Friday, April 30, 2010

We have a winner!

Hey all, this is just a quick note to say that the contest for Eric Van Lustbader's two books, "First Daughter" and "Last Snow", has ended. The winner (using was

#11. Shanise

I've already sent out an email, and hope to hear back soon. I'll then forward the information on to Anne, and she will ship out the books. Thank you again to Anne for hosting the giveaway! Thank you to everyone who entered!

Have a great weekend everyone! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last Snow - Eric Van Lustbader

New York Times bestselling sensation Eric Van Lustbader created the legendary Nicholas Linnear of The Ninja and brought Jason Bourne into the twenty-first century. Now Lustbader brings us Jack McClure, a street-smart ATF agent who saved the president's daughter from a criminal mastermind. Jack is now a special advisor to President Edward Carson, and Carson's daughter refuses to let Jack out of her sight.
When an American senator, supposedly on a political trip to the Ukraine, turns up dead on the island of Capri, the president asks McClure to find out how and why. Jack sets out from Moscow across Eastern Europe, following a perilous trail of diplomats, criminals, and corrupt politicians. He takes on a personal mission along with his official one: protecting his two unlikely, unexpected, and incompatible companions--Annika, a rogue Russian FSB agent, and Alli, the president's daughter.
Thrust into the midst of a global jigsaw puzzle, Jack uses his dyslexic mind to put together the pieces that others can't even see. As he struggles to keep both women safe and to unearth the answers he seeks, Jack learns just how far up the American and Russian political ladders corruption and treachery have reached. And though Jack's abilities are as good as it gets, there is much more to gain--and lose--on this journey than the truth about the senator. . . .

Title: Last Snow
Genre: Adult Fiction, Thriller, Politics
Publisher: Forge, A Tom Doherty Associates Book, LLC
My Rating: 5/5

This book was rife with action. It starts off with Edward Carson settling into his position as President. He is in meetings with Russia, and receives information that one of his Senators has been killed in Capri. The news comes as a surprise to him as the Senator wasn't even supposed to be in Capri, so he sends Jack McClure to find out why he was there, and why he was killed. Was it an accident, or was it intentional? Needless to say, Jack sets off on a race against time, and picks up a few stragglers along the way.
The plot was definitely complex, and I found that Van Lustbader used sleight of hand throughout the book. It was easy to see what the right hand was doing, but then out of left field some new dilemma or information was thrust on Jack. He then had to weigh all of the factors together, in the way only he can. The web of lies, and half-truths were so intricately wound throughout the story, that you didn't know whether certain people were allies or foes.
The character development for both Jack and Alli was unbelievably good as well. We delve more into the mystery behind the psychological repercussions of Alli's abduction, and we see the bond between her and Jack grow stronger.
I will say that there were a lot of new characters, almost too many. But, when he reached that point, once a character outlived his usefulness, he or she was gone. Van Lustbader had no problem killing off characters.
All in all, this book was an intense thriller, and it again is quite relevant to the times. It was engaging, and really well put together. As with First Daughter, every detail was used. At first, you may wonder how it all ties in, but believe me, it comes full circle. It was a phenomenal book, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone who loves a good thriller. In my opinion, it raises the bar for political thrillers. It was that well crafted.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received free of purchase in exchange for an honest review.

This book, as well as First Daughter, are both up for grabs in a giveaway that Anne (on behalf of Forge books) has graciously provided for. You can enter on the contest post.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In My Mailbox -18-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

I was REALLY bad this week and went to a local book sale--several times. I picked up a pile of books to read, and some that I'm collecting in series, so please bear with me, this post is going to be a long one.

ALSO, I haven't been around at all this week. I apologize for that as I've been busy with life stuff. It happens to all of us, so hey, what can you do, eh? I have been attempting to read Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader all week. I'm almost done it, so I'm hoping that I can finish it and put the review up tonight. So far... it's really, really good! It's just finding the time to read. Hopefully I'll be back in the swing of things after this though, so buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride. ;) (Not sure why I'm quoting the bobble-wizened-head in Harry Potter 3, but hey, here goes.) :)

The only "mail" I received was a swag pack from Judith Graves, author of Under My Skin. (Thank you!) I won a contest over on her blog, and received an UMS bookmark, and card, as well as a CD from the group she was in several years ago. I also received Arson in the mail, so I'm very excited to read it!


