Earlier this year I read a book written by the other co-author of the Beautiful Creatures series and thought it was missing something, maybe a second author in the mix. I wasn't quite sure what to expect when it came to Garcia's first lone novel, but I found that it did feel a little more together than Stohl's. This seems to be one of the season's most anticipated books, and it had been compared quite often to the CW's beloved show Supernatural, which I've been a huge fan of for about four years. When I heard it compared to said show I was super excited to read it, and less than 50 pages in I saw the similarities between the book and the show. It's basically like a teen version of Supernatural with a female protag and a team instead of just two brothers (although there are two brothers). The more I kept reading though the more I REALLY saw the similarities. The two brothers, the methods the team used to fight the ghosts, the ending, all of it just poked at the back of my mind going "you've seen this before". There might be some explanation for said similarities, I have no idea if there's lore on salt and cold-iron repelling ghosts, and there were differences, but it was just a little too similar for my tastes at some points. The main character was also slightly aggravating, mainly because she had a photographic memory but kept forgetting basic things like "salt=no ghosts". You think she might catch on a little faster to things that could get her killed. I really enjoyed some of the side characters though, and would love to see more of them in the next books. All of that being said it was a really fast read and it was enjoyable and engaging all the way through. Fans of Supernatural will undoubtedly want to give this book a shot though, because it will appeal to most of the female fans. Fans of Anna Dressed in Blood should also enjoy the book, along with Buffy fans, because it has the vibe as well. The one thing it lacked in comparison to said shows and book was the snark, which does make some sense due to the fact that Garcia wasn't exactly known for all the witty dialogue, and there wasn't really much room for it in the story. I look forward to reading the next book in the series to see where Garcia takes the story and am excited to see more of Garcia's writing with Stohl for their new series.
Out October 1, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Little, Brown for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
A few years ago I read an ARC of a debut novel that was given to me by a blogger friend, and I found that I enjoyed the book. I have yet to actually finish said series (The Chemical Garden Trilogy), but when I heard of DeStefano's new book I was intrigued. It sounded like it would be an utterly unique read, and seeing as I really enjoyed DeStefano's writing style I asked for an ARC, and when one showed up in the mail I was super happy that I would get to read it early. DeStefano had been sharing small snippets of the book randomly or various social media sites, and each piece I read made me want to dig into my copy sooner and sooner, but I waited because I had other things to read. When I finally sat down and dove into the world she had created there were a few thoughts in my mind. The first was "wow, there are passages in this book that are SUPER amazing." Like, I-could-see-people-tattooing-them-on-their-body-in-curly-script-to-live-with-forever-amazing. Some of the quotes just spoke to me in a way that made me nod my head and go "I totally get that". The other thing that popped out at me was the fact that the plot was kinda fuzzy. Now, in this case when I say fuzzy I don't mean light and fluffy, I mean hazy and maybe not all there. Sure there was a plot, of course there was a plot, but the POINT of the plot was lost on me at some points. It was there, and I could kind of see it, but it wasn't really the main focus and some of what was happening really didn't relate to it much, in my opinion. I think this book is a variation on the dystopian genre in some sense, and to me in a dystopian world there is a very distinct theme, which is "everything isn't really as perfect as it seems" which in a way was in this book, but it was very much pushed to the side for most of the story. All of that being said I did enjoy the book. The writing was amazing, the plot idea was unique and fascinating, and it kept me engaged enough to want to know what would happen next. I'll be looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see where DeStefano takes this story, and I would recommend it to fans of her first series (although this one seems to be quite a bit lighter in some ways), and for those of you who like to think when reading a book, although not necessarily about the book, but about things in real life.
Out October 1, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Simon and Schuster for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.
I'm super thrilled to be part of this blog tour today, it's really an honor to be able to read and review a book with the sole purpose of helping get the word out, because as a blogger that's what I want for books, is for them to get noticed and read.
Paradise quickly gets gruesome in this thrilling page-turner with a plot that’s ripped from the headlines and a twist that defies the imagination.
It’s Spring Break of senior year. Anna, her boyfriend Tate, her best friend Elise, and a few other close friends are off to a debaucherous trip to Aruba that promises to be the time of their lives.
