Sunday, December 30, 2012

"Onyx" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Onyx (Lux, #2)
What can I say? I am in love with this series, and with Daemon. Duh!
Honestly, I like the Lux series more than the Covenant... Greek mythology somehow can't capture my attention all that much. But aliens??? Heck yeah!

So, in this installment, we get to see a lot more of the good side of Deamon. I mean, he has his jerk-o moments, and I love him for those too! But also, there are those sweet moments, when I just wanted to kiss him senseless. Or be kissed senseless, doesn't matter. Not really. LOL

Anyway, Onyx is the turning point of this series, I think. So many things happen, so many fates are changed, that the reader is about to explode! Even though I'd known what was to happen, sort of, I was totally surprised by HOW it happened and WHY. I was left with my mouth hanging open for more when I finished the last page, and gosh! I just couldn't handle to wait and got into Opal right away. Addictive much?


At first, I can't say I liked Katy much. I mean, she insisted she trusted Daemon, but did all the things he told her not to. Sure, she didn't want to be bossed around, but hello! It never occured to her that all those suspicious things she noticed, might be actually a warning she should heed! Grrr!!! Poor Daemon, and Dee, and even Ash and Andrew!

Blake was sort of a likeable character at first. But then he started doing tricks to Katy (which she totally ignored as legit signs that he wasn't totally honest) and I could hardly stand him! But dang! I don't think Blake was guilty of what happened. He was sort of pushed to the edge. I believe all the events fall on Katy. *sigh* Why is it always the girl who should bear the guilt on her shoulders is beyond me.

Well, in my opinion, Onyx couldn't be written any better. I enjoyed every bit of it. So... if you haven't yet read it, go do that now.

My rating is

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Because of Low" by Abbi Glines

Because of Low (Sea Breeze, #2)
I loved Breathe so much, that I just went on and started on Because of Low right away. Guess what? I finished it in less than a day! It was an amazing book! Loved it! And it reminded me so much of Beautiful Disaster that I went on and re-read that too. Weired, huh?

Anyway, I was stricken by Low's story. I mean... Marcus's story is pretty common... a cheating father leaves his family for a younger woman. But Low's story... geezh! What kind of person should you be to leave your own sister on the street with just a suitcase in hand?

I was impressed by Low. She was so utterly strong, even in her weakest, darkest moments. Even when her heart was breaking and she was barely living. She was just this pillar of inner strength. Of course, without Cage she might not have survived to be who she was in the first place, but hey, even a pillar needs a foundation, no?

So, this story was obvious to me from the middle on, but that didn't make me enjoy it any less. The only thing that I didn't like about it, was Marcus's bossy tone. He was constantly bossing Low around. "You won't sleep there." "You won't wear this." "You can't do that." Gee! Who on earth did he think he was? He was definitely not the sweet guy we met in Breathe. Here he's got his own character, his own personality, his own brutal life that makes him behave like a total butt. If I were Low, I'd definitely find a way to kick him somewhere where it would hurt. And then I'd kiss him senseless, but that's beyond the point.

In conclusion, I recommend you read this book, but keep in mind that it is not Young Adult. It's New Adult and has some scenes that I think are inappropriate for younger readers.

My rating is

"Breathe" by Abbi Glines

Breathe (Sea Breeze, #1)

Breathe was a very quick, interesting read. It got me breezing through the pages, following the story of teenage girl Sadie (who is the grown-up in the family) and Jax (who is a teen rock star). I loved the reality of the story, even though there were some parts that sounded way too fixed to be real.

The way Sadie and Jax's relationship developed was really nice, though at times Jax sounded so bossy I wanted to smack him in the face. And by the end of the book, the relationship between the two had gotten so much like an addiction, neither one could live without the other. I don't know if that's actually healthy, to tell you the truth. There must be passion and love and all that, but not being able to live without the other... seriously?

Yet, I loved how they told each other that they were one another's air. It was so romantic, it made me gag of all the sugar LOL

It's definitely a good story though. It's a story of growth and maturity (or pre-maturity in Sadie's case). It's a story of family problems and the fear to grow up (in Jessica, Sadie's mom's case). It's a story where everyone learns that life isn't easy if you shell up and try to live it by yourself. Friends and family are the people who make life interesting, who help in difficult situations, who will never give up on you no matter what.

I recommend the book to any reader age teen or above.

My rating is

"Covet" by Melissa Darnell

Covet (The Clann, #2)
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley.

Okay, so I thought that I wouldn't be able to understand whatever happened in the book because I haven't read the prequel. Well, I must say that the author made a pretty good (and sometimes even too much) of a reference to the first book, that I felt like I'd already read it. Still, there were lots of times when I felt like I was missing in on the development of the characters' relationship. I mean, I started off with them already being together and all, and I really love the whole process of the "getting together". In that aspect, I believe one should ALWAYS start a series from book one. Duh.

Anyways, I think that the book was okay on average. It couldn've definitely be shorter. There were large ranges of pages where nothing interesting happened. There was just a constant droning from the POV characters, and that got me irritated and bored. I was flipping through those pages pretty quick, only skimming to see if I had missed anything important. Which I had not.

The rest of it was good. Not I-can't-tear-my-eyes-off-the-page good, but still good enough to finish the book. I honestly wish that it was 250 pages instead of 400+, but hey, who am I to say how long a book should be?

Umm, the characters... I honestly believe that both Savannah and Tristan can be improved. Sometimes their dialogues sounded pretty lame and incoherent, or inconsequential. The way they spoke to each other and the rest of the characters didn't seem realistic for teenagers. I wasn't particularly impressed with either of them. Savannah's dad sounded like he had only lived in the past. Sure, he was a centuries old vamp, but hey, don't those creatures adapt to the present times? Won't they attract too much attention if they speak like they're from Shakespeare's age?

Perhaps I'm a bit biased because this is a vamp book and I'm not really into those. But even a non-fan can realize when a book is brilliant and when it's just average. In my opinion, Covet was a pretty average book.

My rating is

Friday, December 7, 2012

"The Lost Son" by Tamra Torero

The Lost Son
I received this book from Netgalley to review.

