Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 6/29

Title: My Life Undecided
Author: Jessica Brody
Release Date:
June 7


Okay, maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but I’m sorry, I’m feeling a bit melodramatic at the moment.

Here’s the deal. My name is Brooklyn Pierce, I’m fifteen years old, and I am decisionally challenged. Seriously, I can’t remember the last good decision I made. I can remember plenty of crappy ones though. Including that party I threw when my parents were out of town that accidentally burned down a model home. Yeah, not my finest moment, for sure.

But see, that’s why I started a blog. To enlist readers to make my decisions for me. That’s right. I gave up. Threw in the towel. I let someone else be the one to decide which book I read for English. Or whether or not I accepted an invitation to join the debate team from that cute-in-a-dorky-sort-of-way guy who gave me the Heimlich Maneuver in the cafeteria. (Note to self: Chew the melon before swallowing it.) I even let them decide who I dated!

Well, it turns out there are some things in life you simply can’t choose or have chosen for you—like who you fall in love with. And now everything’s more screwed up than ever.

But don’t take my word for it, read the book and decide for yourself. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll scream in frustration. Or maybe that’s just me. After all, it’s my life.

Jessica Brody is one author I've always wanted to try, but never have. Perhaps this is the book which changes that?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review: Nyx in the House of Night

Title: Nyx in the House of Night
Authors: P.C. Cast, Karen Mahoney, Jana Oliver, Ellen Steiber, Jeri Smith-Ready and more.
Release Date: May 17, 2011

The House of Night is no ordinary school—and not just because it's for vampyres. It's a place where magic, religion, folklore, and mythology from multiple traditions merry meet and meld to create something incredible and new.

In Nyx in the House of Night—a 2-color illustrated companion to the House of Night series—some of your favorite YA authors, plus a few experts, help you navigate the influences behind the House of Night series in a guide that would get even Damien's seal of approval.

Travel with P.C. Cast as she gets her first tattoo in Ireland, climbs the ruins of Sgiach's castle, and discovers the lore that led to the Isle of Skye vampyres. Read Kristin Cast's defense of women in history and mythology who, like Zoey, have made a practice of juggling multiple men. Sit in on a vampyre lecture by Bryan Lankford, the real-life basis for House of Night instructor Dragon Lankford, on the parallels between Wiccan and vampyre circle rituals. Tour Tulsa's House of Night landmarks with local Amy H. Sturgis and much more!

My Thoughts:
Nyx in the House of Night is a rich and comprehensive guide into the mythology, folklore and religion in the House of Night series. Several authors, some more famous than others, have contributed with their stories about everything from vampires, goddesses and wiccans to tattoos!

I was surprised with how well-researched and well-written all the stories were. I could tell that all participating authors had put a lot of effort and work into their contributions - they certainly hadn't been written in a day! Some of my favorite stories included P.C Cast's interesting tale about her research trips in Ireland, and Jana Oliver's lighter story about the history of tattoos.

On the negative side, I felt like some of the stories tended to go on for too long, which sadly made me lose interest in what the author was telling...

Overall, an impressive and interesting collection which digs deep into to rich mythology and religion in the House of Night series. A must read if you are a big fan of the series, or interested in folklore, mythology or history in general!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Book Review: Strange Angels

Title: Strange Angels
Author: Lili St. Crow
Series: Strange Angels #1
Published: 2009

Dru Anderson has what her grandmother called “the touch.” (Comes in handy when you’re traveling from town to town with your dad, hunting ghosts, suckers, wulfen, and the occasional zombie.)

Then her dad turns up dead—but still walking—and Dru knows she’s next. Even worse, she’s got two guys hungry for her affections, and they’re not about to let the fiercely independent Dru go it alone. Will Dru discover just how special she really is before coming face-to-fang with whatever—or whoever— is hunting her?

My Thoughts:
I've been wanting to read this book for years! So naturally my expectations was super high before I started the book. So, did this story live up to my expectations? Well, no. Strange Angels definitely had the first-book-in-a-series syndrome, with focus on building Dru's world. But I think this series has potential to be great!

Dru was a tough girl, no doubt about it. And I loved that she wasn't all fight and kill, she had a softer more human side, and she wasn't afraid of crying and showing her emotions.

Overall, a decent book with interesting characters. A good start of a series with potential to be great!