But when Elise is found brutally murdered, Anna finds herself trapped in a country not her own, fighting against vile and contemptuous accusations. As Anna sets out to find her friend’s killer, she discovers harsh revelations about her friendships, the slippery nature of truth, and the ache of young love.
Awaiting the judge’s decree, it becomes clear to Anna that everyone around her thinks she is not only guilty, but also dangerous. And when the whole story comes out, reality is more shocking than anyone ever imagined...
Abby McDonald grew up in Sussex, England and studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. She began writing at college, and graduated to work as a music journalist and entertainment critic; drawing on her loves of pop culture, film and feminism, and interviewing acts as diverse as LeAnn Rimes, The Kings of Leon, and Marilyn Manson. She is now a full-time novelist and screen-writer.
She is the author of five young adult novels: ‘Sophomore Switch’; ‘Boys, Bears & a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots’; ‘The Anti-Prom’; ‘Getting Over Garrett Delaney’; and ‘Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood’. Her work has received starred reviews, been translated into four different languages, won national awards, and been optioned for TV and movies. In 2013, she will publish her first YA thriller, ‘Dangerous Girls’, as Abigail Haas.
Abby also writes for adults. ‘The Popularity Rules’ and ”The Liberation of Alice Love’ were published in 2011 by Sourcebooks (US).
After spells in Montreal and London, Abby recently moved to Los Angeles, where she is enjoying blue skies, drive-thru everything, and an abundance of frozen yoghurt.
I hadn't really heard much about this book until right before it came out, and when I heard it was along the lines of the Amanda Knox trial I was skeptical, because I really wanted to stay out of all of that, because it wasn't my life. There are times when I read a book and I think to myself "I could totally do this" or "wow, this character is SO whiny, I mean really THIS is their life and they're complaining" but then there are books where I'm like "yeah, I could NEVER handle that" (think The Hunger Games), and for me this was one of the later books. It's based off of several real events that have happened within the last decade, and for me that's what makes it so scary. Maybe not scary in a 'boogeyman might jump out from behind the door and kill you with an ax scary' but it's scary in the sense of 'this could happen to me' way, which sometimes makes it all the more real and all the more terrifying. Some might find the way the story was told, a then-and-now time line, slightly jarring, but I think in this case it worked really well. The fact that we didn't just get to see what happened after the murder, but how the friendship between the victim and the supposed killer began and evolved, helped the story along greatly and was a great stylistic choice. The emotion in the novel was great, it kept me wanting to just tear through the novel, and I did, page by page, trying to piece together the puzzle and figure out how everything was going to turn out in the end. For some reason this book really spoke to me, and not just in a "I have a strange love of novels with murder in them" way, but in a way that just kind of poked at my chest and brain and went "listen to me, pay attention to me, you can't stop reading me!" That probably sounds super weird, but that's basically how I would describe my experience reading this book. I would have loved to see Abigail tour for this book, because this just seems like the kind of thing that everyone should read, not just for entertainment but because it's POWERFUL and teaches a lesson. I'll leave the less that it teaches you for you to decide, because I think everyone might take away something that's a little different. Although I'm unable to put my finger on exactly why I feel that this novel is important, I feel that it is incredibly important, and that the world might be a better place if everyone read it. For me this is a book to recommend to everyone, although I do need to caution you that there is sex, drinking, drugs, death, and language in the book so it's not suitable for children under the age of, I would say 15.
4.5/5 dust spirits
3 winners will each get a signed finished copy of DANGEROUS GIRLS
back before this book even had a publishing deal I read a copy of it because I
basically bugged Trish until she let me. Back then I loved it so much,
but I decided I should probably read a draft that had been edited and tweaked
and what not for when it went on sale, so I didn't review it and waited until
Trish traded an ARC of hers for some bracelets I made that go with the book.