1. Down Among the Dead Men - Simon R. Green
2. Guardians of the Three: Lords of Cragsclaw - Bill Fawcett
3. Dawnkeepers: A Novel of the Final Prophecy - Jessica Andersen
4. The Kingless Land - Ed Greenwood
5. Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories Volume I - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
6. Witch Beast - Bernard King
7. Into the Dark Lands - Michelle Sagara
8. Tess of the D'Ubervilles - Thomas Hardy
9. On the Trail of the Truth - Michael Phillips & Judith Pella
10. The Ring of Five Dragons - Eric Van Lustbader
11. The Jaguar Knights - Dave Duncan
12. A Sorcerer's Treason - Sarah Zettel
13. The Serpent Bride - Sara Douglass
14. A Rumor of Gems - Ellen Steiber
15. 3 in 1: Constance - Rosie Thomas, Starburst - Robin Pilcher, Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
16. Heat Wave - Richard Castle
17. Dracula The Un-Dead - Dacre Stoker and Ian Holt
18. Deerskin - Robin McKinley
19. Whither Thou Goest - Al Lacy
20. The Last Victim: A True-Life Journey Into the Mind of the Serial Killer - Jason Moss with Jeffrey Kottler, Ph.D.
21. Sherwood - Parke Godwin
22. Tomorrow's Treasure - Linda Chaikin
23. Buried at Sea - Paul Garrison
24. The Runelords - David Farland
25. The Loch - Steve Alten
26. Sweet Valley High: (100) The Evil Twin - Francine Pascal
27. Sweet Valley Saga: The Patmans of Sweet Valley - Francine Pascal
28. The Nancy Drew Files: 67. Nobody's Business - Carolyn Keene
29. A Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys Super Mystery: Royal Revenge - Carolyn Keene
30. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 16. Line of Fire - Franklin W. Dixon
31. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 17. The Number File - Franklin W. Dixon
32. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 18. A Killing in the Market - Franklin W. Dixon
33. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 19. Nightmare in Angel City - Franklin W. Dixon
34. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 20. Witness to Murder - Franklin W. Dixon
35. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 31. Without a Trace - Franklin W. Dixon
36. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 33. Collision Course - Franklin W. Dixon
37. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 40. Fright Wave - Franklin W. Dixon
38. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 43. Strategic Moves - Franklin W. Dixon
39. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 44. Castle Fear - Franklin W. Dixon
40. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 45. In Self-Defense - Franklin W. Dixon
41. The Hardy Boys Casefiles: 48. Rock 'N' Revenge - Franklin W. Dixon
42. Beauty - Robin McKinley
43. Heart on my Sleeve - Ellen Wittlinger
44. The Last Dragonlord - Joanne Bertin
45. The Baby-Sitters Club: Baby-sitters' Summer Vacation - Ann M. Martin
46. The Baby-Sitters Club: Baby-sitters' Island Adventure - Ann M. Martin
47. The Baby-Sitters Club: Baby-sitters on Board! - Ann M. Martin
48. The Baby-Sitters Club: Snowbound - Ann M. Martin
49. 10 Things I Hate About You (VHS)
50. Fried Green Tomatoes (VHS)
51. Arson - Estevan Vega
52. UMS Swag - Judith Graves

Surprisingly, I didn't break the bank, though I think I have entirely way too many books to read before I can get to this lot. I couldn't believe that they had some recent hardcovers for only 2 or 3 dollars!! Anyway, that is what I received in my "mailbox", what did you get in yours?

