30 April 2012

(ARC) Review: Dreamless - Josephine Angelini

Release Date: May 29th, 2012
Hardcover: 487 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

As the only Scion that can enter Hades at will, Helen descends to the Underworld in search of a way to overcome the Furies and end the cycle of revenge that has cursed the Scions. But she’s running out of time. Each descent weakens her both in mind and spirit. A mysterious stranger might be her only salvation, but the price may be her love for Lucas Delos.


Angelini doesn't disappoint in the sequel to Starcrossed. Even though most times sophomore novels tend to be less exciting than the first one, Dreamless will still keep readers at the edge of their seats.

In Dreamless Helen struggles with her mission in the underworld: somehow free the Furies, so that the Houses can be together again and, of course, help Hector back to his family. But is freeing the Furies the right thing to do? And even now Lucas and Helen can't be together but everything changes when a certain Orion appears to help Helen with her mission in the Underworld. The consequences could be deadly...

Angelini introduces us to many new characters in this novel. And I must say that most of the time I don't like additional characters but what can I say?! Orion is the new definition of perfection! Yet the love triangle wasn't in any way annoying. What I like the most about the characters in this novel was that many of them changed a lot. They developed new sides to them that made the story even better.

I was utterly captivated by the plot and, I admit, I read the whole thing in one single sitting. Dreamless has everything to keep one literally "dreamless", since you won't be getting much sleep when you get your hands on it. Despite being often a bit lost because of the sudden change of point of view or because sometimes Helen was in the Underworld completely out-of-the-blue, I enjoyed the chance of reading the story told by someone other than only Helen.

Obviously I'm a bit biased when it comes to novels about Greek mythology, yet I'm sure this novel will please everyone who is eagerly awaiting an amazing sequel to Starcrossed. With a plot full of action, surprises, a new delicious love triangle and, well, hot guys, Dreamless will leave readers begging Josephine for an instant release of the third novel!

A big thanks to HarperCollins for providing me with a copy of Dreamless!!




Josephine Angelini is a Massachusetts native and the youngest of eight siblings. A real-live farmer's daughter, Josie graduater from New Your University's Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. She now lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband. Website / Twitter

29 April 2012

In My Mailbox (3)

In this meme, we post about books we bought,
borrowed, received for review, or were gifted

in the past week.
In light of what happened with The Story Siren, I'm going to participate in another meme to post about books I've received. However I still haven't made up my mind about which meme to participate on, so if you have any recomendation, feel free to share :)
For review: 
by Heather Anastasiu

(Thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press!)







by Josephine Angelini 
(Huge thanks to Harper Collins!)







by Kristina McBride

(Thanks to Egmont USA and Netgalley!)







by Myra McEntire

(Thanks to Egmont USA and Netgalley!)
Bought: 

by Bethany Griffin









by Kiera Cass










And just to inform you guys, I'll be picking a winner for Kill Me Softly giveaway soon :)

What have you guys received this week? Link me up!


Review: Storm - Brigid Kemmerer

Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Paperback: 353 pages
Publisher: Kensington

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.
Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn't want. Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.
And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.
Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.
The storm is coming . . .


 I certainly was fooled by Storm's cover. I didn't think this novel would be THAT good. But after reading many reviews from fellow bloggers, I changed my mind and gave this novel a chance. And I'm so glad I did! With a refreshing of idea of mixing the four elements with four (hot!) brothers, Kemmerer's novel is one that you don't want to miss!

Becca is an ordinary girl who regrettably has one rather unfair and awful reputation because of her ex-boyfriend's lies. But that all changes when she saves Chris Merrick's life and gets mixed into one crazy and unfortunately dangerous situation. Chris (water) and his brothers control the four elements and because they are so strong, people are trying to kill them (most of the time). By getting mixed into this Becca finds out some rather disturbing (or freaking awesome) truths about her and her family. Is she really that ordinary?!

This took me completely by surprise with such an amazing plot and deep characters. The plot is full of action that will leave you at the edge of your seat. And of course there is this mystery regarding the Merrick family. Kemmerer sure masters the ability of surprising us with great twists and turns. Despite all these great things, I found a bit weird that we only find out more about what happened to their family after a lot has already happened. And one thing that deeply annoyed me was that after reading Elemental (the prequel that centers around Michael, the older brother) I was eagerly awaiting some news about the ending's outcome but that only came REALLY late in the novel.

