Monday, January 30, 2012

Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen

Title: Falling in Love with English Boys
Author: Melissa Jensen
Publisher: Speak
Release Date: December 23, 2010
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Sixteen-year-old Catherine Vernon has been stranded in London for the summer-no friends, no ex-boyfriend Adam the Scum (good riddance!), and absolutely nothing to do but blog about her misery to her friends back home. 

Desperate for something-anything-to do in London while her (s)mother's off researching boring historical things, Cat starts reading the 1815 diary of Katherine Percival her mom gives her-and finds the similarities between their lives to be oddly close. But where Katherine has the whirls of the society, the parties and the gossip over who is engaged to who, Cat's only got some really excellent English chocolate. Then she meets William Percival-the uber-hot descendant of Katherine-and things start looking up . . .

When I saw Falling in Love with English Boys at the bookstore, I hadn't really heard much about it. All I really knew was that Melissa Jensen had another book coming out soon. But the story sounded quite interesting, and as it turned out, I really enjoyed the book.

Cat has been sentenced to a summer in London while her mother researches a woman who's been dead for close to 200 years. While most teenage girls would die for the chance to spend a summer in England, Cat wants nothing more than to be back home in Philadelphia, spending the summer hanging out with friends. But then Cat meets Will, a handsome British boy and descendant of the woman her mother is studying. With Will in the picture, Cat all of a sudden finds herself a lot more interested in London and the history of the Percival family. Between spending time reading the 200 year old diary of Katherine Percival and complaining about her mother, Cat finds herself making new friends and maybe, possibly falling for a certain handsome British boy.

I am a big fan of stories that take place in two different time periods. In the case of Falling in Love with English Boys, there were two parallel stories, one taking place in the present tie and the other at the beginning of the 1800s. What makes the story even more interesting is that even thought the two storylines were 200 years apart, they were still connected, mainly by a diary. And because of the diary, Cat was quite aware of the story going on in the past. I really enjoyed seeing the two stories develop side by side and even more so, I loved seeing Cat get so wrapped up in Katherine's stories. Despite the two girls being 200 years apart, I loved seeing them come together.

Cat and Katherine were wonderful characters and I loved all the similarities between them. Both were new to London and felt kind of lost in their new environment and at times wanting to be elsewhere. But I still preferred Cat over Katherine, probably because we were from the same time period. At any rate, I loved seeing both girls grow and come into their own, neither one afraid of going after what they wanted, even if it had the possibility of ending in heartbreak. And of course, in the present day there was also Will. Will was the charmingly handsome descendant of Katherine's family. He was perfect for balancing Cat's slightly crazy personality, thought sometimes he kind of failed int eh communication department. But that flaw was easily overlooked and forgiven in the end. And not just because of the British accent.

Falling in Love with English Boys was a great read, one I really enjoyed from start to finish. I now can't wait to read Melissa Jensen's upcoming book, The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. 

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

In My Mailbox (26)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a post where book bloggers talk about the books they received for review, bought, were gifted or borrowed from the library each week.

This week was good. I didn't go too crazy buying too many new books and I only received one for review. This is really helping me keep my TBR pile under control...though I may just be slightly delusional about that since it's pretty big. So here's what I got this week!


- Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown - I was offered this one for review and it sounds really good. I love ghost stories and this one is a historical fiction on top of that so it should be a really great read. Hopefully it will be as great as it promises to be.


- Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta - I will admit I have yet to read anything by Melina Marchetta despite having had Jellicoe Road on my shelf for quite some time now. But I have heard nothing but amazing things about Saving Francesca so I decided I would pick it up. Who knows, maybe having two books by Melina Marchetta will push me to actually read them.

- Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann - I recently read Lisa McMann's upcoming Dead to You and absolutely loved it. So I decided to pick up Cryer's Cross at the bookstore hoping I would enjoy it as much as I did Dead to You. I can't wait to get to it and hopefully I will love it as much as the other book.

- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - I've been hearing about this book and have been wanting to read it for the longest time. I've also heard really good things about it and I can't wait to get to it. Hopefully I'll be able to get to it soon and see for myself what it's all about.

