Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Hello everyone, I hope all is well in your parts of the world and that the holiday season is treating you well so far. For those of you who are getting ready for Thanksgiving, have a fabulous and safe holiday. And for those who celebrate Black Friday - don't die in the massive, crazy crowds. ; )

Now, the final book in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series - Last Sacrifice - is coming out in just under two weeks. *insert fangirl squeal here* In honor of the series finishing, I'm attempting to read the first five books before the release. I know I'm cutting it kinda close, but the library suddenly got in a few books I was on the waiting list for, and I had to read those first. However, I'm still giving it a shot, so I'm not going to be posting as much for the next couple weeks.

I have finished Fade and Gone - the last two books in the Wake trilogy - and I'm working on the reviews, but with the holiday and my daughter's birthday, I'm a little busy at the moment. So, hopefully I'll have those for next week and you won't have to wait quite as long for a post from me. After that, the next review will be for Last Sacrifice, so be excited for that! I know I am. She's also coming to my town for her tour, so I definitely have to finish before then. : ) I'm so excited; she's awesomeness personified.

Until next time, happy holidays and happy reading!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Princess of Glass - Jessica Day George

Hoping to escape the troubles in her kingdom, Princess Poppy reluctantly agrees to take part in a royal exchange program, whereby young princes and princesses travel to each other's countries in the name of better political alliances—and potential marriages. It's got the makings of a fairy tale—until a hapless servant named Eleanor is tricked by a vengeful fairy godmother into competing with Poppy for the eligible prince.

This was a really cute companion/sequel to Princess of the Midnight Ball. It takes place 3 years after their curse is broken and Poppy is the princess we follow in her adventures in a neighboring kindgom. While the narrative switches between Poppy, Eleanore, and the Prince, I enjoyed Poppy's perspective the most. She was sassy and strong and not one to sit quietly in the corner. The Prince was shy but charming - even if he was a bit clueless at times. Eleanore on the other hand was hard to feel sorry for. While her circumstances weren't exactly ideal, she was a bit of a spoiled brat. She did eventually learn her lesson, but mostly she just bugged me.

What I really enjoyed what the fact that in essence it was a re-telling of Cinderella but it was so different that it wasn't until the very end that I put it together. So while it was a familiar story, it felt completely new. I loved that. My only problems were that the ending confrontation with the godmother felt a bit rushed and anti-climactic and the nightmares that Poppy had was never really resolved. Other than that, I truly enjoyed this book.


Princess of Glass
Jessica Day George
272 pages
$16.99 (hardcover)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nightshade - Andrea Cremer

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?

Isn't this one of the most beautiful covers you've ever seen? Everytime I see it on my shelf, I just have to look at it for a minute. It's gorgeous. *sigh*

Moving on...

I'll say it right up front, this is probably one of the best books I've read this year. I have tons of favorites, so that might not say much, but honestly, it was so incredible that it blew me away. I found it almost impossible to put down. It was rich in detail that completely sucked me into the story. It was seductive and mysterious and exciting. The characters were all so excellently written and there's still enough intrigue left to the story that I'm practically salivating for Wolfsbane - and it doesn't come out till July! I don't know if I can wait that long!

Calla is an excellent leading lady. She's tough and fierce and knows who she is - or so she thinks. She's also very smart. She's goes to an elite school and does her best, and while her mother wishes for her to act more like a lady, she's more of a jeans and tshirt kind of girl. I love her just for that. Ren was interesting to read about because while I wasn't a fan of him when he was acting all macho alpha boy, he did have this tender side that I'm intrigued to see more of. I can't decide if it's an act or genuine. And Shay is the excellent other side of this love triangle. He's also smart and good looking, like Ren, but where as Ren is blunt and aggressive, Shay is more tactful and shows what he wants without being a jerk about it. (I love him.)

This is one of the more interesting love triangles I've read in a long time. Calla is an intensely strong female. She's the alpha of her pack and is used to being in charge of things. She doesn't take crap from people and cares deeply for those around her. Neither Ren nor Shay are necessarily bad choices for her, they are more of a representation of what path she wants for her life. Ren is more duty and destiny - even though she does have feelings for him. Shay is more the unknown and freedom to choose her own paths. I'm completely Team Shay, so I'm biased against Ren, but I'm still intrigued to find out more about him. I feel bad for her though. She's such a fierce character. So strong. It's hard to see her rendered helpless in her love life for much of the book.

Another wonderful aspect of the story is the wolf pack dynamic and how it works in the way they all interact with each other, and how they are allowed to behave. Ren, as a male alpha, is more than allowed to play the field, while Calla, as the female alpha, is kept clean and pure until she is joined with her ultimate mate. It was very interesting to see how their wolf ways impacted all the relationships throughout the book, whether is was romantic, friendly, or family.

I'm in love with this book and I can't wait to read more. I'll be waiting in line at the store for each book release, anxious to find out what happens next. Andrea Cremer is officially a must-read author for me. Excellent!


Andrea Cremer
Penguin Group
528 pages
$17.99 (hardcover)


I'm very much behind in "revealing" anything, but the covers for a few of the books I'm excited for have been released recently and they are beautiful! I'm so excited! So, to spread the beauty around, I'm going to post them here. I don't have any summaries of the books, but you can ogle at the covers. : ) (Note: I just finished Nightshade  - Wolfsbane is the sequel - and the review is coming soon!)


Wolfsbane - Andrea Cremer - Release Date - July 26th

Awakened - P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast - Release Date - January 4th

The Day Before - Lisa Schroeder - June 28th

The Forgotten Locket - Lisa Mangum - May 9th

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Firelight - Sophie Jordan

A hidden truth.

Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Right off, I'm going to say that I really liked this book. And I'll also say this, it kinda reminded me of Twilight. Don't roll your eyes like that at me, I'm not saying it's exactly the same, nor am I saying that it's a bad thing. I adore Twilight, so in my book, this is a huge compliment. But the whole preditor and prey falling for each felt familiar. But she wrote it extremely well, and I really liked the way she interpreted that dynamic.

Overall, I felt Jacinda was a very *real* character. She's very flawed, full of doubts, and to be honest, fairly selfish. But, she's 16, and in my mind, that all fits. While her selfishness sometimes gets a little old, I completely get where she's coming from. I like her. She's struggling against not only her family but her pride to stake out her independence. She refuses to be used by those around her, and she wants to live her own life, not the one all these different people have planned out for her.

Will. Oh, Will. Yet another fictional hero to add to my list of literary crushes. He's mysterious and conflicted, handsome and alluring. And once he decides what he wants, he's unwavering and committed. And oh, he's so, so sweet. *swoon* While he's a big part of this book, we don't really find out a whole lot about him. At least, I don't think so. I'm really hoping that his story is explored more in future books. But as long as there's more Will, I'll be a happy girl.

As for the minor characters - Cassian, Xander, Tamra and Jacinda's mother - I wasn't a fan of any of them. Cassian and Xander are the macho male types I hate in life and in fiction, Tamra is extremely selfish, even when she complains that Jacinda is the selfish one, and her mother is overbearing, hating the pride for wanting to rule Jacinda but basically doing the same thing in her own way. *sigh* But, since this is the way that Jacinda sees them, and the book is from her perspective, I suppose that all makes sense.

The draki world is a great new fictional world. It's new and interesting and I'm deeply intrigued to learn more. I understood how it all worked - at least, as far as what I'm supposed to know so far - and I never got lost while reading. It had a nice steady pace and I had a very hard time putting it down. I must say, I'm very eager to read the next book, whenever it's set to come out.

And very quickly, can we talk about how gorgeous this cover is? Because it's amazing! It's what initially caught my eye, and I'm excited to see what they come up with for the next book.

Sophie Jordan
326 pages
$16.99 (hardcover)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Princess of the Midnight Ball - Jessica Day George

A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn…

Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

As far as fairytale retellings, this one was really well done. The writing was clear and the pace was fast without feeling rushed. Galen is officially a new book crush and Rose is a wonderful princess to add to the fairytale ranks. The story was very well written and actually had me guessing as to how it all would work out, even though I knew the basic story from when I was little. And I truly enjoyed how she switched from Rose and Galen's points of view so that I got the whole story without feeling confused as to who I was reading from. While some of the sisters felt like just names, the ones that did have a little more personality were fun and added to the story nicely. Galin's uncle bugged me a little but I can't really decide why - he just did. The King Under Stone and his sons were very creepy and suprisingly weren't the only villians in this rendition. Overall, I really liked it. And can I just say that I love the cover? Isn't her dress gorgeous? I think so.


Princess of the Midnight Ball
Jessica Day George
288 pages
$16.99 (hardcover)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Golden Spiral - Lisa Mangum

His eyes. His touch. His kiss. Dante was unlike anyone Abby had ever met. Now he’s gone, and Abby will do anything to get him back . . .

The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Abby knows that Dante, as a Master of Time, is the only one who can stop them from destroying time itself. She also knows that he will need her help. But almost immediately, things start to change, and Abby’s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically.

As Abby’s world fractures around her, she must face a terrible truth: either Dante didn’t make it through the door, or he is lost forever. So with Dante’s blueprints in hand, she begins construction on a new door, a new time machine that will either save Dante—or doom him.

With each new change that ripples into her present, Abby s life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family are threatened to the breaking point—and beyond. Zo’s power is greater than Abby ever imagined, but as she struggles to free Dante, she receives help from an unexpected—and unlikely—ally.

By now you all know my struggle with the middle books in trilogies. I appreciate them for what they are and I know that most of the conflict happens in that book as set up for the final installment. There's not a lot of resolution in a second book. Just lots of character development and, well, drama. Sometimes - especially with series that I really, really enjoy - all the drama gets to me and I will feel very unhappy with that book. But, I try not to judge too harshly, since it's serving its purpose and all is usually resolved in some way or another in the final book. So, having said that, keep in mind that if I rant, it's because the next book doesn't come out until May and I really, really want to know what happens next.

This book was excellently written. I honestly had no idea where it was going - but in a good way. It kept me guessing and I really felt Abby grow into her role of being even stronger than she was in the previous book. I felt for her as her world kept changing around her and her desperation to save Dante not only because she loved him but because he could help her make things right. The emotions were very well written as her frustration became my frustration and her joy was my joy. While Dante himself wasn't a huge part of this book, his struggles were hard to wait out and I was constantly thinking "What's going to happen with Dante?" There was a lot more explaining going on about how the time travel worked and sometimes I felt a little lost - abstract thought is so not my thing - but there were quite a few things answered that made things make more sense. And Zo is one of those villains you just love to hate. He's horrible! Absolutely awful! I still don't quite understand what he wants with Abby and how he's using Valerie, but I'm sure that will be revealed in the next book. As for the ending, it was a classic "No WAY!" cliffhanger that has me very impatiently waiting for May with the final book The Forgotten Locket comes out.


The Golden Spiral
Lisa Mangum
Shadow Mountain Publishing
369 pages
$18.99 (hardcover)