Monday, April 30, 2012

The Curse Girl by Kate Ellison

Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Publishing Company: Novella
Genre: Young Adult—Retellings, Romance
Pages: 194
Release Date: May 14, 2011
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Summary
When Bee is imprisoned in a magical, cursed house because of her father's selfish choices, she has just one plan... escape! But she must solve a riddle and help her fellow prisoners break the curse that binds them all before she can leave, and that is proving more difficult than she originally thought thanks to the bitter young master of the house, Will.

Will wants nothing to do with Bee or her help (and he certainly isn't planning on falling in love with her), but he might have underestimated just how determined and clever--and irresistible--she can be.
Review
Talk about a tug on your heartstrings kind of book. Let's put this into perspective. I think I'm going to be doing this more often, especially with awesome books like these because you guys need to see the facts for yourself and their fun to do. Anyway, what I'm talking about is the before-and-after analysis. Ever had that reaction before and that reaction after? Of course you have. Well, mine for this book were really widespread:

Before:
Well, that's a really cryptic summary and there's not a lot of what's going to happen, but it sounds good so I'm going to give it a try.

After:
OhmygodIlovedthatbookIneedtorereaditbutit'ssolateI'llreadittomorrowbecauseitwassogoodKateneedstowritethisstoryinWill'spointofviewsoIcandosomegoodfangirling!!!

Yeah. Those thoughts, through my head, at that speed. Exactly. First of all, isn't this cover the best thing that you've ever seen? It's gorgeous, isn't it? Now, it doesn't give you a lot as to what the story's really about, but I like how the title is related to what happens in the story, and it's not some random title that doesn't even come up in the story, like some other books. The Curse Girl is actually what Will and everybody in the supposed "haunted house" calls Bee, so yes, it's very relavant.

This is a modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. When I first started reading, I was extremely confused because this book was one of those "jump now, talk later" kind of books in the beginning, and I was more than hopelessly confused. But, since us book reviewers aren't here for nothing, I searched up the book again, and I read a review. It was supposed to be a retelling of the Beauty and the Beast, and I immediately got it. That was really the only problem in this book, the fact that the beginning was basically incomprehensible, along with a few minor plot holes because of the sheer shortness of this book, and another thing that's really small I'll bring up later.

When you read everything from Bee's point of view, you get the impression that Will's a jerk and nothing but a jerk. Which, is pretty much true for the first few chapters. I really admired Bee's character, how sarcastic and fiery she was. Bee definitely knows what she wants and goes out and gets it. And she's got this heart of gold. At night, there's someone in the dungeon called Liam who's like a werewolf and just screams most of the night because she's in so much pain, and Bee just drops everything and goes to help him and try to ease the pain. I think that's a really sweet thing of her to do.

Throughout this book, you see Bee and Will trying to break the curse that has Will trapped, you kind of see them falling for each other, which was really sweet. I loved the fact that it wasn't anything rushed, given the length of this book. It was gradual, so when it did happen, you were like "Awww. *goofy grin plastered on face*" (You are the best thing/That's ever been mine. Mine, Taylor Swift) And the fact was this wasn't an easy love. It was one with lots of bumpy hills and low points, but it eventually all paid off and you got a profit from it. :) (And I remember that fight, 2:30 AM/When everything was slipping right out of our hands...You said I'll never leave you alone. Mine, Taylor Swift.)

The Curse Girl had drama, drama, drama, and more drama. There were bunches of times where you would think that everything was going well and it was all going to work out, and then BAM! there's a complication, some fighting, some screaming, and some gasping and cursing on your part. (Well, on my part, it was just the gasping.) It definitely kept you on the edge of your seat, and I was surprised by everything that happened in the book. Trust me, this is the perfect book to read if you like to be surprised.

Now it comes to the "I wish..." part of the review that's almost inevitable for people like me who always just want more. As I said in my After reaction, if you can decipher that, "Kate needs to write this story in Will's point of view so I can do some good fangirling!" A lot was happening on Will's part that Bee never got to figure out fully, so I think I would have a heart attack if Kate wrote this book in Will's point of view. She probably won't, but if she does, I will probably and most likely blow my top. ;)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Changes and YA Bound!

Did you notice anything new about my blog? Are you sure? Did you check my sidebar, where it says "I Review For..."?

I'm going to be a blogger on YA Bound! Yep. The amazing Trisha Wolfe, author of Destiny's Fire, has to write some more books, so she won't be able to review as many books on her blog, and so I'm going to be helping her with her bloggish duties for a while along with another blogger, JJ from JJ iReads! YA Bound's basically like an author/book promotion site, and they do that by writing reviews, hosting giveaway and blog tours, and having chats! :) Maybe I'll get to organize a book tour or be a part of a live chat, which sounds SOOO fun! ;) But we'll see. :)




That's all I really wanted to say, other than the fact that I'm going to be linking up my reviews from my reviews that I write on YA Bound to my review archives here, just so you can keep track of all that I write. So, it's a pretty short post today, and it's really just an update post, so you can find out what I've been doing.

Also, remember my Updates post? Well, I was telling you about how I'm going to cut down on reviews because I was super-booked with reviews and needed to get rid of some so I was going to just post a short, small one on Goodreads. I'm actually going to be trying to cut down a lot more as of now. I want to make sure that I still have time on the side to read and focus on my schoolwork. And YA Bound's another reason I want to limit my time here, so I can spend equal time here, on YA Bound, and still do my schoolwork stuff. :)

So, I'm probably not going to be doing any extra book reviews that are part of book tours or anything like that, unless I've already signed up for a tour that I need to provide a review. And I'm most likely not  going to be accepting any review titles unless it's a title that really does draw me in or I request the book to review myself. I just wanted to make that a little clear. And I STILL have to make a blog header! Ack! If only I had a decent idea.

Also, I want to be a singer when I grow up, as you all probably know if you've visited my blog at least once in your lifetime, and I want to make sure that I'm doing my very best to make that happen so I want to take a little more time off here so I can practice more and hopefully get more covers up! :) Because reviews of late take such a long time for me to write (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Goodreads are horrible distractions) and I also want to be spending and dedicating more time to my schoolwork, I'm doing all this re-working.

(That last bit was thanks to my LAL teacher, who gave me a 6/8 for my mini book review, because my connection was really bad. Well, you can't blame me for hating biographies and for it to be impossible to connect to! What kind of person can connect to Jane Austen's childhood life and make it sound like it made you understand the story better? -.-)

Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Author: Ally Carter
Publishing Company: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult—Action/Adventure
Pages: 294
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Summary
The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family from the Circle of Cavan--an ancient terrorist organization that has been hunting her for over a year. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, she must face the fact that her memory is now a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and the dirt under her nails, and all she wants is to go home.

Once she returns to school, however, Cammie realizes that even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers. Cammie, her friends, and mysterious spy-guy Zach must face their most difficult challenge yet as they travel to the other side of the world, hoping to piece together the clues that Cammie left behind. It’s a race against time. The Circle is hot on their trail and willing stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.
Review
This may be the best Gallagher Girl book in the entire series. I'm not even joking when I say this. Ally Carter's grown as a writer as this series goes on, and they're something that I love to read every time. In the fifth book of the Gallagher Girl series, it's where tensions get high. It's where you start to doubt who to trust. It's where you want to send Ally a bunch of emails telling her to get on with writing the next book. I'm tempted to. I really am. But I don't want to be more annoying than I already am.

