Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Book I've Read 2012

Happy New Year's Eve! I filled out this forum from Epic Reads. It's a list of categories for the "best of." Here's the books of 2012 that I enjoyed.
All answer are books that I've read this year that also came out this year. Some awesome books that came out this year I haven't read will probably be read by me next year (Can't wait to start Pandmonium, Insurgent and Defiance)

Best Book I read in 2012: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Best Debut: Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson

Best Sequel: Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Best Conclusion to a series: Endlessly by Kiersten White

Best Standalone: Ten by Gretchen McNeil (Unless Valkyrie Rising is a stand alone)

Best Cover: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Author you want more from in 2013: Gretchen McNeil

Best Historical Fiction: The Gathering Storm by Robin Bridges (Pretty much the only historical fiction book I've read this year. Not of fan of Hist Fic)

Best Dystopian: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Best Paranormal: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Cutest Couple: Ellie and Tucker from Valkyrie Rising

Sexiest Scene: Kate and Vincent's picnic in Until I Die. (I can't really remember any specific sexy scenes).

World You Never Want to Live In:The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda (Especially if you're a human)

Real Feels (aka: Best Realistic Fiction): No Safety in Numbers by Dayna Lorentz (I don't read realistic fiction, but sci-fi realist is okay)

Messy Tears (aka: Best Tear Jerker): Until I Die by Amy Plum or Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (The deaths in the books)

Favorite World: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Best Retelling: Either: Cinder by Marissa Meye or Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Best Sidekick: Vik from Insignia. (Doctors of

January 2013 Release You're Most Excited to Read: Boundless by Cynthia Hand,1452

~Haley G

Saturday, December 29, 2012

In My Mailbox 12-29

 Check out the awesome stuff I've gotten in the mail in the last few weeks. I got a present from the Wishlist Faeries at Epic Reads (see the cute card!), I got an ARC of Everbound, an ARC of The Madman's Daughter, and some swag from the author of Article 5 because I entered the art contest. I also won a prize pack fron Gretchen McNeil, but still haven't got it yet. And I won a hardcover of Through the Evernight, which I'll get after it comes out.
~Haley G

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Endlessly by Kiersten White

Series: Paranormalcy (bk. 3)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Supernatural, magic, vampires, werewolves, shape shifters, faeries, souls, humor, romance, curses, prophecies, government agencies

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 385 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description:Evie's paranormal past keeps coming back to haunt her. A new director at the International Paranormal Containment Agency wants to drag her back to headquarters. The Dark Faerie Queen is torturing humans in her poisonous realm. And supernatural creatures keep insisting that Evie is the only one who can save them from a mysterious, perilous fate.
The clock is ticking on the entire paranormal world. And its fate rests solely in Evie's hands.
So much for normal.”

My Rating: êêêêê+

My Review: Oh bleep! Bleep! BLEEP!!!! I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVEEEE THESE BOOKS. (Seriously, check out my review for Supernaturally. I did this whole poem about it.)

What an exciting conclusion to one of my favorite series this has been. I loved this series since page 1 of Paranormalcy. I hate that this is only a trilogy. I feel like there could have been more. Maybe a spin-off series? I’d love that. Or a novella at least. Anyways, it was a good ending. Nothing too scary. Just tons of fun and humor and crazy evil faeries. Best faerie-related series ever! Really. I don’t usually like faerie books. Ever since reading the Wicked Lovely series…

I love all the characters and they will probably be one of my favorite casts. This series is fit for a TV show series. Clearly, the author watched a lot of shows with kick-but girls (see the videos of Kiersten talking about Veronica Mars and Buffy on Epic Reads.) Evie’s dialogue is fun a quirky and sarcastic. And the character Jack is funny too. He reminds me of Todd from the Soul Screamers series. Lend is awesome. I want him to be my boyfriend! Lol. There’s this really funny curse put on him that makes him fall asleep. Read this book, you’ll find out. And I think I even liked Reth now. He’s just trying to help in his own twisted way. Really, a lot of the characters that were “bad” in the other books change for the better. This book is pretty epic, with a few subplots that feel almost like climaxes.

