03 December 2013

Review: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Release Date: October 8th, 2013
Hardcover: 597 pages
Publisher: Hyperion Books

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?

They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

So it's been a while since I've written a review. My life has been hectic, with many changes and things to do; however I had to make time to read The House of Hades upon its release. Why, do you ask? The reasons are obvious: Rick Riordan is a genius and his books are absolute must-reads. The House of Hades was no exception.

The previous book on the Heroes of Olympus series was already an amazing read but The House of Hades was impossibly better. I loved that Percy/Annabeth and the rest of the crew were apart for the most part of the novel, since it gave us two very different settings. Furthermore I found it interesting to see how Percy and Annabeth held their own in Tartarus; the visit of an old character was also a great addition. But even though my love is with the characters of the Percy Jackson series, the other characters also got their chance to shine by themselves. I love each and every character in this series! I'm bitting my nails already to know how things will close up in the final installment.

Somehow The House of Hades was a more heavy and sad read. There is no huge cliffhanger like in the last one but I found its ending beautiful and fitting. I couldn't put this one down not even for a second and even though it is full of ups and downs, this book didn't disappoint in the slightest. Sometimes I wish I had Rick Riordan's brain; he certainly has awesome ideas for the plot of his novels. I wish I could live in a world where his characters really did exist and Greek mythology wasn't just a myth. Nevertheless I'm so happy to be able to live in it through reading these novels.

Needless to say, I need the next installment of the Heroes of Olympus series on my hands right this instant. 

15 October 2013

ARC Review: Never Fade by Alexandra Bracken

Release Date: October 15th, 2013
Hardcover: 512 pages
Publisher: Disney Hyperion 

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster. 
When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her. 
As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

Never Fade was a 512-paged masterpiece. If this was only the second novel in this series, I can't wait to get my hands on the third one. Mostly, authors tend to lose the momentum set in the first novel, but this was certainly not the case with Alexandra Bracken. This series is, up until this moment, pure awesomeness. Sometimes I don't know if I should/can write a review about a novel that I simply loved, from beginning to end. It may seem as if I'm exaggerating, but believe me, Never Fade doesn't disappoint in the slightest. 

I already loved all characters in this novel (and yes, even bad Clancy is a character I can't seem to completely dislike) but Bracken couldn't leave it at that. No, she put more awesome and versatile characters in the second installment. Vida, with her refreshing and yet aggressive character and Jude, sweet, sweet Jude. And those of you, who were waiting to get to know Liam's brother, Cole, better...well, the wait is over! I didn't know which brother I liked the most, since they are so different from each other. 

The old characters are, fear not, still amazing. Ruby is an ever-changing character, and I like that a lot. Liam also shows us a new side to himself, since the ending of the last novel did leave us asking ourselves what would happen to him. And Chubs, still as loyal and sweet as before. And also many other characters, new and old, make an appearance.

The pace of the novel is what makes it so special. It isn't slow-going and I'm sure you will stay up all night reading it! With many twists and turns, heart-wrenching and action-filled moments, it will leave readers satisfied and ready for the last installment, which can't come out fast enough! If you haven't started this series yet, you should give it a try. For fans of Shatter Me (by Tahereh Mafi) or any dystopian in general, you will enjoy this one.

Huge thanks to Disney Hyperion and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this amazing novel for review!

25 September 2013

Review: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Release Date: September 3rd, 2013
368 pages
Disney Hyperion

"You have to kill him." Imprisoned in the heart of a secret military base, Em has nothing except the voice of the boy in the cell next door and the list of instructions she finds taped inside the drain.

Only Em can complete the final instruction. She’s tried everything to prevent the creation of a time machine that will tear the world apart. She holds the proof: a list she has never seen before, written in her own hand. Each failed attempt in the past has led her to the same terrible present—imprisoned and tortured by a sadistic man called the doctor while war rages outside. 

Marina has loved her best friend James since the day he moved next door when they were children. A gorgeous, introverted science prodigy from one of America’s most famous families, James finally seems to be seeing Marina in a new way, too. But on one disastrous night, James’s life crumbles apart, and with it, Marina’s hopes for their future. Now someone is trying to kill him. Marina will protect James, no matter what. Even if it means opening her eyes to a truth so terrible that she may not survive it. At least not as the girl she once was. 

All Our Yesterdays is a wrenching, brilliantly plotted story of fierce love, unthinkable sacrifice, and the infinite implications of our every choice.

Like any other time travel novel, All Our Yesterday has those moments in which you have to stop and think about what you've read to make sense of it all (they are not so many, fear not!). However what distinguishes All Our Yesterday from other time travel novels, is that:
- The plot is mindblowing;
- The characters are realistic and ever changing; you can easily differentiate the past Em from her future self;
- There are many twists and turns and guess what, they weren't always that easy to predict
- The ending was bittersweet but fitting

So you see, there is close to nothing for me to criticize in this novel. Maybe I can say that the author wrote a novel so perfect (I could imagine Cristin Terrill sitting and writing this novel especially for me...) that I would leave it that. Therefore I was a bit surprised when I found out that there is to be a sequel! All Our Yesterdays could be the perfect standalone, leaving readers to fantasize about the future of the characters, however I'm equally intrigued and excited to see what the author is planning on doing next!  

