Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mini Vacation

Hey everyone!

So you may haven noticed my absence lately and I want to apologize for the lack of, well anything, on the blog. I have been crazy busy lately with school and I haven't even had to read a book. Not one book!!!!

Unfortunately I'm going to have to take a break for a few weeks just so I can get my life organized. On top of school work I also have to make a huge decision on where I will be attending school next year and I literally have never been so stressed in my life.

And as much as I would love to spurt out the occasional review during this period I would much rather come back strong, because I think that's more fair for you all.

So let this be a see you later, not a goodbye!

Happy reading!

-M

Friday, January 28, 2011

Angel

AngelAngel
by L.A. Weatherly

# of Pages: 506
Age range: 14+
Rating: 4/5
From: Purchased.

Willow knows she's different from other girls. And not just because she loves tinkering around with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into people's futures, know their dreams, their hopes and their regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where she gets this power from - But Alex does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows Willow's secret and is on a mission to stop her. The dark forces within Willow make her dangerous - and irresistible. In spite of himself, Alex finds he is falling in love with his sworn enemy.

I was fortunate enough to stumble upon this book when I was in London over Christmas break. After convincing my family to stop in the famous bookstore, Foils, I headed over to the teen section and just looked at the different covers for at least ten minutes. Then I actually looked at books I wanted to buy. Unfortunately, the dollar to pound ratio is about $1.60 to ever 1 pound so anything you buy in England will almost cost you twice as much as it would at home. So basically I decided to only buy a book that I couldn't get back in the states.
You may be able to get this novel in the states now, but I hadn't seen it around so I picked up a copy. It didn't hurt that it was a signed first edition too...

Angel starts out with Alex, an Angel hunter who is on his most recent mission. After a successful kill he receives a text with the address of his next target, and is surprised to find it to be a young teenage girl. Willow, meanwhile, has just read the future of one of the most popular girls in her class, Beth, and it is looking very grim. Willow is disturbed to find out that Beth, an ivy league shoe-in has decided to give her future to the church of angels, a growing religion that is more like a cult.

When Willow learns too much about the truth of the angels, a death warrant is put over her head, and she must put all of her trust into Alex, a young adult she barely knows. Smart, and resourceful Willow does not hesitate to follow Alex's every call even when it seems he can't stand her. Not letting her emotions get in the way of the safety of her life Willow embarks on a journey with Alex that will play a huge part in the eventual saving of humankind.

Romance, friendship, action, and a long road trip make up Angel, a fast paced but sweet story of Willow and Alex and their dedication to human-kind. I actually really enjoyed this story, I love the spin L.A. Weatherly put on this novel and cannot wait to read the next installment. The best part about this book was that here wasn't a happy ending, I mean in a sense there was, but really the ending made the story more realistic instead of "wohoo the bad ass boy and the sweet girl save the day and end the book kissing!" It was more like the bad ass boy realizes what he has, decides to help the girl, and then they plan for their future together, like a real couple. Loved it!

Theo only reason I am giving this book 4 stars instead of 5 is because Willow bothered me a little bit. She was so awkward a lot of the time and seriously said "um" almost every sentence. Also Alex and Willow's relationship, sweet as it may be, was a tad bit unrealistic. Falling in deep love with each other in 2 weeks? Yes the circumstances allowed for close contact 24/7, giving ample time to get to know each other, but really? End all love at 17? A bit too twilighty if you ask me...

No matter, this book was still a great read and I highly recommend it!

IF you liked this novel be sure to check out:

Angel Star
The Pace
Paranormalcy
The Iron King (Harlequin Teen)
Unearthly (Unearthly - Trilogy)
Firelight

Visit L.A. Weatherly here

-M.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Interview with Sara Dailey and Staci Weber

          Meet debut authors Sara Dailey and Staci Weber. English teachers, wives, mom's, and friends, Sinful was a long process in the making. But now they can add authors to their list!


