Friday, March 30, 2012

ARC Giveaway : Enchanted by Alethea Kontis, on Pages From My Thoughts

Pages From My Thoughts is having an awesome international giveaway for a signed ARC of Enchanted!!

Here are the details as listed on the blog:

Giveaway Open: Internationally
Date of Enter: 29/03/2012 to 14/04/2012
Winner Announcement: 15/04/2012 on Announcement section. Winner will be notified within 48 hours by email.
Copy Available: One
Format: ARC Paperback
Note: The book will be directly sent to you by the author.

So head on over there and check it out!! Just go HERE to enter :D

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Review: Sacrilege (Giordano Bruno #3), by S.J. Parris

Title: Sacrilege: Giordano Bruno #3
Author: S.J. Parris
Format: Print copy, bound manuscript
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

From Goodreads: "A gripping historical thriller set in sixteenth-century England and centered on the highly secretive cult of Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral.
London, summer of 1584: Radical philosopher, ex-monk, and spy Giordano Bruno suspects he is being followed by an old enemy. He is shocked to discover that his pursuer is in fact Sophia Underhill, a young woman with whom he was once in love. When Bruno learns that Sophia has been accused of murdering her husband, a prominent magistrate in Canterbury, he agrees to do anything he can to help clear her name.
In the city that was once England's greatest center of pilgrimage, Bruno begins to uncover unsuspected secrets that point to the dead man being part of a larger and more dangerous plot in the making. He must turn his detective's eye on history—on Saint Thomas Becket, the twelfth-century archbishop murdered in Canterbury Cathedral, and on the legend surrounding the disappearance of his body—in order to solve the crime.
As Bruno's feelings for Sophia grow more intense, so does his fear that another murder is about to take place—perhaps his own. But more than Bruno's life is at stake in this vividly rendered, impeccably researched, and addictively page-turning whodunit—the stability of the kingdom hangs in the balance as Bruno hunts down a brutal murderer in the shadows of England's most ancient cathedral."

My opinion: I was asked to read this by the publisher who knew that I hadn't read the first two books in the series, Heresy and Prophecy, as it can be read as a standalone. I loved this book SO much, though, that I'm going to get my hands on a copy of the first two books as soon as possible so I can devour them the way I devoured Sacrilege! I LOVED it! I do enjoy historical fiction, but this went beyond your regular historical fiction - it had one heck of a mystery in it, too! Bruno is contacted by a woman from his past, Sophia, who is on the run after being accused of murdering her husband, a cold, cruel man. She insists she is being set up, so Bruno, who happens to have feelings for Sophia, agrees to go to Canterbury to investigate. As he works for the French embassy to the court of Elizabeth, queen of England, he also volunteers to investigate possible missing funds from the Church of Canterbury. Little does Bruno know, he's going to become involved in so, so much more! He's embarking on a journey that takes many twists and turns before reaching its final destination, including a massive twist at the end of the book that totally took me by surprise! I was delighted that I didn't see it coming because it made it just that much better!

I loved the characters in this book, even the ones you love to hate. Every one of them is well fleshed out and carries the plot along to its conclusion. Bruno has a knack for getting himself in trouble, even when he's trying to avoid it. Part of the fun is collecting the pieces of the puzzle along with Bruno as you try to solve the mystery yourself! The plot is tight and, although filled with historical facts, I found it to be an easy read. 

Notable quote: "I laid a hand over his and a silent tear trickled down his hollow cheek. His words reminded me of Helene's, and I felt suddenly overwhelmed by the weight of their grief and bewilderment; all over our bloody continent, Catholics and Protestants alike went on dying at one another's hands, all looking up to heaven and crying out to their God, whose side are You on? While their God remains deaf and says nothing, because on both sides they have failed to understand who or what He is, as they spill more blood in His name."