I liked Evie obsession with Easton Heights. It make her more real to have a favorite TV show. She just wants to be normal. Speaking of Normal, that’s where IPCA is. It just so happens to be where my friend is now living and going to college. But the book’s still mostly in Virginia and the Faerie realms.

I just can’t believe it’s over. Please CW/ABC Family, someone…please option this for a TV series and don’t screw it up! Or a movie…Okay, well maybe we can at least have graphic novels/mangas?

Cover Art Review: I love the color! So purple! And that dress is just like the one in the book! Beautiful. I love the covers of all these books!


~Haley G

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas! 2012

So glad the world didn't end on the winter solstice. Since we survived the Apocalypse (which I knew was fake all along) we can now enjoy the holidays knowing we are alive. If the world did "end" I kind of was hoping that it would turn into a post-apocalyptic dystopian novel with lot of action (and romance) and that I could be the female heroine with lots of survival skills. We have gone tent camping a lot (but always had showers and bathrooms). Either that, or Snowmaggedon. The snow we got on Thursday the 20th was maybe a half inch. Nothing compared to Feb. 2011.
So anyway, alive and without any snow....
Merry Christmas, happy holidays!
Read some wintery books, and enjoy you presents. And drink some hot cocoa.
Angel card! (I made this last year)
~Haley G

Monday, December 24, 2012

Endure by Carrie Jones

Series: Need (bk. 4)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Pixies, magic, shape-shifters, Maine, Iceland, mythology, Norse mythology, supernatural, werewolves

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 260 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Summary/ product description: “It’s all-out war (and no-holds-barred romance) in the climactic conclusion to Carrie Jones’s bestselling series.
Zara is at the center of an impending apocalypse. True, she’s successfully rescued Nick from Valhalla, but it simply isn’t enough. Evil pixies are ravaging Bedford, and they need much more than one great warrior; they need an army. Zara isn’t sure what her role is anymore. She’s not just fighting for her friends; she’s also a pixie queen. And to align her team of pixies with the humans she loves will be one of her greatest battles yet. Especially since she can’t even reconcile her growing feelings for her pixie king . . .
Unexpected turns, surprising revelations, and one utterly satisfying romantic finale make Endure a thrilling end to this series of bestsellers.”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: Another conclusion to yet another series I loved. I keep having to say goodbye. I hate saying goodbye! I love Zara’s narration. I so funny and awesome! And Issie is the awesomesauce best friend that I always wanted. (She like the show Fringe!!!!!) I just disappointed about Nick because I loved him in the 1st two books. In Twilight terms, if Nick to Jacob (cause he’s a werewolf) what Astley is to Edward (cause they’re both sorta sparkly) than I am still Team Nick all the way. Even if he doesn’t like that Zara’s turned Pixie. This book went very quick. I think it could have been longer, but I am still happy with it. I loved the part when she was training other teens how to fight pixies in the YMCA gym. So they go back to Iceland, which is really cool. They search for Hel. Awesome stuff happens. I really don’t want to spoil the ending. It’s a good one, but I still was slightly disappointed. I still give it 5 stars just because it’s the kind of book I was in the mood for. And everything is perfecting wrapped up at the end (Holiday pun is intended).

Anyways, since I just read Endlessly by Kiersten White before this, and Flock by Wendy Delsol, I can’t help comparing this the series to those too. The Stork series was also Norse mythology based and the Paranormalcy series has a quirky heroine, Evie, who is the blond, pink-loving version of Zara (and Katla too. Zara is very similar to Stork’s Katla). I just love books with lots of humor.

This book a great read for the holidays. This whole series is. The wintery world of Bedford, Maine and all the Norse Mythology, perfect for Christmastime.

Cover Art Review: I love that all the covers go together with gold and black and white. I love the serif typeface of the title. I love the gold designs. I love that golden/orange eye.


