown for a loop when I found out what REALLY happened! And I love that I didn't guess it right - Morrill did a great job twisting and turning this tale into something that was not so easy to be able to guess. 

I loved this story and would recommend it to anyone wanting a book about traveling, falling in love, and making mistakes when it comes to love. I will definitely be on the lookout for more novels by Morrill when she releases upcoming novels!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth

Mia is a lightning addict. Ever since she got struck the first time, she knows when a storm is coming and wants to chase after it to get struck by lightning again.

Yes, it hurts. Yes, she has marks all over her body every time she gets struck by lightning.

But that doesn't stop her from wanting the sensation she gets every time it happens.

After an incident occurred in Arizona, her and her family (mother and younger brother Parker) moved to L.A. because there wasn't too many storms that occurred there.

Lightning storms that is. Earthquakes, on the other hand, happen. And just over a month ago, a horrible earthquake came through her town and destroyed homes and killed people.

Right before the earthquake hit, a Prophet claimed that it was going to come. He told them, even though no one believed. But after it hit, he got Followers who started to believe everything he said. Which was basically the end of the world was coming.

On the other hand, there was another group forming against the Followers - the Seekers. They think they can stop the end of the world, as long as they can get a lot of people on their side.

And for some reason, Mia is in the middle of these two groups. Both want her for their own purposes. Mia wants neither of them, just to take care of her mother, who was mentally and physically hurt in the earthquake, and her young brother.

When a mysterious boy comes into the picture, someone Mia has never met before, she feels torn about what to do. And Jeremey is telling her she shouldn't do anything, but not telling her why he's saying something like that.

Will Mia pick a side between the Followers or the Seekers? And what is her purpose in this upcoming storm the Prophet is talking about? More importantly, can the storm be stopped before it wipes out the whole world? Read Struck by Jennifer Bosworth to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This book did not work for me. Right from the beginning, I had to force myself to read it and then I started skimming trying to find dialogue rather than 5-7 paragraphs about religion.

I really wanted to like it. I got to the end of the novel, so I worked really hard to find out what happens to Mia. But I feel like I've wasted a good part of my day reading something that I will never think about again and I don't like doing that.

Even the romance between Mia and Jeremy didn't cut it for me, and that's an unusual thing to happen because the romantic couple can always get me to look forward to their scenes in the novel.

I'm not sure if it's because it had a lot of religion in the novel. I'm not anit-religious, I just think it was on overdrive in this novel and every other word was about God. It got a little repetitive after awhile.

I see on Goodreads that it is part of a series, but I know for a fact that I will not read the second novel if/when it comes out. I'm just happy that I got through this novel as a whole, even with the skimming of pages I did every once in awhile.

For anyone who doesn't mind reading a supernatural novel that also has a lot of content about religion, this might be up your alley. It just didn't go over well for me and I'm glad I just got it from the library instead of buying at the store - which I might have done since it's about a topic I would normally enjoy reading.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse

Jackson is the love of Jody's life. The only problem? Jackson is the lead singer for a very popular band and hasn't the foggiest idea of who Jody is.

But she is going to change all of that when she goes to his concert and they will have a "moment" where he will look into her eyes and know that she is the one for him.

Yeah... except that she ACTUALLY gets a concussion, wakes up behind stage waiting to go to the hospital, and misses all but 3 of the songs Jackson performed. It wasn't the moment she was looking forward to.

However, Jackson comes back stage! Jody thinks it's for her, but really he just wanted to get away from the crowds. He also wasn't looking so well, so Jody offered him a chocolate bar.

Jackson, however, thinks it's a knife and says he will do whatever she wants. So she kidnaps him and takes him back to her house, with the reluctant assistance of her best friend, Mac.

Now Jody has a famous rockstar in her garage, and it's not the picnic and roses she thought it would be. Honestly, she just wanted to get to know Jackson, because she feels like she knows him already with her previous obsession.

Turns out that Jackson is the opposite of what he tells the public. Jody has no idea what to do with him, especially because he is addicted to pills that he no longer has and is now going cold turkey to get the drugs out of his system.

Taking care of a spoiled rockstar is not an ideal job, and Jody has to get to know the REAL Jackson. Thankfully, Mac is helping her when he can, even though Jody can tell he'd rather turn Jackson to the police and get him off his hands.

When the media gets very close to finding out where Jackson might be, Jody has to figure out what to do. Let Jackson leave the country? Take him back to his band so he can go on his American tour? And when he does leave, will Jody go with him, or stay in her small town with her family and Mac? Read Rockoholic by C.J. Skuse to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was an interesting read on many levels.

First, I didn't realize it was in a different country! And I really enjoyed that difference because the language was spot on (at least I think so) and it was unique for me since I haven't read many YA books that were out of the U.S. culture.

Also, Knockturn Alley was mentioned which made me think of Harry Potter. Every. Time!

Secondly, the author wasn't afraid to write about drugs and suicide stories - which is realistic since it had a band member and many are known for dabbling in pills for performance anxiety.

And third, Jody. She was different. She was a groupie, loved Jackson, and wanted to marry him. A true groupie - people who I don't really connect with since I don't listen to a lot of music or gush too hard core over celebrities.

So it's safe to say that I was intrigued by this book because I didn't relate to a big majority of it.

There were some parts that annoyed me, especially in the beginning when ALL Jody could talk about was Jackson this and Jackson that. I don't know how Mac could hang around her that often when that's all that would come out of her mouth.

The best part about this novel for me was Cree. Cree is Mac's 2 year old sister and she is an adorable mess. She made me laugh and cry. Actually, I loved Mac too. Eighteen and working for his parents, he's basically another parent to Cree and he's also the lead in the play The Rocky Horror Show, where he gets to dress in drag and do what he loves best: act and sing.

So overall, this was a cute story that introduced me to many new topics. I wouldn't say it was the best book out there and that I'll read it again next week, but I did enjoy it. For anyone who wants to read about music/concerts and has a setting in another country, I would strongly recommend this novel to you.

