Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blood Past (Warriors of Ankh, #2) by Samantha Young

Release Date: August 17, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Author Information: Blog / Twitter
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology, Dark/Horror, Romance
Available Formats: Paperback, eBook
My Shelf: Own eBook
Other Books in Series: Blood Will Tell (#1)
Other Information: Older Young Adult (16+)
Buy the BookAmazon
All Eden wants is redemption... but the road to redemption is never an easy one. 

Travelling to Scotland to find her mother’s bloodline, Eden is soon embroiled in the politics and training of the Scottish Warriors of Neith. It is a world where some stand with open arms ready to welcome her as family, while others keep a wary distance, conspiring against her. Through it all Eden learns of love, friendship, and what it means to be a warrior. Her future has promise... that is until a man she thought forever gone from her life returns to threaten it all. 

When the one person Eden loves above all else is endangered, she will have to make a choice. Him... or her? 

Life is such a bitch... 

... but so is Eden when you don’t play nice. 

YA Paranormal Romance recommended for ages 16 years and up
Review:

Samantha Young has done it again! Another wonderful book to add to her repertoire of works (and I still hold to the statement of her being a genius)!

I enjoyed Blood Past immensely. When compared to the first book in the series, Blood Will Tell, this book had a different feel to it. BWT was super fast-paced, where emotions and plot where constantly being thrown in your face. In Blood Past, you get some more plot and emotions, but it also focuses on the relationships between the characters and is a little mellower in terms of intensity (but this mellow tone is much needed). We get to see the relationship between Noah and Eden grown as Eden slowly forgives Noah and realizes how she feels about him. It takes time for her to come to terms with what happened to her brother and Noah’s role in it, and she does not just forgive and forget. It made her grieving process seem real and I could not help but feel for her.

That is another thing I really liked about this book: the relationship between Noah and Eden and how perfectly played out it was. I love how Eden just does not automatically swoon in Noah’s arms when she forgave him. Another thing I really appreciated was there were chances where they could have tried to make the other one jealous through flirting and whatnot, and THEY NEVER DID. There were no games being played, no awkward third wheel, no trying to use underhanded techniques. Noah knew Eden would not like him flirting with another girl in front of her, so instead of trying to make her jealous, he ignored the girl. Can we just pause here a minute and take a nice, deep breath? Let’s bask in the fresh air! SO GREAT AND SO REFRESHING.  Samantha Young, I love you for that.

We also got to know some pretty awesome characters: Cyrus, who takes his protective father role seriously (and it is hilarious the glares he throws Noah’s way), Valeria, the ultimate badass female warrior, October (LOVE HER!), Cameron, Darius, and the list goes on. I really liked almost all the characters (save Teagan- I REALLY do not like him. But then, as the villain, you are not supposed to, so Young has done her job). Great, great, great.

The Warriors of Ankh series will conclude on December 12, 2011 with the release of the third book, Shades of Blood. I am eager to see how it all ends! Why does December 12th seem so far away?????
The Greatest Escape!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Blood Will Tell (Warriors of Ankh, #1) by Samantha Young

Release Date: July 1, 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace
Author Information: Blog / Twitter
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology, Dark/Horror
Available Formats: Paperback, eBook
My Shelf: Own eBook
Extra Information: Older Young Adult (16+)
Buy the BookAmazon
Eden is a Soul Eater. While that hasn’t meant much to her in the past, she’s pretty sure any minute now she’s going to go all "Carrie" on her eleventh grade class. 

Noah is an Ankh. As an immortal Warrior, his purpose in life is to hunt down and kill Soul Eaters. Eden is Noah’s next assignment. Problem is… this is an assignment with a difference. Eden’s not your average, run of the mill, Soul Eater. Noah’s job? To test Eden for possible redemption. 

It’s a risky business. 

Especially if Noah awakens Eden’s inner monster. 