I was pulled into this novel from the first chapter and I couldn't put it down, for even a second. I loved that we got to read both Em's past and future points of view leading to the mindblowing ending. Furthermore the characters were easy to discern. Past Em sucked, Future Em was awesome; to better understand why the characters change so much, the author gives the story away slowly (the past and the future chapters intercalate and we understand better what not only led the characters to the decision to go back to that exact moment in their past, but also why that moment changed Finn, Em and James so much). 

The romance was also a bit surprising. I was expecting one thing and then, something else happened in that department. The romance was so bittersweet but really lovely. There are so many life and love lessons in this novel. Sometimes we have a crush on someone who doesn't deserve it; sometimes there is someone who likes us and we don't open our eyes enough to see it; sometimes love is something that comes after experiencing something and holding on together...but not only that, but if you could go back to the past, what would you say to yourself? Could you hurt someone for the sake of the whole future? I honestly wouldn't know what I would do in Em's and Finn's shoes.

All Our Yesterdays was a surprisingly un-freaking-believably good read! I wasn't expecting to like it THIS much. It has certainly made into my "best of 2013" list. As said, I'm a bit afraid of the sequel, since I enjoyed this one so much and don't want it to be one of those superfluous sequels, nevertheless I'm getting my hands on it! I loved the characters, I loved the story, I loved the setting...yes, I'm completely blown away by it and I'm certain you will be too!

21 September 2013

ARC Review: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Release Date: September 24th, 2013
320 pages
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

I was so thrilled to receive a copy of this highly anticipated novel. While I was definitely not disappointed by it, I can't really say it lived up to the whole hype revolving around it. What bothered me most was the pace, however I can understand the slow pace of the novel, since the theme of this novel is rather serious. With an interesting concept, McGinnis shows us a possible (and maybe even probable) future if we don't start treasuring one of the things that we can't live without: water. 

If you don't like slow beginnings,  Not a Drop to Drink may be a bad choice for you (and me). Yet I was glad I persisted because towards the end, I had difficulty putting this one down. I was surprised by the author's realistic way of writing. She certainly doesn't go easy on us and her characters! But that was the thing that I enjoyed the most. That not everything is flowers and sunshine, that the world is harsh and because of it there are difficult decisions to be made that not always end well. This world is certainly terrifying...and I hope we never have to live in it.

Lynn is in the beginning a rather protected and distant character emotionally wise, by the end of the novel she is like a different person.  It was so great to see how her character develops throughout the novel, even more after the addition of Eli in her life (a character who is her complete opposite). Unfortunately I didn't feel any kind of connection with the characters. Sometimes I felt like the author could have gone deeper, not only in the characters' personalities, but also in the world-building. I would have liked to know more about the city life, about Stebbs and even more about Eli. 

There were many things to like and to hate about Not a Drop to Drink. The writing, the realism, the attention to detail and character development were certainly good aspects of the novel. Some things were maybe superfluous (like the romance) or even completely left out (why mention the city if we don't get to read more about it?). Nevertheless I can't say I didn't enjoy it. Even though it is a rather sad dystopian novel, if you are into this genre, I think you may like this novel!

Thanks to Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with a copy of the novel for review!

09 September 2013

ARC Review: The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

Release Date: September 10th, 2013
288 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Mythology is something that always gets my attention in the young adult genre, so this one was a must-read for me, and I was even happier when I got my hands on an ARC. The Chaos of Stars was an interesting read, because even though I loved the author's idea, in my opinion the plot could have been better executed. Nevertheless I would certainly buy a copy of it if I saw it in a bookstore; the cover is stunning!

To understand why the plot was the main attraction and yet also a disappointment, I have to give away a minor spoiler...(so I advise you to skip this part if you'd rather not know it!) Not only do we get to read about Egyptian mythology, some Greek gods show up as well! However I was expecting more interaction between both cultures and see how that played out. Unfortunately I felt like this addition of the Greek mythology was just a minor detail. Nonetheless I was impressed with the idea and also very entertained throughout the novel (despite the rather slow beginning).

Isadora was a bit annoying, to be completely honest. I understand her reasons for hating love (ok, maybe I don't! Who doesn't like to love and be loved? Anyway..) but she goes too far with it. Ry is just the perfect guy and she kept turning him down with not enough reason to do so. I probably liked the side characters more than the main character herself. Ry was a dreamy love interest and totally not the badboy type. If you are into guys that like their poetry, Ry is the YA boy for you!

I love Kiersten White's writing and I'm certainly picking up anything this author writes next. I really enjoyed this novel, don't get me wrong, I just think that it didn't reach its full potential. It does make a great reading, though. So pick up this novel tomorrow in the nearest bookstore! If you are a mythology freak like me, I'm certain you will enjoy it!

Huge thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy in exchange of an honest review!

07 September 2013

Review: The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Release Date: May 14th, 2013
Hardcover: 488 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins

“The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.”

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

I love fairy tales, and that's certainly doesn't come as a surprise for readers of my blog. I've certainly read and reviewed many books in this genre. But what makes School of Good and Evil special? In Chainani's novel, we get to see the makings of a fairy tale story. How does one become a princess or a prince or even a villain? And who chooses the perfect princess for a certain story? Such questions are answered when two very different girls end up at the School of Good and Evil and show that not everything in a fairy tale is completely black and white.

