Saturday, April 30, 2011

Review: Wings

Wings
Aprylynne Pike
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 1, 2009

Laurel was mesmerized, staring at the pale things with wide eyes. They were terrifyingly beautiful—too beautiful for words.


Laurel turned to the mirror again, her eyes on the hovering petals that floated beside her head. They looked almost like wings.

In this extraordinary tale of magic and intrigue, romance and danger, everything you thought you knew about faeries will be changed forever.

I've seen Wings around for a while now, since it came out. I've heard such good things about, but I didn't read it until now. I really liked it. It wasn't what I was expecting at all.

I loved how unique this book was. It takes a unique twist on the classic fairy. I've read quite a few books and series about faires, but none had quite an interesting take on them like Wings did. I can't say exactly what that is, because that would be giving away spoilers. But I've never heard anything like it.

Over the book, I grew to like Laurel. At the beginning of the book, I thought she was a little whiny. But, she quickly got over that. By the end of the book, she was a lot more kick-butt than she was when strange things started happening to her.

There wasn't a ton of romance in this. I mean, it was there but it really didn't get that far. I can also see that there's the beginning of a love triangle. I can see the next books will contain more romance.

My only complaint was that it got a little slow sometime in the middle. Not incredibly slow, but enough to make me want to move on. But this was very minor.

Overall, I enjoyed Wings way more than I thought I would. It was very unique, and I'll be picking up the next one very soom.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Review: The Gathering

The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)The Gathering
Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: April 12, 2011
Release Date: Harper (HarperCollins)

Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island.



Until now.


Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

Oh, how I love Kelley Armstrong. The Darkest Powers Trilogy is one of my favorites. I'm also in the midst of her Otherworld series. Armstrong has created a wonderful world, and The Gathering gives a great new peak into it.


The characters in this series are very unique compared to the other young adult books. I really grew to like Maya. She was very strong. I also liked the other characters, such as Daniel, Rafe, Nicole, and even Maya's parents.

One thing I liked about his book was how Armstrong included Native American culture in this book. There wasn't a ton of it, but some of the characters, including Maya, were Native. I didn't realize it until this book but there is very little of it in YA.

Since I've read Armstrong's series, there were some things I already knew. You don't have to read the other series before this, but there were a few little tidbits in there. A little less mystery.

I was hoping that I wouldn't have to wait until the third book for the romance to come in; I didn't. I liked Rafe a lot. Of course he had his flaws, but overall he was a good guy. I can sense a potential love triangle here. I'm hoping it will be done well because if you ask me love triangles are overplayed.

I loved The Gathering as the first book in a series. I hated the ending because it was a huge cliffhanger and now I have to wait a year for the next!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Charming Covers [4]

Charming Covers is a feature where I show some covers for upcoming books that have recently been revealed/ I've recently found.

 Enshadowed (Nevermore, #2)

Enshadowed by Kelley Creagh
Release Date: January 24, 2012

While Varen remains a prisoner in the dream-world, Isobel is haunted by his memory. He appears to her in her dreams and soon, even in her waking life. But is she just imagining it? Isobel knows she must find a way back to Varen. She makes plans to go to Baltimore. There, she confronts the figure known throughout the world as the Poe Toaster—the same dark man who once appeared to Isobel in her dreams, calling himself "Reynolds."


Isobel succeeds in interrupting the Toaster's ritual and, in doing so, discovers a way to return to the dream-world. Soon, she finds herself swept up in a realm which not only holds remnants of Poe's presence, but has also now taken on the characteristics of Varen's innermost self. It is a dark world comprised of fear, terror, and anger.

When Isobel once more encounters Varen, she finds him changed. With his mind poisoned by the dream world, he becomes a malevolent force, bent on destroying all—even himself. Now Isobel must face a new adversary, one who also happens to be her greatest love.


I really enjoyed Nevermore, so I'm really excited for the sequel. I like this cover. It's pretty but a little creepy at the same time. I actually like it more than the first one. My only problem is waiting so long for this book to come out!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (60)

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

Bought:

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong
Blamesless by Kelley Armstrong
John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Ress Brennan

Library:

Entwined by Heathor Dixon
Prey by Rachel Vincent

My Borders is going out of business tomarrow, so I went one last time. I got Blameless, Across the Universe, The Demon's Covenant,  and John Belushi is Dead. Blameless and The Demon's Covenant are both sequels to books I have not read, but they were only a couple of dollors each so I couldn't resist. I'll get The Demon's Lexicon and the first two to Blameless from the library.
Overall, it was a really good week. I got a lot of good books that I'm excited to read!

