Sunday, November 21, 2010

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

I'm sorry for the delay on this one guys! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy. Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side. As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny.  (Amazon)

The Good: This book was strangely addicting and I have no idea why. I kept wanting to pick it up and read a little more. Unearthly is also very good in the romance department, you just have to be patient. Hand does a really good job with the characters. Clara is my favorite by far. She is just a teenage girl who has to find new friends and discover herself just like everyone else. Overall the book was enjoyable.

The Bad: Unearthly left me very unsatisfied. It lacked intrigue towards the beginning and everything good seemed to happen in the last 50 pages. It was good but not extraordinary. We get very little information about the angel and angel-blood community. It is on a more need-to-know basis which was disappointing. And at the end there was no conclusion. No questions were answered. It was like going up the rollercoaster and on your way down stopping 3/4 of the way down. Overall Unearthly was average and lacking in some key areas like action and character development, specifically the minors. 

Ugly Updates: Unearthly is out January 4th, 2011. So add it to your post-Christmas list, so you can buy it with your Christmas Border's gift cards and money. Or preorder it via Amazon here so that you can give yourself a late Christmas gift :) Also Hand has a website by at this point it is very limited, and I mean very limited. But she does have a blog that you can check out for more info about her and her books.

Keep Reading, 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Three angels are sent down to bring good to the world: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. But she is the most human, and when she is romantically drawn to a mortal boy, the angels fear she will not be strong enough to save anyone—especially herself—from the Dark Forces. Is love a great enough power against evil?

The Bad: This was one of the worst books I have read in a long time. The first thing that bothered me was the completely unrealistic nature of the whole book. There were so many times that the characters did completely ridiculous things that no one would ever do. They didn’t stay consistant throughout the book. No actions made sense. A lot of the book seemed to revolve around the romance. And normally I would be all over that but this time it wasn’t executed well. Certain actions seemed have the goal of putting the main couple in romantic situations rather than to keep the story interesting. There was also a huge lack of action or suspense. I really don’t know how I finished it. When the climax finally came it was like a small speed bump compared to the mountain a good book would have. The story was overall boring and unsophisticated.

The Good:  Halo is written by a 17 year old and I just wanted to commend her. Because as  person who hates to write, I deeply respect those who can. And getting published at 14 (her first book …) is such an incredible thing. So all you young authors out there have faith! 

Ugly Updates: Follow Adornetto on Facebook and Twitter.  You can find the rest of Adornetto's book on Goodreads here: Hades (Halo 2), Heaven (Halo 3). Adornetto has also written some children's books. You can check them out on her Goodreads account.

Keep Reading, 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blood & Flowers by Penny Blubaugh

I'm including the summary from the publisher, rather than my own because I really like this one and It's very spoiler free. 

Three years ago, Persia ran away from her drug-addict parents and found a home with the Outlaws, an underground theater troupe. With time, this motley band of mortals and fey, puppeteers and actors, becomes the loving family Persia never had, and soon Persia not only discovers a passion for theater but also falls in love with one of the other Outlaws. Life could not be more perfect. Until an enemy makes an unfair accusation against the group and forces them to flee their world and hide in the neighboring realm of Faerie. But in Faerie, all is not flowers and rainbows. With bloodthirsty trolls, a hostile monarchy, and a dangerous code of magic, the fey world is far from the safe haven the Outlaws had hoped for....

The Good: Let me start with saying I have never read a book where the cover so accurately described the writing style. Not the topic or anything, because obviously a cover should go with that, but the way the author describes the events, characters, and setting. This cover would attract me from across the store. Something with the vibrant colors and the overall just oddness of it. And the book is very much like it. Blubaugh writing style is very unique and kind of difficult to explain. All I know is that I loved it. She used these lists to explain things in a tastefully efficient way. And the ending of this one is worth it so stick it through.