So that's it for me this week. Let me know what you got in your mailbox and I'll come check it out!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Title: Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks #1)
Author: Catching Jordan
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: November 18, 2011
Source: Purchased
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though—she leads them as the captain and quarterback of her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university.

But everything she’s ever worked for is threatened when Ty Green moves to her school. Not only is he an amazing QB, but he’s also amazingly hot. And for the first time, Jordan’s feeling vulnerable. Can she keep her head in the game while her heart’s on the line?

It's been close to a month since I read Catching Jordan and I still don't know how to put into words how much I loved this book. It has definitely found a place on my list of favorite books of all time. It was simply fantastic and I loved everything about it.

Jordan has always wanted to play football and wants nothing more than to play at the college level. Except that Jordan is a girl and not many universities will accept a girl on their team. But she's been lucky enough to play quarterback and be captain of her high school football team. And she's one of the best quarterbacks the school has had. Not only that, but she fits in on the team and all her best friends are her teammates. But then Ty Green shows up in town and he wants Jordan's position on the football team. Now not only is Jordan worried about playing college football, she also has to worry about Ty taking her sport on the team. But Jordan may have to protect more than just her position as quarterback. Because when Ty is around, all of a sudden Jordan feels more like a girl than ever.

Before I say anything else, I will say that I will try to limit the gushing. But I will say that I absolutely loved this book. Right from the start I fell in love with the story, with the characters and with Jordan's voice. I even enjoyed the football. Football isn't usually one o my favorite sports, but with Catching Jordan, it might as well have been. It was just perfect with this story and I couldn't imagine it with another sport. But in the end, football wasn't what was important in the story. What really matters is Jordan's story and how that story works with the story of the other characters. Really, all that to say that I absolutely adored this book.

Like I've said, what's important in this book are the characters' stories. Even though Jordan is the one who is telling the story, the book revolves around more than just her. But that doesn't mean I didn't like Jordan, because I loved her. It was refreshing to read about a girl who was into sports more than anything else. I loved seeing her struggle with feelings she didn't really understand and then seeing her act on those feelings once she figured them out. And of course, boys were definitely not lacking in this book. And my favorite was Sam Henry. I would love to have him as a best friend, Jordan was definitely lucky to have him in her life. Sam Henry was pretty much as good as they come, he was loyal and would have given his life for Jordan. And I'm glad things ended the way they did for everyone. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect ending.

Catching Jordan was a perfect read. I loved absolutely everything about the book and plan on rereading it over and over again. Definitely pick this book up if you get a chance, odds are you won't regret it.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Source: From Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second changes, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

When it comes to love at first sight in Young Adult books, I often have issues with it, mostly because it feels very unrealistic. But in this books the love at first sight felt extremely real. It was an absolutely adorable read and I loved every single page of it.

Everything would have been different if Hadley hadn't been late and hadn't missed her flight to London. If Hadley hadn't been late, she wouldn't have almost missed her dad's second wedding to the future stepmother she has never met. But most importantly, if Hadley hadn't been late she wouldn't have met Oliver and she wouldn't have found herself sitting next to him on the flight from New York to London. Between Hadley and Oliver everything is easy and fund despite all the drama that is going on in their lives. But when they get to London, they get separated at the airport and lose sight of each other. But fate is determined to bring them back together, and over 24 hours, Hadley and Oliver keep coming back together.

What was there not to love about this book? Right from the beginning I was drawn in to the story wanting to find out what would happen between Hadley and the mystery boy from the airport. And the whole love at first sight thing? It didn't feel overdone and it was done in a way  that made the whole thing really realistic. But more importantly I loved that it all took place in the span of 24 hours. To me, that just made it seem even more realistic. It made for a really fast-paced story, and I just wanted nothing more than to find out what would happen to Hadley and Oliver. And what's even better is that the title, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, actually has something to do with the story.

You can't help falling in love with Hadley and Oliver. Right from the start I found myself getting invested in their potential relationship and in their individual lives. Both characters felt realistic and right from the start you could tell they were perfect for each other. Neither one of them has had an easy life, particularly in the last few years. But thought they had somewhat similar experiences and family situations, they themselves were quite different. And because they were different is why they worked so well together. And while reading, I wanted nothing more than for them to end up together, but something always seemed to get in the way. But when they would come together, everything would fall into place, though they didn't necessarily see it. Let me just say that Hadley and Oliver are characters you will love and not forget.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was absolutely adorable and a fantastic read. It was the perfect book for a grey Saturday afternoon and I definitely recommend you pick it up should the opportunity arise.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

In My Mailbox (25)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's a post where book bloggers talk about the books they received for review, bought, were gifted or borrowed from the library each week.