Becca was one heck of a character! She was strong and determined yet greatly compassionate. Of course she did annoy me sometimes by being blind to Chris's advances. However I understand her reactions. But by far, my favorite characters were the Merrick twins. Gabriel (fire) and Nick (air) were somehow completely the opposite of each other yet both completely to my taste! Michael (earth) sure seems like a bad guy but later one can understand where he is coming from. Hunter was the only character I deeply disliked! While Storm only focused on Becca and Chris, I can't wait to see what's in store for the remaining brothers who will be the main focus in the following books!

Kemmerer's Storm certainly has the capacity of causing one huge "storm" in the YA genre. A novel full of action, surprises and sweet romance, this one is a must-read! With such originality and great writing abilities, I'm sure waiting on Kemmerer's next novel and sequel to Storm, Spark!


Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.) Website
                                                      

Hot off the Press!

Hey guys! First I have to apologize to you all for taking so long to update my blog. I had some problems with my flight to Brazil and ended up being on a plane the whole day yesterday! That being said, when I arrived home I was just so tired that I went to sleep.

Have you guys seen the cover for The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin??? I'm in love with her covers and I can't wait to add this one to my shelf! And of course, I'm also dying to READ it! (The novel will come out October 23rd!)



Here is the awesome video for Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (to be released May 8th!)




Check out my blog later on for a review of Storm by Brigid Kemmerer!




26 April 2012

Review: Starcrossed - Josephine Angelini

Release Date: May 31st, 2011
Hardcover: 487 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Set on the island of Nantucket, STARCROSSED tells the tale of Helen Hamilton, a young woman whose destiny is forever altered when she meets Lucas Delos and tries to kill him in front of her entire high school. Which is terribly inconvenient, not only because Lucas is the most beautiful boy on the island, but also because Helen is so achingly shy she suffers physical pain whenever she is given too much attention. 
Making matters worse, Helen is beginning to suspect she’s going crazy. Whenever she’s near Lucas or any member of his family she sees the ghostly apparitions of three women weeping bloody tears, and suffers the burden of an intense and irrational hate. She soon learns that she and Lucas are destined to play the leading roles in a Greek tragedy that the Three Fates insist on repeating over and over again throughout history. Like her namesake, Helen of Troy, she’s destined to start a war by falling in love. But even though Lucas and Helen can see their own star-crossed destiny, they’re still powerfully attracted to each other. Will they give up their personal happiness for the greater good, or risk it all to be together?

Am I the only stupid book lover that hadn't read this stunning novel?! I mean, really, how could it be that I hadn't read Starcrossed till now because it sure seems as it was made for me?! If you read my previous reviews, you probably have seen that I'm a sucker for angel-themed novels but now the real deal for me are demigods! 

Angelini did an amazing job keeping everything totally mysterious, making question marks appear in my head completely out of the blue which for me made the novel the even more captivating. And I must praise the author even more for writing a novel completely to my taste: I just LOVE Greek mythology and adding to that a delicious romance and full-on action, this novel was just plain irresistible! Needless to say I fell in love with Starcrossed from the very start.

Oh the characters..I was fond of each and every one of them in this novel. They were all so different and even though the story could be a bit repetitive (for a fanatic of Greek mythology like me), it certainly wasn't. It was fresh and completely addictive. The romance can only be described in two words: deliriously delicious; although Lucas and Helen are destined to be together, they just can't resist the urge so that in the beginning they really hate each other and even attempt to kill each other! Of course somehow they manage to break the curse but they don't jump into a relationship either keeping the romance believable and real.

I can't emphasize enough how much I enjoyed this book. Sure one thing did really bother me: the characters can't do math (but to know why I think you should read this novel, like right now! Not that I'm bossing anyone around..) But Angelini wrote one of those novels that just transport you to another place. If you enjoy mythology, romance, action, supernatural beings (hot demigods, anyone?!) and just books that keep you enthralled all the way till the very last word, then this book is one I certainly recommend. And best of all, the sequel will come out May 29th, so that the wait will not be that unbearable (who am I kidding, I'm dying over here!)



Josephine Angelini is a Massachusetts native and the youngest of eight siblings. A real-live farmer's daughter, Josie graduated from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. She now lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband. Website / Twitter

25 April 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by breakingthespine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
 
This week's most anticipated book is:
Origin
Author: Jessica Khoury

Release Date: September 4th, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill

Pia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest. She was raised by a team of scientists who have created her to be the start of a new immortal race. But on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home—and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.