It would be kind of hard for Eden to listen to the angel on her shoulder when the devil on the other is telling her, her new best friend is a lying, scheming, immortal enemy... 

....betrayal is such a bitch. 

So is Eden when you get on her bad side. 

YA Paranormal Fiction for mature teens+ (some content may not be suitable for younger readers)
Review:

Let me start by saying that I really cannot believe people do not know about this book! IT IS AMAZING! Samantha Young, at the ripe young age of 25, you are a certified genius.

I had some reservations about reading this book in the beginning. It is a little darker than what I usually read, and I really do not like horror and gore and whatnot. Even though there were some disturbing and darker elements present, it never went overboard and I never felt like it was too much. Young did a really nice job of not scaring off the super scaredy-cats (like me ><). From the VERY FIRST PAGE, the story is fast paced, where if plot is not being thrown at you, lots of emotions are. I literally could not stop reading! (Today was test day at my school, and with no English classes, I literally sat in the teachers’ office, talked with no one, and read this book in one sitting. THAT is how engrossed I was!)

I think the best thing about this book is Eden. She is a soul eater, and with her hunger awakened, she has to feed on the souls of people to survive. In other words, she is NOT a good guy. In fact, most members of her family are serial killers who get off on raping and beating their victims before finally taking their souls (shudder). But Eden would do anything to change who she is and rid herself of the hunger that resides in her. She is portrayed as a strong and independent character that takes crap from no one, and her emotions are complex and real as she fights off the hunger.  And the chemistry between her and all the other characters, especially her brother, Stellan, and Noah, is just excellently written. I felt the closeness of Stellan and Eden, reminding me of my own brother and me. Even the confusing moments when she could not decide how she felt about Noah (or why she had certain feelings of jealousy or anger) was just perfect. It was really a whirlwind of emotions that made you want to keep reading to find out how it all resolved.

I really liked Stellan and Noah. Stellan was the perfect older brother looking after his little sister and the connection and love between them was almost tangible. And then there is Noah, the immortal Ankh warrior whose duty is to destroy soul eaters. I loved when Young told the story from his point of view every few chapters or so. It really showcased his feelings and conflicted emotions, such as how he would sometimes forget Eden was one of the monsters he should hate and definitely NOT care for. It made him that much more relatable and likeable! Overall, characters, chemistry and dialogue were topnotch.

Another thing I really liked about the story was the usage of Egyptian mythology. I have read plenty of books that had elements of Greek/Roman mythology, but Egyptian mythology? Not so much. With aspects of Egyptian mythology thrown in, this story of a soul eater is utterly original and a super satisfying, fast-paced read. I already have the second book, Blood Past, right next me and I am super stoked to start reading it! I better get comfortable in case it is another book I read in one sitting. >)
The Greatest Escape!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hello from Korea!

Hello!

So I am currently spending my winter vacation time in Korea playing tourist, meaning my posts and reviews will be very sporadic (and very few in number). I am really sorry about this! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and New Years holiday!

Just another reason to love Korea!!! Merry Christmas!! :)

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: September 29, 2011
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Tumblr
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook
My Shelf: Own
Buy the BookAmazon
Budding designer 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.
Review:

Oh, Stephanie Perkins, how I love you. I seriously think I have a major girl crush right now. ><

This book was AMAZINGGGGGG. After reading Anna and the French Kiss, I could not wait to read this book and I REALLY wanted it to be as good as her first one. And, boy, was it ever.

I adored Lola (the slightly less ostentatious version of a teenage Lady Gaga) and all of her craziness. (As a side note, I totally want her Egyptian costume!) From the very beginning, there was just something that made me connect with her. Throughout the book, she learns more about herself, who she really is underneath all the crazy outfits, and rediscovers her first love. Every time she felt frustrated, confused, happy, or sad, I felt it right along with her. There were sweet moments when I could not help getting a little teary-eyed (like when Cricket first sneaks into her room or when he gives her his little starry disk invention- swoon fest) and other moments where I could not stay still, waiting in eager anticipation to see what happened next. All of it just felt so real.