Though I didn't receive any books for review this week, I still got a fair amount of books. Wednesday was my birthday so I decided to make a special trip to the bookstore to buy myself a birthday present, and then I received books that I had ordered online. All in all it was pretty great. So here's what I got in my mailbox this week.


- The Squad: Perfect Cover by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - This is one of Jennifer Lynn Barnes' older titles that hasn't really gotten much attention lately. I've read some of her other books and love them so I decided to pick this one up to see if I would like it as much as the others.

- If I Die by Rachel Vincent - I mostly just bought this book so I now have the complete series. I haven't started reading it yet but I will be starting soon, and like I said last week, The Soul Screamers Reading Challenge will definitely help with that. 

- Hallowed by Cynthia Hand - I absolutely loved Unearthly when I read it last year so I am extremely excited to finally be able to read the sequel. Plus I've read nothing but good reviews for it so that just makes me that much more excited

- Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly - This book has been around for a while, especially since it was out in the UK before coming to North America, and I have read nothing but good things about it. And it's about angels but a different kind of angels so it should be very interesting.

- Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout - I read Half-Blood at the end of last year and absolutely loved it, I couldn't put it down. So I went on the Book Depository and ordered Jennifer L. Armentrout's other books and Daimon came in this week. I can't wait to read it to be back in Alex's world.

So that's all I got in my mailbox this week and I'm really excited to get to all those wonderful books, though who knows when that will actually happen? And if you haven't already done so, be sure to enter by 21st Birthday Giveaway - click on the button below and it will take you to the post with all the information.

So leave a comment below and I'll come check out what you got in your mailbox too!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Tempest by Julie Cross

Title: Tempest (Tempest #1)
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Of all the books coming out this month I think Julie Cross' Tempest is probably the one that has gotten the most hype. It feels like I've been hearing about this book for the longest time. When I finally started reading it, I had really high expectations. Most of those were met but there are still some elements that I would have liked to be different.

While he just seems like a spoiled rich kid from Manhattan, Jackson Meyer is a little more than that. Jackson can jump through time. He can't travel very far back and nothing he ever does in the past changes the present. So he doesn't worry about it too much. But when strange men barge in to his girlfriend Holly's dorm room pointing guns, things change. Holly gets shot and Jackson finds himself two years in the past and unable to get back to the present to save Holly. Stuck in the past, Jackson digs around and discovers that everything in his life may not be exactly as it seems, especially where his father is concerned. And when he discovers the truth, everything in Jackson's life changes, both in the past and in the present.

This book has been getting hype for the longest time an the movie rights were sold long before the book was scheduled to be released. Based on that alone, I had very high expectations going into the book. And then I kept reading positive reviews which only served to raise my expectations even more. So all that to say that the bar was set very high. And so I started reading and I found myself getting frustrated with the book. It was definitely a slow start and a little confusing. But I kept reading and eventually things picked up and became clearer. And I also found myself enjoying the book more and more. By the end I really liked it and things were getting interesting. Hopefully the next book will start right where this one left off and jump right in to the action.

It took me a really long time to figure Jackson out. It may have had something to do with the fact that she constantly had to change his identity based on what time he was in. But once I finally figured him out, I kind of liked him. His only fault was that he had a bit of a one-track mind at times. All he could seem to focus on was Holly when there was so much else going on. Holly, both 007 and 009 Holly, was someone I could really get along with if she really existed. She seemed genuine and in a refreshing twist, wasn't boy crazy. Though my favorite character was probably Adam. He was an absolute nerd and I loved him for it. Whenever he said something I just couldn't help but smile. It's hard to say anything about the other characters without revealing too much. All I will say is that Jackson's father was the one who surprised me the most.

Tempest was an enjoyable read and one that suggests the rest of the trilogy holds a lot of promise. While I was not disappointed per say, I expected more from the book and I hope to see more action and development in future installments. 

