Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Series: The Drake Chronicles

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: vampires, royalty, princes and princesses, supernatural, love

Length: 289 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “As vampires from all over the world descend on the Drake farm for the Blood Moon gathering, security is ramped up. Lucy has been temporarily banned, for her own safety—and to allow Solange some time to adjust to her new existence. But their enemies realize how much Lucy means to the family, and plan to abduct her to use her for leverage against the new royal family. Instead, Lucy’s cousin Christabel is kidnapped by mistake—and Connor Drake immediately heads off in pursuit, but isn’t in time to prevent Christabel’s infection by the Hel Blar. He can’t save her human life, but he can still try to save her new vampire life, and is willing to put his own life on the line for the girl he has grown to care so much about. Can he save Christabel, the Blood Moon, and his mother’s newly forged Vampire Alliance?”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê

My Review: Still the funnest and funniest vampire book series I’ve ever read, the fourth book did not disappoint. I am so glad that the author brought Lucy’s perspective back. Lucy is probably the most interesting, funny, strong female character in the series. She’s also human, but she’s no Bella. The author introduces her cousin, who’s just as feisty, but into historical literature and poetry. I was surprised that it wasn’t Hunter’s friend Chloe who Conner fell in love with. Also, that Conner wasn’t Christabel’s type, so it wasn’t an instant romance.

Another big part of the book is the kidnapping. In Christabel’s words, weirdest kidnapping ever. He kidnappers were just way to nice to her, but that’s okay. She becomes a political hostage, and Conner shows up and becomes a hostage too. The out come is either surprising or predictable depending on what you were thinking. (No spoiling).

Also, Solange is acting very odd. I’m kind of hoping the next book will be from Solange and Kieren’s perspectives, but I don’t think it will happen. But Duncan seems too old for a YA book…really. Conner has became one of my favorite Drake brothers.

I recommend this book and the series to people who like vampire books.

Cover Art Review: I liked the other book’s cover better. The ones where the people on it resembled actual characters. They could’ve had Christabel and Conner on it, but no…just a random romance photo. Bleh.

~Haley G

This is my 150th book of the year! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Frost by Wendy Delsol

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Series: Stork (bk. 2)

Genera: Paranormal Romance/fantasy

Subjects: Mythology, Iceland, the Snow Queen, Magic

Length: 376 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “After the drama of discovering that she’s a member of the Storks, a mystical order of women endowed with powerful abilities, Katla Leblanc is finally settling into her life in chilly Minnesota. In fact, the ex-California girl even hopes for a white Christmas. So when the snow starts to fall on a romantic sleigh ride with her boyfriend, Jack, it seems like the perfect present. However, before she knows it, Katla's wintry wish spirals out of control, turning into the snowstorm of the century.
The unusual weather draws unexpected attention. Environmental scientist Brigid Fonnkona is runway gorgeous, utterly charming, and far too interested in Jack for Katla's comfort, especially after Jack is singled out to help with Brigid's research. Between Stork duties, rehearsals for the school production of The Snow Queen, and checking off items on her bedridden, pregnant mother's to-do lists, Katla has zero time to investigate, even as she notices Jack's long hours in the lab and the growing tension between the two of them. Then Brigid selects Jack to accompany her on a research expedition to Greenland, and Jack's cold good-bye leaves Katla wondering where they stand, but when Jack goes missing above the Arctic Circle, Katla knows she's the only one who can find him.
In this sequel to Stork, Wendy Delsol take readers back to Norse Falls and beyond, as Katla finds the grit and spirit to rescue the boy she loves.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê ê

My Review: This sequel has to be one of the best, most fulfilling sequels I have ever read. I wasn’t really disappointed about anything. It was a funny, exciting read, especially since it’s winter. So much happened in this book, that it took me a few days to read it because I had to soak it in. Most of the book is in Minnesota, but later it’s in Iceland and gets even more exciting and adventurous. You get to see even more of this mythological secret world that the author created. This book it less about the soul delivering and more about love’s trials and limits.

Kat is funny and quirky as ever. I had a laugh at least every page or so, sometime many times a page. These books remind me a bit of the Need series because Katla’s humor is similar to Zara’s (or the authors’).

Jack become infatuated with Brigit (but not “in love”) He’s obsessed with the climate work they’re doing, and he’s not around Katla a lot. I felt like they were gonna break up, but he’s probably just so memorized that he’s forgetting. I’m not gonna spoil it because some of it’s pretty obvious. It’s a great book, even better than the first.

Over all I recommend it because it surpassed the 1st book and it’s awesome to read during winter.

Cover Art Review: Sparkly plastic paper. The icicles are gorgeous in purple, and that lady looks just like they described Bridget aka the Snow Queen. The actual hard cover is so pretty if you have it in real life, not just a photo.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

~Haley G

Monday, December 26, 2011

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Release Date: January 3rd

Publisher: Macmillan: Feiwel and Friends

Series: The Lunar Chronicles bk. 1

Genera: Sci-fi dystopian

Subjects: cyborgs, royalty, princes and princesses, emperors

Length: 387 pgs. (ARC) 400 pgs. (Finished)

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

In this thrilling debut young adult novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer introduces readers to an unforgettable heroine and a masterfully crafted new world that’s enthralling.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê ê

My Review: Before I begin, I want to say that as I read in the acknowledgements, the author is a fan of Sailor Moon and it really shows in her story. It’s cyborg Cinderella the mechanic with a side of Princess Serenity aka Sailor Moon. The Lunars are people who’ve lived on the moon and have there own country there. It reminds me of how in the future Sailor Moon is the Queen of the Moon and has her mini moon daughter (Rini in the American version).

This book was so awesome. Especially since I won it (an ARC copy) as well as won it. It as in my prediction game. I’m an amazing guesser…or maybe the book was predictable, but I like to believe I’m psychic so I’ll go with that and not spoil anything to those who haven’t read it yet. The plot was great. Really different from Cinderella, but with some similarities.

The characters were all very interesting. Cinder was definitely a strong character and Kai was very prince like (and I’d like to compare him to Darien/Tuxedo Mask, butcan I really?) and hot. Cinder’s stepsisters were opposites. Peony was nice and Pearl was a mean girl. And Adri, her stepmother/legal guardian was horrible. She and Pearl treated Cinder like she was cyborg trash. And Cinder is an amazing mechanic, so they only liked her for fixing stuff.

I’m so glad I got to read this. I didn’t expect much, but I got a lot. I highly recommend this. It’s a very creative dystopian book. If you read a Long Long Sleep, another Dystopian Fairy Tale Retelling (that one based off Sleeping Beauty), then you’ll like this, and find it even better.

Cover Art Review: I have to say that the finished copy’s cover looks way better than the ARC’s cover. The cyborg leg and the shoe all look well manipulated. The shoe looks like a red glass stiletto. It really says “sci-fi fairy tale.”