~Haley G

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Midnight City by J. Barton Mitchell

Series: Conquered Earth (bk. 1)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi/Fantasy

Subjects: Aliens, post-apocalyptic, adventure, war, supernatural

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 372 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Macmillan: St. Martin’s Griffin

Summary/ product description: “Lord of the Flies meets War of the Worlds in J. Barton Mitchell's alien-invaded post-apocalyptic world where two teens and a young girl with amazing powers must stop the aliens’ mysterious plan
Earth has been conquered by an alien race known as the Assembly. The human adult population is gone, having succumbed to the Tone---a powerful, telepathic super-signal broadcast across the planet that reduces them to a state of complete subservience. But the Tone has one critical flaw. It only affects the population once they reach their early twenties, which means that there is one group left to resist: Children.
Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, and his current target is Mira Toombs, an infamous treasure seeker with a price on her head. It’s not long before Holt bags his prey, but their instant connection isn’t something he bargained for. Neither is the Assembly ship that crash-lands near them shortly after. Venturing inside, Holt finds a young girl who remembers nothing except her name: Zoey.
As the three make their way to the cavernous metropolis of Midnight City, they encounter young freedom fighters, mutants, otherworldly artifacts, pirates, feuding alien armies, and the amazing powers that Zoey is beginning to exhibit. Powers that suggest she, as impossible as it seems, may just be the key to stopping the Assembly once and for all.
Midnight City is the breathtaking first book of the Conquered Earth series.”

My Rating: êêê

My Review: I might have given this book more than 3 stars if the typography wasn’t so tiny. All those words on each page is a bit discouraging. It gave me really bad eye strain, but despite that, the world building amazed me. How did the author come up with this? Artifacts from the “Strange Lands” that when combined do really amazing things. I was not expecting this. I was expecting something similar to War of the Worlds. This “techno-magic” is a really creative idea. And yeah the book reminds me a bit of the Gone series in some ways too. And the Strange Lands made me think of Under The Never Sky. So is Dark Matter and Aether the same thing?

I think it’s kind of weird that the main characters are 20 (Holt) and 18 (Mira). That’s kind of old for YA/Teen books. Especially for the 1st in a series. And Zoey is only 8 or 10. I really liked the dog Max. Zoey calls his “The Max” and always asks if she can ride him. Most of the character do seem flat, and the switching 3rd person perspectives is really annoying. The plot is not bad. I like that they start their journey somewhere in Illinois or Missouri, and travel near the Mississippi to wherever Midnight City is. The compound in a dam is a really cool idea, and probably possible. The factions made me think of Divergent. This book is not filled with realistic stuff, but some stuff is. There are parts similar to Ashfall and Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin.

The journey continues in The Severed Tower, coming out Fall 2013.

Cover Art Review: I really like the cover. The colors are cool. The dystopian scene is interesting. There’s a city, some wreckage and a boy, girl and dog. I like the typeface for the title. And the symbol.


~Haley G

Friday, December 21, 2012

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Series: Newsoul (bk. 1)

Genera: Fantasy, Dystopian, Sci-fi, Romance

Subjects: Reincarnation, love, dragons, supernatural, utopias

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 374 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Katherine Tegan

Summary/ product description: “New soul
Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
No soul
Even Ana's own mother thinks she's a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she'll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana's new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana's enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else's life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?
Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: This was probably the most creative mix of sci-fi and fantasy I’ve ever read. I so happy I finally read this book. It reminded me of Crewel by Gennifer Albin in some ways. I kept wondering if the rage was some synthetic world like the Matrix. I thought this book was dystopian, and in some ways it is. I guess it’s just a unique fantasy with reincarnation. I wonder what’s going to be discovered in the next few books. I really enjoyed the romance between Ana and Sam. The piano scenes made me think of Twilight. And I knew who Sam really was right away. It was pretty obvious.