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Review: Divergent

Divergent
Veronica Roth
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Rating: 4.5/5

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.



During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

First hearing about Divergent, I was a little concerned to start it. It looked good, but I was afraid it wouldn't meet my expectations.  Well, it went above and beyond what I thought it would be. It was an extremely addicting, very unique read.

The first tiny bit of the book was a little hard to follow. That would be my only complaint. But, once it got going, it never let up.

Tris went though an extreme transformation though the book. She started off as a quiet girl who never really fit in. But, once she started training for the Dauntless, she changed. As the book went on, it got to a point where Tris was almost malicious. But, she almost had to be, though, to get through training. But she never quite loses herself.

I couldn't put this book down. There wasn't that much mystery to it, but it was very suspenseful and had a few surprises.

Overall, I would recommend Divergent as a good Dystopian novel. Veronica Roth has contributed a fabulous debut. And the ending! I need the next one. Now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Charming Covers [3]



Charming Covers is a feature where I show some covers for upcoming books that have recently been revealed/ I've recently found.

From Bad to Cursed (Bad Girls Don't Die, #2)

From Bad to Cursed by Katie Alender
Release Date: June 14, 2011

Alexis is the last girl you'd expect to sell her soul for beauty and popularity. After all, she already has everything she needs--an adorable boyfriend, the perfect best friend, and a family that finally seems to be healing after her sister Kasey's unfortunate possession by an evil spirit.


But then Kasey tells Alexis about the mysterious new club she has joined, and the oath she has taken to someone named Aralt. Worried that Kasey's gotten in over her head again, Alexis and her best friend Megan decide to investigate by joining the Sunshine Club, too. At first, their connection with Aralt seems harmless. Alexis tries a new -- normal-- look, and finds herself reveling in her elegance and success.

Still, despite the Sunshine Club's outward perfection, the group is crumbling from within, and soon Alexis finds herself battling her own personal demons. She can hardly even remember why she joined in the first place. Surely it wasn't to destroy Aralt...why would she hurt someone who has given her so much, and asked for so little in return?

This is the sequel to Bad Girls Don't Die. I read the first a few years ago, and remember liking it a lot. So, I'm going to try the sequel. Hopefully it'll be just as good.
This cover is kind of creepy, like the first one. It's not the prettiest of covers, but I think it goes with the story.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Review: Shadowspell

Shadowspell
Jenna Black
Release Date: January 4, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Rating: 3.5/5

On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

I really enjoyed the first book, Glimmerglass, and was even more captivated by Shadowspell. It was a good story with a few surprises.


There were times when I loved Dana, and times when I wanted to slap her. I don't know if I would have made different decisions in her situation, but there were times when I wanted to scream at her "Don't do it! Nothing good can come of it!" Sh was, at times, very self involved, but had a kind and good heart.

Though I did enjoy this book, there were times that it did make me mad. In a good way though. Like, "I'm pissed off yet I have to read the next book to know what happens" kind of mad. I can't say why it mad me angry because that would give away spoilers.

Overall, I enjoyed Shadowspell. It has the elements to make a good fairie story. I'll definitely be picking up the next one

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: The Dark and Hollow Places

The Dark and Hollow Places
Carrie Ryan
Release Date: March 22, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Rating: 4.5 stars

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.



Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.


But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?
 
This series is one of my favorite dystopian series. (Second only to a series I think we all know). The Dark and Hollow Places was as fabulous as the others. I'm not sure if it's my favorite in the series, per say, but it makes an excellent edition to the series.


This installment is about Annah, Gabry's (The Dead-Tossed Waves) twin sister. I felt bad for Annah. Although, the dwelling on the self-pity thing did get anoying throughout the book. It was part of who she was, though.

The Dark and Hollow Places was just as captivating as the others. The story Carrie Ryan was spun is yet again a thrilling ride. After the first page I was addicted. The world that Ryan has created is scary at best, yet is very easy to imagine.

All I can say is that if you have not read this series yet, you need to. You won't regret

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Charming Covers [2]

I just found the cover to As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott last week. Not sure if it is final, but here it is:


What if you woke up and didn't know where you were?