ALSO, please check my current contests out. I am currently hosting a contest for a copy of ARSON by Estevan Vega, and the two Eric Van Lustbader books - First Daughter, and Last Snow. Both contests are US/Canada only, though I hope soon I'll be able to have another international one. I hate limiting to one area! ;)

AND, last, but certainly not least. My fellow affiliate, and awesome friend Sherry from Flipping Pages for all Ages, is hosting an awesome contest with a whopping total of 21 winners! If you haven't already checked it out, I suggest you do! :)

Thanks for bearing with me! It's been fun, but I better get back to reading this book so I can review it tonight! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In My Mailbox -17-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

For Review


1. Hate List - Jennifer Brown - review
2. The Silver Moon Elm - MaryJanice Davidson and Anthony Alongi
3. Blue Diablo - Ann Aguirre
4. Hell Fire - Ann Aguirre
5. Soulless - Gail Carriger
6. Changeless - Gail Carriger

That's all I received in my mailbox this week. What did you get in yours?

P.S. Sorry for the font issues today guys! My post settings and I are at odds today. Nothing seems to work to fix it... *sighs*

Friday, April 16, 2010

Hate List - Jennifer Brown

What if you wished someone would die and then it happened?

What if the killer was someone you loved?

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saved the life of a classmate, but was implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things she and Nick hated. The list he used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

Title: Hate List
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
My Rating: 5+/5

Have you ever read a book, and became so engrossed in it that you couldn't put it down? The characters could be playing out their roles in the livingroom in front of you, and you can't seem to look away. That was me, with this book. This book starts out with Valerie heading back to school after having been an unintentional party to a high school shooting. She is labelled either a hero, or just as guilty as her boyfriend (now deceased). Her friends don't want anything to do with her. Her family doesn't know what to do with her. She just wants to keep to herself.
She didn't mean to do it. One day, she just started writing down a list of things and people that she hated. Most of the people on this list had bullied her in some form. Nick catches her writing this list one day, and later on after class he mentions casually to her to add something to the list. The Hate List was born.
I don't condone what she did, but I can see where she's coming from. I too, had been bullied (though I was never bullied in high school; my living hell was grade school). I can sympathize somewhat with Nick, though he couldn't justify doing something that horrendous.
This book brings to light the horrifying things that go on in schools across the globe. The bullying, and abuse people take at school, or in class. It takes it one step further, and realizes every parents worst nightmare. Their children could very well die before them, in a senseless act of depravity.
This book was executed brilliantly. The characters were human, flawed, and emotionally at odds with themselves and each other. The plot was imaginative. The true brilliance to this story, is that it happens every day around us. Little by little, someone is slowly becoming more desperate. Until, finally, they snap. But we rarely hear of what happens afterwards. How does a community cope with the staggering loss of their children, students or staff? With that in mind, this book paints a haunting picture of a reality that is all too familiar these days.
Her characters were beautifully done. Valerie's character is challenged throughout this book, but she shows grit and determination that will help her resolve the past. There is no way she can make up for what happened, but she can ask for forgiveness, and stand up and atone for any wrongdoing on her part. She just needs to find her true self first.
This book was incredibly heartfelt, poignant, and mesmerizing. It parallels the fears we all have today in schools, and it shines a light on one topic most of all. Bullying. It happens, everywhere. Unfortunately not much is done about it, but we can stop the effects it has on others. We can pledge not to bully. To stand up for those weaker than us. To do what is right by them.
All in all, this book was phenomenally amazing. I had tears in my eyes as I finished the book. It was moving, captivating, and refreshingly honest. This book has slid into my "Top 10 of 2010" list with ease. I hope you all have enjoyed it, or will enjoy it, as much as I have.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Another Contest?

Hey everyone, I hope you are all having a great day! Anne, on behalf of Forge, is offering up 2 books for a giveaway, so I'm hosting another contest. (Thank you Anne!) The books are First Daughter and Last Snow by Eric Van Lustbader. You can find my review of First Daughter HERE if you want to find out what it's about. (Spoiler free.)