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

21st Birthday Giveaway

Today is my 21st birthday and to celebrate I thought I would give you guys the chance to win some books. Keep on reading to find out just what you can win!

So here's the deal. At the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 I posted two different lists of books: one was my favorites of 2011 and the other the books I was most looking forward to in 2012. So for this giveaway 2 lucky winners will get the chance to pick a one book from each list and I will buy the books for them. Simple, right? So here are the books.

Favorites of 2011:

You can check out the full post right here to see exactly why I loved each of these books as much as I did.

Most Anticipated of 2012:

Once again, you can check out the full post right here to see exactly why I'm looking forward to all of these wonderful books.

And here is the nitty-gritty stuff (details and such):

- Contest is open INTERNATIONALLY, where the Book Depository ships (please check this list to confirm that the store will ship to your location)
- Must be 13 years old or older to enter
- Contest will end January 24, 2011 at 11:59 PM EST
- There are no extra entries or additional requirements, though following and comments is always appreciated
- To enter fill out THIS FORM - while they are appreciated, comments will not gain you entry into the giveaway


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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Cinder Audiobook Clip

Last week I posted my review of Cinder by Marissa Meyer. It was a book I highly enjoyed and I definitely recommend you pick it up. Today I am offering you a clip from the audio version of the book. I've listened to it myself, and I have to say that it is pretty good. Check it out below.

Thank you to Macmillan Audio for providing this clip.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out my full review of the book to find out exactly what I thought of this retelling of Cinderella.


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Monday, January 16, 2012

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala

Title: Don't Breathe a Word
Author: Holly Cupala
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Source: Gifted

Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Joy Delamere is suffocating.

From asthma, from her parents, and from her boyfriend, Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out. She can take his cruel words, his tender words...until the night they go too far.

Joy escapes to the streets of nearby Seattle and accepts the help of a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, the rules of survival, and to love--a world she won't easily let go.

Holly Cupala's powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the secrets we keep, and the extraordinary lengths one girl will go to discover her own strength.

When Holly Cupala's debut book Tell Me a Secret Came Out in 2010, I heard nothing but good things about her and her book but never really got around to reading it. So when I got the opportunity to read Don't Breathe a Word, I jumped at the chance. And of course I found out for myself just how great Holly Cupala is.

Though on the surface Joy appears to be living the perfect life in the suburbs with her family, when you scratch the surface a little everything isn't so idyllic. The truth is, Joy is suffocating in more ways than one. To escape the suffocation, Joy runs away to the streets of Seattle, hoping to find the boy who once said he would help her if she needed it. Now living as a homeless teen on the streets of Seattle, Joy finds running away may be more difficult than she originally thought. But with Creed's help, Joy just may be able to survive and escape her old life. But there are some parts of her life she just may not be able to leave behind.

Wow. Just wow. That was pretty much my initial reaction when I finished reading the book. Right from the start I found myself getting very invested in Joy's story. But soon that story grew to involve more and more people who lives I also found myself getting invested in. Everyone felt very real, an I couldn't help but want things to work out for the best for everyone. But aside from the characters and their lives, I loved just about everything about this book. I most especially loved how well it dealt with the subjects of teen homelessness and abuse. Nothing felt overdone, it was just perfect.

Like I've already said, right from the start of the book I found myself getting invested in Joy's life. But I also found myself loving her as a person right from the start. I could really feel her pain despite having never gone through what she has. But more than anything, Joy was just someone trying to find her place in the world in order to survive. And that's something I admired about her. She definitely had some good people looking out for her, the best probably being Creed. Right from the start, Creed seemed like someone you could count on despite the fact that he didn't even know Joy. And I'll admit that I even developed a bit of a crush on him. He was just so great with Hoy, always reading to jump in and defend and protect her, even when he barely knew her. And that's something that really made me respect him. 

Dont't Breathe a Word was absolutely amazing. The further I got into the book, the more I loved it. Definitely pick this book up if you get the chance, you might just be surprised by how much this book as to offer.

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren. It's a post where book bloggers talk about the books they received for review, bought, were gifted or borrowed from the library each week. 