~Haley G

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Hey everyone who actually reads my blog! (I feel so unpopular! lol)

When it comes to books, do you ever fall in love with the setting? Or possibly the time of year the setting is in?
I have a few awesome recommendations for books to read this season. There are some book full of wintery awesomeness and I think you should go look up and check out before the winter's over:
The Need series by Carrie Jones (Evil pixies in Maine and a hot werewolf guy)
1. Need
2. Captivate
3. Entice
4. Endure (not yet released)

Fury by Elizabeth Miles. This book is set in Maine, also. In the dead of winter/winter break.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (Awesome werewolf book that will having you shivering and lingering for more. Set in Minnesota)

Once in a full moon by Ellen Schrieber (Werewolf guy, set in winter in the Midwest somewhere.)

Stork by Wendy Delsol and the sequel, Frost (also set in Minnesota. The sequel has Christmas stuff in it and the snow queen, and Iceland)

I myself am reading Frost for Christmas. It's great to read a book based around the time of the year. It's great so far. An awesome sequel! Very funny.

Other good books for winter:

(these are angel related books)
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies (Set in Colorado during winter)
Hush, Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick (another series set in Maine)
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (Set in Wyoming, and goes throughout the year)
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton (Michigan, somewhat winter...)

Twilight saga...because it has the kinda wintery mood
Siren by Tricia Rayburn (Maine again, but in summer....yet it seems to feel wintery somehow)

Really great states for winter settings:  Maine, Minnesota, Washington, Colorado, Wyoming, any place North or with  mountains.

Hope I helped you choose a great book! Have fun and happy holidays. Because here in Chicagoland, we are having a green-brown Christmas. No snow. And not cold as it could be. It's a safe Christmas, but not the white one we had hoped for.

~Haley G

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Variant by Robison Wells

Publisher: HarperTeen

Series: Variant (bk. 1)

Genera: Sci-fi thriller mystery

Subjects: Boarding schools, androids, mystery

Length: 373 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Benson Fisher thought a scholarship to Maxfield Academy would be the ticket out of his dead-end life.

He was wrong.

Now he’s trapped in a school that’s surrounded by a razor-wire fence. A school where video cameras monitor his every move. Where there are no adults. Where the kids have split into groups in order to survive.

Where breaking the rules equals death.

But when Benson stumbles upon the school’s real secret, he realizes that playing by the rules could spell a fate worse than death, and that escape—his only real hope for survival—may be impossible.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê 1/4

My Review: This book was very different and so much better than I expected. It was about the most twisted, crazy boarding school ever. The students were very odd and the whole gang thing was just plain weird. The author did an awesome job of throwing all these elements together and creating a fast paced story that kept me wondering what was going on. Sure, I already knew that there was something about robots in it, but that just intrigued me more. Oh, and there’s a lot of paintball in here. I’m sure that some guys will love this book. Especially if you like the Maze Runner series. This book is almost dystopian. It’s just a very different kind of dystopian, one that’s in the present and set in an experimental environment. The students have to work together to survive. There’s a system based off of points and punishments. The punishments are sometimes extreme. And detention here could possibly mean death.

I highly recommend this. It’s fresh and exciting. I so happy I gave it a chance. I wish there were more different and unique sci-fi books out there like this one.

Cover Art Review: It’s rainbow shiny! Very cool, mysterious cover.

~Haley G

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Always War by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genera: dystopian sci-fi

Subjects: war, futuristic, post-apocalyptic, computers

Length: 197 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “For as long as Tessa can remember, her country has been at war. When local golden boy Gideon Thrall is awarded a medal for courage, it’s a rare bright spot for everyone in Tessa’s town—until Gideon refuses the award, claims he was a coward, and runs away. Tessa is bewildered, and can’t help but follow Gideon to find out the truth. But Tessa is in for more than she bargained for. Before she knows it, she has stowed away on a rogue airplane and is headed for enemy territory. But all that pales when she discovers a shocking truth that rocks the foundation of everything she’s ever believed—a truth that will change the world. But is Tessa strong enough to bring it into the light?”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: The begging didn’t interest me, but later on the story really got going. Like other books by this author, there’s tons of twists and mystery to what’s really going on. I’m not going to spoil it, but just know that it’s pretty surprising what the whole war is about. It’s a very original dystopian bases, I think. It’s conspiracy, almost. I love it. The book is short and fast. Doesn’t take long to read. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Oh, and I think it’s cool how the changed the names of places in the book. Shargo is Chicago, aka the enemy’s biggest city. Lake Mish is Lake Michigan. There’s other names for the great lakes too. I’m not spoiling anything, just clarifying the setting. There a part where they are at what used to be O’Hare airport.

I’d like a sequel, but think book could probably be a stand alone. Recommended to all dystopian fans.

Cover Art Review: It’s very cool how the title is integrated into the night time city aerial photo.

~Haley G

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

Publisher: Scholastic

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: Survival, viruses, futuristic

Length: 278 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “With its crumbling Starbucks and rusting theme parks, The Eleventh Plague hits disturbingly close to home, vividly depicting a world that has nose-dived into a futuristic nightmare. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn struggles to define his rules of survival in Jeff Hirsch’s excellent, taut debut novel.” — Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games
In an America devastated by war and plague, the only way to survive is to keep moving. In the aftermath of a war, America’s landscape has been ravaged and two thirds of the population left dead from a vicious strain of influenza. Fifteen-year-old Stephen Quinn and his family were among the few that survived and became salvagers, roaming the country in search of material to trade for food and other items essential for survival. But when Stephen’s grandfather dies and his father falls into a coma after an accident, Stephen finds his way to Settler’s Landing, a community that seems too good to be true, where there are real houses, barbecues, a school, and even baseball games. Then Stephen meets strong, defiant, mischievous Jenny, who refuses to accept things as they are. And when they play a prank that goes horribly wrong, chaos erupts, and they find themselves in the midst of a battle that will change Settler’s Landing forever.”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: The beginning of this book was very good. It pulled me in right away, despite the san-serif type face that usually annoys me in books. This book was an easy read. The characters were well done and interesting. There was humor. The descriptions of places and surroundings were interesting. The only problem was that I was a bit disappointed about the whole small town thing. I think it would have been more interesting if the was more mystery and a sinister feeling to the town. The town was just too normal. It was almost like how a town would have been a hundred years ago, with a one room school house and farming. I always want more, but really, this book was good. It’s just that the insides did not match the cover after part 1. The character that had the best personality was Jenny. She was crazy outgoing and a bit of a pyro. A very strong female character. Oh, and she’s Chinese. Apparently the U.S. went to war with China, and China created the 11th plague, or super flu.

So, if there is a sequel, I will read it. I recommend this book to people who like dystopian books.

Cover Art Review: I love the photography/photo manipulation one this cover. It’s so “life after people.” Barren, scary, yet cool. And it’s metallic on top of all the awesomeness! I wonder if they had to set all the rusted car and the stones up to take the photo, or if the photo manipulated (photo shopped) them together. It’s very convincing. (but the Ferris wheel appears to be going under ground. Bad placement possibly?)

~Haley G

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Publisher: HarperTeen: Katherine Tegan

Series: Darke Eden (bk. 1)

Genera: Psychological Thriller/Sci-fi/Mystery

Subjects: Phobias, fear, metal illness, psychotherapy, relationships, suspense, supernatural

Length: 316 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description:

My Rating: ê ê ê

My Review: The beginning of the book was pretty confusing, so I was pretty lost for a while. I didn’t really understand what was going on. Was I confused because the author wanted it that way? Maybe. I don’t like being confused. Anyway, there were some interesting mysterious parts that made this book fast-paced, but I ended up skimming most of the time. Will is clearly crazy, and he’s weird and confusing. I didn’t really care for any of the characters. What was interesting was how their phobias were shown. I also liked the illustrations in the book, but I wish it was laid out differently. I prefer shorter chapters. Near the end, it feels like Shutter Island where you discover something totally unexpected, and then even more after that. Let’s just say that this book is actually less realistic that you think. (Supernatural elements later on and in book 2). The cure is not what you think (it’s worse).

I will definitely read the next book, and recommend this one if you want to read something totally different and unique.

Cover Art Review: I like the rainbow metallic paper, and the font that the title is in. There’s a creepiness to the image, so it works.

~Haley G

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Die For Me by Amy Plum

Publisher: HarperTeen

Series: Revenants (bk. 1, bk.2 is Until I Die)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: supernatural, love, death, immortality, Revenants, ghosts, good vs. evil, heroes, Paris, France

Length: 341 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “When Kate Mercier's parents die in a tragic car accident, she leaves her life - and memories - behind to live with her grandparents and older sister in Paris. For Kate, the only way to survive her pain is escaping into the world of books and Parisian art. Until she meets Vincent.

Mysterious, charming, and devastatingly handsome, Vincent threatens to melt the ice around Kate's guarded heart with just his smile. As she begins to fall in love with Vincent, Kate discovers that he's a revenant--an undead being whose fate forces him to sacrifice himself over and over again to save the lives of others. Vincent and those like him are bound in a centuries-old war against a group of evil revenants who exist only to murder and betray. Kate soon realizes that if she follows her heart, she may never be safe again.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: I don’t care that people keep comparing this to Twilight, because I like Twilight, and this is very different from Twilight. Possibly better because instead of vamps, there are revenants. Though immortal, revenants are extremely different from vampires. Revenants age and don’t have any of the issues that vampires have. If you read the book, you will find out. It’s such a cool concept. Very original idea.

I really liked this book because it had a lot of humor, Vincent was hot and it’s set in modern day Paris. Sure, Kate’s not the most interesting main character (She‘s a boring Bella at times), but everything else in this book was awesome. I’m actually convinced that I should visit Paris someday. I’m into art, and this book really did talk a lot about the arts and culture of Paris. I actually meet the author, and she lives in Paris and talked about how she wanted her story to accurately describe the city. It’s cool because I don’t think I’ve read a YA book set in Paris ever. I’ve seen a lot of movies though. I’m sick of all the books set in London and New York (and also California, might I add). It’s nice for a change of scene.

I was surprised by how many funny quotes I found in this book. I thought the story was going to be dull and romantic, but it was pretty fun. The character Jules has quite the sense of humor. He likes Kate (but not as much as Vincent) and hit on her in ridiculous ways. Vincent and Ambrose are funny too. Really, everybody has more personality than Kate, but I think that as the book went on, Kate’s personality started to develop into a happier, less depressed/emo person. Away from being a boring Bella. Plus, Bella didn’t have a sister named Georgia or dead parents.

I recommend this to all the girls out there. (Especially if you’re a fan of The Immortals series) This book is your vacation to Paris! I weekend getaway, in book form.

Cover Art Review: Beautiful cover (so much better than the ARC cover). I love the designs and how they wrap around Kate and the dress she’s wearing. Though, she’s not going to be on the roof till book two, according to the author.

~Haley G

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Unleashed by Nancy Holder & Debbie Vigue

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Series: Wolf Spring Chronicles (bk. 1)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Werewolves, supernatural, orphans, Arkansas

Length: 383 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything.

Broken families, ageless grudges, forced alliances, and love that blooms in the darkest night—welcome to Wolf Springs.”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: I’d have to say that the best thing about this book is the character Trick. He’s the guy who likes Katelyn, and half of what comes out of his mouth is ridiculous. I love it. I love the conversations between Kat and Trick. He’s all-around funny. And just for this character alone I think this book is worth reading.

Most of the other stuff in the book is not very original. Except that it’s set in Arkansas. But we all know it’s a werewolf, so the story was very predictable. I don’t mind predictable. There’s not many things unpredictable to me when it comes to books (Maybe I’m psychic…lol). I’ve read the Possessions series by Nancy Holder, and that was pretty scary at times, and this book definitely had it’s scary parts. They didn’t scare me, but the could scare some people. The book’s easy to follow, easy to read though the chapters are really long and it’s in 3rd person. It is kind of like Twilight, but because these are just werewolves and not vamps, it is also very different.

You don’t get to see much werewolf stuff till near the end, but there’s a lot of folklore and mystery and suspense. The history project stuff about the mine is pretty interesting too. Sorry if I spoiled anything. Go ahead and read it anyways. It’s real funny.

Cover Art Review: I love the paper this is printed on. The sparkly plastically stuff that I’ve seen on a few books lately. And the cover itself. Love the title’s font. Overall good cover.

~Haley G

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Illusions by Aprilynne Pike

Publisher: HarperTeen

Series: Laurel (bk. 3)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Faeries, Avalon, magic, potions, plants, love

Length: 375 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice. But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê ê +

My Review: Another stunning book in this series! This book series has the best take on faeries, ever! I love the concept of a magical, advanced/intelligent plant being a faerie. And that the bad guys are trolls. And the season the faeries are born deciding their abilities. Just a wonderful, creative series.

I loved getting to see Tamani try to blend in with humans. He had an iPhone, and drove a car. I mean, seriously. He’s so good at pretending that he’s from Scotland. He make David very mad by being there and trying to get Laurel. This book really focused on the love triangle.

I finally got to read it. It came out in May. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read book 4, the last book, Destined, which comes out next April (The day after my brother’s birthday….the 26th) What a beautiful cover that one has!

Cover Art Review: Summery flowers! I love every one of these covers. The flowers and water, and the colors. But the title’s in a different font than the last 2 books.

~Haley G

Monday, November 28, 2011

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Publisher: Point

Series: The Abandon Trilogy (bk. 1)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Death, Underworld, Greek Mythology, Hades

Length: 304 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “She knows what it's like to die. Now Death wants her back.

Seventeen-year-old Pierce knows what happens to us when we die.

That's how she met John Hayden, the mysterious stranger who's made returning to normal life—or at least life as Pierce knew it before the accident—next to impossible.

Though she thought she escaped him—starting a new school in a whole new place—it turns out she was wrong. He finds her.

What does John want from her? Pierce thinks she knows... just like she knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven. But she can't stay away from him, either, especially since he's always there when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she might find herself back in the place she fears the most.

And when Pierce discovers the shocking truth, that’s exactly where John sweeps her:

The Underworld.”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: Based off the cover and the author, I thought this book would be awesome, and in some parts it was, but a lot of it was pretty confusing and not as interesting as it could have been. Meg Cabot did have humor, as usual, but she’s not as great at telling dark tales. And Pierce was just odd and confusing. John was cool when he showed up, but Pierce was a bit of a weak character. She was caring, sarcastic, and a bit weird. I’m not sure if all of those go together. Plus, her dad’s really rich, and she’s a bit of an air-head (or so it appeared). Maybe in the next book it’ll be better.

I like the stuff about the diamond, and the retelling of the Hades-Persephone myth stuff. John may not be Hades, but he does seem like the type. I just kept thinking about the stuff in the Percy Jackson series where they go to the Underworld.

I’m sure some of you will enjoy this book more than I did. It’s easy enough to read in one day, but I had a hard time soaking it in. There’s great potential for the series to get way better. Can’t wait to see how the next one turns out. I am really loving these covers.

Cover Art Review:

This metallic cover is beautiful, and the main reason I bought it. I love that letter “A” with the little pendant dropping down. I like the gold flower designs, with the sleeping/dead girl photo. It’s a very good cover.

~Haley G

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Afterlife by Claudia Gray

Publisher: HarperTeen

Series: Evernight (bk. 4, the final book)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Vampires, wraiths, ghosts, boarding schools, love, supernatural

Length: 360 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Bianca and Lucas have always believed they could endure anything to be together. When a twist of fate not only transforms Bianca into a wraith but also Lucas into a vampire--the very creature he spent his life hunting--they are left reeling.
Haunted by his powerful need to kill, Lucas can turn to only one place for help...Evernight Academy. Bianca is determined to remain with him. But with the vampire leader of Evernight waging a war against wraiths, her former home has become the most dangerous place she could be, despite the new powers her ghostly transformation has given her.
A battle between wraiths and vampires looms, and Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They've overcome every obstacle life has thrown at them, but is their love strong enough to survive the challenge after life?”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: I can’t remember many book series that ended well, but this one did. As always I still wanted more, but I am pretty satisfied with how it ended. I really don’t want to spoil it, but just know that you won’t be totally disappointed.

I was very happy to see the characters I know and love again. Bianca, Lucas, Balthazar, Vic, Ranulf, Patrice. They are all awesome, especially together. Vic and Ranulf especially. They’re so funny. The new character, Skye, is pretty cool. She’s a human student at Evernight. Yes, Lucas goes to Evernight again. I will tell you that. And Balthazar is going to help him, and Bianca is going to be there invisibly. So, sadly, Bianca can’t go back pretending to be a vamp because her frost problem. She has to hide.

So, this book had pretty much everything you want for the last book in this series. I’m so glad I finally read it. I have a tendency to wait a long time to read the last book in a series because I don’t want it to end. I’m glad that there’s gonna be a Balthazar book coming out next year. I hope it’s good.

Cover Art Review: Similar to the others in the series. Wonderful custom title font. Bianca definitely looks like a ghost in white and silver.

~Haley G

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Publisher: Penguin-NAL

Series: Falling Under (bk. 1, Dreaming Awake is bk. 2, comes out in 2012)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Demons, supernatural, psychic ability, dreams,

Length: 324 pgs.

HC/PB: Paperback

Summary/ product description: “In her dreams he’s irresistible—seductive, charming, and undoubtedly dangerous. But when he appears to her when she’s awake—and captivates her just the same—she’s not sure which way is up and which is down.
Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life, not allowed the same freedoms as the rest of the teenagers in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, she feels every urge she’s ever denied burning through her at the slightest glance from Haden Black. Theia knows she’s seen Haden before—not around town, but in her dreams.
Theia doesn’t understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear. And as she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: Everything about this book is velvety and textured. Not just the cover, but the language. It’s smooth and wonderful. The book itself was not that exciting, but it was definitely romantic. At times it reminded me of Twilight, but Theia is no Bella. Theia is British, first of all, and has an extremely over protective dad and wonderful, amazing, funny friends. I love the conversation she and her friends had. I underlined so many amazing quotes, both funny ones, and beautifully written ones.

Yes, there were confusing parts, and Haden himself was perplexing. He and Edward have a lot in common, minus blood lust. This half demon was a bit of oxymoron. The whole “Up is down, down is up” theme. Near the end of the book I was confused a bit with what was going on, but I think I got it.

I do recommend this book. It’s very interesting and beautiful. YA paranomal fans will definitely like it.

Cover Art Review: Everything about this cover, I love. I love the texture, the rainbow-gold-metallic of the title, the title’s font, how everything describes the book. Everything about this book is velvety and textured. Those black roses, the dress, the hair. Swoonly beautiful cover. It’s the main reason I bought it.

~Haley G

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Publisher: HaperTeen: Katherine Tegan

Series: Divergent (bk. 1)

Genera: Sci-fi dystopia

Subjects: bravery, choices, love, action, Chicago

Length: 487 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. 

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris, and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together, they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes-fascinating, sometimes-exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. 

But Tris also has a secret: one she’s kept hidden from everyone, because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly-perfect society, she also learns that her secret might be what helps her save those she loves . . . or it might be what destroys her.”

My Review: This is going to be my new favorite dystopian series. Partly because I live in Chicagoland, and I thought the take on futuristic Chicago was both cool and scary. I can’t believe I waited so long to finally read it. I met the author and got it signed during the dark days of summer tour.

Tris was a strong character, and not boring even though she can from Abnegation. Four wasn’t very romantic, but he definitely wanted to protect Tris. The side characters were well done. The present tense, first person perspective was easy to read, and fast paced. It kept me wondering what would happen next. This book wasn’t predictable as some people thought. I just want to mention again: Chicago. CHICAGO!!!! (sorry, I’m a little crazy about places I live near). In. The. Future. Want faction would I be? I’m artistic and not into fighting, so maybe Amity. I originally wanted Erudite, but after reading this I am not so sure. On the quiz thing I got Dauntless, but I don’t consider myself brave.

I can’t wait to read the sequel, Insurgent, which comes out in late spring, next year.

Cover Art Review: The Dauntless fire ring over the Chicago skyline, with a marsh instead of Lake Michigan. I couldn’t think of a better cover for it. I like that semi-metallic plastic print the jacket’s made with. I like the inside cover with the Dauntless symbol more stylized.

~Haley G

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperTeen

Series: Touch Mortal, bk. 1 (A Touch Morbid comes out in Feb.)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Supernatural, death, angels, fallen angels, magic, touch, afterlife

Length: 419 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: "Eden didn’t expect Az.

Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.
So long happily-ever-after.
Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.
She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else’s game. Her heart is her own.
And that’s only the beginning of the end."

My Rating:

ê ê ê

My Review:

This book was the first book ever bought online. I bought it in Feb, and 9 months later I finally read it and find out that it’s not what I thought it was. I meet the author at a book signing, and she seemed cool. She was friends with the author of Angelfire, which I read and loved. Let’s just say I feel very disappointed because I want to like the book, but I really can’t. I guess not every angel book can be awesome, but that doesn’t stop me from wasting my money on them, attempting to collect them all.

First of all, the focus of the book is not angels. The being that Leah created are very original. They’re called Siders. People without a path, who eventually commit suicide and get Touch. They’re a bit like energy vampires. The idea is interesting, but there are some very big issues with this book that made it difficult to get through. The book did, thankfully, have a lot of humorous quotes, but too many f-bombs. It was a very confusing book. I felt lost at some points. The beginning was okay, but once I was thrown into the world of Siders, I started to become confused to the point where I could only skim a page. I lost my interest. I still finished it, though. There were some good parts. Some of the characters were interesting, Eden was kind of dull, but Kristen was funny, and Gabe and Luke were okay. I liked Az a bit. But some of the stuff was just so emo/goth. And I’m not big on that stuff. It’s a book about suicide peoples…really, I cannot relate to them. These people are just too un-relatable. I am really hoping the next book is better. I will probably still buy it just because. It’s okay to read, I’m just warning you what to expect if you do.

Cover Art Review: I like the hair, but the girls face, not so much. The eyes are okay. The rope thingy that is probably feathers…and the font in the title is know as Harrington.

~Haley G

Friday, November 18, 2011

Drink, Slay, Love by Sarah Beth Durst

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Genera: Paranormal Romance/Humor

Subjects: Vampires, unicorns, supernatural, high school, conscience

Length: 386 pgs.

HC/PB: hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Pearl is a sixteen-year-old vampire... fond of blood, allergic to sunlight, and mostly evil... until the night a sparkly unicorn stabs her through the heart with his horn. Oops. Her family thinks she was attacked by a vampire hunter (because, obviously, unicorns don't exist), and they're shocked she survived. They're even more shocked when Pearl discovers she can now withstand the sun. But they quickly find a way to make use of her new talent. The Vampire King of New England has chosen Pearl's family to host his feast. If Pearl enrolls in high school, she can make lots of human friends and lure them to the King's feast -- as the entrees. The only problem? Pearl's starting to feel the twinges of a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she's definitely dead if she lets down her family. What's a sunlight-loving vamp to do?”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: Maybe it’s because I’m not in the mood for vampire books, or because there were a lot of cliché things in this book. I couldn’t get into it really. The vampire part of it was not very appealing. I ended up skimming and reading dialog for a while. The shining features of this book was it’s humor. The dialogue was pretty much awesome. Almost too awesome that all the other text could not compare to the funny quotes. I also like the unicorn stuff. I love unicorns and think it was creative to have a vampire and a unicorn in the same book. That’s a combo that’s probably never been done in YA lit. This book felt like a parody to all other regular vampire YA books. Like it was making fun of them by adding the unicorn. I was really surprised to find out who the unicorn was. (Not gonna spoil).

I still think that Enchanted Ivy was better than this book. It’s didn’t have vampire, so it was more different from the whole vampire trend. I really wonder what other stand-alones or series will Sarah Beth write next. I do recommend this book. Mostly because the funny-awesomeness of

Cover Art Review: I like this cover because the silver thin san-serif title against the red bottle really looks interesting. The straw’s a nice touch. There’s some kind of plaid pink and red designs on the edges of the cover.

~Haley G

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Dust and Decay by Jonathan Maberry

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Series: Benny Imura (bk. 2)

Genera: Sci-fi dystopian

Subjects: Zombies, post-apocalyptic, bounty hunters, brothers, survival

Length: 519 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Six months have passed since the terrifying battle with Charlie Pink-eye and the Motor City Hammer in the zombie-infested mountains of the Rot & Ruin. It’s also six months since Benny Imura and Nix Riley saw something in the air that changed their lives. Now, after months of rigorous training with Benny’s zombie-hunter brother Tom, Benny and Nix are ready to leave their home forever and search for a better future. Lilah the Lost Girl and Benny’s best friend Lou Chong are going with them. Sounds easy. Sounds wonderful. Except that everything that can go wrong does. Before they can even leave there is a shocking zombie attack in town. But as soon as they step into the Rot & Ruin they are pursued by the living dead, wild animals, insane murderers and the horrors of Gameland –where teenagers are forced to fight for their lives in the zombie pits. Worst of all…could the evil Charlie Pink-eye still be alive? In the great Rot & Ruin everything wants to kill you. Everything…and not everyone in Benny’s small band of travelers will make it out alive.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê

My Review: This is still the best zombie series I’ve ever read. Most other zombie series are either morbid and depressing, or scary. I like zombie movies, and this one channeled more of the Zombieland humor that I love. These books has amazing and funny dialog. I love these two brothers, Benny and Tom Imura and how they work so hard together. I love all the samurai warrior smart stuff, and bounty hunters. I love the friendship and love. There’s just so much in these books. I don’t know how Jonathan Maberry does it. It’s like a comic book, or a James Patterson novel, except in third person, but the third person here actually works really well. There’s mystery around these zombies. He make the zombie different from the virus kind. Anybody who dies, no matter the cause of death, raises as a zombie unless the had a neck injury. It’s really cool.

This book series is the kind that both guy and girls can like. It’s action, adventure, sci-fi, dystopian. I recommend it to anyone who like zombie stories.

As a sequel, it lived up to the 1st book. And that’s all I can ask for. I underlined a ton of awesome quotes. I’m so glad I bought it. My mission is to get my little brother who play Call of Duty video games, to read these books and love them.

Cover Art Review: This cover literally screams zombies. If the last book was Benny’s eye, this book is Lilah’s mouth. She’s not a screamer, but this cover total works. I like the title text a lot . I love the zombie card artwork inside these books.

~Haley G

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Publisher: Harper Teen

Series: Darkness Rising (bk. 1)

Genera: Paranormal Romance & Mystery

Subjects: Supernatural, love, Canada, animals, Native Americans

Length: 359 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Maya lives in a small medical-research town on Vancouver Island. How small? You can’t find it on the map. It has less than two-hundred people, and her school has only sixty-eight students—for every grade from kindergarten to twelve.

Now, strange things are happening in this claustrophobic town, and Maya's determined to get to the bottom of them. First, the captain of the swim team drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. A year later, mountain lions start appearing around Maya's home, and they won’t go away. Her best friend, Daniel, starts getting negative vibes from certain people and things. It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret—and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy: Her paw-print birthmark.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: This book was awesome! Kelley Armstrong’s YA books never disappoint. This book was a great start to a new series and I can’t wait to read the next book. I’ve read the Darkest Powers series, and I can’t see the subtle connection between the two. I won’t be surprised if Maya and Chloe meet each other in some cross-over series or book/short story.

Maya was pretty different from Chloe. She liked animals, and had the makings of a great vet. Maya was definitely a strong, caring character. Daniel was a great friend, and Rafe was the not-so-bad boy, and full of surprises.

The small town setting was interesting. A town with less than 200 people? Really? That is amazing. This book was the kind of book that I just wanted to keep reading. It’s pretty fast paced and easy. I definitely recommend it. I just didn’t like the ending because I have to wait too long for the next book to find out what happens next. So many mysteries to be solved! Cliff hangers-gah!

Cover Art Review: It looks just how I picture Maya, at night. I love the silver title. It’s a good cover.

~Haley G

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nocturne by Christine Johnson

Series: Claire de Lune (bk. 2)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Werewolves, love, magic, supernatural, secrets

Length: 355 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Claire couldn’t be happier that her life has finally settled down. She’s been fully initiated into her family’s pack of female werewolves, her best friend Emily is back in town, and she’s finally allowed to be with Matthew, the human love of her life. But when a new girl arrives, everything starts to unravel. Not only is the intruder getting close to Claire’s best friend and boyfriend, but she may also know more about Claire than she’s letting on. If Claire’s secret gets out it breaks all the rules of the pack, and the consequences may be more than Claire can handle.…”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: I was disappointed in this sequel. It started out pretty slow, and stayed pretty slow. It wasn’t difficult to read, I was just some what bored because I felt like it could use more humor and action. The plot was okay. Claire had a problem and set out to solve that problem. About 2/3s through the book, it got better and made up for the slow dragging of the 1st parts.

I understand that sequels have a hard time living up to the 1st book. When I read the 1st book, I thought it was a stand-alone. I met the author and found out about the sequel and I though it was cool. I bought the sequel, and now feel like I wasted my money on a book without a good cover even.

I like Claire’s personality and her smart-ass attitude, but her personality didn’t show in the 1st half of the book. In the 1st book, there was a lot of interesting stuff going on. If you read the 1st book, you know. Claire found out she was a werewolf, and there was another wolf killing people. It reminded me of a cross between The Body Finder and another werewolf book. This book was more about Pack Laws and how secret can be deadly. I just hope the next book will be as good as the first.

Cover Art Review: I love the textured sparkly plastic that the jacket is made of, but I’m not to crazy about the design. For a YA book cover, it’s pretty boring. It’s well balanced, and the metallic red title is nice, but compared to the 1st book’s cover, it’s so different and dull.

~Haley G

Friday, November 11, 2011

Awesome Cover Reveals!

I'm sure many of you already saw these cover on other blogs. I don't really read blog that often. I found these on the good read YA books of 2012 list.
As some of you may know, I'm majoring in Graphic Design. I love making book covers, and I'm kind of obsessed with book covers, so here are some awesome covers that I couldn't even design:

Here's the list I found these on:
~Haley G

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott

Genera: Mystery/thriller/paranormal

Subjects: Love, mothers, amnesia, memory, parallel universes

Length: 269 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Ava wakes up in a house she doesn't know, into a life she doesn't recognize. Recently released from the hospital, she is welcomed home by a devoted mother, loyal friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest...but everyone is a stranger. Ava can't remember any of them, and can't shake the strange feeling that she's not who they say she is.
Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze and remember the past she's been told is her own. But the memories that begin to surface are of a different life entirely--one filled with danger. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions in which she and familiar-faced friends play very different, and very deadly, roles. But when Morgan appears--the one boy able to step from her memories into her reality--the high stakes and ultimate sacrifices of eternal love become the fiercest truth of all.” -shelfari

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: This book was probably one of the fastest reads this year. I started it at 10:30, and finished at 5pm. Tons of long breaks and store in between. You probably could easily read it in one sitting. It’s fast paced, the typography is set in a comfortable, readable way. The chapters are very short. The mystery of the story is compelling.

I finished it and only understand part of what was going on. I’m still confused and really wish they straight out reveled what was up with Ava. I almost thought is was a dystopian book and that they whipped her mind and forced her into a fake life. I won’t spoil it, but I was wrong. Then I started thinking of Fringe and universes. I’m actually not sure.

It’s still worth reading. It doesn’t even take much time. But I’m glad I didn’t buy it. I might of if the cover was textured or something.

Cover Art Review: I really like the cover. I just wish it wasn’t all printed on gloss. I love the exploding hair and all the smoke. The font for the title I really wish I could download…and I tried to.

~Haley G

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep

Series: Mythos Academy (bk. 1)

Genera: paranormal romance

Subjects: mythology, boarding schools, fantasy, gods and goddesses, warriors, magic, heroes, gypsies

Length: 350 pgs.

HC/PB: Paperback

Summary/ product description: “My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Acad­emy — a school of myths, magic and war­rior whiz kids, where even the lowli­est geek knows how to chop off somebody’s head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spar­tan guy in school, also hap­pens to be the deadliest.

But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos. First, mean girl Jas­mine Ash­ton was mur­dered in the Library of Antiq­ui­ties. Then, some­one stole the Bowl of Tears, a mag­i­cal arti­fact that can be used to bring about the sec­ond Chaos War. You know, death, destruc­tion and lots of other bad, bad things. Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I’m deter­mined to find out who killed Jasmine and why – espe­cially since I should have been the one who died …”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: I love boarding school books, but this one didn’t seem to focus around the experience of attending a boarding school. It mainly was about Gwen feeling like an outsider in a school of rich, spoiled kids. She thinks she doesn’t fit in. She’s a loner there, and read a lot of comic books. I can relate to her. I read instead of deal with people too. I really think psychometry is a cool power. Lots of books have a character with that ability (Clarity, the Touch series, Angelburn...)..

I have read Jennifer Estep’s Bigtime adult book series. It’s about superheroes and it’s funny. I like how she mentions the Fearless Five and Karma Girl as being some of Gwen’s favorite comic book characters. I think Karma Girl relates a lot to Gwen.

Daphne an interesting character too. She’s the mean-spoiled-princess Valkyrie on the out side, nice, pink-loving, computer geek on the inside. I love when characters surprise you. And Logan the Spartan. He is a hot killing machine, but a really good guy.

I loved all the funny parts in this book, but I just wish this book had more….stuff, but I’m pretty sure the sequel will surpass the 1st book. Kiss of Frost comes out in December.

Cover Art Review: The cover is well designed, but it could use some improvement. The bottom right with the building and gargoyle, if you move to the left, you can see that the castle like part is split into two. The image is either broken or 2 different images. The designer should have just made it black to hide that problem. Other than that, there a nice perpendicular relationship in the text and the sword.

~Haley G

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter

Series: Shadow Falls (bk. 2)
Genera: Supernatural/paranormal romance
Subjects: Psychic ability, faeries, vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, camps
Length: 383 pgs.
HC/PB: Paperback
Summary/ product description: “Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities. But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold.
To make matters worse, just when she’s about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away. When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie’s feels more conflicted than ever. Her weekend with her mom should have been the just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point. Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie—and it'll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive…”
My Rating: ê ê ê ê ê
My Review: What an awesome follow up to Born at Midnight! I am really loving this series. I always loved the idea of summer camp. I’ve never been to a real camp, just day camp, so this series lets me experience some of it. Kylie still reminds me of Stevie Rae from House of Night. She’s very nice and southern. Has a big heart. I like that we are finally finding out that she has other abilities than ghost whispering. Self identity is still a major theme. The love triangle between her, Derek and Lucas also plays a major role, but like I said, Kylie has much bigger issues to deal with.
I love this series for it’s humor. Della and Miranda have ridiculous arguments, but are great friends to Kylie. Also, it’s funny how Holiday is helping Kylie figure out what she is, and every time she explains what powers relate to what paranormals, Kylie freaks out about the possibilities. Is she a vampire? A werewolf? A shape shifter? A fairy? Or something completely different. I was hoping we’d find out sooner. If this series is only 3 books, them I think the author shouldn’t drag it out just to surprise us. Even if it was dragged out, I still love it. It definitely makes me want to keep reading!
Cover Art Review: Matte and metallic like the 1st book. This time with a turquoise color theme. I just love that waterfall in the background. Makes me wish I could go to Shadow Falls camp!
~Haley G

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Possess by Gretchen McNeil

Publisher: HarperCollins- Balzer + Bray

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Demons, angels, exorcists, possession, horror

Length: 379 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her overprotective mom, by the hunky son of the police officer who got her father killed, and by the eerie voices which she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Turns out the voices are demons--the Biblical kind, not the Buffy kind--and Bridget possesses the rare ability to banish them. San Francisco's senior exorcist and his newly assigned partner from the Vatican enlist Bridget's help with increasingly bizarre and dangerous cases of demonic possession. But when one of Bridget's oldest friends turns up dead in a ritualistic sacrifice that mirrors her father's murder, Bridget realizes she can't trust anyone. An interview with her father's murderer reveals a link between Bridget and the Emim: a race of part-demons intent on raising their forefathers to the earth in human form. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the Emim's plan before someone else close to her winds up dead, or worse--the human vessel for a Demon King.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: It started out kind of confusing, but I really grew to love it! I didn’t think it would be an angel related book, but now I wish I bought it (should have listened to my instincts based off the cover). I wasn’t to crazy about the priests and the exorcists things, so I just ordered it at the library.

This book had humor, action, romance, a strong female protagonist, supernatural elements, nephilim, basically everything I love in YA paranormal romance. Sure, it wasn’t as good as Unearthly, Hush, Hush or Angelfire, but it was a lot better than other books I’ve read. It was a cool, awesome read.

I highly recommend this. It’s kind of creepy in some parts, but it’s not that scary unless you’re alone in the middle of the night reading it. Not much else I can say. I don’t know how to be more thorough in this review.

Cover Art Review: I like everything about this cover but the font the title’s in. The face with the trees is so creepy and cool. I love that it’s blue and metallic matte. I just love it. I wish I bought it!

~Haley G

Monday, October 31, 2011


Yes, I spell it that way on purpose. I decided to add some "howl" to Halloween.

This is for all you vampire-werewolf-ghost-witch-whatever-but-mainly-vamps enthusiests out there:

(fun with photo-shopping)

Happy reading!! Read a scary book today!

~Haley G

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Name of The Star by Maureen Johnson

Series: Shades of London (bk. 1)
Genera: Paranormal, Thriller, Mystery
Subjects: London, ghosts, murder, Jack the Ripper, serial killers, police, boarding schools, romance
Length: 372 pgs.
HC/PB: Hardcover
Summary/ product description: "A modern-day thriller about Rory, an American high-school student who enrolls at a London boarding school for her junior year. Soon after her arrival, a series of murders begins to take place across the city—on the exact dates and in the exact style of Jack the Ripper. Rory’s ties to the killer bring her in contact with a secret paranormal branch of the British police, as they attempt to stop the mysterious killer."
My Rating:ê ê ê ê
My Review: This book was also so much better than I thought it would be! I happy to know it was set in the present, and at a boarding school. I love boarding school books! I’m not a fan of British stuff, but this book made it awesome. And Jack the Ripper? I remember a whole live episode of Most Haunted dedicated to the ghost of Jack the Ripper, it was interesting to learn about Jack the Ripper, and the mystery of his murders.
The characters were well written. They each had a different personality. Rory was very southern: she kept mentioning how southerners can slowly talk you to death. Jazza was more shy. Jerome was interested in the Ripper. Charlotte was competitive. Boo was athletic and said “yeah” at the end of sentences. Callum was “hormonal.” Stephen was Stephen, and a police officer. I like the whole ghosts police idea.
Maureen really had a sense a humor in the dialog and plot, and pretty much everything. There were some very ridiculous parts. Read it, and you’ll understand what I mean. The humor was in the characters too, as I mentioned.
I highly recommend this series. It’s a fresh ghost story. It’s a great read for this fall. Best around Halloween.
Cover Art Review: I really like this cover. The girl on it is not Rory, but the layered images look cool and creepy. Very English and Victorian ghosts… I love the swirls of gold. The fonts used seem unique. I may have seen them before, but the look like the were altered specifically for this series. I love the texture of the book jacket. It’s the sparkly plastic coated kind that’s also used on the Hush, Hush and Nightshade series covers.
~Haley G

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Unforsaken by Sophie Littlefield

Series: Banished (bk. 2)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Healers, seers, psychic ability, magic, supernatural, zombies

Length: 277 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Hailey Tarbell is no typical girl. As one of the Banished who arrived from Ireland generations ago, Hailey has the power to heal—and, as she recently learned, to create zombies if she heals someone too late. But now, Hailey is finally getting a chance at a normal life. After realizing the good and bad sides of her power, Hailey has survived the unimaginable to settle with her aunt, Prairie, and her little brother, Chub, in the suburbs of Milwaukee. Finally Hailey has a loving family, nice clothes, and real friends. But her safe little world is blown apart when she tries to contact her secret boyfriend, Kaz—and alerts the incredibly dangerous man who's looking for her to her true whereabouts.”

My Rating: ê ê ê 1/2

My Review: This sequel was fast paced, and thrilling, but maybe a little too fast. I started it in the late afternoon, finished it before 1 am. And that wasn’t even in one sitting. It was probably written to be a quick book, a page turner. The chapters were short, the text size was larger. I can’t remember what I thought of the first book.

I was confused what was going on in the beginning. Mostly because she doesn’t recap the what happened last time until later. I thought it was cool that they were in Milwaukee. I’ve never been downtown there, but I did drive past it and also go to the State Fair there.

I like that a have a few things in common with this series. My name Haley, one letter from Hailey, but still the same name. I live near Chicago, so that was also a great setting to me. I love books I can relate to.

I don’t know if there will be a 3rd book because the ending wrapped up nicely. I won’t spoil it, but it seems most of the story get resolved. But I won’t be surprised if there is a 3rd book.

I do recommend this series because it’s different from a lot of paranormal book I’ve read. There’s a lot of action and adventure, and the fear of being caught. It’s mixed with science fiction and thriller elements.

Cover Art Review: Similar to the 1st book’s cover, so they‘re unified. The model on this one also looks vaguely Asian. I don’t know why. It must be the eyes shape.

~Haley G

Monday, October 24, 2011

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: The Covenant Series (bk. 1, the sequel will be Pure)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Greek mythology, forbidden love, gods and goddesses, boarding schools, warriors

Length: 281 pgs.

HC/PB: Paperback

Note: This is a self published book by Spencer Hill Press.

Summary/ product description: “The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi—pure-bloods—have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals—well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:

Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the pure-blooded Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê

My Review: I swear, the author must be a die-hard fan of the Vampire Academy series because it has so much in common, that she practically was copying the plot at the beginning. Thankfully, it’s also very different. It’s more like a cross between Vampire Academy and the Percy Jackson series. The Half-Bloods are basically the dhampirs, and the Hematoi Pures are the Moroi (but don’t drink blood or anything, but they can control certain elements, but Spirit is not one of them) and the Daimons are the Strigoi. And the Covenant is like St. Vladimir’s, only it’s on an island in the south instead. So Alex is basically Rose, and Aiden is sort of like Dimitri, but not really because he’s American instead. This is not a vampire book, so I can’t say they’re the same, but I can say that the parallels made it more interesting because I liked comparing it. And there is no Lissa-like character, or royal families. This makes a big difference to the story’s overall plot. The Apollyon idea is very unique. I won’t spoil what it is. You will find out when you read it. There was a forbidden love theme between Pures and Halfs. I liked Alex and Aiden’s chemistry. Alex was sarcastic and Aiden “didn’t know how to have fun.” The dialogue was funny, and awesome in parts. I wish I owned a copy just to under line the quotes.

I recommend this book if you love mythology, the Vampire Academy series, or Percy Jackson series. This is probably the best self published book I’ll ever read, but it was the first, so who knows if I’ll find a better one.

Cover Art Review: It’s a purple hibiscus made of fire! Awesome!!! I wish I could make art like this. Firey flowers and other stuff… I just wish this was hardcover.

~Haley G

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Release Date: 11/15/2011

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: Super power, love, resistance to government

Length: 342 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war - and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

In this electrifying debut, Tahereh Mafi presents a world as riveting as The Hunger Games and a superhero story as thrilling as The X-Men. Full of pulse-pounding romance, intoxicating villainy, and high-stakes choices, Shatter Me is a fresh and original dystopian novel—with a paranormal twist—that will leave readers anxiously awaiting its sequel.”

My Rating: ê ê ê ê ê +

My Review: This is probably the best super hero book I’ve read. (I’ve only read a few) It reminds me of James Patterson’s Witch & Wizard series, also set in a very similar dystopian world where they want to get rid of individuality and art. Hopefully we will get to learn even more in the next book.

Juliette was interesting because she seemed crazy, but she wasn’t. Her romance with Adam is compelling. Warner’s obsession with her will make you want to hate him (he’s such a psychopathic personality). Kenji’s the cool Asian dude that you get to meet near the end. Won’t spoil anything about him.

Interesting writing style. I loved the crossed out words and phrases. It was a great way to get Juliette’s thoughts across. What she wanted or didn’t want to believe. What she wanted to say, but didn’t say. It was very creative. There were some interesting poetic sentences where the author just press enter. There was repetition of certain phrases that made you want to believe that the narrator had be driven crazy by her solitary confinement.

I started this book on Sunday afternoon, and ended it on Monday afternoon. If it weren’t for eye strain and school, and other needs, I probably would’ve read it straight through. It was that good. This is the kind of book you can’t/won’t want to put down. A fast paced page-turner full of action, romance, super powers, and awesomeness. If you like X-men, any of James Patterson’s YA book, the Gone series, The Hunger Games, or super heroes and dystopia fiction in general, buy/check out this book. I guarantee you will love it. If the writing style bothers you, try to look past it. There’s a really interesting story in there. If you’re just going to wait for the movie to eventually come out, you are missing out.




It will leave you begging for the next one.

Cover Art Review: I love this cover. Especially what’s behind the girl in the white dress. It looks like electricity and shattered glass. It’s awesome! The cover is metallic. The title looks like it’s shattered somewhat. Well done design!

~Haley G


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Frost by Marianna Baer

Genera: Mystery/Psychological Thriller/ Horror

Subjects: mental illness, boarding schools, mystery, ghosts

Length: 296 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?”

My Rating: ê ê ê

My Review: I was so disappointed in this book. I was hoping for a haunting ghost story, and all I get it a psychological thriller. I feel like a victim of bait and switch. It looks like a ghost book even. Not enough paranormal stuff happened. Celeste was odd, and started acting paranoid. Leena appeared normal, but she had pill problems. David was over protective and obsessed with taking care of his sister Celeste.

The setting was creepy at least. The plot wasn’t bad, but cliché and confusing at parts. I really haven’t read many thrillers or social issue book, so I don’t have many book comparisons. I have watched many movies thought. The Roommate movie had some similarities, but Celeste wasn’t obsessive like that girl in the movie.

It wasn’t that bad of a book. I did finish it. I just hoped for more. I recommend this if you like boarding schools, thrillers, and don’t mind reading books that aren’t really paranormal.

Cover Art Review: This cover was the main reason I gave this book a shot. I love the creepy house, and the title. The girl on the cover could almost be a ghost or victim of a ghost. She looks like she’s dying, which add creep factor.

~Haley G