Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

This book wasn't what I was expecting--in a good way. I figured it would be a good book since it came highly recommended, but it was just...different...than I thought it would be. It was funny, which is what I wasn't really expecting. I was kind of expecting a doom and gloom, paranormal-world-coming-to-an-end type storyline. But it actually had quite a bit of humor. I loved this "bleep" book. (Read it, and you'll get this.)

Evie was-in a word- sassy. I thought she was a great character. She was funny and lovable and real. I loved how naive she was. Maybe that's a bad way of putting it, but she nearly died of excitement over a locker. Sheltered may be a better word. Evie spent her entire life locked inside "the Center", leaving only to do "bag-and-tag" jobs. She's had a full time job since the age of eight. I can kind of see how something as boringly ordinary as high school would be exciting for her. It was normal. And trust me-- "normal" is not synonymous with "Evie". I can't wait until the next book, Supernaturally, comes out in July to find out what'll happen with Evie next.

There were a plethora of great characters in this book, including (but not limited to):
  • Raquel--who had good intentions, even if they didn't pan out quite right
  • Lend, the shape-shifting hottie. Hey-I can describe him in a word too! Yum.
  • Alisha, the monotone mermaid (Bleep!)
  • Cresseda, who is made of water. No, really.
  • Reth, the creepy-hot fairie extraordinaire (Did I mention hot? Male fairie=hot. Maybe.)
Among many others.

This was such a fun read and I'm so glad it was recommended to me.
Now I'm telling you-- READ THIS!
And have a good time doing it.

Happy Reading!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut....

Sometimes I am a nut!

The latter of which is the case today.

I was really hoping to get a review up today, but I just couldn't hold my eyes open long enough last night to read the last tiny bit of my book. Bummer. I guess it'll have to wait until Tuesday. (Maybe Monday if I'm feeling really ambitious!)

Hope you all have a great LLLLOOOOONNNNNGGGG weekend. I am going to sit around and do absolutely nothing. Aahhhh...my favorite kind of holiday.

Hope you all get loads of time to sit on your behinds and do a little (or a lot) of reading too! Until next week....

Happy (Safe) Reading!
Because who knows?? You could be reading in a car, or on the edge of the Grand Canyon, or something...
It could happen.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heist Society by Ally Carter

When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own—scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster's art collection has been stolen, and he wants it returned. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat’s father isn’t just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat’s dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it’s a spectacularly impossible job? She’s got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in her family’s (very crooked) history—and, with any luck, steal her life back along the way.

Have I ever told you that I've always secretly wanted to be a master thief? Not really, obviously, but in my head, I'm the mastermind of hundreds of heists. These kinds of books make me consider joining the 'family business"--you know, figuratively speaking. 

I really liked this book. I love the idea of a group of teenagers robbing the biggest art museum in the world....and that it was all set up by two sixteen-year-olds. I loved Kat and Hale. I wish there was more of them in the book though. Let me tell you, if you were looking for a romance, you came to the wrong book. It's all about tricks of the trade, slight of hand, get-in-get-out-and-disappear type thievery. When you're trying to pull off the biggest heist in history, it kind of limits your love life.

However, the next book in the series, Uncommon Criminals is due out June 21, 2011 (yes, that's only a few short weeks) and I have a feeling that things are going to heat up with Kat and Hale. She might even bat her eyes at him....   Only time will tell.

I have to say that this is a book you don't want to pass up. I'm so excited to read what's going to happen next that I think I'll pop on over to Amazon and preorder the next book right now! So until next time...

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trance by Linda Gerber

Ashlyn Greenfield has always known when bad things are going to happen. Each time that familiar tingling at the back of her neck begins, she knows what's to come a trance. She's pulled in, blindsided, an unwilling witness to a horrible upcoming event. But she's never been able to stop it not even when the vision was of her mother's fatal car accident. When soulful Jake enters Ashlyn's life, she begins having trances about another car accident. And as her trances escalate, one thing becomes clear; it's up to her to save Jake from near-certain death.

A big thanks to Amanda for telling me about this book! I had never heard of it before, and I'm so glad she told me to read it. It was a quick read, but it seemed like it took most of the book to get the story going. By the time it ended though, I was wishing for a second book.

