Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book Review: Bloodlines

Title: Bloodlines
Series: Bloodlines #1
Author: Richelle Mead
Published: August 2011

The first book in Richelle Mead's brand-new teen fiction series - set in the same world as Vampire Academy.
When alchemist Sydney is ordered into hiding to protect the life of Moroi princess Jill Dragomir, the last place she expects to be sent is a human private school in Palm Springs, California. But at their new school, the drama is only just beginning.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Bloodlines explores all the friendship, romance, battles and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive - this time in a part-vampire, part-human setting where the stakes are even higher and everyone's out for blood.

My Thoughts: This book is set in the same world as Vampire Academy, but with a different narrator. I wasn't sure if I was going to like Sydney as a narrator or not, since I didn't feel like I had gotten to know her enough in the Vampire Academy books. But, as I read Bloodlines, I started to like Sydney more and more. She's loyal, passionate and fair. While she isn't as strong or protective as Rose, she has a softer and more emotional side, which I really enjoyed seeing.

Both Rose and Dimitri make an appearance in this book, but I have to say that it felt a bit weird to read about them from Sydney's point of view.

Along with Sydney, Adrian, Eddy and Jill are the main characters of this book. I loved to read about Adrian & Sydney's constant banter, and how they slowly became friends. Jill was a pest in this book, she acted so selfish and whiny all the time. And Eddie, he still felt like a background character.

This book started out slow, but slowly grew more charming, exciting and fun! I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series, a series which I'm sure will grow into a series just as good as the Vampire Academy!

Rating: 4 of 5

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Book Review: Past Perfect

Title: Past Perfect
Author: Leila Sales
Published: October 2011

All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new.

Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….

My Thoughts:
Don't judge this book from it's cover! (Not that it is anything wrong with the cover) I did, and this book was not what I expected! What did I expect? Well something funny and a little crazy I guess. What did I get? Something much better than that!

Chelsea had been hoping that she could escape her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village, the recreation park where she practically grew up, for a job in a place with air condition. But - against her hopes, she is forced to work there yet another summer. At least her best friend gets a job there as well...

The colonial village might look calm during the days, but at nights when the tourists and grown-ups are long gone, a war is going on between the teenagers working at the Colonial Village - and those working at the Civil War Reenactment-land across the street.
When Chelsea is kidnapped by some Civil War Reenactors the event is the beginning of an ugly war between the two villages where every dirty trick is allowed. But the kidnapping is also the beginning of a forbidden love story between Chelsea and the Civil War reenactor who kidnapped her...
This book had me laughing out loud, smile until my face burst and most of all - left me with a wish of working in a recreation park. All workers seemed to have a blast! Imagine dressing up in gowns which where high-fashion hundreds of years ago, to speak in an old-fashioned way and to say goodbye to all modern technology; cell phones, ovens, zippers - you name it! Sounds interesting and strangely fun, doesn't it?
Rating: 4.5 of 5

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (11/16)

Title: Kiss Crush Collide
Author: Christina Meredith
Release Date: December 27, 2011
Leah has the life most high school girls would kill for—popularity, glowing grades, a rich, athletic boyfriend. So why does she feel like she can’t breathe? And why can’t she stop thinking about the boy from the country club? The one who isn’t her boyfriend, the one that her mother would never, ever approve of, the one that her perfect older sisters would never, ever look at twice. The one who is always looking back at her.
Irresistible attraction, smoldering glances, the bad boy and the good girl—Kiss Crush Collide has everything that a steamy forbidden romance should, and then some.
Sounds good, doesn't it? :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Review: The Pledge

Title: The Pledge
Series: The Pledge #1
Author: Kimberly Derting
Release Date: November 15, 2011
In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution.  
Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed.  
Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom….
My Thoughts:

Magic, dystopia, mystery, romance - this novel has it all!
Charlie was a great character. She was caring and loving, but she wasn't weak or stupid. She didn't trust anyone - even if they were hot and charming.
Charlie wasn't the only good character in this book - I liked them all! Protective and noble Max,  mysterious and conspiring Xander, the sweet and helpful best friend Aron, and Brooklynn the beautiful girl with hidden depths. Derting made me care for each character, and she made them all likeable and interesting in their own way (Queen Sabara was not likeable of course! She was pure evil, so the feelings I got for her were more like hatred).