Also, this is the author's second novel, and I'm interested in her first one as well, Pretty Bad Things. I may have to look into it and see how she wrote that one compared to this novel!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Drive Me Crazy by Erin Downing

Kate, Sierra and Alexis are best friends, and always hangout with each other during the summer after Alexis convinced everyone's family to summer in Wisconsin at the lake.

And Kate is extremely excited for this summer because she almost, finally has her first boyfriend, Lucas, who also goes to the lake during the summer.

Last summer they had their first kiss on the last night of their stay. Now, Kate can't wait to get back there to see what will happen between her and Lucas since they have the whole summer together.

Also, Kate and her two friends get to road trip to WI for the first time, giving them a great experience and will have loads of memories to relive when they get older. It's a girls trip!

Except that Adam, Alexis's cousin, is now coming with so he can get an interview in Michigan... And the bad part is that Kate and Adam can't stand each other!

So now all 4 of them are stuck in a car, where none of them are happy for different reasons. And the longer they are stuck in the car, the more Kate and Adam get on each other's nerves.

But after awhile, Kate decides that she's going to try to enjoy the time with her friends before she hooks up with Lucas after all of this time.

When they get to WI, Kate is excited to see Lucas and they automatically act like they have been dating. The problem is, Lucas has been going waterskiing everyday - and Kate hates being on the boat and will never waterski after her last experience.

Being with Lucas is not all what she thought it would be, being a romantic at heart that she is. And she seems to be thinking about another boy while hanging out with Lucas...which is not what she expected at all!

Will Kate get her romantic relationship, or will Lucas be obsessed about sports and image rather than being with Kate? Read Drive Me Crazy by Erin Downing to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a cute, short, fast read. It is definitely all about romance and first loves, with a little adventure of road tripping and unexpected twists and turns (though not really unexpected for the reader who can see the signs).

It was a cute novel, not something that I absolutely loved. In fact, Kate kind of annoyed me for the majority of the novel, but I did love her banter with Adam. It just felt strung out and she was too concerned about the past than to look at her present and future.

I also loved her two best freinds Sierra and Alexis. Alexis was a tough cookie and took prisoners when she had to and I would have loved to read about Sierra's story living with her split parents who were trying to work things out.

Overall, it was an alright novel. I would recommend it for anyone who wants a light read about first loves and summer romance. It took me just a few hours to start and finish it - only about 200 pages long. It's definitely for teens as they are all 16 and worry about things like what to wear to go to a bonfire and such.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Two years ago, Ember was in a car accident with her family. She died in that accident, felt her soul leave her body. But her 3 year old sister, Olivia, brought her back from the dead. Just by touching her.

Now, two years later, Ember is taking care of her mother and Olivia. Her father died in the car accident and her mother is acting like Ember died with him - which she technically did though now she's alive and doing the everyday normal stuff.

Well...almost normal.

When Olivia brought her back to life, she got her own ability. While Olivia can bring back dead things to life, Ember has the opposite ability - with just one touch, any living thing will die.

Ember found this out by touching animals and plants, so now she has a no touch policy that everyone in her life knows.

But no one wants to get close enough to touch her anyway. A side effect of being dead is that her blue eyes are now pale blue, almost transparent. And she has scars on her arms and upper body. She's known as the freak and gets tormented everyday at school or in town.

That doesn't stop her from taking care of Olivia, though. Her mother is useless when it comes to going to work, etc. so Ember gets the groceries, takes care of Olivia going to school and back, pays the bills, and other adult things.

It's not a great life, but it's hers. Then everything changes when she sees an attractive guy in town. It changes because he actually looks at her and doesn't look disgusted by Ember's disfigurement.

Turns out Hayden is like Ember and Olivia - he has his own ability. So does his "family" who he lives with in West Virginia. And that is where Ember is sent after being ... abducted ... from her house.

Now she has to live with complete strangers to stay with Olivia. And everyone at this house hates her. Her ability to kill with a touch is not looked at lightly and no one wants her near them. Except Hayden. Hayden acts like her guardian angel and tries to help her handle her "gift".

When things start to show up in her locker, things that no one should know about Ember, she claims someone in the house did it. But other things start to happen, like a car trying to run her over, that makes Ember realize her past is not what she thought it was...

Can Ember figure out how to control this curse she has been given? Will she find out who is trying to kill her and why? Read Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I. Love. This. Author.

There, I said it. I first read her through the Lux series and now I just ordered her Half-Blood series which I know I'll love just as much as the previous series. And Armentrout didn't disappoint with this novel!!

Could you imagine killing a person with just a touch? Just a whisper of a touch, or bumping into someone at the grocery story and naked skin connected? That would be horrible, and Ember had to go through that everyday for two years.

Plus she was taking care of her 5 year old sister, and if anyone knows 5 year olds, they always want something and put up a fight when they don't get it. So having to take care of her and making sure she is wearing long sleeves and gloves before touching her has got to be hard on a person.

Ember is strong willed and tough, even if she thinks differently. Thankfully she is kind spirited and didn't want to use her "gift" or curse for bad.

I have always been a fan of X-Men and this reminded me of that movie a little bit. All of these gifted teens in one house learning to live with their ability. Although it was different because a lot of the abilities were mental - empathetic, telepathic, healing, killing. It wasn't shooting fire or ice at others in battle and it was a lot of internal struggling.

I feel the need to pick up every one of Armentrout's works and read and re-read over and over again. Sadly, I don't own any of her novels - I've checked all of the ones I've read out from the library. When I find some extra cash, I will be fixing this problem and probably buying all of her novels just so I can stare at them lovingly on my bookcase.

So basically, go read this book. And her other books! I would recommend this for any reader wanting to read something similar to X-Men that shows a lead female character struggling to live one day at a time, just to find out that she's not alone and may be able to make friends who are like her.

