Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books on my TBR List

Top 10 Tuesday is an original feature/regular meme hosted at The Broke and The Bookish!

This week the Top 10 List focuses on our TBR! What books top your TBR List? 

Here are mine:
  1.  Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick I cannot wait for this to be released! I love this series.
  2.  Shine by Jeri Ready-Smith Ok, this is a far off dream seeing how it doesn't come out until next May, but whatever! I'm obsessively waiting for it!
  3.  The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater I recently read her Wolves of Mercy Falls series and I fell in love with her writing. I'm excited to read this!
  4. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi I've heard tons of good things about this book and it looks really good!
  5. Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay The cover is beautiful and I love re-tellings of old stories.
  6. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini  I'm a sucker for cover gorgeousness! And the summary is interesting and I think I'll love it. 
  7. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin  This book doesn't seem like something I'd normally pick up. I like the cover, but the story seems quite unusual and that actually makes me want to read it. I've also heard really good things about it. 
  8. Across the Universe by Beth Revis I'm currently on hold for this at the library and have been for ages. Unfortunately I'm #5 in line. Saaaad! I really like sci-fi actually (big Farscape fan) and I rarely come across YA sci-fi. If anyone has any recommendations, I'd love to hear some! I also have to say this has one of the most beautiful covers I've literally ever seen. 
  9. Hallowed by Cynthia Hand The second book to Unearthly! I wish this would come out tomorrow! 
  10. A Temptation of Angels by

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1) by Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Take (Soul Screamers #1) by Rachel Vincent

Release Date: August 1st 2009
Publisher: Harlequin
Page Count: Paperback, 279 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Buy This Book: Amazon, The Book Depository 

She doesn't see dead people. She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next. - Good Reads
This is one of those books I wished I would have discovered ages ago. I absolutely freaking loved it.  Until recently I'd never even heard of Rachel Vincent. Funny, I know, because she has a lot of books out and more than one series. It all started about a week ago when I saw a review for a book named Blood Bound - I thought the book sounded good based on the review and added it to my TBR list. A few days ago I was creeping around on Good Reads and saw this cover (it's gorgeous) and the summary seemed really interesting. A girl who senses when people die? Soul screamers? Is this book about bashees? I had another book by that author in my TBR list and both had fairly good ratings. Long story short, I went and picked it up at the library. And ladies and gents, I'm so glad I did.

Yes, there are some of the typical elements involved here: insta-love to a degree, girl with a dead parent, while the remaining is absent, the mean girl who loves to rain on our heroines parade, the alluring, mysterious stud with deep-rooted issues, whom you'd love to comfort as he quietly cries at your feet in fetal position, a heroine who learns she is "special" and so on and so forth. But in all honestly, despite all of that seemingly typicalness, I was hooked and it felt fresh and new and I became emotionally invested. Which is what to me, reading is all about. 

I loved Kaylee. She was a fabulous heroine. I loved her reasoning with herself about her ability. After researching the internet in a panic to understand more, it clicks... She must have brain cancer. I think I loved that mostly because that is totally and completely how I'd react to something strange. I've been known to to fly into a panic attack after self diagnosis after scouring Web MD. I won't lie! And Kaylee has a good heart. Nothing beats a good heart.

The pace of the story might start out a little slow for some people, but I felt it picked up quickly and I was so intrigued that I couldn't put it down. The end held a big shock for me - I saw and see a few things coming, but one of the twists I would have never imagined. And it's one of those shocks that makes you think and consider. Not exactly about the outcome, but what drove the outcome. In this book, what drove the ending was mostly apparent, but it was fueled by emotions and those emotions still weigh on my mind as I write this.

Overall, this book was definitely one of my favourites out of the year. Right up there with Shade and Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready. If you love young adult paranormal romances, I'd absolutely recommend this!

Tune in Tuesday - 90's Edition (4)

This is Tune in Tuesdays hosted by G Reads! Go spread the love of music by going over to her blog and participating! 

This is the last week featuring music from the 90's. I had tons of fun reliving old memories through music with everyone! 

So, here are my choices...

Monday, August 29, 2011

My RAK Summary for August 2011

This was my first month involved with Random Acts of Kindness and I was really surprised by how much I received! I honestly didn't expect to get anything! I am very, very thankful to the people who decided to get me something and I hope you all had a fun month!