Free in the jungle, Pia meets Eio, a boy from a nearby village. Together, they embark on a race against time to discover the truth about Pia’s origin—a truth with deadly consequences that will change their lives forever.

Origin is a beautifully told, shocking new way to look at an age-old desire: to live forever, no matter the cost. This is a supremely compelling debut novel that blends the awakening romance of Matched with the mystery and jungle conspiracy of Lost.


Lost and Matched?! Count me in!

Leave your links and I'll stop by your Waiting on Wednesday! :) 



23 April 2012

(ARC) Review: Dark Kiss - Michelle Rowen

Release Date: May 22, 2012
Paperback: 348 Pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

I don't do dangerous.  Smart, über-careful, ordinary Samantha-that's me. But I just couldn't pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me...something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It's like part of me is missing-and I don't know if I can get it back. Then there's Bishop. At first I thought he was just a street kid, but the secrets he's keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he's what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me.... NIGHTWATCHERS When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising... (Summary taken from Goodreads)

Dark Kiss may as well be the most addictive novel I have read in a while. It was one of those books that you keep trying to come up with a new excuse to open and read one more page, or maybe one more chapter and then you just end up reading the whole thing in one single sitting. Even though it is a angel-themed novel (I'm a sucker for those!), Dark Kiss was refreshing and surprisingly full of unexpected twists and turns.

What made Dark Kiss the even more unconventional was Rowen's idea of making angels and demons work together. The idea is so original and different from what I'm accustomed to that I knew from reading the book description that I was in for a ride, and Dark Kiss didn't disappoint one bit. The novel is fast-paced and the story well-developed but never in any way predictable. As said before it is full of unexpected twists and turns that will leave readers surprised and in the edge of their seats!

The characters were by far my favorite thing in Dark Kiss. Each of them had their own strengths and weaknesses but all of them were utterly likable. Even though many characters seemed to be predictable at first sight, we realise further in the novel that they are even more complex. Sam, the main character, was an amazing character. She was strong, determined and compassionate. Bishop, the love interest, was such a complex character. At first I thought he was the definition of perfection but later in the novel we see that he is not that perfect after all. I really can't choose a favorite character; for I found myself liking them all, even the demons!

Rowen's Dark Kiss has it all: an seemingly impossible romance, twists and turns, full-on action and of course a little bit of magic and drama. From the amazing characters and the perfectly-developed storyline, Rowen's novel was completely enthralling. I am now anxiously waiting for the second one. I recommend this to everyone who enjoys paranormal young adult novels!


A huge thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with a copy of this amazing book!

National bestselling author Michelle Rowen writes paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and young adult fantasy. She was the winner of the 2007 Holt Medallion for Best First Book and the 2009 Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Vampire Romance.
Michelle lives in Southern Ontario. Please feel free to contact her at michelle@michellerowen.com. She loves hearing from readers! Website / Twitter










22 April 2012

In My Mailbox (2)



In this meme, we post about books we bought,
borrowed, received for review, or were gifted

in the past week.


I actually had decided to participate once every two weeks but I received two books that I was dying to read! So I had to share them with you guys! :D

For review:

Dark Kiss
by Michelle Rowen

 (Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen!)

Review will be up this week!
by Marta Acosta

(Thanks to Netgalley and Tor/Forge!)








Eulogy's Secret
by Grace Elliot

Received for review for an upcoming book tour :)

Bought:

Starcrossed
by Josephine Angelini

I know this novel has been out for awhile but I never had the opportunity to read it! Have any of you read it? Is it any good?! I've only heard great things about it!

So that's it for my mailbox this week! Send me your links and I'll stop by =D






 


21 April 2012

Review: Under The Never Sky - Veronica Rossi

Release Date: January 3rd, 2012
Hardcover: 374 pages
Publisher: Harper Collins

Since she'd been on the outside, she'd survived an Aether storm, she'd had a knife held to her throat, and she'd seen men murdered. This was worse.
Exiled from her home, the enclosed city of Reverie, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland - known as The Death Shop - are slim. If the cannibals don't get her, the violent, electrified energy storms will. She's been taught that the very air she breathes can kill her. Then Aria meets an Outsider named Perry. He's wild - a savage - and her only hope of staying alive.
A hunter for his tribe in a merciless landscape, Perry views Aria as sheltered and fragile - everything he would expect from a Dweller. But he needs Aria's help too; she alone holds the key to his redemption. Opposites in nearly every way, Aria and Perry must accept each other to survive. Their unlikely alliance forges a bond that will determine the fate of all who live under the never sky.


