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Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

Photobucket Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Publication Date: September 6th, 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Page Count: 352
Format: Hardcover
Source: Bought
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.
Holy goalie! I haven't read any of Tera Lynn Childs' books yet, but now I want to go read them all! Sweet Venom was absolutely amazing! I had heard good things about it from fellow bloggers so when it came in the mail, I started it right away! I have to say, Sweet Venom greatly exceeded all my expectations, and my expectations were REALLY high!

I was a little worried when I heard it was going to be written from 3 different POVs, but Childs really pulled it off. First we're introduced to Gretchen who is the kick-ass monster killer triplet, next is Grace the sweet soft-spoken triplet, and finally about 2/3 of the way through the book we meet Greer, the stuck up snooty triplet. I absolutely loved Gretchen's powerful attitude and her confident nature, and I loved how she was so into monster hunting. She's basically the complete opposite from Grace who is really quiet and timid, and can barely stand up for herself. It was great to see how Grace changes after meeting Gretchen and learning about her heritage. She really seems to find herself. Gretchen also tends to soften around Grace which is nice. Greer is okay, we don't see much of her in this book so I'm hoping to learn more about her in the next one.

The writing is spectacular, I could always tell which POV I was reading from whether I read the name on the chapters or not. Childs really nailed each character's voice, and each one was different from the other. Their tone, wording, sentence structure, everything was different. I especially really liked Greer's voice, she had this formal rich thought process that demonstrated her personality really well. Her voice was completely different from the others.

There isn't a lot of romance, so if that's a deal breaker then you might not like this one. There are some love interests, but they're not super focused on. I can tell that later in the series that something is going to happen between the couples, but for now there's just some slight attraction. Usually lack of romance can be a deal breaker for me, but I didn't think it really fit in with the story, but there was just enough to keep me interested in what was going to happen next.

Overall I absolutely LOVED this book! I recommend it for anyone who likes books written from multiple perspectives, books about mythology, and books about kick-ass chicks! If you don't already have this one, go pick it up right now!

Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Reward Challenge: Stage 3



The Reward Challenge is almost the complete opposite to a book buying ban as you'll end up buying lots of new books throughout the challenge but only after you've completed a certain amount of reading. You can find the official rules her: Good Golly Miss Holly Reading Challenge

Stage 1 Read ONE Book = Buy ONE Book
Stage 2 Read TWO Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 3 Read THREE Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 4 Read FOUR Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 5 Read FIVE Books = Buy ONE Book
a n d s o o n . . .

Books I Read

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Book I Bought

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I'm so so excited to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin! She's doing an author event in my area in a couple weeks so I plan on reading it by then :) 
Check out my reviews for:

Follow Friday [6]


Q. What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?


Well my bestie and I have been dying for Uglies to be made into a movie. Forever. We have this dream that we'll be cast in it as Shay and Tally. She'll be Tally and I'll be Shay. I'm the meaner one ;) I hear a movie is in the works, but who knows. Obviously, if my dreams couldn't come true, I'd like to see Hailee Steinfeld from True Girt as Tally, but she's the only one I'm dead set on. Otherwise I have a hard time picking, since characters are already so well established in my mind!

What's your answer? Leave a comment with your link so I can check it out :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Review: Fateful by Claudia Gray

Fateful by Claudia Gray
Publication Date: September 13th, 2011
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Page Count: 356
Format: ARC copy
Source: Received through giveaway from Read It, See It
It's about a servant girl named Tess in 1912, who wants to escape from the house where she works, and most particularly the lecherous young lord of the manor. But that's not her biggest problem. While on a voyage to America, where she plans to escape and start a new life, she meets Alec, who's ruggedly handsome, fabulously wealthy, intelligent and yet so clearly troubled that she'd rather not fall for him, but she does. That also is not her biggest problem. Alec, it turns out, is a werewolf ... one cursed to change every night, unless and until he surrenders his independence and joins the Brotherhood, a pack of violently misogynistic werewolves who have been tracking him for months. You'd think that would be their biggest problem, wouldn't you?

But no. Their biggest problem -- though they don't know it yet -- is that they're aboard the RMS Titanic.