Fantastic novel! Fantastic Author!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes

This is the second book in the Falling Under series by Gwen Hayes.

My review of #1: Falling Under.

After Theia's trip back to her normal life after being abducted into Under, she finds herself a little out of place. Because Mara did a blood ritual with her and gave Theia her demon blood, Theia now finds herself having odd cravings and is trying really hard not to suck the souls out of her classmates.

But things are going semi-sorta good with her and Hayden. Granted, they both have some demon inside of them so they have the same urges - can understand one another better.

Also, after leaving her life for awhile, she comes back to having everyone assume she ran away from home. Her father hasn't said more than five words to her since her arrival, pretending that nothing wrong had happened instead of yelling at her or grounding her.

Something strange is happening at Theia's high school though. All of the sneetches (popular students) are looking a little down. It looks like they haven't slept in awhile, are having rough nights, and have shallow looking physique.

Theia thinks that Hayden is not able to control his Lure and is draining their souls a little bit at a time. Instead of confronting him about it, she just ignores it is happening.

Also, Theia's urges are getting harder and harder to control. She finds herself slipping, and at night she feels more comfortable in Under than with her friends and Hayden.

When Mara, Hayden's mother and the queen of Under, comes into Theia's human life and pays a lot of attention to her father, Theia must figure out what to do. Should she ignore her demon side and let Mara do whatever she wants or should she fight back using the very thing Mara gave her? Read Dreaming Awake by Gwen Hayes to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
It has been a very long time since I read the first book in this series, so it took a few pages to remember what had happened at the end of the first novel.

After I figured that out, though, I started to enjoy this novel. I didn't enjoy the reason why Theia and Hayden split in the middle, because I never like it when an obvious couple breaks up for no good reason, but other than that I really enjoyed where the story line went.

I also think there was a little bit of character development for Theia. There were times she went back into her shy self, but for the most part she definitely grew into a woman instead of a girl and she went after what she wanted instead of the people around her.

As far as I know, this is the end of the series? Just the two books. I think that there could be a great story to follow if Hayes wanted to keep going with Theia and Hayden, but it was a good ending for the two book series!

I would recommend this to anyone who wants to read about supernatural creatures - in this case demons or succubi's - and a main female who has found herself changed completely from the person that she used to be.

I'm really glad that I was able to finally get this book and finish the series! Really enjoyed it and I think others would as well :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe

This is the first novel in the Kythan Guardians series by Trisha Wolfe.

In 2040, Dez is fighting against her own people. She's a Shythe, a race of shape-shifters descended from the Egyptian pharaohs. At the age of 17, she gains her full Charge power and will be assigned to humans to protect them from any harm.

The enemy of Shythe's are Narcos, who are also shape-shifters but instead of having a Charge, they have Flame in order to produce steam, fire, and other substances of flame to help humans.

Together, they help the human race, but the Narco's have been killing the Kythan species for years. Now, it's  just the Narco's and Shythe's, who are still mortal enemies, but are now told from the council that they have to live together to keep their race alive.

While this is going on in the Kythan world, Dez is fighting her own battles. She was part of an experiment when she was conceived, and was the only one who survived.

She's half Narco and half Shythe, raised in a Shythe world. Her friends are Shythe. Her mother ran away when the creators of the experiment starting killing everyone, saying the procedure went wrong. So they came to Haven and changed their names, fitting in with the Shythe world.

But she doesn't know if she will have the Charge power, or the Flame power when her abilities come the day she turns 17.

Dez is starting to grow feelings for one of her best friends, Jace, who is a Shythe, and is also one of the council members son. But right when things might be looking up for them, a Narco comes barreling through when they are forced to live with Shythes: Reece.

For some reason, Dez is strangely connected to Reece - in a bigger way than she can imagine. When she turns 17 and gets her immense power, it's not Jace she turns to for help, but Reece.

Things are not as they seem, though, between the Narco's and the Shythe's. Peace is not the only thing they are striving for, and Dez is caught right in the middle of this battle between two races.

Can Dez find a way to contain her massive power of both Narco and Shythe? Can she do it in time to save the ones she loves? Read Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Now I know I have a lot of labels for this book review that don't make sense, like Supernatural, Dystopian, Science Fiction, but for me, this book had all of these genres! It was amazing!

I haven't read too many Sci Fi novels lately - especially YA novels - so it was great to get lost into another world with different rules than I'm used to.

And I found the way the author wrote this novel was fantastic! She didn't overly explain things but gradually let the reader figure out how this world was with the rules and the setting. It wasn't a whole paragraph where it was narration to the reader of what was going on - we have to read it longer than a chapter to figure everything out, which I found refreshing.

Dez is amazing. She has been keeping this secret for years and is scared to death as to what is going to happen when she receives her full power. And then, when she does get it, she's able to use some of it before it gets out of control.

Now, the first scene, directly when the reader starts, is HOT. But then it gets hotter with another boy.

As much as I liked Reece, I think the acceptance of him that Dez gave him was a little odd. He's supposed to be her mortal enemy and after revealing the truth about himself, she trusts him with her life? Yeah, not very realistic or smart, I think.

I think Wolfe did an amazing job with this novel. It sucked me into another world, gave me a different viewpoint on different topics, and kept me wanting a lot more throughout the novel and at the end. It's not a cliffhanger, but the reader will definitely know that there is more to this amazing world.

I cannot wait until the next book comes out. Unfortunately, I can't find any information on Goodreads about the sequel, but I'm hoping that I won't have too long of a wait for it?!?

I would definitely recommend this to any female reader who wants an other worldly novel to read and one with a kick a$$ female lead character to read about! I won't be forgetting this world any time soon!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick

This is the second novel in the Ashes trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick.

My review of #1: Ashes.

Note - There will be spoilers from the first novel in this series. Be warned before reading past this sentence!