This book was a really great week for books for me. I went to the bookstore multiple times and every time I found something new to take home with me. And the Bargain table at Chapters is my new best friend. Nothing beats coming out of the bookstore with three hardcover books in perfect condition and having payed only $15. All that to say, it was a great week. So here's what I got!


- Black Heart by Holly Black - I was beyond excited when I opened the envelope from Simon & Schuster and saw Black Heart in there. Thankfully I was alone, so my roommates did not make fun of me for getting so excited about a book. But yes, I will be getting to this book very soon, even if it doesn't come out until April. I am just that excited to find out how it all works out for Cassel Sharpe.


- My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent - I haven't read this series yet (I know, bad), but I was missing this one in order to have a full set. So since it was in stock at my bookstore I decided to pick it up. Though I am planning on participating in Fiktshun's Soul Screamers Reading Challenge so hopefully I will be able to read this book soon.

- The Fault In Our Stars by John Green - I now own all of John Green's books yet have only read one of them. Though everything I have already heard about this one is only making me want to curl up and read this book all in one sitting. Plus it was just sitting at the bookstore, signed, begging me to buy it. Yes, I know, I have a problem.

- Every Other Day by Jennifer Lynn Barnes - I loved Jennifer Lynn Barnes' Raised by Wolves book so I'm very excited to be reading this one. I have heard mixed reviews about it but hopefully I will love it as much as her other books. At any rate, the premise sounds really interesting so hopefully it will be as good as it promises to be.

- Sophomore Switch by Amy McDonald - I have heard absolutely nothing about this book. But it was sitting on the Bargain table at Chapters and the summary sounded interesting so I thought I would pick it up. From what I gather, it sounds like it's older young adult since the characters are in college so it should be interesting.

- Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey - I've heard really great things about this book, and this series in general, so I decided to pick it up when I saw the hardcover at reduced price at the store. Hopefully it will be as good as everyone has been telling me that it is.

- Deadly Little Games by Laurie Faria Stolarz - I already owned the first two books in this series and decided to continue completing it when I saw that the book was on the Bargain table. I haven't read it yet, but hopefully I will get to it soon and see if it's as good as everyone says it is.

So that's all I got in my mailbox this week. Leave me a comment to let me know what you got in yours and I'll come check it out!

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield

Title: Hunted 
Author: Cheryl Rainfield
Publisher: WestSide Books
Release Date: December 15, 2011
Source: ARC from Publicist
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Caitlyn, 15, a Paranormal, is on the run with her mom, trying to stay one step ahead of the ParaTroopers who would enslave her just like anyone who has powerful psychic abilities. Attempting to have somewhat of a normal life, Caitlyn and her mom hide in plain sight, living in a seedy hotel in a big city, where Caitlyn hopes to blend in by enrolling at the local high school. She secretly fights back against government oppression by blogging about equal rights for all Paras, protecting herself by signing them Teen Para. When she discovers her long ago kidnapped brother Daniel at school, she's elated, but is saddened to find he's controlled by the government ParaTroopers as a Para-slave. As Para Cleansing Day nears, increasing numbers of Paras are turned in to the authorities and things grow tenser and more dangerous, especially at school. When a group robs a bank and threatens Normals, the shadow of guilt is cast on Teen Para. A killer, the Para Reaper, secretly goes hunting for Paras to drain the life out of them. Despite everything, Caitlyn befriends a Normal girl, Rachel, who is a Para sympathizer, and falls for a cute classmate, Alex, also a Normal, who always makes her feel so good whenever he's around. But it's not safe for Paras to date Normals, and it would put Caitlyn in grave danger of being discovered. When ParaTroopers crack down at school after several Paras are discovered, Caitlyn finds herself under increasing scrutiny. Fearing for Caitlyn, her mom is anxious to pack up and bolt, but Caitlyn s growing attachments make her reluctant to leave. Will she evade capture, or will she be caught and turned into a Para Slave? And just who is trying to frame her? A tautly written, suspenseful thrill ride, Hunted will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

When I was first approached to review Hunted by author Cheryl Rainfield, I hadn't actually heard a single thing about the book. But the summary made it sound really interesting. And after a bit of a slow start I found myself having difficulty putting it down and really enjoying the story.