I loved Cricket, with his quirkiness and obsession with rubber bands and inventions. There was something about him that just captured my heart and held on. He would be everything I would ever want in a guy. Seriously. He is a sweet, caring, talkative, and an occasionally slightly awkward, normal guy that cannot keep his hands still. And he is perfect for Lola in every way. The chemistry between the two of them is something that many novels lack nowadays (or in some cases, thanks to Twilight, are seriously overdone and waaayyyyyy too cheesy). But everything about Lola and Cricket and their relationship is just perfect. It was the same feeling I had about Anna and Etienne in Anna and the French Kiss. Perkins knows how to create chemistry between characters and makes it so easy for the reader to fall in love with them. The pairings of Anna and Etienne and Cricket and Lola just seem made for each other.

Trust me when I say that teen chick lit does not get much better than what Stephanie Perkins dishes out. I have read these books countless times already, and every time I have had a huge smile on my face when I finished them. I am super stoked for the final installment in this series, Isla and the Happily Ever After, due out in fall 2012. (Will Isla finally get Josh??? Gahhh! I cannot wait!)

Stephanie Perkins, you own my heart (along with Cricket- there is enough to share). <3

The best quote from the book:
“I know you aren't perfect. But it's a person's imperfections that make them perfect for someone else.”
The Greatest Escape!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tempest Rising (Tempest #1) by Tracy Deebs


Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0802722318
Buy the Book: Amazon
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.
Review:

Tempest Rising tells the story of Tempest, a girl with unparalleled skills on a surfboard and a strong love for the water. But Tempest knows that the pull the sea has on her is not normal, even for surfers. Her mother was a mermaid, and after her seventeenth birthday, she could become one, too. As her birthday approaches, she has a decision to make: to remain on land as a human with her family, boyfriend, and friends, or answer the call of the ocean and become a mermaid. Her mother left her father and brothers behind to return to the water, something that Tempest resents greatly. She does not want to be like her mother; she does not want to abandon her family. Add to the fact that a sea witch would like nothing more than for Tempest to either succumb to her power or die by her hand, Tempest has plenty of reasons for staying human. But when she meets Kona, a fellow sexy surfer, she notices that he is not all that normal himself. Kona shows her the beauty in being a creature of the sea, and the want to become a mermaid is stronger than ever. But will Tempest leave behind all she knows to stay with Kona and the new underwater world she discovered, or will she stay on land with her family, forever longing to be one with the sea?

Ah…mermaids. I cannot remember the last time I read a book about mermaids. I also forgot how much I love stories about them, and boy, oh boy, did I enjoy Tempest Rising.

The story and descriptions are just beautiful. Deebs creates a stunning and picturesque underwater world that really draws the reader in. The storyline was well thought out and developed, and while the plot may seem simple to some, it was actually pretty complex at times. There were some slow moments in the middle, but overall, the book was well-paced. I really enjoyed the plot twists, and with action scenes and some intense emotional moments, it was a great read that was impossible to put down!

I really liked the characters. I connected with Tempest pretty easily and I could not help but feel for her. She had such a wide range of emotions throughout the book, from sheer happiness to despairing to the point of feeling numb inside. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster ride! And now on to Kona (originally called Kai in the book summary and ARCs, but later changed). [sigh] I feel that no matter what book I read, I am always enamored with one (if not more than one) male character. Well, I love Kona. In the beginning, he is super mysterious and unknown (and he grabs my attention), then he becomes sexy and secretive (and then I start to fall in love with him), and then he becomes passionate and even more sexy (and then I am A LOST CAUSE). It happens with some character in every book, guaranteed. I do not even know why I am surprised anymore. But anyway, Kona is an amazing character and even though he is secretive and mysterious, he is a good guy. But the best thing about the whole book (and this is very biased) was…..my name got dropped! YAY! The character Bri may have only been present in the story all of ten pages, but they were an AWESOME ten pages. J