So I finished Fateful a couple days ago, but I've been putting of writing a review because I honestly don't know what to say. I LOVED this book. Way more than the Evernight series. I just... I don't even know. I don't think I've come across a book in a really long time that's touched me like this one, and I honestly don't know why. I think it's mostly to do with the romance and the fact that it's set on the Titanic. Coming in to this book, I set myself up for it to be a tragedy, hoping I would find some happiness in it. I did :) But I also found a lot of tears.

I don't cry very often when I read books, it's a genetic defect or something. I bawled like a baby when I read Fateful. And I didn't just have wet eyes. This was major, sobbing, nose running, loud noise crying. My mom eventually came in my room and had to ask if I was okay. It was that bad. But the story was so good.

I absolutely loved Tess. She's so practical and brave, but she spends the novel really finding herself. She's also pretty funny. And Alec is fabulous.. he's just so.. wolfish. He's pretty much the epitome of alpha male. If you've seen some of my future posts you know I love a good alpha ;) Their romance was absolutely remarkable. I honestly didn't know if they were going to work out or not. Not until the last 5 pages or so did I really get my answer. Gray kept me on the edge of my seat up until the very last word.

The setting is also really fabulous, I mean, a werewolf romance on the Titanic?! How awesome?! I have never read anything else set amongst the Titanic, but I loved the movie. And I loved this story's setting. I was so heartbroken for Tess, living as a lowly servant with no fireplace in the winter, working for such a wretched woman. However, the contrast between upper and lower class really stood out. While the Lisle family had money and power, they were all miserable, but Tess enjoyed herself and Alec enjoyed being with the third class passengers much more.

We all know how it should end, so no spoilers there. The Titanic sinks, but who lives and who dies is a real surprise :) I want anyone and everyone to read this book! It's absolutely wonderful! If I ever get the chance to meet Miss Gray in person I will hug her for writing this book! It's absolutely fantastic for laughs, cries, romance, paranormal, everything! Add it to your TBR list :)

Waiting on Wednesday [6]

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
Expected Publication Date: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 304
Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe…if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.
Why I Can't Wait: Seriously this book had me at the cover. I'm a total cover junkie and a good one will have me on my knees begging for the book. No joke. Then I read the synopsis and I thought, "Yup. Need this now." I'm dying for it!! And again, look at that cover!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaser Tuesday [5]


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teaser is from...

The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

"'You want me to love you. You want that more than you want me in bed, or holy ground, or anything else on Earth or even in Heaven. Your father and Phoenix didn't have to have it. Maybe they wanted it, but it wasn't a deal breaker. For you, it's all or nothing.'" (290)


I'm only like, 40 pages in so this was even a teaser for me :)


Monday, September 26, 2011

Musing Mondays [6]

 This week’s musing asks…
What does it take for you to give up on a book you’re reading?
Usually I can't give up on a book. Even if I don't like it, usually I just put it away and pick it up at another time. A book has to be REALLY awful for me to give up on it.

Sometimes if there's just an obscene mount of description and little dialogue, I won't be able to read all of it. I tend skim if that happens. And if that happens a lot then I find it's just not worth my time to keep reading.

Most of the time, however, books are just interesting enough to keep me wanting to know how everything will end, and then I'll just give it a lower rating.

What's your musing? Leave a link in the comment box :)

25 Follower Giveaway Winner!


Sayomay!

The winner of my first giveaway, the 25 follower giveaway, will receive a copy of The Hunger Games, Blood Red Road, and Uglies! Congrats!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In My Mailbox [6]

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren where you can learn about all the awesome new books I've picked up this week!


Okay soo, this week I didn't get that much, but what I got was AWESOME :)

Bought
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I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore (AKA James Fray!!)
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
I got these as a combo pack from www.bookperk.com which you should definitely check out if you haven't already! I am Number Four was free when I bought The Power of Six :)

Received Through Swap via Swap.com
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Another cool website you should check out if you haven't already is www.swap.com I get a lot of stuff there, you just trade with people across the country! Super easy and you can print shipping labels from home and just give them to your mailperson!

Won
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I won this one over at Read It, See It from Megan! Thanks lovely!

That's it for me! Not much this week, but it was awesome anyways :) Leave a link to your IMM in the comments section so I can check out what you got!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

On My Wishlist [4]

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

PhotobucketDear Bully by 70 different authors
Publication Date: September 1st, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 352
You are not alone

Discover how Lauren Kate transformed the feeling of that one mean girl getting under her skin into her first novel, how Lauren Oliver learned to celebrate ambiguity in her classmates and in herself, and how R.L. Stine turned being the “funny guy” into the best defense against the bullies in his class.

Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying—as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators—in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal.
Why I Want This Book: Bullying is such an issue in the world today, especially with the increase in cyber bullying, making adolescence an even harder period in life. I think books like this are necessary to show people who are bullied that they can overcome bullying and even use it to their advantage. It would be especially useful in a classroom.

PhotobucketAnna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Publication Date: August 30th, 2011
Published By: Tor Teen
Page Count: 316
Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.
Why I Want This Book: Okay who doesn't want this book? Seriously if you don't already have it, you've probably go it on your wishlist too. I definitely need this book, like, right now :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: Clarity by Kim Harrington

PhotobucketClarity by Kim Harrington
Publication Date: March 1st, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Page Count: 242
Format: Hardback, Bought
When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift. And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case - but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother - who has supernatural gifts of his own - becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?



I think I first saw this book awhile back on a Goodreads giveaway or something. It sounded interesting enough, so I entered, and of course I didn't get it. But then I found it at Borders during the closeout sale so here we are. At first glance, I'm not big on the cover. It's too digital and fake, the girl isn't that good looking, and it doesn't tell you much about the story. I got past it. I enjoyed this book enough, it was really fast-paced and I read it in less than 24 hours, which is always fun, but it didn't make me think, it didn't make me question anything, it was just sort of a good read.

There are A LOT of characters to keep track of which got sort of hectic at times. There's Clarity, the main character (who is like Ben from the Touch series) she can see what's happened in a person's life by touching their objects. Her brother is Perry, who talks to dead people. Her mom can read minds. Her ex-boyfriend Justin is a skeeze, and I don't know why everyone in the book liked him so much. Her new hottie mchottie interest is Gabriel, seriously Gabriel even SOUNDS hotter than Justin, anyways, he's "bad news" because he's the new detective's son. Then there's Nate, Perry's best friend, and on and on and on. Yeah there are a lot of people to keep track of.

I don't really like when there are so many characters because it makes it really hard to focus on building a really deep set of intricate characters. Instead you end up with a million shallow characters who you don't really get close to. Either way, in 242 pages, how much character building can you really do?

The plot is pretty interesting, a tourist girl is murdered so Justin enlists Clarity (Clare for short) to touch things and help find out what happened to this girl. Oh yeah, Justin is the mayor's son.... Throughout her search plenty of weird things happen, more people die, yadda yadda, nothing we haven't heard of before. The end was a bit of a shocker, but I had sort of guessed who the killer was ahead of time so it wasn't a big "OMG" moment like I would have liked. There are just so many characters you sort of know it's going to be one of them. You can tell I'm really hung up on this too-many-characters thing huh? The ending was also pretty happy, another one of those "YA books have to have optimistic endings" decisions I guess.

Overall, the book was good enough, I enjoyed reading it, but I probably wouldn't read it again. It was quick, fun, intriguing, with the right amount of sexy, and I'd recommend it to anyone who just wants a fun read. Something "fluffy" :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Follow Friday [5]


Q. Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep on revisiting it?

I only have one series I've re-read and that would be Harry Potter. Yeah probably like most people today :) Usually I'll re-read a book if it's going to be a movie, but recently I've been just reading the books after I see the movie :( I'm definitely planning on re-reading The Hunger Games before the movie in March, and I'm probably going to end up re-reading Matched and Uglies at some point. Who knows, I never have time to re-read books :( 

What series do you revisit? Leave a comment with a link to your post :)

Dirty Little Secret [3]



Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under the Covers.
Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets.


"If you could have wings, what would they look like?"

If I had wings, they would probably be like fairy wings. Something simple though, not like those crazy ones. I like the simple, sheer, lady-like wings, that are really delicate and fragile. I think something like this would be adorable.



