Book Reviews
April 16, 2014 posted by Nichole

House of Ivy & Sorrow – Natalie Whipple

15728807Josephine Hemlock has spent the last 10 years hiding from the Curse that killed her mother. But when a mysterious man arrives at her ivy-covered, magic-fortified home, it’s clear her mother’s killer has finally come to destroy the rest of the Hemlock bloodline. Before Jo can even think about fighting back, she must figure out who she’s fighting in the first place. The more truth Jo uncovers, the deeper she falls into witchcraft darker than she ever imagined. Trapped and running out of time, she begins to wonder if the very Curse that killed her mother is the only way to save everyone she loves.

 

I am really sad that I didn’t end up liking House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple. Books about witches can be really hard to find, especially in the YA genre, so I was really excited to give this one a shot. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t for me.

The first problem I had with this book was the main character, Josephine. I was not a fan of hers. I decided at the very beginning of the book that I didn’t like her. She was very childish for her age, and she just had this uber hyper quality to her that I didn’t care for.

Discounting Josephine, I also didn’t care for any of the supporting characters. No one really blew my mind or made me fall in love. Everyone seemed very childish and annoying. That being said, it was hard to distinguish between all the characters, because they all just had a very similar vibe.

Another thing that I really couldn’t stand in House of Ivy and Sorrow was the romance between Jo and Winn. First, I hated Winn, not helped by the fact that I couldn’t stand Jo. Second, their childish romance was wayyyy too focused on. I would have preferred that the book focused more on witchcraft than that. Also, I found the relationships between Winn’s friends and Jo’s friends very unappealing. Too much cheesy romance was in the air.

Regarding the witchcraft itself, I thought that it could have been better executed. It seemed very childish and more geared for middle grade readers. I would have preferred more danger and suspense. I wanted the witchcraft to be more dangerous and powerful, and instead it seemed like something that I could watch on the Disney Channel. I definitely think that this book will have it’s followers, but I think that it is more geared for the younger crowd.

Overall, I didn’t really care for House of Ivy and Sorrow. I made it 50% through it before I finally gave up. I’m not rating it, because I really think that this was more about preference than dislike. Honestly, I’m shocked that it’s considered a YA book. It’s definitely an MG. So, if you’re a big fan of MG books, maybe this one is for you.

Pages: 352

Publication Date: April 15th, 2014

Publisher: Harper Teen

Rating: DNF

Waiting on Wednesday
April 16, 2014 posted by Nichole

Waiting on Wednesday #77

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

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Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for

 

Take Me On by Katie McGarry

Published by Harlequin TEEN

To be released on May 27th, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday
April 15, 2014 posted by Nichole

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I’d Like To Own

Hey, Everyone! Welcome back! Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are discussing the Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren’t Books) That I’d Like To Own (new bookshelves, bookends, cool bookmark, a bookish shirt, etc. You can add things you DO own if you want).

 

1. A library! This is probably never going to happen, but I want a library in my house. A room dedicated to books. What could be better than that? And look at that picture! Honestly, it reminds me more of my cousin than myself, but I would LOVE to have it!

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2. The “I’m reading, shh” cup.  Ever since I saw Aubrey from Epic Reads with this cup, I have been beyond jealous and obsessed with it. I love it. I want it. I am such a cup person! And this one was MADE FOR ME.

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3. Invisible Book Shelves – It doesn’t make much sense for me to have one of these, because I have WAY too many books, but I’ve always wanted one. Unfortunately, it would make my room look way too tacky, because I would have to have a million of them.

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4.  Some sort of bookish tattoo – I don’t know if I’ll get another tat, but I would love to have a quote or something put on me. The problem is that I haven’t read something that I truly want to put on my body. Maybe one day.

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5. Magnets, magnets, and more magnets.I have an OBSESSION with book magnets. I love them. I don’t have nearly enough of them.

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6. A bookmark that I’ll actually use – The problem with this is that I can never remember to use a bookmark. I have several….I just don’t use them. I once had these magnetic bookmarks that I used, but I long since lost them. You all will hate me but, yes, I do dogear my pages. I”M ASHAMED! Hopefully I can find a bookmark that I will use.

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7. Some kind of statement shirt – I don’t think I would get this exact shirt, but I would love to have some time of sweatshirt that said something about books or blogging. This one made me laugh, because I’m always saying this really loudly in theaters before the movie starts.