I can't believe that I haven't written a review for Under The Never Sky yet! I read it in January but I only realized today that I hadn't written a review even though I really loved this novel. With an exciting and unique approach to one of the most-popular genre nowadays, Under The Never Sky is a dystopian book that will certainly blow you away.

The characters'  development in this novel was greatly-done You can see the growth that both main characters go through and by the end of the novel, you could say that they are barely recognizable. I loved how Perry's and Aria's relationship wasn't what I expected. I expected it to be an "insta-love" like most novels nowadays, but no, Rossi took me totally by surprise and even made the both of them hate each other at first! Their relationship developed in a slow-pace that totally kept me hooked and even awake at night to read how it would turn out. And it was so worth not getting any sleep to finish it!

Even though I loved that the characters developed throughout the novel, I couldn't really relate to any of them in the beginning but this does get better later, despite my difficulty to relate to them, they were still very likable. I really liked the secondary characters like Perry's best friend, Roar. And I felt like the novel was missing some important information but I guess everything may be explained better in the sequel.

Another great thing about this novel is that even though it is a dystopian novel, it doesn't resemble in any way other novels in this genre. And this is, to say the least, impressive. That is a difficult feat to accomplish, since there are so many novels in this genre to compare to nowadays. The idea of creating a city like Reverie is completely unique and new, which made the story even the more special for me.

Under The Never Sky was one of the most anticipated books this year and it sure deserves to be one of the best novels this year or maybe ever?! Furthermore I really loved the Rossi's writing, the beautiful and small cliffhanger and the cover is also really pretty! This novel was just the first in what I expect to be an exceptional series. If you enjoy dystopia and even more if you enjoy dystopian novels with really unique aspects, then Under The Never Sky is one novel I would certainly recommend.





VERONICA ROSSI was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (I'm even a bigger fan of her now!!). Growing up, she lived in several countries and cities around the world, finally settling in Northern California with her husband and two sons. She completed undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. When not writing or painting, she chases after her boys, who make her laugh every day, and who teach her about love that's a million gazillion times bigger than the ocean. UNDER THE NEVER SKY is her first novel.  Website / Twitter 




Hot off the Press!

So another two book trailers have been released, and all I have to say about them is: A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Here is the first trailer for Until I Die by Amy Plum, this may as well be my favorite book trailer ever! It's so sweet and come on, Paris is too beautiful!!!
 

And the trailer for The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa has also been released!



Furthermore:

Palomar Pictures Options The Immortal Rules and Blood of Eden Series

by New York Times Bestselling Author Julie Kagawa 
I can't wait for it to be released already! What actors would you guys pick?
Go here to read Julie's post about it! And maybe congratulate her :)

Did you guys like the new book trailers? What novel are you most excited to get your hands on?


19 April 2012

Narrative Loserdom (From Journal One) - Ryan Collins

Release Date: January 1st, 2011
Paperback: 204 Pages
Publisher: CreateSpace

Justin Taggart doesn’t know anything (about being a loser). He likes girls and plays sports and has some friends. Unfortunately his fear of rejection outweighs his ability to deal with these well. Mostly there’s Sterling, the girl of his dreams who knows how to stop his heart by not knowing he likes her. Another thing is trying to get money with Adam, who’s rich anyway so it’s more about hanging out. As for Justin, he makes ends meet by mowing people’s yards with Adam, and sometimes by breaking into vending machines and selling late-night cable programming to peers (also with Adam). But it’s not like he doesn’t feel bad about it, since Jesus died for his sins. School is pretty terrible with all the work and practice, but there are a few people there worth mentioning. Anyone who picks up his journal will be in for something, if they feel like getting through a lot of grammar and spelling problems. They’ll probably end up seeing that they shouldn’t have looked at it anyway, because this is someone’s private anthem of girls, grass, and loserdom.

Narrative Loserdom is told from Justin's point of view in a journal format. That was the first thing that caught my attention in this novel. The second one was that we got to read what goes through a boy's head and my conclusions are intruguing, or even disturbing sometimes..

What were the best aspects of Narrative Loserdom?
Aside from being written in journal format, which makes this book fresh and unique, I found myself liking all characters. Even Justin's best friend, Adam, who was simply stupid but never failed to make me laugh. Really, I found myself laughing out loud constantly. Furthermore all characters were realistic and easy to relate to, I mean, everyone goes through high school, maybe in Justin's shoes: as a loser or maybe as the beloved and popular Sterling. I loved Justin's and Adam's friendship because they really seem to know each other very well and their friendship only gets better throughout the book. 