When Alex ran away from the town of Rule, she really wasn't expecting to be the next meal for the Changed, or Chucky's, as a ritual for Rule. Because that's what it is. The Chucky's leave the people of Rule alone as long as they get humans to eat and food to feed the humans so they don't die right away.

After trying to fight the Changed, she was taken captive and was forced to travel with them and other human sacrifices. While traveling with them, she realizes that her ability to smell things was starting to become stronger, making her more aware of what the Changed are doing before they decide to act on it. Maybe her ability will help her survive this nightmare?

Tom was saved by an older couple who took them in when he was shot in the leg. They saved his leg and took care of him, but they were also pretending that Tom was their dead son. There were a lot of similarities between the two and were still devastated over the death of their son.

Tom went along with it for awhile, but it was time to move on and find Alex. He knew it might be a lost cause but he needed to try and find her. But the trip from the farm house he was taken to and Alex, who was now the possibility of the Changed's last meal was not going to be easy. In fact, he got captured so many times by older adults who wanted the rewards of bringing in a young 'un that wasn't Changed that he had to keep a close eye on everyone around him.

After trying to save Alex from leaving Rule, Chris woke up a week later and couldn't remember all of the details of what happened in those last moments before blanking out. Turns out that he was knocked unconscious by a close friend from Rule in order to let Alex leave to be the next sacrifice for the Changed.

Then Chris was kicked out of Rule because he chose Alex over his family and home. He was able to escape a cruel fate only to have to fight at every turn to find shelter and food during the brutal snow storms that kept coming. Thankfully he was with Lena and Nathan, though they hindered more than helped sometimes on their hike to survival. But Chris was bound and determined to find Alex and correct what was wronged.

Rule was never a safe place for Lena, where they wanted all of the young females to mate with the older grandpa's there and keep the population booming. So she sided with Chris and was sent out of Rule as well.

Only things weren't going well for Lena. She found out that her semi-sorta boyfriend was working with the Changed and did the exchange for protection by giving them humans to snack on, then found out that he was killed on the last trip out of Rule for supplies. But even worse, she's been sick to her stomach for most of the trip away from Rule and she has a horrible suspicion why... And she's also having the ability to see in the dark - details she should not see and has...cravings and urges that should not be her most priority... What is happening to her?

When Peter's group was ambushed, he was sure that he was dead for good. But then he woke up strapped to a gurney and found out that the people who ambushed him wanted him specifically to "experiment" on him. Turns out, the ex-militia solider Finn put the Changed's blood inside of him when he needed a transfusion  And now they were putting other things inside of him to see how much he can resist the fluids.

Peter can't escape, but he can fight to stay alive to try to escape later. Finn is making him fight Chucky's that they are capturing, to train the Chucky's how to survive longer by watching Peter. Peter doesn't know how much longer he can keep surviving, but he is not going down without a fight.

All of these characters are fighting for one thing in this nightmare of a world: survival and to find the person they are searching for. Will they be able to succeed, or will the Changed get in their way? Read Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I really enjoyed the first novel in this series, so I was really excited when I got this book from the library.

Except that I didn't really like this one.

The first reason was the narration. It's nice that we had 5 people to follow and get a broader story. I just found it ridiculously hard to figure out which chapter was which character narration at the time. There were times that I would skim the first two pages looking for familiar names, figuring out who it was about and then go back to the beginning of the chapter with that setting in mind.

I didn't find that enjoyable. I like narration that flows and that did not flow for me.

Secondly, the length. Good lord, it was over 500 pages of long, detailed, agonizingly slow narration. Don't get me wrong, I read Harry Potter 7 in a day so length does not scare me. Just slow paced length gives me a problem.

And third, there was too much happening. I couldn't keep everything straight and I read this quite a bit after the first one (in July and just now for the second one). I found myself lost and looking things up online to try and figure out who was who at the beginning of the story.

Now, despite all of the negativity above, I did enjoy it a little bit. I was dedicated and determined to finish it because I really did enjoy the first novel and I want to read the conclusion when it comes out in March 2013. I just found myself not enjoying this book while reading it.

Now that I'm done, though, I appreciate the story and am able to remember what happened and how it all fit together.

I will be reading the final story when it comes out just to see how Bick will finish this world that she created, and how each character fares throughout the story. I'm especially curious to see what happens to Alex, particularly after her last scene in Shadows.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Eve of Destruction by Patrick Carman

This is the second book in the Dark Eden series by Patrick Carman.

My review of #1: Dark Eden.

It's been a year since Will left Fort Eden, minus his uncontrollable fear. Now him and the other 16 year olds are trying to live their lives as normal as possible.

Except that isn't happening very well. They may have been cured of their fears, but they got horrible side effects, such as falling asleep throughout the day, getting arthritis, becoming deaf, having dizzy spells, keep having consistent migraines, the ever present legs that fall asleep when one sits for too long, or white hair.

Things that normal 16 year olds would not have.

Out of the blue, Will gets an invite from his old doctor saying that Eve Goring wants all 6 of them to come visit one last time, as she is on her death bed about ready to die.

After much convincing, Will gets the others (Marisa, Kate, Conner, Ben and Alex) to go on the trip. The only one missing is Avery, who is with Rainsford transformed into Davis after the cure's results.

Only when they get there, things feel off. They can't find Mrs. Goring at first and when they do, she was acting a little odd.

Then she made Will become an outcast by announcing that Will has been keeping a secret from the other 5 the whole time they left Fort Eden. And that didn't bode well for them, especially Marisa since they have been dating this whole time.

Now, Goring is making them do another thing, because she's not really dying. She just wanted them to come do a task that she couldn't do herself.

Get vials of their blood that have their fear.

The reason the 6 of them do it? Because once they get all 7 of the vials, they can cure their side effects.

So now they are all positioned in another game created by Fort Eden in order to be a small pawn in a big game where they don't know all of the rules. But they will be faced with challenges that will test them mentally and physically to get what they all desire.