I can't get across how much I loved this book and can't WAIT to read the other two books in the series, as well as any other books S.J. Parris has written or will write! :D

The Mers, a YA Mermaid Dystopia (Mer Chronicles Book #1)

Title: The Mers, A YA Mermaid Dystopia (Mer Chronicles Book #1)
Author: Ami Blackwelder
Format: ebook
Source: I received a copy from the author in exchange for my honest opinion

From Goodreads: "What lies beneath the surface? One hundred years from now, the world has changed and brought with it, new forms of life. Who are the Mers? Who is Mira? Mira always knew she was different. Growing up with Mers, she never quite fit in. When Mira breaks the rules and takes Niren across the border that divides Ellis Island and New Jersey, a border that divides two vastly different worlds, she thought the journey to find out who she really is would be an easy one. 
But as the world in Jersey proves to be a convoluted mix of Aristocrats who hate the Mers, Pirates who want to sell them, and Magi who want to use them...finding her true identity will be a challenge, especially when her best friend Niren is a Mer willing to fight to the death.

My opinion: When I read the synopsis of this book I was really excited to read it - a mermaid dystopian! I was hooked! Unfortunately, while the concept was very original, I never really connected to the characters, and I felt the writing was a bit stiff, especially during the conversations. When the teens were talking, it didn't sound like any teens I know. In too many instances where there should have been contractions, they just weren't there, and I personally don't know of any kids who talk as formal as these characters did. I also felt that in the relationship between Mira and Nerin, we were TOLD too often how in love they were, instead of being shown it. That being said, I did enjoy many aspects of the plot: when Mira decided to cross the border to try to find her parents and Nerin followed her, and all the trouble they got into in Remnantville after they found out what was being done to their fellow Mers. Even though Mira was human, she was never treated like an outcast by the Mers she grew up with, and she always sided with them, no matter what. Keeping the Mers safe was her first priority, even above finding her parents, and I loved that about her. 

All in all I enjoyed the storyline, I just wish I had connected more with the characters. This is the first of a planned trilogy and I will be reading the next two in the hopes that they are better fleshed out in the books to come :D

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Giveaway on the blog Giveaways & Glitter!

The Dawn of Saudi by Homa Pourasgari Review & Giveaway!

Check out this very cool giveaway on Giveaways & Glitter! In their own words: "If I had to decribe The Dawn of Saudi by Homa Pourasgari in one word, it would be : POWERFUL. " Wow! I know I want to read this book and I'm definitely going to be entering the giveaway! You should head over and check it out, too :) Just go HERE to enter!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Mary's Son: A Tale of Christmas, by Darryl Nyznyk

Title: Mary's Son: A Tale of Christmas
Author: Darryl Nyznyk
Format: Hard cover
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion

From Goodreads: "Mary’s Son is a modern tale of the fears and passions of youth overcome by the wonder of the real Christmas story. Eleven-year-old Sarah Stone is lonely. She lives in a mansion amidst butlers, nannies, housekeepers, and a father who is too busy for her. She is bright, beautiful, and angry at the world."

My opinion: I thought this was a very touching book, and a very cute story for kids. It was a quick read, only 170 pages, but that was plenty of time to get the point across. The events of the book take place in the days before Christmas. In the first part of the book we get to know Jared, the 13-year old street kid from the wrong side of the tracks, whose father disappeared on Christmas Eve the year before, and Sarah, the 11-year old spoiled rich girl, who lives in the mansion on the hill, who lost her mother when she was only 5 years old to a drunk driver. She has everything she could possibly want, except for any type of affection in her life. Her father is too busy to have anything to do with her, and the servants merely tolerate her. Enter Nicholas, who comes to her house to apply for the job of her "nanny", even though the job hasn't been posted yet. The housekeeper takes an instant dislike to him, but Sarah is curious about this odd little man who can make umbrellas appear out of thin air and who says he is the real Santa, and she begs her father to let him stay. This sets in motion a course that will change her life, as well as Jared's, for better or worse.