What could have been better?
There were too many descriptions! Sometimes I just had to jump to the next paragraph because the latter was just too descriptive. I don't read many contemporary novels so I don't know if that's the case in many of them, but Narrative Loserdom never reached a climax; it never picked up pace. And I must say that Justin's religious fanaticism. I don't have anything against it but the religion thing came completely out of the blue: the first half of the book there is no mention of it and the suddenly it is mention all the time.


Overall it was a pleasant and light read. The two main characters (Justin and Adam) were amusing making this book the more fun to read even without any real action in it. I expected to end in a final note but it was actually a rather open ending, which may have to do with its journal format. If you like contemporary novels which are easy to relate to its characters and if you enjoy books in journal format, this just may be the book for you!




A big thank you to Ryan Collins for providing me with a copy for review!

Ryan Collins was born in Texas in 1985. While attending Texas State University he earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise science with a minor in writing, and moved toward a post-graduate degree in computer information systems. In the company of a few unpublished short stories, Narrative Loserdom represents his first self-published novel. Ryan works for a local communications company in Austin, Texas, where he resides with                                         his girlfriend and pugs.

18 April 2012

Hot off the Press!

The book trailer for CITY OF LOST SOULS by Cassandra Clare has just been released!!!! Why hasn't this book been released already? Cassie sure wants us fans to go crazy!

Click here to watch it!

And I can't believe it I didn't show you guys the trailer for Insurgent by Veronica Roth!


These two may be my most-awaited books this year!!

Waiting on Wednesday (11)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by breakingthespine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's most anticipated book is:
The Spindlers
Author: Lauren Oliver

Release Date: October 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Hardcover: 256 Pages

When Liza's younger brother Patrick's soul is stolen by the evil Spindlers, spider-like creatures who live underground, she knows she must set out on a heroic quest to the world Below to rescue it.

I can only say that I will read everything that Lauren Oliver writes!


What are you guys waiting on this Wednesday? Leave me your links and I'll stop by :)

17 April 2012

Review: A Temptation of Angels - Michelle Zink

Release Date: March 20th, 2012
Hardcover: 435 pages
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers

Even angels make mistakes in this page-turning epic romance

When her parents are murdered before her eyes, sixteen-year-old Helen Cartwright finds herself launched into an underground London where a mysterious organization called the Dictata controls the balance of good and evil. Helen learns that she is one of three remaining angelic descendants charged with protecting the world's past, present, and future. Unbeknownst to her, she has been trained her whole life to accept this responsibility. Now, as she finds herself torn between the angelic brothers protecting her and the devastatingly handsome childhood friend who wants to destroy her, she must prepare to be brave, to be hunted, and above all to be strong, because temptation will be hard to resist, even for an angel.

(Summary taken from Goodreads

I know, I know, another angel-themed novel but I'm just a sucker for these, please don't hold it against me! But really who could resist the beautiful cover and the already enthralling synopsis? Even though I've read many negative reviews to this novel, I can't say I agree with most of them. A Temptation of Angels delivered what was expected of it, a most-pleasant read.


The story starts off rather fast, already full of action, mystery and drama. Meaning the novel kept me hooked from page one. Helen, a completely ordinary girl who is home-schooled by her parents, has to unexpectedly escape her home and leave her family behind. The only things she could take with her were: her necklace, which her mother said to never take it off, and a piece of paper with an unknown name and address written on it which leads her to two peculiar brothers, Griffin and Darius. What Helen doesn't know is that she is no ordinary girl and that her life is about to change forever.

Have you ever read I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore? Well, the plot reminded me a bit of it but instead of  nine aliens being hunted and murdered, in this novel there are twenty and they are angels. I loved the uniqueness in the story involving its angel lore, for example this part of the plot: the Dictata, who chose twenty angels to look after planet Earth and one of these angels has the key to the desired records, which show Earth's past, present and future enabling the holder of the key to change the course of history. But I guess I would have loved to know more about the Dictata and the Syndicate (the enemy) since they were more in the background of the story.


I loved how Zink's characters were all one of a kind. Helen was a determined and strong girl but somehow I didn't like her that much. Griffin, by far my favorite, was sweet and charming, wasn't in any way the perfect prince charming. The author had a way of showing each character's weaknesses and strengths, making her characters the more realistic and as a result more likable. Darius and Anna could have been more present and I hoped that we would get to know more about them but I wasn't bothered that much when that didn't happen. Raum was another character that was so conflicted and complicated but still relatable and lovable, that even now I can't decide if I liked him or disliked him.