The Bad: I cannot even begin to describe the weirdness of this book. This really is about puppets. And I mean the whole book. While this weirdness is not a bad thing, it is something to be weary of. Just don’t expect a novel with action and adventure. Expect puppets, crazy faeries, and gay men. But enjoy this one because it is worth your time and I think most people will enjoy the weirdness. 

Ugly Updates: Blood and Flowers comes out on March 1, 2011. As for a sequel, I don't think there will be one, there is no info about it but you never know. Blubaugh also has a book, Serendipity Market, that is out. Blubaugh site is poorly updated but you can check it out anyway for her bio, blog, and books she's read. Also, follow her on Twitter

Keep Reading, 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Girl, Stolen by April Henry

Here's a short review for a short little book. Enjoy! 
Cheyenne is blind, has been for three years when the accident happened. And one afternoon when she is waiting in the car for her stepmom to pick up her pneumonia prescription her car is stolen. With her in the back seat. Now she must find a way to escape with or without the help of her accidental kidnapper, Griffin. Who may or may not feel a connection with Cheyenne.

The Good: This book was so good. I really enjoyed the suspense throughout the novel. It never let up. When we got towards the end of the book you thought everything was over and then BAM! Nothing is what it seems.  Girl, Stolen was a very quick read, in a good way. That was a nice break from the other stuff I’ve been reading lately. I absolutely adored “seeing” through Cheyenne’s eyes. It really made me think about how I would act if I came in contact with a blind person. There are a lot of things I never even considered and Henry brought them up. You really should pick this book up. I think no matter what type of books you prefer you will like this one.

The Bad: I don’t really have anything bad to say about this one. Henry did an excellent job!

Ugly Updates: Henry has written two other mysteries for teens: Shock Point and Torched (Links to Goodreads). I will definitely be checking these out. Henry has also written a whole bunch of Adult novels. Check them out at Henry's site.  Also check there for tips for young writers, a whole bunch of fun links, her blog, and more info about Henry. Finally, order Girl, Stolen via Amazon here because it is such a good one.

Keep Reading, 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

View my review of the first book in the series The Body Finder here.

Violet hears echoes – sounds, smells, visions of dead people. They call to her when the person – or thing – has not been put to rest, buried in peace. They are insistent pull towards the corpse one that is also mimicked on the killer. Violet has been haunted by this ability. It has always made her so much different from everyone else. Even her best friend, newly her boyfriend, who has known of her ability for forever. As Violet desperately tries to find a place to belong, maybe with Sarah Priest, an FBI agent who seems to know more than she’s letting on, Jay is preoccupied with the new family who has moved into town. A new family that drives a wedge between Jay and Violet and a family who may or may not be threatening Violet.

The Good: Derting has done it again. Desires of the Dead is such a good read. She keeps you on the edge of your seat practically the whole book. Violet is her sincere and reckless self. And Jay is his funny and super sweet self. Also for all of you wondering the romance is just as good as Body Finder. It is steamy enough to make you sweat and angst-y to keep it interesting. This novel is a great read if you want a semi-quick book with tons of suspense and yummy romance with a tad twist of supernatural.

The Bad: Derting’s books fall under my “feel good” books. I have these books that I could read over and over again. They usually have tons of romance. Some of my books are Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Evermore by Alyson Noel, The Host by Stephanie Meyer, and the Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann. These are some of the books I will pick up and read my favorite parts, skimming over the boring parts, when I feel down or sad. Now I know this doesn’t sound bad but I’m getting there. What most of these books have in common are a lack of a huge back story and an uber twisty plot. They are usually a little predictable and romance heavily dominates. Desires of the Dead is both. So don’t read this book expecting to be pulled into a heavy conspiracy theory where everyone and their brother is in on it except the main character. Expect a quick read that is predictable and unrealistic at times but is enjoyable none the less. 

Ugly Updates: Desires of the Dead comes out March 15, 2011. And I know it is torture for me to post this and you not to be able to go buy out it right now but this is one your going to want to pre-order and you can do that here via Amazon.  Check out Derting's site to stay up to date on events this spring and to learn more about her. Also Derting updates her blog regularly so be sure to follow her. 