What I loved most about this novel was that everything was upside down. Sophie was princess material on the outside, yet Agatha was regardless of her looks a princess through and through. Agatha is an easy-to-love character; she is forgiving and faithful to her friend Sophie, even though Sophie ends up being the villain, no one expected her to become in the beginning. However not everything is black and white, Agatha also has some evil moments and Sophie tries to become a better person, not with much success. Furthermore, the character development (foremost in Sophie's case) was off-the-charts. They struggle with the roles they were given and it was interesting to see how things turned out.

The story is original and has a nice pace to it. I think, the romance was handled really well. In the beginning we only see the prince as a hottie that Sophie has obviously fallen for, regardless of his personality. But as the book unfolds, we learn to like his character and see that he is not completely Good, as well. The Prince is a jerk sometimes and doesn't trust his heart when it involves Agatha but in the end, I was a completely fan of their romance! And I really enjoyed the addition of the Storyteller's storyline and the answer to why Good has been winning against Evil for so long. 

Chainani's novel was one of the first fairy tale novels that got me to question: what is Good and what is Evil? Agatha may not look like a princess but she acts like one while Sophie tries to be good in the beginning but for the wrong reasons, and ends up being a complete villain. It's an interesting theme to think about and the author also successfully convenes the message that looks really are not everything and that actions show a lot more about one's personally. I can't wait to read the next installment and even watch the movie for this novel, since the rights for it have been bought! 

Huge thanks to Harper Collins UK for providing me with a copy for review!

16 July 2013

Review: Ink by Amanda Sun

Release Date: June 25th, 2013
Paperback: 326 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

I love when books are so innovative that they don't resemble anything that already exists. When Hunger Games or even Harry Potter came out, I had the same thought: here's something that is so original and mind blowing good, it will stay with me forever. And well, that's the same feeling I had when I was done with Ink, the first book and in a expectedly amazing series. 

Tomohiro can draw things so well, that the drawings start moving and having a like of their own. Amanda has a captivating way of leaving us readers guessing the whole story: Why can Katie manipulate his drawings? Why does Tomohiro have this ability? And the answers are interesting, indeed. I'm a mythology freak, and mostly I read Greek mythology like crazy, but it was even more fulfilling to read a book about Japanese mythology. I didn't know anything about it, so it was something completely new. Furthermore I loved the Japanese setting; I would daydream about going to Japan and after reading Ink, Japan has certainly made the list of top places to go.

Katie is a fun character, even though she has some difficulties and doubts about staying in Japan. And that's something I can relate to. I was also an exchange student, who went through the whole "I hate this place" phase but learned to adapt and even love my new country, but it certainly took some time. Tomohiro is also not the typical YA boy. In the beginning I didn't even like him that much, but later he showed me a better side to him.

There are many surprises and twists in this novel, you most certainly will never be bored while reading it. When I got my review copy, I read the whole afternoon through and was so sad that I didn't have the sequel to dive into. Amanda Sun has written an original and enthralling novel, that will make you leave everything and go to Japan to meet your own Tomohiro. I can't wait to see what the sequel has in store for these amazing characters!

Huge thanks to Harlequin Teen for providing me with a copy of this marvellous novel!

24 June 2013

Blog Tour: Shutdown by Heather Anastasiu &Giveaway

Release Date: July 2nd, 2013
320 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

The battle is all but over, and hope seems to be lost. Zoe and her fellow Resistance fighters are on the run, having lost their home, their protection, and their leader. They are outnumbered and outmatched by the powerful corporation that controls the world, and the cruel Chancellor is inches away from completing a scheme that would kill most of humanity. Zoe's only remaining option is to chase the impossible dream of upending the Link system, freeing the world from the hardware that controls their thoughts and emotions, and hope it will trigger a revolution.

The plot requires a nearly impossible mission to infiltrate the dangerous Community, and it is a task that Zoe must unfortunately complete alone. With challenges and surprises at every turn, nothing goes according to plan. Adrien's visions of the future now show two possible outcomes: one in which they succeed, and one in which humanity falls. It all lies in Zoe's hands.
Shutdown was a fantastic conclusion to this captivating series. One of the things that surprised me the most about this trilogy is that every book was so much better than its predecessor, you could really feel the development not only in the characters but also in the plot and in the author's writing as well. Even though I had already enjoyed Glitch a lot (it received a 5-star review), Shutdown was even more fun to read and I would give it a better rating in a heartbeat, if my rating system didn't only go to five stars.

The story picks up where Override left off. The plot keeps its pace throughout it, there was always going on that you won't want to read this during finals' week (like me!) since you won't be able to put it down. Seriously. However what captivated me the most wasn't the final battle, but the problematic with Adam. The end was really well-written and meant to be, I couldn't have imagined a better ending and also the way the last battle was resolved was also surprising (in a good way).

The characters have developed so much since Glitch. Zoe is a great main character, fierce yet emotional, but mostly she is realistic. But Adam was most certainly the show-stealer in Shutdown. I've never read a novel in which a character changes so drastically and that was most refreshing. I think I even enjoyed Adam more as a character after the kidnapping because he was just unexpected. He was something completely unique and less similar to all the other YA boys. And as I always say about Anastasiu's series, the side characters complement the story well in a x-men (awesome) kind of way.

