Saturday, July 31, 2010

Intertwined by Gena Showalter

Aden has four voices inside his head and if that wasn’t enough, he has four supernatural powers. Eve can time travel, Julian can raise the dead, Caleb can possess another human, and Elijah can predict the future. As Aden bounces around from foster homes, juvie, and insane hospitals, he feels more alone despite the four souls in his head. When he ends up in Crossroads, Oklahoma everything changes. Elijah has a vision that he will kiss a dark haired girl that will change his life and also that Aden will die soon. On the day Aden is fighting zombies Julian accidentally raised, he is suddenly drawn to a mysterious girl that he feels he must hug but at the same time, to run away. Aden knows there is something strange about this girl. Could it be the dark haired girl he will kiss? Or does she have the clues to finding out what is going on in his head?

The Good: This novel was one of those that you get to page like 300 and you look back and nothing huge happened but yet the pages flew by. But don’t get me wrong this book was great, filled with lots of mystery and intrigue. This was and interesting combination with the supernatural. Usually in the paranormal genre that usually entails big battles between vampires and werewolves or running from psychotic enemies. And while that may seem stereotypical this novel was totally unique in a very good way. I am often hesitant of male protagonists. I find some to be completely unrelateable. But Aden (and his companions) were very easy to read and provided a fun, interesting, unique dynamic.

The Bad: I felt the lack of excitement throughout the book slowed its pace slightly. While the ending was climatic, it lacked the proper build up to make it especially exciting. But overall Showalter did a good job of being unique in what seems like an overcrowded genre. 

Ugly Updates: Showalter has published many other books in the paranormal genre. Unraveled, the sequel to Intertwined, comes out August 31st! So get reading Intertwined so you're all ready when it comes out. Check out Showalter's site and order Intertwined and Unraveled on amazon.

Rating: A

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hearts At Stake by Alyxandra Harvey

This title is also known as My Love Lies Bleeding.
Lucy and Solange have been best friends since they were kids despite that Solange’s family are vampires and at her upcoming sixteenth birthday she will become one too. But Solange is very different from the vampires of her family and others in the community. She is the very first born vampire that is a female. And there just happens to be a prophecy saying she will become queen. Though Solange wants nothing to do with this the current queen feels very threatened. As her sixteen birthday approaches she must put up with the growing gifts from courters, the overwhelming numbers of admirers that think her uniqueness in enthralling, and seven very overprotective brothers. Oh and the fact that the bloodchange could leave her dead.

The Good: With alternating points of view from Lucy and Solange, Hearts at Stake is a fun, admirable read. Lucy’s character is hilarious. She is fun, witty, and clever and with her hippy-parents-philosophy references she is an easy enjoyable character to read. Solange, similarly, is a character that I came to love. She is down-to-earth and strong-willed. She always wants to protect herself and to not be coddled. But with an Edward Cullen-like over protective family it provides a very interesting dynamic. This novel in essence is a upbeat, fairly-quick, mysterious vampire story that kicks butt.

The Bad: This novel, like any good novel, has romance. But it is weird at some places. Its hard to explain but I felt with switching points of view at cliff hanger end-of-chapters left some things – important things – left unsaid. This, overall, isn’t a huge deal. For some reason this kind of stuck with me. I personally love different points of view. I think it gives a story dynamic. But that said it should be done eloquently.

The Ugly Updates: This is Harvey’s first novel. Book two of the Drake Chronicles, Blood Feud, is out as of June (I hope to get my hands on a copy soon!). Out for Blood, the third book, is out December 22nd (USA).

Overall: A

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Waiting On Wednesday: Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins

I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games. I have loved them from the very beginning. And now it is 27 days till the conclusion and I really don't know if I can wait that long. But to help me (and you) to make it until August 24th you should check out Scholastic's Summer of Hunger Games. There giving away prizes, discussing all the books, and tons more. Check it out here. For a schedule of events click here. Also I'm giving away a copy of Mockingjay!! It stinks its not an ARC but still at least you won't have to buy your own copy! So check it out. Don't forget to add extra entries if you've already entered!

Keep Reading,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weekly Update (7)

Sorry this update is out a little late. It's going to be a crazy busy next two weeks so just bare with me. I don't really have much to say this week. No new additions to my TBR pile. I updated my Contests on my left sidebar. Sorry so many of them were out of date. Don't forget to enter my Mockingjay contest this is the last week it ends Saturday! There is also an option to add extra entries if you've already entered. Onto the update:

This week:
  • Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
  • Intertwined by Gena Showalter
Have a great week. P.S. Has anyone heard that at Goodreads you have a limited number of friend requests a day? Does anyone else find this as ridiculous as I do?