I loved the message of this book, and I especially like how Santa got his amazing powers from God and through prayer. When Nicholas meets Sarah and Jared, they are both so jaded that they don't believe in Santa at all, and they are questioning their belief in God as well. When everything comes to a head one night, Nicholas whisks the kids away to Bethlehem on the night of Jesus' birth so they can witness the miracle themselves. I think this would be a great book to discuss with your kids at Christmastime. 

In summary, I really enjoyed this book and think it has a great message, for adults and kids alike. :D

Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Format: ebook
Source: I bought it

From Goodreads: "The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend. 

But nothing comes without a price. 

Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other. 

When Jace begins to pull away from Clary without explaining why, she is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: She herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace. 

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. The stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels

My opinion: The Mortal Instruments is one of my all time favorite series, and I was so excited when I heard that Cassandra Clare was continuing it with City of Fallen Angels! I knew going into it that this book told mostly Simon's story, and since I love Simon, I was okay with that. Unfortunately, it just felt like something was missing from this installment. It wasn't that the writing wasn't good - it's Cassandra Clare, for Heaven's sake! Of course it was good! But the romance that was so well written in the first 3 books was missing in this one. I love the bromance between Simon and Jace, and their back and forth bickering is what made COFA so enjoyable! But Jace and Clary are having problems, Isabelle and Maia found out that Simon was two-timing them, so they're not speaking to him, and even Magnus and Alec are at odds! I missed the romance, but it was still a very quick and easy read for me. The pacing is good, the characters are the same characters we know and love, and the action is exciting! There is a HUGE cliffhanger, too! I won't tell you what, but let me tell you that I totally did not see it coming! Don't you love when that happens?! 

I gave this book 4 stars because while I felt something was missing, it was still a very good book, and I will be waiting impatiently for the next book to come out to find out what happens next! :D

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Review: Starters (Starters #1), by Lissa Price

Title: Starters (Starters #1)
Author: Lissa Price
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley


Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man. 
He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . . ."

My thoughts: I've read some mixed reviews on this book, but I was intrigued enough by the synopsis that I requested it from NetGalley anyway. I have to admit that I wasn't very drawn to the cover, but again, the book's description was interesting, so I was looking forward to reading it. I must say that I wasn't disappointed! I thought it was a great dystopian, with enough creepiness to keep me interested from start to finish. 

In the world that Lissa Price has invented, there has been a "Spore War", chemical warfare, that wiped out all the people who had not been inoculated. Since only the young and the old had received their inoculations when the war started, that means that all of the people between approximately 20 and 60 were gone now. Because of advancements in medicine, the Enders, as the older generation is called, can easily live to be 200 now. The only problem is, their bodies continue to age and they can't do the things that they used to be able to do.  Enter the Starters, or the younger generation, who have the youthful bodies the Enders crave. A new technology has been invented wherein the Starters can rent out their bodies to the Enlders for weeks at a time, which enables the Enders to be young again, and the Starters to earn the money they need to live. Laws are in place that prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from working so the jobs can go to the longer living Enders. Unfortunately for kids like Callie, and her little brother Tyler, with no one to take care of them they are forced to live in abandoned buildings, trying to stay one step ahead of the law, who capture unclaimed kids and put them in institutions where they are forced to work at basically hard labor until they are 18. Tyler is also sick, so that puts even more strain on Callie to try to find someplace where they can live, and money to get medical attention for Tyler. She is helped by her friend, Michael, but there's only so much he can do either. 

Callie hears about the program at Prime Destinations where kids who are attractive and physically fit can rent out their bodies to Enders for large sums of money, and although she finds the idea repulsive, she can't deny that the money would enable her to pay for a nice apartment or house for her and Tyler, and she would finally be able to buy the medicine that Tyler so desperately needs. She goes ahead and rents out her body for what she thinks is only going to be a week (but turns out to be a month) and that's when things go horribly wrong. She finds out that the Ender who wanted her body has other plans than just enjoying a youthful body for a little bit of fun. She's up to something much more dangerous, and it's up to Callie to somehow find a way to stop her, without losing her paycheck, or worse - her life. 