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8. A new pair of Twilight sweatpants – When I went to Forks, WA a few years ago, I bought these sweats that said “Team Edward.” I loved those sweats. I still own them, but they have holes in them now, because I wore them so many times. It upsets me that I can’t find the exact pair online. They were them most comfortable sweats in the world. This is an example, but it’s not the pair that I own. Mine is all black, a little baggy, and says Team Edward on the butt….but different than this one does.

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9. Harry Potter merchandise. – I would prefer to have a blanket, but this made me laugh. I would totally get this for myself or my cousin.

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10. A case, cover, and pen for my Nook HD+ – I am eventually going to buy this, and probably in this color, but I don’t have it yet.

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THAT was one of the hardest posts that I’ve ever done. I don’t usually buy book merchandise…..so, yeah…that was hard. I do plan on getting the cup and the case. That was fun!

 

What book stuff do YOU want? Let me know in the comments section!

 

cover reveal
April 15, 2014 posted by Nichole

Cover Reveal: Mortal Enchantment by Stacey O’Neale

I’m very excited to share with you the cover reveal for Mortal Enchantment by Stacey O’Neale! Keep an eye out for my review of the prequel, The Shadow Prince, on April 28th!

 

Today, Stacey O’Neale and Phoenix Reign Publishing are revealing the cover for

MORTAL ENCHANTMENT, releasing on May 20, 2014!

Check out the awesome cover and enter to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card!!!

On to the reveal!

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“Mortal Enchantment spins a unique twist on elemental mythology. This series is not to be missed.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author

In Kalin Matthew’s world, elementals control the forces of nature. They are divided into four courts: air, woodland, fire, and water. At sixteen she will leave the life she’s built with her mortal mother. Kalin will move to Avalon to rule with her father—the elemental king of the air court. Along the way, she’s attacked by a fire court assassin and saved by Rowan, a swoon-worthy elemental with a questionable past.

Worst of all, she learns her father is missing.

To rescue him, Kalin will have to work with a judgmental council and a system of courts too busy accusing each other of deceit to actually be able to help her. But, they aren’t her biggest challenge. With the Midwinter’s Ball only five days away, Kalin must take over her father’s duties, which includes shifting control of the elements—power Kalin has yet to realize.

As Rowan attempts to train her, a war looms between the four courts. If Kalin fails, her father will die and the courts will fall, but the betrayal she’s about to uncover may cost her even more…

Add to your Goodreads TBR!!!

If you haven’t read THE SHADOW PRINCE, you can download if NOW for FREE from Amazon and Barnes & Noble!!!

Every sacrifice has consequences.

Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he’s capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

Available for FREE on Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Also available in PRINT from Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Stacey O’Neale lives in Annapolis, Maryland. When she’s not writing, she spends her time fangirling over books, blogging, watching fantasy television shows, cheering for the Baltimore Ravens, and hanging out with her husband and daughter.

Her career in publishing started as a blogger-turned-publicist for two successful small publishers. Stacey writes young adult paranormal romance and adult science fiction romance. Her books always include swoon-worthy heroes, snarky heroines, and lots of kissing.

Stacey loves hearing from readers. Follow her on Twitter @StaceyONeale, look for her on Facebook, Pinterest, and GoodReads. You can also visit her blog at http://staceyoneale.com/.

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Book Reviews
April 14, 2014 posted by Emma

The Voice – Jennifer Anne Davis

The VoiceDuring her abduction and assault, Audrey begins to hear a voice. She hopes she’s not going crazy, because after what she’s experienced, that’s the most logical explanation. However, as she begins to listen to the voice, Audrey realizes that someone may be telepathically trying to help her.

Unfortunately, rescue isn’t all she needs. In order to leave behind the constant reminders, she flees to her Aunt Kate’s house in San Diego, and assumes a new identity. It works until the eighteen-year-old twin boys who live next door threaten to break through the protective walls she’s worked so hard to build.
Between Caleb going out of his way to befriend her and Justin avoiding her at all costs, Audrey doesn’t know if normalcy will ever find her again. But one thing is certain: When a familiar danger resurfaces, it’s the same voice that she turns to — a voice that is not only real, but a lot closer than she realizes.

 

I went into this one a little nervously, just because it centers around such a horrific, realistic subject (kidnapping and sexual assault). And unfortunately I was right to be wary because I ended up not finishing it, though I’m sure it may appeal to other readers.

Basically The Voice tells the story of Audrey, a girl who was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by someone very close to her. After she is rescued and returned home, she struggles to come to terms with what happened to her and move on with her life the best she can. However, this turns out to be harder than it seems because someone is out to get Audrey, and time is running out.