Talk about a perfect cover. Not only is it a perfect companion to the other books in the series, but it's attention grabbing, as well. I love how with one look, you know it's a Gallagher Girl book and you want to read it. Everything about this book has a pop to it, like that red scarf, the words, and the model. One thing I love the most about these covers is the way the skirt matches the spine of the book. It's really something ingenious and I just love that it corresponds with the skirt of the model.

When Cammie wakes up in a cave, she has no recollection of what happened to her and what she did last summer. All she knows is that she looks completely different, which short, black hair, and last summer is this whopping black hole. And the tricky thing is: everybody needs to know. And Cammie is the one with the answers, only she can't remember. The whole concept of this book is not only intriguing and extremely well thought-out, it provides an excellent and gripping premise to start off with. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time and there was plenty of reason to be, trust me.

One complaint I have about this book was really because of the romance. Zach always wasn't a big presence in the previous books, and he still isn't. Zach's backstory is so important to the story that it wasn't really featured and you didn't get to know more about Zach. There was this point where I thought that Zach actually cared about Cammie and was heartbroken that she disappeared, but then I started to believe it was only because Zach suggested that Cammie run away. There always is this part where it seems like there could be so much more, but there ends up not being more, and it's always just a careful relationship between them two.

What I didn't really like about the Gallagher Girl series was that in the beginning, it seemed that the series was just started because Ally wanted to write about random spy-related things, but then it seemed like the first two books were published to build us up to the real purpose: the Circle of Cavan. Evil, corrupted, and Zach's mom, the leader of the Circle is out to get Cammie, and the motives become clear in this book. This book is dramatic, thrilling, and nothing you'd expect. And it's mostly because of Zach's mom, who I am thrilled to soon find more about.

There were so many questions answered here, but many questions took their place. It's as if there was this constant need to keep us guessing, formulating a prediction, just for that prediction to be dead wrong in the next chapter, and for the process to repeat all over again until the last page of this book. I said it once and will say it again: this book is the best book in the Gallagher Girl series and Ally Carter has definitely out-done herself. Without a doubt.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

What REALLY is Your True Calling?




I've been doing a lot of that dreaded philosophical thinking lately, and I've noticed something. Singing. I love it. I really love it, but is it for me? Am I really supposed to be something else? Am I just kidding myself and singing was just another silly dream that was a speed bump to the bigger picture? I've been having lots of doubts recently, mainly because I see how other people are working really hard and how hard it is. Mainly because I haven't been practicing a lot, even though I really want to. Mainly because I live in a household where these types of dreams are just that. Dreams.

What if I was made for this world because I'm supposed to be an author or a big successful book blogger?  What if I'm supposed to do something else? I felt like this entire time, I'm supposed to be a singer, that the stage fright that I've been slowly getting over, the writing lyrics, the piano, and more song posts was all because God was pointing me down that path of a singer that would inspire the good in people, that would encourage people that they could do it. But what if they were all traits for something else in disguise?

But I'm not really writing this just to pour out my doubts and worries; I'm also here to get rid of yours, if you happen to have any. It may be hard to accept the fact that what you love to do may be gone and replaced with something else, but it's just the way of life, and you'll be much happier doing that other thing if it's what you were put on Earth to do. Just in case you were wondering, I still want to be a singer. So completely bad. But it was a long, grievous process before I finally learned that was it was all along. And hopefully will always be that.

Think about what you're choices are and what you want to be in the future. Mine were: singer, author, and a very successful book and song blogger. This post probably won't help most people since most people are at where they want to be, but some people do have doubts an some people do want to get rid of all the thoughts clouding their mind. Anyway, it was easier to rule out author because: I hate reading stuff over the computer. If I had to revise, it would mean printing out my entire manuscript to revise, and I'm also eco-friendly.

However, I love to write. That made the blogger and singer choices more prominent and likely. Which was good. Then, I thought about my blog. I love it, and I could definitely be able to keep it in the future, even when I was a singer, but my posts would be very limited. But what really made me start blogging? Julie Kagawa's contest to win an ARC, yes, but I also finally decided to start it because I loved to sing and wanted to hopefully get my voice known through this little blog that's grown throughout the months. My title very early on was Eileen Li: Reader, Singer, Writer. And then I changed it to Singing, Reading, and Writing in the Rain. And then ***Singing, Reading, and Writing in the Rain***. And finally ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***. (Don't ask me about the asterisks. I think they just work with my title.)

So, I created this blog, which I really love, but it really isn't enough. I think that in the end, singing won over because I don't practice as much now, but that was because before, I went to a singing class and I just practiced singing, not with the piano, which is harder to do and doesn't make me sound as good. I guess that frustrates me because I want to do better, and know I can do better, I just can't get there. (By the way, thanks, Dad, who promised me singing lessons and then signed me up for flute lessons. He promised. I have the Vermont trip to prove it.)

I want to be a singer, still. Really bad. I get excited when I get the chance to sing, because I truly want to, I just have to finish getting over my stage fright, which is letting it's iron grip on me loosen. I never want to share my writing. I never want to write books in my binder—just song lyrics that some people find, which embarrasses me a little because you don't want your friend to see "You're the popular type and I'm the social outcast. I look at you like you're the shining star, but you never look back." I mean, the friends that don't know you want to be a singer and when you're still a little insecure, it's not a very pleasant experience.

So, yeah. I want to be a singer. I still have a doubt from time to time; I wonder if that's really me in the future, because it's so hard to see what I'll become. I can't envision myself doing anything, really, because it's so hard to see myself since I'm so young. I just hope that I'll like who I am when I'm older. And I don't want to be a singer for the reasons that most people think. Yes, it might be fun to be well-known and rich, but what I really want when I'm a singer? I want just one person to wake up and want to do something new and take a risk and be inspired by me. That's what I want. And I really hope I can get it. But if that didn't work out? As long as I'm happy, and I know I tried to get it, I won't regret what happened.

Even if I don't get anywhere, if I have a normal job that may not be very glamorous, I just want to be happy, you know? I don't want to look back and think: "What if I'd....?" I want to look back and think: "That was a good time. I'm glad I did that." Isn't that the point in life? Live it to its fullest? Pretend you're going to die tomorrow? Know that you're not perfect, but you're still a great person? I might be getting philosophical here, and even though I don't have a religion, I believe in God, and I know that He's probably watching over every one of us, and He's giving us signs to point us where we're supposed to go.

And whenever my parents put me down, tell me I don't have a chance to do what I want to do, there's a positive to that. I'm, like, a huge defiant person, and when somebody tells me I can't do something, I want to prove that I can. And I want to be a singer even more—other than my reasons of loving singing and wanting to inspire people—because of that defiance in me and I have more of that drive to complete what I want to achieve. Although it's hard to see me doing anything big in the future because it's so ahead of me, I know that I was put on Earth for something, anything, and I just want to make the most of whatever I'm going to do, and who I'm going to end up influencing.

