Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Theme of the Month (New Feature)


Starting this June, I'm going to start a new feature on Book Fanatics called Theme of the Month. Each month I'll pick a 'theme' (i.e.. steampunk, dystopian, angels, etc.) to highlight that month.

Each week I'll pick a book that falls under the theme to highlight.  

I'll also interview and author with a book out with the theme that has comes out that month or recently.

So, I'm excited to get started with this! If you have any ideas for themes or anything else I'd love to hear them!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In My Mailbox (62)

What Happened to Goodbye

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

This week I got:

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen- In the past two years, Mclean Sweet has moved four times. At each stop, she assumes a new persona, but it never quite works. Whether she's an effervescent cheerleader or an intense drama queen, nothing can permanently dispel the turmoil and rage at her mother since her parents' divorce. Sarah Dessen's novel about a teenager and her restaurant manager father captures the vulnerability that young people often experience after the dissolution of their family. A compelling story; strong characterization; and with a touch of romance.
GraveminderGraveminder by Melissa Marr- Rebekkah Barrow never forgot the tender attention her grandmother, Maylene, bestowed upon the dead of Claysville, the town where Bek spent her adolescence. There wasn't a funeral that Maylene didn't attend, and at each Rebekkah watched as Maylene performed the same unusual ritual: three sips from a small silver flask followed by the words "Sleep well, and stay where I put you."


Now Maylene is dead and Bek must go back to the place--and the man--she left a decade ago. But what she soon discovers is that Maylene was murdered and that there was good reason for her odd traditions. It turns out that in placid Claysville, the worlds of the living and the dead are dangerously connected. Beneath the town lies a shadowy, lawless land ruled by the enigmatic Charles, aka Mr. D--a place from which the dead will return if their graves are not properly minded. Only the Graveminder, a Barrow woman, and the current Undertaker, Byron, can set things to right once the dead begin to walk.
What did you get this week?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Review: Queen of the Dead

Queen of the Dead (The Ghost and the Goth, #2)
Queen of the Dead
Stacey Kade
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Release Date: June 7, 2011

After being sent back from the light, Alona Dare - former homecoming queen, current Queen of the Dead - finds herself doing something she never expected: working. Instead of spending days perfecting her tan by the pool (her typical summer routine when she was, you know, alive), Alona must now cater to the needs of other lost spirits. By her side for all of this - ugh - “helping of others” is Will Killian: social outcast, seer of the dead, and someone Alona cares about more than she’d like.



Before Alona can make a final ruling on Will’s “friend” or “more” status, though, she discovers trouble at home. Her mom is tossing out Alona’s most valuable possessions, and her dad is expecting a new daughter with his wicked wife. Is it possible her family is already moving on? Hello! She’s only been dead for two months! Thankfully, Alona knows just the guy who can put a stop to this mess.


Unfortunately for Alona, Will has other stuff on his mind, and Mina, a young (and beautiful) seer, is at the top of the list. She’s the first ghost-talker Will’s ever met—aside from his father—and she may hold answers to Will’s troubled past. But can she be trusted? Alona immediately puts a check mark in the “clearly not” column. But Will is - ahem - willing to find out, even if it means leaving a hurt and angry Alona to her own devices, which is never a good idea.
 
I really enjoyed The Ghost and the Goth, so I couldn't wait for the sequel. Though I didn't enjoy it as much, it was still a fun ride.


I didn't think that I would, but I really liked Alona. Although, there were times in this book that she bothered me. There were a couple times when she was selfish and she overreacted. But I think that was just her nature.

And, of corse, I loved Will. He was an overall sweet guy. We got to know him a lot more in this book, about his background and where his powers come from. It was really interesting to see his past revealed.

 I thought Queen of the Dead was different from most books. It was pretty cheesey, though not as much as the cover might suggest. I have to say, I did not see the end coming. But I was happy it all worked out. The ending was a little rushed, but like I said, it ended well.