Wow! What a nice, quick and completely engulfing read!!! The Lost Son is a story about forgiveness, about growing up and second chances. And in the wake of Christmas, it's definitely a notable read.

There were times when I laughed heartily, and times when I felt sad, because the story just felt so extremely realistic. I need to say that the characters made this story what it was - unforgetable.

*Jacob - the main character, whose POV we're plunged into from the very first page. Let me tell you, I didn't like a single thing about him in that first chapter. I was even disgusted by his behavior. He acted like this super player, who could have any girl, at any time, with no consequences. Well guess what, Jake - things don't happen that way! So, when he got his butt kicked, I was very very happy. I mean, he seriously deserved it. And then that accident happened and he was sent out to help out Sam and gosh! Jacob changed! I mean, he really truly GREW UP! All that he was in those first pages, slowly melted away as he figured out how wrong he'd been to behave like that. How much he'd actually missed on real life and love and all the beauty around him. To be honest, I was in love with him by the final page, and he deserved it.

*Corrine - oh, man! She was the bad ass chick who could throw a killer punch. She earned my respect through and through. There was that moment when I thought she was being waaay too cool-hearted, but hey, I can't really blame her. After all she went through because of Jacob... well... she had the right to be even more so.

*Sam - well, what can I say? He was an amazing person. Sure, he'd had his share of mistakes and such, but the point is in asking for forgiveness and seeing the second chance when it's been given to you. He was very brave and had such a huge heart! I wanted to go and hug him myself.

In conclusion all I can say is that I loved this book, and I'm going to re-read it the first chance I get.

My rating for The Lost Son is

Thursday, November 22, 2012

"Hanging by a Thread" by Sophie Littlefield

Hanging by a Thread
NOTE: I received this title from Netgalley to review.

I just finished reading the book, and thought I should go ahead and write the review right away, while the story and characters are still fresh in my mind.

So, here's what I have to say: The story was original, as in I haven't read anything like it before. It was a unique concept, where the heroine had this special ability to read people's thoughts, memories etc. by simply touching their clothes. I thought that was pretty cool skill, though I confess it could turn cumbersome.

Anyway, I really liked the story, because it wasn't at all obvious. I mean, I had no idea what was going on until the very last moment. I also liked that it wasn't all that long, and it was a quick read.

What I didn't like was a couple of things:

1. This is a YA novel, and of course the topic of sex was not excluded. But the way it was written, like the main heroine (Clare) didn't at all care who her first time was with...... well, let me just say that I wouldn't want my daughter read such a book.

2. There were a bunch of times when the inner narration of Clare was so spontaneous and erratic, I had to wonder if certain scenes weren't just added to the book after it was finished. They sure sounded like patches stitched over a garment.

3. The closeness between Clare and Jack developed so fast, it seemed a bit overdone. I mean, there was time for their feelings to actually develop. Instead, they were just there for no reason.

Here's a bit about the characters:

*Clare is this sweet girl, who has a great talent with designing clothes. I honestly thing her style was weird, but hey, we all have our bugs. Sometimes she went way off topic in her head. Her reasoning sounded a bit naive at times, but I liked it that she didn't give up on figuring out the town's mystery.

*Jack, a.k.a. Mr. Bad Boy wasn't given time to actually develop as a character. Yeah, we see his angry side and his super sweet side, but umm.. it wasn't enough for me. I mean, Clare pretty much threw herself at him... but ... why?? Whatever reason did she have to do so? Yeah, he was cute and mysterious and all, but he was still a stranger.

*Rachel, Clare's best friend, was supposed to be this super responsible girl, that everyone loved and looked up to. But I didn't see anything responsible about her. She wasn't sweet, or reasonable. I mean, she got in lots of trouble for partying, and her membership in this very prestigious club depended on her good reputation, and still she didn't miss a party. She didn't miss getting drunk beyond any reason. I can say that I really didn't get to like her.

Anyway, I think that's all I have to say about this book. If you're curious about the story - go ahead and read it, I'm sure it won't disappoint. But if you're looking for a great book with extra complicated characters.. I'd recommend you go look somewhere else.

My rating is:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Soul's Gate" by James L. Rubart

Soul's Gate
NOTE: I received the book from Netgalley.

One word: POWERFUL!!!

Technically, Soul's Gate isn't considered a YA book. However, there's absolutely nothing adult in it, except the characters, so it's perfectly safe (and I even recommend it) for teens to read. It was a very very powerful book, that shattered me from the inside out and built me back again. It was INCREDIBLE!

In fact, let me share something with you - there were moments when my skin was crawling with goosebumps while I read. The power of the Spirit was so strong, it was dripping from each and every page. And when I finished the book, it felt like it had been I who'd gone on the journey inside a person's soul. I can't describe the feeling, but it was absolutely amazing! I'm sure going to reread it!

So, even though the author says the book was most of all about freedom, to me it felt like it was about trusting in the Lord beyond any reason. Trusting that He's always with us, always helping, always keeping us standing, no matter how difficult our situation is. True, freedom was among the main concepts, and I really did feel free after reading it.

Also, the entire novel spoke of how regrets, mistakes, hurt, people's words affect us as people; how even if we want to, the enemy never lets us forget that we'd sinned, that we still sin. But we must remember this: HE HAS FORGIVEN US. And that is enough. Amen.

If you want to delve into something so deep with the Spirit that you wouldn't want to get out of it, but jump even deeper, Soul's Gate is the book for you. It will bring you such a rush, you would never want to go back to real life.

My rating is:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"The Lost Prince" by Julie Kagawa

The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten, #1)

NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley and MiraINK in exchange for my honest review. Thanks!

The last book I read of the Iron Fey series, The Iron Knight, was a huge (and I can't stress enough how huge that is) a disappointment. Until that book I'd loved Ash and Puck and Meghan. The Iron Knight made me dislike them.

So, when I requested The Lost Prince, I was a little biased. I wondered whether it would be more like the first three books, or like the fourth one. Turns out it was different from both.

In fact, it was so different that I was pleasantly stunned! I totally loved Ethan's voice! His brooding, cranky behavior. His courage, his boldness, his reservation. He was just the perfect boy - not bad, but not all that good either.