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday 6/22

Title: Don't Stop Now
Author: Julie Halpern
Release Date: June 7, 2011

On the first day of Lillian’s summer-before-college, she gets a message on her cell from her sort-of friend, Penny. Not only has Penny faked her own kidnapping, but Lil is the only one who figures it out. She knows that Penny’s home life has been rough, and that her boyfriend may be abusive. Soon, Penny’s family, the local police, and even the FBI are grilling Lil, and she decides to head out to Oregon, where Penny has mentioned an acquaintance. And who better to road-trip across the country with than Lil’s BFF, Josh. But here’s the thing: Lil loves Josh. And Josh doesn’t want to “ruin” their amazing friendship.

Josh has a car and his dad’s credit card. Lil has her cellphone and a hunch about where Penny is hiding. There’s something else she needs to find: Are she and Josh meant to be together?

FBI, road trip and possible romance? Win, win, win.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mini Reviews XVIII: Between Here And Forever, Sometimes It Happens & The Summer of Firsts and Lasts

Title: Between Here And Forever

Author: Elizabeth Scott

Published: May 2011

Abby accepted that she can’t measure up to her beautiful, magnetic sister Tess a long time ago, and knows exactly what she is: Second best. Invisible.

Until the accident.

Now Tess is in a coma, and Abby’s life is on hold. It may have been hard living with Tess, but it's nothing compared to living without her.

She's got a plan to bring Tess back though, involving the gorgeous and mysterious Eli, but then Abby learns something about Tess, something that was always there, but that she’d never seen...

My Thoughts:

Abby´s firm belief that Tess was so much better, more beautiful and popular were quite tiring to say the truth. I wished that she would have listened more to the people around her, and believed more in herself.

A realistic, raw and emotional read, but not my favorite Elizabeth Scott book.

Rating: 3.5 of 5

Title: Sometimes It Happens

Author: Lauren Barnholdt

Published: July 2011

On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer.

Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss...

My Thoughts:

Sometimes It Happens is a great summer read! And by far my favorite book among those featured in this post!

I have to say that Noah is perfect boyfriend material! He is such a sweet and caring guy! A nice change from the popular "bad boy" in young adult books today.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Title: The Summer of Firsts and Lasts

Author: Terra Elan McVoy

Published: May 2011

Three sisters. One life-changing summer.

Calla loves summer because summer means Duncan. They’ve been best friends for years, but Calla has never worked up the nerve to tell him how she really feels. This summer, the summer before college, is Calla's last chance.

Violet isn't much of a rule breaker in real life. But this isn't real life, this is summer, and Violet is determined to make the most of it. Besides, a little sneaking out never hurt anyone. And sneaking out with James is 100% worth the risk...even though James is completely off-limits.

Daisy has never been the sister that boys notice, but when sparks fly with Joel at the first bonfire of summer, it seems so easy and right. So why is being his girlfriend so complicated?

My Thoughts:

It was quite interesting to read a book set at a summer camp, since I have no experiences of camp myself. I also liked reading about the three sisters and their complicated relationship.

Other than that, I didn't feel like this book had anything "special", it's probably more suited for younger teens.

The ending (who weren't happy for everyone) felt realistic, but also sad.

Rating: 2.25 of 5

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Cover Combat: The Truth About Forever

In Cover Combat a Swedish cover is being compared to the US/UK cover of the same book. Today I'm comparing the covers of The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen.

US cover:

Swedish cover:

I adore both these covers - they are so pretty! If I have to choose a favorite, I'll be patriotic and chose the Swedish cover ;)

Which cover do you prefer?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6/15)

Title: Love Story
Author: Jennifer Echols
Release Date: July 19, 2011


For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true

Jennifer Echols is one of my favorite authors, so obviously I can't wait to read this book!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Book Review: The Lost Saint

Title: The Lost Saint
Series: The Dark Divine #2
Author: Bree Despain
Published: December 2010

* Spoiler alert if you haven't read The Dark Divine!*

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She gave her soul to the wolf to save him and lost her beloved mother. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven. Desparate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot - a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel begins to crumble.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace becomes prideful in her new abilities - not realizing that an old enemy has returned and deadly trap is about to be sprung. Readers, raveous for more Grace and Daniel, will be itching to sink their teeth into The Lost Saint.