It started off interesting enough, it really did. It was hard to get through the first chapter or two about her kidnapping and captivity, but I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened to her. After that, she goes to live with her Aunt Kate, which is pretty much where I started to have problems with the story. The thing is, a lot of it felt really rushed and unrealistic. We barely find out what happens to her while she’s kidnapped, and then all of a sudden she’s at home with her parents, and then two seconds later she’s living with Kate, who has a ton of problems of her own. It’s a lot of information thrown at you in a short period of time, honestly. I would’ve loved to learn more about her relationship with her parents, or adjusting to being back at home, or learning about her relationship with Kate. But instead she’s thrust into this new world, and then all of a sudden she’s meeting the hot brothers next door, and getting a makeover, and going to her new school. And it was just a bit much.

I wasn’t a fan of the characters either, sadly. Audrey was decent enough to read about, but parts of her inner dialogue were a bit odd at times. From what I read, her Aunt Kate seemed to be a somewhat interesting character, but at the same time she seemed to be almost a cardboard cut-out of the “cool, young aunt” character who doesn’t really have her life together. Same goes for the brothers next door, who pretty much followed the YA trope of the hot brothers, one of which is outgoing and overly friendly, and the other is brooding and seems to ‘hate’ the girl. Maybe they changed later on in the book, but from what I read, they just weren’t my cup of tea.

All in all, this wasn’t my favorite thing ever. I think it’s definitely an emotional read and may appeal to lovers of contemporary, but personally I wasn’t a huge fan.

Pages: 288

Date Published: January 29, 2013

Publisher: Lands Atlantic

Rating: DNF

Book Reviews
April 13, 2014 posted by Nichole

The Program by Suzanne Young

11366397In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

 

My Review:

I just finished my reading The Program by Suzanne Young and I’m currently sitting here at my computer, typing random words on the screen so that I have more time to come up with a coherent thought process. Reflecting on this book is not an easy task. You see, my thoughts are jumbled. I feel some happiness, but mostly I feel sad and pissed off over what transpired throughout this book. I want to retaliate and throw the book at the wall until it creates the story that I want to read about. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen, so let me start at the beginning.

The Program is grouped into three very different sections. The first section starts out by introducing Sloane and James, two very much in love teenagers who live in a world where teenage suicide is an epidemic and “The Program” is there to brainwash them into being perfect citizens. Of course, that brainwashing also includes wiping their memories of everyone they used to know. This first section I loved the most. Most importantly, I loved James, who I was looking forward to reading about throughout the rest of the book. James had all the qualities that I look for in all my future book boyfriends: hotness, sarcasm, loyalty and passion. Not only that, but he and Sloane were the perfect couple that everyone dreams about. It was during this first section of the book that I began to prepare myself for an amazing book; a book that could have potentially been transformed into an epic movie.

It was during the second section of the book that I started to get pissed off. The book started to take a completely different approach than I anticipated, and I was not thrilled with this new development. Also, I just couldn’t seem to handle some of the rotten things that were transpiring. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll say this much: teens are starting to be force fed pills, brainwashed, and abused; beloved characters are being pushed aside and warped; and the book takes a totally different turn than what truly should have happened. I was upset by this new twist to a book that I should have loved.

The third section of the book is where I started to develop mixed feelings. I was still pissed off, you see, because there was still a lot of horrible things happening to the teens and main characters. However, I was happy to see the main characters fighting these abuses and taking a stand. The ending of the book made me a little more excited for the next book, but after the unexpected and unwelcome twists and turns that this book had to offer, I just don’t know if I want to risk it in the next one. I have a very specific layout that I want to see happen in the next book. I’m going to be even more pissed off if that doesn’t happen.

I’m not going to rate this book because I don’t even know how to do begin to do that. I loved the first section of the book and the main characters. However,  I hated some of the content that this book had to offer. I even had a stress headache throughout two thirds of the book. I enjoy feeling some intense emotions during dystopia books but this was just a little too much for my taste. I think that I’m more annoyed because this could have been a fantastic book! I expected Sloane and James to infiltrate into the Program and do something drastic. That didn’t happen, and I was very upset with the results.

I guess that I’m just a little disappointed with how things worked out. I understood the message that the book offered. I also understand why others will love this book. Maybe I’ll save my judgments for the next book cause I just really don’t know how to rate this one.