I'm very happy that I was able to read an Advanced Reader Copy of this marvellous novel and also very satisfied with how things ended (you won't be disappointed!). My favorite scenes were those between Zoe and Adam, since it was very captivating to see the romance bloom again. I'll certainly pick up other novels by this author because Anastasiu showed me that she can write remarkably well with many unexpected and refreshing twists and turns. A great conclusion to an even great series!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

09 June 2013

ARC Review: Rush by Eve Silver

Release Date: June 11th, 2013
352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?

When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

Rush is a thrilling and original novel. I wasn't expecting it to like it so much, so maybe that's why it exceeded my expectations so much; or most probably, the novel just really is this good. The mystery surrounding the plot and the characters was also one thing that captivated me from the beginning, I wasn't sure what to expect and many twists and turns were completely unexpected, therefore this novel was like a small box of surprises.

You die and you get stuck in a game-like reality, in which you fight against aliens to protect the world; plus if you die there, you die in real world too, period. Let's just start by saying that this plot is completely unexpected, original and well, freaking awesome?! Furthermore, the author is a suspense-meister. There are so many secrets and mysterious details surrounding Miki's new reality, which makes the novel more alive and difficult to figure out. There are small problems that come with this territory, since the description of this reality wasn't so full of detail, therefore the world-building was a bit lacking. I do have higher hopes for the sequel, though.

The characters were the best part of the novel. Miki was a great heroine, kick-ass and strong, full of curiosity (even a bit too much) and intelligent, and I loved that she was half-Asian! But the show stealer was Jackson Tate. You don't know anything about this guy, but he just has this allure and you can't help but like him. It's a character full of unexpected secrets, and those are almost always the best to read about. The many other secondary characters were a bit obscured by my (and Miki's) obsession with Jackson, although they were fitting and complemented the story really well.

Rush was the novel that most surprised me in 2013 up until now. I read the whole thing so fast and now I can't get my hands fast enough on the sequel. That's the downside of ARCs, since I have an even longer wait till the next one comes out. But I'm certain that it will be worth it. The ending was a huge cliffhanger and I can't wait to see which direction the author will take regarding the plot and the characters. Hopefully it will also be a small box full of surprises.

A huge, huge thanks to HarperTeen for providing me with a copy of this worderful novel for review!

05 June 2013

ARC Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Release Date: June 4th, 2013
336 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

If I could pick some novels that can satiate fans of The Hunger Games trilogy, The Testing would certainly be one of them. Sure there are many similarities, but also many differences that make The Testing special in its own way. With compelling characters, a plot full of action and a captivating romance, this is a dystopian novel you won't want to miss!

With a captivating plot, The Testing will leave you completely breathless, and I don't mean that because of the writing (which is amazing as well) but because this novel just doesn't have one moment of boredom. You will be sucked right in and you won't stop until you get to the end of it. And the ending, well, it's a big cliffhanger. So what's the Testing? The Testing is a way to filter the people who get to go to university and later have a great career. But what happens to those who fail the Testing? This and many other questions will be raised throughout the novel, making the sequel (this is a trilogy) a must-read. Charbonneau does have a way to write that will pique anyone's interest.

The characters were also amazingly well-developed. Cia is a worthy main character, almost reaching Katniss standart of awesomeness in a heroine. She is strong, intelligent and really confident (she must be to be chosen for the Testing). But throughout this novel you could see how she developed and changed because of the Testing mostly, and that was a decisive factor. I love when authors can write characters that are realistic, showing how their personalities or emotions change because of certain events. Her relationship with Thomas was also well-written. After reading the whole book, I'm still not sure which character Cia should or shouldn't trust.

The Testing is a promising beginning to a most probably enthralling trilogy. I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on the sequel and I'm even more incredibly lucky to have had the oportunity to read this one before the release date (although my review is bit late). I would certainly recommend fans of the Hunger Games or the Divergent trilogy to read this amazing novel. I'm sure you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Huge, huge thanks to Houghton Mifflin Books for Children for providing me with a copy for review!

03 June 2013

ARC Review: Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead

Expected Publication: June 4th, 2013
464 pages
Publisher: Dutton Adult

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Despite having a plot that's all over the place, Gameboard of the Gods will keep you completely hooked. I just couldn't put it down, even though I didn't enjoy the story so much. That's saying something about Mead's writing. Gameboard of the Gods was entertaining and interesting enough, however I had expected so much more from this writer that I've heard so much about and maybe that was the problem.

I'm so conflicted about the plot! I liked it but I know there were some huge problems with it. Foremost the world-building was a bit weird, too many unexplainable things. I get that religion was banned but I didn't understand why (how did it come to that?). And I thought the reason that the Decline happened in the first place was a virus, but then religion illogically takes the blame. Then, there were the castes that were also highly illogical and against the RUNA's own rules. Nevertheless I enjoyed the premise about Justin and Mae working together to catch this murderous cult and how this was executed was also really captivating. But for me, the other plot lines weren't necessary to make this novel more interesting, it only succeeded in making it the more complicated and unlikable.