In other words, The Lost Prince was just the right dose of thrill, romance and paranormality that I'd needed at the time. Hence my rating.

The story was pretty original, fey wise; the characters were lovable, and I can safely say that I enjoyed it very much.

Kenzie was my favorite character of the lot. She was so sweet and adorable. I sensed something was the matter with her, but only when she told her story did I realize exactly what it was. And yet she was brave about it, which made her enter my heart in deep.

So, whatever you thought of the previous Iron Fey books, whether you liked them or not, that shouldn't take a toll on you acquiring The Lost Prince. It was an amazing book! You should definitely read it!

My rating is

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"The Paladin Prophesy" by Mark Frost

The Paladin Prophecy (The Paladin Prophecy, #1)

NOTE: I received this book upon request from Netgalley.

I absolutely loved this book. While I was reading it, I felt the same excitement and anticipation I usually feel when reading Harry Potter, so that must say a lot. The story, I think, was unique and captivating, and the storytelling was done masterfully.

To be honest, I had a completely different notion on this book before I sat down to read it. For one, I thought it would be a high fantasy novel (paladin, duh!), and two, I believed it would be a story of magic. It was neither. Sure, it had paranormal elements, but nothing of the fantasy sort, and there was absolutely no magic.

But, there was a very high level of technology implementation, which I think totally rocked! The author's imagination is absolutely fantastic, and I will be definitely waiting to read the second installment of this series.

Also, there was this incredible list of rules mentioned throughout the novel, which the main character was supposed to follow. Those rules ranged from paranoid to hilarious and I totally loved them!

Now a bit about the characters.

*Will West, the main character (though I don't actually remember if he was telling the story or if it was a third person POV) was this super smart kid, who scored waaaaaaaay above the average on an IQ test. And he hadn't even tried. Unfortunately, that score drew the wrong (and also the right) kind of attention, and a bunch of men in black suits started following him with the clear intent to dispose of him. So Will had no other choice but to run. Except that he wasn't completely going to safety.
Through it all though, he remained unfazed, strong and brave. I really and truly loved him as much as I love Harry Potter.

*AJay was a tech wiz, who knew everything and could do anything with a bunch of wires and some micro chips.

*Nick was a dude with mad skills in any sort of martial arts one can think of.

*Elise was this amazing, even if brooding, girl with a brain and skills of her own. (Loved her, by the way)

*Brooke, for now, seems to be nothing special. But since Will has a thing for her, I suppose next book would reveal her skills. I sure do hope so.

In conclusion, the only thing I can say is that I fully recommend you read this book. You'll enjoy it, I promise.

My rating is

Sunday, October 28, 2012

"Duplicity" by Nikki Jefford

Duplicity (Spellbound #2)Thank you Nikki for letting me review Duplicity! It was a very nice continuation to Entangled, and I really enjoyed it!

The writing style was once again entertaining, making me want to read until the end of the book. And to yearn for more after I was finnished. I can honestly not wait for Enchantment, Book 3 to come out, so I could have a closure for Graylee and Charlene's story.

So what can I say? Duplicity took my beloved characters, Gray and Raj, on an entirely new level. They grew into their roles and became better people.

What surprised me was that Gray #2 was both similar and different from her other version, who now lives in Stacy Morehouse's body. I thought that they'd act and think the same, but no. It was like Gray #2 had stayed back in time, while Gray #1 had evolved into a new person. It was pretty awesome to read about them.

Raj made me want to punch him at one time, though to be honest, I totally understood him.

Oh well, I won't reveal anything else, if you're curious, read the book for yourself. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"All the Broken Pieces" by Cindy Madsen

All the Broken Pieces

NOTE: I received this eARC from Entangled Publishing.
OMG! OMG! OMG!!!!!!!!!!!! This book was so incredibly awesome!!!!! It took me several days to finish it only because I had a major exam to study for, otherwise I would've devoured it for one day!

All The Broken Pieces, in my opinion, is where Pushing The Limits meets One Moment. But it's also so much more! It's got a unique plot where most of the story revolves around this extremely humongous secret that just made me want to keep going so I could see if my theories would come out to be true. The rest of the story had all the romantic moments a teen girl would want to read about. Heck, it had all the cute stuff any girl/woman would want to read about.

So, I guess what I want to say is that the book was just perfect for my taste. I loved every bit of it: the plot, the world building, the characters, the writing style... it was so brilliant that I'm definitely putting it on my to-reread list.

Now about the characters, let me give my humble two cents.

*Olivia, a.k.a. Liv, is the lead female, who's mind consists of a plethora of jumbled up thoughts and feelings, none of which seem to be her own. She wakes up one day from a coma, unable to remember even her own name. Her parents are the only secure thing in her life- her rock and shelter. Until memories start to come back to her, and they aren't anything to be proud with. even so, Liv turns out to have this really awesome personality. She's a good friend, doesn't keep a grudge, loves with all her heart and doesn't care to conform to the popular group. I can say that she's my type of girl.

*Spencer starts off as a complete jerk. He doesn't care to talk to anyone, to think of anyone. And he has a pretty good reason for it. But when Liv steps into his line of sight, he's unable to hold his own. He's mesmerized and completely thrown out of his comfort zone. It's great that Liv turned out to be to building block he needed in order to re-enter life. Also, the fact that Spencer turned out to be the one person Liv could rely on was really adorable.

*Mr. and Mrs. Stein, Liv's parents were full of secrets, but they were also amazing as characters and parents.

*Keira was a friend everyone would love to have in high school.

So, in conclusion I can only say thanks to Entangled Publishing for letting me read this galley.

My rating is

Saturday, October 13, 2012

"Dash and Lily's Book of Dares" by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

NOTE: I received this title from Netgalley.

I'm a total sucker for contemporary YA books, where there's an original and interesting story line. Dash & Lily's book of dares was one such book, that impressed me very much.

I liked the writing style. It was easy to read and follow, and I felt like it pushed me to read on until I was at the last page. The story was engrossing and full of cheery suspense, making me curious to know what the next challenge in the book would be. I really really enjoy such dare games, though I've never participated in one myself. So this was a nice way to experience the adventure.