*Heads up, blogger is being screwy and won't let me put up pictures and made the interview format all weird :(*



1.     What have you learned through your writing experience with this novel?
The biggest thing that we learned writing SINFUL is that we could actually do it.  At first, we had no idea what we were doing or how it would work writing together, but it worked.  Thankfully, we really do work well together, so everything just kind of fell into place.    
2.     When did you start writing this book?
We started writing SINFUL in 2007.  It took us a solid year to write the book, another year to find it a home at Mundania Press, and another 18 months before we could hold it in our hands.  It was quite a wait, but it was well worth it to see our first book in print.
3.     Which of your characters do you most relate to and why?
That would have to be Elizabeth.  She is a tough girl who says what she thinks and holds nothing back.  We really tried to make her the hero in the story.  That being said, we both liked writing Daniel’s character the most.  He was just fun!
4.     If you could go to any place in the world to write a book where would you go?
ITALY!!  How fabulous would that be!  We could sit at some little cafĂ© and drink yummy coffee.  Although, to be honest, I don’t think we would get much writing done.  We are both avid people watchers and what better place to watch.
5.     If you had to spend a million dollars in one day what would you spend it on?
Let me start by saying that we are both wives, mothers, teachers and writers, so this answer will probably sound a tad boring.  We would probably pay bills, buy new cars, new houses, and probably invest a lot of it so that we could write full-time. 
6.     Where did you get the idea for your book?
A few years ago, we were both reading YA novels like mad and joked about writing one of our own.  As middle school English teachers we thought, “How hard can it be, right?”  Ha!  Well, Staci had a crazy dream that she thought would make a great book, and it didn’t take much convincing to get Sara onboard.  Before we knew it, we were plotting out our novel.
7.     What was the hardest part of the writing process?
The EDITING!!!  Once we got started the story kind of wrote itself, but the editing was a real chore.  And once you think you’re done, you have to do it again and again.  We both read through SINFUL at least a dozen times.  I can’t imagine what it’s like for the authors who write 500+ page novels.  For two English teachers, we make a lot of typos, spelling, and tense errors.     
8.     PC or MAC?
Both actually.  We both have small PC net books that we do most of our writing on, but Staci has a Mac desktop that she edits on.

-M.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sinful

SinfulSinful
by Sara Dailey and Staci Weber

# of Pages: 230 
Age range: 13/14+
From: Traveling to Teens
Rating: 3.5/5


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. 

Sinful starts out with main character Elizabeth flying to Texas to live with her father after the death of her mother. Resentful towards her father for leaving her and still in mourning over her mother, Elizabeth finds extreme comfort in an invisible warmth that knows just how to to take the pain away. Soon Elizabeth realizes that her comfort is actually Michael, an angel who has fallen in love with her, and she with him. Their inevitable romance quickly follows and as does the battle of good vs. evil that will test everything Elizabeth has known about love and life.

I will admit I really did like Elizabeth's character, the authors definitely did a good job creating a teen like character and I thought her attitude was amusing throughout the book. However, I kind of hated how quickly she and Michael fell in love. It was literally love at first sight and I didn't really feel like her relationship with him had time to develop. The same could be said for Elizabeth and her father, she came in to his house with built up resentment but it seemed like in a matter of days she was over it and he was just your typical dad. I think it would have been nice if her family relationships were deepened some.

Still, the book was certainly and entertaining read. The plot was a page turner and I enjoyed the ending that kept you hanging on to the last page. Although some parts were a bit choppy, overall I think Sinful is a very good debut paranormal novel and I would recommend checking it out. Both authors have shown  to be good writers and I fully expect their next book will be even better.

If you liked Sinful be sure to check out:

Unearthly (Unearthly - Trilogy)
Fallen Angel
Torment (Fallen)
Heavenly (Volume 1)
Personal Demons

Visit the authors here

-M.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last Sacrifice

Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy, Book 6)Last Sacrifice 
by Richelle Mead

# of Pages: 594
Age range: 14+
Rating: 5/5

READ SYNOPSIS WITH CATION. CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NOT GOTTEN THIS FAR IN THE SERIES.


Rose Hathaway has always played by her own rules. 

She broke the law when she ran away from St. Vladimir’s Academy with her best friend and last surviving Dragomir Princess, Lissa. She broke the law when she fell in love with her gorgeous, off-limits instructor, Dimitri. And she dared to defy Queen Tatiana, leader of the Moroi world, risking her life and reputation to protect generations of dhampir guardian to come. 

Now the law has finally caught up with Rose- for a crime she didn’t even commit. She’s in prison for the highest offense imaginable: the assassination of a monarch. She’ll need help from both Dimitri and Adrian to find the one living person who can stall her execution and force the Moroi elite to acknowledge a shocking new candidate for the royal throne: Vasilisa Dragomir. 

