Sunday, December 26, 2010

Out For Blood

Out for Blood
by Alyxandra Harvey

# of Pages: 304
Age range: 13+
From: Publisher
Rating: 4.5/5

Hunter Wild is the youngest in a long line of elite vampire hunters, a legacy that is both a blessing and a curse at the secret Helios-Ra Academy, where she excels at just about everything. Thanks to her friendship with Kieran Black, Hunter receives a special invitation to attend the coronation of Helena Drake, and for the first time, she sees the difference between vampires that must be hunted and vampires that can become friends-or even more. When students at the academy fall victim to a mysterious illness, Hunter suspects they are under attack from within. She will need someone she can trust to help her save the future of Helios-Ra . . . help that shockingly comes in the form of Quinn Drake, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire. Who said senior year would be easy?

After reading Alexandra Harvey's first novel, Heart's at Stake, I was eager to read her following books having really enjoyed the first one. Heart's at Stake introduced us to the powerful Drake family and their devastatingly handsome children. Out for Blood, though written with different main characters, still contains the same witty bantering, romance, and addictiveness as the first novel.

Out for blood focuses on Quinn, a Drake brother known for his many female conquests, and Hunter Wild, a senior at the Helios-Ra academy who comes from an esteemed family in the Helios-Ra world, one which would be horrified to learn of her recent meeting's with the Drake family. Written in both Hunter and Quinn's point of view, both characters learn to open their minds about their different races, and to work together to get at a common goal despite their differences. And well you know, maybe share a kiss or two along the way.

I actually really enjoyed this novel. It reminded me a little bit of Vampire Academy mixed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I loved both series so a combo of the two is always good in my book! The writing was good for the story, light but fun, and the plot was filled with romance, action, and lovable characters.

Definitely check this series out!

If you liked this book be sure to check out:

The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
Firelight by Sophie Jordan
Need by Carrie Jones
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Visit Alyxandra Harvey here

-M.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Story - feel fee to do your own

So tomorrow is Christmas Eve! And for those of you who celebrate Christmas this is a big day of preparation, traveling, last minute wrapping, the works! All in all, it's still a pretty great day and I wanted to share a little bit about my Christmas experience with you all, and maybe you'll want to share your own.

Every Christmas Eve my family drives over to my grandparents house for a traditional Christmas dinner, this includes the big meal, lots of family, and presents! It's a great way to get the old fashioned Christmas feeling without having to actually do it on Christmas day. When we open presents it starts off slow but then after a minute or two everyone is just grabbing presents at random and opening them, it's chaotic but fun.

When we get home it's a different story. Gone is the real tree, instead we have a 13 ft fake one.


Years ago we had a real one but it fell on my Dad one day when he was watching TV so ever since we have had this fake one. I actually prefer the fake one because there is no mess and you can bend the branches to hold any ornament you would like.

Sadly we have no fun lights because my Mom has a specific theme of red and gold. 

Then we have our fireplace, which is also fake. My family likes to keep things simple, so we have a "light switch" for our fireplace and when you turn it on it comes to life, so to speak. It's real fire, but it's from gas, the wood inside is fake.

When I was younger my parents explained to me how Santa had "magic powers" so he could get through the glass that protected the fire. Those were the days. 


The stone wall goes up all the way to the ceiling, and we also have a giant wreath but that was cut off. Oh yeah, the wreath and poinsettias are fake too. Big surprise.

So on Christmas day we all come downstairs and sit by the fireplace opening presents and after we have a big breakfasts of donuts, the only time we are allowed to eat them during the year, and usually some egg casserole thing my mom makes.

As for the rest of the day, we chill in our PJ's and order Chinese food for dinner. My mom comes from a more traditional family so the whole "Chinese food for Christmas" thing kind of kills her so this year she is making us eat in the dining room. My uncle is coming over too so she wants him to think that we have a "semi-respectable" Christmas meal. He's my dad's brother which means he really doesn't care one way or the other. Anyways this is how she decorated:


If you can see, it's "Asian" themed. My dad brought home all of these Asian dinner sets from China one year so my Mom likes to use it whenever she can.