Overall A Temptation of Angels was a great read that delivered everything I was expecting of it: mysteries, action, drama and a sweet romance. Even though the novel slowed its pace towards the end of the story, the book still captivated me and I recommend to anyone who likes novels with great characters and a lore-related plot.




Michelle Zink lives in New York with her four children. Prophecy of the Sisters was her first novel, and was chosen as one of Booklist’s Top Ten Debut Novels of 2009 and as one of the Chicago Public Library’s Best Books for Young Readers. It has also been listed on the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age and the Lone Star Reading List.     Twitter / Website

15 April 2012

Review: When The Sea Is Rising Red - Cat Hellisen

Release Date: February 28th, 2012
Hardcover: 296 Pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

After seventeen-year-old Felicita’s dearest friend Ilven kills herself to escape an arranged marriage, Felicita chooses freedom over privilege. She fakes her own death and leaves her sheltered life as one of Pelimburg’s magical elite behind. Living in the slums, scrubbing dishes for a living, she falls for charismatic Dash while also becoming fascinated with vampire Jannik. Then something shocking washes up on the beach: Ilven's death has called out of the sea a dangerous wild magic. Felicita must decide whether her loyalties lie with the family she abandoned . . . or with those who would twist this dark power to destroy Pelimburg's caste system, and the whole city along with it.  


I guess the problem was that I expected too much of When The Sea Is Rising Red. The book description makes this novel sounds as something fresh and unique yet even though it was different in many ways, it doesn't mean that all differences are good. I read it in two days, so it does have a lot of action and mystery that makes you want to keep reading but it wasn't as enthralling as I was expecting it to be. And I was actually expecting to be more of a paranormal novel, but actually it was rather a novel with paranormal aspects.

Felicita belongs to one of the ruling houses in Pelimburg, which means that she can perform magic as long as she has access to one specific drug. There are three types of magic: the ability to read people’s emotions, the ability to see the future, and the ability to manipulate air molecules. Felicita has the last ability. When her best friend, Ilven, kills herself Felicita is even more alone. But when Felicita's brother wants her to marry an old but rich high Lammer, she fakes her own death to try to live her life the way she wants to.

When she escaped her old life, she ended up in the middle of the lower class. She finds a home with Dash and others who seem to be keeping a secret. Dash plans to take revenge on the high houses for killing his sister and while Felicita doesn't know it yet, she will play a crucial role in his plan. It actually really lucky and a big coincidence that Felicita with her special ability ended up living with Dash (this bit disappointed me a bit since without Felicita his plan wouldn't have worked, but how would he have known that she would end up with him?)


Felicita was not an appealing character. Actually none of them were. Felicita being a spoiled rich child, doesn't know how to behave with the low class. Even though she starts to work and tries to resemble the others, somehow I found her to be so conceited. Nara, a girl who also lives with Dash, was the nicest one for me; for she tries to please everyone and is always happy. Dash was a weird character; he really was charming and all but I couldn't relate to him at all and I wanted to know more about him and his past. And the vampire Jannik was my preferable love interest and yet Felicita treats him badly even though he may be one of her only friends. One thing that bothered me was that each character's stories were so badly-described and they appeared completely out of the blue.


The story has its appeal. If it wasn't for it, I don't think I would have finished this novel. The story has a rather slow pace but there are many mysteries that keep you hooked on the story and making you wait rather impatiently to know how everything will play out. Felicita does get better towards the end but still not my favorite heroine. The ending was how I wanted it to be but somehow quite disappointing; for I was expecting to be out of love than out of need. (I know that may sound a bit weird but if you read the book, you will know what I'm talking about!)


When The Sea Is Rising Red could have been a lot better. Magic could have played a bigger part in the story and the characters could have been more appealing. The story though keeps you somewhat enthralled and awaiting for the next developments. The story certainly has its uniqueness but it was not that well-developed. The writing was actually really nice and had a historical feel to it. I did enjoy reading it and I hope that if you read it too, you will enjoy it!





In My Mailbox (#1)

                                 [Hosted by The Story Siren]
             
                      In this meme, we post about books we bought,
                        borrowed, received for review, or were gifted
                                            in the past week.

I decided to participate once every two weeks in this wonderful meme hosted by The Story Siren!