The characters were mostly interesting enough. Justin was a really charismatic character, he was just full of himself and that was entertaining to read. His relationship with Mae was also a nice addition to the series, since it's more mature and yet still full of complications and ups and downs, yet I would have liked for it to be less downs and more ups. Mae was a difficult character for me. At times, I really enjoyed her presence but in others (most of the time), I just wanted her to disappear. Tessa was a worthless character, she was nice and all but I still don't understand her role in the story. At least, I don't think that her story was worthy of its own POV in the novel.

Gameboard of the Gods is a more mature read, I would rather put it in the New Adult section than in the YA genre. The plot was a bit over the place, as mentioned; I would have enjoyed it more if the author had just concentrated the story on just one story line. There were too many details that could have been left out, in my opinion the whole caste thing could have been left unmentioned. The most interesting aspect of the novel was the religious problems and how they tried to uncover the cults and I guess that the Gods trying to possess people was also an interesting premise. Nonetheless Mead succeeded in captivating me throughout it and that's the reason this novel will be receiving a three stars rating. I was eager to get to the end of the novel and now I am certainly expecting the sequel to know how things will play out.

Huge thanks to Dutton Adult for providing me with a copy in exchange of an honest review!

31 May 2013

ARC Review: The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Release Date: June 4th, 2013
336 pages
Publisher: Strange Chemistry

After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.

Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.

This is something I rarely say about sequels but: I prefered The Pirate's Wish to its prequel, The Assassin's Curse! I'm plesantly shocked since the first novel in a series is almost always better than its sequels. Cassandra really achieved the impossible with this one. I was totally captivated and the world-building, the romance and even the characters developed so much in contrast to the prequel. The Pirate's Wish is exactly what every sequel should be: better.

There is a great pace to this novel, it a great mix of slower paced scenes with action-filled ones. It is the perfect sea adventure, with pirates and magic, curses and a unique humor. I also loved the building up to the romance, since we didn't get much of it in the first novel. It was so much fun to read, even more so than the first. I didn't know that this was the conclusion to this series when I started it, but now I that I know, it does certainly feel like a conclusion, with the curses broken and the romance question answered. But it was a blast to read just how they got to this point.

The main character, Ananna, is a great heroine. She is sarcastic and independent, naive and sweet. She is not the usual main character and that's refreshing. She is just so strong and thinks about her interests as well as those of the others. She loves Naji but she doesn't let her feelings cloud her dreams, she would make the best of it, even if he didn't like her back. She has a hard shell but a soft core. Naji is also a nice partner for her, he is not as expected. He is not swoony, but nice in his own way. He was way more romantic in this one too (I was even a bit surprised!). The manicore was, in my opinion, the best addition possible! She was funny in that serious way and made this novel even more entertaining.

All in all, The Pirate's Wish was a great conclusion to this captivating adventure. The romance is awkward, sweet and funny to read. The plot feels a lot like the Pirate of the Caribbean films with quest to break the curse, lots of dry humor and an adorable romance. Just what a fantasy should feel like. I really like fantasy novels and this one is certainly a great addition to the genre.

Huge thanks to Strange Chemistry for providing me with a copy for review!

30 May 2013

Blog Tour: Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

I'm participating on the Spirit blog tour! Here is a review of this amazing novel for you guys! You will also have the chance to vote for your favorite Elementals guy and the winner will be featured in a short story by Brigid Kemmerer (vote for Gabriel..just kidding, vote for your favorite!). If you want to check more of the stops on this tour, go here (where we are giving away 10 finished copies of Spirit!).

Release Date: May 28th, 2013
301 pages
Publisher: K Teen

With power comes enemies. Lots of them.

Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.

He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.

Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.

With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

To tell you the truth, Spirit was the novel I was least eager to read from this series. I'm a huge fan of Gabriel and the other Merrick brothers but I didn't know if I would enjoy Spirit as much since it centered around Hunter. I was wrong. I enjoy it, a lot; however I was always happier when the Merrick brothers also made an appearance and they make a lot of them! Spirit was the perfect mix, to make some of us (me included) to like Hunter more and it certainly succeeded.

Nonetheless Spirit is a sad story, full of action, humor and great characters, but still a sad story. Hunter's life is no picnic and by the end of the novel, I realise that at least he's got the Merrick brothers now. It was amazing to see their relationship get better along the novel. Michael was specially an amazing character in this novel. The plot itself was also amazing (as always in this series), full of twists and turns and complications for our beloved characters. Many unexpected things happen and that is always a plus for me, when the twists and turns really come out of nowhere!

I have mixed feelings towards Hunter. I liked him, but sometimes I didn't. I don't know really know why but he just annoyed me sometimes. But I always understood why he did what he did, it certainly isn't easy to be always so alone. I loved his relationship with the brothers and his scenes with them were my favorite in the whole novel. I guess I'm biased. Kate is also a great addition to the series. She is strong, independent and a bit ironic (my favorite kind). 

Spirit was a great addition to this series. I know that even though I don't like Hunter as much as I like the others, I know he plays a big role in the story and I'm glad that Brigid wrote about him as well. I was surprised that I liked this novel so much, I didn't expect that. I would certainly recommend this to all fans of paranormal novels out there and of course, people who already read the prequels, you will not be disappointed!