I felt bad for Ana. Everybody treated her like she was helpless, or they didn’t know that she didn’t know certain things. The people who’ve been reincarnated over and over never had to teach children how to do stuff because they had already learned stuff in a past life. Ana is smart of enough to learn things on her own. She’s a very fast learner and eager to discover. She’s a new pair of eyes, a new opinion. She changes everything by the fact that she exists.

It’s a really interesting idea. This book has a lot of philosophic themes in it. The idea of a world of people who’ve been around for thousands of years. The fact that you’re so young and have only this life makes you different and unique. The only thing I found weird was that they kept getting reincarnated in different bodies.  Male or female. Sam have been a woman in a past life is very odd.

I like the fantasy world in this book. I like how they have technology. Apparently over 5,000 years they’re discovered all these things. They started off primitive, and are now more advanced than us. I just seems so strange. It made me feel like this world was a program. This world of empty houses and dangerous creatures was there waiting for them, and then they built it over 5,000 years. They’ve lived so many lives. Almost like they are players in a game/program. Each time they die, they come back in a different body. The sylphs and dragons are a nice touch.

Cover Art Review: This is probably my favorite cover image this year. It’s so neon bright. It glows! The red and the blue. The butterfly mask. I love it. It’s perfect. I wish it was on metallic or opalescent paper stock, though.


~Haley G

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Radiant by Cynthia Hand

Series: Unearthly (ebook novella, 2.5)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Angels, Nephilim, supernatural, Italy

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: About 94 pgs. On my Nook it said 67.

HC/PB: E-Book/novella

List Price: $1.99

Publisher: HarperTeen: Impulse (ebooks)

Summary/ product description: “From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a riveting original novella (available only as an ebook) set in the world of the Unearthly series.
Clara is desperate to get away—from the memories that haunt her in Wyoming and the visions of a future she isn't ready to face—and spending the summer in Italy with her best friend, Angela, should be the perfect escape. . . .
For as long as she can remember, Angela has been told that love is dangerous, that she must always guard her heart. But when she met a mysterious guy in Italy two years ago she was determined to be with him, no matter the costs. Now she must decide whether she can trust Clara with her secret, or if telling her the truth will risk everything she cares about.
Alternating between Angela and Clara's perspectives, Radiant chronicles the unforgettable summer that will test the bounds of their friendship and change their lives forever.”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: This is the 1st e-book I’ve ever read on my Nook. It’s only a novella, but still, my first step into the world of digital publishing. This was a change from the last too book. No Tucker and no Jackson Hole, Wyoming, but I loved it all the same. I love Clara’s narration, and it was awesome to have Angela narrate too. I love that it’s set in Rome, Italy. It’s a place to easy to image even though I’ve never been there, but I’ve seen the Lizzie McGuirre movie a bunch of time (like, years ago) and I took Art History, so when Clara and Angela do the “Touristy Stuff,” I had no problem picturing it. And that hot Italian boy-friend of Angela named Phen. He was hot. Just wait until you find out who he is. He reminded me so much of Damen from the Immortals series, but a little older looking probably. Dark curls, brown eyes, olive skin. Hot. I want a hot Italian boy! (Even if he’s not really Italian, still…) And this also reminded me of the Until I Die series. I compared him to Vincent. I was nice to get to see Angela’s story. She told us about what she did in the past summers she spent in Rome. How she met Phen. I am so happy I got to read this. I really want a copy of Boundless now, please! There’s a preview of the Prologue and chapter 1 after the e-novella’s over. Enjoy!
(Note: This is my favorite series, sorry for my fangirl-ism. I can get a little crazy and excited.)
Cover Art Review: Not much of a cover since it’s an E-book, but I do love the typography of this whole series’ titles. Radiant is an awesome title. Love the clouds. Wish they had Rome on the cover.