Check out this wine bottle cover:


Finally, our advent calendar. Both my mom and I hate chocolate - I know, crazy! - so we never had one of those pop-open calendar's with the chocolate inside. Instead we have this little thing that we hang from our pantry door.


For the first week we took off an ornament every day before realizing you are supposed to put them on the tree, it was very sad.

So as you can see, only one more day to go until we can put the star on!

This year I'm asking "Santa" for Books, pearl earrings (I lost mine :( ) Brown lace up boots, makeup, and a Tiffany key necklace although I seriously doubt that will happen, but, you never know!


-M.

If I stay

If I Stay
If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

# of pages: 272
Age range: 14+
Rating: 4/5
From: Gift.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.I got this book as a present from a family friend, and I had seen it a lot (at TJ Max of all places) recently so I thought I would give it a try.

If I stay focuses on the life of Mia, a cello protege, and her life with the best parents she could ask for, a brother she adores, and a super hot up-and-coming-rock star boyfriend. But, like every pretty picture, her life is not perfect, yet after a devastating accident Mia would give up anything to have it back again. Looking from the outside in, Mia must decide whether she wishes to stay in this world or leave it during her time in the hospital. Told in both present time and series of flashbacks, Mia's journey is both heart-breaking and heart-warming, and certainly one that will be imprinted in your mind long after you have finished the book.

I must admit I really did enjoy this novel. Mia's character was well defined, and I liked how the author was able to create this music based world, so to speak, that you really felt a part of without ever being in it. When and author is able to do that you know the book is good. However, I wasn't a fan of the ending so much. I felt like it just sort of, well, ended. I didn't get a good sense of closure and I didn't think I knew all of the characters well enough to say good-bye to them just yet.

Luckily, there is a sequel. Which, I will be picking up when it is released.

If you like this book be sure to check out:

Before I Fall
Thirteen Reasons Why
Hate List
Rosebush
North of Beautiful

Visit Gayle Forman here

-M.

Monday, December 20, 2010

City of Fallen Angels

City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments)

AHHH! The cover has finally been released for CoFA!

SO EXCITED!

Check out this exclusive excerpt below:

Simon glanced toward the window. It was a brisk night, and the wind was blowing leaves across Second Avenue like handfuls of thrown confetti. There was a girl walking down the street, a girl in a tight belted trench coat, with long black hair that flew in the wind. People turned to watch her as she walked past. Simon had looked at girls like that before in the past, idly wondering where they were going, who they were meeting. Not guys like him, he knew that much.

Except this one was. The bell on the diner’s front door rang as the door opened, and Isabelle Lightwood came in. She smiled when she saw Simon, and came toward him, shrugging off her coat and drap- ing it over the back of the chair before she sat down. Under the coat she was wearing one of what Clary called her “typical Isabelle out- fits”: a tight short velvet dress, fishnet stockings, and boots. There was a knife stuck into the top of her left boot that Simon knew only he could see; still, everyone in the diner was watching as she sat down, flinging her hair back. Whatever she was wearing, Isabelle drew attention like a fireworks display.

Beautiful Isabelle Lightwood. When Simon had met her, he’d as- sumed she’d have no time for a guy like him. He’d turned out to be mostly right. Isabelle liked boys her parents disapproved of, and in her universe that meant Downworlders—faeries, werewolves, and vamps. That they’d been dating regularly for the past month or two amazed him, even if their relationship was limited mostly to infre- quent meetings like this one. And even if he couldn’t help but wonder, if he’d never been changed into a vampire, if his whole life hadn’t been altered in that moment, would they be dating at all?

I seriously cannot wait to read this now!

Thanks EW.com for the excerpt!

Also check out teasers released from Cassandra Clare HERE and be sure to check out the paperback copy of City of Glass for an exclusive chapter from CoFA!

-M.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

IMMB


Hey everyone!

So it's IMMB again! I recieved 3 books for review this week and cannot wait to read them!

Thank you Kirsti of The Story Siren for hosting this weekly meme.


Drought Drought


Ruby dreams of escaping the Congregation. Escape from slaver Darwin West and his cruel Overseers. Escape from struggling to gather the life-prolonging Water that keeps the Congregants alive--and Darwin rich. Escape from her certain, dreary existence, living as if it's still the early 1800s, when the Congregation was first enslaved. But if Ruby leaves, the Congregation will die without the secret ingredient to the Water: her blood. So she stays, and prays to their savior Otto, who first gave Water to the Congregants... and fathered Ruby before he vanished.