Will they be able to get all 7 of the vials? How can they get all 7, though, if Avery is still with Davis? And is Goring just pulling their strings about a cure, trying to get what she wants, or is there a chance that things can finally go back to normal for the 6 of them? Read Eve of Destruction by Patrick Carman to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
It's been awhile since I read the first novel in this series, but when I started reading this book, I fell right back into the story and was able to keep up with the characters, which I was very happy about.

I think Carman did a great job continuing the tale for the 7 teens who were cured in the first book. It wasn't a repeat of the first book and this time the teens had to literally fight their way through some creepy and scary things to get the cure they were all wanting.

Will was again stuck as the monitor of the group, watching in a locked room, only this time it wasn't because of his fear.

But I really liked how, at the end, he risked his own safety to help everyone else find the cure and get out of the predicament they were in.

Overall, it was a good sequel. It wasn't my favorite novel that I've ever read but I'm glad I was able to come back and visit these characters again.

I also felt like there was a lot of character development from the first book, which I'm glad because they were sad characters in the first novel. Now they were less worried about what they were petrified of and more determined to become the whole person they could be once they got the cure.

For anyone who read the first novel, this is a must read to find out what happens to all of the characters. For others, I would recommend this series to anyone wanting a thriller and survival story that will make them look upon their own fears to see if they are as petrified as the 7 teens in this book.

Glad I continued the story!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight

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

My review of #1: Wildefire.

Note - This review will have spoilers of the first novel, so be forewarned before you continue reading!

After everything that happened at school, Ashline was excited to get on the road with Colt and enjoy some down time with him. Nice, normal everyday activities that didn't involve resurrected Gods and Goddesses.

Yeah, so not what happened.

Instead, she finds out that Colt isn't human. He's actually Kokopelli, the Hopi Trickster reincarnated. Colt thinks that Ashline will be excited so now she doesn't have feel like the only reincarnated Goddess around, but instead, she takes it personally that he lied to her and made her believe that he was going to die a few times.

When in fact he can't die at all.

So she leaves in stranded in the Northwest and heads out to find her youngest sister, Rose. Who happens to be the Goddess of War and can make portals to other dimensions, specifically the Netherworld.

Ashline has another vision about Rose and finds out that she's going to Miami with other reincarnated Gods, so Ash makes Miami her next destination.

Once she gets there, she just happens to stumble upon another reincarnated God: Wes, otherwise known as the Atzec God of the night. With his help, along with another goddess, Ashline slowly makes her way to finding her youngest sister.

With the exception of fighting through a band of reincarnated gods known as the Four Seasons. Four Gods who have the ability to change the weather either mimicking winter, spring, summer and fall.

And want to keep Ashline as far away from her sister as possible.

Now Ashline has a lot more on her plate than saving Rose and seeing if she could get Eve out of the hell she sent her to. And she's also having flashbacks from her previous life, ironically with Colt as her husband, and conflicting feelings she starting to get toward Wes.

Will Ashline be able to save her sister, Rose, from the horrors that the Four Seasons are cooking up? Can she figure out what to do with Colt and Wes? And what will she do when she learns about a certain attribute to the Wilde sisters? Read Embers and Echoes by Karsten Knight to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Ahh!! I loved this book! It's over 450 pages long and I finished it in one day. I couldn't put it down!

Even though it's been a little while since I read the first novel, I fell right back into Ashline's story and got lost in the ride that is otherwise known as her life.

Again, I adore Ashline. She is extremely tough, thinks of plans under pressure, and is extremely dedicated to her family and friends. She's always looking out for them and trying to keep them out of trouble, even if it means bad news for her.

I think Knight did an amazing job keeping the story entertaining, action packed, and had a steady flow of information coming toward the readers. Not once did I find myself bored or skipping a few pages to find a more action packed scene.

The only bad part about finishing this novel is that I have to wait a WHOLE YEAR for the next book. I'm not sure if I'm okay with that.

I think that readers should definitely read this series. And I just found out that these two books by Knight are his first novels! I never would have guessed that after reading them!

I will definitely be waiting with open arms for the third novel come Nov. 2013 to see what's in store for Ashline. Because we were left with a mighty big teaser at the end of this novel and I cannot wait to see how vengeful Ashline will be in the next novel!

Go pick these novels up and read them today! You'll definitely get a different idea of reincarnated Gods and Goddesses after reading Knight's novels!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gone by Lisa McMann

This is the third and final book in the Dream Catcher trilogy by Lisa McMann.

My review of #1: Wake.
My review of #2: Fade.

Note - This will contain spoilers from the first and second novel in this trilogy. Read at your own risk :)

Ever since Janie found out exactly what was going to happen to her if she continued using her dream catching abilities, she's been conflicted as to what she wants to do.

On the one hand, she could keep delving into others dreams and eventually lose her eyesight and the functioning of her hands, or she could be alone for the rest of her life and avoid all human contact to live a solitary life.

Not really ideal for a girl who is helplessly in love with Cabel. Who, by the way, keeps having horrible nightmares about Janie, but can't seem to remember them when he wakes up. Doesn't bode well for their relationship, that's for sure.

But then, something happened that was extremely unexpected... Janie's father shows up. The father that she has never met in her entire life. The man she has never really thought of all of these years.

Unfortunately he shows up at the hospital in a severe coma after having a brain tumor. So Janie can't really talk to him to ask him all of the questions that keep popping into her head.

Now, Janie has the hardest decision to make in her life. Stay with the love of her life and slowly deteriorate or leave him, disappear, and be alone until old age. She's not sure how she will choose, but some unexpected news comes into view that will make Janie's decision a lot easier to choose what her future will hold. To find out, read Gone by Lisa McMann, the final conclusion to the Dream Catcher trilogy.

My Thoughts/Reflections
My reaction to this book in one word?


That's right, Eh. I dunno, it just didn't do it for me. I loved the second novel, there was a back story to follow plus the actiony part where Janie was busting some teachers.