For the month of August, I received, all in kindle format (yay, kindle collection!):

Daimon (Covenant #0.5) by Jennifer L Armentrout from Emma D 

Slumber (Chronicles of the Fade #1) by Samantha Young  from Emma D

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead from Samantha W

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler from Memrie

Thank you all! You made my month! I was able to send out two books this month. Hopefully I'll be able to send out more next month! In other words, I should have a JOB finally! Woohoo! This is definitely something I loved being involved in and if you haven't joined in, you should check it out for the month of September!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate

Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate

Release Date: December 8th 2009
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page Count: Hardcover, 452 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Good Reads: Link
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori. Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.
Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce–and goes out of his way to make that very clear–she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her. - Good Reads

I went into this book not having any idea what it was about. I totally went off the Good Reads summary, which is very vague and the cover, which I liked.

I was interested in this story from the beginning - what could Luce, a seemingly innocent girl have done so wrong to end up at Sword & Cross? Lauren Kate did a very good job at painting a scenery that was dreary and depressing and Sword & Cross is the last place I'd want to end up. The secondary characters were interesting and likeable. In particular I liked a character named Penn who became Luce's good friend.

At first, Daniel, the love interest, is a total a-hole. Without a lot of back story I felt that Luce was an idiot for pining after him. The first time they see each other he flips her the bird and from then on she's obsessed. He continued to act cold and then hot and then cold and it was frustrating. It did straighten out a little in the end and I could relate a little more to the whys and hows, but for a while I was ready to jump in that book and pull out a can of whoop ass on Luce and ask her why she was bothering with him.
The biggest problem I think I had was the writing. It's in third person and I don't know if it is the fact that I'm so used to reading in first person lately or if it was something about her writing that bothered me. I never exactly pinpointed what it was. I was able to get through the book well enough though, but I had an underlying irk going on throughout.

I'm definitely going to continue this series. I felt the story itself was intriguing, it just started out slowly. By the end I was full of questions, which will have me running to the library first thing tomorrow morning to grab the next book. With such mixed reviews about this book, I'd probably suggest borrowing it before buying it though.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

Release Date: January 7th 2010
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Page Count: Hardcover, 192 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Good Reads: Link
Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one - not even Julia's boyfriend - knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he's tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place? - Good Reads

I saw a review for this book recently on Caught in the Pages and knew I had to read it. The cover is gorgeous and the summary seems like it would be right up my alley. Forbidden love? Yes, please. And I thought it would be interesting to read a story about a boy. I'm always reading about girls and I'm girl and that makes sense, but I thought it'd be different to "get into the mind of a boy" It also promised to be an emotional read. 

Well... I liked it alright, but it seemed as if went all over the place. It started out with a clear path and then sort of just bounced around and I never felt as if things were settled enough for my liking. At first the book is about Colt dealing with the death of his secret girlfriend Julia and then he's leading his best friend, who is a girl, on and then he realizes he likes his secret girlfriends Julia's brothers girlfriend and then his brother announces he's gay and his secret girlfriends brother's girlfriend and him hook up, but she gets pissed because he still has the diary that belonged to his dead secret girlfriend and she feels she has to compete with a ghost. Whaaaat, you say? That's kind of how I felt towards the end. This book would have been much better had it been longer. 

There is also a lot of sex mentioned in this book. And it's seems rather casual. So, heads up!

I'd definitely recommend borrowing this book before you buy it. It's good, but it could have been better.

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren! It's a chance to share what books you've gotten in the past week, whether in your mailbox, from the store or the library!

Here is what I've got this past week:

Kiss Me Deadly: 13 Tales of Paranormal Love by Maggie Stiefvater, Becca Fitzpatrick, etc (walden books)

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black (walden books)

Saving June by Hannah Harrington (netgalley)

The Juliet Spell by Douglas Rees (netgalley)

Every Last Kiss by Courtney Cole (kindle)

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire (kindle)

Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (netgalley)

Crave by Melissa Darnell (netgalley)

Shattered by Sophia Sharp (kindle)

I went to the mall today to do a little school clothes shopping and saw Walden Books is going out of business. Huuuge sales! I hate the fact there are always huge sales when I'm broke! Unfair! Luckily though, I was able to grab these two.