Enough about the story. Now the characters:

*Dash... mmm... well, what can I say about that sarcastic boy who seems to see the world through a black lens? He was dashing, real and he had suffered through a lot with his family. His witty cynicism was spectacular, although there were times when his attitude totally disappointed me. But of course, there were times when he surprised me with his hidden sweet demeanor. He was a complicated guy, and I honestly really love complicated guys. It's always fun to figure out their story.

*Lily was the embodiment of sweetness. She was just generally good, she'd never hurt a mosquito, she'd never insult anyone, she'd always help whoever however she could. But there was just one problem - her family was so overprotective of her, no boy was ever allowed in a mile radius of her. Thanks to her brother though, things changed. The book of dares was thought out and planted and voila! There was a hook for just the right boy.

All of Lily's relatives were sweethearts, except perhaps Mark. Aunt Ida was awesome in her support of Dash, and I totally loved her for it!

If you love a great contemporary romance, this is the book for you!

My rating is:

"Shift" by Kim Curran

NOTE: I received this book to review from NetGalley.

When I read the title of this book, I thought I'd be reading just another animal type of shifter story. Guess how surprised I was when it turned out that this wasn't the case at all. Which was good actually, since animal shifting can't really offer much of a unique plot lately.

Anyways, so Shift was the story of a underground society of kids who can literally change their choices in time. The plot was original and the story telling was intriguing. So much that I could hardly put the book down. I was engrossed to the very last page.

There were moments of humor and moments where I wanted to just scream, and both of these are certain traits of an awesome read.

Another thing I liked was that it seemed like this was a single volume book. So yay! No series! :)

Now let me say a bit about the characters, and how the many twists and turns made me love or hate them in different stages of the story.

*Scott was pretty much your average (or below average) kid. He had no idea that at the blink of an eye he could be someone totally different. Then he shifted and things changed and nothing was ever the same. Of course there was the thing of the main character being the most special somehow. I won't say how exactly, so you'd get curious and go buy the book :D

*Aubrey was a character who came out of nowhere in Scott's world and introduced him to the world where he actually belonged. She was obstinate and adventurous and brave. She was protective of her beliefs, and she had a head on her shoulders. That's the type of heroine I like and feel for.

*Benjo was the character I'd never forget, and if you read the book you'll know why. He was such a well developed person, even if he totally grossed me out.

There were a bunch of characters from the ARES (Shifter control) organization that had me fooled of their real personalities. Which makes the story and suspense really good.

So all I can say is this: I recommend the book to all YA readers, and then some. :)

My rating is:

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Conjure" by Lea Nolan

Conjure (The Hoodoo Apprentice, #1)
NOTE: I received this book for review from Entangled Publishing.

I hoped that Conjure would turn out to be a book I love, and I wasn't wrong. It was a very unique read that got me engulfed from the very first page and kept me going on and on until I reached the end. And now I just want MORE!!! Can't wait for the second book to come out!!! It was so engrossing, I finished it in barely two days!

I loved the story, not only because it was unique, but also because it wasn't at all connected to voo-doo of any sort. It had to do with healing, while having faith in the Lord. Now that was something that came to me very unexpected, but I liked it! I don't think I would've loved the story had it been about the voo-doo type of practices.

Anyways, the story revolved around a couple of ancient curses, a girl and two guys who got in the middle of it all, and an old Gullah Grannie (hoo-doo doctor) who had the knowledge and power to help. There are no love triangles here, and that was something I really liked. (I'm tired of the love triangle concept, to be honest. Can't there be just one girl to one guy attractions anymore????) I really liked how the plot developed and escalated until the very end when it turned into a sucking-your-attention hurricane of emotions. Loved it, loved it, LOVED IT!!!

But, there were a couple of times when the characters seemed to act a bit unnatural and unrealistic, and that's why I just can't give it all those stars.

So, that leads us to the characters themselves. In this story, they aren't too many. Just over half a dozen I think.

*Emmaline was the POV character. She was brave and ready to risk her own life and happiness for the better of the people she loved and cared about. She even became a hoo-doo apprentice, fought demon dogs and a bunch of other things so she could save her brother and best friend. I liked how Emma grew from just an ordinary girl to this very devoted young woman.

*Jack, Emma's brother was such a brat almost all the time, I honestly wanted to take a stick and beat him with it. He annoyed the wits out of me with his stupid bratty attitude. He behaved like he was some king or something, and everyone else had to do his bidding. SO ANNOYING!!!! And no, what happened to him cannot soften my opinion at all. He totally deserved it.

*Connor, Jack and Emma's best friend, and Emma's unrequited love, was a real sweetheart. Though sometimes he was just waaaaaay too goody two shoes. I mean, seriously, who hesitates to do whatever is necessary when their life and their friend's life is at stake? Well, this guy did. And yeah, sometimes he had a point, but at others his attitude just annoyed me. Guys are supposed to have less scruples in such situations, aren't they?

*Maggie... well I think I knew who she was from the very beginning. I just couldn't make up my mind whether she's one of the good guys, or one of the bad.

*Miss Delia was such a clever, open-hearted grannie, I couldn't just not love her. You know what I mean. She gave everything she was capable of to help Emma and the boys, even when things seemed a little too out of line.

Well, if you want to know more about this novel, you're gonna have to check it out yourself. :) I totally recommend it, and I believe you won't be disappointed.

My rating is:

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Blackwood"by Gwenda Bond


NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley.

Since I love historically themed books, this one really got to me. I liked it very much, especially since the subject of the Lost Colony interests me. And the mystery surrounding Miranda (the female POV character) and her curse was definitely a nice concept to read about.

The story was written nicely, following a plot that spiraled ever upward, toward the grand finale. I must say that the grand scene could've been a bit more impressive, but other than that, I don't think the story lacked anything. It wasn't extremely fast paced, but it wasn't slow either. The characters were realistic and made me turn the pages until the end.