But this novel was about Janie choosing what she wanted to do. Don't get me wrong, that was a huge decision and I respect the author for showing that it literally tore Janie up in two when trying to decide. But THAT'S. ALL. THAT. HAPPENED.

Nothing else significant happened. Sure, her father came. But we didn't get any satisfaction from that event.

I dunno, I was greatly disappointed with this novel.

It was a fast read, I flew through it, but it wasn't satisfying for me.

At least I was able to finish the series and I didn't have to wait extremely long for it to be released. I definitely would have been more angry if I had.

So, overall, I enjoyed the series as a whole, but wouldn't buy it for my own collection. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it and have read almost all of Lisa McMann's novels, but that's as far as I would go.

This would definitely be a book for anyone who started the series to read so they can finish the story and see what happens to Janie and Cabel. For one just starting this series with this book, don't do it. You'll be confused and spoil the first and second novels, which I thought were better.

I'll be keeping my eye out for more of Lisa McMann's novels, which will be happening soon with a new series she's starting and the first novel will be released in January 2013. It sounds a little bit like the Dream Catcher series, so I might just wait until all 4 novels are out before I start that.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Fade by Lisa McMann

This is the second book in the Dream Catcher trilogy by Lisa McMann.

My review of #1: Wake.

Note - There will be spoilers from the first novel in the trilogy, so if you don't want to find out what happens in the first book, Wake, you probably shouldn't continue reading this review.

Janie finally has a purpose. After finding out that Cabel works for a hush, hush government agency that narcs on people doing illegal activities, things have been different for Janie. Especially since she can now use her dreaming abilities to help find details out.

And now Janie is officially employed there and has her first assignment: find out if there is illegal student/teacher relationships at her high school.

Oh, and her and Cabel are dating, but can't make it public yet from the last assignment Cabel was on a few months ago.

So now Janie has to find her inner flirt and figure out if one of the teachers is taking advantage of his/her students. And fight Cabel every second because he doesn't like her getting into danger.

Janie is also learning how to manipulate the dreams she's sucked into, getting out of the dreams she doesn't want to be in, and learning more about what this ability will do to her.

Let's just say that Janie isn't bored anymore and has found a reason why her abilities can be a good thing.

But then Janie gets sucked into a nightmare that she has to figure out before it's too late. And time is running out as this is Janie's last semester in high school.

Will Janie be able to figure out if there is a teacher/student relationship before the next illegal activity happens? Can Janie and Cabel find a way to work together without Cabel getting upset every time Janie goes into something dangerous? Read the second novel in this trilogy, Fade, by Lisa McMann to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I think this novel was even better than the first in her series! I'm really growing to like Janie and think she's extremely brave for taking her ability and using it for good, while also learning how to control it so it doesn't control her anymore.

Janie is also learning to take care of her body and is working out more, eating right, etc. so it's nice to see that her character has developed a lot since the first novel.

And I love that she is an undercover "cop" working. She definitely needed something in her life to go right and it seemed that she got a lot working for her after joining the force.

It was very entertaining reading about Janie flirting with potential teachers who might be having the illegal relationship with students. She's not much of a flirt and it showed in the description.

I've always had a soft spot for Cabel after what he's been through, but the way he acted when Janie got back from a mission kind of bothered me. Yes, he needs to know that Janie is safe, but Janie has been able to take care of herself for 18 years. I think she can handle whatever comes her way. Cabel doesn't act like it and it really rubbed me the wrong way.

I'm so excited to read the last and final book of this series, Gone. I'm intrigued to see what the title means - hopefully nothing too sad. And speaking of the last book, I have it in my hands right now and am going to start it ASAP!

I think that readers would find this very entertaining and something unique from what's been published now. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a little mystery with a little supernatural aspect.

Okay, off to read the next one!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wake by Lisa McMann

This is the first novel in the Dream Catcher trilogy by Lisa McMann.

The first time it happened, Janie was 8 years old. One minute she was awake. The next, she was sucked into a dream; only it wasn't hers. And she couldn't wake up until the dreamer woke up.

Then, when Janie had her first sleepover, she was sucked into the dreams of both girls sleeping next to her: Janie's best friend Carrier and Janie's enemy, Melinda.

After that, Janie tried to stay away from crowds and if she ever saw someone drifting off in class, she ran from the room as fast as she could.

Because if the dreams are intense, Janie becomes paralyzed and can't find a way out of the dream. And if they are extremely intense, Janie has seizures she can't control. So it's better to find a way out of the dream than to be stuck in it for a long period of time.

Janie can't turn to her mother for help, since all she does is drink her life away in her room. Janie has never known her father, and this isn't the news to tell her friends for an afternoon chat.

On a trip to a school event, Janie found herself switching dreams for 4 consecutive hours. The only thing that got her through that trip was Cabel, who had no idea what was going on.

Well, that was before Janie got sucked into his dream. And the weird thing is, Cabel was sucked into the dream as well, and saw Janie watching his dream. Then he sorta figured it out.

Janie realizes that she needs to find a way to control this "gift" because it's getting out of control. Especially when Janie sees a gruesome dream that has chilled her to the bone. And she's seen a lot of unique dreams in her 17 years.

Will Janie be able to trust Cabel with this secret? Will she be able to figure out how to control her dreams before she gets hurt? Read the first in this completed trilogy, Wake, by Lisa McMann to find out!

My Thoughts/ReflectionsThis is the third novel I've read of McMann's and ironically, I've read them out of order from when she published them! I've reviewed both of her novels on my blog: Cryer's Cross and Dead to You.

And I haven't been disappointed by her work yet! I really enjoyed the beginning to this trilogy. Being sucked into other people's dreams is not as fun as it may sound, but Janie has been able to handle this unique gift that she never asked for.

McMann wrote this very differently. She jumped from scene to scene, some of them being from years ago reliving how Janie first handled the dream catching. And she wrote it based on the day and the time, which I'm really awful at looking at so I couldn't keep track of the time span very easily.