~Haley G

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Middle Ground by Katie Kacvinsky

Series: Awaken (bk. 2)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi

Subjects: Technology, resistance to government, brainwashing

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 321 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $16.99

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Summary/ product description: “In this provocative cautionary tale for teens, the sequel to Awaken, seventeen-year-old Maddie’s rebellion against the digital-only life grows dangerous. Maddie is in Los Angeles, trying to stay out of trouble. But one night, a seemingly small act of defiance lands her in the place she fears the most: a detention center. Here, patients are reprogrammed to accept a digital existence. Maddie is now fighting for her mind, her soul, and her very life. Once again, Katie Kacvinsky paints a disturbing picture of our increasingly technology-based society.”

My Rating: êêêê

My Review: This was a pretty good sequel. I had a tough time getting into it because I’ve been reading too many dystopians lately, but it picked up later on. This book is very relevant to real life. It’s the most realistic kind of dystopian series I’ve read. This book could easily become reality, which is kind of sad. I like being on the computer, but not all day! Maddie’s a really strong protagonist. She does remind me of Lena from Delirium, but more rebellious. Justine sounds like a great guy, but he’s not a strong enough love interest. I think he was better in the first book, Awaken, but I’d say that this book is much more focused on Maddie.

When she was put in the detention center, that’s when the story got really exciting. I like psychological thrillers with asylums and crazy people, not that this DC was really an insane asylum. She really fights hard against the brainwashing and “The Cure.” And then there’s a new character, Gabe, who helps her stay sane. (No love triangles occur, don’t worry) He’s a staff member, and never used a computer before.

I really think the technology like the MindReaders seem a bit advanced, but cool. And all this virtual stuff reminds me of Under the Never Sky, with its realms. It would be cool to have all this virtual reality stuff, as long as we don’t lose touch with the real world.

This book’s theme is to not let technology take over your life. Face-to-face communication is important. It makes us human, not machine. Humans are social creatures and technology changes the way we socialize. We should spend more time Unplugged than plugged in. Our life isn’t the internet. The internet is just a tool. We need to live our lives, now view them. I feel like I could write a whole response paper to this series. I highly recommend these books if you are looking for something dystopian/sci-fi with a real message. If you liked Delirium, Under the Never Sky, Possession, you should read this.

Cover Art Review: I think I liked the first book’s cover better. I understand the metaphor. A flower trapped in a jar, and on this cover, butterflies being let go. I just don’t think the butterflies look like they fit on the cover. They’re too colorful. Maybe if they were all one or two colors.


~Haley G

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Undeadly by Michele Vail

Series: The Reaper Diaries (bk. 1)

Genera: Paranormal Romance (set in a semi-dystopian/alternate hist. world)

Subjects: Supernatural, necromancer, reapers, mythology, Egyptian mythology, Anubis, gods, magic, boarding schools, zombies, ghosts

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 267 pgs.

HC/PB: Paperback

List Price: $9.99

Publisher: HarlequinTeen

Summary/ product description: “The day I turned 16, my boyfriend-to-be died. I brought him back to life. Then things got a little weird...
Molly Bartolucci wants to blend in, date hottie Rick and keep her zombie-raising abilities on the down-low. Then the god Anubis chooses her to become a reaper—and she accidentally undoes the work of another reaper, Rath. Within days, she's shipped off to the Nekyia Academy, an elite boarding school that trains the best necromancers in the world. And her personal reaping tutor? Rath.
Life at Nekyia has its plusses. Molly has her own personal ghoul, for one. Rick follows her there out of the blue, for another...except, there's something a little off about him. When students at the academy start to die and Rath disappears, Molly starts to wonder if anything is as it seems. Only one thing is certain—-Molly's got an undeadly knack for finding trouble....”