If you've been with me for at least a year you know that I just adored
Trish's debut novelSomething Like Normal, so getting a chance to read her second book crazy early was beyond
amazing for me. Again, Trish writes with wit and feeling in such a way
that I can't NOT love all of her characters, even if some of them drive me a
little nuts. There's a fine line between a character who makes you scream
sometimes but you love them to death versus one who makes you scream and you
want to slap. Callie is that character. Now you may be like
"wait, what? I don't want to read a book with a character that will
make me scream" and usually I would say "very true" but in this
instance I say "bah" because a HUGE part of the story is HER
DEVELOPMENT, which brings her from why-the-hell-did-you-do-that character to
just-let-me-give-you-big-hugs-and-squishes character. Trust me on this.
Also, the BOY! WOW is this boy hot. I mean, Travis was nice but this guy,
WOO, where's the fan!? He is for SURE one of my favorite book guys.
The Greek culture in the book is super cool; although there are words
that I'm sure I butchered because lord knows I don't speak Greek. Since
the moment I read this book last year to when I just finished it there's really nothing that I don't love about this book. You guys, I was
on the verge of tears when I was reading this, and I've read it twice before! That's
how good it is! There's also the little note that my name is in the back
in the acknowledgements, which is SUPER AMAZING I MEAN OH MY GOD, but that
doesn't affect how I feel about the book, because I loved it back before it
even had this title (previously it was titled All That Was Lost).
If you're not so sure go out and buy yourself a copy, because dude, if
you like contemporary novels that have some substance to them this is a book
you will no doubt love (and just think how pretty this cover will look on your shelf even if something nuts happens and you don't like it!!!). And if you haven't read Trish's first book you
now have no excuse because it will be out in paperback when this book hits the
shelves! Also, do you even have to ask about how much I want to read her third book?
Out September 24, 2013
5/5 dust spirits
Please note that there is sex, swear words, death, drugs, and abuse in this book so it's not for a young audience.
*Thanks to Trish and Bloomsbury for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.
As of Monday September 23 at 10:00 am I will be a community college student. For the past...three years that I've been running this blog I've been in high school, and amazingly enough I've been able to post pretty regularly. Because this is my first year in college I'm not really sure what to expect I can't promise that my posts will be frequent, and same thing goes for my reviews. Hopefully everything will continue on as normal, but I can't be sure (although finals week will almost for sure be silent). When I have spare time I'll read, and when I finish a book I'll post a review same as always. I have quite a few signings lined up that I want to go to so hopefully that will happen as well. Regardless I'll make sure to post a contest every now because you guys have stuck through a lot of things with me! Thanks so much and I hope to continue on at the rate I've been going in terms of reading and reviewing, and I promise to have more contests!
Earlier this year I read Brandon Sanderson's first novel, Elantris, for a class in my senior year of high school, and while it was okay I wasn't super amazed. I wasn't entirely sure about this book, but it had some good critic and author reviews, so I decided to give it a shot. Right off the bat I just really enjoyed this book, which surprised me a little bit. Sure, it took longer than usual for me to read a book it's size but that might be because it was large, and by that I mean it's a pretty tall book, so there are more words on the page than your average book. I consider myself a fan of action movies, which in turn means that I enjoy action books, but most books that have been called "action-packed" or anything similar just don't really work as books in my mind. They're decent books, and when I read them I would think they would make amazing movies, but fall a little short because there isn't that famous actor surrounded by hot women and explosions. This book surprised me because I think it worked quite well as a book and if it were ever made into a movie, if done right, could be a major blockbuster. One of the things I loved the most about this book was the idea that in a world where ordinary people suddenly developed superpowers EVERYONE who developed said powers turned evil. The world was taken over by the kind of villains you would see in a comic book, but there was no one to fight them but ordinary people. As you can imagine that didn't go over very well, so they just fell into being ruled by those with the power. In that case it makes it a rather dystopian-ish world, although that's not really the genre I would put it in. Yes, the world as we know it ended, but that was because of ordinary people with extraordinary powers, it wasn't through any natural or nuclear disaster. The other thing I loved was the fact that the main character was a male. That might make sense seeing as the author is a guy, but there are a lot of male writers that write female protagonists so to see one write a male protagonist was pretty great. The twists and turns were enjoyable and there were even some of them that I wasn't expecting until right before they were revealed. Personally I feel that this book is better suited towards the male population or the females that tend towards action and not romance, but it will really depend on your individual preferences. If you are at all interested in super heroes I would suggest that you take a look at this book, and maybe read the prologue before buying it. Because if the prologue doesn't grab you I guarantee that the rest of the book won't hold a ton of interest for you. Personally I can't wait to see what the second book holds, and I hope to read his other novel for teens, although that may not happen anytime soon.