Caitlyn and her mom have been on the run pretty much her whole life. Both of them are paranormals trying to escape the government and the ParaTroopers who believe paranormals are a threat. But it wasn't always that way for Caitlyn and her mom. There was a time when they were a family living a relatively normal life. That is until the day her dad was killed by the government and her brother, Daniel, was kidnapped by a woman in the crowd. Now in a new town and at a new school, things seem to be changing in Caitlyn's life. She makes new friends and even starts to fall for Alex, a normal boy. But one day Caitlyn comes face to face with Daniel. Except he's not the same Daniel that Caitlyn remembers. And the threatens everything that Caitlyn believes in. 

I hadn't really heard all that much about Cheryl Rainfield or her books until she approached me to review Hunted. I decided to give it a shot and didn't go in with too many expectations. And I came out on the other side having really loved the story. Though I'll admit that at first I thought the story was a little slow to start. I even worried that it wouldn't pick up. But when the story did get moving I found myself getting hooked. Soon enough I had trouble putting the book down, and I wanted nothing more than to find out what would happen next. And from the way it ended I'm hoping there might just be a sequel.

The concept of paranormals simply as people who have different abilities. I especially liked that everyone's power was different and it wasn't necessarily obvious that they had a psychic ability. As for the actual characters in the story, I really liked Caitlyn. You could tell that she didn't exactly have an easy life and I wanted nothing more than for things to work out for her. And every time things seemed to be turning around something bad happened in her life. All this to say that I was rooting for Caitlyn the whole way through. The other characters provided an interesting mix of personalities. Rachel and Alex were definitely great friends to Caitlyn. You couldn't have asked for more loyal people considering the circumstances. And Daniel almost seemed like he had a split personality at times. Either that, or he was a really good actor. But that still doesn't mean I liked him very much.

Hunted was a surprising read. I enjoyed it a lot more than I originally thought I would. If the opportunity arrises, I definitely recommend that you pick it up and give it a chance, it might just surprise you.

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Monday, January 9, 2012

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository
Even in the future, the story begins with once upon a time…

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth's fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She's a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister's illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai's, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world's future.

In this thrilled young adult debut novel, the first of a quartet, Marissa Meyer's rebooted fairy tale introduces readers to a heroine and a masterfully rafted world that isn't the Cinderella you remember--but it's the one you won't forget.

I remember when I first heard about Cinder I was a little hesitant to read it, but then I heard from trusted sources that it was actually really good. And then I received a copy for review and when I started reading the book, I was drawn in right away. Who knew re-imagining Cinderella in futuristic world with humans, cyborgs and androids would work so well? I certainly didn't but I ended up enjoying every single page.

When she was 11 years old, Cinder was in a terrible hover craft accident which killed both her parents and caused her to undergo surgery that made her a cyborg. Now she works as a mechanic in the market in the city of New Beijing, all her earnings going to her stepmother. Not only does she have nothing to her name, but she gets blamed for everything including her little sister getting sick. But one day, none other than Prince Kai walks up to her mechanic stand to ask for her services. After that day, everything in Cinder's life changes and she finds herself being dragged into affairs she never even knew existed before. And she starts falling for Prince Kai, and against all odds, he seems to be falling for her too.

I am a big lover of fairy tales, so whenever I read a retelling I always go in with pretty high expectations. With Cinder, those expectations were beyond surpassed. It wasn't long before I forgot I was reading a retelling of Cinderella. The story definitely stood on its own and felt like it was a story that hadn't actually been told before. I loved the world that Marissa Meyer created, wehre humans, androids and cyborgs all live together and it felt really real. And her writing was also absolutely great. I was immediately drawn in, and when I finished reading the book, I just wanted more.

Cinder was a whole new kind of Cinderella. Right from page one I loved her and she pretty much made me forget all about the original Cinderella. Granted there were many aspects of her life that were very Cinderella-esque, Cinder was her own character and her own person. She wasn't afraid of standing her ground and doing what she wanted to do. And that was something I really loved about her. Prince Kai was definitely the dreamy kind of prince. My main issue with him was his occasional communication problems. I mean, why couldn't he just say what he meant when it was so obvious how he felt? But other than that he really was Prince Charming. Other than these two, one of the characters that really made the book for me was Iko. Basically she was the android equivalent of the mice in the original story. She was a great character and also a great source of humor and really added to the story.