Something that I think deserves its own paragraph was the chemistry between Kona and Tempest. Did you know that Tracy Deebs is actually a pseudonym for romance novelist Tracy Wolff? Trust me when I say that she is the master of sexual tension/chemistry. She owns it like no one’s business. The attraction Tempest feels for Kona is immediate, and usually something like that in the story makes me groan. But Deebs/Wolff is so good that it was not over the top, and I found it pretty believable! And when things got physical….wow (rawr!). WOW. It was just kissing scenes, not even any heavy petting, and I was speechless. The descriptions Deebs/Wolff uses were lyrical and breathtaking (literally) and the emotions were just crazy intense. I ate up every word! ><

The sequel to Tempest Rising is due out June 5, 2012, and it is entitled Tempest Unleashed. I am super excited to get my hands on it! I cannot wait for some more Kona/Tempest action! 
A Great Escape

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it is a weekly event in which readers mention one book they are eager to get their hands on!

For my second WoW post, I have chosen..... [drumroll]

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth


Release Date: May 8, 2012
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):


Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

So this week's choice is another dystopian novel. This dystopian kick of mine continues.... ><

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Steampunk, Historical (Victorian England)
Pages: 502
Available Formats: Hardcover and eBook
My Shelf:  Own (Hardcover)
Buy the Book: Amazon
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends. 
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Review:


I just have to start out by saying that I am completely enamored with Cassandra Clare. The Shadowhunters and the world she created around them just draw me in and leave me wanting more. She is a gifted storyteller and I devour every word. I honestly do not think she could ever disappoint me! (As long as no male characters are killed off, that is. I might be a little enraged then.)

In Clockwork Prince, we are transported back to Victorian England, a time when carriages were the main form of transportation and candles (or witchlights) were the only ways to see in the dark. I love Clare’s use of history and her knowledge of Victorian England. Her descriptions make the reader feel like they are in London themselves, getting a personal tour of Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner with Jem himself. It is so real! Victorian England is not just captured in Clare’s descriptions of London and facets of life, but also in the characters themselves. Tessa’s actions and ways of thinking are those of a true Victorian era woman. There are instances where she speaks out and others when she is too forward, and she is always dwelling on the improperness of it. It is even in the minor details of the story, such as how is it scandalous for a woman to ride in the carriage with a man when they are not married or how Shadowhunter gear is too inappropriate for a woman since it shows feminine curves. The details are breathtaking and spot-on, and coupled with Clare’s amazing prose and dialogue, the story itself becomes so much more beautiful.

Of course, the main focal point of the story is the dynamic relationship between Will, Jem, and Tessa. The three of them are just pure…magic. I do not know how Clare created these brilliant characters, but I am so glad she did. Jem really shines in this book. He is finally able to step out from Will’s shadow, and as I understood more about him, it is impossible not to fall in love him. He is sweet and charming, and it is obvious he cares deeply for both Tessa and Will. In Clockwork Angel, he was always Will’s support and the nice guy that Tessa could always run to for advice or help. But in Clockwork Prince, we get to see more of who Jem really is. He gets angry with Will, embarrassed with Tessa, and there are moments when he says what he really feels. We get to know him in a much deeper way, and my heart went out to him. Tessa, in my opinion, is the perfect female heroine. She is brave, intelligent, and all in all, a strong soul. I love how much she loves books and her frequent use of literary quotes. She is a true kindred spirit, and it is so easy to relate to her. The turbulent emotions and conflicting love she holds for Jem and Will breaks my heart, just as it does hers. And I cannot forget Will! Will’s past and his curse are finally revealed and I got to understand what makes Will….well, Will. The fa├žade he puts on for others finally begins to crack, and the real Will can be seen. His emotions are so raw and intense, and I could not help but feel for him. And of course, Will is not without his sharp tongue and repertoire of retorts!