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: July 12th 2011
Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count: Hardcover, 390 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Good Reads: Link

The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater
In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other. In Linger, they fought to be together. Now, in Forever, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in. - Good Reads

 I peeked at reviews before I read this - really peeked. I had a sinking feeling from some of the negative reviews I read that I wouldn't really like how life in Mercy Falls ends. Now that I finally read it, I'm happy to say that I was satisfied with the ending and I have do not have any regrets going past the first book, which was my one of my biggest fears after reading some of the reviews. 

I will say that this book did start out a little on the slow side. The writing was good as always, the pace of the story just seemed sluggish. A lot of moping and thoughtful Sam. I honestly kept putting it down and getting distracted. It did pick up though and by the middle was impossible to put down.

I love Cole and Isabel. Sam and Grace are more smooth and calm as a couple and I think that Cole and Isabel have a certain spice to their relationship and more romantic tension. I'm a sucker for that romantic tension stuff. I am glad that Sam and Grace's relationship didn't have tension though, because they were the steady influence throughout this trilogy and through thick and thin you knew you could count on their love to exist just as steady as ever. And essentially, at the end of the day, that is what made this series. But I still love Cole and Isabel.

Cole was awesome in this book. He steps up to the plate and we definitely see a much better person than we did in Linger. He is a bit of an a-hole in the beginning and he's sarcastic as always, but there is a huge improvement. I think every moment I laughed out loud in the book was because he said something hilariously stupid. My personal favourite Cole quote:

                                              "It's adrenaline, not prom sex." 

I'm actually a little sad this series is over. As I said before, I was satisfied with the ending because I felt that I was given enough closure. It does end a little abruptly though and leaves a little to the imagination. Luckily I have a friendly imagination that sees all of them loving and laughing in a field of tulips and going on to live happily ever after. Ha! Well, Isabel and Cole would probably be arguing in a field of tulips... But at least their making up would be hot!

I definitely recommend this series. At least to try it out - I think it's a series you either love or hate. Fortunately for me, I loved it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: June 13th 2010
Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count: Hardcover, 360 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Good Reads: Link

In Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver, Grace and Sam found each other.  Now, in Linger, they must fight to be together. For Grace, this means defying her parents and keeping a very dangerous secret about her own well-being. For Sam, this means grappling with his werewolf past . . . and figuring out a way to survive into the future. Add into the mix a new wolf named Cole, whose own past has the potential to destroy the whole pack.  And Isabelle, who already lost her brother to the wolves . . . and is nonetheless drawn to Cole.At turns harrowing and euphoric, Linger is a spellbinding love story that explores both sides of love -- the light and the dark, the warm and the cold -- in a way you will never forget. - Good Reads

I wasn't sure how Linger would start out or be about since I felt that Shiver had a sufficient enough wrap up to be a stand alone novel. I could see some potential conflict though and I trust Maggie's writing and, of course, I wanted to see more of Grace, Sam and Isabel, so, obviously choosing to read the second book didn't require me to think twice.

The writing is just as beautiful as in Shiver. I still love Maggie's way with words and like in Shiver, she still was able to capture the atmosphere and emotions in such a real way. This book left me feeling very lonely and depressive though. In Shiver, I felt an anxiety about the cold, in Linger, it's more of a gnawing feeling, a depressive gnawing. Grace and Sam's happiness was overshadowed by the issues that you knew had to be faced. And it was nerve-wracking waiting for those issues to arrive. It very much reminded me of the boogeyman in the closet when you're a child: you know he's sitting there, but he never makes an attempt to come jump out at you, so you just wait and wait and wait anxiously for him to. Luckily for us - the problems do jump out, just not quite when and how you expect them.

Linger is written in four separate and alternating viewpoints: Grace, Sam, Isabel and the new addition to the pack: Cole. I personally like alternating viewpoints. I like being able to see in each persons head, though sometimes it makes me a little slower at reading, because I sometimes have to double check who's head I'm in. This didn't effect me as much in this book, because I think the characters have distinct enough personalities. Only once in the beginning of reading did it affect me, and it was because I didn't realize that I was in Cole's head and I thought to myself, "this doesn't sound like Sam at all". But I caught on easily after I noticed. It was my fault for not paying attention to the chapter heading in the first place or I would have known it was Cole right away.