Although this is a dystopian novel, that part didn't take overhand. I am sure the great characters and the sweet romance will win readers over - dystopian fans or not!

I liked The Pledge far more than I liked The Body Finder, Derting's first book. And I am already awaiting the sequel, which i'm afraid won't be published until next year at the earliest...

Cover Thoughts:
Absolutely stunning! Definitely one of my favourite covers this year.

Rating: 4.5 of 5

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Guest Post: Derek Clendening

    Of all the classic monsters, vampires have the most visibility and staying power, because they also offer the most opportunity. Zombies seem to be gaining speed, but for the time being vampires are still on top of the heap. Indeed, vampires have often been noted for being attractive, sensual creatures. Edward Cullen has continued that notion. But there are so many more possibilities.

    I once read a vampire titled Blood Road by Edo Van Belkom, which was the first I’d read in which the ugly vampire was tackled. He was the antithesis of the attractive vampire as played by Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Robert Pattinson. His teeth were so broken and sensitive that he had to suck blood through a straw. This vampire might not be breaking any hearts, but he was an interesting change of pace.

    I recently wrote a short vampire story (to be published in a forthcoming collection) in which the vampire fed on human fat rather than blood. In this case, the vampire is symbolic. I wrote the story because I’ve decided to put an end to my weight and eating issues and this is my way of symbolically driving a stake through the heart of those problems once and for all. In this case, the vampire represents the proverbial monkey that’s been on my back for a long time.

    Damien Masonite in The Vampire Way kind of embodies a number of the aforementioned. He’s an attractive teen vampire. However, he isn’t the kind variety. Still, there’s plenty of reason to care about him. He has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders between grieving for the father he’s had to euthanize, and rebuild his family at the age of eighteen. This character is a return to the scary vampire in YA, you could say, but I think it’s a welcome return. Vampires, at their core, are supposed to be scary. Still, there is no question that vampires will always be multi-dimensional. I know Damien Masonite is.

Derek Clendening is the author of The Vampire Way (2011). He also writes paranormal and dark novels and short story collections for adults, as well as YA vampire novels for younger readers.

Read Derek Clendening's blog here
Eighteen year old Rick Thompson is a marked man. When Damien Masonite comes to his school, he knows something is up. And when his friends start falling to vampire attacks, he knows that he and his girlfriend Laura are next. The quest to understand immortality, true love and undying friendship compromise his safety even more. Can he keep his best friends, his true love and keep his mortal life?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cover Combat: The Sky Is Everywhere

In Cover Combat I compare Swedish covers to the US and/or UK covers of the same books.
Today, I'm comparing the covers of The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.

US cover:

Swedish Cover:

Title: "The Sky Begins Here"

Which cover is your favorite, and why?

I like the simplicity and the bright colors of the US cover, the Swedish cover looks pale when you compare the two. On the other hand, I like all the details in the Swedish cover - the instrument, the boy on the skateboard, the photo etc. - and the house looks like it could be Lennie's.

Vote for your favorite cover in the comments!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (11/9)

Title: Catching Jordan
Author: Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: December 1, 2011

What girl doesn't want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn't just surrounded by hot guys, though-she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that's just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there's a new guy in town who threatens her starting position... suddenly she's hoping he'll see her as more than just a teammate.

Sounds good, doesn't it? This one is on my wishlist for Christmas :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mini Reviews: The Eternal Ones, The Juliet Spell, Misfit

Title: The Eternal Ones
Series: Eternal Ones #1
Author: Kirsten Miller
Published: 2010

Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was...

