Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Playing Hurt

Playing Hurt 
Holly Schindler
Release Date: March 8, 2011
Publisher: Flux
Rating: 4.5/5

Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration back home. Then she took a horrible fall during senior year. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

That summer, Chelsea's dad hires Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player and "boot camp" trainer, to work with her at a northern Minnesota lake resort. As they grow close, Chelsea finds that Clint's haunted by his own tragedy. Will their romance end up hurting them all over again—or finally heal their heartbreak?

I've heard such amazing things about Holly's writing. I've been wanting to read her first one since it came out last year (though I haven't gotten around to it yet). Playing Hurt was just as good as I expected, if not better. Once I started, I couldn't put it down.

I loved both Chelsea's and Clint's characters. I also loved the different POVs. They were both haunted by their own demons, trying to get over the past. They were attracted to each other from the very beginning, though not in a "love at first sight" kind of thing, which I appreciated. Their relationship was somewhat just physical at first, but then grew into something more. They helped each other in more ways than one.

Holly Schindler writes so fabulously. It was so pure. My only complaint (though a very small one) would be that the two POVs were to similar. By that I mean that if I didn't already know whose POV it was, I wouldn't be able to tell. This wasn't a big deal; I didn't mind. But Holly's writing was beautiful, and not like I've read in a while.

Playing Hurt was so wonderful. All I can say is that I won't be waiting long to read her first book.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Desires of the Dead

Desires of the Dead
Kimberly Derting
Release Date: February 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins
Rating: 4/5 stars

The missing dead call to Violet. They want to be found.

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

As a huge fan of The Body Finder, I was super excited to read Desires of the Dead. As it turns out out, I loved Desires of the Dead just as much. It was still extremely addicting, with a mystery and a sweet romance.

I loved the romance in this book. It was very sweet. Jay and Violet have a lot of history together, and it shows. They go together perfectly. My only complaint would be that at times it seems that Violet may have been a little too dependent on Jay. She's a very strong girl, and I would have liked her to be a little more independent. You see a lot of the in young adult books. Regardless, it did not ruin anything for me. I still enjoyed it.

Be warned, if you are looking for a good mystery/thriller, this is not that book. There were hardly any twists or surprises and I had everything figured out quite early in the book. Luckly, I didn't go into this book looking for a big mystery, so I was okay with it.

I reccomend both the Body Finder and Desires of the Dead. They are fabulous, addicting reads. Desires of the Dead was just as good as the first.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Charming Covers

The Cover to Gabrielle Zevin's new book All These Things I've Done was just revealed.

September 27, 2011

From the author of the critically acclaimed Elsewhere comes this brilliant novel about an impossible romance, a family living outside of the law, and the ties that forever bind us.

Chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is increasingly scarce, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city’s most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine—going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until someone in her inner circle ends up poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she’s to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight—at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafiya family.

Engrossing and suspenseful, All These Things I’ve Done is an utterly unique, unputdownable read that blends both the familiar and fantastic

I'm a huge Gabrielle Zevin fan. I loved her two young adult books. When I found out she was coming out with a new book, I was ecstatic. I like this cover. It's kind of dark and mysterious, which if the description is right, goes with the book.  

Monday, March 21, 2011

Covers: Old or New?

Recently, there have been a few books that have gotten new covers. I was just wondering if the old or new is prefered.

Nightshade by Andrea Cremer:





I, personally like the old covers for both of them better. I think, overall they are prettier. The new ones are pretty enough, but if I just saw them on the shelf I probably wouldn't pick them up at first. Plus, I have the original cover of Nightshade, so now when I get Wolfsbane the covers won't match, becase I believe that the old cover will not be available.

Die for Me by Amy Plum
Though this is a close call, I think I prefer the older one again. I love the new one, too, it's probably prettier, but the older one has a darker, more mysterious feel to it that I like. I do love the new one, though.

This is old news, but:
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Old (hardcover)
New (paperback)
This is close, too. Both covers are absolutely gorgeous. I think I like the paperback slightly more. Though, I love the old one, too.

Which ones do you prefer?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (58)

We have Kristi at The Story Siren to thank for hosting IMM every week. 

For Review:

Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Carmen by Walter Dean Myers

From Library:
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Industrial Magic (Women of the Otherworld, Book 4) (not pictured) by Kelley Armstong

What did you get this week?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Mini Challenge: Teams

Cindy at Princess Bookie is hosting another Contest Craze, and one of the Mini-Challenges is to pick a team for a love triangle. I really only have to do one, but I'll go ahead and list a few.
Click here for more information on this challenge.

 for all you Gilmore Girls Fans:

Team Logan.

I'm a huge Gilmore Girls fan, so of course I had to choose from this show.
Out of all of these guys, Dean is my least favorite. He's nice enough and everything, but there's something about him that bothers me. He's just too... Good. I think he's perfect for Rory's first love, but I think if she stayed with him she would have been tied down and not happy.

I actually like Jess. I like his bad-boyness. Plus, I have a major crush on Milo Ventimiglia. In all honesty, though, He's just not right for Rory. At least not when they were in high school. I have a feeling that if they first met on the street when they were all grown up, they would have been perfect for each other. But, as it was, that's not how it worked out.