1. Contest will end at 5pm EST on April 30th, 2010. Winner will get both books.
2. Contest is US/Canada only. (Sorry to those who are international.)
3. Once the contest has ended, I'll either use or make my cat choose the winner. (She loves playing with paper... so long as she doesn't eat the slip of paper before I can read it that is.) ;)
4. I will email the winner, then they will have 48 hours to get back to me. If I don't hear from them, I'll pick another winner. I will then pass the information on to Anne and she will mail out the books at that time.
5. Please leave an email address that I can reach you at! :)
6. Only one entry per person, and please feel free to tweet the contest, sidebar it, blog about it etc. Thank you. :)

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along!

  • grab your current read
  • flip to a random page
  • select two teaser sentences from somewhere on that page
  • try not to include spoilers!
  • please let us know the author and book so we can add them to our TBR pile!
Today's teaser comes from the book Hate List by Jennifer Brown. It's about a girl living with the aftermath of a school shooting. Her boyfriend, being the one who was the shooter. This book is just such an emotionally charged read.

"Mrs. Tate? Have things changed much?" I asked. "I mean, are people different now?" I didn't know what I hoped her answer would be. Yes, everyone learned their lesson and now we're all one big, happy family, just like they say we are in the newspapers. Or no, there were no bullies--it was all in your head just like they say." pg. 51

That's my teaser for today, what is your Tuesday teaser?

Monday, April 12, 2010

First Daughter - Eric Van Lustbader

Sometimes the weakness we fear most can become our greatest strength.

When ATF legend Jack McClure lost his daughter Emma in a terrible accident, his world came undone. Then a phone call from the newly elected president--an old friend--puts Jack on a collision course with his past. The president's daughter, who was once Emma's best friend, has been kidnapped.
Jack dives headlong into the investigation, tearing open the wounds of Emma's death. His search leads him to a conspiracy that reaches deep into the shadows of power throughout the world and into the path of a cold and calculating man--someone whose actions are as dangerous as they are brilliant, whose power and reach are seemingly infinite. A man who, Jack will soon discover, has affected his life and country in more ways than he could imagine.

Title: First Daughter
Genre: Adult Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Forge, Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
My Rating: 5/5

What a phenomenal book. The book starts off with Alli at her father's inauguration and then drops back a month to just before she was kidnapped. The first chapter gives us a sneak peek of what's in store for her and her family (as well as a multitude of others). Then we get catapulted back to the beginning where Jack, an ATF agent and Alli's deceased best friend's father, enters the picture. He is asked specifically by the president-elect to search for his daughter as they have a past history. Through the search for Alli, all of Jack's fears and emotions come to light about his daughter, Emma's untimely death. Throughout the book we see how Emma's death has affected Jack, and his marriage.
Jack is a multi-faceted character. He has dyslexia, but uses it as an asset. Due to his dyslexia, he makes leaps and bounds in logic that others simply can't make. This makes him an invaluable asset when trying to figure out what happened to Alli.
The characters were very well developed. The plot was well developed, and intricate in its detail. It was very fast-paced and flowed fluidly through the book. We follow Jack as he has flash-backs to his past, and we learn about characters and situations, that helped make Jack the man he is now. None of these flashbacks deter from the storyline as they too thicken the plot. Nothing mentioned is frivolous, it all is woven intricately into the story, and is used brilliantly.
This book is not only suspenseful, it also is a religious and political thriller. It bears an uncanny resemblance to a future that could very well happen at any given time. From the opening chapters, to the breath-taking finale, this book is one that doesn't let up. It constantly delivers more information, and action, and it keeps you guessing until the very end. It is definitely well worth the read, and you will have a hard time putting this book down. All in all, it is engaging, believable, and suspenseful.

DISCLAIMER: This book was received free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In My Mailbox -16-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

This week is an easy one. I have been pretty good (so far) at spending less time in the book store, and buying fewer books. I don't know whether it's a good thing that I'm on a first name basis with the people at my local bookstore or not though... ;) Actually, they're all pretty nice. :)

Anyway, the books that I bought this week are:

1. Tales of the Otherworld - Kelley Armstrong
2. The Reckoning - Kelley Armstrong

I'm definitely getting my Kelley Armstrong fix this week. I have been waiting (impatiently) for these to come out, so I was quite happy that my local Coles had them. When I arrived at the store, a couple were at the cash register discussing said books. Once I finished perusing the shelves and went up to pay, we ended up having a lengthy discussion about books, e-readers, and Kelley Armstrong. It's definitely neat to meet fellow avid book lovers! The couple are switching over to the e-reader in a few months because they find that their shelves are overflowing and they have no more space for anymore books. I don't think I could ever give up my books because I love the smell and feel of a good book in my hands!