For review:

by Claire Merle

(Thanks to Netgalley and Faber and Faber)







by Rachel Hartman

(Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Children's Books)







Bought:

by Nikki Jefford









by Sarah J. Maas

(This is the first novella to Sarah's Throne of Glass to be released August 7th)







So that's it for my mailbox this week! Send me your links and I'll stop by =D


 

14 April 2012

Hot off the Press!

Hey guys! Here are some new stuff that came out this week:

The book trailer for Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins (release date: May 1st)
  
Can't wait for this one! What did you guys think about the trailer?

But also the book trailer for Kiera Cass' The Selection (release date: April 24th)

 April 24th can't come soon enough!

Have you guys heard about J.K. Rowling's new adult novel?

The Casual Vacancy

When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils...Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising,
The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.
 
The book will be published worldwide in the English language in hardback, ebook, unabridged audio download and on CD on Thursday 27th September 2012. (http://www.littlebrown.co.uk/TheCasualVacancy)


Amy Plum, author of the Die For Me trilogy, has just announced two more books coming out 2014 and 2015!

Here is the official announcement from yesterday’s “New Deals” section of Publisher’s Marketplace:

Author of the DIE FOR ME trilogy, Amy Plum’s JUNEAU, about a seventeen-year-old girl who has been raised to believe that her family, and the rest of their village, escaped World War III by moving to a remote area in the Alaskan wilderness – but when everyone in her village mysteriously disappears, she’s forced to set off in search of them, only to discover that her life has been a lie and there never was a third World War,

to Tara Weikum at Harper Children’s, in a good deal, for two books, for publication in Summer 2014 and Summer 2015, by Stacey Glick at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (world English).

Sounds great, right? Go here to show Amy some love for the new books announcement!

 And last but not least: Read the first two chapters from The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater! I, for one, can't wait for this novel!!! (Goodreads)
'Ravenboys' by Maggie Stiefvater - Chapter tease

 
 
Which piece of news did you guys loved the most? :)

13 April 2012

Author Interview - Sarah Cross!




About:

Sarah Cross is the author of the fairy tale novel Kill Me Softly, the superhero novel Dull Boy, and the Wolverine comic "The Adamantium Diaries." She loves fairy tales, lowbrow art, secret identities, and silence.
If you want to know more about her, read one of her books. Her soul is in there somewhere.
Current art inspirations & obsessions can be found at tumblr, Fairy Tale Mood, or pinterest.

Favorites:
  • Animals: Pallas' cats, hawks
  • Fairy Tale: Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier"
  • Disney movie: Sleeping Beauty
  • Fairy Tale Retelling: Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber
  • Movie: The Petrified Forest
  • Book: The Tale of Genji
  • Comics: early Spider-Man, golden age Batman (1940s), X-Men (Dark Phoenix Saga), Runaways, Castle Waiting
  • Manga: Paradise Kiss, 20th Century Boys
  • Videogames: Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Final Fantasy IV, Bioshock series, GTA
  • TV Shows: Breaking Bad, Southland, Mad Men, The Shield, My Princess
  • Music: Fiona Apple, Florence + the Machine, K-Pop
                                                Website
__________________________________________________________
My interview with Sarah:

Hello Sarah! Thank you so much for stopping by Books to Consider. To begin how about you tell us a bit about yourself?

The hardest question of all! I'm the author of the YA books Kill Me Softly (modern fairy tales) and Dull Boy (superheroes), and my comic "The Adamantium Diaries" appeared in Marvel Comics' Wolverine #1000. I love art, animals & old movies and I curate a fairy tale tumblr called "Fairy Tale Mood." Oh, and I really like (American) football.

How did you come up with the idea for Kill Me Softly?

I'd wanted to write a fairy tale retelling for a long time, and there was one fairy tale in particular that I wanted to retell. As I started to flesh out that story, I realized there was another fairy tale that would fit perfectly with the first one. And then I figured, if I was going to use two fairy tales, why not find a way to use them all? I'm being really vague, I know! I have to, for spoiler reasons. ;)

After reading Kill Me Softly I would say that you really like fairy tales and that you certainly know a lot about them. Why do fairy tales interest you?

I love fun, magical, sparkly things and I also love dark, dangerous, disturbing things, and with fairy tales, you get to have both. Also, some fairy tales are so insane, you spend the entire time you're reading them going "what ... WHAT ... WHAT??" and I love that aspect, too. Like Madame d'Aulnoy's "The White Cat." Fairy tales mean so many different things to different people ... there's a lot to play with, and a lot to explore.