Overall, Cinder was a really great read. This new take on the classic story of Cinderella will not let you down. If anything, you will forget the old story all together in favor of this new one. It will definitely stay with you once you have finished reading the book. 

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Sunday, January 8, 2012

In My Mailbox (23)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren. It's a post where book bloggers talk about the books they received for review, bought, were gifted or borrowed from the library each week. 

This is my first IMM post of 2012 and it's kind of exciting. Basically, this post will cover books that I have gotten since Christmas up until now. I didn't actually get too many books over the holidays which is kind of a good thing considering just how many books I have sitting on my shelf that I haven't read. I have to admit it's getting kind of ridiculous. So here's what I got over the past few weeks.


- Hunting Lila by Sarah Alderson - This is a British title but I have heard nothing but absolutely great things about it. So I'm really looking forward to reading it and finding out for myself if it's as good as everyone says it is. Thank you to Kathy from A Glass of Wine for this book.

- Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan - Despite all the attention that this book has gotten, I don't really know that much about it beyond what it says in the summary. I've also seen mixed reviews about this book so I'm looking forward to finding out what I will think about it.

- Across the Universe by Beth Revis - I'm currently reading this one and I have to admit that so far it's been kind of slow but things appear to be picking up. Hopefully it will become as good as everyone has told me it is. The good thing is that once I finish I'll be able to pick up the sequel soon after.

- Crossed by Ally Condie - I've already read this one (expect a review soon). When I read Matched last year I enjoyed it but didn't think it was exceptional. With Crossed my opinion changed. I really enjoyed reading it and now I look forward to the final book in the series.


- Vesper by Jeff Sampson - This book came out around this time last year and I've been eyeing it ever since but never picked it up. So when I saw it in the Bargain section I couldn't resist picking it up. Hopefully it's as good as everyone says it is.

- Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse by Lucas Klauss - I first heard about this book through the 2012 Debut Author Challenge and immediately thought I had to read it. It just sounds like a great read so I'm really excited to start reading it.

So those are all the books I got in the last couple of weeks. I'm really excited to read the ones I haven't read yet, and you should look forward to seeing a review of Crossed pop up on the blog in the very near future. Leave me comment and I'll come see what you got in your mailbox.

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer

Title: Bloodrose (Nightshade #3)
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / Book Depository / Indigo
Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there's more at stake than fighting. There's saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay's wrath. There's keeping Ansel safe, even if he's been branded a traitor. There's proving herself as the pack's alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers' magic once and for all. And then there's deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes out alive, that is. 

In the final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Andrea Cremer creates a novel with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final pages. A dynamic end to a breathtaking trilogy.

When I finished Wolfsbane, I was definitely left wanting more and I was way more than happy to have a copy of Bloodrose on hand to start reading right away. And it was incredible. This book took me on an emotional roller-coaster and I did not want to get off. Andrea Cremer definitely wrote a great conclusion to this trilogy.

Now allied with the Searchers and reunited with most of her pack, Calla is preparing for the battle of her life against the Keepers and the rest of the Guardians. But even before doing that, Calla and the pack have to help Shay and the Searchers get the final pieces of the Elemental Cross, the only weapon that can stop the Keepers and their magic. And then she has to prove to her pack once again that she's their legitimate alpha, but she also has to pick who will be alpha alongside her. Will it be Ren, the boy she's been destined to be with since birth? Or will it be Shay, the boy who stole her heart when he showed up in her life? Calla must find a way to keep her pack safe through all of this, but to what lengths is she willing to go to keep those she loves safe? But more importantly, what will happen when the battle is over? Will Calla and her pack even be alive to see the world without Keepers?

I loved this book. I tried as hard as I could to make it last longer, but I just couldn't put it down in order to do something else. It was absolutely amazing. I couldn't have asked for a better conclusion to this trilogy. Andrea Cremer really brought everything full circle, though in the process she caused my heart to break over and over again. This book is a crazy emotional roller-coaster. I would go from laughing out loud one page to crying like a baby the next. Whatever you do, if you read this book make sure you have a box of tissues close. To say the very least, there was never a dull moment in this book. When the pack wasn't on some crazy adventure, they were just hanging out with the Searchers doing who knows what. It was just an amazing end to a really incredible trilogy.

