Friday, January 31, 2014

Promise Bound by Anne Greenwood Brown

Series: Lies Beneath (bk. 3)

Genera(s): Paranormal Romance

Subjects: mermaids and mermen, love, supernatural
Setting: Present-day, Bayfield, Wisconsin and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. And the depths of Lake Superior. It’s set in May.

POV/Tense: past tense,1st person alternating POV between Calder and Lily, and later on, other characters

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 353 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $17.99

Publisher: Random House: Delacorte Press

Summary/ product description: “Calder and Lily never imagined falling in love would mean breaking apart. But ever since Lily started wearing a glass pendant that once belonged to Nadia, Calder's adoptive mother, she's been having vivid dreams of what life was like for the mermaid matriarch. In fact, she's been dreaming as if she were Nadia! And Nadia, it seems, made a promise before her death. A promise to reunite Calder's biological mother with her son. Lily knows merfolk are bound to keep their promises. Calder's not buying into it, though. He chalks up the dreams to stress. He wants Lily to focus on the future—their future, not the past. Which forces Lily to send Calder away. Calder goes, feeling rejected and more than a little tempted to revert to his hunting ways.  

What both of them overlook is the present: Calder's sisters, Maris and Pavati, are fighting for control of the mermaid clan, and now that Lily and her dad have transformed into mer-creatures, both mermaids vie for daughter and father as allies. Which of the two mermaids can be trusted? Will Lily make costly mistakes, forcing her to descend to the depths of Lake Superior? And if Calder returns, will he be the same merman Lily grew to love? The stakes are high, with many lives at risk, but Calder and Lily must confront the past as well as their darkest impulses if they want a chance at being together.”

My Review: This was such an epic conclusion. This is probably my favorite mermaid series I’ve ever read. It’s full of interesting characters and crazy twists and a beautiful setting. This final book isn’t just from one character’s perspective, but it alternates between Lily and Calder. I wish the first two books did this. Lies Beneath was completely Calder’s POV, and Deep Betrayal was from Lily’s POV. I love how well differentiated the narration is between their parts. Calder is self deprecating and sarcastic and very much a guy. Lily is more poetic and quirky and also sarcastic. The narration of this series is just so well done.

I like the other characters beside the two main ones. Despite everything, I think Pavati is pretty awesome. I wish we could get more of her story. She had a baby and handed it off to Daniel, the father, but she really cares about that baby. Daniel cares for it too and I hope they do stay together despite mermaids’ tendency to not stay with mates. I loved seeing how Danny dealt with the baby. He seems not like the best choice for a father figure, but he really likes the baby. I don’t really like Maris because she’s kind of cruel.

I also love the setting. I’ve been to Lake Superior multiple times. Never to Bayfield specifically, but near there. I’ve been to Ashland, and Park Fall, Butternut (where my great uncle lives) and other places in the North Woods of Wisconsin. I have travel brochures and a post card of Bayfield, so I can picture the town easily. The Apostle Island are a beautiful places and I hope I actually visit them someday instead of look at them form a distance. 

Other important events in this book include Lily’s dreams in which she’s Nadia, and Calder’s search for his real parents. Lily’s sea glass necklace is letting Nadia’s spirit show her the past and what’s she’s shown leads her to believe that Calder must find his family. Calder doesn’t believe Lily and she tries to convince him what he must do. She sends him off to Thunder Bay, Canada and he promises he will try to find them. Meanwhile, Maris and Pavati are fighting over who gets Lily and her dad on their side. The turn of events near the end resolves the story well. I wish there was more and that the story didn’t have to end yet, but I’m pretty happy with the ending. 

If you haven’t read the Lies Beneath series then you are missing out. It’s great for anybody who likes paranormal romance or mermaids. 

Cover Art Review: Nice underwater photo, but the girl kind of looks dead. Maybe that’s the point. It’s and okay cover because it fits with the previous books.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Erased by Jennifer Rush

Series: Altered (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Sci-fi Thriller/Romance

Subjects: genetic alteration, abilities, memory, runaways, identity, secret government organizations

Setting: Michigan (Lower peninsula) during January 

POV/Tense: 1st person POV (Anna) past tense

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 275 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover

List Price: $18.00

Publisher: Hachette: Little, Brown 

Summary/ product description: “They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.
After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. At the same time, she's learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam's rules: Don't draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.