*Miranda was the last Blackwood, who bore the curse placed on her ancestor long time ago, before the Lost Colony was lost. A curse that could root itself within her, and make her do things she'd usually abhor. She was a brave young woman, who took care of the house and her ever drunk father. She was also an outcast, hated by everybody because of a curse she didn't have any power over. If she could've, she would've left the Roanoke Island and never go back. But she couldn't. I liked Miranda, because she didn't back out of a difficult situation. She always wanted to help her friends(the very few she had), to find love and be accepted by society. In the end, I think after what went on, she'd get her happy ending.

*Phillips was the boy who ran away from Roanoke Island because he carried his own curse upon his shoulders. But when a mass disappearance of people occurs on the island, and he sees Miranda's face on TV, he knows he has no choice but to go back and help her. Because he felt she was in danger, and because the only one who could help was him. His gift/curse was the key to solving all the problems that the whole island went through. I liked Phillips because he didn't give up on Miranda even when she wasn't really herself, because he wanted to protect her even if it meant losing his life.

*John Dee was the villain, who came out at a later point. I was impressed by his powers, his ambitions, his love for his special arts. But what he had planned for Miranda was just gross.

In conclusion: I think Blackwood was a nice, easy flowing read with a historical mystery that could ensnare the willing reader. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in such topics.

 My rating is

"God can!" by Calvin Rychener

God Can!
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley.

I don't know how to begin this review. It's difficult when reviewing non-fiction. I guess, just start on it and see how it unfolds.

For starters, I didn't know (or I had forgotten) that I would be reading the stories of several people, how they were suffering, how they were led to the faith by the loving hand of God, and how He changed their lives forever.

I don't think I can like or not like those personal stories, since it's not my place to have any opinion on them. I can only have an opinion on the book as a whole, and I must say that I liked it. It was inspirational and touched my heart very deep. Some of the stories didn't really speak to me, but others got me close to tears. I was impressed, even though I know how much God loves us all, and how much He's always ready to help us in times of trouble.

I do wish I was in the States, so I could go visit the Northwoods Community Church and see for myself the people, and hear their stories from their own mouths. It would be amazing!

Thank you for allowing me to read this book, so it would saw one more seed of wonderment and faith into my heart!

My rating is

Saturday, September 22, 2012

"Spellbound" by Cara Lynn Shultz

Spellbound (Spellbound, #1)
NOTE: I received the ARC of this book from MIRA INK.

Where to begin, where to begin... The cover was very pretty, with these shiny glass-like particles suspended around.

But the story wasn't the best I've read so far. Umm, sad to say, it was rather in the middle of the rating scale, which is too bad because I had great expectations for it.

The writing style was good, though there were places (especially in the first half of the book) where I found it difficult to concentrate on the story. The story itself was well built, but it wasn't anything original. The soul mate concept was far too stretched, and I just couldn't find it believable or realistic. Sure, I believe in love at first sight, but this just felt sort of forced.

The paranormal element wasn't all that intriguing either. It was sort of pushed in the background, though it had the potential to play a major role. I think I would've enjoyed the story more, if the witchy part of it was expanded a bit more.

The characters... well, there wasn't anything special about them, to be honest. We have a girl and a boy, who fall head over heals for each other; we have the silent observers, and the antagonists. And nothing even remotely out of the norm.

Emma was the POV girl, lead female. She had experienced some drama back in the day, of which we're only told. She seems to have a hard time talking about her past, especially about her dead brother. I thought there'd be some terrible reason why that was, but I guess it wasn't important to mention. Also, Emma seemed more upset about the loss of her brother than that of her mom. It just seems a bit unrealistic to me. She's described as brave, because she defended her cousin in front of the whole school, but the way she did it was stupid. I mean, if you're a 5'5" tall girl, would you go messing with a guy who's like twice your size and could make you into a pavement stamp? Um.. no. To be honest, I didn't get the impression that the Emma was thinking much. She was rash and naive more than anything else.

Brendan was this super hot, super rich guy, who falls head over heals for Emma. He's very protective of her one moment, and very cold to her the next. He explained it as being confused. Whatever, I get it, guys are like that. But then, once he gains the courage to confess his feelings, well... the Brendan from the past is totally gone, and he only has eyes and ears for Emma. That's cool, which is why I liked the guy. But with all the weird things that surround the couple, you'd think he'd be more careful around her. Which is not the case.

Ashley was Emma's cousin. She was naive and unreasonable, and preferred not to listen to Emma's advice, which is why she got in trouble with the wrong guy.

Anthony, the antagonist, wasn't developed right, I think. I mean, his reasoning was sort of off. Sure, he was mean and a player, and a rich dude at that. But, I just couldn't feel all that disgusted with him. I was rather neutral, and that's not something I want to feel toward the 'bad' guy.

I don't think there were other prominent characters worth mentioning. I'm just really sorry that this book didn't get to me. I wish I had enjoyed it.

Still though, I believe that there will be at least 70% of the readers who will find it an enjoyable read.

My rating is

"Eve and Adam" by Katherine Applegate

Eve and Adam NOTE: I received this title to review from Netgalley.

I'll start with saying that I'd been wondering why the second E and the D in the title were backwards. While I seem to have figured out the E (the girl hated being called Eve), I have no idea what's the reason behind the D. So if anyone has figured it out, or has any suggestions, please share them!

Now, let's talk about the book itself. I can say that I liked the story. It wasn't the best story, and it was a bit too slow paced for me, but it was unique, and I stand by my rating. The world building was nice, including various elements of description of the lab quarters, the equipment, the change in scenery etc.

The characters were a bit undeveloped I think, but it seems like they will be worked on in the next book. Here are my thoughts on them:

Evening, a.k.a E.V. was clueless that she wasn't just like everyone else. I'm not saying what was different about her, but if she was really the smart person she was described to be, well... she should've noticed something wasn't quite right with her. She also seemed to take things, no matter what things, quite calmly. I belive, if I were in her situation, I'd be more or less freaked out by the impossibilities that somehow turned out to be quite real. She however, was calm and cool about it all. What I liked about her though was that she wasn't selfish, or engulfed in self-importance. She was rather earthly and nice, and ready to help her friends no matter what the price.