Keep Reading,

Friday, July 23, 2010

Summer Series: House of Night by P.C. & Kristin Cast

 Note: This is a review of a whole series and the summary will not spoil any of the books, including the first.
Zoey is just a normal girl until one day after school she is Marked. Marked to be a fledgling where in the next four years she will either turn into a gorgeous full grown vampire or she will die in the changing process. While dealing with be the new kid in the elite school, her mom and step-dad’s disgust with what she’s become and the popular queen bee who can be quite the beeoch, she discovers she’s a standout among the fledglings. Her crescent mark is filled in, like an adult vampire, yet she is still a fledgling. Zoey realizes that that the Goddess has chosen her specifically for a job. She just not sure what that is yet. Follow Zoey on her journey through school, boyfriends, death, affinities, war, betrayal, and friendship.

To start I had a love-hate relationship with these books. I’ve heard really great things about them but when I read the first book in the spring I was sadly disappointed. But I decided I would give there series another try. So I really tried to like the books but the really weren’t that incredible and I only made it to book four. But here’s more specifically what I thought about it.

The Good: Zoey and her friends are funny and very relatable. They really made the story readable. They had a really interesting dynamic together that made me want to be their friend too. Stevie Rae is southern bell with quite a sense of humor and a “mother hen” outlook. Damon, their openly gay friend, taught me some new words that I’m sure will probably show up in my SATs for which I thank him. Lastly, Zoey, though I wanted to shake her senseless sometimes she really was a strong heroine who dealt with horrible circumstances very realistically, she didn’t pretend she was Super God and made everything perfect again. Because what teenager doesn’t freak out a little when they’re in over their head.

The Bad: Overall I thought the House of Night series was lacking in maturity and action. One thing that drives me crazy in a book is parentheses. I can deal with one or two but one every page, not so much. When a novel is written in first person, like House of Night, I feel there is no need for them especially when your going to say something like this; “I learned it from Star Wars (I know I’m such a geek)”. The novel fell flat in the action department. I wasn’t on the edge of my seat at all. The novel was also a bit predictable. It lacked intrigue, poise and overall sophistication. I felt like it was more written for middle grade. The only thing that made it YA was the swear words and occasional sexual references. Though it was nothing inappropriate and I would say middle grades could read it.

Overall: C- 

Keep Reading,

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week La Femme Readers gave me a whole bunch of ideas from her "Tantalizing Future YA Releases" You can view the whole post here. But here is what I thought looked good:

  • Omnitopia Dawn by Diane Duane out August 3rd (Not YA) 
  • Intrinsical by Lani Woodland out August 20th
  • Dust City by Robert Paul Weston out September 9th
  • Jane by April Lindner out October 10th

What's your Waiting on Wednesday pick?

    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    Glimmerglass by Jenna Black

    Dana’s been the adult of the house since she was five. When her alcoholic mother show up to her recital drunk it’s the last straw. Dana decides to run away to find her father who she knows very little about. She knows he’s a big time Fae, living in Avalon, the place where Faerie and the mortal world connect. It is inhabited by both Fae and humans alike. When Dana gets there things go horribly wrong. Everyone is lying to her and she doesn’t know who to trust in this strange new place. And to make everything worse she isn’t a normal Halfling and that fact makes some people happy because they could use her power and others just want her dead.

    The Good: Overall this book was mediocre. (But more on that later.) Black’s world of Avalon is very interesting. It has similar aspects like most fairy novels do but when she intermingles them with humans it’s a different dynamic. Glimmerglass wasn’t slow and had enough happening to keep you mildly entertained. The minor characters are also fairly developed with strong personalities.

    The Bad: The biggest problem of this novel was the fail of an exciting climax or big secret twist. While the novel wasn’t predictable it wasn’t edge-of-you-seat exciting either. Dana’s character was also fairly average. After taking care of her mother you would think she’d have a bit more responsibility and while I get her want of being taken care of I would have preferred a strong heroine who takes action and authority. I’m not sure if I will read the sequel or not. The ending didn’t have me dying to know what happens next, though the story definitely doesn’t come to a solid conclusion.

    The Ugly Updates: Black’s written several adult novels. The sequel Shadowspell comes out early 2011. Visit website (right sidebar) to learn more about her, join her mailing list, and even read some short stories for free (I think they may be in the adult genre though). 