Now about Tessa and choosing Will or Jem… I am so conflicted! I seriously love them both. Will is a troubled soul who really deserves happiness after all the sadness and pain he has been forced to endure. And Jem is a great guy who also deserves love with the limited time he has left. They are both amazing, and I love them both for different reasons! I can never choose between the two of them! I SERIOUSLY HATE LOVE TRAINGLES. This booked just helped reinforce my hatred. How can I decide, much less Tessa? However, this love triangle is well written and developed, which I think makes it a little more bearable. So many triangles today have the two men facing off in a battle of physical prowess, immediately hating and constantly insulting one another, and any other possible way of claiming the girl as their own. This is blissfully absent in Clockwork Prince, so while I hate the love triangle itself, I love how the relationship between Jem and Will remains intact and just as strong as ever. I, personally, think Tessa should just become Mormon and take them both, but I am not too sure how keen she would be to the idea. But I honestly see no downside to it! She would have two wonderful, gorgeous, funny, caring, [insert any other adjective here] men at her side! Better yet, she should find a way to just give them to me. I will keep a close eye on them. Yes, I will watch them very closely, so have no fear. I have always wanted an English man (but I guess in this case, I get two!).

Why, ‘ello, govna.

But in all seriousness, I am so conflicted. I want to pull for them both and they both deserve to be happy with Tessa, but only one will be the ‘winner.’ I hate the idea that one of them will be hurt and brokenhearted. ><

Something else I really appreciated about this book was how the relationships between characters besides Tessa, Will, and Jem developed. These developments may be a little overshadowed by the main love triangle, but they were amazing all the same. I have a new respect and liking for Henry and I think the blossoming relationship between him and Charlotte is adorable! One of the new characters, Sophie, is a great addition to the story, and her relationship with Gideon is super sweet. The growing affection they have for one another really warms the heart and I will be rooting for them! J And do not even get me started with Magnus. I really thought it was impossible for me to like him more than I already do, but I have been proven wrong. I am glad he ditched Camille and was able to find Alec!!

The story itself has plot twists galore, and with a little action thrown in now and then, it is a rollercoaster ride that makes this book physically impossible to put down. The dialogue is ridiculously witty and I cannot help but laugh out loud sometimes. Clare also is a master at writing dirty, sexy scenes, as is evident with the dirty sexy balcony scene (which was hot)! Clare really is in a league of her own. I cannot even put into words how excited I am to read the conclusion of the series, Clockwork Princess, due out September 2012. Cassandra Clare, with her flare for writing, has created an amazing series and I will eagerly be awaiting the end of it! Go Team Will and Team Jem!!
The Greatest Escape!

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Release Date: October 18, 2011
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Author Information: Website / Blog / Twitter / Facebook
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology, Romance
Available Formats: Paperback, eBook
My Shelf: Own
Other Books in Series: Daimon (#0.5)
Buy the BookAmazon
The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.
Review:

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.

I have seriously not enjoyed a book this much in a long while. Holy crap.

There were two reasons why I bought this book (that was all it took). Usually, I will try reading the first few pages in the store to see if I like the writing style and see if the boos interests me at all. In this case, I did not even crack open the pages before buying. A book dealing with some Greek gods and half-bloods? I am all over it (thank you, Percy Jackson). The cover, in all of its luminescent glory, is breathtaking! I swear, I have bought more books this year for their pretty covers than ever before [sigh]. What kind of person have I become?? ><

To start off with, this book is written really well. I honestly could not put it down! From page 1, this book captured my attention and never let it go. The descriptions are awesome, the dialogue is witty and extremely well done, and the characters are easy to love and relate to. Overall, Armentrout did an EXTRAORDINARY job!