But the clock on Rose’s life is running out. Rose knows in her heart the world of the dead wants her back… and this time she is truly out of second chances. The big question is, when your life is about saving others, who will save you?(


Last Sacrifice. The book we have all been waiting for. I must admit, though I had to restrain myself from reading it the moment I opened the book as one of my presents on Christmas morning, I almost wanted to wait to read this final novel as it would be the last in one of my all time favorite series. That being said however, I read this book in one day and loved every page of it.

Last Sacrifice starts out pretty much right where Spirit Bound leaves off. I won't say what's happening for those of you who have not read the series until this point but let's just say Rose is in a dire situation. As expected however, her friends get her out of the jam but leave Rose with even fewer options then when she was in trouble in the first place. Suddenly, Dimitri (highlight if you have read up until this point) is her body guard and Rose is having a hard time letting go of her feelings for him despite the promise she made to Adrian. So, like typical Rose, she makes a break for it and ends up on the journey of a life time, as she doesn't know if it will be her last. Relationships are put to the test, hearts are broken, and fates are changed in ways I never saw coming. And with a shocking ending, Last Sacrifice will surely leave readers with a lot of different emotions to sort through.

Overall, Last Sacrifice was purely amazing! Probably my favorite in the series. So much was put at stake and I was honestly surprised at how Rose handled it, her character has grown so much! I have to give props to Richelle Mead for being such an excellent writer, she created such an amazing storyline that will surely win her new readers for years to come. I absolutely cannot wait to see what she comes out with next. Lucky for us, she will be starting a new young adult spin-off series titled Bloodlines that will follow some more minor characters in the Vampire Academy series. So for those of you who can't say goodbye, be sure to check this one out.

As for Rose and the rest of the gang, despite my reluctance to let them go, I will admit this was a pretty damn good ending to the series. There are a few ties left loose Adrain, Jill, Sydney???  (highlight to view if you have read up to this point in the series) but I have a feeling they will be played with in Bloodlines, so no worries!

For those of you who loved this series as much as I did, be sure to take a look at the following:

Blue Bloods (Blue Bloods, Book 1)
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones; City of Ashes; City of Glass
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, Book 1)
The Summoning (Darkest Powers, Book 1)
Wake (Wake Series, Book 1)
Wicked Lovely 
Evernight (Evernight, Book 1)

Visit Richelle Mead here

-M.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Drought

DroughtDrought
by Pam Bachorz

# of Pages: 400
Age range: 14+
Rating: 4/5
From: Publisher
Release Date: Jan 25th

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.


Look at that cover, is it not fabulous or what? From the second I saw this book I was drawn to it, so props to the cover designer! Cover or not, this book is fascination. With an original plot that begs for attention and impressive writing I'm sure Drought will catch the eyes of many YA readers.

The book started off with main character, Ruby, working in the Forest with her mother, collecting water. I was a little confused as to what exactly was going on but within the next few chapters most questions get cleared up. Over 200 years old, Ruby and her community has lived under the brutal control of Darwin West, their slave master, waiting for their savior "Otto" to come and bring them to freedom. I will admit, the cult-like society Ruby lived in was a little weird and annoying at times but it helped develop the plot. With blood that heals, Ruby must provide for the society, and has never questioned her role, until she meets Ford.

Ford is a guard, but he is different from the many that watch and torment Ruby and her friends. He wants to help. And despite her better judgement Ruby starts a rocky relationship with him, one that will change her and the society forever. Done with being a prisoner and waiting for "Otto" to save them, Ruby begins to take action, but not without consequences that will have a huge impact on herself and her role among her people.

This wasn't a quick read, or heart-warming, but it grabbed my attention and evoked emotion from me that I was surprised to find. Instead of watching the characters like a movie and seeing how it played out, I was rooting for them, and I got mad at them. I wanted Ruby to do things she didn't, and I wanted her to takes a stand. I actually cared about what happened to the characters, which means the author did something right as I usually don't feel this involved.

Many may find this book strange due to the "cultness" and the evil that is present throughout, but I think many readers will be intrigued by this unique plot as I was.

Either way I definitely think it is worth a try, so be sure to check this book out, and if you like it, check out the following books as well:

Running Out of Time
The Chosen One: A Novel
Candor
Birthmarked
The Line
The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Vidsit  Pam Bachorz here

-M.