I thought the story was quite different than anything I've read in a while. Ashlyn and her sister "share" visions. Ashlyn gets some bits of it, and Kyra gets others. They have to try to piece the premonition together before it's too late to stop it. They have never succeeded. After their mother's fatal car accident, Kyra moved away from home and the trances stopped. When Ashlyn started having visions again, she tried putting the pieces together but couldn't without Kyra's help. So began the race to find Kyra. It took most of the book to get to this point, but like I said, it was still a fast read.

Now, let's not forget about Jake. I don't know what it is, but there is something so sexy about a guy that plays piano. I love when I read a book and discover some hot-sounding guy made infinitely hotter by musical ability. Example: Jace from The Mortal Instruments series, Edward from the Twilight series.... Really any kind of unexpected ability is hot-- Like Peeta with his mad cake decorating skills and his painting...I digress.

I really liked Jake though. I thought he was a well-written character. He seemed like someone I'd want to meet, which is really the true test of a great character for me.

I liked this book quite a lot. I thought it had just enough intrigue to suck me into the story and hold me there. I thought the twists were well thought out and executed. (Everybody knows a poorly thought out twist can ruin a potentially fantastic book-- Hello? Anyone remember them talking out thier problems in Breaking Dawn? Lame.)

Anyway, add this to your To-Be-Read pile. I'd recommend getting it from the library first and seeing what you think, but it is definitely worth purchasing if, and only if, there is a sequel on the way.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sometimes It Happens by Lauren Barnholdt

Release Date: July 12, 2011
On the last day of her junior year, Hannah's boyfriend Sebastian dumped her. Facing a summer of loneliness, Hannah turns to her best friend Ava for comfort. Ava does what BFFs do: she stays by Hannah's side...until it's time for Ava to head up to Maine for the summer. Also left behind is Ava's boyfriend, Noah, who's such a great guy he gets Hannah a job at the diner he waits tables at. Slowly, Hannah comes out of her funk thanks to Noah's good conversation and their fun times at the diner. But things get complicated when their friendship turns into attraction--and one night, into a passionate kiss.

The novel opens on the first day of senior year; the day Hannah is going to see Ava, Sebastian, and Noah all in one place. Over the course of the day secrets and betrayals are revealed, and alliances are broken and reformed. In the end, everyone is paired up once again, but not the way you might think...

I read this book in one day. I seriously couldn't tear myself away from it. I loved Hannah. She was endearing and relatable and real. I loved Noah, too. He was so sweet and down to earth--just an all around really great guy. I hated Ava and Sebastian. Can you tell who I was rooting for??? It might be a little obvious.
I liked the setup of this book quite a lot, actually. It goes back and forth between the first day of Hannah's senior year and the events of the summer. I think that style was part of the reason I couldn't put it down. I knew what had happened, and I was dying to know when and how things progressed with Hannah and Noah from friendship to something more.

This book had quite a bit of language in it, but it really didn't bother me much until the end. I think the last page was a see-how-many-times-we-can-fit-the-f-word-on-this-page...page. Swearing is just called for sometimes. Most times it's not though. Unless you just dropped a knife and cut off your big toe, I'm pretty sure it's not necessary. I still really liked the book though. I would definitely recommend it if you aren't an "earmuff" kind of person.

This book doesn't come out until July, but you can pre-order it from Amazon! Then you don't have to remember it in July. The book will just show up in a pretty little box on your front step. You don't even have to get out of your jammies to go to the store to buy it. IN FACT, you don't even have to do any searching for it. You can just CLICK HERE. Plus, you may not even remember your ordered it by July so when it shows up, you'll get all warm and fuzzy on the inside and your heart will smile. It's like an un-birthday surprise! ANY-way.... I'm taking the weekend off--It's my hubby's birthday today (Happy 29th sweets!), we have a wedding rehearsal dinner tonight for my cousin and her wedding is tomorrow. Then, said hubby is running a marathon on Saturday. All that=no time for blogging the rest of the week. Hope you have a good one!

