30 January 2012

The Alchemy of Forever - Avery Williams

Release Date: January 3rd 2012
Number of Pages: 256

After spending six hundred years on Earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world's riches but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending the human's life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she's done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she's his again, and every moment she stays, she's putting herself and the people she's grown to care about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?

I can't believe that I enjoyed The Alchemy of Forever as much as I did. It did start slow, and I asked myself if I really wanted to keep reading but after reading more chapters I couldn't put it down! I had never thought that reincarnation could be such an amazing topic for a young adult book. 

The story is told from Seraphina's point of view and can I say that she is one of my favorite main characters of all time?! I just loved everything about her: she is brave, sweet and really just looking for a way to be happy, even if it means dying. I mean, how would you feel if your life meant another person's death? And she has been doing that (guiltily) for many years. But only because Cyrus makes her do it. I found her struggle so realistic, she really can't take it anymore and tries to do the noble thing: die. But of course the story could not end like this: 16-year old Kailey gets into an accident right in front of Seraphina, and to save her she takes over her body. 

Williams really portrays well how Seraphina is feeling after taking over Kailey's body and her life, as well. She tries to escape that life, but finds herself not being able to. She is finally happy after so many years on earth. But when she finds herself in love with Noah and being love in return, things couldn't be better. Or maybe till Cyrus makes an appearance. And that's when the action starts. He is the perfect villain: he is immortal and he can look like anyone! I just couldn't believe everything he does just to get Seraphina back. I have to admit: I dislike him so much that sometimes I just wanted to punch my book. But anyway I loved every character in this book, Williams did a great job creating each one of them. 

The ending was a BIG surprise. I mean a big, big surprise. And I just loved the way that felt. Not being able to know what was going to happen at the very end. Furthermore I still have no idea what's in store for us in the sequel (which can't come out soon enough, ugh). Williams delivered us a stunning debut, and I can't wait to read more of her books. This book was just breathtaking.

29 January 2012

The Haunted - J.A. Templeton

Release date: January 8th 2012

After battling a malevolent ghost that held the spirit of her friend Ian MacKinnon bound to the land for two hundred years, sixteen-year-old reluctant psychic, Riley Williams, felt as if she was finally easing into her new life in Scotland.

Or so she thought.

Laria, the spirit of the witch who had cursed Ian wants revenge for Riley’s interference and she’s bringing along friends—dark entities who thrive on evil.

The one bright spot in Riley’s world is Ian’s descendent, Kade MacKinnon, who could easily be Ian’s modern day twin. The parallels between the two guys are undeniable. As Riley’s relationship with Kade blossoms, she begins to realize Laria has grown in her power since their last confrontation—a power that could very well manipulate the living just as effectively as the dead. 

Can a sequel be even better than the first one? Yes, it can! J.A. Templeton has proven once again that she can write and keep her readers awake at night. I don't know if I couldn't sleep while reading this book because of the sinister scenes or because this book is too awesome to put it away.

I have to admit one thing did keep me from enjoying this book completely. I asked myself the whole time: why did Laria come back? J.A. Templeton doesn't give an explanation and that nagged me the whole time. I guess that is an answer we will only get when the next book, The Departed, comes out. But I was kind of expecting some kind of answer or maybe a clue?! But this didn't really stop me from loving this book.

I like how everything in this book seems realistic. I mean Riley still fights against the urge to cut herself, and with her father's absence her brother starts to be a total jerk. But of course I still like Shane! I mean, who can handle being possesed by an evil spirit, live with an absent father who starts dating and still be as sweet a person as before? No one, would be my answer.

Another thing that I loved about this book is that Ian appears a couple times and even her mother, so they really show up again. And oh Kade, I have to admit I don't know who I like most, Ian or Kade? Or maybe I don't have to choose, I guess if they really are the same person (or have the same soul) we get two hot guys in one!

I can't say enough good things about this book, I can only tell you to read this book if you haven't yet! And if you haven't read the first one, The Deepest Cut, then you should start it right now. I loved every minute of it and Spring can't come soon enough!