Pages: 405

Publication Date: April 30th, 2013

Publisher:  Simon Pulse

Rating: N/A

Author Interviews
April 12, 2014 posted by Nichole

Book of the Month: Interview with Kelley Armstrong

4fdd6f816b124ee595f6fb07a25a134eAs you all should know very well by now, I have a sick obsession with Kelley Armstrong. I just want to kidnap this lady and have her write Women of the Otherworld stories for me nonstop. Creepy? Sure. But I love her. She is, by far, my favorite author in the entire world, and I want each and every one of you to know about her, her books, her TV show, her everything. If you haven’t read her stuff before, do so. If you don’t plan to…don’t even bother talking to me. I’m SO excited to be hosting her new YA fantasy, Sea of Shadows, as our book of the month this April. Seas of Shadows was AMAZING. I didn’t even know that she could write high fantasy….but oh my goodness. I loved it!

 

7581Kelley Armstrong has been telling stories since before she could write. Her earliest written efforts were disastrous. If asked for a story about girls and dolls, hers would invariably feature undead girls and evil dolls, much to her teachers’ dismay. All efforts to make her produce “normal” stories failed.

Today, she continues to spin tales of ghosts and demons and werewolves, while safely locked away in her basement writing dungeon. She’s the author of the NYT-bestselling “Women of the Otherworld” paranormal suspense series and “Darkest Powers” young adult urban fantasy trilogy, as well as the Nadia Stafford crime series. Armstrong lives in southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids and far too many pets.

 

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Chocolate. The darker the better.

Cats or Dogs?

Can’t pick. I have both and love both for their individual traits.

Favorite television show?

Justified.

Hardcopies or Ecopies?

Hardcopies. I have an e-reader for travel, but it doesn’t quite feel like reading.

Favorite series of all time?

Harry Potter.

Celebrity Crush?

None. Weird, I know, but I don’t ever think that way about celebs. I appreciate them for their acting or their singing etc. The last crush of that sort I had was when I was 10. Shaun Cassidy. Don’t ask.

Drink of choice?

Mochas!

Can you tell us about your book, Sea of Shadows, in 15 words or less?

Twin girls guard the Forest of the Dead, where convicts are exiled. Things go wrong.

This is your first time doing high fantasy. How much more difficult was it than the rest of your works?

I’ve read high fantasy since I was a teen, so this is the book I’ve always wanted to write. The fun part was the research—it’s based on medieval Japan. The tough part was toning down my very contemporary voice. I had to accept that it would still sound somewhat contemporary while making every effort to adjust my voice.

How long did it take you to write Sea of Shadows?

The first draft took about six months. Then I spent over a year editing it (while working on other projects.) The first in a new series always requires the most work.

What was your favorite scene to write?

The thunder hawk fight. There are two sections to it. The first was great action-packed adventure. The second started with a “hiding in the cave” scene that had some of my favorite character work and interplay.

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

As I mentioned, the thunder hawk scene has two sections. They think they’ve escaped it…and they haven’t. Between those sections the two characters were walking and talking and there was some interplay there that I really liked. However, it was too much time between those action scenes, which felt jarring. So most of it got cut.

What is one of your favorite quotes from SOS?

That’s tough when it’s been half a year since I last read it. I always tell myself I need to make a note of quotes when I’m doing my proofs. I mentioned the thunder hawk scene above, so I’ll give a line from it. Not a great one, but it’ll do. “It was a shame to waste such a face and physique on such a surly—and, yes, exceedingly difficult—boy.”

The ending…oh my goodness! That ending! Is there anything you can tell us about the next book?!

It picks up a few days after that ending. Moria is, not surprisingly, growing frustrated with what she perceives as a slow response on 17236366the part of the emperor and decides to take action herself, which launches them into their next adventure.

Do you think that you would survive in the world you created in SOS?

I think I could. It’s not a dystopian society. The medieval aspects would definitely take some getting used to, but it would be interesting. I’m not sure I’d care to live there, but I’d visit.

Are we going to see some steamy scenes between Moria and Gavril or Ashyn and Ronan in the next book?

One of the problems with my YA is that I throw my characters into so much action and adventure that there’s really not a lot of time for steamy make-out scenes. They’re too busy trying to stay alive! There are a couple of those in Empire of Night. There’s more steamy stuff in the third book, where I go beyond where I have previously in YA. That’s all I’ll say 

Who was your favorite character to write about in SOS?

Moria. My favourites are rarely the narrators, because I’m writing from their point of view. But with this book, it’s dual POV and third-person, so I was able to step back a little and see and develop the narrators from more angles. I love Ashyn, but Moria wins in this contest, which may be part of the reason Ashyn feels overshadowed by her sister. Poor kid. I think, though, that I relate to Ashyn a little better, which means the connection there is too close to say I also like her better.