However, I really liked Cabel. When Janie heard that he was dealing drugs and dating a cheerleader, she stayed away from Cabel. She didn't need that complication in her life along with the dream jumping as well. Even though she felt a strong connection with Cabel.

But Cabel was very determined to talked to Janie. He left her notes and went to her house - anything to get her attention.

I could not imagine jumping from one person's dream to another and seeing their innermost unconscious thoughts. Heck, I don't even like dreaming my own personal dreams, so looking in on others would be tiring.

I'm glad I finally got around to reading McMann's first books that she published! Because this series is already complete, I don't have to wait around for the second or third. And actually, I have the second one right next to me that I am going to start shortly!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers. It's different because it's about dreaming, but also has everyday problems like how Janie lives in a trailer and gets bullied at school.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

Hamilton High has a unique rivalry. Instead of fighting with another rival school, the football team and the soccer team fight with one another.

It started 10 years ago and has continued - all because the football funding was cut down to create the soccer team and have another sport for their school.

Lissa has been dating the quarterback of the football team for over a year now, so she has already been through this ridiculous fight for a season. She does not want to do it for another.

She tries to talk to Randy about stopping the pranks and hazing of the soccer team, but after he ignores her one too many times, she decides to take things in her own hands.

After emailing all of the girlfriends of the football players, Lissa tells them her idea: stop having sex or do any sexual things with their boyfriends - even if it means no kissing or holding hands.

She figures that the only thing that would stop boys from fighting one another is if they weren't getting any attention from their girlfriends.

While this is going on, Lissa is also having conflicting feelings toward Randy. And her eyes are starting to stray to a soccer player, Cash. They had a one night connection during the summer, but nothing happened from it. But now they are working together at the library and Lissa's thoughts are more about Cash than Randy lately...

Lissa is the leader of the girl's strike, so she needs to think of new ways to keep the girls away from their men. But after a month of being on strike, many of the girls are tired of being away and want to have a boyfriend again.

And Lissa is finding herself in a predicament with the guy who starts to organize the guys strike against the girls: Cash.

Will the girls be able to hold strong until the football and soccer players call a truce to their rivalry? Or will they give in to temptation no matter how worthy the cause is to stay strong? Read this hilarious story, Shut Out, by Kody Keplinger to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
This was a great story! I found myself laughing out loud when reading and was cheering for the ladies all the way!

Of course, there were things I could have done without. Lissa was a little annoying. She was a little controlling, but that's because she had to take over after her mother died. And she seemed to change the rules of the strike after awhile, making it more personal than she should have.

The best thing about this book (okay, not the best thing, but one I really enjoyed) was that Lissa and Cash worked at the library! Library! Okay, my nerdiness for books is over now.

I really loved Cash. He was so charming but shy and quiet all wrapped in one person that it was hard not to fall in love with him. And the scenes between him and Lissa were pretty steamy, but also ridiculously funny and cringe worthy at times.

I never dated anyone in a sport, but I can imagine to any girl that is dating a guy in a competive sport would feel like how Lissa and the other girls in this novel feel when their boyfriend ignore them over choosing their teammates.

This book would be really good for older teen girls. I saw older because they talk about sex a lot (it's a sex strike) and because most of the girls in the novel are juniors and seniors. Other than that, older females would really get a kick out of this book and it's really funny in some areas.

Oh! Another thing I like about this book is it's a re-telling of Lysistrata by Aristophanes, which I actually read in college, though I don't remember too many details from that book, haha.

As far as I know, this is a stand alone novel, and I am already looking forward to reading another one of Keplinger's novel, A Midsummer's Nightmare, another re-telling of a classic story. Once it comes back to my library, I will be snatching that up to read myself and see if Keplinger's writing style is as good as this one!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Temptation by Alisa Valdes

This is the first novel in The Kindred series by Alisa Valdes.

When Shane was going to a musical recital to play her violin, she never expected to get into a major car accident initialed by a coyote with glowing red eyes.

She also never expected to meet a gorgeous stranger who miraculously healed her from fatal wounds that were slowly killing her.

But that is what happened. And it changed Shane's life after that. She was saved from dying, but she also couldn't forget Travis, the mysterious man who came to her rescue. Thankfully, Travis felt that deep connection with Shane as well, so they were always trying to seek one another out.

Except for one thing... Travis is dead. He's a revenant, a spirit traveling in a physical body and he is supposed to protect and help any living creature at the area where Shane had her car accident.

If he does enough good in the world, he may be able to get out the Vortex and go to the Afterlife. But he if goes against the Vortex's rules, he will be sent to the Underworld.

When Shane tells her best friend, Kelsey, the truth, she just wanted to talk to someone about this. But Kelsey told her mom, who decided that Shane had a terrible head injury and that she needs to see a psychiatrist.

Then things get even worse for Shane. Not only are she and Travis soul mates, but they are not allowed to be intimate with each other -  otherwise Travis will be going against the rules and will disappear forever.

But that's not the worst part. Travis has a mortal enemy - even in death. Victor is the one who killed Travis and also his father and older brother many years ago.

Victor is still out to punish Travis's family, and Shane is the next victim since Travis loves her.

Will Travis and Shane be able to survive Victor's hatred, or will Travis have to give in and break the rules in order to get rid of Victor? Read The Temptation by Alisa Valdes to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
I randomly saw this at a local library and decided it sounded like something up my alley. And I really did enjoy it, for a random pick up :)

This is one of those "love at first sight" novels where the two characters know they are supposed to meet one another.

But of course there are complications, like the majority of novels out there.

Shane is a tough cookie. She takes being healed by Travis like a champ, and even took to him being dead fairly quietly - not something a normal girl would take lightly. She also took the criticism of her classmates at school when they started calling her insane and crazy.

Really, Shane didn't really care what others thought of her as long as she knew Travis would be with her since they were in love.