I really enjoyed the world building in this book. No matter how far fetched the idea that seniors would be able to "rent" a body whenever they wanted, Lissa Price finds a way to make it all believable! The characters are well written, too. Callie is a very brave and likable heroine, and you can feel her love for her little brother in everything she does. Every decision she makes is based on how it will affect Tyler, which is completely understandable in light of the fact that they are all alone, with only each other to depend on. The story is told from Callie's POV and I think that works very well here. There are also flashbacks from the years leading up to the Spore Wars that help you understand what happened, how this made Callie into the girl she is, and where she gets her strength. I will tell you that the book ends with one heck of a cliffhanger - one that I definitely did not see coming - and I totally loved it! 

I highly recommend this to fans of dystopian fiction, and I can't WAIT for the next installment of this series to come out! :D

Disclosure: I received an ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Review: From Fame to Shame, by Veronica Blade

Title: From Fame to Shame
Author: Veronica Blade
Format: ebook
Source: author, in exchange for my honest opinion

From Goodreads: "When good-girl Maddie switches places with her famous bad-girl twin Jackie, she has some pretty high stilettos to fill.

Despite the danger of tabloid drama if their identity swap is discovered, Maddie has to save her sister's butt. When Jackie’s ex-boyfriend shows up with a rekindled spark for “Jackie,” his deep gray eyes and sweet kisses make Maddie's heart thumpety thump. But dating the guy who dumped her sister is a no-no. Too bad Dallas isn’t used to girls saying no. What will happen when he discovers Maddie’s deception?

I've read everything Veronica Blade has written, and I'm a huge fan of hers, so it probably will not come as a surprise that I absolutely LOVED this book! It is without a doubt her best work to date! And that's saying a lot because I have really enjoyed all of her stories!

In this book, Maddie and Jackie are 18 year old twins but they couldn't be more different. Maddie is the small town girl who lives at home with her parents, works at their jewelry store, and prefers staying home and reading a good bok to going out at night, and Jackie is her polar opposite - an actress who loves the spotlight and lives in Hollywood, where she loves to go out, party, and see and be seen. She adores the attention, until the tabloids start to attack her right when she is up for a part in a serious movie, which she fears will scare the producers off. All of the pressure starts to get to her and she just needs a break for a week or so, so she calls her sister, Maddie, to step in and impersonate her at a few publicity appearances. Maddie is very hesitant, but when she sees how much Jackie needs the break, she finally agrees to do it, against her better judgment. Jackie lives in an apartment building right across the hall from her ex-boyfriend, mega-hottie Dallas, also an actor, who just happens to be the guy Maddie has had a huge crush on for years! As Maddie tries to "be" Jackie, she and Dallas connect on a level he and Jackie never did, but she knows that she cannot tell him the truth about who she is without possibly ruining Jackie's life. 

When I agreed to read this book, I told the author it would probably take me a few days since I was a bit behind on my reviews, and I would get back to her when I had the chance to read it. Lo and behold, I read it that very night and immediately contacted her to tell her how great it was! The characters were likable and relatable, and it was really great to see how much Maddie grew through the course of the book, gaining self-confidence and coming out of her shell a bit. Jackie and Maddie got along great, which I really liked since usually in stories with twins who are so different from one another, one is really nice while the other is either selfish or mean, or something along those lines. Dallas was definitely swoon-worthy!! One of my favorite lines from the book describes him like this: "Damn, he smelled good. A little bit musky and a whole lot of yum." Spot on!

In summary, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all lovers of YA contemporary fiction, and it is going on my list of favorite books of 2012! I will be waiting anxiously for the sequel, From Couture to Cut-Offs, which will tell Jackie's story! :D

Clarie Reads is having a 250 follower giveaway! Check it out!