Are you currently working on anything else?

Tons! I’m writing the third in this trilogy now. I just finished the third in the Cainsville series and the third in the Blackwell Pages trilogy. I still have a few Otherworld projects on the go, due out late this year (an anthology, a graphic novella and a prose novella.) I’m also part of a Canadian-based project with seven authors writing from a shared premise, which gave me the chance to write a YA set in Quebec in the sixties—a real departure from my usual work.

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

Good question! I’ve been in editing hell, as happens every winter—I have three books on similar production schedules. So I haven’t read anything other than my own work in a while. A pre-crunch favourite of mine was Robin Wasserman’s The Waking Dark. Great Stephen-King-style horror in a YA, and as you might guess from Sea of Shadows, I’m a horror buff.

Is there anything else you’d like to say before you go?

Just thank-you for the interview. I hope readers will give Sea of Shadows a shot. HarperCollins will post a massive sneak peek—as they always do—so readers can check that out free.

 

I would just like to say that I am super proud of myself for not hounding KA about The Women of the Otherworld series or the Bitten TV show. It took all my self restraint. Go me!

 

audiobook
April 11, 2014 posted by Nichole

Audiobook Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins

13252518“You’re going to fall in love with Lola and the Boy Next Door. Madly in love!”
–Sarah Mlynowski, author of Bras & Broomsticks and Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) 
Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit–more sparkly, more fun, more wild–the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket–a gifted inventor–steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy 
next door.

 

My Review:

When I first started to listen to the audiobook of Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins, I hated it. The narrator, Shannon McManus, kept speaking in really choppy sentences. It seemed. More like. She was. Talking like this. It drove me bonkers. I actually thought that I was just going to have to return the tape without finishing it because it was that bad. Thankfully, the narrator quits speaking like that fairly soon and starts speaking like normal. After that, the book became awesome.

I loved Lola as a main character. She was spunky and had an unique and individual personality that I related to very well. She did whine a lot, which was pretty annoying, but other than that I was a big fan of her. The real star of the show, however, was Cricket Bell. Holy smokes was that boy to die for! Cricket was just the type of boy that every girl wants to end up with. Considerate, not too clingy, but not a bad boy either, handsome, and educated. He also cared for Lola, which was obvious from the very moment that he was introduced.

Another perk that this book had was that Anna and Etienne were in it! They were the main characters in Anna and the French Kiss. They actually had a fairly large role in this book. I loved the moments with Etienne! He just cracked me up. I also loved the chance to watch their relationship grow and to have it clarified that they were still together.

What I didn’t like about Lola and the Boy Next door was the fact that Lola was already in a relationship with her boyfriend Max. Stephanie Perkins has an annoying habit of making at least one of her main characters unavailable in her books, and I’m sick of it. It would have been different if that didn’t already happen in Anna and the French Kiss, but I didn’t want to read about it again. She also has an annoying habit of making those relationships last until almost the very end of the book. In her next book, I really want to see something different. Maybe an epic romance that starts at the beginning.

Overall, I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. It had the perfect light romance feel to it, and I was able to visualize everything in my head. I don’t know if I would ever want to read or recommend the actual print copy of the book. I feel like the books themselves are pretty light  and don’t go very many places. That’s not to say that it’s not an amazing book. I mean, I am giving it 5 stars! But….I just feel like it’s something that is better to listen to than to actually read.

 

Length: Approximately 8-10 hours

Publication Date: October, 2011

Publisher:  Listening Library

Rating: : ★★★★★

Book Reviews
April 10, 2014 posted by Emma

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2) – Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)Now that the ley lines around Cabeswater have been woken, nothing for Ronan, Gansey, Blue, and Adam will be the same.

Ronan, for one, is falling more and more deeply into his dreams, and his dreams are intruding more and more into waking life.

Meanwhile, some very sinister people are looking for some of the same pieces of the Cabeswater puzzle that Gansey is after…

 

Anyone who knows me knows that I became a huuuge fan of this series after recently picking up a copy of The Raven Boys. There’s just so much goodness in these books, I can’t even begin to describe it.

Of course as soon as I finished the first one, I knew I had to get a copy of The Dream Thieves ASAP. This second installment picks up pretty closely after the first one ends, with Blue and the gang still desperately looking for Glendower. However, finding Cabeswater and the ley line changes all of them pretty drastically, and now they have to deal with the aftermath, along with staying alive against some not-so-nice people in search of the same magic that Gansey is looking for.