I felt like Queen of the Dead was a good sequel to The Ghost and the Goth. It wasn't what I expected, but I still enjoyed it.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In My Mailbox (62)

Ruby Red

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

I only got three books this week:

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier- Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon, the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.





RosebushRosebush by Michele Jaffe- 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 Jane's 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.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.



No Humans Involved (Women of the Otherworld, #7)No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstong- Readers around the world have fallen for Kelley Armstrong’s intoxicating, sensual and wicked tales of the paranormal, in which demons and witches, werewolves and vampires collide – often hilariously, sometimes violently – with everyday life. In Armstrong’s first six novels, Elena, Paige and Eve have had their way with us. Now get ready for Jaime Vegas, the luscious, lovelorn and haunted necromancer. . .

Jaime, who knows a thing or two about showbiz, is on a television shoot in Los Angeles when weird things start to happen. As a woman whose special talent is raising the dead, her threshold for weirdness is pretty high: she’s used to not only seeing dead people but hearing them speak to her in very emphatic terms. But for the first time in her life – as invisible hands brush her skin, unintelligible fragments of words are whispered into her ears, and beings move just at the corner of her eye–she knows what humans mean when they talk about being haunted.

She is determined to get to the bottom of these manifestations, but as she sets out to solve the mystery she has no idea how scary her investigation will get, or to what depths ordinary humans will sink in their attempts to gain supernatural powers. As she digs into the dark underside of Los Angeles, she’ll need as much Otherworld help as she can get in order to survive, calling on her personal angel, Eve, and Hope, the well-meaning chaos demon. Jeremy, the alpha werewolf, is also by her side offering protection. And, Jaime hopes, maybe a little more than that.


I'm pretty excited about the books I got this week.
What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Summer Reading List

So, just in the past few months, I've gotten really into adult paranormal romance books. Right now, about half of what I read is paranormal romance. And since I've just begun to discover all the great series out there, I decided that this summer I'm going to read as many as possible.
This does not mean that I won't be reading YA, too. I still love ya and will continue to read and review it here on Book Fanatics.
But, like I said, I also want to get my foot in the door of the paranormal world.

So far I've read:
Shifter series by Rachel Vincent
started Lords of the Underworld series by Gena Showalter
started The Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong
So Here's my list of seires that I want to read this summer:
*Note: My goal isn't to finish each series, but to read the first book in each and if I like it, read as much as I can in the series*

  1. Night Huntress series by Jeanine Frost
  2. Georgina Kincaid by Richelle Mead
  3. Atlantis by Gena Showalter

So, hopefully I'll find some good series this summer.
Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Charming Covers [8]

Charming Covers is a feature where I show some covers for upcoming books that have recently been revealed/ I've recently found.
Fateful
Fateful by Claudia Gray
September 13, 2011

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.

I'm really excited about this book! It's about werewolves, it's historical fiction, and it's by Claudia Gray! What more can you ask for?
As far as the cover, I think it's gorgeous. But can I just ask, does every werewolf book have to have a moon on the cover?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: Back When You Were Easier to Love

Back When You Were Easier to Love
Back When You Were Easier to Love
Emily Wing Smith
Publisher: Dutton Childrens Books
Release Date: April 28, 2011

What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan—the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah—unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.



Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy's story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.

First off, I love books with road trips. The Secret Life of Prince Charming and Amy and Roger's Epic Detour are my favorites. While Back When You Were Easier to Love doesn't quite compare to them, it was still a fun ride.


Joy's obsession with Zan really bothered me. Though, I think you needed that for the story. Still, Joy was very cut off from everyone at the beginning of the book. As the story went on, she grew to see people and I started liking her more.

Back When You Were Easier to Love is a very short read. I half wish that it was a little longer, but what was there I enjoyed

Monday, May 16, 2011

Review: Starcrossed

Starcrossed
Josephine Angelini
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 21, 2011

How do you defy destiny?



Starcrossed (Starcrossed, #1)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.