    Overall: B+

    Keep Reading,

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    Weekly Update (6)

    So I would first like to apologize for the lack of reviews last week. The read-a-thon kind of threw me off. But I will be back to posting regularly.
    Remember to enter my Mockingjay contest. I'm adding another form (located under picture, on right sidebar or on the post) where you can earn bonus entries in addition to the two you may have already posted so check that out. I have over 135 entries (not people) so you might want those extras. But please make sure you fill out the original. form first.
     I also added a new page called "Book Recommendations", this is a (long) list of books I have previously read and enjoyed. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've previously read them or if you decide to read them. Send thought to my email, gbubookreviews(at)gmail(dot)com. Onto the update...

    Posts this week:
    • Summer Series: House of Night by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
    • Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
    • Weekly Discussion: Summaries
    New Additions to TBR Pile
    • Vampire Kisses Series
    • Dark Flame by Alyson Noel
    • Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
    Hope your summer is going awesome too bad it's half way over!

    Keep Reading,

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    Crash Into Me by Albert Borris

    Four kids. One thing in common. Suicide. Frank, Jen-Ae, Owen, and Audrey are the Suicide Dogs, on a mission – to die. They decide to take a cross country trip visiting graves of famous suicides and finally ending in Death Valley where they will end their lives. On their journey they confront inner demons, reveal their deepest secrets, their most desperate desires. They know there’s no reason to hold back. In two weeks they’ll be gone. They struggle with the ultimate questions – Is life worth all the pain, suffering, and loneliness and What happens to you when you die?

    The Good: This novel is raw. It’s emotional. And it is life-changing. The four characters start out as timid and shy, unsure of what to expect from their myspace friends. But on this final journey they form an unbreakable bond to coincide with their unbreakable pact. Crash Into Me in an eye-opening story that will touch you very deeply. The loneliness and pain the characters feel is impossible not to empathize with. You see them change in the course of two short weeks and I felt myself irrevocably change too. The characters lives seem real, almost tangible and it saddens you that people can actually feel this way – want to do such irreversible acts. The writing of this novel is extremely sophisticated but relatable, readable, and real. Mixed with IM conversations from the past and top ten lists, the writing flows easily. Borris is an exceptional writer that opens your eyes to the hard truth of loneliness, self-worth, and suicide.

    The Bad: This one is a tear-jerker that you won’t be able to put down.

    The Ugly Updates: Borris has worked with teenagers in schools, suicide hotlines, and in drug rehab. This is his first published novel but he has written some poetry that has been published. Visit his site.

    Crash Into Me on Amazon

    Overall: A+

    Keep Reading,

    Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

    So overall I'm kind of disappointed in how much I read. It's quite pitiful actually. But anyway here it is...
    • Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
    • The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson
    • Dark Flame by Alyson Noel (85pgs of 320)
    • Intertwined by Gena Showalter (87pgs of 440)
    I hope everyone did a lot better than me. Also exciting news I won a signed copy of Ballad by Maggie Steifvater and a copy of Twice Bitten by Chloe Neill. Thanks so much Pure Imagination, Reading Angel, and Candace's Book Blog for hosting this fun event!

    Keep Reading,

    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Once Upon a Read-a-Thon Update (2)

    Once Upon A Read-A-Thon
    Hey everyone! I hope you are all reading furiously. I'm really trying. I just finished Glimmerglass by Jenna Black. And now I'm going to finish The Deathday Letter. Follow my progress on Facebook and Goodreads (links found in right sidebar) Now onto todays mini-challenges

    MINI CHALLENGE # 3 -- Books and emotions
    for rules or to submit your own answer click here.

    1. What makes me the most emotional when I read?
    • When things go bad in the romance that makes me the most emotional. I am such a romantic! But its the truth whether they break up, one dies, or if they just have a fight I get so upset
    2. What is the book that has made me the most emotional?
    • Hands down Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater but The Host by Stephanie Meyer is a close second.
    For more info on the Read-a-Thon click the picture on my left sidebar. Comment your updates or answers to the mini-challenge. 

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Once Upon A Read-A-Thon Update (1)

    Once Upon A Read-A-Thon

    So Once Upon a Read-A-Thon, hosted by Pure Imagination, Reading Angel, & Candance's Book Blog kicked off today. I am trying to read at least 5 books. We'll see how that works out.  For more info on the read-a-thon click here, to sign up click here, and to get the complete rules for this mini challenge or to submit your answer

    MINI CHALLENGE #1 -- Fav Fictional Couples and Crossover Couples
    for rules or to submit your own answer click here.