28 May 2013

Review: If I Should Die by Amy Plum

Release Date: May 7th, 2013
405 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

I will not lose another person I love. I will not let history repeat itself.

Vincent waited lifetimes to find me, but in an instant our future together was shattered. He was betrayed by someone we both called a friend, and I lost him. Now our enemy is determined to rule over France’s immortals, and willing to wage a war to get what they want.

It shouldn’t be possible, none of it should be, but this is my reality. I know Vincent is somewhere out there, I know he’s not completely gone, and I will do anything to save him.

After what we’ve already fought to achieve, a life without Vincent is unimaginable. He once swore to avoid dying—to go against his nature and forsake sacrificing himself for others—so that we could be together. How can I not risk everything to bring my love back to me?

2013 is a sad and happy year for me. Many debuts are becoming new favorites, but also many old favorites are coming to an end. The Die For Me series has been a favorite of mine since the first book came out. Probably because of the freshness of the premise, the beautiful writing and the insanely romantic story set in Paris, one of my favorite (and most romantic) cities in the world! If I Should Die didn't disappoint me and I'm glad that, if this series absolutely had to end, at least the ending was a good one.

I'll try not to spoil so much of the story, since I'm sure there may be some of you who haven't had the chance to read this one yet (what are you waiting for?!). I'm sure many of you had some expectations about the ending, so did I, but If I Should Die won't (shouldn't) let you down. I wasn't very surprised about how Plum's executed the plot and its twists and turns; admittedly I had already thought about or guessed many of the surprises meant to rend us speechless. Nonetheless it didn't make this novel boring, on the contrary, I devoured it. I liked the fights, the humor, the trip to New York, the romance, the homecoming of some characters and the appearance of new ones: they made this book special, even unique in the trilogy.

I'm not going to lie, either, and say that this one was my favorite of the three. I don't even know which one would I choose. However I can say that the characters are equally great in all three of them. I love Kate as a main character and in this one, she is even more independent and strong. Long gone is the sad girl from Die For Me. Vincent is his usual swoony-self, however after reading Die For Her (the novella from Jules' POV - read it now!) my heart was torn between Jules and Vincent. That was surprising for me, since I couldn't imagine liking a character as much as I enjoyed Vincent in this trilogy. But Plum achieves the impossible, or many not so impossible, I guess. I love all the characters in this trilogy and I could certainly see myself reading anything, any novella, released about any of them.

Surely some of you will be disappointed (hopefully not), since you had some many expectations. For me, If I Should Die delivered what I had been hoping for: that happy feeling when you get after ending a beloved book. Maybe some things were missing, maybe not, but I'm happy with how things ended. Kate and Vincent certainly got happy ending they deserved and maybe Jules will get his one too. I don't know if I want Amy to write more on this series in the future, but for the moment, I'm satisfied. Thanks for giving us this wonderful series that will always have a special space in my bookshelf!

27 May 2013

Review: Towering by Alex Flynn

Release Date: May 14th, 2013
293 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

I'm a huge fan of fairytale retellings and I've heard so many things about Alex Flynn and I knew that I had to read one of her books. I don't know why I have never read of her novels but when I saw a retelling about Rapunzel (a fairytale that is not easily and modernly retold), I just had to request a copy for review. A big plus was also that one of the main characters is called Rachel (sorry, I just had to mention it)!

The thing about retelling Rapunzel is that it's not an easy story to retell it in a modern way. There is nothing modern about locking a girl away in a tower nowadays and maybe that was just me, but I was really skeptical throughout the novel. I don't think it's entirely Flynn's fault, nevertheless I couldn't enjoy the story completely. I know that the magical aspects of the story couldn't completely disappear but there some things that didn't go well with me, like the whole story with the drugs and some cheesy parts which I didn't expect in a modern retelling. Furthermore some things weren't even explained and I just had the feeling that the novel felt incomplete (I still don't understand Dani's appearances and how they knew Rachel was going to be a special child..but I guess that's the fairytale aspect of the story).

The characters fell in the "ok" category. They weren't that special but enjoyable anyway. Maybe a bit too "fairytale-ish" for a modern retelling. Rachel was too naive and just like a Disney princess and Wyatt was the perfect prince, even though the author tried to incorporate some darker aspects into his past.

I'm not saying that I didn't enjoyed it, I did, yet it didn't blow my mind away as a fairytale retelling. Maybe I just started with the wrong novel since Flynn's retelling are usually well-reviewed. I certainly will give this author another shot. Rapunzel IS a difficult fairytale to modernize. Nonetheless I would recommend this one to those of you who are in need of a pleasant and rather slow-paced novel.

Thanks to HarperTeen for providing me with a copy for review!

24 May 2013

Review: Parallel by Lauren Miller

Release Date: May 14th, 2013
419 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Abby Barnes had a plan. The Plan. She'd go to Northwestern, major in journalism, and land a job at a national newspaper, all before she turned twenty-two. But one tiny choice—taking a drama class her senior year of high school—changed all that. Now, on the eve of her eighteenth birthday, Abby is stuck on a Hollywood movie set, miles from where she wants to be, wishing she could rewind her life. The next morning, she's in a dorm room at Yale, with no memory of how she got there. Overnight, it's as if her past has been rewritten.