I was pleasantly surprised by Starcrossed. I've heard some mixed things about it, but overall I enjoyed it.


Helen was very quiet in the beginning of the story. We can really see how she feels that she doesn't belong with everyone else in her life. She doesn't fit in. She changes a lot over the corse of the book. There were times when she bothered me a tad, but it was very little. By the end of the book, I had grown to like her but felt sorry for her with everything that was going on.

At the beginning of the story Helen and Lucas hated each other, but then later fell in love. I normally don't like that in books, but I was okay with it in this because their hatred for each other was caused by something else, someone else, that they couldn't control. I grew to really like Lucas and his finally.

I love Greek mythology, and that's one of the reasons I was so excited to read this. The mythology aspect could have been slightly better. I was really confused when it started happening. But I still enjoyed it.

Starcrossed is a unique story that I liked. I'm really looking forward to the next one.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Charming Covers [7]

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

Silence (Hush, Hush, #3)

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
October 4, 2011

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever

I really liked the first in this series, Hush, Hush, but wasn't too crazy about the second. I'm hoping I'll like this one, though I'm a little iffy about it.
But, I do think this is my favorite cover of the 3. Isn't it gorgeous? Hopefully the book's as good as the cover.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Review: Entwined

EntwinedEntwined
Heather Dixon
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Azalea is trapped. Just when she should feel that everything is before her . . . beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing . . . it's taken away. All of it.



The Keeper understands. He's trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. And so he extends an invitation.


Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest.


But there is a cost.


The Keeper likes to keep things.


Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

I didn't enjoy Entwined as much as I though I would. It wasn't bad. It's just that I had too high of expectations and it didn't quite meet them. Netherless, it was a book full of magic, and of course, dancing.


Azalea is the oldest of twelve sisters. After the death of her mother, Azalea is left to take care of her younger sisters. Azalea is a very kind-hearted soul. She was harch at the beginning of the book with her father, but with her sisters and later in the book she was very caring. The only thing was that I never really connected with her. She was just never quite real.

This book is based on the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses. Dixon did a wonderful job turning this short story into a 400 page book. It never lost the essence of the story.

It was an interesting retelling, but I did find myself getting bored with it. There were some slow parts. But it picked up towards the end.

Overall, Entwined was an interesting book. Though, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more a couple of years ago.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

In My Mailbox (61)




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

Sorry that I haven't done an IMM post for a few weeks. The books in this post are just from this week, not previous weeks. I get so many books (mostly from the library that I return) to keep track of what I've gotten.

This week I got:

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4)City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare- City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever.

Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

A Brief History of Montmaray (The Montmaray Journals, #1)A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper- Sophie Fitzosborne lives in a crumbling castle in the tiny island kingdom of Montmaray with her eccentric and impoverished royal family. When she receives a journal for her sixteenth birthday, Sophie decides to chronicle day-to-day life on the island. But this is 1936, and the news that trickles in from the mainland reveals a world on the brink of war. The politics of Europe seem far away from their remote island—until two German officers land a boat on Montmaray. And then suddenly politics become very personal indeed.


A Brief History of Montmaray is a heart-stopping tale of loyalty, love, and loss, and of fighting to hold on to home when the world is exploding all around you.





Back When You Were Easier to LoveBack When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith- What's worse than getting dumped? Not even knowing if you've been dumped. Joy got no goodbye, and certainly no explanation when Zan—the love of her life and the only good thing about stifling, backward Haven, Utah—unceremoniously and unexpectedly left for college a year early. Joy needs closure almost as much as she needs Zan, so she heads for California, and Zan, riding shotgun beside Zan's former-best-friend Noah.


Original and insightful, quirky and crushing, Joy's story is told in surprising and artfully shifting flashbacks between her life then and now. Exquisite craft and wry, relatable humor signal the arrival of Emily Wing Smith as a breakout talent.





Through Her EyesThrough Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer- Every ghost has a story to tell.