    Fav Fictional Couples:

    • Sam and Grace from Shiver/Linger
    • Rose and Dimitri from Vampire Academy Series
    • Wanda and Ian from The Host

    Crossover Couples
    • Simon from The Mortal Instruments and Tori from Darkest Powers. I know its kinda crazy but this was a hard one!!
    MINI CHALLENGE #2 -- Song for fav book/character
    for rules or to submit your own answer click here.

    I'm putting together Jace & Clary from The Mortal Instruments with Resistance from Muse. Which happens to be my favorite song. 

    Keep Checking Back for new more updates and mini challenges. (As I finish books they will be posted in my left sidebar under events)

    Sunday, July 11, 2010

    Weekly Update (5)

    So I have amazing news. I OFFICIALLY HAVE 50 FOLLOWERS!! That is just unbelieveable. I started blogging a little over a month ago and I already have this many followers. I am just in awe. You guys ROCK! Thank you so much. So, what to expect this week; my Mockingjay contest is still going on, click the picture in the left sidebar for that. Read-A-Thon starts tomorrow. I'm very excited I've got my pile of books already. look for a post on Thursday about my reads!! Sign-up if you haven't -- you don't even need a blog! Mostly I'm hoping everyone is keeping cool and having an amazing summer.

    Posts this week:

    • Book Review: Crash Into Me by Albert Borris
    • Summer Series: House of Night by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
    • Read-A-Thon Updates

    Comment Questions  (Look at my About Me page for this new feature): What vacations have gone or are going to? Which do you prefer pool/beach/lake?  What are you currently reading?

    Keep Reading,

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr

    Radiant Shadows, the fourth novel in Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, tells the story of Ani. A Halfling. The daughter of Gabriel, assassin of the Dark Court. Friend of the former Dark King, Irial. Every day Ani is becoming more faery and less mortal than her Halfling siblings. As she changes so do her hungers and unlike all Halflings she has two she must sate. From being Dark Court, she must feel emotion and by being part Hound she must feel touch. Besides her father limiting her to feed, she rarely feeds knowing she could kill someone but taking both touch and emotions from one faery or mortal. The Dark Court continues to struggle and Ani just must be their salvation. When Ani’s life is threatened, she must decide whether to save her herself or betray those she loves.

    The Good: Melissa Marr has done it again. Radiant Shadows is another amazing addition to her series. Marr’s world-building skills are just extraordinary and I love the world of Huntsdale and Faerie. Ani, like the previous main characters, is a strong girl-power heroine. The development of Ani’s character was very connectible. I think we’ve all felt like we don’t belong anywhere. The romance in this novel is exquisite. Marr just has this magical touch to do intimate scenes with immense class. I absolutely love, as strange as it sounds, that her novels aren’t perfect. What I mean is, she’s not afraid to have cruel, evil, dangerous characters that cause horrible destruction. She’s also not afraid to show the scary, run-down parts of town that most novels avoid. Overall, her “imperfect” setting, characters, and endings make her novels realistic and enthralling.

    The Bad: After all that its very hard to say anything bad about Radiant Shadows. But about half-way through the novel and asked myself what had happened so far. I couldn’t really think of much. So I’m assuming I was consumed by the diverse vocabulary and great writing that the slow beginning didn’t bother me.

    Ugly Updates: The conclusion to the series, Darkest Mercy, comes out February 22nd. Melissa Marr constantly updates her website with contests, book news, and so much more.

    Book Reviews: Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity
    Books on Amazon: Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange, Fragile Eternity, Radiant Shadows, Darkest Mercy

    Overall: A+

    Keep Reading,

    Wednesday, July 7, 2010

    Waiting on Wednesday: Matched by Ally Condie

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

    This Week: Matched by Ally Condie

    "Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.
    The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow."

    I have been desperately waiting for this book since Melissa Marr tweeted about it this spring. There has been so much hype about it and it's bound to be an amazing read. Can't Wait!! Comes out November 30th. 

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

    In Kimberly Derting’s debut novel romance and suspense combine to form a beautiful combination. Violet has a special power; she can sense the echoes of people who are murdered. She also sees an identical one on the murder. Through most of her life all she’s had to deal with were animals. Violet has only ever found one human, a little girl when she was eight. That is until now. There is a murder loose in her county and Violet feels she is the only one who can find the missing girls and their killer. And if she didn’t have enough to deal with Violet’s absolute best friend, Jay, is beginning to make her feel crazy butterflies and electric shocks at his presence and touch.