Out September 24, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Random House for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.
For quite some time I've been hearing some pretty great things about this book, so naturally I was very interested in getting my hands on it and seeing what all the hype was about. The one thing I kept hearing over and over again was the fact that this was a gritty book that didn't pull punches, which, in this day and age could cause some problems and will definitely raise some heads. I have to say that one of the things that fascinated me the most about this I'm sure that there's more than one book that has a world where water is sparse, but while this could technically be considered a dystopian book that's not really what it is at its heart. McGinnis writes a harsh unforgiving world where water is scarce and people will do anything to take the water that you might have. I'm pretty sure that in dystopian books the author focuses on a seemingly perfect society that is actually teeming with problems, mostly government lies. While there is a city in the book it's not talked about as paradise that's not the focus at all, the focus is on one girl and her house that has a much valued pond near it. Overall there was really nothing wrong with the book and I enjoyed it a great amount, I just didn't enjoy it as much as it seems some people have, which I guess happens every once and a while. That being said I loved the fact that McGinnis wrote such a bold and unique story. At it's heart I think this book is almost about what some people will do to stay alive, and the things that change the way we look at things. McGinnis wrote a stunning debut that I'm sure will make a splash once it hits shelves, and hopefully she will continue to write, because I would love to read another book by her sometime in the future. Before you pick this book up be warned that there is death and swearing and insinuations of rape, so it's not exactly one for younger teens or for those with a faint heart, but should you feel like you can handle what it dishes out I would recommend it.
Out September 24, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Teen (Katherine Tegen Books) for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
If you know anything about me you know that I can't pass up a good murder mystery. All of those crime shows on TV? I watch them. All of the teen slasher flicks? Yeah, those too (cause they're kind of the same thing), so when I heard about this book I was TOTALLY going to read it. One thing most people don't know about me, I think it would be REALLY cool to be able to hack things, although the most I can do with computers is the basic Microsoft Office stuff, so there's no real chance for that, but I think it's cool when characters have cool hacking skills. The main character was just like that. I think the thing I liked most about her though, aside from her snark (because I do love snark) was the fact that despite being terrified (and, okay, maybe a little too paranoid about the cops) she did what she needed to do anyway because it would protect someone she loved. To me there is nothing better than a character who does what they do to help others, especially if they're terrified to do it. The plot was nice and twisty, and the fact that the dead girl was still such a major part of the story made it even better. I'm actually embarrassed to say that I didn't actually figure out who the killer was, although I feel like maybe I should have, because really, it was CLASSIC nut-job. The two things that I didn't like were the way that the character talked about "pushing her feet farther into the floor" (she used that phrase or something like that a LOT, and it didn't really make much sense to me, because, well, how do you do that?) and the second was the...I guess you would call it the epilogue. Do I like things wrapped up into neat little bows? Sure, I like bows, they're pretty and don't leave me going "but what about x!?" but this one felt a little...forced? I would have been happy without it, and I do think there's such a thing as TOO neat. It could have been there to set up a sequel, because the last paragraph made it seem like a second book could be in the works, but it also left it wrapped up a little TOO neat but at the same time too open, if that makes any sense. Those things aside I enjoyed the book immensely and I hope that Romily will write more books along these lines in the future, but if not I do hope she will keep writing.
Out September 24, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.
Melissa came to my city earlier this year on tour for her final Blue Bloods novel, and despite the fact I've never read a word she had written I went because, well, when was the next time she was gonna be here? At the signing she talked about this new book she was writing with her husband, and I thought it sounded pretty cool, so when a battered ARC showed up on my door along with Andrea Cremer's newest teen book I decided to give it a shot. I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting when I opened the book, I mean, sure there's the synopsis that you can find on the Internet and somewhere on the book, but it didn't really tell me much about what the plot really was. So honestly I came into the book with some confusion. There were points in the book where I felt that things were being explained for no real reason, like the world was just being built, which I thought was odd because it seemed out of place. That problem aside I did enjoy the book. Melissa and Michael created a fascinating new broken world for the characters to explore, and all of the creatures that were included just made the book that much more fun. The dual POV was interesting, and I'm assuming the girl's was written by Melissa and the boy's by Michael, which means that's double-y cool. Overall I think that Melissa and Michael have created a very unique start to a series that holds of lot of promise for the future. I'll be interested to see what happens in book two just because of how book one ended. Having never read Melissa's previous books I can't really say "if you loved x book by her you'll love this" but Frozen reminded me of almost a mix between Under the Never Sky and Shadow and Bone with other things mixed in. I also think that dragon lovers will be pleased with the direction the book takes (which is not a spoiler because, really, look at the O in the title!).
Out September 17, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Penguin for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.
I read an early copy of Gretchen's debut novel Possess and while I enjoyed it I didn't love it to death, but then she wrote her sophomore novel Ten and by golly did I just eat it up. For quite a few years now I've been a huge fan of the horror genre, but horror and YA don't really mix because...well, if you scare the crap out of kids people [parents] might get kinda mad. When I heard about this book I was super excited because it was Gretchen McNeil (so a horror book), and it had SCIENCE in it! Yes, this book has science in it, and however loose it might be there is still science, so beware, it's not a teen slasher book (see Ten). This book started out as a more mellow sci-fi book, and I was like "I like it, but why does the T-shirt I got to show around say 'be afraid of the dark', that's kinda horror-y" and then it got to that part and I was like "oh crap!". There aren't a ton of sci-fi books out there for the YA age range, and when I come across one it's really fun to see what aspect of the sci-fi genre the author chose to write about, and in this book it was the multi-universe theory. I've only read one other book within the YA age range that deals with multiple universes, so the fact that I found another one that was also well done and had a horror-y edge to it pleased me a great deal. The creatures that were in the dark reminded me of the Vulcra from Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, which I found to be super cool. although these were more science based as opposed to magic-y based. Props for that Gretchen. There was that fun "who's the bad guy" thing going on in the book, and amazingly there's romance in there too (only Gretchen can work romance and killing into the same book). The ending is open-ended enough that I could see a sequel happening, whether or not that's in the future I don't know, but I know I would enjoy coming back to the world and would not object to it. I really enjoyed this novel and think that sci-fi fans, probably more so those of The X Files and Fringe, will find this book really entertaining. Whatever Gretchen is up to next, bring it on. Just be warned that there is science (possible pseudo-science. Well, yes pseudo-science seeing as none of it can be confirmed) so you'll have to pay attention to some parts and possibly understand basic physics and whatnot or you might end up skimming over those sections with a look on your face like this "o.O".
Out September 17, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Last year I read a debut novel that had been blurbed by Body Finder author Kimberly Derting and I loved it. Werewolf murder mystery, enough said. When I heard there were ARCs of the sequel I traded whatever I had to to get a copy, although again I've come down to the wire reading it before it comes out. Once I started this book and got past my initial "wait, what happened in book one again" moment, I was down for reading large chunks of it at a time. This book follows Mac and her friends as their adventures continue, but for this one Kathleen pulled out what are very much like concentration camps, only they're for werewolves. That made me super happy (and I say that from a reader's standpoint just because they're interesting. I would love if things like that never existed again). The first book was chill-inducing, but this one made me break out in full-on shivers, because it stars one of those characters that TRULY believes that what they're doing, hurting some to "help" many is the RIGHT thing to do, and in real life those people are the scariest of all. Sure, that crazy guy that likes to slice people up in his van is nightmare worthy, but he's not gonna lock up thousands of people because he thinks he's helping them. Kathleen perfectly captures this attitude in the book's villain, and I loved seeing old and new characters come together in this new story. Despite the fact that this is the sequel to Hemlock I almost feel that it could stand alone in terms of plot, although one might be mighty confused about the characters. I can't wait to see how this series ends, especially because Kathleen seems to be really good at the suspense/action parts of her books, which makes me think book three will really pack a punch. Hopefully it will come out within a year of this one unlike this book (it came out over a year after the first one), but if not I will trust it's so that Kathleen is making it into the best book it can be. Fans of the first book will be excited to finally get this installment in the series, although don't expect the same story line told slightly different this time, there are big changes for our beloved characters, and not all of them are happy. In fact, almost none of them are.