The addition of Isabel and Cole made the book move much better than it could have otherwise, I think. Things between Sam and Grace were a little slow and there is more physical distance between them in this book. I felt Isabel and Cole made up for that and I was especially interested in their storyline together. We saw a little bit of a vulnerable side to Isabel in Shiver, but in Linger we get to see a little more, but we also get to see her strong side. The side, I think, that ended up "saving the day" in a way. Without her the story would have never been able to move forward. Cole also helped in this role as well, but Isabel, I think, was a big deal in this book. At least to me. In some ways she may seem like a cold, hard bitch, but she has guts and feeling too. I don't know, I liked her character in Linger and I can say she is one of my favourites.

The romance in this book was shockingly low-key compared to it predecessor. At times it almost seemed as if Sam and Grace were.... an old married couple. Not something I'd expect from two teenagers in love. I think that is something that usually grows over time in a relationship, at least it did in mine. That quiet love where you just accept and love without everything having to be dramatic or physical. So, honestly, there isn't a lot of hot romance in this book. There are a few scenes between Isabel and Cole, but this book is romantic in a much different way than the last.

Overall, there was a heavy sense of foreboding throughout the book. A lingering (<-- see what I did there harhar) melancholy. But I liked it, just in a different way than I liked Shiver.

If you loved Shiver, then this is a must read. I'm eager to read Forever and see what happens, because there was a big BIG CLIFF HANGER. So have Forever armed and ready!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Follow Me Friday #4

It's Follow Me Friday over at Parajunkee! The question this week is:

Q. In books like the Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood) series the paranormal creature in question "comes out of the closet" and makes itself known to the world. Which mythical creature do you wish come out of the closet, for real? 

Very interesting question! Mmm. I'd like a lot of them to be real. Well, not trying to murder me real. Unicorns, fairies, elves... Non-evil vampires, just in case I really decided I'd rather live forever. Oh, I want owls that deliver messages too!

When I was little my first ever favourite film was Legend. I had an obsession. Luckily my Mother indulged me and we would watch it together repeatedly. I still remember all the lines. I think that started my unicorn fascination. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why I Love Time Travel Books!

                                   (I think you can click on the picture to look up close)

I was digging through photographs and started to think about time travel and why I like books with that element. And... it's because of my Great Great Grandmother Rosa Flavilla Palacios! I have a horrible obsession with the past and my genealogy. Growing up I didn't look like anybody. Everyone commented on it and I always felt as if I must have been dropped on the door step. I started doing research on my family, most particularly my Mother's father who wasn't in her life much and I'd only met a handful of times - that is when I came across Rosa. There is an obvious resemblance. And finally, I looked like someone! I wasn't the long lost daughter of -insert someone cool-. I went to Colorado a couple years ago to find out more and look through her belongings and I found out, not only do we look alike, but we have similar tastes. She had this huge scrapbook full of lyrics and poems she loved, advertisements she collected, stories she had written, letters she received, knitting patterns she wrote down. Well, I'm a failure at knitting, but you should see all my old notebooks from growing up - filled with lyrics, poems and stories. Isn't that crazy? How someone you may have never known about and seems so far back in the past was so genetically influencing?

I'd do anything, literally anything, to go back in time and meet her and be BFFs.

Which leads to my love of time travel books. I find it fascinating and I really wish I had the ability. In fact, that's what I want for Christmas. K, thanks. I think it also leads to my obsession with history. I think love for history and genealogy may be intertwined, just because they fit well together. 

So, what era would you travel to? Who would you want to meet if you could?

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

Release Date: August 1st 2009
Publisher: Scholastic
Page Count: Hardcover, 400 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Good Reads: Link

Grace and Sam share a kinship so close they could be lovers or siblings. But they also share a problem. When the temperature slips towards freezing, Sam reverts to his wolf identity and must retreat into the woods to protect his pack. He worries that eventually his human side will fade away and he will left howling alone at the lonely moon. A stirring supernatural teen romance. - Good Reads

I've waited a long time to read this book. Mostly because some jerk had it checked out at the library for 84 years and I'm job hunting poor at the moment, so buying it was out of the question. It finally came in and I just kept staring at it, admiring the cover and wanting to start, but I was too anxious to. I'm not exactly sure what was holding me back, perhaps I need mental help or maybe I had a lot of expectations. Either way, I finally read it.
At 3 am last night when I finished, I hopped out of my chair, threw the book down and said, "that was such a good book!". All smiles. Unfortunately nobody could share my joy because everyone else had gone to sleep. 