Then a figure from Anna's childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth -- before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased?

Jennifer Rush delivers a thrilling sequel to Altered in a novel packed with mysteries, lies, and surprises that are sure to keep readers guessing until the last age is turned.”

My Review: Erased is the second book in the Altered series. Not the final book. It’s currently supposed to be a trilogy. As a sequel, it was the fastest, most thrilling sequel I’ve read yet this year. I absolutely love all the character. Anna is an awesome protagonist. She loves to draw, which I love to draw too. She’s also pretty kickass and awesome. Sam is definitely a great guy and really cares about Anna. There’s a good romance between them. Sam is definitely sexy, but who knows how old he actually is. He’s probably around 25, even though he was altered and now ages more slowly. 

I like Nick, despite his anger issues and mean comments. He also cares about Anna and I was starting to think a love triangle would develop. Nick hides his emotions behind an angry and broody attitude. Cas is the playful and fun guy of the group. He’s always teasing and saying ridiculous things.  He is basically like Kenji from Shatter Me, personality-wise. Trev we don’t get to see much till later on. He betrayed Anna in Altered. We get to meet new characters, including people related to Anna. 

I like all the sci-fi stuff. The Branch is a secret government organization, kind of like Itex from the Maximum Ride series or Ultra from the CW’s Tomorrow People. Even though the science used is definitely fictional, it’s still a very interesting concept. It’s kind of like the CW TV show Beauty and the Beast. The boys are not truly genetically altered. Their DNA is not changing. It’s their body’s chemistry and hormones that are changed because of the Altered drug and the anti-aging drug. It’s kind of like steroids, but it has less negative effects.

Another thing that I love about these books? The setting. I’m probably reading it during the perfect time of year. It’s January, and in the book it’s January, In the lower peninsula or Michigan. My favorite frequent vacation destination, which I only go to in summer. The author is from Michigan. I know of a few other Michiganian authors: Courtney Allison Moulton and Aimee Carter. I’ve been to Traverse City and Grand Rapids multiple times, as well as Ludington and Muskegon, Hart and Warren and pretty much every city along the Lake Michigan shore of the southern peninsula. It’s so easy to picture the dunes, even snow covered. There is no Port Cadia, Michigan listed on the map, but there is an Arcadia. We drove through there, and I assume the author meant Arcadia but used Port Cadia. Also, they drove to Indiana in the book, which of course I’ve been to. I live in Chicagoland, Illinois. 

On that note, I just have so many feeling from this book. There were so many shocking scenes that had my heart racing and me hanging of the edge of my seat. I enjoyed this book inside and out and really wish it was about a hundred pages longer. I was kind of nervous toward the end because the plot started making me think that this was the final installment. A singular sequel. I read the e-novella Forged, which was great, but I wanted more. I was so relieved to find out that there is a 3rd book. So what will it be called. REMEMBERED? Too many letters. CHANGED? To similar to ALTERED. SEVERED, CREATED? What do you guy think? 

I recommend this series to fans of: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, Maximum Ride by James Patterson, False Memory by Dan Krokos, Unremembered by Jessica Brody, Revived by Cat Patrick. Pretty much, if you love books with genetically altered/engineered characters that are on the run from secret government organizations, then you should definitely read this. It’s still refreshingly unique. 

Cover Art Review: I love this cover. The graph texture is interesting and the type of the title is unique. The orange is striking. I also like the hot guy.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

In My Mailbox 1-25-2014

I won a ARC copy of Unforgotten by Jessica Brody. I started reading it and I'm loving it!

I ordered Independent Study and put the author's autographed book plate in it.

Bought the graphic novel of Miss Peregrine because I rather read it than the actual book. I like the artwork.

Got a signed copy of Sweetly at Walmart.

I bought these books at Goodwill.

And I checked out these at the library

Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Series: Shatter Me (bk. 2)

Genera(s): Dystopian Sci-fi/Romance

Subjects: superpowers, abilities, supernatural, mutants, resistance to government, love, war

Setting: District 45 (Somewhere in California?) The Reestablishment 

POV/Tense: 1st person POV, Juliette. Present tense (usually).

Age/Grade Level: Teen

Length: 461 pgs.

HC/PB: Hardcover, and now in Paperback!