Have you ever had any doubts? Have you ever wondered what you were really meant to be?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Long Live by Taylor Swift


Taken from FanPop user Anichu90
Song: Long Live
Artist: Taylor Swift
Record Label: Big Machine Records
Genre: Country/Pop
Album: Speak Now
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Lyrics
I still remember this moment
In the back of my mind
The time we stood with our shaking hands
The crowds in stands went wild

We were the kings and the queens
And they read off our names
The night you danced like you knew our lives
Would never be the same

You held your head like a hero
On a history book page
It was the end of a decade
But the start of an age

Long live the walls we crashed through
While the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
I was screaming, long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders, one day we will be remembered

I said, remember this feeling
I passed the pictures around
Of all the years that we stood there on the sidelines
Wishing for right now

We are the kings and the queens
You traded your baseball cap for a crown
When they gave us our trophies
And we held them up for our town

And the cynics were outraged
Screaming, this is absurd
'Cause for a moment a band of thieves
In ripped-up jeans got to rule the world

Long live the walls we crashed through
While the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
I was screaming, long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders, I'm not afraid

Long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
I was screaming, long live the look on your face
And bring on all the pretenders, one day we will be remembered

Hold on to spinning around
Confetti falls to the ground
May these memories break or fall

And you take a moment
Promise me this
That you'll stand by me forever
But if God forbid fate should step in

And force us into a goodbye
If you have children someday
When they point to the pictures
Please tell them my name

Tell them how the crowds went wild
Tell them how I hope they shine

Long live the walls we crashed through
I had the time of my life with you

Long, long live the walls we crashed through
All the kingdom lights shined just for me and you
And I was screaming, long live all the magic we made
And bring on all the pretenders, I'm not afraid

Singing, long live all the mountains we moved
I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you
And long, long live the look on your face
And bring on all the pretenders, one day we will be remembered

—eLyrics
Review
The one thing I love the most about this song is the fact that it misleads you. You think it's a love story about wanting to be with each other for all eternity, but it's not. It's about Taylor's band, and how Taylor is so happy she has them with her. I think that's really sweet, how she dedicated a song to how much she loves and enjoys her band. When she won Entertainer of the Year for the first time at 19, she called up her entire band to celebrate the win with her because she's just that humble and gracious, and that says something about her character.

This is really a great song that would honestly be a great theme song for a group of best friends, because that's pretty much the whole meaning. It was a song to her band, who're like her second family, and she was telling them how much she loved them and how she really couldn't have made it anywhere without them. Some singers don't dedicate a song like that to their band, but Taylor's the type of girl who does and that makes her so likable and just great.

Wow, has this week been hectic. Not only is this my first Taylor Swift song review in, like, forever, it's also one of my personal favorites on her Speak Now album. Other than Enchanted, of course. Nothing can surpass Enchanted. I should really do a review about that, shouldn't I? So I can gush. I need to gush. There have been way too many angry thoughts recently, what with the Story Siren drama. And then I have standardized testing, so you can imagine how busy it's been. But I'm working through it all, and hopefully all this will blow over soon. Because really, if you're angry at the Story Siren, just don't participate in her memes or visit her blog. End of story. What really is there more to discuss?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Follow Friday—24

Rules
  • To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee and Alison Can Read}
  • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  • Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
Question
Have you had a character that disappointed you? One that you fell in love with and then "broke up" with later on in either the series or a stand-alone book? Tell us about him or her.

Answer
Well, hmm. I'm not particularly a picky person when it comes to characters. There's usually no gray scale for me. It's either I like the character and continuously like them, or I hate them and continuously hate them. But after consulting my Goodreads bookshelf, I just realized I've had a love-hate-love relationship with a character. I fell in love with Sophie Mercer from the Hex Hall series in the first book, and then in the second book, Sophie started making wretchedly horrible decisions, and then I really couldn't stand her and unfortunately we had to break up.

However, in the third book, Sophie sort of redeemed herself in my eyes and I enjoyed her again. She was snarky all over again and when before I wasn't totally in love with Sophie, Spell Bound basically made me "want to pop the Q," since we're talking in terms of a relationship here. I just loved Hex Hall, really didn't like Demonglass that much, but then Spell Bound reined me in again. :) You can even see my review in the recap of this week!




Recap of This Week
Friday, April 20—Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins Book Review
Saturday, April 21—The Tide Breaker by Sonya Watson Book Review
Saturday, April 21—Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer Book Review
Sunday, April 22—Stork by Wendy Delsol Book Review
Monday, April 23—Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole Book Review
Tuesday, April 24—I Want To Be Mad...I Really, Honestly Do...But I Can't
Wednesday, April 25—Spectral by Shannon Duffy Tour Stop!
Thursday, April 26—Spoiled by Joss Stone Song Review
Thursday, April 26—The Iron Prince and the Iron Legends Cover Reveals!



Giveaways
My Seven Month Blogger Giveaway!
Feathermore by Lucy Swing Giveaway!

The Lost Prince and The Iron Legends Cover Reveal!

So you know how I'm IN LOVE with Julie Kagawa and her books? Well, her spin-off to the Iron Fey series, that's told in Ethan Chase's, Meghan's brother's, POV, called the Lost Prince, well, that revealed TODAY. Look at the Lost Prince:






I think I died a little on the inside. Honestly, this cover is so much more rugged than the original series, but they've continued the vine themes and the font. I honestly LOVE it, and I can't wait to see how Ethan's POV will sound. The ironic thing is in the Iron Fey, he's described as cute and adorable, and he is definitely not adorable and cute in here. Oh my God, I think I'm not only in love with the cover but also the guy. That's not good.

EDIT: Shoot. I just called this book the Iron Prince twice. In my defense, I thought it WAS the Iron Prince up until a few seconds ago. Whoops.

But here's the Iron Legends cover, which also was revealed today, which contains Winter's Passage, Summer's Crossing, and a new novella called Iron's Prophecy, as well as an EXCLUSIVE chapter of the Lost Prince. which is also extremely awesome!






I don't know when either of these are releasing, but I LOVE them both. But I wish that this cover wasn't so blurry and you could see the models a little more. I'm still in love with Ash, though. Meghan looks a little different here than she usually does, but I bet it's nothing too much to worry about. If I thought I died a little before, I've died and gone to fangirl heaven with this cover. Twice. Half a time for Ethan, and one and a half times for Ash.

What are your thoughts on these awesome covers?

Spoiled by Joss Stone



Image Detail

Song: Spoiled
Artist: Joss Stone
Record Label: Stone'd Records
Genre: Rock/R&B/Soul
Album: Mind Body and Soul
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Lyrics

I kinda thought that I'd be better off by myself

I've never been so wrong before

You made it impossible for me to ever 

Love somebody else
And now I don't know what I left you for

See I thought that I could replace you
He can't love me the way you do
'Till now I never knew
Baby

[Chorus]
I'm spoiled
By your love boy
No matter how I try to change my mind
What's the point it's just a waste of time
I'm spoiled by your touch boy
The love you give is just too hard to fight
Don't want to live without you in my life
I'm spoiled

I tried to tell myself that I'd be over you in a week or two
But baby that was 'bout a year ago
I've never seen the word love so personified as I do with you
And that is why I just can't let go, oh no

[Chorus]

Spoil me

And I would only be fooling myself if I tried to 
Believe there's room for someone else in my heart 
There ain't no way I'm getting over you
I don't know what I've been trying to prove
I'm hopeless, helpless when it comes to you

[Chorus]

I've been spoiled yeah yeah
Review
Well, Rebecca, one of my awesome blogger buddies, from Vicariously! recommended this song to me and challenged me to review it, which I very gladly did. Walking out of that song, I felt so-so toward it because I usually don't listen to soul, but I went back and listened to it again and found myself appreciating things that I didn't notice before, like how Joss Stone is a really great singer, and how even thought I didn't really like that one, I enjoyed some of her others. Maybe because I'm stuck in that pop/rock era where most of what I like is basically what's popular, but the lyrics didn't really stick with me when I first heard it to now, as I'm typing up this review.