Out September 10, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*I received this ARC via a swap with another blogger, but that does not change the fact that this is my honest opinion on the book.
A few years ago I found this book called Paranormalcy and I just loved it. It was funny and original and completely adorable, but at the same time heart-crushing (because that's how Kiersten works). Then I found her new series that starts with Mind Games and it was thrilling and edgy and still heart-crushing (is anyone else seeing a pattern here?) so when I heard Kiersten was writing ANOTHER book I was like "oh, heck yes". Let me tell you something before I continue, history isn't my thing. Sure, I aced in all through school but I just really don't care about it, although ancient Egypt is one of the few areas that I enjoyed studying (it has to do with the mummies). I think one of the main things I don't like about history is all of the dates and names. GOD the NAMES. I HATE the names. Kiersten uses the ACTUAL names of the gods, which is probably a large part of the reason it took me a while to actually get into this book, but once I did I found myself enjoying it. Having recently read Kendare Blake's Antigoddess and seeing all of these Greek myth-based books out it was really cool to see an Egyptian myth-based book, even if the names are a pain in the butt to say. Kiersten did something new (AGAIN) and for that I give her ALL OF THE APPLAUSE. I also loved the fact that Isadora was a human kid with god parents, although I'm still not exactly sure how that worked. This book fell under the category of Kiersten's debut novels, it had a lighter feel to it (especially compared to Mind Games) which I'm glad to see, because I feel like Kiersten is really a lighter-feeling person (although I did ADORE Mind Games). It was my own experiences and likes/dislikes that cause me to have some trouble with this one, it was by no way anything that Kiersten did that could make me go "well she needed to *insert something she could have done differently here*". I'm thrilled that she branched out even more than she has for her writing, and fans of mythology and mythology series will eat this up (although it is a standalone novel). I can't wait to see what she comes up with next, and I'm pretty sure that no matter what it is I will want to read it.
Out September 10, 2013
4/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Harper Teen for providing me with an e-ARC of this book in return for an honest review.
I'm not sure when I first heard about this book, but I do know that I wanted to read it. I was THRILLED when I got the ARC in the mail, but as it so often turns out the reading of it was pushed back until the last possible moment. Honestly I have SO many books I need to read I was considering putting this book aside mid-read so I could get to the others, but MAN am I glad that I didn't. If you know me there's no question that I love Doctor Who, and I find time travel fascinating. Who doesn't think about the question "if you could go back and change something in your lifewhat would you change?". I've thought about it, and of course it would make a great book. Add in the fact that the world has gone to hell and I don't think it could GET any better, but time travel books can be SUPER tricky, because, well, they have to make sense. If you're at ALL familiar with the theory of time travel you know about paradoxes, and when reading (and writing of course) you have to be acutely aware of potential paradoxes, so this isn't one of those books that you can just read with half of your attention. Honestly there were some points in the last few chapters that caused me to go "wait, what, how is x happening" and then I would think about it and go "OH, that's how. Duh!". I loved the dual POV told from the same person at different points on their timeline, and although the plot at it's very core was pretty simple (go back in time to stop something that plunged the world into chaos) and had been done before the way it was pulled off was wholly original, which can be very hard to do in today's day and age. I just can't get over the ending, because in all honesty it was PERFECT for the book. This book could do just fine as a stand-alone, and in all honesty I'm not quite sure how the sequel will work with how this book ended, but I'm happy there will be a sequel because I'm excited to see where Terrill takes the story next.
Out September 3, 2013
4.5/5 dust spirits
*Thanks to Hyperion for providing me with an ARC in return for an honest review.