Keep Reading, 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

October Releases + 100 Followers!

This is a combo post. First, I would like to say THANK YOU!! Thanks to all you amazing followers. I have now reached 100 and that makes me so happy! You guys are the ones who make me continue with this even though I feel super overwhelmed. You guys are amazing!

Second, I am starting a new thing this month. Because of the amount of ARCs I've been reviewing, I wanted to give you guys a heads up to when books come out and then link back to my views. So at the end of every month I will be posting the big releases of the month, in this case October. Some I will have reviewed, others I will not. But feel free to leave any YA books I may have missed or links to your reviews either on your blog or Goodreads too! So no need to be shy... Send your thoughts.

October 1st

October 5th 

October 11th 
  • Jane by April Lindner 
October 12th 
October 19th 
October 26th 
So again, (1)Link your reviews (You don't need a blog!), (2)Tell me your thoughts if you read/want to read any of these, (3)Comment if I missed any books! 

    Monday, November 1, 2010

    Star Crossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce

    Digger is a thief in a world on the precipice of possible rebellion. After running away from the convent at a young age she learned her gift: stealing things. One night while on a job to steal some letters she and her friend are caught. She gets away. He is not so lucky. On the run from authorities, Digger decides to leave the city and a couple of young teens are there to help her. So she dons the persona of Celyn and works her way into the children of lords. After befriending Merista, the heir to Bryn Shaer, she is invited to become a lady-in-waiting at the mountain fortress. Digger’s instincts tell her that something mysterious is going on. And when she is blackmailed into doing some stealing and snooping, something she does well, she is not prepared for what she finds. In the isolated castle, Digger discover that the guests are keeping secrets. Secrets that could get them killed.

    The Good: This book is my new favorite fantasy book. It was so so good. Even through the paranormal phase YA is going through right now I think fantasy will always be my favorite genre. I have loved the kings and castles and magic. Especially the stories where the heroine completely kicks butt, specifically boy/man butt. Star Crossed is one of these stories. Digger is such a curious, witty teenager. I loved how she viewed everything and everyone as something to steal or someone who has secrets. Her sense of intuitiveness was so much fun. Every time I picked up the book I was like, “What the heck is she going to get into now?” The world that Digger lives in is so real, like it really could have existed. It was so intricate that it actually seemed like some thought went in to creating it. And the idea of 7 moons sounded very cool. While the beginning was a bit slow by page 100 it got good and by page 150 I didn’t want to put it down. EVER. I cannot wait for the sequel!

    The Bad: With an intricate setting and very detailed back-story it was super confusing. Star Crossed takes place on a completely different world than Earth. There were different islands and countries with different cities in different sections of the countries and paths and waterways. It was like setting over-load. And as much as I loved all the detail the lack of a map made it way too confusing. In addition to the detailed setting, their was a detailed back-story with religions and wars and the relationship between the lords and the king. This thankfully had a reference: the lexicon dictionary at the back of the book. Use It! Unfortunately I didn’t find it till about page 50 and before that I was completely and utterly lost. I gathered that Digger was a thief and that’s about it. So use the dictionary, which does have the names of locations to give you some what of a reference for the setting, and it will be a lot less confusing. Overall by about page 150 I started to remember all the different moons and gods and places and it didn’t draw away from the story any more.

    Ugly Updates: Bunce has written another YA book entitled A Curse as Dark as Gold. I will definitely be checking this one out. I cannot find a publication date for the sequel, Liar's Moon but I would assume around Fall 2011. Check of Bunce's site, Facebook, and blog. And Buy Star Crossed via Amazon here. Also Goodreads is giving away a copy of the book. You must have a Goodreads account (It's free though!) Check that out here. Ends November 26, 2010.

    Overall: A

    Keep Reading,