Okay, I'm stalling because I don't even know how to describe this book. It was wonderful. I've read in some reviews that people disliked the way it was written, but I'm guessing we're on opposite ends, because I loved it. It was lyrical and beautiful. I'm probably going to use the word beautiful at least 25 more times. Sorry in advance.

The whole set-up was inventive. The "werewolf" story was different than anything I've read before. The atmosphere of the book was very intense. I felt the cold through the pages and whenever the weather was mentioned I nearly had a panic attack. In fact, I was whining on twitter that I was sure Sam was going to turn into a wolf, so I kept putting it down because I was so anxious about it.

Shiver is a love story. There is no huge plot other than that. There are sub-plots, but the main idea is the love between Grace and Sam. I found their love story to be touching and beautiful. Funnily enough if I tried to describe this book to somebody, it would sound ridiculous and in theory it is, but on paper it grabbed me and made me believe. 

Oh, and Maggie Stiefvater is not a tease. There's a sexy-time scene in this book. Beware! Or in my case, enjoy!

Overall, a very good book. Highly recommended if you enjoy paranormal love stories. I'm definitely going to buy this as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Silence (Hush Hush #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted at Breaking The Spine where we share upcoming releases we're anticipating. And I'm anticipating...

"The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever." - Good Reads

I can't wait to read this. Aaaaah!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tune in Tuesday - 90's Edition (3)

This is Tune in Tuesdays hosted by G Reads! Go spread the love of music by going over to her blog and participating! 

I love Tune in Tuesdays! 
My picks this week: 

Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Release Date: October 18th 2007
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count: Hardcover, 288 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.
I've had this book laying around for quite a long time, but only recently worked up the guts to read it. I dealt with a suicide almost a year ago and it's was a very sad time in my life, not just because I lost someone I cared about, but I had to see how it affected the people he loved, people I also love very much.

This is obviously an emotional read. I think the pacing of the novel was well done. Hannah's issues started out so petty. Such tiny, little things to be upset about, but gradually they escalated into something bigger and harder to patch up. Of course, I could see the light past those problems and wished I could jump in and shake some sense into the girl, but that is the point; sometimes that is easier to say than do.

The last thing I ever said was in a message on MySpace. I told him, Relax, Take It Eaaaaasy! and told him to call me. I was being serious in my own way and was genuinely trying to cheer him up, but I wish I would have reminded him he had a daughter, that he was loved, that life was worth living. I wished I would have said more. Anything that would have changed the outcome.

This was definitely an introspective and emotional read. And I doubt I'll ever want to read it again. Once was enough. Sorry this review is all over the place. This was really difficult to review!

50 Followers Giveaway!

To a lot of people this may seem like a silly and small accomplishment, but I'm currently quite cheesed out. I remember a few weeks ago, I told my husband, "honey, I have 7 followers" in a tone that oozed badass. WELL, HONEY, NOW I HAVE 50... ACTUALLY 53! Thank you for following me and thank you to the people who leave me comments. I obsessively check my e-mail for comments and I get super excited when I get new ones.

Onto the giveaway...!

The Prize:
A book of your choice from The Book Depository! (Price limit is $15)

This giveaway is opened to anyone who lives in a country where The Book Depository ships!

The only requirement is you MUST be a follower to join in! There are additional ways to get extra entries, but they're not required!

Edit: I fixed the giveaway! On accident I had it starting tomorrow instead of today.

Missy's Epic 1000 Followers Giveaway!

Missy's Reads & Reviews 
Missy over at Missy's Reads & Reviews is having an epic giveaway in celebration of reaching 1000 followers! There are TONS of cool prize packs to win and many ways to enter! Go check it out!

Hourglass (Hourglass #1) by Myra McEntire

Hourglass (Hourglass #1) by Myra McEntire

Release Date: June 14th 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Page Count: Hardcover, 397 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut. - Good Reads

I remember the first time I saw the cover of this book I knew I had to read it. It's gorgeous. It has this haunting feel to it that just sucked me in. I didn't give a crap what it was about, I just knew I had to read it. Then I found out there was time travel involved and I was done for. So, for me Hourglass had two amazing things to live up to. Luckily, it didn't disappoint!

I liked Emerson quite a bit. So often times in paranormal books the heroine finds out something is unusual about herself and accepts it without much of a hitch. In Hourglass, we find Emerson already knowing her ability to a certain extent and she has learned to live with it. She had already been through a stay at a mental institution resulting after a breakdown from all the stress on her shoulders. So she's a realistic girl. She is weak, but not too weak. She has her strength. I think that is one of the things I liked most about her. She's balanced.