My Thoughts:

The Lost Saint may be even more dramatic than it's predecessor! Mystery, murder and werewolves are mixed with drama, romance and doubt, into a fast-paced novel with non-stop action.

Grace and Daniel's roles as human and werewolf have been switched in this novel, which obviously caused both jealousy, desperation, problems and huge fights between those two.

As the wolf inside Grace grows, she slowly learns how to use her new abilities; like speed, strength and great hearing. But along with Grace's new super powers comes the voice of the wolf inside her head. A wolf who is encouraging her to fight, murder, take revenge and make bad decisions...

I didn't like The Lost Saint as much as I loved The Dark Divine, mostly because of the way Grace's personality changed under the influence of the wolf. I was mad at her for making such bad decisions and being so mean and suspicious of the people around her!

Rating: 4 of 5

Previous books in this series:

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In My Mailbox: week 23

From the library:

A Perfect Proposal - Katie Fforde
Sophie Apperly's family has never taken her seriously. Fiercely academic, they see her more practical skills as frivolous whilst constantly taking advantage of her. So when her best friend Milly invites her over to New York, she jumps at the chance. It'll do her ungrateful family good to do without her for a while. What s more, she's on a quest America holds the key to solving her family's financial woes, even if they don't deserve her help.

From the moment Sophie hits the bright lights of Manhattan she
's determined to enjoy every minute of her big adventure. So when an evening at an art gallery throws her into the path of Matilda, a spirited old lady who invites her to Connecticut for Thanksgiving, Sophie willingly accepts, much to the dismay of Matilda's grandson Luke. Undeniably attractive but infuriatingly arrogant, he is very protective of his grandmother and seems to doubt Sophie's motives for befriending her. No match for the formidable Matilda, he eventually admits defeat, but first he has a proposal to make. He'll help Sophie in her quest to save her family from financial ruin if she repays the favour. But just what does she have to do in return...?

After the Party - Lisa Jewell
It's eleven years since Jem Catterick and Ralph McLeary first got together. They thought it would be for ever, that they'd found their happy ending. As everyone agreed, they were the perfect couple. Then two became four, a flat became a house. Romantic nights out became sleepless nights in. And they soon found that life wasn't quite so simple.


Heist Society - Ally Carter
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history—and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

What did you get this week?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review: Out For Blood

Title: Out For Blood
Series: The Drake Chronicles #3
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Published: November 2010

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends—or even more.

When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

My Thoughts:
Out For Blood is the third book in the Drake Chronicles. And it is just as fun and charming and fast-paced as the previous books in the series!

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of vampire hunters, and has always been told that vampires are up to no good. But since her friend Kieran is dating Solaigne Drake, the youngest in the royal Drake family, Hunter gets a chance to meet the Drake family and realizes that not all vampires are bad. In fact, they can be quite charming and good-looking!

When a mysterious drug causes death and sickness among the students at the Helios-Ra academy, Hunter is forced to find an unexpected ally in the flirty Quinn Drake.

Filled with flirty romance, kick-ass fighting, and more than one big mystery Out For Blood is a fun and unputdownable read!

Rating: 4.25 of 5

Previous books in this series:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (6/8)

Title: Sometimes It Happens
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Release Date: July 12, 2011

On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.

The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...

Sounds like a good summer read!

Monday, June 6, 2011

In My Mailbox (week 22)

From the Library:

Succubus on Top - Richelle Mead
Georgina Kincaid's job sucks. Literally.
Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgina Kincaid. If she so much as kisses Seth Mortensen, the shy, sexy, incredibly gifted Seattle writer she's been dating, she'll drain his life force. Georgina is a succubus-a demon who draws her power from other men's pleasure. Admittedly, the shapeshifting and immortality perks are terrific, and yes, Georgina did choose to join the ranks of hell centuries ago. But it seems completely unfair that a she-demon whose purpose is seduction can't get hot and heavy with the one mortal who knows and accepts her for who she is.

It's not just her personal life that's in chaos. Doug, Georgina's co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behavior, and Georgina suspects that something far more demonic than double espressos is at work. She could use help finding out, but Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, is preoccupied with corrupting an ultra-conservative talk radio star-and giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes. Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one-and fast because soon, Doug's life won't be the only one on the line.

Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover - Ally Carter
When Cammie "The Chameleon" Morgan visits her roommate Macey in Boston, she thinks she's in for an exciting end to her summer break. After all, she's there to watch Macey's father accept the nomination for vice president of the United States. But when you go to the world's best school (for spies), "exciting" and "deadly" are never far apart. Cammie and Macey soon find themselves trapped in a kidnappers' plot, with only their espionage skills to save them.

As her junior year begins, Cammie can't shake the memory of what happened in Boston, and even the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women doesn't feel like the safe haven it once did. Shocking secrets and old flames seem to lurk around every one of the mansion's corners as Cammie and her friends struggle to answer the questions, Who is after Macey? And how can the Gallagher Girls keep her safe?

Soon Cammie is joining Bex and Liz as Macey's private security team on the campaign trail. The girls must use their spy training at every turn as the stakes are raised, and Cammie gets closer and closer to the shocking truth...

Only the Good Spy Young - Ally Carter
When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization.
Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide. When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.

What did you get in your mailboxes?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Book Review: Nightshade

Title: Nightshade
Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: Nightshade #1
Published: 2010

Calla Tor has always known her destiny: After graduating from the Mountain School, she'll be the mate of sexy alpha wolf Ren Laroche and fight with him, side by side, ruling their pack and guarding sacred sites for the Keepers.

But when she violates her masters' laws by saving a beautiful human boy out for a hike, Calla begins to question her fate, her existence, and the very essence of the world she has known. By following her heart, she might lose everything— including her own life. Is forbidden love worth the ultimate sacrifice?

My Thoughts:

Nightshade is a 2010 debut novel that I have heard lots of great things about, so needless to say I was really excited to read it! (Or actually listen to it, since I borrowed is as an audio book). While the story didn't blow my mind, I rather enjoyed it.

Calla is a guardian - half human and half wolf - destined to protect sacred sites from Searchers (the enemy). Calla and the other werewolves are watched over by Watchers, humans who make sure the wolves are doing their job.

Calla had never thought about her lack of freedom or free will, not until she met the human Shay, who made her question everything she had been told since childhood.

Torn between the things Shay tell her, and the things she has known since childhood, and mostly torn between Shay - the human, and Ren - the alpha male she is destined to mate, Calla is more confused than ever. But know is not the time to be confused, not when her mating with Ren is only weeks away...

I thought the wolf aspects of the book was alright, and Cremer was brave not to make the guardians too human. There are in fact several scenes when Calla is in true wolf form and hunts down animals, only to devour their still warm blood and flesh afterwards.

The love triangle between Calla, Shay and Ren felt realistic as well. Calla instantly connected with Shay, and mostly saw Ren as a to-be mate - she didn't love him but she accepted him.

Yet, Calla defended Ren with hands and teeth when she talked with Shay, and when she talked with Ren she defended Shay, she just couldn't seem to make up her mind! I found it quite irritating, to tell you the truth. Calla wasn't my favorite character in the book.

I actually didn't like Shay very much either, he was too stubborn and selfish, and didn't think about how his actions would affect not only Calla, but her whole community.

Ren, on the other hand, was interesting! He was funny, kind and had great alpha qualities. While he sometimes came across as brutal, you could tell that he really cared about Calla. So definitely Team Ren here!

Another favorite character of mine was Calla's younger brother, Ansel. He was so funny and loved to tease Calla, and I found it so sweet when he got together with another pack member!

Overall, an enjoyable read. But the inside of the book isn't as beautiful as its cover!

Rating: 3.75 of 5

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Read & Watched in May


1. Hereafter - Tara Hudson (Review)
2. Bleed You Dry - Melissa Tyndall (Review)
3. Out For Blood - Alyxandra Harvey (Review)
4. Between Here and Forever - Elizabeth Scott (Mini Review)
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season 8: Volume 1
6. Nightshade - Andrea Cremer (Review)
7. Strange Angels - Lili St. Crew (Review)
8. The Lost Saint - Bree Despain (Review)


1. Sorority Wars
2. Because I Said So
3. Made - the Movie
4. The Devil Wears Prada
5. The Bourne Identity
6. 16 Wishes
7. Pride and Prejudice
8. Definitely, Maybe
9. Flashdance
10. No Strings Attatched
11. Daylight
12. Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous