Thursday, June 28, 2012

Angelfall by Susan Ee

Publisher: This is an Indie book. You can find it on Amazon. My library had it, so that’s how I got it.

Series: Penryn & The End Of Days

Genera: Paranormal/Sci-fi dystopian

Subjects: angels, apocalypse, survival

Length: 247 pgs. (and the font size it small and too little space between lines)

HC/PB: Paperback

Summary/ product description: “It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.
Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.
Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.
Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: I really wish I could have bought a copy of this book, but the cover and typography doesn’t do it justice. This is the first indie book I’ve read, and wow, it’s well done. Well written. Why hasn’t this been published by a big publisher? Who knows! It has action and adventure and angels! Evil angels, much like in Angel Burn. Raffe’s not really evil, and he even has a sense of humor. He sort of reminded me of Patch from Hush, Hush. Penryn’s a really strong, tough girl. She has a lot of martial arts training, and it helps her survive. She has a schizophrenic mother who’s off her pills, and act crazy (in pretty funny ways) and a sister who is wheel-chair bound, and kidnapped in the story.

The post-apocalyptic world created in this book is similar to Faith Hunter’s Bloodring Trilogy, because it involves angels. Angel books and Dystopian books just so happen to be my favorite books to read, so I got a 2-in-1 with this book. Even with poorly set type, I found myself sucked into the story.  

I highly recommend this read. Especially if you liked Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, or love reading post-apocalyptic books.

Cover Art Review: I have to say that the whole book is poorly designed. The typography is atrocious. The cover photo may be nice, but as far as indie books go, the designer did a poor job. A book this good deserves a talented cover artist and type setter. I’m only a 2nd year graphic design student and I can do 100 times better than this.

~Haley G

Monday, June 25, 2012

Soulbound by Heather Brewer

Release Date: July 5th

Publisher: Penguin

Series: Legacy of Tril (bk. 1)

Genera: Fantasy

Subjects: Warriors, healers, soldiers, boarding schools

Length: 394 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “What's worse than being blackmailed to attend a hidden school where you're treated like a second-class citizen? How about nearly getting eaten by a monster when you arrive? Or learning that your soulmate was killed in a centuries-old secret war? And then there's the evil king who's determined to rule the world unless you can stop him...
Meet Kaya, a young woman with the power to heal and the determination to fight. But struggle as she will, she remains tied to three very different men: a hero who has forsaken glory, a tyrannical ruler who wants to use Kaya, and a warrior who's stolen her heart. Kaya learns the hard way that some ties can't be broken...and blood is the strongest bond of all.”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: Wow. I did not expect to like this book so much. So different from other fantasy, yet familiar. The dialogue and narration makes it seem like it could be set in the present, rather than some fantasy world. It almost seemed dystopian, like it was set in the future where there is no technology, but it’s not. This book reminds me of Vampire Academy because it’s set in a boarding school for 2 kinds of secret, skilled peoples: The Barrons and Healers. But whereas in vampire academy, the subservient class where the half-vampire, warriors and guardians, in this book the warriors, or Barrons are the more important class and the Healer are subservient. And Tril is the world they live in. There are Unskilled people who have no idea that Barrons and Healers exist, mostly because they don’t interact very much. This book had amazing world building, but really, why would there be French toast in Tril? The Japanese basis for this fantasy world included katanas and some names of places/words.  Barrons are sort of like samurais.

Kaya is a strong, stubborn and witty character, a healer who would like to fight. She doesn’t like be treated like a second class citizen/delicate flower. She’d rather take care of herself. She end up at Shadow academy as blackmail to her parents and is bound to Trayton, a Barron (who’s really hot and nice), a few days after her arrival. Trayton is a rule-follower, and never goes against Protocol, so Kaya seeks out someone else to train her. Maddox, her guard, doesn’t know how to fight (because she was never taught). Darius agrees to train her. Darius is a “dek” to Kaya. I honestly knew who he was from the start, that part was predictable, though it isn’t revealed till the very end. Darius reminds me a lot of Dimitri from VA, but much younger, same age as Kaya. Their relationship doesn’t fully develop yet, and I hope to see more in the next book.

This book had tons of action and romance. It is the tough-girl-vs.-the-world kind of story. I recommend it to fans of Mead’s Vampire Academy series, Armentrout’s Half-Blood series, or anyone who liked the new book by Leigh Bardugo: Shadow and Bone (bk. 1 of Grisha triology). I love the new modern fantasy genera. It’s like dystopian, but ever more creative.

Cover Art Review: Really awesome cover. Love the metallic series name, and sword. Awesome sword. I love the photo of the girl holding the katana. It represents the book well.

~Haley G

Sunday, June 24, 2012

It’s Summer! What should you read?

It’s Summer! What should you read?

Looking for a great summer read? One that actually has a summer quality to it, as well as a supernatural subject? Here are some awesome suggestion in YA paranormal genera!

Supernatural Summer Camps:

Born At Midnight by C.C. Hunter (Shadow Falls Series, bk. 2: Awake at Dawn, bk. 3: Taken at Dusk)

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson Series)


Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (bk. 2 is Hallowed)

Mermaid Books:

Siren by Tricia Rayburn (bk. 2 is Undercurrent)

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks

The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson (The Atlanteans, also featuring a summer camp, and dystopian feel)

Where you Want To Be:

Die For Me by Amy Plum (Set in Paris, bk. 2 is Until I Die)

Fated by Alyson Noel (Set in New Mexico)


Eve by Anna Carey

Possession by Elana Johnson

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Gone by Michael Grant

Hope my suggestions were helpful! Stay turned for summery reviews.

~Haley G

Friday, June 22, 2012

Cover Reveals & Reviews 6-22

What a great week it has been for HaperCollins YA Cover Reveals!
1. Boundless: I did get to see the cover art ahead of time. I alread knew it would be pink. And I found out the title, and it does look amazing when it's put all together. When printed, it will be shiny and awesome!
2. Everbound: I love that dress blowing into smoke! I just home the sequel better than the first book, the covers are amazing.
3. Unravel Me: So very different from the 1st book. Makes me think of the author's never published story about the girl with the magic eyelashed. Those are some truly magical looking eyelashes.
4. Shadows in the Silence: Originally called Hymn to the Fallen, the new title is great too. The cover looks fine, but I'm sure they'll tweek it some more.
5. Mind Games: This cover doesn't really make me think of a book about psychics. It looks almost like some fashion model/make up ad. Is this really the official cover? I hope they change it. Kiersten deserves something that will truly show her book's subject!
6. The Rising: Very much like the 1st 2 books, It's nice a simple. It works.
~Haley G

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cold Fury by T. M. Goeglein

Release Date: July 24th

Publisher: Penguine: Putnum

Series: Cold Fury (bk. 1)

Genera: Action thriller/mystery

Subjects: Mob/mafia, Chicago, psychic ability

Length: 313 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Jason Bourne meets The Sopranos in this breathtaking adventure
Sara Jane Rispoli is a normal sixteen-year-old coping with school and a budding romance--until her parents and brother are kidnapped and she discovers her family is deeply embedded in the Chicago Outfit (aka the mob).

Now on the run from a masked assassin, rogue cops and her turncoat uncle, Sara Jane is chased and attacked at every turn, fighting back with cold fury as she searches for her family. It's a quest that takes her through concealed doors and forgotten speakeasies--a city hiding in plain sight. Though armed with a .45 and 96K in cash, an old tattered notebook might be her best defense--hidden in its pages the secret to "ultimate power." It's why she's being pursued, why her family was taken, and could be the key to saving all of their lives.
Action packed, with fresh, cinematic writing, Cold Fury is a riveting and imaginative adventure readers will devour.”

My Rating: êêêê

My Review: This book was exciting, but slightly disappointing because it wasn’t as supernatural as I thought. I thought she was a demi-god/vampire/something. She just has an ability that runs in the family. I love the setting. I’m from Chicagoland, so I’m familiar with it. The author may have edited a few things. I also liked the action. The beginning kind of dragged on with her past, but once it got going, it got going. Mafia/mob stuff you don’t see often in YA, especial non-historical and from the point of view of a girl. The story it pretty unique in that way. Sara Jane is a tough character. A girl boxer. The prefer character for an action story like this one.