I think that the main turn-off that I experienced while going through this was the fact that the chorus sort of sounded...off. That's probably just me, and I'm probably just a little weird for saying this, but I felt that it definitely seemed a little kooky and weird. Well, not kooky or weird...just wrong. It sounded like there should have been something in the middle to sort of transition us to that part, but it's probably just me. I'm probably not very used to listening to this genre, and it's just me. But whatever, right? It's my opinion, I can do what I want with it. :)

I think the lyrics were pretty good, and the singing was great because Joss has this sort of gravelly voice (at least, to my ears) that really works well with this song. This song is more of a heartbreak song so I can't start gushing about how I love the meaning about the book since I've never gone through a particularly nasty breakup before, but I bet many of you readers have, so I think this would be a great song to relate to and a fantastic change to the usual that you hear on the radio.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spectral by Shannon Duffy Tour Stop!


Author: Shannon Duffy
Publishing Company: Tribute Books
Genre: Young Adult—Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 334
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

***This post is part of the Spectral Virtual Tour, hosted by Tribute Books***
Summary
Convinced she’s a part of the witness protection program, sixteen-year-old Jewel Rose is shuffled around the globe with her family like a pack of traveling gypsies. After arriving at lucky home twenty-seven, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy with magical powers claiming to be her guardian . . . and warning of imminent danger. Despite the obvious sparks between them, Jewel discovers a relationship is forbidden, and the more she learns about dark, brooding Roman, she begins to question who she can even believe—the family who raised her, or the supposed sworn protector who claims they’ve been lying to her all along.

As she struggles to uncover who her family has really been running from, she is forced to hide her birthmark that reveals who she is. With new realities surfacing, unexplained powers appearing, and two tempting boys vying for her heart, Jewel battles to learn who she can trust in an ever growing sea of lies, hoping she’ll make it through her seventeenth birthday alive.
Review
What really grabs me in the first place is this amazingly gorgeous cover. I wanted to read this book and be a part of the tour stop the second I read that summary and laid eyes on the cover. It ties everything from the entire book into one really pretty cover. The butterfly seemed meaningless at first, but as I read the book, it was easy to notice why it was put there and the green dress on the model is not only so pretty, and I now want one just like that, but it also shows up in the ending, so it's a good thing that it's just not randomly on the model because it's pretty.

When I first met Jewel, I got this vibe from her that she was a really loyal person who loved her little brother, Jayden, and would do basically anything for him, and throughout the book, I found my speculations being right. I really liked Jewel when I was reading this book because of how great of a character she was, and she learned from her mistakes. I hate when a character is so boring, like, "Oh, oops, I didn't mean to get into the car with the crazy man." And then the next time, "Oh, whoops, got into the car with the crazy man again. *sheepish look*" Even though Jewel made a few mistakes along the way, she learned from her mistakes, got over it, and did better next time.

At first, when I started reading this, I was a little unclear about what was going on, because while in the summary, it says that she's in the Witness Protection Program, it's not really mentioned in the book, and if you forget summaries the second you finish reading them–like me—then that's a problem. The rest of the plot was fairly clear, however, except for one or two small plot holes here and there. There was nothing too huge to make you jump up and scream, "I'M SO CONFUSED! WHAT JUST HAPPENED!?!?!?"

Everything flowed pretty smoothly, but I felt that nothing big was really happening in the first half or so. It seemed sort of slow, and I wasn't really driven to read it, so it took me three days to read it, about. And if any of you know me, you know that it can take me a matter of hours to finish reading a book. But, I don't know if that was because I was still jet-lagged from my vacation or if it was because the book was really slow. I think it was a mix of both, because otherwise a three rating book to me would take one or two days tops.

Roman. Roman, Roman, Roman, Roman. I really enjoyed his character, and forbidden love usually really appeals to me, even though it's really overused these days. I just think that premise of being in love and fighting against it can always be made into something original, and I love to read about it from different authors, because everybody interprets it differently. Shannon did a great job in incorporating the forbidden love concept without making it seem overused and boring. 

This entire concept was so original and I could have never thought of it myself. It takes an average, regular paranormal idea, and then adds more to it to make it better. I mean, what kind of person would want to read the same idea over and over again? Shannon took an idea and added more to it to make it a great story to read. Many books are like that, but only a few can actually pull it off successfully. Other authors add new ideas, others warp the idea to create something new, and others just stick to that normal plot that isn't all exciting, with a few touches of their own. It's good to see that Shannon decided to add new ideas.


About the Author
Shannon Duffy writes young adult and middle grade fiction. She grew up on the beautiful east coast of Canada and now lives in Ontario, Canada. She is the mom of one boy, Gabriel, her angel. She loves writing, reading, working out, soccer, and the sport of champions-shopping. She is the author of the young adult paranormal romance, SPECTRAL. Her upcoming middle grade fantasy novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA is scheduled for a January 2013 release.
Links
Spectral web site:
http://spectralwitch.blogspot.com/

Spectral Twitter hashtag:
#Spectral

Spectral GoodReads page:
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13319632-spectral

Shannon Duffy's Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001969007586

Shannon Duffy's Twitter:
http://twitter.com/#!/ShannonDuffyLit

Shannon Duffy's Website:
http://www.shannonduffylit.com/

Shannon Duffy's Blog:
http://1fantasyfairy.blogspot.com/

Shannon Duffy's GoodReads:
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3873156.Shannon_Duffy

Tribute Books website:
http://www.tribute-books.com

Tribute Books Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Archbald-PA/Tribute-Books/171628704176

Tribute Books Twitter:
http://www.twitter.com/TributeBooks

Tribute Books Blog Tours Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-Books-Blog-Tours/242431245775186

Buy the Book
Kindle buy link - $2.99
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007RMZYL4?tag=tributebooks-20

Nook buy link - $4.95
http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=dcSBhG3Rj8w&subid=&offerid=239662.1&type=10&tmpid=8433&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F%252Fwww.barnesandnoble.com%252Fw%252Fbooks%252F1109953082

iBookstore buy link - $4.99
Coming Soon

Google buy link - $3.79
http://books.google.com/books?printsec=frontcover&id=Ov0LCe_6RY4C#v=onepage&q&f=false

Smashwords buy link - $4.99
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145573?ref=tributebooks

PDF buy link - $4.95
https://www.payloadz.com/go/sip?id=1580735

Monday, April 23, 2012

Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole

Every Last Kiss (The Bloodstone Saga, #1)
Author: Courtney Cole
Publishing Company: Lakehouse Press
Genre: Young Adult—Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Romance
Pages: eBook
Release Date: April 21, 2011
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Summary
Born a goddess. Controlled by the Fates. Can Macy's love for her soul mate survive the bonds of time... and death?