I had high hopes for this novel, but sadly it didn't deliver. If I had borrowed this book from the library, I would have returned it right away without finishing it. But as it was, this was the only audio book I had, and I had to listen to something while trying to fall asleep...

If I had to describe this book in one word, it would be confusing. There are parts set in the past, and parts set in the present, and there are several narrators. I had a hard time keeping track of what had happened, and when it had happened.

Another thing I disliked was the religious part of the novel, Haven's grandmother (who was such a mean person!) was very religious, and was certain that Haven had been possessed by the devil. Because of all religion and preachyness I thought this book was set a few decades back, but I don't think it was? Another thing that had me confused in the beginning was Haven's best friend Beau - I couldn't figure out if it was a boy or a girl! haha
This book wasn't for me, but you might like it.

Rating: 2 of 5

Title: The Juliet Spell
Author: Douglas Rees
Published: September 2011

I wanted the role of Juliet more than anything. I studied hard. I gave a great reading for it—even with Bobby checking me out the whole time. I deserved the part.I didn't get it. So I decided to level the playing field, though I actually might have leveled the whole play. You see, since there aren't any Success in Getting to Be Juliet in Your High School Play spells, I thought I'd cast the next best—a Fame spell. Good idea, right?

Yeah. Instead of bringing me a little fame, it brought me someone a little famous. Shakespeare. Well, Edmund Shakespeare. William's younger brother. Good thing he's sweet and enthusiastic about helping me with the play...and—ahem—maybe a little bit hot. But he's from the past. Way past. Cars amaze him—cars! And cell phones? Ugh. Still, there's something about him that's making my eyes go star-crossed....

The Juliet Spell was a fun and light read. If you like theatre, and Shakespeare above all, you're going to love this book!
The main character, Miranda, is so desperate to follow in her mother's footsteps, that she makes a spell in hope of getting the lead role in her high school play. But instead of landing her the role as Juliet the spell gives her Shakespeare, not the Shakespeare but his less-known brother - Edmund.
Edmund was a fun and bubbly character, at times a bit too enthusiastic. He reminded me a little bit of Puck from the Iron Fey series.

This book has theatre, a little bit of history, friendship and a little bit of romance. Sometimes it got a little to theatrical for my taste, with Miranda and her friends using dramatic old-fashioned language, but as I mentioned before, if you're into theatre this might be the book for you!
Rating: 3.75 of 5

Title: Misfit
Author: Jon Skovron
Published: August 2011

Jael has always felt like a freak. She’s never kissed a boy, she never knew her mom, and her dad’s always been superstrict—but that’s probably because her mom was a demon, which makes Jael half demon and most definitely not a normal sophomore girl. On her sixteenth birthday, a mysterious present unlocks her family’s dangerous history and Jael’s untapped potential.
What was merely an embarrassing secret before becomes a terrifying reality. Jael must learn to master her demon side in order to take on a vindictive Duke of Hell while also dealing with a twisted priest, best-friend drama, and a spacey blond skater boy who may have hidden depths.

This book was something of a roller coaster, it certainly had its ups and downs! I think the idea of Jael being a half demon was interesting and definitely had potential. But instead of focusing on Jael and her destiny I think this story "spaced out" a bit, more than once which made the book thicker, confusing, and harder getting into.

There where some parts of the book that were good, and would have been even better if they had been processed and more developed. And there were some less interesting parts that easily could have been removed.

The characters were also a problem for me, they were all alright - but nothing more than that. And if you don't care too much about the characters, then really, how fun is the book to read?

Rating: 2 of 5

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Read and Watched in October

1. Virtuosity - Jessica Martinez
2. The Pledge - Kimberley Derting
3. Beauty Queens - Libba Bray
4. Bloodlines - Richelle Mead

1. A Perfect Man
2. LA Gigolo
3. GI Joe: The Rise of the Cobra