When the Congregants discover Ruby's forbidden romance with an Overseer, they beat Ford to stop her from running away with him. Ruby steals their store of Water to save Ford's life and is banished. Ruby has everything she's dreamed of: a modern life with Ford. But the modern world isn't what she thought it would be, and Ruby can't forsake the Congregation. Love and loyalty push Ruby to return and fight for her family's freedom...at a terrible price.


The False PrincessThe False Princess


Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.


Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.

SinfulSinful

After the death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Carrington is starting over. In a new city, at a new school, and with a dad she hardly knows, it isn't going to be easy. Trying desperately to find her way and cope with her unceasing grief, she finds herself surrounded by a force so compelling, so comforting, so captivating that she can't deny its presence and soon fears that if it were to leave her, she might lose her very self. But is it all really happening or has her wavering sanity finally found its breaking point? Michael's role in this world has been the same for centuries, but now something is different. He is inexplicably drawn to an intriguing stranger so alluring that he can't force himself to resist her. Is he willing to risk everything to be with her, even falling? A dark force, hell bent on destroying any chance of happiness for his arch nemesis Michael, is lurking in League City, TX, and there is no limit to his need for vengeance. How far will he go to seek revenge for his sworn enemy's betrayal? Caught in a clash of good versus evil, Elizabeth soon finds herself in the crosshairs of a battle that has been brewing since long before she was even born.


What did you get this week?

-M.





Friday, December 17, 2010

Win Entice!

Entice (Need)

Win Entice and this super cool double sided bookmark!


Open to US only!

CLOSES DEC 31st


-M.

Entice

Entice (Need)Entice 
by Carrie Jones

# of Pages: 272
Age Range: 13+
From: Publisher
Rating: 3.7

Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out. For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla? And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't turned into just any pixie. . . She's Astley's queen 


I was so excited to receive this book for review from Bloomsbury after being a huge fan of Need and Captivate! I loved the original plot line of Pixi's, Were's and Fae that intertwined throughout the novels. However, Entice just didn't "entice" me as much as Need and Captivate did. That being said, Need fans will still love the action packed pages that fill this book.

Entice picks off from where Captivate ended, with Zara still getting used to her new Pixi self. Wasting no time at all, Zara immediately begins her quest to save Nick and must deal with the losses and consequences that come from her decision. Astley too must deal with some personal problems and also try to win Zara's heart while simultaneously helping her find her boyfriend, Nick. As Zara attempts to save Nick she gets closet with Astley, and more so than ever questions her heart, humanity, and the choices she has made.

By the end of the book I am proud to say I am officially on team Astley! Something about the blonde Pixi king hit the right note with me and I would be more than happy if he and Zara were to get together. I also enjoyed seeing how strong Zara's friendship were despite her change, and also how she adapted to her new self.

Unfortunately though, I just didn't feel like the characters were as deep, and Zara's quick choices started to annoy me after awhile. Alas, I am still a fan of this series and will definitely pick up the next book, I just think I expected more than was delivered. Don't let this sway you, however. If you are looking for a fun. action packed sequel to Captivate, then you will more than pleased with Entice!

If you liked Entice be sure to check out:

Tempestuous (Wondrous Strange)
Evermore: The Immortals
Glimmerglass (Faeriewalker, Book 1)
The Iron Daughter (Harlequin Teen)
Hex Hall (Book 1)

Visit Carrie Jones here

Visit other cool pages:

  • http://www.facebook.com/BloomsburyTeens
  • http://www.facebook.com/NeedPixies

-M.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rosebush

RosebushRosebush
by Michelle Jaffe

Pages: 304
Age Range: 14+
Rating: 5/5
From: BEA

Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.
Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Janeƕs boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.


I was lucky enough to snag the last copy of this at BEA but tucked it in my bookshelf without much thought when I got home. Yet somehow this book caught my eye last night and I decided to pick it up. It sounded like an great read and I wanted something a little bit different from my usual go to books. I was not disappointed, not in the slightest.