17-year old Macy Lockhart is as far from normal as any one girl can be. The problem is, she doesn’t know it yet.

After a bloodstone pendant is mysteriously left on her door, Macy’s life begins to change in ways she’d never dreamed. And while she will eventually come to realize that nothing is ever what it seems, that her life is a tangled web of lies and the Fates themselves pull the strings, for now she is left with only the explanations that they offer her.

Macy is led to believe that if she doesn’t return to a previous doomed life, one in which she served as Queen Cleopatra ‘s handmaiden, the fate of the entire world will be threatened in a way that would destroy history as we know it. She learns that she has lived thousands of lives, each one ending tragically…but none as tragic as this one.

After returning to ancient Egypt, she is faced with heart-wrenching decisions. Unless she interferes with Fate’s plan, the very thing she was born to protect, her soul mate will die leading Marc Antony’s forces against Rome. Can she really stand aside and watch the love of her life die all over again?

In this fascinating novel-length prequel to The Bloodstone Saga, Courtney Cole sets the stage for an epic journey that will have readers holding their breath until the very last page of the very last book has been turned.

What would you do if you held Fate in your hands?

Every Last Kiss is the debut novel of Courtney Cole. Courtney loves thunderstorms, cake batter and taking long walks at dusk. Learn more about Courtney at www.courtneycolewrites.com

Other books in the Bloodstone Saga:
Fated, Book 2
With My Last Breath, Book 3
My Tattered Bonds, Book 4
Review
When I was informed that this book was going to be free on Amazon for a limited time, I pretty much seized the opportunity and downloaded the book. It's been on my Kindle for months now and I just decided to read it. Isn't this cover absolutely beautiful, for one? I certainly think it's an attention-grabbing cover, and the synopsis was great, as well. Everything about this book just lures you in and keep reading, and I honestly really loved it.

This book starts after Macy Lockhart, a seemingly average 17-year-old, gets cheated on by her seemingly perfect boyfriend, Derek. Macy goes through that whole "revenge on your boyfriend" procedure, and then she's met in the garage by a mysterious stranger, a priest, who claims that he knows all about who she really is and what her destiny is. And it turns out that Macy is actually Charmian, Cleopatra's best friend and faithful servant.

She's then thrust into this unknown and foreign world and she's expected to just play along like nothing ever happened, and the priest will only give Macy vague, cryptic answers for a reply. So Macy—aka Charmian, as I'm going to refer to her as from now on—is basically all on her own. Sort of. She has a pharaoh best friend, an all-knowing guide who claims that the priest is speaking rubbish, and a handsome military general who's head over heals for Charmian.

I was immediately grabbed by this really unique take on Cleopatra, and the fantasy element that was added into it. I also really loved Hasani, the love interest in this book. He and Charmian had already established a very stable relationship so they're basically at the prime of their relationship and if you don't like going through the notions of falling in love and building a stable relationship, then this is the book for you. However, if you really love seeing two people fall in love, this still is the book for you because they don't seem like they're falling for each other, it's still a really great book.

A problem I've had recently with books is that they start off way too slowly to my liking, but I didn't have anything like that in this book. It started perfectly and the entire book was extremely well-paced. I didn't feel anything was too rushed and nothing was too slow. However, there was this one part, when Macy transitioned into her role as Charmian. I found that a little unbelievable that Macy would just take on her role like it was what she was supposed to do her entire life.

In the end, I was satisfied with the book, and now I really want to read Fated. This was really a great book and you guys should all go and read this now. It's free for Amazon Prime members and only $2.99 for just ordinary Amazon members. Obviously, I have neither of those accounts, or one on Barnes & Noble, so I'm just going to have to hoof it until I can find a way to buy it. :)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Stork by Wendy Delsol

Stork (Stork, #1)
Author: Wendy Delsol
Publishing Company: Candlewick Press
Genre: Young Adult—Supernatural, Romance
Pages: 357
Release Date: October 20, 2010
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Summary
Family secrets. Lost memories. And the arrival of an ancient magical ability that will reveal everything. Sixteen-year-old Katla LeBlanc has just moved from Los Angeles to Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, Katla soon finds out that she’s a Stork, a member of a mysterious order of women tasked with a very unique duty. But Katla’s biggest challenge may be finding her flock at a new school. Between being ignored by Wade, the arrogant jock she stupidly fooled around with, and constantly arguing with gorgeous farm boy and editor-in-chief Jack, Katla is relieved when her assignment as the school paper’s fashion columnist brings with it some much-needed friendship. But as Homecoming approaches, Katla uncovers a shocking secret about her past — a secret that binds her fate to Jack’s in a way neither could have ever anticipated. With a nod to Hans Christian Andersen and inspired by Norse lore, Wendy Delsol’s debut novel introduces a hip and witty heroine who finds herself tail-feathers deep in small-town life.
Review
I honestly, like, loved this book. This cover—this beautiful, gorgeous cover—immediately drew me in as soon as I saw this on the shelves of my library. And then, all it took afterwards was a flip to the back to read the summary. I read it—to be honest, skimmed it because my mom was rushing me and wouldn't let me properly examine the book—and I just kept it in my hand and sort of never put it back on the rack it was on. When it came time to check out, this was one of the books, and let's just say I am extremely happy that I got to finally read this. I mean, just look at that cover! Isn't it so pretty? I just want to sink my teeth into that thing if I could.

This book starts off right when Katla moves to town, and because I'm just weird like that, I didn't know that Katla was already in Minnesota. I thought she was packing up and everything, until it started happening. Well, it sort of happened really fast that I was a little confused and I never got the full idea of what it was to be a Stork until about halfway through the book. I didn't really fully get the concept, but that was probably on my part because I found the beginning really slow. I find a lot of beginnings really slow now. Either I have a really good eye for this or I only like to read stuff with lots of action. But then again, I've always been a "jump now, talk later" kind of girl.

So the beginning had a few plot holes and a slowness that I found very dragging and unappealing at first, I kept reading and as soon as the first fifty pages were through and done, then it started getting really great and you meet all these awesome characters and you get to know them like you should be. Katla's fierce determination is just another thing I loved about this book and how willing she was to go out and get it. Sometimes, what you need in a character is that die-hard "I want it, so I'm going to get it" determination that many people in the real world have. I related to Katla in so many ways because of this and I have a feeling many of you will, too.

When you meet Jack, you kind of realize he has a chip on his shoulder after meeting Katla and they always argue and shoot insults at each other, but you can sort of tell that there's something going on there, even though neither parties wants to admit it just yet. I actually really like Jack in this because of how sweet and vulnerable he seems but how underneath there's this secret side of him that's iron. That's probably not the most appropriate metaphor, but still, you get what you get and you get upset.