Overall, this was a good book. Not my favorite, but I loved the story line of another revenant plot. This is the second series I've read about revenants (the first being the series by Amy Plum, Die for Me) so it gave me another aspect of this topic to consider.

This is the first in a series, though I don't know when the second will come out or when. This was just released April 2012 so it's still somewhat new, and it's also the first I've read of this author, though it's not her debut novel.

I will be keeping my eye out for the sequel to see what happens with Shane and Travis.

I would recommend this to any female reader wanting a new supernatural creature of Revenants and one that wants to read an automatic love story where the characters don't question the connection.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Every Day by David Levithan

Each morning when A wakes up, it is a new experience because (s)he is always in a different body.

A is not a boy or a girl, but rather a person in a guy or a girl's body for the day. A doesn't like strictly boys or girls, but rather who the body (s)he's residing for the day. A does not know the person (s)he's living for the day personally, but can find facts in the person's brain when (s)he needs to go to school, what sport they play, etc.

This is normal for A. A goes through the motions that are right for each day, act like the person for that day, and wait to see who (s)he will be the next morning.

A has never been the same person twice. The only consistent thing is that A wakes up in Massachusetts.

Living like this didn't bother A. But one day, A was Justin. And Justin had a girlfriend named Rhiannon.

Somehow, A could not forget Rhiannon. She was unlike any girl A had ever met before. Usually A forgets about the previous day to concentrate on the new day and new person, but Rhiannon stuck in A's mind.

Then A did the unthinkable; he told Rhiannon the truth. Everything, exactly what happens to A every day. At first Rhiannon didn't believe him, but day after day A would try to meet up with Rhiannon to prove that everything A said was the truth.

And A started to fall in love with Rhiannon.

However, there were things that kept them apart, physically and mentally. Some days, when A was a female and saw Rhiannon, there was tension between them. When A was overweight, Rhiannon was distant. Other days, there was a spark between them.

It was a complicated relationship. Not to mention that Rhiannon was still with Justin.

So A tried really hard to figure out how to fix this problem. And A was also living a different life a day, trying to make sure he didn't get anyone in major trouble for something that A did while living their life for that day.

Will A and Rhiannon be able to find a way to be together, when A changes bodies every day? Read Every Day by David Levithan to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
Wow. There was so much that I loved about this novel. I have a few friends who love David Levithan but this is the first book of his that I've read. I will be fixing that shortly.

So, A. I kept imagining A to be a guy, even when (s)he was in a girl's body. I bet that other readers read A differently, but that's how I kept imagining A to be.

I also loved the fact that there was every single type of person in here. Straight, gay, transgender, overweight, depressed, suicidal, you name it. Levithan added it. And A was able to be that person for one day. Some days were better than others, but A knew without a doubt that (s)he will be leaving that body after waking up the next morning.

I think that's why I love this book so much. I think any and every reader will find something to relate to with this novel. This isn't a "oh, you might like it because the character likes to read" sort of recommendation. This is just full of amazingness.

It's also realistic when it comes to Rhiannon and A's "relationship". You can imagine that trying to be together with someone who has no idea where (s)he will wake up the next morning is a little difficult. And Levithan shows that. It's not a normal relationship and it is extremely hard for them not to get mad at the other for certain things.

I am extremely glad this is located at my library where I work, because if it wasn't, I would buy it to put it in there. I hope other teens will check it out and find something that they will love about this novel, because I would find it hard not to myself (obviously, haha).

Now, I need to go and get more of Levithan's novels to see if they par up to this amazing book!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Astrid moved from New York to a small-country town, which is a big adjustment. She still thinks of herself as a city New Yorker, but to her dismay her parents have not yet moved back there, making Astrid an outsider in their small town.

Astrid also has a secret that no one besides Dee knows - she is secretly dating a girl. Astrid doesn't see anything wrong with that, but she knows that there is a "right" and a "wrong" in her small town and if anyone knew about her secret they would shun her even more than they already do.

Things at home are hard. Her mom pretends that she is still in New York by dressing up as if she is going to work, when she actually works at home. Her dad has started to smoke weed, so now he is high all of the time and can't keep a job for very long. And her younger sister, Ellis, wants to be popular and her mom's "mini-me", so that means liking Astrid is out of the question.

Because Astrid has no one to love and no one loves her, she sends her love to the sky. Specifically, to the planes that fly over her back yard. Every time one flies over, she sends all of her love to somone who needs it.

And it actually works. Someone who is lost or feels unloved on that plane will get a burst of love or understanding when Astrid sends all of this love their way.

With Astrid's "girlfriend" Dee pressuring her to come out of the closet so they can start dating for real, Astrid is unsure if she is gay or just bi-curious. And with the looming knowledge that her parents and the residents of the small town will treat her differently, Astrid is not sure if she wants to do that.

But not being herself and hiding her true passions is not a good thing either. Will Astrid finally let her friends and family know? Or will she stayed locked away in a place where she has to give her love away to complete strangers because her closest friends are too small minded? Read Ask the Passengers by A.S. King to find out!

My Thoughts/Reflections
When I first started reading this, I didn't realize it was about LGBTQ. Goes to show how much I read the description, eh?

And at first I wasn't able to connect with the novel. Astrid is a bit weird, but she is also very lost, not knowing what to do with the person she is and the people she knows.

As I got more into the novel I found myself really wanting to know what happens, so I think this was a very good novel.

I liked the way that A.S. King portrayed Astrid. I also like how she created Dee as well, because Dee was already out and was pressuring Astrid to do the same. I think that is very realistic when a person is trying to find out if they are lesbian/gay or not.

While I have not read many LGBTQ novels, I am really glad that I picked this one up at my library to read.

I think that any girl would like this novel, even if they don't like girls. It tells about high school bullies, rumors, confusion, and loneliness, which every girl goes through at one stage or another.

Also, I've never read any of King's novels, even though she has a few out. I may have to pick another one of them up to see what else she has written about.