Claire Reads blog has reached an awesome milestone, 250 followers, and is having a huge giveaway to celebrate!! In fact, since she has passed the 300 mark now, she is adding another winner to the mix, with another one for every 50 followers that she gets during the run of the giveaway! So head on over there, check it out, and if you like what you see, follow her and get in on the giveaway fun :D

Click HERE to enter!!

Check out this new trailer for Elemental by Emily White!!!

Elemental, Emily White’s taut YA sci-fi thriller debut (Spencer Hill Press, May 2012) confronts many of our greatest fears… darkness, loneliness and the power within each of us to become either the hero or villain in the plotline of our life. Ella, who has been held prisoner aboard a starship since she was a young child, must discover whether she will be the prophesied Destructor… or if she will, instead, be destroyed.

Spencer Hill Press has created a dynamic and innovative trailer for Elemental, using various forms of media including video clips, an actress portraying the book’s protagonist, and an exciting soundtrack.
The video will premier across the internet and on youtube on Monday, March 19th, beginning at 12:01 am EST. And without further ado, here it is: 

The song is SO gorgeous, as is the boy with the green, green eyes :) So what are you waiting for? Go check it out and then let me know what YOU think of it!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Review: Caller ID, by Rachelle J. Christensen

Title: Caller ID
Author: Rachelle J. Christensen
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads: "When twenty-three-year-old Courtney Beckham is abducted near her home, the search turns up more than just a kidnapping crime. FBI agent Jason Edwards investigates the ten-million-dollar ransom and stumbles upon something he wasn't meant to find. When Courtney catches a glimpse of the caller ID in her kidnapper's home, what she sees turns her world upside down."

 When I requested this book I didn't realize that it was the second book, and that one of the characters from the first book was in the second book, but it works fine as a standalone so don't let that stop you from reading it. I thought this was a good mystery/thriller with likable characters and a good plot. There was a lot of action in the story and it moved along at a good pace. The writing was also very easy to read, as evidenced by the fact that I read it in one day! 

Courtney comes across to people as a shallow little rich girl, 23 years old and sowing her oats during her college years before she settles down in the future. When she comes upon a secret hidden in the woods near her home one day while out horseback riding, her problems have only just begun. She is kidnapped and terrorized, but she never gives up trying to escape. It turns out there's a lot more to her than meets the eye! There were a lot of twists and turns to this story, enough to keep you guessing most of the time. The FBI is called in and one of the agents, Jason, figures out that Courtney isn't just the spoiled girl she appears to be, and he makes it his personal mission to find her. 

I was very happy with most of the book, although at the end there is a big twist that I just didn't feel was believable. It kind of threw me off and took away some of my enjoyment of the story. Other than that, though, I can definitely recommend this book to anybody who loves a good mystery/thriller, and I will be going back to read the first book Rachelle Christensen wrote, Wrong Number :D

Review: The Dressmaker: A Novel, by Kate Alcott

Title: The Dressmaker: A Novel
Author: Kate Alcott
Format: ebook
Source: NetGalley

From Goodreads: "Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she's had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be a personal maid on the Titanic's doomed voyage. Once on board, Tess catches the eye of two men, one a roughly-hewn but kind sailor and the other an enigmatic Chicago millionaire. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes.

Amidst the chaos and desperate urging of two very different suitors, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. Tess’s sailor also manages to survive unharmed, witness to Lady Duff Gordon’s questionable actions during the tragedy. Others—including the gallant Midwestern tycoon—are not so lucky.

On dry land, rumors about the survivors begin to circulate, and Lady Duff Gordon quickly becomes the subject of media scorn and later, the hearings on the Titanic. Set against a historical tragedy but told from a completely fresh angle, The Dressmaker is an atmospheric delight filled with all the period's glitz and glamour, all the raw feelings of a national tragedy and all the contradictory emotions of young love.