The idea of this book was so entirely intriguing and like nothing else that I just wanted to keep reading and I wanted to give it another chance during those first pages where the beginning was bleaker than the rest of the book. Many people need that motivation to keep going no matter what, and this was like that motivation because I loved the idea and I loved basically everything about it that I wanted to keep reading and give it another chance. And just so you know, Stork totally lived up to that extra chance. :)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer

Wolfsbane (Nightshade, #2)
Author: Angela Cremer
Publishing Company: Speak
Genre: Young Adult—Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 391
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Summary
When Calla Tor wakes up in the lair of the Searchers, her sworn enemies, she's certain her days are numbered. But then the Searchers make her an offer, one that gives her the chance to destroy her former masters and save the pack - and the man - she left behind. Is Ren worth the price of her freedom? And will Shay stand by her side no matter what? Now in control of her own destiny, Calla must decide which battles are worth fighting and how many trials true love can endure and still survive.
Review
Good God, these books just keep getting better and better. I really want to read Bloodrose right now. Like, really want to. This book had basically everything you could want in a book. And the cover is absolutely beautiful. But, while it looks really pretty here, I'm afraid the hardcopy betrays it. It's hard to see any of the model, and while you can't really see her here right now, you really can't see her in the hardcopy of the book. The other books aren't as dark as this one, and maybe there was this secret to why it was like that, but I honestly don't know and the cover just wasn't as pretty as it could've been if there'd been more light.

This book started off so slow. A lot of it was just strategy in the first half, and I was starting to fall asleep (literally, since it was late at night when I started this) until it finally picked up halfway through and I literally did a little dance while under the covers. One of those "YES, PRAISE THE LORD!" moments. And after that little "setback" passed, the rest was just history. I kept reading and reading and reading, and before I knew it, I was done, and left with a HUGE cliffhanger! I'm, like, shaking right now. Well, that's mainly because whenever I eat anything that has sugar, I freak out, and I just had a pastry, so yeah.

I really loved Calla in here. You can tell that what she did in Nightsthade clearly freaked her out and she's guilty and hesitant now, while trying to find herself again. I think Calla finds herself pretty well in this book and Angela really portrayed Calla sort of finding herself again really well, so good job, Angela! If I thought I really liked Calla in Nightshade, I love her now because of how resilient she was, even though it seemed like the world was falling down on herself.

Now, Shay. In those two words, there isn't any emotion in my voice. I wanted to love Shay, but I only achieved like status. Now, Ren, I loved him. Unfortunately, Angela made Ren a lot more likable, and he's the badboy. Sorry, Shay, but I'm the sucker for the badboy of the two. It's, like, common physics for me at this point. Give me the sensible, shy one. And then give me the destructive badboy. It's not a hard decision at all to make for me.

When Ren finally came into the picture, it was near the end, so I was pretty disappointed at how he didn't make an impromptu appearance earlier. And when we actually meet him in the book, he's really sweet and then he's vicious all like that. Believe me, that was a very well done transition and it practically killed me when I read the rest of that scene. Like, honestly. It was about to kill me, until a better picture of him came through and I was really happy about that.

So, I'd read this book if you like Nightshade. Just be wary about the beginning and remember to give it a chance because while it's just strategy and boring talk, it's also pretty important for later. But, you'll get the book even if you skip that part. As soon as the first third or so gets over, the rest is awesome and you will literally be hooked from start to finish. So I recommend you to get it, although I wouldn't buy it, since it wasn't a "tug on your heartstrings" kind of book. At least, it wasn't that way all the way through the book.

The Tide Breaker by Sonya Watson

Author: Sonya Watson
Publishing Company: Self-Published
Genre: Young Adult—Paranormal, Romance
Pages: eBook
Release Date: May 26, 2012
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
***Thank you to Sonya for sending me a copy of this book!***
Summary
A sixteen year-old girl tries to navigate through life and love without the guidance of her mother.
Review
Wow. I just have to stop for a second and let it all just soak in. My first ever one-rating. It feels sort of satisfying, you know? At least I didn't hate it and at least this won't be a rant that only God knows what was going through my mind when I wrote it. I just...it was really hard to digest. It was one of those books that it was made extremely hard for me to actually relate to it and want to keep reading. Actually, scratch that. I did want to keep reading, because I kept hoping it'd get better, and the idea was great, it just never did get better or more easy to read.

So, it starts off with Abrianna (the sixteen-year-old girl) who loses her mom. Her boyfriend, Michael, has always been there to support her. This brings me to my first problem. Everything moved so fast in the beginning of this book that it was literally impossible to keep up, and then later, when it would slow down so it would be slightly more boring, I was just sitting there, wondering, "Why didn't Sonya just extend the beginning and condense this part? o.O" Like, in the second chapter, Abrianna's telling this guy that she met in the first chapter (Graham) that's she's "changed" And then Graham can't deny his feelings for Abrianna, how it's definitely love, a few pages after Abrianna claims to be have changed. I don't want anything to be too slow, but there's also definitely a "too fast."

And then there are plot holes in the story. I remember that in the third chapter I read something about a "baby" and then it was never mentioned again. I don't even know if that baby was supposed to be Abrianna's, or not, but it was never mentioned again afterwards. The main problem with the plot holes for me was because Sonya didn't really like to mention the person's name. It was more along the lines of: "The young girl" or "The Prime" instead of the real name. Honestly, I kept forgetting who was a Prime, what was a Strangeling, and what the heck was a Feign. And that was after the author emailed me with the information concerning what each of those were. I really wish that the character's real name was used more often instead of just referring to them. I mean, that is why characters have names, right?

Also, when there was dialogue, there wouldn't be any specification as to who said what, like if Abrianna said something, and then Michael, I had to guess who was talking and I only got some relief when there was a line of dialogue, and then something like, "Michael smiled." That was my only clue. And to make it even better, somebody would jump in on the conversation, and I would just keep reading, oblivious since there was no clue other than that person talking, until I finally got the clue that what was happening didn't make sense, and then I would stop for, like, five minutes, just so I could figure out what was going on and who was saying what.

And because of that, I found it extremely hard to sympathize with the characters. If somebody got characters, I would think—and this is really mean of me, but it's true—"I really don't care." It was just so hard since almost all of the story was dialogue and all the dialogue was too confusing to even bother to try and understand. Honestly, I just stopped trying halfway through and just read it to the very end, where the ending that was supposed to be a cliffhanger actually just had me sighing in relief.

That was my overall opinion of the book. I honestly loved the idea and the concept of it all, it was just poorly executed and I couldn't even appreciate the creativity that was went into the story. I really wish I could, but this was like a one on a standardized test. You know, where it says, "So many errors it takes away the meaning of the story." Yeah. That was this. So much potential, but it all just...didn't work.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins


Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publishing Company: Hyperion
Genre: Young Adult--Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 327
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Summary
Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.


Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
Review
Oh. My. God. (Yeah, I start most of my reviews with that now, huh? I think that's because while some people may be in a reading slump, I'm at a reading high. All the books are good right now!) Before I start gushing and ranting, I want to clarify two things: I've had a lot of sugar and probably just gained back the five pounds that I lost last week :(, thus meaning I'll probably have spasms of sugar rushes; and I'm on a really spastastic laptop so I might have a few typos and crazy things going on that might not normally be there.