Solo was a guy E.V. met at her mom's biochemical compound. He was distant at first, but curious of her. And he was on his own secret mission. Which is why he'd figured out routes of escape, as well as a way to control and operate the video security system. Solo was smart, but there was just one problem with him - he held too much hatred in him, which seemed to be unfounded.

Aislinn was E.V.'s BFF, who was always in trouble because of messing with the wrong guys. Still though, she was a good friend, and sometimes she did show to have brains in that thick head of hers.

Adam was the one character that surprised me the most. I honestly didn't expect his appearance, though if now I think about it, it was quite obvious. I'm glad he turned out to be rather imperfect, because I'm seriously tired of perfect males who have no flaws.

I would definitely recommend this book if you're into romance and some biochem experiments. I sure enjoyed it!

My rating is

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"Entangled" by Nikki Jefford

Entangled (Spellbound #1) NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley to review.

Boy, am I glad I requested this book from Netgalley!!! It was simply ah-mazing! I couldn't stop reading, and even dreamed of it in my sleep!!! I can't believe I liked it so much, but then again, great books do stick around for a while. And this one was certainly a great book.

The story was about two sisters, twins in fact, who are so unlike each other, there's no room for comparison. And they're also witches. But while Graylee (Gray) is open and helpful and just good, Charlene is her total opposite. Too many things happen between the sisters, that they can't really trust, or love each other in the end. That part of the story is actually sad, because I hate it when siblings don't appreciate each other and instead stab each other in the back. It's just awful.

Anyway, the language was pretty clean, which I really liked. The world development was realistic and written so that the reader could feel like they lived in Gray and Charlene's world too. Like I said - pretty good.

So, the characters:

*Gray - well, you just couldn't not love her. She was strong, smart and a real fighter. She used to be a gifted witch, but then bam! it all went away. Later on she figured out why, but what's more important is that she was mostly okay with being powerless. What I mean is that she didn't whine all the time, or feel so jealous of the other witches that she became bad natured. No. That wasn't Gray. She was good hearted, and sweet. She was into helping people. It just so happened that life didn't pour much luck on her.

*Charlene was the mean sister. She really was. Like umm... satan's incarnate or something. She was truly evil, murder filling her heart. She didn't care whom she might hurt, as long as the world revolved around her. It was pathetic, to be honest. Like, she seeked the thrill of attention, just because she couldn't really love herself. It's sad, really. But I don't pity her. I actually really dislike her. What she did... well... it wasn't something you'd forgive easily.

*Raj was the bad guy. And just like any bad guy out there, he had a good heart. And his feelings for Gray might've been what helped her survive. I loved the guy, because he was honest and open and just REAL. He didn't hide what he felt, what he thought. Still, he had his own secrets. Who doesn't, really?

*Nolan......... boy I wasn't all that surprised that he turned out to be such a jerk. I mean, I sort of expected it. Not in the way it happened, but well... jerks are jerks I guess.

If you want to know what I'm talking about, you'd better buy the book and read it. You'd be missing on a great story if you don't.

My rating is

"Speechless" by Hannah Harrington

SpeechlessNOTE: I received this book to review from Netgalley.

I'm glad to say that my expectations of this book were actually surpassed. To be honest, I had forgotten what the book was supposed to be about. And so I plunged in the story, expecting something paranormal. But it came out to be a contemporary YA! Which, by the way, I was totally in the mood for.

And so it goes. I loved this book. Perhaps the only things I didn't like about it, was the use of cuss words now and then. But, I guess I could overlook that, since the story was pretty good.

The storyline was unique - a teenage gossip girl, who messes up big time (no news there!)decides to take a vow of silence. I've never read such a story, so it totally grabbed me, and I read the book in just one standing. That's how amazingly good it was.

Also, this was one of the books that didn't 'kill' the parents, or have them be absent all the time. Chelsea's parents were actually there, and cared.

So, the characters:
*Chelsea - the girl with the big mouth - was the biggest gossip in the school. So much that she could never ever keep her mouth, eyes, ears and so on shut. Not for even a second. It's what got her in trouble in the first place. But I'm glad that all that stuff happened, because the little girl was sort of forced to grow up in a matter of days. Chelsea had to figure out her mistake, had to realize that her big mouth could (and has) ruin people's lives, and to decide not to use it for gossip anymore. That took courage, determination and bravery, and I can very well say that I came to admire the girl. There were times when the urge to forsake her vow were too great, but she held on, knowing that beeing speechless was sort of a blessing in her case. In other words, she developed. She grew and matured, and I loved how well she turned out.

*Kristen - the 'best' friend, who was actually nothing but a nasty mean girl. She was never a good friend, and she never had real friends. I sort of felt bad for her, because really - even though she was popular, she was actually pathetic. Plunging a knife in your supposed best friend's back is very nasty. I'm glad that Chelsea matured enough to realize that there was no use (need) to stab Kristen back.

*Sam was the sweetest guy. Suspicious at first, he had no clue what Chelsea could be up to with her vow. He didn't take her seriously, and why should he? Her reputation spoke for her. But the more time and interraction passed between them, the more he realized that the girl the whole school hated, wasn't really that bad. She had feelings, she had thoughts, dreams and desires. And she was a mess herself as well. I'm very glad that Sam was there for Chelsea when she needed him. He didn't push her to speak before she was ready. He was that sweet.

*I also liked Andy, who seemed like a pretty hard-core guy at first, but then his exterior shell sort of cracked and his true character shined. He was forgiving and sweet, and I had fun reading about him.

In conclusion I can only say: READ this book, people! You won't regret it!!!

My rating is:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

"The Burning Star" by Jessie Lane

The Burning Star (Star Series #1)
Let me start off by saying that I began reading the uncorrected version and kept with it until about 33% of the story. I was very disappointed by the many misspellings, word misuse, lack of punctuation and a whole lot of other editing problems.

So then I thought that I'd upload me the newer (proofed) version. I honestly couldn't see any difference, except that the chapters now bore the POV name. If that could be counted as improvement, okay, but it isn't such in my book.

Still though, I think that this story is unique in a way that in my experience so far the worlds of the werewolves and fae hadn't been mixed in together. And also, I sort of liked the plot, it definitely kept me going. But, there was a huge problem with almost all the characters. They sounded completely unrealistic, their dialogue was way overdone, and I found myself rolling my eyes most of the time. There was also the problem of the development... it was slow. Very slow.