From the very first page I knew the writing was going to be good in this book, it was very descriptive yet to the point, and I liked the authors perspective. As for the story, readers first meet Jane as a some-what quiet girl who is forever thankful of her place among the two most popular girls at school and her super hot senior boyfriend. But Jane is all to aware of how easy it is for the perfect things in her life to come crumbling down, and when she wakes up in the hospital with no memory of the night before she knows that is exactly what has happened. For the duration of the story Jane slowly figures out who her attacker is through series of flashbacks and revelations that not only lead her to the truth but also lead her to the recovery from the secrets of her past.


I couldn't seem to put this book down, I just had to know how it ended and I almost contemplated skipping to the end to find out, but I somehow managed to restrain myself. So instead I stayed up until two on a school night, reading, until I reached the very last page and closed the book with a satisfied smile. I've got to say I was surprised, Michelle Jaffe did an excellent job at throwing curve ball after curve ball so that you were always on your toes, guessing. Not only that but I loved the character and relationship developments that transpired through the story. The plot itself was also fantastic, it was extremely well thought out and complex, which I love and admire because I can only imagine how much effort must be put into creating something so dynamic. 


So 5 stars for Rosebush, I am a huge fan! I will definitely have to check out more of Jaffe's work in the future. In the meantime, if you liked this book then be sure to check out:


The Lying Game
Deadly Little Games: A Touch Novel
The Body Finder
Before I Fall
If I Stay


Visit Michelle Jaffe here 

-M.





Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday



In life, nothing is the same as it seems. People create masks –identities – to hide who they really are –some for noble reasons, or nefarious ones, but only a tiny fraction because they must. 
Alessandra and Damien, or Rosalie and Daniel, were once the Princess and Prince of La Pacifica until they were forced out of the beautiful island. Eight months flew by, and they finally began to settle in Alexandria, Egypt, when they found out that they didn’t leave their past behind them, and that they were both wanted urgently. Dead.


Thoughts?


Well, I am certainly interested in this one but not captivated. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the cover, it kind of reminds me of the Lovely Bones movie poster for some reason. The plot sounds good but a little confusing, and I can't tell if this is Young Adult or MG? Romance, or family? Hard to tell, so I guess we shall see.


This book comes out in January so there isn't a terribly long wait, and it is being published by  Alexandria Library for Publishing & Dist which I have never heard of before...hmmmm


-M.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Matched

MatchedMatched
by Ally Condie

Pages: 369
Age Range: 14+
Rating: 5/5
From: BEA

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.



I almost had a heart attack when I saw the pile for these at BEA, all I saw were bright shiny covers disappearing by the second. So I made a dash for it and proceeded to drop all my bags and dive for a copy while I could still grab it - I was that excited! I had heard about Matched over the winter and I really, really wanted a copy. So when I finally read it back in August, I was not disappointed, not in the slightest.


Matched starts off with main character Cassia being matched to her best friend Xander, except it doesn't go as smoothly as planned. When she gets home she goes to learn more about her match and she see's a completely different face, someone's she never expected to see. Confused, and slightly intrigued, Cassia tries to ignore the image she saw but she can't help thinking about him, the other boy. So when Cassia is put in a class with her almost-match, she can't deny the attraction she has to him. Suddenly all she's ever known about her world is changing, and not for the better.


This dystopian novel is similar to The Hunger Games in the "bring down the government" type theme. But do not categorize these two books as one, since Matched is much more romantically focused where as The Hunger Games is not. What I really like about Matched besides the romance and characters, is the original ideas. The things about Dystopians that is unique to fantasy novels is the small details that make the world so unique. When writing one of these stories the authors have to take every single detail about our day to day lives and recreate it to fit into their own world. I can seriously respect the thought that is put into such ideas.


Matched ended with a cliffhanger as most series do and I cannot deny that I am dying to read the sequel, Crossed. I want more of Cassia and her world, and I cannot wait to see what Ally Condie does in the future. I have only read three of the Penguin 5 but this one is definitely my favorite.


IF you liked Matched be sure to check out:


The Replacement
Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy)
Graceling
Delirium
Incarceron (Incarceron, Book 1)
The Water Wars


Visit Ally Condie HERE


-M.