This brings me to my question. (Albeit I'm asking about it in a roundabout way.) Which do you prefer? Books or e-readers, and why?

Also, if you haven't already seen it, Estevan Vega is doing a blog tour right now in anticipation of the release of his book Arson, and he made a stop on my blog earlier this week. I currently have a contest running for Arson to help promote this wonderful author! Feel free to check out his post (it's a short story that you might only find here!) and enter the contest or leave some comment love for him! Thanks again for checking it out everyone!

That is what I received in my mailbox this week, what did you receive in yours?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Fallen - Lauren Kate

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 Sword & Cross boarding school in Savannah. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are screwups, and security cameras watch every move.
Except Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret. . . even if it kills her.
Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: Young Adult, Angels
Publisher: Delacorte Press
My Rating: 4/5

I am finding that this book walks a fine line between a love/hate relationship. At first, I didn't like the book, not because of anything overt, but because it seemed like the plot wasn't going anywhere. I'm glad I stuck with it though because once I managed to get past the long drawn out first 150 pages or so it opened up and we finally started to see some action. Even at 150 pages in, there wasn't a lot of action, but at least we start to get some answers, and then more questions. At that point, we get to see more character development, and Luce finally starts interacting (more) with Daniel. It's at least, not a one-sided conversation anymore.
There was a lot of foreshadowing, and then there were the shadows. The shadows seemed to obscure their true intent initially as they didn't do anything, they just imposed their presence from time to time. One couldn't decide if they were bad or indifferent. I won't say anything more on that subject because I don't want to ruin anything for anyone who still has to read the book.
I found that once the book opened up, it slowly gave up it's secrets to the reader; just enough to keep the reader engaged throughout the rest of the book. I found that the further along the story got, the more brilliant it became. It was like Luce was waking up, and therefore we were waking up alongside her. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book. I devoured the latter half of this book and couldn't get enough of it. I thoroughly loved the "bad" characters, as well as the "good" characters. They weren't as defined as one might think.
There are still a lot of questions that haven't been answered, but have been alluded to. I found the ending quite apropos for the book, and it leaves the reader begging for more. (Again, more questions.) I really can't wait to read the next book, and don't know if I can wait until September for it to come out! All in all, it was slow to start, but once it kicked in I was captivated.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge hosted over at J. Kaye's/Home Girl's book blog.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blog Tour: Arson - Estevan Vega & a Contest

Hello all, welcome to the next blog tour stop for Estevan Vega's Arson.
We just heard about his Wedding at Wal-Mart. If you are just dropping in, you can find out what exactly happened at Wal-Mart over HERE. It was definitely an eagle's eye view into the muse and music of Estevan Vega.
Next up, you will find his tour stopping over at Cafe of Dreams on Friday, April 9th.
For now, you will find yourself immersed in the words, the pure talent that is being showcased today; the talent that is all Estevan Vega. Join us as we take a look into the past, at a short that Estevan wrote while in high school honing his craft. It is breath-taking in its quality, and it is just a teaser of what is yet to comethe pure brilliance that is Arson.
For more information about Arson's release date and the contest, please refer to the bottom of this post.

Forget me not

By: Estevan Vega

The day had turned cold. Soon, dusk slipped in.

Soren searched the recesses of his fragile mind for a reason. A reason to stay, to live out as the actor of failed endeavors. In the past, it was easy. In the past, he'd simply wish these dark emotions away. It'll get better, he always told himself. But better never came. Was life nothing more than an attempt to live out what someone else wanted?