I recommend this book if you like gangster movies, action, or anything like that. If you’re from Chicago and like YA, read this!

Cover Art Review: Very action looking. The suitcase mentioned in the book. Sara on the cover. I wish there was some Chicago related picture in the background, but oh well.

~Haley G

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 5-20

Maximum Ride: Nevermore
by James Patterson

The. Last. MR. Book. Ever.
Is she going to choose Fang or Dylan? Is she going to save the world? Will she die? Will they all die? I want a happy ending.
Who else is excited about this book? Who's sad about the end?

The book comes out August 7th. 9 days before my birthday.  probably buy it early, and read it right away. I hope it's longer than the last few books. Like 400-500 pages. Less than 300 is very disappointing. Especially for a finale.

Look at that cover! They actually made the wings look mostly right. The girl still looks NOTHING like max. Her hair's too straight and light.
~Haley G

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda

Publisher: Macmillan: St. Martin’s Griffin

Series: The Hunt Trilogy (bk. 1)

Genera: Paranormal/sci-fi dystopian

Subjects: Vampires, survival,

Length: 293 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Don’t Sweat. Don’t Laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.
Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night—a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible—and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever—but is it worth the cost of his humanity?”

My Rating: êêêê

My Review: This book was pretty awesome. My only complaint it the long, long chapters that were more like parts. Other than that, it was easy to read. It was interesting to see how different society would be if vampire-like creatures were the normal people. The lack of showing emotion, the weird tendency to stratch their wrists or sleep upside down. Their fear of drowning. It’s amazing that Gene was able to blend in by copying them. And the Hunt, it was like the Vampire Hunger Games. It was the real Hunger Games, because they were really hungry for Hepers. And what are the odd of a heper in hiding getting picked to participate in the Heper Hunt (let alone 2)? And there was his romance with Ashley June, the girl with the red hair (Gene just calls her that, it’s not really her name).

I have to say that this book has some of the best world-building I’ve seen. The author really put a lot of thought into the behaviors of vampires and zombies vs. human behavior and what effects they would have of society. And these vampire eat flesh, not just blood. And they’re not immortal, they age, but the sun does kill them. And they don’t have names, just designations, which is weird. Maybe naming is a human thing?

I wonder what the author will cook up in the sequel, The Prey, coming early next year.

Cover Art Review: Really cool cover, but I was expecting it to be metallic. Still love the ripped look.

This book is also available in audiobook! Click to listen to the sample:

~Haley G

Sunday, June 17, 2012

In My Mail Box 6-17

 1st image: These are the books I got in the mail. The ARCs. Blessed doesn't come out till September, and Soulbound comes out July 5th.
2nd image: These are the books I got from the library. The Hunt, which I'm reading right now. Angelfall is indie-published. A Girl named Digit it kind of comtempary, but with some sci-fi/thriller elements. Viscious Deep and Of Posiedon are mermaid books. Mirage is the sequel to Haven, I was also going to buy this. Blazing the Trail is a Dragon Diaries novel (bk. 3).
3rd image: Books I bought recently. The Golden Lily (still have not read Bloodlines.) 3 mermaid books, Pegasus ( love horses still), and 3 angel books. Angelstar I found at Savers. It's used. I can't buy stuff online, so I was happy to find this. Angel Eyes I ordered at Barnes and Noble. I got a signed copy of Rapture at Target.
4th image: More books I bought. All dystopian. Struck looks awesome. The Lost Code, whic I really want to read. Surrender, sequel to Possession. For Darkness Shows the Stars, by the author of the Killer Unicorns books.
I am still waiting for my HarperTeen prize pack, with the books: Dreamless, Arise, Hemlock, A Want So Wicked, (and either Something Strange and Deadly or Tigerlily.)
~Haley G

Monday, June 11, 2012

Monument 14 by Emmy Layborne

Release Date: July 3rd

Publisher: Macmillan

Series: Monument 14 (bk. 1)

Genera: Dystopian sci-fi/post-apocalyptic

Subjects: Natural disasters, survival, 

Length: 294 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “Your mother hollers that you’re going to miss the bus. She can see it coming down the street. You don’t stop and hug her and tell her you love her. You don’t thank her for being a good, kind, patient mother. Of course not—you hurdle down the stairs and make a run for the corner.