List Price: HC: $17.99, PB: $9.99

Publisher: HarperTeen

Summary/ product description: “tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.”

My Review: It’s been over two years since I first read Shatter Me (as an ARC, sometime in September 2011). Unravel Me came out last February and I feel like an idiot for waiting almost a year to read it. I will not make that mistake with the final book Ignite Me. That’s for sure.

I loved this book so much that I feel like there isn’t enough word in my vocabulary to express it. The writing style of this series continues to amaze me. The poetic use of fragmented sentences and bad grammar works so well, it sounds like a diary. I still love the strike-throughs. I love all the metaphors and similes and when Juliette’s imagination runs away with her. I love the hyperboles and they show her anxiety and panic toward things. Juliette is so relatable in that she gets nervous, and doesn’t always feel confident. She learns to get over herself in this book. She has low self-esteem and learns to be confident. She grows as a character. She starts out withdrawn and then opens up. She’s so well developed, even when she become a bit scatter-brained. She learns that her ability can be more than a curse. She can’t hide because she’s too afraid that she might hurt someone. She’s can’t be meek. She has to be strong. Strong-willed, stubborn, determined. And she needs to fight for what she believes in.

Out of all the characters in these books, Kenji is my favorite. This Japanese-invisible-ninja-clown of a guy is a bundle of excitement and joy. I can see why he was Tahereh’s favorite character to write. He’s funny and a goof ball sometimes. He’s caring and kind, but sometimes annoying. He’s teases and likes to be the comic relief. He’s the guy that makes people feel comfortable. He’s a very important person in Omega Point. His invisibility allows him to spy, and make sure the coast is clear on missions. He makes me laugh, and I pretty much underlined almost every line he had in the book. With Kenji, there’s never a dull moment. 

I also like Adam. He was pretty moody in this book. He had his own issues to deal with. Tahereh had already told us this spoiler: “Adam has a power.” He does. I completely forgot that he didn’t have one in the first book besides being able to let Juliette touch him. And somehow Warner can touch her too. We get a look inside Adam’s head in the short story Fracture Me, and a look inside Warner’s head in Destroy Me. I already knew that Warner had an ability after reading Destroy Me (it sounded like Empathy to me). Warner is very perceptive, but he’s also kills without remorse. Ever after reading the famous chapter 62, I’m still Team Adam. Maybe Warner will change his ways in Ignite Me. But Adam still has my heart, and even if Juliet chooses differently, I’d still want Adam. Chapter 62 was steamy and sexy though, but so far as to seem like erotica.

This book had no shortage of action and science fiction. It’s filled with super powered characters and world building and missions. Castle (who had dreadlocks he wears in a pony tail and may or may not be African American) has telekinesis/psychokinesis. He can move objects with his minds and feel the energy of those objects. This instantly made me think of Glitch by Heather Anastasiu or X-men. Castle is like Professor X, kind of. There’s other characters who can control electricity, heal or stretch their limbs like rubber. There’s so many unique abilities. We also get a better look at what society is like in this series. The Reestablishment and how it’s split up and controlled. We also find out some very big revelations. We get to meet Warner’s dad, and we find out Warner’s name!

If you have not read Shatter Me, then you are missing out so much. If you love X-men, or pretty much anything from Marvel or DC comic, then read this series. If you liked Glitch by Heather Anastasui, Renegade by J.A. Souders, Divegent by Veronica Roth, Maximum Ride by James Patterson, then I recommend this series. If you love this series and have not read any of those books I just mentioned, then add those books to you TBR pile. 

I have less than a month to wait for Ignite Me, which is out February 4th. There are not ARCs for Ignite Me, so we can all read it at the same time. Also check out the E-Books Destroy Me (Warner’s POV, in-between Shatter Me and Unravel Me) and Fracture Me (Adam’s POV, in-between Unravel Me and Ignite Me). 

Cover Art Review: I loved this cover since I set eyes on it. I love the eye with the icy eyelashes and the title. It’s so different from Shatter Me’s original cover. It’s breathtakingly beautiful. It’s made by Colin Anderson and inspired by Sharee Davenport. The eyes on each cover are the same. Each blue with a bird reflected in it and the same clouds in the background. Each is a different season. Shatter Me=Fall, Unravel Me=Winter and Ignite Me=Spring and Summer.