With the help of Caitlin, her science-savvy BFF, Abby discovers that this new reality is the result of a cosmic collision of parallel universes that has Abby living an alternate version of her life. And not only that: Abby's life changes every time her parallel self makes a new choice. Meanwhile, her parallel is living out Abby's senior year of high school and falling for someone Abby's never even met.

As she struggles to navigate her ever-shifting existence, forced to live out the consequences of a path she didn't choose, Abby must let go of the Plan and learn to focus on the present, without losing sight of who she is, the boy who might just be her soul mate, and the destiny that's finally within reach.

It's a standalone! Really, that's the only bad thing I have to say about this novel. When I read the summary, I expected great things from Parallel and it sure delivered them! With a refreshing premise about parallel lives, compelling and entertaining characters, Parallel will provide you with one of the best reads of 2013.

Admittedly I had some trouble in the beginning to understand what was going on and it IS a complex plot, so you do have to stop sometimes and think about what you read. But that was the beauty of it for me; it has been a long time since a novel has kept me enthralled throughout it. The parallel lives are so different so that you could easily identify which Abby it was, furthermore each chapter's title would clarify about when the scene was happening. Foremost I enjoyed the twists and turns that had been caused by her parallel decisions in the past, so it was really interesting to see how the relationships and events would change because of them.

The characters were really easy to read and identify with. Abby is a normal teenager that is a bit of a control freak (she planned out her entire life!), so when everything went crazy with her parallel calling the shots, you can guess how she reacts. Caitlin was a favorite of mine because she is just unexpected (a beautiful girl who loves physics!), even though I don't enjoy maths as much. I think every character is really realistic, and the romance as well. It's not an insta-love by any means and some twists and turns in her love life were not in the least expected!

I have read many books in this year already and I have to say that Parallel was one of the best. It certainly will be added to my list of favorite books. I'm certain many people won't enjoy that they may have to reread a paragraph (or more) to understand the concept of parallel lives, but for me what won me over was the novelty of it. It was refreshing and unfortunately it's a standalone. The ending is a bit open and that's the only thing still bugging me about this novel!

Huge thanks to HarperTeen for providing me with a copy of this captivating novel!

19 May 2013

ARC Review: Transparent - Natalie Whipple

Release Date: May 22th, 2013
368 Pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

You know that kind of book that goes exactly how you expect it to but you still can't seem to dislike it? Well, that was Transparent for me. Even though it wasn't full of surprises, I still found the story sweet and a good pastime.

So, the first and probably one of the only surprises I experienced throughout this novel was that I didn't know that there were more people with special abilities. And I was pleased that they found a great excuse for the development of these abilities. After reading this synopsis, I kind of expected to read more about Fiona's life with her dad yet the story goes through this part of the story rather fast. Furthermore some things felt superfluous to me, like Graham's (her brother) storyline and Radiasure (the drug which caused this special abilities but it doesn't play a big role). Her father wasn't a very good villain, either. Nonetheless I fell in love with the world-building; I really enjoyed that many people had special abilities.

Fiona was a different main character; I liked and disliked her a lot. I do understand that it must be difficult to be invisible but she also shouldn't be so clueless this often. Nevertheless I really liked her snarky side though it was hard to take her serious sometimes. Bea and Brady were great secondary characters. However I think that I would have liked to read more about The Pack (Bea's brothers) because they were so much fun to read.

Transparent was a great novel to pass the time but I was actually expecting a little more from the storyline; maybe that was the problem because I had set my expectations so high. I thought we would see more from Fiona's past as a thief. However the romance was really sweet and the great set of secondary characters really added some spark to the story. I would recommend this book to the lower YA crowd.

Thanks to HarperTeen for providing me with a copy for review!

12 May 2013

Blog Tour: Chantress by Amy Butler Greenfield & Giveaway

Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardcover: 336 pages

Lucy’s Chantress magic will make her the most powerful—and most hunted—girl in England.

“Sing, and the darkness will find you.” This warning has haunted fifteen-year-old Lucy ever since she was eight and shipwrecked on a lonely island. Lucy’s guardian, Norrie, has lots of rules, but the most important is that Lucy must never sing. Not ever. Now it is 1667, Lucy is fifteen, and on All Hallows’ Eve, Lucy hears a tantalizing melody on the wind. She can’t help but sing—and she is swept into darkness.

When she awakes in England, Lucy hears powerful men discussing Chantresses—women who can sing magic into the world. They are hunting her, but she escapes and finds sanctuary with the Invisible College, an organization plotting to overthrow the nefarious Lord Protector. The only person powerful enough to bring about his downfall is a Chantress. And Lucy is the last one in England.
Lucy struggles to master the song-spells and harness her power, but the Lord Protector is moving quickly. And her feelings for Nat, an Invisible College apprentice and scientist who deeply distrusts her magic, only add to her confusion...
Time is running out, and the fate of England hangs in the balance in this entrancing novel that is atmospheric and lyrical, dangerous and romantic.

An enchanting story about a girl who can draw magic into being just by singing a song. A plot that is mostly uncomplicated and great characters make for an entertaining read. I was certainly pleasantly surprised that even though things are simple in the novel, I was still greatly captivated by the originality of the idea and its execution. 