The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But it's the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar—a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal—that have the most chilling impact on her.

Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away. Tansy must untangle herself from Henry's dangerous reality—before she loses touch with her own life forever.

 I'm looking forward to reading all of these books this week!
What did you get in your mailbox?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Charming Covers [6]

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

Apparently, I'm doing 2 of these this week. I usually only do 1, but I found this cover and had to show it.

If I Die (Soul Screamers, #5)
If I Die by Rachel Vincent
September 20, 2011

No one wants to be this teacher’s pet . . .


Everyone else is talking about Eastlake High’s gorgeous new math teacher, Mr. Beck, but Kaylee Cavanaugh has bigger things on her mind. Kaylee’s a banshee—her scream is a portent of death.

But the next scream might hit too close to home. Kaylee’s borrowed lifeline has almost run out.

Yeah—it’s a shock to her, too. So to distract herself from her own problems, Kaylee is determined to defend her school against the latest supernatural threat. That hot new teacher is really an incubus, who feeds from the desire of unsuspecting students. The only girls immune to his lure are Kaylee and Sabine, her boyfriend’s delinquent ex-girlfriend. Now the unlikely allies have to get rid of Mr. Beck…before he discovers they aren’t quite human either.

But Kaylee’s running out of time, and those who love her will do anything to save her life.

Anything.

Soul Screamers: The last thing you hear before you die.

I can not express my love for this series enough. It's one of my favorite series. And If I Die sounds like an excellent edition to the series! Just from the description, it sounds different from the others. And, with a different title, I'm sure it is.
And look at that cover! It's gorgeous! I thought the My Soul to Steal cover was pretty, but this one just might top it.
My only problem is waiting until September to get my hands on this!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Charming Covers [5]

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

Don't Breathe a Word

Don't Breathe a Word
Holly Cupala
September 20, 2011

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.

I can't tell you how excited I am for Holly's sophmore novel. I loved Tell Me a Secret, so I hope this one is just as good.
I like this cover a lot. It's not the prettiest cover out there, but it has a dark aspect just like the story sounds like. I can't wait for this book!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Die for Me

Die for Me
Amy Plum
Publisher: Die for Me (Revenants, #1)HarperTeen
Release date: May 10, 2011

My life had always been blissfully, wonderfully normal. But it only took one moment to change everything.


Suddenly, my sister, Georgia, and I were orphans. We put our lives into storage and moved to Paris to live with my grandparents. And I knew my shattered heart, my shattered life, would never feel normal again. Then I met Vincent.


Mysterious, sexy, and unnervingly charming, Vincent Delacroix appeared out of nowhere and swept me off my feet. Just like that, I was in danger of losing my heart all over again. But I was ready to let it happen.


Of course, nothing is ever that easy. Because Vincent is no normal human. He has a terrifying destiny, one that puts his life at risk every day. He also has enemies . . . immortal, murderous enemies who are determined to destroy him and all of his kind.


While I'm fighting to piece together the remnants of my life, can I risk putting my heart—as well as my life and my family's—in jeopardy for a chance at love?

Overall, I really enjoyed Die For Me. There were a few things that bothered me, but those were easily overlooked.


The main problem with it was the romance; it was too cliche and not developed enough. You can tell the quthor was definitly going for the epic-love-at-fisrt-sight romance. You know this because it had the whole "the first time his eyes met mine the world stopped" thing. I like Vincent and all, but the romance between him and Kate was very rushed. It would have been more enjoyable if there was more time for them to actually fall in love.

Kate was nice enough. She was melodramatic sometimes, especially when it comes to Vincent. I did like a lot of the side characters, though. Especially Jules.

My favorite thing about this book is how unique it is. I have never seen mythical creatures like this. I won't say exactly what, though once you get into the book it's not hard to figure out not what they are, but at least what they do.

A very unique book, Die for Me was very enjoyable. It was refreshing to read something other than your typical mythical creatures.