Spell Bound takes off right after where Demonglass left off, so for those of you who read Demonglass and were pretty much ripped apart by the cliffhanger (like me) then this is the book to be getting next, since most of your questions will be answered quickly. This book didn't move slow at all and was the perfect conclusion to this trilogy. I really couldn't have imagined it any other way. The action was well-paced and it wasn't a big bang that got all obnoxiously into your face, but a buildup that led to a bang-like ending that, quite frankly, made me want to re-read it. And I did. Well, mainly because I read half of it on the plane, and I get plane sick easily, and then I also went to a party before and my stomach was upset, so I spent most of the time reading a page, shoving it at my brother, throwing up, sitting in the bathroom for half an hour, and coming back. But I would've re-read anyway. :)

Sophie was as snarky and sarcastic as ever, which is the Sophie that we've grown to love and cherish as an awesome heroine and character. She remained remarkably strong and stayed a very resilient thing, even after she basically lost everybody she ever cared about in the last few months. I really admired Sophie for her entire character and it's something that I've always loved about these books since I started with Hex Hall. I love Rachel's ability to turn any sticky situation into something really comical and will make me just break out into this huge grin, and I love even more how it reflects a little bit on every one of her characters, but in just the right amounts so it doesn't seem like everybody's a snarky little thing, which would grow annoying pretty fast. The characters are extremely well-developed, and you really get into their minds. I'm pretty sure I went through all my emotions while going through that book.

Now, this book wasn't like one of those hardcore books like the Hunger Games or Divergent or something like that where the heroine's always in the fight of her life, but the whole plot made up for it. In Demonglass, the book, which is about three hundred and fifty pages, sped by really quickly that I was on page fifty and then I'd find myself at the end and I'd just think: "Wow. I'm here already?" That's exactly what happened in this book, because there would be a few action scenes that kept you engaged, and then the rest would be leading up to that next action scene. And it wouldn't be random action scenes spread willy-nilly around, they were the important scenes that required a lot of buildup and Rachel delivered on that perfectly.

Now, as a lot of you may have noticed from previous reviews, many people find the ending quite a bit rushed. I think I have to agree, because in the end, that big moment that tied the main dilemna up--followed by the smaller moments that tied the smaller problems up--left me basically shattered. I think it was very well done, and it follows that rule that "sacrifices must be made in a good YA book," if some people follow that. So a sacrifice was made, and I was heartbroken, and I wanted some good closure at the end. Instead, I got a friendly wave and tears. There was no little meeting, with an emotional moment that would have given me full closure and I would be happy and satisfied, albeit a little upset. I really wished we'd gotten a nice heartfelt ending where we'd be assured that the sacrifice wasn't made in total vain. I mean, I'll admit, I got a little of that, but not as much as I would've liked to make me believe that it really was "okay," as said in the book. The rest of the ending was a little rushed, but it was still good. There were still a few plot-holes, like between Izzy and Torin--you'll get what I mean when you read the book--and like I said, not full closure for some parts, only partial closure.

Archer Cross is one very fine love interest and badboy. I'm sure you know that badboys are the number one thing that attracts me in a good book love interest--pity they're not as good in real life--and Archer was definitely a badboy. The great thing was that Archer got his own closure in the end regarding who he really was, since he was found by the Eye with no name and all that. I really appreciated that the love interest and the "sidekick," Jenna, both got closure in their own forms, as well as Elodie, Cal, and Sophie's parents, in a way. Not every author is able to do that, but I'm glad that the characters I've grown to love and cherish were able to get some form of a happy ending, though in an odd way.

So there really isn't a reason not to read this book, because everything makes up for the ending, even though I almost started crying near the end. I read it, blinked rapidly for a minute or so, and then turned the page and re-read that section. The ending was really sad and some may argue unfair, but I think, personally, that there was no other way to solve it. Okay, yes, maybe, but in the end, that sacrifice wasn't made in vain and it seemed like all the characters were happy in the end, even though what happened did happen. I'd definitely recommend you to read this book because you will devour it, and you will be immersed in this book from head to toe. Rachel Hawkins has grown a mile as a writer and I will read every one of her books that she writes afterwards because she has proved what she can do in this trilogy, and Spell Bound was the perfect conclusion to it. I honestly could not have imagined it any other way. The Hex Hall trilogy really is "impossible to put down."

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Follow Friday—23

Rules
To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee and Alison Can Read}
  • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  • Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
  • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.

Question
Fight! Fight! If you could have two fictional characters battle it out (preferably from books), who would they be and who do you think would win?


Answer
I'd have Ash from the Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa be one of the players because I am in love with Ash, the Iron Fey Series is the series that got me started with reading and blogging and so I am eternally grateful to Julie for letting me discover this awesome place, so I have to do some support for her series as often as possible, even though I mention it, like, every other week. So I promise I'll change it up next week. ;)

Well, I choose Ash because:
  • He's so darn handsome
  • Ash is one good sword-fighter
  • He's a FAERY!!
  • Ash is a cold shell but also is really deep and the badboy. (You know I drool over that)
  • Guys. He's Ash. Enough said.
  • Look at the cover right there. Don't you just want to sink your teeth into that?

Image Detail


And, then I'd choose Four from Divergent because after all the buzz with Insurgent, I want to re-read Divergent and since I first read it after I got my braces and my teeth were sore, I feel like I didn't give it as good a review as it deserved and didn't think about the book enough since all I was doing was moaning in pain. And thinking about it, Four is pretty awesome.Why I choose Four:
  • He's fearless! (Seriously, four fears)
  • He really cares about Tris
  • Like with Ash, he's a hard shell but he's really loyal and deep.
  • Badboy!

Image Detail


And for the record, I totally think Ash would win. Considering he has a sword and faery glamour. But Four would definitely put up a fight. So I conclude that they'd both be pretty bloody and tired but Ash would still win. This might actually be entertaining! :)

Recap of Last Week
Friday, April 13: You See That?
Friday, April 13: The Savage Grace by Bree Despain
Saturday, April 14: The Six—Err, Seven—Month Mark
Sunday, April 15: Seventh Month Blogger Giveaway!
Sunday, April 15: Feathermore by Lucy Swing Review and Giveaway
Monday, April 16: Taste by Kate Evangelista Trailer Reveal and Excerpt
Monday, April 16: Scary School by Derek Kent
Tuesday, April 17: Give Your Heart a Break by Demi Lovato
Wednesday, April 18: Team Abnegation $100 Amazon Gift Card Blast!
Wednesday, April 18: Saving June by Hannah Harringon
Thursday, April 19: My Debut in Blog Design!
Thursday, April 19: The Tuney Tournament—Announcement
Thursday, April 19: Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift Cover (My third one!)

Giveaways
Seventh Month Blogger Giveaway!
Feathermore by Lucy Swing Giveaway

Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift

I promised it, guys, and here it is! My Safe and Sound cover by Taylor Swift! I understand that I may be a little pitchy and sound weird, but I have really bad spring allergies and my voice isn't at its best today. I also just got these new rubber bands for my braces, and I can't really open my mouth that much and when I try to sing really loud, it turns out really bad. I hope you can understand and listen to the bitter end. It's my second cover of Safe and Sound, and it's a little better than before, so I hope you guys like it.

I took that picture of the Eiffel Tower, by the way. I took it about two weeks ago when I went to France with my family. :) I've been meaning to get a post about it in, but my blog is getting so busy that I don't even know what to do! I'm doing a re-read of a lot of books so I can clear up all my reviews and just enjoy the week. It's standardized testing time at my school next week, so on the bright side, I'll be able to write posts and do covers. One the down side, I'm doing TONS of prep this week and I've been loaded down with homework like you will never know.





