Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: Forever

“If I only have ten minutes, Sam, this is what I want to say. You're not the best of us. You're more than that. You're better than all of us. If I only have ten minutes, I would tell you to go out there and live. I'd say...please take your guitar and sing your songs to as many people as you can. Please fold a thousand more of those damn birds of yours. Please kiss that girl a million times.” 

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Book: 3 of 3
Pages: 390

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater
In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

"Is a rare moment when I don't enjoy a YA book. I enjoyed the other books in this series, but this one not so much. Yeah, the story was interesting enough, but some things left me feeling disappointed. It had almost no dialog, just the different characters going on and on and on. Just keeping up with the 4 different POVs and keeping up with every single thought they were having was exhausting...I just couldn't enjoy it enough. Glad I got that over with." -Shirley Quinones

My Thoughts:
I was thrilled to start reading Forever, but sadly I didn't love it as much as I loved Shiver and Linger. The first chapters for me were to long and nothing much happened. Also, I felt the beginning of the book had to long of a summary then the first two books. However not everything was bad. I liked how Maggie Stiefvater developed Cole and Isabel's relationship better than Sam and Grace's. Everyone knows already that Sam and Grace love each other and that they can't get together because certain situations, but nothing else develops between them because it's already established in the first book that they are going to end up together.

The ending for me wasn't great, I was expecting more to come out of the series. I wished there was more to it than how the author decided to end it, but to me there is more to be written about the Mercy Falls wolves. Maybe a sort story will come out to tell us about what has happened with the characters since the last time we read about them? Will just have to wait and see.

Cover rating: A

Review: Linger

“I won't let this be my good-bye. I've folded one thousand paper crane memories of me and Grace, and I've made my wish. I will find a cure. And then I will find Grace.” 

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Book: 2 of 3
Pages: 360
The astonishing #1 New York Times bestseller.
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack. And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.

 "The second in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, Linger picks up with Sam and Grace, relieved that their cure—injecting Sam with bacterial meningitis—seems to have worked. Despite the cold, Sam has stopped shifting into his wolf form. Now, however, they are faced with even more dangerous challenges. A new wolf, Cole, has joined the pack, and his reckless behavior may threaten everything that keeps them safe. Meanwhile, Mr. Culpepper, who believes the wolves are to blame for his son's death, is waging a personal war on their population. As Sam struggles to assume the role as the leader of the pack, he and Grace are pulled apart, a situation made more difficult when her parents disapprove of their deepening romance. Something more sinister also threatens their love for one another, and it leads them to a decision point for which neither of them is ready." -Ali Wilson 

My Thoughts:
Linger blew me away. While I was reading the book I instantly fell in love with Cole and his way of thinking. To those, Cole might seem just like every other guy, but there's that hidden intelligence that lies beneath his good looks and stunning personality. The fact that during Linger he tries to find a cure for the werewolves in stopping their transformation. He makes me feel the need to research how to cure the wolves myself. Like I can find the answer to the fictional situation that Maggie has presented.

Cover rating: A

Review: Shiver

“You're beautiful and sad," I said finally, not looking at him when I did. "Just like your eyes. You're like a song that I heard when I was a little kid but forgot I knew until I heard it again." For a long moment there was only the whirring sound of the tires on the road, and then Sam said softly, "Thank you.” 

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic INC.
Book: 1 of 3
Pages: 392

From a dazzlingly talented young writer, a haunting and original supernatural romance in the vein of TWILIGHT.
For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.
Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

"Few people in Mercy Falls adore the wolves the way Grace does; in fact, most want them dead after the attack on a local teenage boy. But Grace feels a connection with the wolves, especially the one with the yellow eyes. After all, he is the one who saved her years ago when she was attacked. Sam may not remember everything when he shifts, but he remembers Grace. He has silently watched her from the woods since she was a young girl, feeling a connection to her but never knowing why. When the two finally meet, both of their worlds fall into place as Grace and Sam find something in each other that they have never felt before. But winter is fast approaching and Grace risks losing Sam forever to the pack. Every shiver is a reminder that everything she has always wanted could be gone in an instant."  -Mollie Johnson
My Thoughts:
Before buying this book I read some reviews and got other people's opinions (who've read it before me), many of them said/told me it was like Twilight, but everyone keeps saying that about every non-Twilight books. It's probably because these days story lines seem to be the same about love triangles, but I would like to say that it gets old having everything compared to Twilight. Just because a lot of YA and paranormal novels have love triangles and "they may" seem the same, does not mean they are just like Twilight. I've read plenty of novels with love triangles and all of them have been amazingly written in their own way. I'm glad I purchased Shiver, it was a wonderful journey for me. The chemistry and struggle between the main characters is unforgettable. It's the best

Cover rating: B

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: Shimmer

"If you think you know what it’s like to be dead—if you think it’s just an eternity of harp music and cloud lounging—well, think again.

Ever hear the saying, Life goes on?

It does.

Long past the point when everyone else thinks it stopped.