The love story was good. I felt it paced itself for a while and then escalated quickly. Teetering on the edge of a little too quickly. I guess it just seemed as if it started out nice and slow and then suddenly escalated to "I love you long time". I think that may be because I feel so used to the drawn out tension and attraction that is usually in books. It wasn't eye roll worthy by any means, but it didn't exactly capture me like it probably could have. I still liked it though and I awww'd a few times.

The plot kept me on my toes and there were a lot of twists and turns I didn't anticipate. The writing was well thought out and the style of writing appealed to me.

Overall, I liked this quite a bit. And I think it's unfair to have to wait until 2012 to read the next book. I'm horribly impatient.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shift (Shade #2) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Release Date: May 3rd 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: Hardcover, 367 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.
As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart. - Good Reads

Shade stopped very abruptly and Shift continues exactly where it left off. So, it's definitely a good idea to have this book handy as soon as you finish Shade! Just a tip!

Overall I really loved this book and felt it was just as good as the first. Perhaps some people may find themselves annoyed with Aura and her inability to get past her dead boyfriend in the form of a ghost, but in her shoes, I would have had the same difficulties. It would be horrible to have to look at him, know he's there, but know it won't last forever. It's too difficult to get closure and I can't fault her for having a difficult time moving on from him, despite her other love interests, which only seem to confuse her. Oh, yes. There almost becomes a love square in this book. It didn't bother me very much as I know it bothered others, mostly because I felt it was understandable. The third guy was an understandable choice. Weird and uncomfortable, yes, but I could see where she was coming from emotionally and it is quickly nipped in the bud.

Shift did have action that Shade did not, but I felt it still was largely focused on the triangle love theme between Aura, Logan and Zachary. There was a point of the book where I was really disgusted with Zachary and I almost felt as if Aura gave into him a little too quickly. The real action came later on in the book and we discover the answers to many questions that were raised in Book 1.

Overall, still a fabulous series so far. I can't wait until the next book comes out. 2012, come quicker!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shade (Shade #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Shade (Shade #1) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Release Date: May 4th 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count: Hardcover, 309 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.
Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.
Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone. Well, sort of.
Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.
It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.
As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift. - Good Reads

I've read a lot of good reviews about Shade, but I wasn't prepared for how good this would be!

As mentioned in the summary above, this is a story about ghosts. Ghosts? Who would have thought that this subject, such a classic that it could be considered boring, would be so exciting. But it was. Jeri Smith-Ready has a really good imagination and some of the details were so in depth that I was surprised and kept thinking, "geez, how did she come up with this?"

I was afraid of the "love triangle" in the description, but this "love triangle" was believable and it didn't bother me at all. It was just sad if anything and there was no stupidity involved. 

Perhaps I'm a little too emotional, because I often cry when I read something sad, but this book had me crying a lot at the end. It was very touching. 

This is definitely my favourite paranormal book that I've read this year. And very recommended!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand

Release Date: January 4th 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Page Count: Hardcover, 435 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.
Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny? - Good Reads


I absolutely adored this book. And I really REALLY did not expect some of the turns this book took. I love that. I love being surprised. 

Clara is a sweetheart. She's a wonderful heroine. I really loved the fact that despite being an angel who is naturally better at everything she does, she still is legitimately insecure and it feels realistic. I obviously could relate to her because I am amazing at everything I do as well and sometimes it's difficult because I know it's not fair to others because nobody stands a chance against me. Ha ha! Jokes aside, she did really seem like an average teenager and she was easy to relate to.

The supporting cast is very intriguing. There are a lot of little plots going on with them, but nothing that is overwhelming to keep up with. I myself still have a lot of questions I'm dying to know the answer to. Like, why is Clara's Mom so secretive? There is obviously a purpose and I need to know what it is five minutes ago. Clara's friend Angela also interests me, because I feel there is much more about her than meets the eye. And maybe I'm totally off here, but I think Angela's mother might be a little shady.

There is a sweet romance in the book and I loved it. It didn't come out of nowhere and it felt real. None of that, "oh gosh, I know we just met, but I think we're soulmates" stuff. Not that I mind that, but somehow this one just touched my heart in that perfect way and I think it had to do with the progression.

This is definitely a book I plan on buying. You should read it. As soon as possible!