**I received this egalley from the publisher for the purpose of review.

Happy Reading!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Before he knew about the Roses, 16-year-old Jack lived an unremarkable life in the small Ohio town of Trinity. Only the medicine he has to take daily and the thick scar above his heart set him apart from the other high-schoolers. Then one day Jack skips his medicine. Suddenly, he is stronger, fiercer, and more confident than ever before. And it feels great—until he loses control of his own strength and nearly kills another player during soccer team tryouts.
Soon, Jack learns the startling truth about himself: He is Weirlind; part of an underground society of magical people who live among us. At the head of this magical society sit the feuding houses of the Red Rose and the White Rose, whose power is determined by playing The Game—a magical tournament in which each house sponsors a warrior to fight to the death. The winning house rules the Weir.
As if his bizarre magical heritage isn’t enough, Jack finds out that he’s not just another member of Weirlind—he’s one of the last of the warriors—at a time when both houses are scouting for a player.

The Warrior Heir was Cinda Williams Chima's debut novel. You all should know by now that I absolutely love her Seven Realms series. So how did this one measure up?

I started this book on April 29th and just finished it last night. That might be a record for me. It was S.L.O.W. I love Chima's writing style--I think she's brilliant--but this book was really hard for me to get into. I loved the storyline, but some parts of the book were a bit too...wordy. It wasn't until the last 100 pages that I really got into it and loved it. And then it ended. Go figure, right?  

I liked Jack very much. He was more mature and more fierce than any sixteen-year-old I've ever met. He did everything he thought he had to do to protect the people he loved. I liked that about him. I liked Ellen, and I wish I would have seen more of her in the book, learned more about her. I loved Will though. I think he stole the show a little bit for me. It's always a great thing to have some muscle on your side when people are trying to kill you and your friends. I loved that he was so loyal to Jack and tried to help him in any way he could. And he didn't freak out too much when tons of weird crap started happening. You have to give him props for that. :)

I would recommend this book. It was really a good story--just be prepared to commit a week or longer to reading it. There are two more books in this series--The Wizard Heir and The Dragon Heir. If this is anything like her current series, they'll just keep getting better and better.

Now that I finally can tuck this away, I have quite a few books that I can't wait to get to next! Keep stopping by-summer is the best time to read!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

Alona Dare–Senior in high school, co-captain of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen three years in a row, voted most likely to marry a movie star… and newly dead.
I’m the girl you hated in high school. Is it my fault I was born with it all-good looks, silky blond hair, a hot bod, and a keen sense of what everyone else should not be wearing? But my life isn’t perfect, especially since I died. Run over by a bus of band geeks—is there anything more humiliating? As it turns out, yes—watching your boyfriend and friends move on with life, only days after your funeral. And you wouldn’t believe what they’re saying about me now that they think I can’t hear them. To top it off, I’m starting to disappear, flickering in and out of existence. I don’t know where I go when I’m gone, but it’s not good. Where is that freaking white light already?

Will Killian–Senior in high school, outcast, dubbed “Will Kill” by the popular crowd for the unearthly aura around him, voted most likely to rob a bank…and a ghost-talker.
I can see, hear, and touch the dead. Unfortunately, they can also see, hear and touch me. Yeah, because surviving high school isn’t hard enough already. I’ve done my best to hide my “gift.” After all, my dad, who shared my ability, killed himself because of it when I was fifteen. But lately, pretending to be normal has gotten a lot harder. A new ghost—an anonymous, seething cloud of negative energy with the capacity to throw me around—is pursuing me with a vengeance. My mom, who knows nothing about what I can do, is worrying about the increase in odd incidents, my shrink is tossing around terms like “temporary confinement for psychiatric evaluation,” and my principal, who thinks I’m a disruption and a faker, is searching for every way possible to get rid of me. How many weeks until graduation?
Like I said in my last post, I've had a lot of time get some reading done the past couple of days. Sickness tends to do that. Anyway, I've been reading a book for about a week and a half now, struggling to get through it. It's one of those good but SLOW books. In the meantime I've been trying to break it up with some other "lighter" reading. This was one of those books.
Not that the story was light. It had it's moments of "ha ha funny", but mostly the story was kind of sad. I liked this book more than I thought I would but I also liked it for different reasons than I thought I would. When I read the book description, it seemed like it would be a quick and easy "fluff" read. You know-- dead girl falls for troubled guy that sees dead people. And not in some creepy Haley Joel Osment way. (See The Sixth Sense if you don't know what I'm talking about.) 
This story was a lot deeper and more troubled than I expected. Yes, Alona was mostly shallow just like you'd expect. But she had a really sad backstory. Her and Will had a lot in common that way. I kept trying to decide where the story was going to go. When you fall for someone who is dead, it can only end badly. Right? I just couldn't see how it could be a decent ending. I was actually surprising pleased. Enough so that I think I will check out the next book Queen of the Dead that just happens to come out the end of this month (May 31, 2011).
You may want to check it out too. But beware, this book has quite a bit of foul language. By quite a bit, I mean 3 f-bombs which bothered me, and a number of other swear words. Sometimes it was distracting to me and pretty much unnecessary, but overall the story was interesting enough to keep me reading, despite the language. Use your own judgement on this one.
Happy Reading!