The characters are amazing! Alexandria, otherwise known as Alex, is a girl who takes no crap from anyone and has a plethora of smart aleck remarks that she can pull out of the air on command. In other words, she is my kind of girl. It is so nice to see a female character who does not rely on the men in her life to save her and faces her problems head on (which is oh-so-NOT-common nowadays in YA fiction *coughHalocough*). Sure, it sometimes gets her into trouble, but she manages in the end BY HERSELF. She is no damsel in distress, which is the main reason I like her so much. And then there is her male counterpart, Aiden. Oh, Aiden, how I could go on and on about you (where is my Aiden?!). I LOVE HIM. He is on my list of favorite male characters EVER. I am not even going to try and talk about him because I know I would not be able to stop. Forget being a pure blood, HE’S A FREAKIN’ GOD. And curly hair and silver eyes? That’s hot.

As a side note, can inventors quit trying to make time machines and instead make a device where book characters become real??? I could have Aiden, Jace, Ash, Four/Tobias, Percy, Adrian, Adam, and Bones! What a nice little harem that would make [insert dreamy sigh here].

I am really conflicted about how to rate this book. It is pretty obvious already, but I enjoyed every page of this book. And I think the reason why is because it is essentially Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. Alex is Rose, Aiden is Dimitri, Caleb is Mason, Lea is Mia, Deacon is Adrian, etc. The story/social structure and plot elements were the same as well: a pure blood= Moroi, a half-blood=dhampire, a daimon=Strigoi, and Sentinels=Guardians. In the beginning of the book, Alex returns to the Covenant (just like Rose returns to the Academy), the relationship between Aiden and Alex is forbidden (just like the relationship between Rose and Dimitri is a big no-no),  Alex and Aiden almost ‘go all the way’ (just like Rose and Dimitri almost make it to home base), and the list goes on. If you have read VA, it is impossible not to notice. I loved and adored VA, and since these books are so similar, it is almost impossible for me not to like Half-Blood.

So as far as plot originality is concerned, there are certain parts and elements that are very much original, but the story and plot were a little too similar to Richelle Mead’s VA. But in Armentrout’s defense, there have been plenty of books that have been ripped off of other books and movies and still been a great read. I mean, hello, Hunger Games anyone? The story is a rehashing of Battle Royale (the dystopian version) and plenty of people loved it, just like me. So in terms of originality, the story was a little lacking, but in the end, it was immensely enjoyable. That’s what counts.

I am so excited for the sequel, Pure, due out April 2012. I have the date marked on Google Calendar already! Does that make me pathetic? (Please do not judge me.) It seems like the sequel will split away from the plot line of VA a little and we will see more Armentrout’s own plot twists, which I am super fired up for. I honestly cannot wait! Jennifer L. Armentrout, you have made a fan out of me.
A Great Escape!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Shades of Blood (Warriors of Ankh, #3) by Samantha Young


Release Date: December 12, 2011
Publisher:
CreateSpace (PB), Smashwords (eBook)
Author Information: Blog / Twitter
Genre: Paranormal, Mythology, Dark/Horror, Romance
Available Formats: Paperback, eBook
My Shelf: Own eBook
Other Books in Series: Blood Will Tell (#1), Blood Past (#2)
Other Information: Older Young Adult (16+)
Buy the Book:
Amazon
Eden’s life has taken a turn she would never have imagined. She’s gone from soul eater to warrior, left behind a family she was ashamed of and moved in with one she admires. She has a purpose, a future, and… she has Noah.

Life should be good.

But… the most fervent and powerful soul eaters are determined to take down the Ankh and Eden is the key to the destruction of the warrior race. Moreover, a shadowed enemy is still after Eden, and the mortal Warriors of Neith have chosen the worst time imaginable to start an uprising.

With an enemy in every corner, the problems before her are overwhelming. Then again, Eden hasn’t come this far to let anyone snatch her new life from her…

However, just when Eden thought she’d battled the monster within and won, the warrior who took something precious from her comes back into her life, tempting Eden to take a course of revenge there is no turning back from.