This book is definitely a little darker in tone than the first, because most of the gang isn’t coping very well with the discovery of the ley line. But now they’ve got bigger things to worry about, with the addition of an even more sinister villain (or is he?) and some new characters as well. I’m not going to lie, the plot definitely confused me (again), but like the first time, I pushed through for the sake of finding out what happens to the characters. There were so many things happening in so many different directions that at times it did feel a bit much, but it ended up being worth the confusion. I loved every single twisted second!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it absolutely astounds me how Ms. Stiefvater is able to create a world that’s so implausible and disconnected from our own, and yet so refreshingly real at the same time. Every word, every action, every breath that the characters take feels like they’re actually there with you. Or I guess, like you’re actually there with them. It’s beautiful, it really is.

And speaking of characters, we get to learn even more about the gang in the second book. The Dream Thieves shifts its focus a little, as far as who is doing most of the narrating. In this book, it shifts away from Gansey/Blue and more towards Ronan, which I really enjoyed. He’s such a darkly enigmatic character that it was fascinating (and oh my goodness, so heartbreaking) to learn about his backstory. Watching him struggle with his new abilities was amazing and little bit frightening, especially considering some of the revelations that go along with it. He gets fleshed out a lot more in this second book, and I loved it.

But don’t worry Gansey and Blue fans! They’re still present, just slightly less so. They’re just as bicker-y and snarky as the first book, except this time with a little more romance. As someone who loves the two of them together (sorry, Adam!), I enjoyed watching the slow build of their relationship as they became closer. But at the same time, her romantic entanglements are a little sad to watch, because you just know that someone’s going to get hurt.

Which brings me to Adam. Oh, Adam. He’s such a sweet, insecure guy, and I love him to death. But a definite darker side comes out in this book. Admittedly a huge chunk of it has to do with the effects of the ley line, but to what extent, I don’t know. Either way, if in the last book he was heading towards the edge of the precipice, in this book he’s teetering at the very tip. I’m so worried for this character, guys! He’s so unstable and unpredictable, and reading from his point of view feels like reading about a ticking time bomb, just waiting to explode. Definitely excited (and wary) to see what happens with him in the third book.

All in all, this book absolutely rocked just as much as the first one! Anyone who’s a fan of kickass heroines, slow-building romance, urban magic, and beautiful writing has GOT to check The Raven Cycle series out. Or really just if you like reading at all, check it out!

Go get your copies, this one’s a must read!

 

Pages: 439

Date Published: September 17, 2013

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Rating: ★★★★★

adult books
April 9, 2014 posted by Nichole

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson #8) by Patricia Briggs

night broken_front mech.inddAn unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.

Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.

Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

 

My Review:

I can honestly say that I loved this book from start to finish. It was a constant whirlwind of action and romance. Never once was I bored or irritated. It was just a fun read. I’ve glad that I’ve enjoyed the last two books in the series, because the Mercy Thompson series started to hit a rough patch there for a little bit. I even rated one of the books two stars! It broke my heart /= Night Broken strayed away from  that rough patch, though.

Night Broken introduces a new character. Actually, let me rephrase, Night Broken introduces several new characters. Two of those said characters are Adam’s ex-wife, Christy, and Mercy’s half-brother, Gary Laughingdog.  First of all, let me say how hilarious it was to finally have Christy in the mix. She and Mercy did not get along at all, and it was a riot to have them in the same room together. As for Gary Laughingdog, I didn’t really think anything of him until the last chunk of the book when he started to appear more. He was definitely an interesting character who I’m excited to read more about. Thankfully, the ending of Night Broken sets it up for both of those characters to be  continue in the series. I hope that Briggs decides to keep Christy around simply for the entertainment!

One negative thing that I’ve noticed about this series as it has progressed is that it’s getting a little stuffy in the romance department. For example, Mercy and Adam tend to act like an old married couple in every single situation. I want to see them have those light and fluffy moments. Additionally, I want to see those hot and steamy moments that Briggs seems to be lacking on lately. It doesn’t take away from the book that much, but it does take away from my love for them as a couple.

Overall, I loved this book. I can’t say all that much in my review since this is the eighth book in the series and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. If you haven’t read the Mercy Thompson series, then I highly recommend it! It’s a great adult paranormal series that is full of fun, magic, action, mystery, and romance all rolled into one amazing series.

 

Pages: 341

Publication Date: March 11th, 2014

Publisher: Ace Hardcover

Rating: : ★★★★☆