Take it from me, I’ve been dead for just over a year, and from the moment I crossed that bridge to the other side—well, that’s when things really got interesting.…"

Shimmer by: Alyson Noel
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Book: 2-4
Pages: 196

Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi’s advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca’s sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she’s not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?

 "Shimmer is a book I am not likely to ever forget. . .I feel as though Shimmer can teach readers a lesson in understanding those around us. We learn from Riley that first glance doesn't mean much. There are many more layers to people, and if you take the time to peel them back, well we all have a lot more in common than you might think. I am really looking forward to what's next with this series. I like the level of depth in Shimmer and hope to see more of the same from Alyson Noël."
   —Bellas Novela

My Thoughts:
With the second installment of Radiance, in her new book Shimmer, it has finally sparked my interest; even with the lack of romance and it being a middle grade series. I'm sure there's a lot of you book readers out there who would love to take a peek at this series. It does bring a lot of adventure, action and comedy. Plus with a clever, spunky, witty, and sassy heroin named Riley, I'm sure a lot of you 9-12 year old's (maybe even some adults) could relate with her. I recommend this series to those who would love middle grade books with a little more adventure and a little less romance. Tho, my hopes are still high for some romance to come a long, I'm sure Riley and Bodhi have something between them don't you think (;

Cover Rating: A

Review: Radiance

"Most people think that death is the end.

The end of life—of good times—the end of, well, pretty much everything.

But those people are wrong.

Dead wrong.

And I should know. I died almost a year ago."
Radiance by: Alyson Noel
Publisher: A Square Fish Book
Book # 1-4
Pages: 183

Riley has crossed the bridge into the afterlife -- a place called Here, where time is always Now. She has picked up life where she left off when she was alive, living with her parents and dog in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. When she’s summoned before The Council, she learns that the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a possibly cute, seemingly nerdy boy who’s definitely hiding something. They return to earth together for Riley’s first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But all of that was before he met Riley... 

" This series is going to be a treat not only for the new fans I'm sure Ms. Noel will acquire in young tweens, but I can guarantee it will be an instant hit with her YA and adult fan base. Loved it." - Nelaine Sanchez

My Thoughts;

This series is a spinoff of the Evermore series, which I have yet to read, that's more toward middle grade readers of the ages 9-12. But, I believe it will appeal to older readers and fans that have read the Evermore Series. It takes you to Riley's side of the story and what has been going on with her life since the day she and her family left Ever on earth. Tho I'm not much of a fan with this particular book, there were not a large number of major events nor was there enough romance, but it is a solid start to the series. You may notice the ending did not leave you with a cliff hanging like most books, but it did leave you wondering what other sort of adventures Riley is in for.

Cover rating-A

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Review: A Shadow Falls Novel

 I laughed and cried so much while reading this…I LOVED this book. I read it every chance I could get because I didn't want to put it down. The characters were well developed and I felt like I knew them from the beginning. The storyline and mystery that went along with it kept me glued to my couch not wanting to do anything else but find out what the heck was going on.” –Urban Fantasy Investigations Blog

Born at Midnight by: C.C. Hunter
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Kylie Galen has had a lot of crap tossed in her lap lately. Her parents are getting a divorce for who the heck knows why. Her boyfriend broke up with her because she wouldn't put out. And her grandmother died because . . . well, older people do that. But now, Kylie's acquired a stalker and she hasn't a clue what he wants or how to get rid of him . . . and she really wants to get rid of him because apparently she's the only one who sees him. Thinking she may be losing it, her parents send her off to see a psychologist who gets Kylie sent to Shadow Falls Camp. Kylie and her parents think it's a camp for troubled teens.
They thought wrong.
Kylie's surrounded by vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches and shapeshifters. And if she believes what they tell her, she's one of them. They're just not sure exactly how she fits in. As Kylie struggles to cope with the realization that these creatures even exist, and the fact that she might not be human, she's got two hot guys, a werewolf and a half-fairy vying for her attention. And they can just keep vying. Kylie's determined that before she lets her heart loose on love, she needs to unearth the truth. What does the ghost want? Who can and can't she trust? And most of all . . . What is she?

Awake at Dawn is addicting. Somewhere close to the middle, I knew I had to finish that day or I would not be able to sleep. I needed answers, and I just knew if I waited a little longer I would get some Lucas action. C.C Hunter really brings these characters to life and you feel like you know them.” –Awesome Sauce Book Club

Awake at Dawn by: C.C. Hunter
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Book: 2-3
Pages: 390

Kylie Galen thought her life was a mess before she went to Shadow Falls Camp. However, now that she's discovered she's not human, the problems presenting themselves are anything but normal.
She's determined to uncover the answer to her supernatural heritage, but with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about to die, her newly developed sixth sense telling her someone is watching her and a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, Kylie's quest for answers is on hold. As if her life isn't difficult enough, just when she's about to give her heart to Derek, he starts pulling away. When Lucas comes back, Kylie feels more conflicted than ever. Kylie's weekend with her mom should have been just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point. Discovering her heritage may not ever matter if she doesn't survive.