Vengeance is such a bitch…

… So is Eden when the stakes are high.

A YA Paranormal Romance recommended for ages 16 and up.
Review:

I am pretty conflicted right now. One side of me is like, YES! This series was AWESOME, this book was AWESOME, and Samantha Young is AWESOME. And then there is the five year old in me: What? What do you mean it is over? I want moreeee. [sigh] I am never really going to grow up, am I?

Eden has more problems now than ever before. Just when she thinks everything is going smoothly, someone just has to come and ruin it all. Cosmina is breathing down her neck, a small rebellion is rising in the Neith that would like to see Eden dead, and Romany has come back which drives a wedge between Noah and Eden and reminds Eden how much she would like to see Romany dead. Eden also discovers a few things about herself as an Ankh warrior that she is not sure how to deal with. All she wants is to catch a breather and spend some quality time with Noah. Will she ever have peace?

So as I have already mentioned, this book was amazing, and it was the perfect conclusion to the series. I honestly think it is the best book in the series. It is packed with action and raw emotions that just left me wanting more afterwards. The action scenes were intense and the flashbacks to moments between Eden and her brother, Stellan, tugged at my heart. Also, I did not think it was possible, but the chemistry between Noah and Eden got even more intense and the reader can definitely feel the depth of their love for one another. They face some hardships and some enemies from the past, but through these obstacles, they become closer than ever before. Noah and Eden have officially become one of my favorite book couples! Overall, this series was AMAZING and WICKEDLY AWESOME and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. 

Be quiet, inner child! Go and read some other Samantha Young book!
The Greatest Escape!

Upcoming Releases: December 18th- December 24th

Flyaway by Helen Landalf


Release Date: December 19, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):


Fifteen-year-old Stevie Calhoun is used to taking care of herself. But one night, her mom, who works as an exotic dancer in a downtown Seattle nightclub, never comes home.

That’s the night Stevie’s life turns upside down.

It’s the night that kicks off an extraordinary summer: the summer Stevie has to stay with her annoyingly perfect Aunt Mindy; the summer she learns to care for injured and abandoned birds; the summer she gets to know Alan, the meanest guy in high school.

But most of all, it’s the summer she finds out the truth about Mom.
FLYAWAY is the story of a teen girl’s struggle to hold on to what she’s always believed, even as her world spins out of control.

Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 19, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Reid Alexander's life is an open book. His Hollywood celebrity means that everything he does plays out in the public eye. Every relationship, every error in judgment is analyzed by strangers. His latest mistake totaled his car, destroyed a house and landed him in the hospital. Now his PR team is working overtime to salvage his image. One thing is clear—this is one predicament he won’t escape without paying for it.

Dori Cantrell is a genuine humanitarian—the outward opposite of everything Reid is about. When his DUI plea bargain lands him under her community service supervision, she proves unimpressed with his status and indifferent to his proximity, and he soon wants nothing more than to knock her off of her pedestal and prove she's human.

Counting the days until his month of service is over, Dori struggles to ignore his wicked magnetic pull while shocking him with her ability to see past his celebrity and challenging him to see his own wasted potential. But Dori has secrets of her own, safely locked away until one night turns her entire world upside down. Suddenly their only hope for connection and redemption hinges on one choice: whether or not to have faith in each other.
I cannot find where you can buy this book from, so I am sorry! ><



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Persephone has been running for her entire life. Running from the humans to keep her immortality a secret. And running from a man who haunts her dreams. Not a man but a god, who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. And what he wants most, is her.

Trapped in the realm of the dead, Persephone plans to return to the land of the living. The underworld is a terrifying place where ghosts roam freely, three headed dogs patrol the gates, and it’s a living grave where the rules of earth and the warmth of the sun no longer apply. But then, something unexpected happens. Persephone finds herself falling for the god who abducted her, the god who has chased her for five thousand years, a god who is none other than death himself, Hades.