Only, if it’s the last time you’ll ever see your mother, you sort of start to wish you’d stopped and did those things. Maybe even missed the bus.

But the bus was barreling down our street, so I ran.

Fourteen kids. One superstore. A million things that go wrong.

In Emmy Laybourne’s action-packed debut novel, six high school kids (some popular, some not), two eighth graders (one a tech genius), and six little kids trapped together in a chain superstore build a refuge for themselves inside. While outside, a series of escalating disasters, beginning with a monster hailstorm and ending with a chemical weapons spill, seems to be tearing the world—as they know it—apart.

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: This book reminded me of the Gone series by Michael Grant, but with less kids and less sci-fi elements. These 14 kids are trapped in a department store because there are chemicals in the air that could affect them. Apparently NORAD was cooking up something nasty, and the earthquake caused it to blow up and be released into the air in Colorado. (My dad also worked at the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain base, like one of the character’s dad’s. Hope they don’t actually have these chemicals). It causes different blood types to have different things happen to them. Type-O’s, the most common, turn into raving lunatics who want to kill (like zombies almost). It’s a pretty unique take on what we usually see as a zombie/virus cliché. It’s pretty scary.

I actually thought some of this book was cute and hilarious. Some of the things the kids say-WOW!!! Especially Max. Dean’s inner dialogue is pretty funny (main characters) but Max, the eight-years old, he’s had one heck of a life. He tells all these amazing stories about going to a strip club with his uncle or things he’s seen and stuff his family does. It’s pretty ridiculous. And there’s another kid that thinks anything slightly wrong is a sin, and he keeps pointing it out too much.

Also, I love the setting. A department store would be a great place to be stuck in for a long time, especially if it has a ton of food and solar powered electricity. There’s just so much stuff and so much you can do and be prepared for. I think the author did a great job of taking advantage of the setting and everything in it. It’s way better than a desert Island like in Lord of the Flies (which was a boring book anyways).

I can’t wait to read the next book. Wonder what will happen. It ended with quite of a cliff hanger.

Cover Art Review: The roof doesn’t look much like a grocery store roof, but that cloud of smoke and the teens and kids do show the book’s content well. Red and turquoise are a nice color combo too. I’m wondering if the book will have some kind of texture or special paper/foil.

~Haley G

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Waiting of Wednesday 6-6

Endlessy by Kiersten White
"Try as she might, Evie can’t seem to escape her not-so-normal past. And what was supposed to be a blissfully normal school break is ruined when a massive group of paranormals shows up at her house, claiming that Evie is the only one who can protect them from a mysterious, perilous fate.

The deadly war between the faerie courts looms ever closer. The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its future rests solely in Evie’s hands.

So much for normal.

With a perfect blend of humor and suspense, Endlessly is everything readers could dream of in a conclusion—and the unexpected twists will keep them guessing until the very last page."

I absolutely CANNOT wait to read this book!!! I hope Meijers has a copy at lest two weeks early so I can read it and blog it. I don't want  and ARC. I want the hardcover. I love this cover! I love Evie and Lend. I love all the funny parts and quotes. Best faerie+vamp+werewolves...Supernatural series ever!!!! Best non-angel paranormal series ever.
~Haley G

Monday, June 4, 2012

Insignia by S. J. Kincaid

Release Date: July 10th

Publisher: HarperTeen (KT)

Series: Insignia (bk. 1)