    The Good: Derting does a wonderful job in her debut novel. The romance drags you so far into the book that I feel the suspense isn’t even need; but of course it is very welcome. With the occasional scene from the killer’s point of view make the novel very interesting. And just when you think you know the ending, things are twisted. Jay, a minor character has a very witty personality always coming back with a smart comment. Violet and his friendship is fun and carefree and easy – Something all of us should have. Fans of Lisa McMann’s Wake, Fade, and Gone will enjoy The Body Finder immensely.

    The Bad: I felt the Violet’s character was somewhat underdeveloped. I feel like she was less than a major character. And I felt that she was hard to get to know and relate to. For me the suspense was lacking in the fact that it didn’t overly impact the major characters in the beginning. Like on a tv drama where bad things happen to the characters of just that episode rather than the regulars (think patients vs. doctors on Grey’s Anatomy or victims/criminals vs. investigators of C.S.I.). Overall though the novel was well-written and a great summer read.

    The Ugly Updates: This is Derting's debut novel. The sequel, Desires of the Dead, comes out March 15th. The cover was just recently released and I personally love it. 

    Books on Amazon: The Body Finder & Desires of the Dead

    Overall: -A

    Keep Reading (& Stay cool!)

    Monday, July 5, 2010

    Weekly Update (4)

    Well I hope everyone had an amazing Independence Day! I sure did, but man is it hot out. So before I go lay out, read, and get a beautiful tan I thought I'd update for this week. Three things I want to point out today. One, I'm giving away a copy of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, the third and final book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. There's no crazy ways to enter just click the picture in my left sidebar and fill out the form. Second, a week from today, 3 blogs, Pure Imagination, Candace's Book Blog, & Reading Angel, are hosting a read-a-thon. I will be participating in this and you can too (you don't even need a blog!). To view the rules click here. To sign up click here. They're giving away lots of stuff and all you have to do is read! Finally check out my post about The Dark Divine book trailer. There is lots of prizes to be won there as well. Onto what's going on this week:

    • Book Review: The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
    • Book Review: Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
    • Weekly Discussion: Dead Parents 
    New Additions to To-Be-Read Pile
    • First 6 House of Night Novels (from Library) Look for a special post next week I'm calling Summer Series
    Thank you again all of my followers (which is now up to 35!) for your support. I never expected I would have this many in less than a month. You guys rock! As always feel free to comment/email me suggestions, complaints, or praise. I'd love to here from you guys. Have a great week. Stay cool!

    Keep Reading, 

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    The Dark Divine by Bree Despain: Book Trailer and Contest

    Bree Despain, author of The Dark Divine, is hosting a contest to promote her new book trailer that was shown to some Eclipse fans in Utah. But for our enjoyment (because who really lives in Utah, just kidding) it has been posted on youtube. So watch the video, then tell EVERYONE about it because there are some awesome prizes on the line: signed books, ARCs, and maybe ipad!!
    For details and rules look here
    For a complete list of prizes look here

    Well, now you've seen it. So what are you still doing here go tell people!!

    Claire de Lune by ChristineJohnson

    Note: This is not a review but rather, the reasons I could not finish this book.

    "Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.

    As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?"(Amazon)

    The reasons I did not finish this book:
    • Claire talked like she was 12 not 16.
    • I guessed the villain by the 80th page
    • There was absolutely no action, mystery (except for the killer, who was very obvious) and the romance wasn’t enough to keep me the least bit interested
    • Claire and her mother’s relationship was basically non-existent, but yet the author seemed to try to force them together.

    Overall this book was boring and very lacking in plot, creativity, and style. I had to stop at page 100.

    Rating: D

    Keep Reading,

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    July Contest: Mockingjay

    YAY! It's contest time. This month I will be giving away the highly anticipated book, MOCKINGJAY! I personally have been looking forward to this novel since before Catching Fire even came out.
    "Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year." (Amazon)
    • You must be 13 years or older
    • Contest is for US Residents only
    • You must fill out the form below to enter, comments ARE NOT entries
    • Contest ends July 31st (7/31/10) at 11:59 PM EST
    • Note: your email address will not be used for any purpose than to contact you if you win, and will not be shared. 
    • Winner will be posted on the blog by August 3rd, winner will be emailed and have 1 week to respond. 
    • Book will be shipped on August 24, 2010 (8/24/10)