What if you didn't know who you were?

And what if, when your memories started to come back--what if they didn't match the you that you're supposed to be?

I'm really excited for this one. I love Elizabeth Scott. This cover is different from her other covers, but by the description, the book is different, too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April is NetGalley Month!

Emily over at Red House Books has declared April NetGalley Month! The goal of this is to read as many books from NetGalley as you can. I don't know about everyone else, but I really needed this.

Rules to enter:
*Make your own post declaring April NetGalley month linking back to this post
OR
*Tweet the following:
@NetGalley April as been declared! I'm joining @WilowRedHouse for a chance to win some awesome prizes-will you join us? http://bit.ly/fzxPRE
*If you don't have a blog or Twitter - post it to Facebook with a link
*If you don't blog, tweet or FB but still want to join in - send me an email at WilowRaven[at]yahoo[dot]com

For more information, go .here

Books I plan to read:
Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Mercy by Rebecca Lim
The Near Witch by Victoira Schwab
Wherever You Go by Heather Davis
Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

There are others, but I'll stick to these for now. Hopefully I can get through them all. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

In My Mailbox (59)

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

I only got 3 books this week:

For Review:
(from Around the World Tours)
Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey- Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.
Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?


.From Library: Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty- "Knowing that I’ve just done something that will take decades off my parents’ lives with worry, you’ll excuse me for not getting into the fa-la-la-la-la Yuletide spirit this year. . . . The only difference between Christmas 2001 and Christmas 2000 is that I don’t have a visit from Hope to look forward to. And Bethany has already packed on some major fetal flab. Oh, and now Gladdie doesn’t need to ask a bizillion questions about my boyfriend, because she’s already gotten the dirt from you know who.”

Jessica Darling is up in arms again in this much-anticipated, hilarious sequel to Sloppy Firsts. This time, the hyperobservant, angst-ridden teenager is going through the social and emotional ordeal of her senior year at Pineville High. Not only does the mysterious and oh-so-compelling Marcus Flutie continue to distract Jessica, but her best friend, Hope, still lives in another state, and she can’t seem to escape the clutches of the Clueless Crew, her annoying so-called friends. To top it off, Jessica’s parents won’t get off her butt about choosing a college, and her sister Bethany’s pregnancy is causing a big stir in the Darling household.

With keen intelligence, sardonic wit, and ingenious comedic timing, Megan McCafferty again re-creates the tumultuous world of today’s fast-moving and sophisticated teens. Fans of Sloppy Firsts will be reunited with their favorite characters and also introduced to the fresh new faces that have entered Jess’s life, including the hot creative writing teacher at her summer college prep program and her feisty, tell-it-like-it-is grandmother Gladdie. But most of all, readers will finally have the answers to all of their burgeoning questions, and then some: Will Jessica crack under the pressure of senioritis? Will her unresolved feelings for Marcus wreak havoc on her love life? Will Hope ever come back to Pineville? Fall in love with saucy, irreverent Jessica all over again in this wonderful sequel to a book that critics and readers alike hailed as the best high school novel in years





The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan- There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction


 
What did you get this week?

Friday, April 1, 2011

March Rewind

This month, I was slacking as far as reading. I'm supposed to read 17 books a month to reach my goal of 200 books this year. This month I only read 13. So that means in the next following months, I'm going to have to read a couple more books per month.

Here's what I read:
  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  2. Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting
  3. Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
  4. Stray by Rachel Vincent
  5. Die for Me by Amy Plum
  6. Evercrossed by Elizabeth Chandler
  7. Stolen by Kelley Armstong
  8. Darkness Becomes Her by Kelley Keaton
  9. Dime Store Magic by Kelley Armstong
  10. The Book of Tomorrow by Cecila Ahern
  11. Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
  12. Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty
  13. Afterlife by Claudia Gray 
Other Reviews:
The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
Cloaked by Alex Flinn

Goals for April:
  1. Read 17 + books -- I don't think that this is going to be a problem. I'm got spring break this month (now actually) so I will read a lot in the next week.
  2. Review every YA book I read this month-- yes, that's my goal. Except I'm giving myself 2 exceptions. I don't know what I'll use these on, maybe a book that I didn't like that much or one that came out a long time ago. We'll see.