My thoughts:
If you love YA and paranormal novels, this is the series for you. Born at Midnight and Awake at Dawn are hands down, the most intriguing books I have read. This series is everything a YA and paranormal reader is looking for. Every since I've finished both books, I'm still thinking about them. I can't wait to read more! This series will grip you're heart and refuse to let go until the very end.

"Dive into this series today. But be warned - you will get hooked to the point you'll be reading through the night and find yourself Awake at Dawn."-Anonymous
Cover rating book 1- B
Cover rating book 2- A

Review: Daughter of Smoke & Bone

“I don't know many rules to live by,' he'd said. 'But here's one. It's simple. Don't put anything unnecessary into yourself. No poisons or chemicals, no fumes or smoke or alcohol, no sharp objects, no inessential needles--drug or inessential penises either.'

'Inessential penises?' Karou had repeated, delighted with the phrase in spite of her grief. 'Is there any such thing as an essential one?'

'When an essential one comes along, you'll know,' he'd replied.” 

 Daughter of Smoke & Bone by: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Book: 1
Pages: 418
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.
Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
 My Thoughts:

Daughter of Smoke & Bone brought me to a world I never knew existed. Sure, it had the usual black and white magic that lingered in the unseen eyes of mortals along with the righteous presences of Angels. But, what Laini Taylor brought us was creatures of unusual designs that instantly get painted into our minds. The word "unique" goes very far and for these creatures it works perfectly, because that's exactly what they are. If it wasn't for Laini Taylor I would have never read a book with such outstanding characters that keep you guessing every moment "What would they really look like in person?" This book is hands down amazing-ness, a novel that I recommend for readers to go straight to their local book store and grab it off the shelves before it's gone.

Editorial Reviews

Chelsey Philpot
Any book that opens with "Once upon a time" is inviting high expectations. It's a phrase that inevitably evokes fairy tales and leather-bound classics about epic adventures, setting up the anticipation that readers will discover worlds filled with magic…In this case, the story that follows…is a breath-catching romantic fantasy about destiny, hope and the search for one's true self that doesn't let readers down. Taylor has taken elements of mythology, religion and her own imagination and pasted them into a believably fantastical collage.
—The New York Times Book Review

(If You've noticed I've posted two different covers of the book. I'm not sure if the second one on the left is a foreign cover and which one it might be, but it's possibly my favorite cover yet)

Cover rating: B

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Nightshade trilogy

Nightshade: "Calla is the alpha female of a shape-shifting wolf pack. She is destined to marry Ren Laroche, the pack's alpha male. Together, they would rule their pack together, guarding sacred sites for the Keepers. But then, Calla saves a beautiful human boy, who captures her heart. Calla begins to question everything - her fate, her existence, and her world and the orders the Keepers have asked her to follow. She will have to make a choice. But will she follow her heart if it means losing everything, including her own life?"
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: The Penguin Group 
Book: 1-3
Pages: 454

Wolfsbane: "This thrilling sequel to the much-talked-about Nightshade begins just where it ended-Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemy, and she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer-one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack-and the man-she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive."
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: The Penguin Group

Bloodrose: "Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there's more at stake than fighting. There's saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay's wrath. There's keeping Ansel safe, even if he's been branded a traitor. There's proving herself as the pack's alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers' magic once and for all. And then there's deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is. In this remarkable final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, international bestselling author Andrea Cremer crafts a dynamic novel with twists and turns that will keep you breathless until its final pages."
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: The Penguin Group

 "A finely-wrought compelling tale of romance and treachery..." Cynthia Leitich Smith New York Times bestselling author of
Eternal and Tantaliz

My Thoughts:
BRILLIANT!  The word for a truly, magnificent series by Andrea Cremer. She has created an amazing master piece that millions of readers and I have come to adore. There is no better way to describe this series, then through the words an experiences of the readers and I who took the chance of riding along down a dangerous path with Calla and her pack. This series has brought us passion, bravery, courage, strength, comedy, heartache and sorrow. A one true series that deserves nothing, but the out-most respect from the producers, editors, reviewers and the readers (I know for a fact all my respect goes to this series, along with the amazing characters and their creator) But sadly, like all good series, they have to come to an end. I know, my heart is also breaking inside, just knowing that the journey has come to it's final resting point and we have to say our sorrowful goodbyes. It will be hard. But I assure you that deep down in your heart the love you have for these terrific characters and all the adventures they brought us will never disappear. They will always be there playing throughout our minds just to remind us that we've experienced something no one can ever explain into simple words. Tho, we may have ended one journey with characters that we have not just come to love, but accepted as family, will still be around. We just have to keep moving forward with every step to new and bigger (tho, truthfully, nothing will be as big as Nightshade) adventures with more unique characters that await us.

Cover rating book 1- B
Cover rating book 2- A
Cover rating book 3- A+