I've always been fascinated with the story of the Titanic sinking, so when I saw this book offered on NetGalley, I had to request it, especially as this is the centennial anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. One of the things I really loved about this book is how it melded fictional accounts with actual historical accounts of some of the people who were on the Titanic, including the unsinkable Molly Brown and the Darlings. The story starts with Tess, a serving girl who dreams of being a fashion designer. Her plan is to find some way on board the Titanic so that she can sail to New York, where dreams can actually come true. She meets up with Lady Duff Gordon, a fashion designer of some renown, who hires her as a personal assistant, with the promise of a chance to show what she can do when they get to New York. During the voyage, she meets two men who catch her eye, Jim, a simple sailor, and Jack Bremerton, a middle-aged Chicago millionaire who is in the midst of a divorce. When the Titanic sinks, you get to see everyone in action, and find out what many of the characters are really made of.

When they reach New York, they are faced with senatorial hearings to determine what really happened that night. Some acted with courage, some with cowardice, but all with fear, and the acts of that night will affect all of them for some time to come. 

While I liked this book, I didn't love it. I found that after the Titanic sank, and the survivors got to New York and began to pick up the pieces of their lives, the story dragged a bit. I liked Tess, for the most part, but she was a little bit too wishy washy at times for my liking. Lucile Duff-Gordon was not very likable at all, and Jim and Jack, the love interests, were just kind of there, not really jumping off the pages as a potential love interest with Tess. There wasn't a lot of chemistry with either couple, so it was hard to root for one over the other.

I enjoyed the historical aspect of the book, and when there WAS something happening, I found it easy to read. The problem was that there wasn't a lot going on through the middle, which was disappointing. 

In summary, I liked this book, but didn't love it, and while I don't recommend running out to buy a copy, I definitely think it's worthwhile for lovers of historical fiction to borrow a copy from a friend or the library and read it, then decide what YOU think about it. If anybody else has read it, let me know what you thought about it: Like it, Love it, or just Meh :D

Review: Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Title: Witchlanders
Author: Lena Coakley
Format: print copy
Pages: 400
Source: Bought myself

From Goodreads: "High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future. It’s all a fake.
At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?
But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—
Are about him."

 My opinion: I loved it!! I've had this book on my shelf for a while now and when I finally got around to reading it I had to ask myself why I waited so long! Ryder and his sisters and mother live in the Witchlands, and Falpian lives in the Bitterlands with his father, mother and sisters. The Witchlanders and the Baen (from the Bitterlands) are mortal enemies following the great war, at which time the Witchlanders drove all of the Baen over into the Bitterlands. But there is a connection between Ryder and Falpian that could change the course of events drastically.

I am a new fan of Lena Coakley's and will definitely be reading anything she writes! Her writing is flawless, the pace of the book was perfect, and talk about character development! Even the secondary characters, which are as well fleshed out as the main characters, grew over the course of the book! There was enough action to keep you reading from the first page to the last, and I actually read it in 2 days because I couldn't put it down! The author describes the surroundings in such a way that you can easily see everything that is happening.

Here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about: "It's all over, he tried to tell himself. Things will go back to normal now. But dread lay coiled at the pit of his stomach. He had the feeling that the future was stealing up behind him, about to tap his shoulder with a cold finger, about to break the spell of this perfect twilit night." I get a shiver just reading it again!

Things were tied up to a point at the end of the book, but it felt to me as though it was being left open for a possible sequel. I've looked but can't find any information on whether this is going to happen or not. I have a message in to Ms. Coakley now asking her just that question, and hopefully I will be able to update this post when I get the answer! Be that as it may, I absolutely enjoyed reading this book and can definitely highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers out there :)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sweeping Me’s One Year Blogoversary!!! #GIVEAWAY #Celebrate

 A bit congrats goes to Sweeping Me for reaching the one year milestone!!! And to celebrate, they are having one heck of a giveaway: your choice of two things – a Kindle Touch or a $100 gift card!! I'm not kidding! How awesome is that?! So, run, don't walk, to enter right here!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Huge Giveaway on Live to Read!!