What is your favorite fairy tale?

My favorite fairy tale is Hans Christian Andersen's "The Steadfast Tin Soldier." The characters are toys and yet, it's so sad! The first time I heard it (yes, heard it) was when a college professor played the audio version (read by Jeremy Irons) during a writing workshop, and I was so moved by it that I started crying in class. I'm sure everyone thought there was something wrong with me, but that story earned those tears. :)

Any future projects or something you are working on right now (maybe a sequel to Kill Me Softly - I'm begging you!)

Haha! Well, not a direct sequel ... I'm working on a companion novel about some of the other characters from Kill Me Softly. No word on whether it will be published yet, but I certainly hope to write more books set in Beau Rivage. And there will be some fairy-tale stories on my website, starting with "After the Ball," which is up now, and features beautiful illustrations by young artist Oona Pohjolainen: http://www.sarahcross.com/stories/
What are your plans for the release day?

As I write this, my release day was yesterday (yay!) and I spent the day going to bookstores to sign stock, then capped it off with dinner and a delicious vanilla/apple pie/bacon milkshake
.
Since my blog is called Books to Consider, which book should we consider reading next?

Ooh, good question ... well, if you like fairy tale retellings and haven't tried Holly Black's Curse Workers series (starting with White Cat), you should definitely consider reading that! And if you like contemporaries that don't pull any punches, I highly recommend The Knife and the Butterfly by Ashley Hope Perez. You can't go wrong with either of those.
 ______________________________________________________

And because I really loved this novel, I'm giving one of you the chance of winning Kill Me Softly :)


a Rafflecopter giveaway

12 April 2012

Review: Illuminate - Aimee Agresti

 

Release Date: March 6th, 2012
Hardcover: 514 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 

Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit. 
As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?             (Summary taken from Goodreads)


To describe Illuminate I could only use two words: freaking amazing! And to be completely sincere, I wasn't expecting for it to be this good. Angel-themed books have been so popular these last few months that I though Illuminate would be rather repetitive but it was just the opposite! Agresti's novel was a pleasant surprise. And I can't forget to mention that Illuminate has a beautiful cover which will love great on your bookshelf, just saying.

Haven, an ordinary yet very hard-working girl, is chosen to work at a hotel for six months. Her best friend, Dante, and another high school colleague, Lance, are invited too. This job seems like the perfect opportunity to get her life somewhere. But she doesn't know that in this hotel nothing is as it seems. A book left for her in the library tells her that her life is in great danger but will she believe it?

The plot was utterly amazing and surprisingly captivating. It was actually really surprising to find out more about the hotel's beautiful employees and the scaring boss, Aurelia. I had no idea when I started this novel that it would not only involve angels, but also selling souls to demons (if you watch Supernatural, you know what this means!). It was refreshing; for as I said many times before, angels are a popular theme nowadays in YA books. But what I loved most was the mystery in Illuminate. Agresti succeeds in keeping us at bay the whole time, leaving us guessing and never finding out much, though I guess this could be a bit annoying to many of you but I enjoyed it.

The characters in Illuminate were a bit hard to judge and relate to, since they were for the most part mysterious. For example you never knew if Lucian (the gorgeous employee, with whom Haven has a few dates) was nice or if he was just playing Haven for his and Aurelia's evil plans (mua-ha-ha! You will have to read it to find out more!). But Haven was a wonderful main character. She grows up a lot throughout the book, becoming a strong and independent girl. She is really down-to-earth and prefers to work hard now and slack later. Lance was sweet, quiet and likable but I would have loved to learn more about him. I wanted to read more about Dante too, even though he was a pretty predictable character.

Overall the story was amazing, the writing beautiful so that I can't wait to read the next one (my hands are already itching for more)! The beginning started a bit slow and sometimes I wondered about taking a break from reading it, but I refused to give up and it totally paid off! I'm so happy that I continued reading because after the action started to pick up pace I wasn't able to put this one down. Totally recommended!







Aimee Agresti was voted “Quietest” of her high school class–probably because she spent too much time with her nose buried in books. Clearly, becoming a writer was the only possible choice. She now happily toggles between the realms of fact and fiction. The author of the young adult novel ILLUMINATE, she’s also a former Us Weekly staff writer and entertainment journalist. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and lives with her husband and son in Washington, DC, where she can often be found skulking around the Smithsonian museums on slow writing days waiting for inspiration to strike. For more on Aimee: Website / Twitter

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