Ripped out of the underworld by Zeus, Persephone must find a pomegranate to return to the realm of the dead and to her beloved. Consuming only a seed of the fruit of the dead would bind Persephone to spend her life beneath the earth’s core with Hades. But Zeus has reduced every pomegranate tree in the world to ash. Except one. Persephone must locate that one remaining pomegranate tree, a quest that could ignite a war between the two mightiest of the god’s. A war that could cause Persephone to lose the only family she’s ever known or give up a love that comes only once every five thousand years.
I cannot find where to buy this book, either! I am so sorry! I am such a fail! ><



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Hannah can't wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget.

But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a bit...off. They can't find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone's been living there, even though it's been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety.

Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life....
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

When her widowed father dumps 16-year-old Katy Jessevar in a boarding school in Whitfield, Massachusetts, she has no idea that fate has just opened the door to both her future and her past. Nearly everyone in Whitfield is a witch, as is Katy herself, although she has struggled all her life to hide her unusual talents. Stuck at a boarding school where her fellow studens seem to despise her, Katy soon discovers that Whitfield is the place where her mother commited suicide under mysterious circumstances when Katy was just a small child. With dark forces converging on Whitfield, it’s up to Katy to unravel her family’s many secrets to save the boy she loves and the town itself from destruction.
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Trey Laporte believed he was the last werewolf. But he’s found his pack, and they’re more dangerous and wild than he'd ever guess. If they are monsters, does that make him one, too?

Back in London, Trey’s vampire guardian, Lucien, is battling his own darkness. Meanwhile, Lucien’s daughter, Alexis, is trying to hold off a Necrotroph that is after her father.

For both male and female readers who like their paranormal served on the dark side, Blood Wolf ramps up characters and action in a series that mustn’t be missed.
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

The Drakes and friends will be tested when an infestation of deadly vampires threatens Violet Hill.

Lucy's cousin Christabel has come to live in Violet Hill, and adjusting to the difference between life in a small mountain town and her home in the city is difficult enough. The strict curfew that Lucy's parents enforce is the worst part. Something really dangerous couldn't possibly happen in this tiny town.

But Christabel has noticed some mysterious happenings, and it seems like Lucy, her boyfriend Nicholas and his brother Connor are all in on a secret that Christabel doesn't understand—one that seems deadly serious. Although she won't admit it, Christabel would love to be in on any secret with Connor Drake. But when she is kidnapped by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, Christabel must cause more and more trouble in Violet Hill, Lucy and Connor finally fill Christabel in on all the undead drama. Together, they must find a way to stamp out the Hel-Blar for good.
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 21, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

A Private prequel that tells the true origins of Billings House!

Interested? Buy it here from Amazon! 






Release Date: December 22, 2011


Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Four girls. One dead body. A whole lot of guilt.

Alice King isn’t expecting the holiday of a lifetime when she sets off with her classmates on a trip to the Scottish wilderness, but she’s not exactly prepared for an experience beyond her darkest nightmares…

Alice and her best friend Cass are stuck in a cabin with Polly, the social outcast, and Rae, the moody emo-girl. Then there’s Tara – queen of mean. Powerful, beautiful and cruel, she likes nothing better than putting people down.

Cass decides it’s time to teach Tara a lesson she’ll never forget. And so begins a series of events that will change the lives of these girls forever...

A compelling story of guilty secrets, troubled friendship and burgeoning love.
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 22, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

The official guide to the #1 international bestselling Vampire Academy series
Sink your teeth into the perfect holiday gift and must-have collector's item for every fan of Richelle Mead's totally addicting Vampire Academy series.

Discover the history of St. Vladimir's Academy, explore the dark psychology behind Rose and Lissa's spirit bond, and find out even more illicit secrets about Moroi society. This ultimate guide will feature everything readers want and need to go even deeper into the world of Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice . . . every heartache, every betrayal, every sacrifice, and so much more!
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!

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