Krystal from the Live to Read blog is participating in a contest for the Doxocology blog tour and is having a huge giveaway for those who vote for her! Trust me, it's definitely worth checking out!! Just go here to enter :D

Monday, March 5, 2012

How Gorgeous Is This Cover!!

Entangled (Spellbound #1)  by: Nikki Jefford

From Goodreads: Twin witches Graylee and Charlene Perez agree on one rule: No dating warlocks.
Not so easy when a certain rogue warlock is convinced he and Graylee belong together and will use anything, including magic, to try and impress Gray. When Charlene’s boyfriend dumps her, she threatens to kill either herself or the girl who stole Blake. Somehow, Gray ends up dead.
A Resurrection Spell Gone Wrong:
Two months after dying, Gray wakes up in Charlene’s body. As a witch, can anyone blame her mother for attempting to bring her daughter back to life? Only now Gray’s stuck sharing her sister’s body 50/50 in twenty-four hour shifts.
The race is on for Gray to find a way back inside her own body before Charlene purges her from existence. Raj McKenna is rumored to meddle in the black arts, not to mention he’s after Gray’s invisibility spell and worse – her heart. But Raj might be the only one powerful enough to save Gray from fading away forever.

I want this book!! The cover caught my eye, but the description sealed the deal! What do you think? 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

An Awesome Giveaway at Hippies, Beauty and Books, Oh My!!

According to Hippies' blog, "On March 13th, Simon & Schuster is publishing The Devil’s Scribe, a short story that’s part of The Taker Saga." How great is that? 

And do you want to hear something even better? "Second, the trade paperback version of The Taker is coming out on March 27th." Woohoo! 

I know it's hard to top that, but there's more! " It is going to be a really special paperback, with a reader's guide and a chapter from the second book in the trilogy, The Reckoning, which is due to hit shelves June 19th, 2012! You can read Chapter 1 of The Taker by clicking here." 

So head over to Hippies, Beauty and Books, Oh My! and enter their giveaway, for an amazing chance to win a fan pack which includes: a proof of the trade paperback cover, a spoofy wine label made for The Reckoning, bookmarks, post-it notes and a Reckoning pen, and a paperback copy of The Taker.  Just go here to enter :D

Good luck!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Cinder Book Review

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Format: Hard cover
Pages: 387

From Goodreads: "Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl... Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future."

I've read quite a few books over the past couple weeks but I wanted to wait to do my first review on a book that absolutely blew me away, and Cinder definitely did that! I've heard amazing things about it, and I was SO happy when I won a copy, that I started reading it as soon as I got it in the mail. I was not disappointed, either! The writing was flawless, the characters were well developed, and the pacing was perfect!

Cinder was a character that you felt connected with right away. Even though she is a cyborg, you could understand how she felt and how hard her life was. I love the fact that Cinder is a modern take on Cinderella, and that she was the poor girl who tried so hard just to get by in a life full of hardship and rejection. She was the adopted daughter/ward of a vicious woman who resented having to take care of a cyborg after her husband died soon after taking Cinder on. Cinder has two "step-sisters", the kind Peony, who she is very close to, and Peony's older sister, Pearl, who takes her cues from her mother, Adri. Cinder is a mechanic in New Beijing and dreams of running away one day to start a new life somewhere else. Then she meets Prince Kai, who is an absolute dreamboat, take it from me! He's handsome, charming, and doesn't care that Cinder is a poor mechanic, although she manages to hide the fact that she's a cyborg from him! When the plague hits too close to home, everything changes, and Cinder's life is thrown into even more chaos than before.

I loved everything about this book and can definitely highly recommend it!! If you've read it, let me know what you thought - did you fall in love with it like I did, or if you didn't, why not? :D