I love Logan. I love how laid-back he is. He's the perfect counter-part to Rory. Logan stayed by Rory through a lot. I seriously wished she would have married him at the end of the show. I was very dissappointed.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (57)

We have Kristi at The Story Siren to thank for hosting IMM every week.

All of these books I got for review via netgalley.

Die for Me by Amy Plum- DIE FOR ME is the first of three books about Kate, a sixteen-year-old American who moves to Paris after the death of her parents. She finds herself falling for Vincent, who she discovers is not the typical French teenager he appears: he is something else entirely.

DIE FOR ME presents a new supernatural mythology presented in a city where dreams are sometimes the same as reality

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini- Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Hereafter by Tara Hudson-Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, Hereafter is a sensation you won't want to miss.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty- When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

What did you get this week?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Review: The Iron Witch

The Iron Witch
Karen Mohoney
Release Date: February 8, 2011
Publisher:  Flux
Rating: 3.5/5

Freak. That's what her classmates call seventeen-year-old Donna Underwood. When she was seven, a horrific fey attack killed her father and drove her mother mad. Donna's own nearly fatal injuries from the assault were fixed by magic—the iron tattoos branding her hands and arms. The child of alchemists, Donna feels cursed by the magical heritage that destroyed her parents and any chance she had for a normal life. The only thing that keeps her sane and grounded is her relationship with her best friend, Navin Sharma.

When the darkest outcasts of Faerie—the vicious wood elves—abduct Navin, Donna finally has to accept her role in the centuries old war between the humans and the fey. Assisted by Xan, a gorgeous half-fey dropout with secrets of his own, Donna races to save her friend—even if it means betraying everything her parents and the alchemist community fought to the death to protect.

I really enjoyed The Iron Witch. I've been looking forward to reading it for quite some time now, so I was expecting a lot of good things. It didn't quite reach all of my expectations, but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. It was a fast and enjoyable read.

One thing that I didn't enjoy a lot, though, was Donna. It's not that I didn't like her, but she just bothered me at times. She was a very depressing character. Not that I blame her, with everything she's been through, but I do wish she would be a little more lively at times. But, by the end of the book I found that I liked her more than the beginning.

This book was very unique. It's not something you see all the time. It was a very addicting read. Not to mention quick, too.

I liked this book. I look forward to next one. There were some mixed reviews on this, but I enjoyed it quite a bit

Saturday, March 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (56)

We have Kristi at The Story Siren to thank for hosting IMM every week.

I know I didn't do a IMM last week, but this is just the books I got this week.

For Review:
Blood and Flowers by Penny Blubaugh
Illusions by Aprilynne Pike

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
Darkest Hour by Meg Cabot
Rogue by Rachel Vincent

From Library:
Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Spells by Aprilynne Pike (not pictured)
Stolen by Kelley Armstrong (not pictured)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Review: Cloaked

Alex Flinn
Released: February 8, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins

Rating: 3/5 stars

I'm not your average hero. I actually wasn't your average anything. Just a poor guy working an after-school job at a South Beach shoe repair shop to help his mom make ends meet. But a little magic changed it all.

It all started with a curse. And a frognapping. And one hot-looking princess, who asked me to lead a rescue mission.

There wasn't a fairy godmother or any of that. And even though I fell in love along the way, what happened to me is unlike any fairy tale I've ever heard. Before I knew it, I was spying with a flock of enchanted swans, talking (yes, talking!) to a fox named Todd, and nearly trampled by giants in the Everglades.

Don't believe me? I didn't believe it either. But you'll see. Because I knew it all was true, the second I got cloaked.

Let me just start by saying I love Alex Flinn's retellings. I absolutely adore them. But, sadly, this one just didn't do it for as much as the others. Don't get me wrong, I still liked it. It was enjoyable. It just wasn't as good as her others.

That being said, Cloaked was a fun adventure. It more focused on the adventure than anything else. Which was good. It made it a lot of fun. I also liked how it combined a bunch of different fairy tells, instead of just one. Though, I didn't exactly know all of them. But after reading Cloaked, it makes me want to go out and read the the entire Grim Brotheres collection.

Johnny was a fun character. I liked how selfless he was, with having to help his mom and everything. I can't say he was quite unforgetable, but I was rooting for him the whole time. I liked following his story.

I must say, I wish that this would have had more romance in it. Don't get me wrong, it did. But not as much as I would have liked. But, what was in it was well written.

Cloaked was a fun novel. If you like fairy tale retellings, check this out along with Flinn's others. This is not like most retellings; it was very unique. Though it was a fun read, I can't say that I loved it. I enjoyed it, but I probably won't be rereading it anytime soon


3 hearts

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Michelle Hodkin
Release Date: September 27, 2011

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a

hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember
that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.

She doesn’t believe that after everything she’s been
through, she can fall in love. She’s wrong.

I know this book doesn't come out until September, but it looked so good I just had to share it. I mean, look at that cover! And how about the description. Does the book not look amazing? September seems too far away!