My Rating: êêê

My Review: This book was different than I expected. There was not much Romance as I wanted. I really liked Rath. Rick reminded me too much of Heath from House of Night. A lot of other people agree that this book is similar the House of Night series. I feel like this book dragged out the beginning too much. I would have rather had more boarding school stuff. There were a lot of clichés, but out of all the clichés left out, why no love triangle? There was no depth to the story.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it for the most part. I think the world building is interesting. An alternate history of Necromancer and Zombies being known to everyone. All the different hekas and parts of the soul. It was very interesting. It reminded me of the Shade series and House of Night series put together, except with Egyptian stuff. I liked Molly’s voice, even with the outdated slang. The book could just use some tweets. I could have been better if it was about 100 pages longer, with a steamy romance. Seriously, more Rath. My favorite Reaper is Todd from the Soul Screamers series. The hot reaper really needs to be played up more. I just felt like some stuff was rushed/forced. It needs more build up. This is the first book in a series, so I’m sure book 2 will be better. There is a cliff hanger at the end.

Cover Art Review: The cover is kind of generic for paranormal romance. I do like the lace, though. I’m pretty sure I could have made a better cover than this one.


~Haley G

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin

Series: Ashfall (bk. 2)

Genera: Dystopian Sci-fi (post-apocalyptic)

Subjects: Volcanic ash, climate change, survival, love, winter

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 567 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.95

Publisher: Tanglewood

Summary/ product description: “It’s been over six months since the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano. Alex and Darla have been staying with Alex’s relatives, trying to cope with the new reality of the primitive world so vividly portrayed in Ashfall, the first book in this series. It’s also been six months of waiting for Alex’s parents to return from Iowa. Alex and Darla decide they can wait no longer and must retrace their journey into Iowa to find and bring back Alex’s parents to the tenuous safety of Illinois. But the landscape they cross is even more perilous than before, with life-and-death battles for food and power between the remaining communities. When the unthinkable happens, Alex must find new reserves of strength and determination to survive.”

My Rating: êêêê 1/2

My Review: Though Ashen Winter is over 100 pages more than Ashfall, it’s still just as awesome and action packed. I love Alex and Darla’s relationship and not happy when Darla was captured. They are one of my favorite kick-butt couples in YA. I also love the setting. I live in Illinois and was easily able to picture the post-volcanic winter landscape (especially since that blizzard in Feb, 2010!). I’ve actually been to the area in the book. And I found out Warren, IL is real! I looked it up on Google Earth. I live in Warrenville, which is in Chicagoland. Now I want to go back and see Apple River Canyon (also real) and the Quad Cities This story hit close to home-literally. I just hope Yellow Stone never really erupt. I do not want to end up in one of those camps!

So Alex and Darla go looking for Alex’s parents. They run into about a million problems and set-backs along the way. Alex really should shut up and take Darla’s advice. She’s pretty freakin’ smart. They have a crazy time crossing the Mississippi. They have some bike with skis they call “Bikezilla.” The chase scene in the frozen river is really crazy.

Later on in the book, we meet some new characters. One of them know a ton about guns and military stuff. He gets Alex out of trouble a few times. Alex goes after Darla, and everyone is trying to stop him because they think she’s already dead. Alex is a tough fighter, so I believed in him. But even more adventures happen. This book is like some crazy epic saga. Like the Odyssey of a post-apocalyptic future. I love it so much. Did I mention the cannibal gangs? Yeah. Not zombies. People surviving by eating people.  I also hope that doesn’t happen for real.

And the ending is epic. The way they go after Darla. There’s a lot of spoilery stuff I’m not gonna mention.

I love this series also because of its realistic survival information. I learned enough from the first book (and now probably forgot it) and this book have even more information. The author make everything so realistic. From the setting, to the character to the things that happen to the characters. All the injuries and gory details. The fact that guns don’t always work right away because Alex keeps forgetting the safety or magazine. I remember a scene from in Camp Galena from Ashfall that grossed me out. The mass toilet. You know what I mean.

Overall, great sequel! Wonder if the next book will be the last book. I’m sure it will be just as epic either way. If Yellowstone blows up for real, I’ll be glad I read these books. But I may wish that I bought them/owned them. I think I’m gonna have to find some Kale seed just in case this 2012 stuff really happens. Lol. It won’t. I know it.