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

PhotobucketSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Published: October 22nd, 1999
Publisher: Douglas & McIntyre
Page Count: 198
Format: Paperback, Bought (for school)
"Speak up for yourself - we want to know what you have to say." From the first moment of her freshman year at Merryweather High, Melinda knows that this is a big fat lie, part of the nonsense of high school. She is friendless, outcast, because she busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops, so now nobody will talk to her, let alone listen to her. As time passes, she becomes increasingly isolated and practically stops talking altogether. Only her art class offers any solace, and it is through her work on an art project that she is finally able to face what really happened at that terrible party: she was raped by an upperclassman, a guy who still attends Merryweather and is still a threat to her. Her healing process has just begun when she has another violent encounter with him. But this time Melinda fights back, refuses to be silent, and thereby achieves a measure of vindication. In this powerful novel, an utterly believeable heroine with a bitterly ironic voice delivers a blow to the hypocritical world of high school. She speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while demonstrating the importance of speaking up for oneself.
First off, I have to thank my wonderful Young Adult Lit professor, Dr. Warner, for finally getting me to read such a powerful book. Speak has been sitting on my shelf for some time now, and although I've been meaning to read it, I've just put it off for other, newer things. I just finished it, literally about 5 minutes ago, and I can't stop smiling. This is an incredibly dark, depressing, hilarious, ironic, heart-pounding book and I enjoyed every page. Melinda was raped at a party, she called the cops, but she never spoke up. Now everyone hates her, and she's completely friendless. She's withdrawn into herself, her parents think she's a delinquent, her teachers think she's stupid, but no one stops to ask "what happened?" 

I have to admit, this book makes me think twice about that weird kid in high school who no one really talked to. It makes me want to reach out to those that are considered outcasts. It makes me want to hug someone, who just looks like they need a hug. Melinda is so troubled, but so hilarious. She pokes fun at her teachers, calling her English teacher "Hairwoman" and her social studies teacher "The Neck" and she names a foreign exchange student "Greta-Ingrid". Melinda had me laughing continuously, you never really realize how much she's hurting until she sees Andy Evans, or as she calls him "IT". IT ruined her life. IT took away her friends. IT stole her innocence. IT won't leave her alone. I absolutely HATED IT. I wanted to jump into the book and slap him in the face. He's a conceited jerk who plays girls and thinks he's God's gift to mankind. I hated him. And I loved how much I hated him.

The language is superb. It's almost like Anderson jumped inside the mind of a teenager and took a digital recording of every thought and saying. You can tell she understands the way a teenager thinks. It's always really important to me, when I read a YA novel, that the author captures the authenticity of their subject. And that authenticity is spot on. The cruelty towards Melinda from her former friends and other classmates is so accurate I could cry. I did cry. I remember being bullied, and this brought back those memories. I wanted to hug Melinda. 

Overall this book was absolutely breath-taking. It's an incredibly accurate portrayal of a teenager girl who's lost her way, who's been traumatized, who doesn't know what to do or what to say. It's a wonderful example of overcoming fears, hardships, and trauma. While Melinda struggles to hold herself together, she finally finds her voice, and herself. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who's been bullied, suffered a hardship, or just been through high school. See a situation from someone else's perspective, and teach yourself how to ask someone, "Are you okay?" Read this. Right now.

(Amazon / Barnes and Noble)

Waiting on Wednesday [5]

****"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.****


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Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Expected Publication Date: May 28th, 2012
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 288
One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
Why I Can't Wait: Have you read Divergent? If you haven't, go out and buy it. Right now. Here's the link: Amazon or Barnes and Noble. Okay there's the links. Now try to tell me this series isn't amazing. It's my new Hunger Games. I need this book NOW.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Reward Challenge: Stage 2



The Reward Challenge is almost the complete opposite to a book buying ban as you'll end up buying lots of new books throughout the challenge but only after you've completed a certain amount of reading. You can find the official rules her: Good Golly Miss Holly Reading Challenge

Stage 1 Read ONE Book = Buy ONE Book
Stage 2 Read TWO Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 3 Read THREE Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 4 Read FOUR Books = Buy ONE Book
Stage 5 Read FIVE Books = Buy ONE Book
a n d s o o n . . .

What I Read:
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What I Bought:
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I'm definitely excited to get Sweet Venom in the mail :) Check out my reviews for:

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Disclaimer

According to FTC guidelines I must point out that all of the books that I review on my blog were either purchased by me or were given to me by the author/publisher. All words and opinions expressed are my own and I do not receive any monetary goods for writing reviews. I will state in my review which books I have received for review and which books I have purchased/borrowed. All images and synopsis are taken from Goodreads.com unless otherwise stated.
 
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