Yet, the book has potential, and I'm sure of this because by the end of it I found myself wanting more. I seriously got intrigued, and I think I'd be asking for the next installment's review copy. The main reason for that is the one character who completely got to me. And what's weird is that her chapters were fairly clean of errors. I mean, seriously! You'd be surprised how well developed that person and her chapters are!

I also noticed inconsistencies throughout the chapters. Let me account for several:
1) The monster that Kay meets is first a dog, then a mountain lion. So which one is it really?
2) On the night Kay sees the wolves outside her window, she says it's pitch black, but then she notices that one of the wolves has brilliant emerald green eyes? How did she do it?
3) While at Nick's house, Kay's taken to a room full with lit candles. But then we're told that the room is pitch black and she can't see anything in it? Umm...

Another problem that I noticed, and it sort of interrupted the flow of the story, is that in almost every sentence of the dialogue, the characters talk to each other using their names. Even if in a particular scene there are just two people, they still refer to each other by name. Like "Okay Nick. I believe you're right." and he responds then "I told you so Kay." and then "Yeah, I know you did Nick, but still. Oh, and by the way Nick..." blah blah. You see what I mean? And that's in every scene, and it's done by each of the characters. It's very irritating.

Anyway, so here are my thoughts on the main characters:

*Kay - firstly, I don't think that name suits the girl at all. I mean, if she were just an ordinary girl, sure it would do. But try saying out loud Princess Kay... sounds too simple, too short, don't you think? I believe that Kayla would've been a much better choice. Princess Kayla... has a special ring to it. Anyways, what I have to say about her is that she's supposed to be stubborn, but to me she felt as a silly girl. Her reasoning was off, and her behavior was irrational. And let's add unrealistic to the list since we're here anyway. When she has to trust a person, she doesn't, and when it's obvious that she's been set up.. well she believes the lies. She didn't strike me as brave or clever. I'd rather say she was shallow and unsculpted, but her race's survival is supposed to depend on her...

*Ryan - the Summer Court prince, was just as unrealistic both in action and dialogue. He was described as this gorgeous guy, and smart and stuff, but all he shows is some recklessness and a ton of jealousy towards a girl he'd just met.

*Nick - he's a werewolf who, oddly, has also fallen for Kay. Whatever those boys saw in her is beyond me, truly. Anyways, he's perfectly aware that he can't have anything romantic to do with a fae princess, and he's still trying. Seriously? How dumbstruck must he be not to just give up and try his chances elsewhere?

*Kira - now that's a girl. Kira's the one character that had me turning the pages. She was realistic, she was brave, she had guts. She had no clue who or what she was, being raised by a brutal idiot, but she still found in herself the strength to go on. To plan a revenge even. I loved that girl, for who she was. I didn't pity her - I loved her. I'm glad that there was a person just for her.

I'm going to close the review here. But before I do that, I'd like to say that I do recommend this book, but you should read it after it's properly edited.

My rating is

Friday, September 14, 2012

"The Demon Catchers of Milan" by Kat Beyer

The Demon Catchers of Milan
NOTE: I received this book from Netgalley to review.

Let me say first, that I loved the book cover and that it was what made me request the book in the first place. I'm happy to say I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I can't wait for book 2 to come out. If there is going to be book 2, that is.

So, the story was pretty unique, in my opinion. I haven't read anything like it, so the concept was pretty fresh, and I liked that. It wasn't one of those typical paranormal novels where everything revolves around some love triangle with an indecisive girl and a couple of boys that surround her and fight for her attention. It was a book where there was spiritual action, and a rather slight note of romance. The story line revolved around a demon possession, a family of demon hunters, and a girl who grew out of her shell in a country far from home.

The characters were described realistically, and I felt like I was living with them every step of the way. Not many books do that, so I can honestly say that this one deserved my rating.

*Mia was an ordinary girl, living in the US, who didn't care at all about her Italian heritage. Until a demon possessed her body and wrecked havoc in her family. She was timid, she though low of herself, and she believed that she wasn't all that loved. But when her Italian relatives came to exorcise the demon and then take her with them back to Milan, things change. The timid girl began to grow into a secure person, who not only wanted to learn how to fight that demon, but she wanted revenge. Because that particular demon, had a history with her family.

*Emilio was Mia's second cousin, who was also an exorcist. He's one of those gorgeous guys, that a girl can only dream for. Too bad he's related to Mia. He taught her some history and other things connected to the family business. I liked him.

*Nonno and Nonna - Emilio's grandparents were extremely nice, though Nonno had his weird moments, when he got angry or secretive. I loved them though.

The rest of Mia's Italian relatives were also great in character, and even though one of the cousins, Anna Maria, was much too selfish at times, she wasn't too bad either.

I recommend the book to readers who like the spiritual battles, exorcism stories and such.

My rating is:

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Pure" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Oh, wow! If you guys had been following my reviews, you know that I just read Half-Blood last week. And what do you know, I loved it. Which is why I got Pure next and finished it in two days. And it was absolutely fabulous.

Jennifer's story telling has definitely improved even more and I found myself in Alex's world as if it were mine. That happens rarely, so it's definitely important to me. I loved the structure and development of each scene, the way they grew in intensity and left me longing for more.

And the characters got even more interesting here.

Alex actually grew in this book. She understood how reckless she'd been and how her decisions affect everyone around her. It was about time she matured, especially since she is to carry the responsibilities of the Appolyon on her shoulders when she turns eighteen. One thing I didn't like about her was her stubbornness when Aiden was concerned. She saw what happened with those pures and halfs who ignored the Breed Order, and she still would keep hope. Sure, love doesn't just go away, but when it could kill the person you love... Well... You sort of reconsider. Otherwise you'd just declare yourself to be brutally selfish.

Aiden on the other hand had his wits about. Sure, in Alex's presence he sort of lost control, but at least he was able to regain it and not claim anyone's attention.

Seth was my favorite in this book as well. Well, I didn't like his player attitude and all that, but I feel like he can really grow to care for Alex, not only as the other Appolyon, but as a whole. He totally earned points in my book.