Cover Art Review: Not as good as the 1st book’s cover. The hands are nice. The cover is very texture heavy. It’s fitting, but not as great as Ashfall’s cover.


~Haley G

Monday, December 3, 2012

Art of YA Blog

I've created a new Tumblr based blog in which I post art related to YA books. I've mainly posted my own fanart and covers I've created over the past few years, so far.
The link:
I'll also post art I've made for original stories/books. And I will be critiqueing real YA covers, and also posting fanart I've found and really liked. Some art you will see on my blog:
~Haley G


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Flock by Wendy Delsol

Series: Stork (bk. 3)

Genera: Paranormal Romance

Subjects: Mythology, Norse mythology, storks, mermaids, magic, Minnesota, supernatural, fantasy

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 394 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $16.99

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Summary/ product description: “The climactic conclusion of a supernatural romantic trilogy starring a savvy, sharp-tongued heroine who taps into ancient Norse secrets.
After surviving her (shall we say) intense adventure in Iceland, Katla is psyched to be back for a blissfully uneventful senior year of homecoming and fashion explorations. But her hopes of dodging unfinished business are dashed by the arrival of two Icelandic exchange students: Marik, an oddly alluring merman-in-disguise, and Jinky, a tough gypsy girl. It seems Katla not only enraged the Snow Queen by rescuing her boyfriend, Jack, she also was tricked into promising her frail baby sister to the water queen — and Marik has come to collect. What’s worse, Katla doesn’t dare confide in anyone lest she endanger them, so even her soul mate, Jack, is growing suspicious. And now Katla’s stork dreams, her guide for matching babies with mothers, have become strange and menacing as well. Hold on for a thrilling finale as the heroine of Stork and Frost calls on her wits (and her wit) to protect those she loves and face a final mythic disaster.”

My Rating: êêêêê

My Review: An epic finale to one of the more unique, creative paranormal romance series I’ve read. I’m gonna miss Kat, Jack, Penny, Jinky and even Marik. Not to mention Afi, with all the funny comebacks that you’d never expect from a grandpa. This series has been so fun. I want more Norse mythology in YA.

In this book, Katla’s trying to save her baby sister, deal with Jinky and Marik being exchange students, and a ton of other stuff. There’s a lot of action, some romance, and a ton of humor. Katla’s narration is funny as always. There’s also the design project. I can relate to the start-up business branding because I’m actually doing that in my Graphic Design 3 class. I think it’s cool how the author incorporates high school into the series. I wish I had this much fun in high school. There are some crazy natural disasters that happen in the book. Katla believes that Brigid may be the cause. There’s some really scary stuff. Katla escapes death multiple times, with the help of Jack.

I think Marik is ridiculous, but Penny’s crush on him is pretty cute. I wish he could go all merman in the book, but he was learning the culture of humans and trying to keep the deal with Katla. He loves everything and everyone loves him. He’s an awesome foreign exchange student, even if he’s not really off this world.

I want to mention the setting. I know the towns are made-up, not real. Walden, MN is not a college town. Norse Falls was made-up. But I love the setting of Minnesota. I’ve camped there multiple times in the summer. I think the setting is in Northern Minnesota, probably in between Minneapolis and Duluth, but more to the west. Or close to Iowa. Not sure. If you’re read the Wolves of Mercy Falls series, you’d remember that there’s a lot of forestry in MN. I really loved it up there.

How do you guys feel about this series being a movie or TV show? I feel like it would work better as a TV show. It had an episodic tone. Maybe the 2nd book felt more movie-ish.

If you love PNR or mythology in YA, and have not read this series, you are really missing out. Great series. I recommend you get all the books, clear out you schedule, or read all 3 during the holidays. Perfect series for Christmastime.  

Cover Art Review: I liked the cover for Frost better. This one has Penny on the cover. I wish the girl’s photo was higher quality. I’m not sure if I like the title being pink. I feel like there’s a color clash. I love the opalescent paper stock that the jacket’s printed on, though.


~Haley G