Lucy was hidden away on an isle and forbidden to sing because it would be really dangerous. Chantress are almost extinct and Lord Protector is trying to kill the remaining ones so that they disappear once and for all. When in London, Lucy finds protection with the Invisible College, who wants to see Lord Protector gone. The execution of this plot is mainly simple but really captivating! However I do have to mention that even though I enjoyed the story, there weren't many remarkable aspects to it. The romance was nevertheless really refreshing, since it was slowly developed.

The characters were all easy to like, even though many were also as forgettable. Lucy was a nice main character. She lacked a bit of charisma, maybe, but throughout I liked her determination to learn magic and to help the others (and even learn more about herself as a chantress). Nat was so swoony! He was handsome but intelligent and as scientist, a bit skeptical about the whole chantress thing, but that made the whole character more unique (if compared to other YA boys). 

I would certainly recommend Chantress to anyone. It's an easy read with paranormal aspects and a nice romance. Although I thought the pace of the story to be a bit slow, I think that it was normal for such a series' beginning (Lucy does have to learn everything from scratch). I'm excited to get my hands on the next one; for I think the story will have more bite.

07 May 2013

ARC Review: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen

Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

Reboot was a different kind of novel. Everything was balanced: the growing romance, the amazing plot and the drastic characters' development. While in many novels, the romance rather outshines the other aspects of the novel, in Reboot the romance only added charm to a mostly dark story.

Instead of zombies, Tintera introduces the Reboots. Teenagers who die and are rebooted and come back to life with abilities. Our main character, Wren, was dead for 178 minutes, which means that her humanity is almost nonexistent. While the government misuses the reboots as soldiers, the population rather fears them. Tintera did an amazing job introducing us to Wren's world. Authors often forget to tell us more about the world the characters live in, yet this was certainly not the case in Reboot.

Being dead for so long, Wren didn't retain much of her humanity. She is really cold, serious and determined. But it's Callum (dead for only 22 minutes) who brings out the real (or more human-like) Wren. Her change throughout the novel is palpable. The story with her best friend was also really touching. But I really enjoyed Wren as a main character; she was different from the typical heroine.

Reboot was entertaining and different, action-filled but romantic. The ending was interesting enough to make us yearn for the next novel. While some things did bother me in this novel like Wren's thoughtlessness (though understandable) or how everything turns out as expected. However Reboot was a good enough novel, that these slight problems were easily overlooked.

Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of Reboot for review!

03 May 2013

Blog Tour: The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard

Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Kindle Edition: 177 pages

Allison O'Malley's plan is to go to grad school so she can get a good job and take care of her schizophrenic mother. She has carefully closed herself off from everything else, including a relationship with Ethan, who she's been in love with for as long as she can remember.

What is definitely not part of the plan is the return of her long-lost father, who claims he can bring Allison's mother back from the dark place her mind has gone. Allison doesn't trust her father, so why would she believe his stories about a long forgotten Irish people, the Tuatha de Danaan? But truths have a way of revealing themselves. Secrets will eventually surface. And Allison must learn to set aside her plan and work with her father if there is even a small chance it could restore her mother's sanity.

So, the first surprise for me upon finishing this novel was the length; with only 177 pages, The Forgotten Ones was a quick read and yet an enjoyable one. I have not often read such short novels and I found myself enjoying it because it cuts right to the point. With some original ideas (Tuatha de Danaan) to refresh the YA genre, I look forward to the next one.

Even though the plot and the writing were things I really enjoyed, I was a bit let down about the romance. I know that Allison has some problems but she didn't have to push Ethan away so hard. I do hope the sequel will bring something more in this department. However, the world-building was enough to pick my interest and I really enjoyed her trip to Tir na n’Og. I really loved this mix of magic and real world.

The characters were likeable and realistic. But sometimes I had the feeling that there just too many side characters. I certainly forgot many of their names throughout the novel. Ethan was, of course, swoony and Allison a really likeable main character.

I do recommend this novel to anyone who likes the paranormal genre in YA. This novel is short and I'm sure you will enjoy it, and even if you don't (which I doubt it), there are only 177 pages! I was even a bit sad that The Forgotten Ones was so short. I'm looking forward to reading the sequel to this novel, even though there was no cliffhanger in the end.

Dream Cast:

With those piercing blue eyes and that "studious" vibe, Alexis Bledel would make the perfect Allison. I had her character in Gilmore Girls, Rory, often in my mind while reading The Forgotten Ones.

I know Ethan actually has longer hair and curls, but Taylor Lautner would be my pick for this character. He certainly is gorgeous enough for the role.

Kellan Lutz would be the perfect Sean. I always have him in my mind when I think about those "big brother"-type of character. He is a friend of Allison since they were kids and treats her like a younger sister.

Daneel Harris would make the perfect Rachel. I don't know if you've watched One Tree Hill but her character there was a bit unbearable in the beginning (just like Rachel) and coincidentally Daneel's character in OTH was also called Rachel! The perfect fit , right?!

Teresa Palmer is my pick for Nicole's character. Nicole is Allison's cousin and best friend. Teresa would be my choice because while she is blonde and pretty like Nicole, she still can be one fierce actress!

a Rafflecopter giveaway