The one person I'd miss the most though !!!!!!!!!!! and this is a spoiler, so don't read on if you haven't read the book yet!!!!!!!!!! is Caleb. He was Alex's one true friend, and she lost him in the stupidest way possible. And yeah, I sort of blame her for it. I mean, if she hadn't been so obsessed with herself and Aiden, and if she actually put some thought before she acted, then surely she would've realized how extremely irresponsible she'd been.

And I fear I'd miss Grandma Pipery as well.

Anyways, Pure was a really good book and I totally recommend it.

My rating is

"Perfectly Unique" by Annie Downs

Note: I received this book to review from Netgalley.

At first I thought that this will be just the next instruction book, but i was pleasantly surprised to find out it wasn't so.  There wasn't a list of do's and don'ts, where the only thing you seem to be allowed to do is pray. No, I'm not saying not to do that. Of course praying is important, it's just not all there is.

Chapter after chapter, the author introduces us to both real pieces of her life and the importance of each and every part of our body. From our mind and heart, through our eyes and mouth, Annie talks about the wonderful way God has made us, the many ways we do wrong with His work and the even more ways we can glorify Him through each part of our body.

Truth is, I agree with all the things she said. Of course, I'm not proud of myself for not using some of my body parts right. Like, sometimes I gossip. I'm not proud of it, but I do. And sometimes I fail to listen properly or see what's rightg in front of my eyes. Like, people's needs and hurts, and how you can help.

This book helped me personally to realize that there are aspects of life where I need serious improvement. For that I can only say THANK YOU ANNIE.

Friday, September 7, 2012

"Sweet Evil" by Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)

Let me start with this: I ABSOLUTELY LOVED this book. I can't not give it 5 stars. It just totally won me over. And I couldn't put it down, finished it in one sitting :))

Okay, enough ranting, let me tell you what was so superb about it.

First, there was the story itself. It was unique, it was daring, and it was light at the same time. I haven't read anything quite like it, and I really appreciated that. It's difficult to write a unique story nowadays, what with all the thousands of different novels that pop up on the market..

Second, the story telling was enchanting. It make me love the book from the first page till the very last one. I can say that I breathed Sweet Evil from cover to cover. And what was more important was that I was with the characters every step of the way, feeling what they felt, seeing what they saw.

And last, but definitely not least: the characters.

*Anna was the lead girl, whose POV we read the entire time. She's sweet, and naturally good, even though she's the descendant of a demon. Her better half seems to have the advantage in her, which is why she's such a goody-two-shoes. I know some people feel irritated by her character, but I can say that I honestly loved her. She was very much like me in personality, and that pulled me real close to her.

*Kaiden, a.k.a. lover boy. Literally. He was the guy that every girl swooned after. Even Anna. The playboy, the lust-god, or demon. Or son of the lust demon. Anyway, he was cute the way he was in denial most of the time. But of course, I could easily see through his defenses. I was really impressed when he denied his nature for Anna. It was cute.

*Patti, Anna's adoptive mother was loving and caring and I really liked her. She was always there for Anna, even when Anna wasn't all that truthful.

*Kopano was my favorite guy here. He wasn't in the spotlight, he wasn't a girl magnet, and he definitely wasn't a playboy. He was cute and very outward, and outright delicious. He had a steady, open personality and I think I could see him beside Anna. Too bad she's got someone else on her heart. *sigh*

In conclusion, if you're into angel/demon stories, this one should definitely be on the top of your list! It was ah-mazing!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Half-Blood" by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)

Here's a book I'd wanted to read for a while, but never got the chance to get to. Now that my friend Kay gave me a copy for my birthday, I'd made sure to go ahead and plunge in the Covenant Series adventure.

And boy, I don't regret it at all!

I loved the story, the narrative, the romance, and the characters. I can say that there wasn't even one thing lacking.

The concept of the Greek gods and their plethora of offspring was interesting. The forbidden connection/relationship between pure bloods and half bloods was something that made me read on, just so I could see if the characters would find a way to overcome it. Naturally, it wasn't done in this installment, so I'll be definitely going on to the next one!

The story telling was nice and flowing. There weren't any irritating repetitions or comments that didn't make sense. Except for the words of the Oracle, but I believe no one could figure those out the first time around. At least Kay has led me to believe so.

And the characters were all pretty realistic.
*Alexandria(Alex) started out as someone who sounded like she had a huge attitudinal problem. But as the story developed, all her snarky comments and her behavior in general started to make sense. After all, she had been pulled out of the world where she belonged, was given no reason for it, and was expected to behave like a mortal when she was nothing like one. The confidence she had in herself was admirable, though in some moments it bordered on stupidity. But hey, who am I to blame her! In her circumstances, she did what she could to cope with the reality. I can only give her a high five for it!

*Aiden, a pure blood who'd decided to become a Sentinel (almost entirely a half-blood position) was the sweet good guy, who got all the ovations. I did like him, though hit was a bit unclear to me when or how his feelings for Alex developed. At any rate, he was protective and caring, and very brave. He defended and protected Alex in those moments when she needed him the most. I just wish he wasn't a pure blood, so they could be together.

*Seth was someone I'd love to read more about. And I totally mean that! I can't say he's better or cooler than Aiden, but I can say that I liked his character. He was honest and good-natured and I really really liked how he developed. Perhaps there will be a love triangle in the following installment? Dunno, but I'd love to see some more of his pretty blond hair, and that unnaturally good-looking face :)

*Caleb was the friend every girl would kill to have. He was always there for Alex, sharing her anger and sorrow; her pain and happiness. I know he'd give his life for her if necessary. I hope it never is necessary though.

*Marcus, Alex's uncle, tried to appear pretty hard core. But I know that inside that heart of his, he's not so bad. I believe Alex could make that coldness disappear, should she wish to do so.

*Lucian, Alex's step father was pretty irritating. He's got to be hiding something important, like his grand scheme to overthrow the gods or something.

Umm, I think I should shut up now. I can only say that I loved the book, and would recommend it to anyone who loves paranormal YA stories. It's totally worth the time!