"I love you, really I do," began the letter. The ink bled on the the loose white page. His hand shook. Hot tears mixed with the blue dye that seemed to knit neatly each frail word. "I missed you forever, but you never came back. I'm sorry for what I did." Had it been his fault? Was he the reason his father left six years ago? Maybe he didn't respect him enough. Maybe his grades were too low. Maybe he screwed everything up. His mind was a clouded mess. Soren wondered with every apt pen stroke what the point was. The minutes turned to seconds, which turned to milliseconds until time completely stopped.

It waited for him.

Mourning came. But never the dawn.

The world seemed frozen, like he was now. Everyone was just blind to the truth, that's what it was. The cold truth that bled through the lies of his face. Soon the blue ink appeared red. The stillness would bring the world back to the way it was supposed to be.

"I wish it weren't this way," Soren wrote, tears now in his eyes. "I wish you hadn't forgotten me."

A dim light hid in the corner.

"Coward," Soren seethed. Back to the page he returned, back to the memories. Back to a hopeless cold. "Forget me not," he wrote.

If he had a soul, he couldn't feel it. And if he still had a heart, he couldn't hear its beat. The pen neared the end of the page. The anger and resentment of his emotions soon turned to numbness. "Daddy, why did you go? Daddy, come back." Now, the words seemed frail, like his own being, tossed around like some reluctant fish caught by a vicious hook. How completely out of control he was.

But one thing remained that he could control. It has to be this way, he convinced himself. It's the only way. It'd break his mother's heart, sure, but maybe his father would come back. Maybe if he had a reason to come back, he would.

As he licked the envelope and sealed it, he listened for his mother downstairs. She was baking. The smell of the fresh cookies carried peace into his bedroom, if only for a short while. A weak smile found his face. He picked up the pen again and wrote: Dad, forget me not. And then slowly, as already stuck in the grip of eternity, Soren walked to his closet, where a thin thread hung from the bar where his suit jacketscovered in dustlived. After all, life was a circle, a thin one. He stepped up to the chair he'd already placed below it and gently wrapped the white ring around his throat. It felt tight. It felt like something wanted him. This closet, this thread. It felt good to be wanted, to be needed. He tightened it and dried his tears. "Forget me not," Soren gasped, before kicking the chair out.

Tonight, the world stopped spinning. But tomorrow the world would spin again, it would come alive and Dad would come back....

What a descriptive and evocative piece, don't you think? Very expressive, especially in a few short paragraphs. Just imagine the tension, the feeling that resonates in those few lines, and imagine them counter-fold in the newest work soon to be released, Arson.

Arson IS available through Tate Publishing at the present time. You can order it HERE. It will be released May 4th and will be available to purchase at that time through Barnes & Noble and Borders.

As for the contest, it will run until May 4th. It is open to the US and CANADA only. (Sorry to those who are international.) Just comment on this post, and feel free to leave your email address so I can contact the winner. Contest has ENDED. Thank you to those who participated!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dark of the Moon - Rachel Hawthorne

I've loved him forever,
but he can never be mine.

BRITTANY is determined to prove herself to the Dark Guardians. And yet she's been keeping a devastating secret: She hasn't experienced any of the intense, early signs of change that mark a Dark Guardian's transformation. The only intense feelings she has are for Connor--and she's kept that a secret, too. But she knows she'll never truly have Connor's love if she's not a Shifter like him.
At the first full moon after her birthday, her greatest fear is realized: She doesn't transform. Brittany is so desperate to become a wolf that she'll go to extremes she never thought possible . . . and put all the Dark Guardians in incredible danger.

Title: Dark of the Moon
Genre: Young Adult, Werewolves
Publisher: HarperTeen (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
My Rating: 5/5

I find that the previous books did not do Brittany justice. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel of the Dark Guardians. I found that Brittany isn't the standoffish, abrasive character we were lead to believe she was in the previous books. I found that I enjoyed her character the most out of the three that we've read about so far. She is the only Shifter who can't shift, and has to learn to deal with living as the odd one out in her society. I thought the sub-story with Bio-Chrome was skillfully handled in this book more so than the previous ones as well. It definitely is my favourite from this series so far. I thought that this was originally supposed to be a trilogy, but there is a fourth book that came out at the end of March. I'm looking forward to seeing where the author takes this storyline now. All in all, a refreshing and engaging read.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge hosted over at J. Kaye's/Home Girl's book blog.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In My Mailbox -15-

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren every Sunday. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that lets everyone see what books you have received or bought that week.