Genera: Sci-fi, dystopian, futuristic

Subjects: computers, virtual reality, technology, war

Length: 444 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “More than anything, Tom Raines wants to be important, though his shadowy life is anything but that. For years, Tom’s drifted from casino to casino with his unlucky gambler of a dad, gaming for their survival. Keeping a roof over their heads depends on a careful combination of skill, luck, con artistry, and staying invisible.
Then one day, Tom stops being invisible. Someone’s been watching his virtual-reality prowess, and he’s offered the incredible—a place at the Pentagonal Spire, an elite military academy. There, Tom’s instincts for combat will be put to the test, and if he passes, he’ll become a member of the Intrasolar Forces, helping to lead his country to victory in World War Three. Finally, he’ll be someone important: a superhuman war machine with the tech skills that every virtual-reality warrior dreams of. Life at the Spire holds everything that Tom’s always wanted—friends, the possibility of a girlfriend, and a life where his every action matters—but what will it cost him?
Gripping and provocative, S. J. Kincaid’s futuristic thrill ride of a debut crackles with memorable characters, tremendous wit, and a vision of the future that asks startling, timely questions about the melding of humanity and technology.”

My Rating: êêêê1/2

My Review: This book was better than I expected. Set in 3rd person of male, 14-year old Tom Raines, I wasn’t sure if it would keep my interest, since it sounded more like it was middle grade than YA. The humor was amazing in this book, though. It was Percy Jackson series good. Really funny. The characters interacted so well. Lots of banter, but not really much real romance, but a kind of virtual one.

What I did not expect was that Tom was going to have a computer put in his brain. This was pretty awesome, and kind of scary. I’d never go through what he did. I’d say no. No brain surgery for me. But he said yes, and it was pretty cool to see the result of the neural processors. I love all the futuristic technology. The author must have done a ton of research or be really creative. Everything about the companies and the Spire is done very intricately.

Tom’s a really strong character for his age. He’s stubborn and doesn’t back down. He’s a gamer and he plays to win. His roommate Vik is funny, and they become friends. This books more about friendship, and fighting for what you believe in, not a romance or survival book.

I recommend this book to people who love reading books set in the future, or people who like video games or computers. This book is so cool!

Cover Art Review: I’m not sure what kind of special effects will be used on the cover, but I’m sure the symbol with be raised, the title probably not. It may be metallic. I love how they did the title and all the computer stuff, circuitry. It’s really interesting.

~Haley G

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Release Date: June 2011. BOOK 2: Timepiece, coming out: JUNE 12, 2012

Publisher: Egmont

Series: Hourglass (bk. 1) ,BK. 2: Timepiece

Genera: Paranormal Romance/Sci-fi

Subjects: Time travel, psychic ability, love, time

Length: 390 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

Summary/ product description: “For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn't there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents' death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She's tried everything, but the visions keep coming back. So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson's willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he's around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: I’ve had this book in my possession for almost a year and I finally got around to reading it. I have to say, I wish I read it sooner. It was amazing. Really amazing. So much more than I expected. I’m probably going to buy the sequel next month, and hopefully read it this summer rather than next year.

Emerson is funny, sarcastic, smart and strong, ever though she’s vertically challenged and used to be in a mental hospital. Michael is so hot, and now one of my fav love interests in YA. Kaleb was almost part of a love triangle between the other two, and I really like him. He’s the 1st person narrator in Timepiece, the sequel. I look forward to his story.

This book had so many awesome twists. The plot was very unique. The whole time paradox thing. The author clearly put a lot of work into this. She must of made a time-line with lot of notes, and thoroughly researched the theoretical science behind it all. I love time travel in books, but I hope it’s never invented in real life, because the consequences seem scary. Loved this book.

Cover Art Review: I love these covers! I love the texture, and the metallic wall, and the cool way the girl is floating.

Check out the sequel: TIMEPIECE
Coming out JUNE 12, 2012

"A threat from the past could destroy the future. And the clock is ticking...

Kaleb Ballard's relentless flirting is interrupted when Jack Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, timeslips in and attacks before disappearing just as quickly. But Kaleb has never before been able to see time travelers, unlike many of his friends associated with the mysterious Hourglass organization. Are Kaleb's powers expanding, or is something very wrong?

Then the Hourglass is issued an ultimatum. Either they find Jack and the research he's stolen on the time gene, or time will be altered with devastating results.

Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their unusual powers to find Jack. But where do they even start? And when? And even if they succeed, it may not be enough...

The follow-up to Hourglass, Timepiece blends the paranormal, science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres into a nonstop thrill ride where every second counts."

~Haley G