So, tell me what you think and don't be afraid to let the suggestions unleash! I know I have a lot to learn, and I'm not a perfect voice, but I would hope that I'm pretty good (at least a 7 or 8 out of 10) and that pretty soon, I can be a 9! But enjoy your day! (Wow, this is my third post today, and I'm doing another one later for Follow Friday. Good gosh, is my day busy!)

Off to homework now! Enjoy! :D

The Tuney Tournament—Announcement

So today I have some sad news. Unfortunately, I never got enough of an audience toward my Tuney Tournament, so I've just decided to shut it down temporarily. I may open it back up again when I have a few more followers who would be willing to actually participate in this, but I only got a few votes in the last round and first round. I should've stopped it when I only had a few people volunteering songs and all that, so I've made my decision to stop it for now until I gather a few more people who'd be willing to participate.

Of course, now that my designated Thursdays for this tournament have cleared up, I will post song covers and song reviews instead, since Thursday used to be a day for song reviews and covers. I will hopefully be posting a Safe and Sound cover (a revised one after my first one that was a little weird) that will be a little better soon. With all luck I will get it up today, but I might now be able to. We'll just have to wait and see, right? 

I had a fun time organizing the tournament, but unfortunately my efforts just wasn't enough in the end. Hope you all have a nice day! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Saving June by Hannah Harrington

Author: Hannah Harrington
Publishing Company: Harlequin
Genre: Young Adult—Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 322
Release Date: November 22, 2011
Rating: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Summary
‘If she’d waited less than two weeks, she’d be June who died in June. But I guess my sister didn’t consider that.’


Harper Scott’s older sister has always been the perfect one so when June takes her own life a week before her high school graduation, sixteen-year-old Harper is devastated. Everyone’s sorry, but no one can explain why.

When her divorcing parents decide to split her sister’s ashes into his-and-her urns, Harper takes matters into her own hands. She’ll steal the ashes and drive cross-country with her best friend, Laney, to the one place June always dreamed of going California.

Enter Jake Tolan. He’s a boy with a bad attitude, a classic-rock obsession and nothing in common with Harper’s sister. But Jake had a connection with June, and when he insists on joining them, Harper’s just desperate enough to let him. With his alternately charming and infuriating demeanour and his belief that music can see you through anything, he might be exactly what she needs.

Except June wasn’t the only one hiding something. Jake’s keeping a secret that has the power to turn Harper’s life upside down again.
Review
This cover is just so pretty that you really can't help but want to read it when you see it on the shelves. The idea is extremely original, because how often does the rebel sister to a suicide victim run away with said victim's urn so she can scatter them in the Pacific Ocean, the place that Harper soon discovers is where June's always wanted to go? Not often, let me tell you. The sheer genius of the story in this book is great, but the added bonus of awesome writing just makes it much better.

This starts off immediately from the funeral, a few weeks after Harper found her sister, June, in the back seat of her car, music playing in the CD player, the gas running, dead. Harper's sort of a rebel, and I love her I-don't-really-care attitude mixed in with the wit and the sensitivity that has to be unearthed. As you get to know Harper, you learn that she's got her insecurities, and while she shows that hard mask to everybody, she's still just a regular girl who wants to be loved. Let's face it, her dad doesn't want her, her mother's been an emotional mess, and her aunt thinks that Harper's gone off the deep end. June was the only one—beside Laney, her best friend—who really loved her, and now she's gone.

When you meet Jake, you automatically know that he and Harper's going to get along. They're both pulsing with that attitude that says they don't care but in reality, they really do care. I think that it takes a lot of talent to show a person who's frozen on the inside to slowly thaw out effectively, and Hannah executed it really well, but there were a few times where it seemed a little abrupt. It'd be like one moment, Harper was being cold and indifferent, and the next she was laughing with Laney or Jake. That only happened, like, twice, so it didn't really affect the book too much.

Another problem I had was the amount of cursing in here. It was literally: "What the (f-bomb)? You can't just (f-bomb)ing show up here and think that you're (f-bomb)ing welcome!" That wasn't an actual sentence, but it was like that. Also, Jake and Harper, near the end, they ended up doing "it" and it was really fast, because one moment they were fighting, the next they were building their friendship up again, then they were sharing their first kiss, and the next they were getting all hot and heavy.

I really liked Jake in this book because of how much he cared about Harper, even though she thought that nobody could possibly ever fall for her. I think that even though he made some bad decision throughout the book, his intentions were still pure and I found him very attractive and a really easy character to like. I'd definitely read this book, because I bet a bunch of you would thoroughly enjoy it, if you could get past the very foul language and heated moments. 

Team Abnegation Amazon Gift Card Blast!

Hi everybody! So, I bet you all know about Insurgent by Veronica Roth, this great book that's coming out May 1st. We've been promoting Insurgent's release, with five faction teams: Amity, Erudite, Dauntless, Candor, and Abnegation. Kathy from I Am a Reader, Not a Writer, who I think is our faction leader, since she's been really selfless (pardon the pathetic pun) and been organizing a bunch of stuff for all of us on the Abnegation street team. (She also has been doing a lot of awesome posts, so feel free to check them out.) This time, she's hosting a $100 Amazon Card Giveaway! That's really awesome, right? I'm so glad to be a part of it, and there are a bunch of great events going on at Team Abnegation, so show your support to us and click on the Team Abnegation button to go to contribute to Abnegation! Also, go here to see the Abnegation news site.
Go to HarperCollins' page for Insurgent to get some more information.


Look at that! If you pre-order Insurgent on Amazon, it costs $10.79, $10.00 at Barnes & Noble! That's awesome, because it's a hardcover and being sold for that little! The reason, my fine blogger friends, is because HarperCollins has recently made a deal to all us book lovers in the world: If Insurgent gets 35,000 pre-orders by the time it hits May 1st, Harper will release a NEVER BEFORE SEEN scene in the book in FOUR'S POV! Not only can you get Insurgent at a discounted price, you can also contribute to the unlocking of some yummy Four! Don't worry if you've already pre-ordered, it still counts. We're almost at 30,000 and I know you guys all want Four goodness! Here's the meter, and don't forget to pre-order!






Also, I have some other goodies for you all. Check out the trailer for Insurgent, ASAP because it's awesome! Honestly, after seeing it, I just sat there and started thinking: "That. Was. AWESOME!" *abuse the replay button*
Check out the Goodreads page for Divergent and Insurgent, fall in love with it if you haven't already, and then pre-order Insurgent and/or buy Divergent and help us and Veronica Roth!

For the giveaway, it's open to ANYONE who's 18 or older (so a legal adult. That's too bad, so I can't win it. :( Sometimes you really hate not being thirteen yet and wanting to enter those giveaways. It doesn't matter. I'll be thirteen in 51 days! I think...) and can LEGALLY receive the gift card. It would also help if you pre-ordered Insurgent and showed your love to Abnegation by clicking that picture up above. Also, at the end of the Rafflecopter, there's a 25-point clicking bonus, but you get that ONLY if you followed and liked EVERY Facebook page out there.

To make things easier, too, you only have to put your Facebook and Twitter name once at the top and you can just go straight down without having to type anything in. Great, right? Good luck to anyone who decides to enter and have a nice day!