Since the beginning of this series, I have loved Calla. She's strong, she's kind and she will do anything to protect the people she loves. In Bloodrose she is definitely put through a lot and how she survives it all is a mystery to me. In her position, I would be a complete mess. But she somehow manages it all. While I love Shay, I've been Team Ren from the start and I was very happy to see that he had a much bigger role in this book. He was back and he was ready to take up his position as alpha with Calla, if only she would let him. As for Shay, I still loved him but I found that in some parts of the book he would become someone I didn't particularly like, though I was able to overlook that for the most part. Like I mentioned in my review of Wolfsbane, I loved the Searcher characters and I was glad that they were even more present in Bloodrose. I can only hope that I will be able to see more of them in the future in some way or another.

Bloodrose was a thrilling read, and a fantastic conclusion to a fabulous trilogy. While reading this book, you will be taken on a crazy emotional ride and, if you are anything like me, you will be begging for it not to end. While it was an incredible read, I was still very sad to see this series come to an end.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hello 2012

Today is the first day of 2012 and, at least in my opinion, it promises to be a good year. If only by looking at all the books coming out, it will most definitely be a great year. I'm really excited to see all that it will bring, the expected and the unexpected. 

I already mentioned there are a lot of wonderful books coming out this year, many of which I am really looking forward to reading. So here is my Top 12 Anticipated books of 2012, in no particular order.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Divergent was among my favorite books of 2011 and with the way it ended I can't wait to be able to read Insurgent come May 2012. And, you know, getting to see more of Four won't hurt either.

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
Unearthly was also one of my favorite books of 2011. I really loved the way the angel story worked. I can't wait to find out more about it all in Hallowed, and maybe get to see Tucker and Christian again. How Clara ever picks one is a mystery to me.

Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
Many of the books I read in 2011 were the start of a series and now the sequels are coming out. Wing of the Wicked is one of those sequels I absolutely cannot wait to read it to find out what happens to Ellie and Will in the world filled with reapers.

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare
Clockwork Princess is the conclusion to The Infernal Devices series and I can't wait for it. Especially with the way Clockwork Prince finished. It wasn't really so much that it was a cliffhanger but that it was a sort of emotional cliffhanger.

Black Heart by Holly Black
I absolutely love Cassel Sharpe and this series. Holly Black created an incredible world and I can't wait to see how she brings it all together in Black Heart. The only thing that bugs me is that they changed the covers so now it won't match the rest of my books.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver has become one of my favorite authors and I can't wait for Pandemonium. The ending to Delirium completely broke my heart and I can't wait to see how it will all work out.

Taken by Storm by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
I only just read the first two books in this series this year but I fell completely in love with it. I love the idea of a teenage girl leading a pack of wolves and I can't wait to see what happens next in Taken by Storm.

The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead
Bloodlines was a great start to a new series from Richelle Mead and I can't wait to see where she's going to take the story next. Plus from the last line of the first book, I can tell that things are going to get really interesting in The Golden Lily.

Dreamless by Josephine Angelini
I love Greek mythology and Josephine Angelini brought it to life in a really interesting way in this series. I absolutely loved the first book and I can't wait to find out what happens next to Helen and Lucas.

Underworld by Meg Cabot
Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors and I love pretty much everything she writes. I'll pick up one of her books without even knowing what it's about. I can't wait to see where she's going to take the story that started in Abandon next in Underworld.

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare
Like I said in my post yesterday, I am a huge Cassandra Clare fan. I'll read just about everything she writes and her Shadowhunter series are absolutely fantastic. So basically I cannot wait to read City of Lost Souls.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg
This is the only book on this list that isn't actually part of a series. This story just sounds adorable and everyone who has already read it has said that it is just as awesome as it sounds. In my books, that makes it a book I just need to read.

So these are the Top 12 books I'm anticipating the most in 2012. Of course there are A LOT more that I am looking forward to, but these happen to top the list. Hopefully I will get the chance to read all of these books and many more in the coming year.

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