For Review


1. Firespell - Chloe Neill
2. Changes - Jim Butcher

I have been pretty good this week. I didn't get anything in my mailbox at all this week, and I happened to go to a local indie store today and found a few books that I had on my wishlist. I finally have a copy of Firespell, so I am really happy about that! The other book I picked up this week is the newest installment in the Harry Dresden Files. I love everything I've read by Jim Butcher, and I can't wait to read this book!

That's what I received "in my mailbox" this week, what did you get in yours?

Full Moon - Rachel Hawthorne

I may be promised to another...
but thoughts of Rafe consume me.
I don't know how much longer I can resist.

LINDSEY is wild and reckless, a natural rebel--maybe because her entire life was laid out for her even before she was born. Her parents are among the most powerful members of the Dark Guardians, an ancient tribe of werewolves, and they arranged Lindsey's betrothal to Connor long ago. The next full moon is coming all too soon, and then her commitment to Connor will be final--no turning back. She should be happy . . . so why can't she stop thinking about gorgeous, brooding Rafe?
When a dangerous threat on the pack escalates, so do tensions between Connor and Rafe. A fight over Lindsey is imminent, but will it be to the death?

Title: Full Moon
Genre: Young Adult, Werewolves,
Publisher: HarperTeen (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers)
My Rating: 3/5

I find that this series tends to be light and fluffy, there isn't any deep thought required. It was an engaging story though at times I could have throttled the main character as she continually deliberated over who she needed to choose to bond with, and she couldn't decide therefore prolonging the agony for everyone involved. On the other hand, I can commiserate with her as it was a big decision for her to make. It certainly wasn't easy to choose between the two as she loved them both for different reasons. As for the sub-story, I find it somewhat lacking. There was always the threat of something happening, but nothing really occurred until the middle of the book. Even at that, it was more like something happened quickly, and 20 pages later everything was resolved as much as it could be for this book. The ending definitely leaves a hook for the next book though, and maybe things will be fleshed out more with the group that has been after them throughout the series. All in all, not something special, but it is definitely good for a quick read.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge Hosted over at J. Kaye's/Home Girl's book blog.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Van Alen Legacy - Melissa De La Cruz

With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry; love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Schuyler has made her choice. She has forsaken Jack for Oliver, choosing human over vampire. But old loves die hard. . . . And even coldhearted Mimi seems to suffer from the ties that bind.
Young vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series.

Title: The Van Alen Legacy
Genre: Young Adult, Vampires,
Publisher: Disney, Hyperion Books
My Rating: 4/5

Finally, a book well worth the wait. The storyline is engaging and flows fluidly through each chapter. This book starts off a year after the ending of the last book, and it gives the characters time to get over the fresh shock of all that had happened in the previous novel. It was fast-paced and the narrator changed every chapter so you would be switching perspectives quickly. I found that there was major growth in Mimi's character, and she's not the shallow little rich girl anymore. Sure there are times when she reverts to her previous 'lifestyle' but it is more so when she is out of her element. I loved the exploration of Bliss's character and I can't wait to find out what happens next with her. Schuyler has her own issues to deal with, her humanity at odds with her evolving vampiric nature. It definitely isn't an easy time for any of these characters, but I just enjoyed how they handled everything that has been thrown at them.
I loved the overall story that was being portrayed through this book, but found that the explanation of the "Van Alen Legacy" was too condensed. I found it wasn't explained particularly well and begs for re-reading of said passage. Otherwise, the book was excellent, and was decidedly much better than it's predecessors. All in all, a great follow up for this series.

This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge hosted over at J. Kaye's/Home Girl's book blog.