I've decided....

....that there is an upside to having a contagious illness. I can "pass the torch" to my husband and he can play Mr. Mom for awhile. He can take care of the kids, clean the house, cook meals, etc. All the while, I can hole up in my bedroom in my ratty old sweats and not lift a finger to do anything....except turn the page on whatever book I'm reading.

See? Silver lining.

Happy Reading!

Monday, May 09, 2011

Illusions by Aprilynne Pike


If you want to read my reviews of these books, Click Here for Wings and Click Here for Spells.

Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.
But just as life is returning to normal, Laurel discovers that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.
(Pause for girl-ish squeal)
After a long, relaxing weekend of reading (my three-year-old told me, "Mom, for Mother's Day you just sit back and relax. How about you watch TV and read a book... at the same time!" He knows me well.), I am proud to say that I actually finished a book! It happened to be this book, Illusions, that I have been waiting on for, well, since I read the last page of book two early last summer. We'll just say FOR. EVER. I can say that this was my absolute favorite book in the series so far....and also my absolute least favorite.
After I read Spells, I had a pretty good idea where things would go in the story--and I was right. I was so happy that Tamani played a bigger role in this book. I Heart Tamani. Love, love. Yum. Anyway, I wasn't really sure what the premise of the book would be, I just knew that Tam would be in it and that made my heart smile. At one point-- like, in book one-- I actually liked David. I thought he was a nice guy. Yeah, not so much. By the end of book two, I was not a David fan. Now I just feel bad for him. Team Tamani forever! :)
As for the plot, I didn't really understand what the big deal was. Anyone else have that thought? Everyone in the book was thinking "O.M.G.!" and I was thinking, Huh? What does that have to do with trolls? Aren't they the bad guys? As of right now I am confused about what the final book will be about. I don't want to give anything away because I really loved this book. I just feel like the author completely changed the "main problem." I still love the series though!
My original plan when I got this book in the mail last week was to read all the books in order. I think I might still do that and see if the story pieces together in my mind a bit better. This was the first "fairy" book I ever read and it would probably be accurate to say that it hooked me on YA books.
Have you read this series? What are your thoughts on this book?
Is it time for the final book yet??
Happy Reading!
( I love Tam. )

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

These are the days of our lives....

Or my life anyway. I can even describe my life lately in one word for you. Hectic. Tiring. Full. Busy. Fun. Blessed. Take your pick.

Have you ever been in a reading slump? I'm totally in a reading slump. Not by choice, but more by circumstance. Yesterday I read a whole chapter and I was so excited I wanted to throw myself a party. Sad. I have just had so much going on, and the month of May is going to be even worse. I have 14 birthdays, a wedding, an anniversary, a vacation, a niece visiting for a few weeks, and a marathon (for my husband. I'm so not a runner.) all this month. Plus my baby is trying to cut his first tooth. Joy.

It's not that I don't want to read. It's just that by the time I get everything else done--running my child to school, picking him up, sports, work, various appointments, cooking, cleaning, rocking a fussy baby until he falls into an exhausted sleep in the wee hours of the morning-- I have been too worn out to do much of anything. I open a book and my brain automatically goes into shut down mode and I'm sleeping before I've read more than a few words.

Am I the only one this happens to???

What do you do when you're in a slump? How do you get out of it?

I need some serious help.

(And if you don't see a review this week, don't throw stones. I'll try, but I can't promise anything!)

Oh yeah.... Happy Reading!