Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Title: Vampire Academy 
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Date: January 1 2007
Pages: 332
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal, Vampires
Series: Vampire Academy #1
Source: Paperback

Summary Goodreads
Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever...

This is a very original vampire story. I really like to find myths with new edge. I found the story entertaining, intriguing, and fun. The author did a great job of drawing the reader into the story and engulfing them in this new world.

It is set in the modern world with an academy for Dhampirs and Morois. The Dhampirs are trained to guard the Morois and the Morois are taught to adapt and blend into the world outside the academy. The characters are well written and I felt invested in them throughout the story. The friendship between Rose and Lissa is realistic and seems easy even though circumstances seem to work against them.  Rose is smart, sarcastic, and can really kick some butt. It is always refreshing to find a heroine that is not whiny and can hold her own. The book does have a romantic relationship in the making, which is forbidden. I enjoyed the chemistry and the tension between Rose and Dimitri, it has a real fun edge to it and you can’t help but cheer them on. I think the character building in this story is really what gives it oomph.

The story is action packed, thrilling, humorous and romantic. It will keep you on your toes, guessing what's around the corner.

I think that you should grab this book from a friend, the library, or the store and settle down to read it. At the end you will be wanting the next installment. I know I did.


Review: White Cat by Holly Black

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1)
Title: White Cat 
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Date: January 1st 2010
Pages: 310
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal, Mystery/Crime Thriller
Series: Curse Workers #1
Source: Hardcover
Summary Goodreads
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers — people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail — he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.
Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.
Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love — or death — and your dreams might be more real than your memories.
I am one of the first to say, there really is very few really good YA mysteries. Well here is one of the few. This is a good mystery! Holly black does a wonderful job with the twist and turns. There were so many things in this book, that I just didn’t see coming. There were a few things I figured out before hand, but only a few.
The story is original, I love the idea of a world full of curse workers. It had my mind going. How easy it would be to be something bad when it would be so easy to get what you wanted when you wanted. 
Cassel is the main character and I really like him.  He comes from a family of curse workers that are con artist. He is trying not become like the rest of his family and stay away from cons.  There is really only one thing that seems to be getting in his way. He thinks he killed his best friend.  
I really can’t say too much without giving anything away, so find yourself a copy and get comfortable!

Mailbox Monday #2

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by
The Story Siren.

This week I have in my mailbox.

From the Library:

The Name of the Star (Shades of London #1)The Mark (The Mark, #1)The Death Cure Silver Phoenix (Kingdom of Xia, #1)Sweetly (Fairytale Retellings, #2)


Froi of the Exiles (Lumatere Chronicles, #2)Croak (Croak, #1)The Girl In The ParkLies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1)ChompScarlett DeddGraffiti Moon

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson

The Christopher Killer (Forensic Mystery #1)Title: The Christopher Killer
Author: Alane Ferguson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile Puffin
Date: May 4th 2006
Pages: 288
Genre: Young Adult Mystery, Thriller
Series: Forensic Mystery #1
Source: Paperback

Summary (Goodreads)

As the daughter of a Colorado County coroner, seventeen-year old Cameryn Mahoney is no stranger to death. in fact, she’s always been fascinated by the science of it. so she’s thrilled to finally get some hands-on experience in forensics working as her father’s assistant. but Cammie is in for more than she bargained for when the second case that she attends turns out to be someone she knows the latest victim of a serial killer known as the Christopher Killer. And if dealing with that isn’t hard enough, Cammie soon realizes that if she’s not careful, she might wind up as the killer’ s next victim. . . .


I love a good mystery and I love a good thriller. This book is both. Cammie’s father is the county coroner, and Cammie loves to get into his work. She is fascinated with the dead, how the died, and who did it. She believes every body has story and it is her job to tell it. Cammie also loves to figure things out and do things on her own, which always lands her in trouble.

Cammie seems to be down to earth, real good head on her shoulder, most of the time. She does love to find trouble. She is smart and snarky and very independent. There are a bunch of characters to love in this book. Each character has their own personality with their own quirkiness and fun. They all seem to work together in solving the crime. Even down to her best friend.

The book is quite detailed. The author did a great job in describing and explaining all the aspects of what Cammie and her father do. There were times the details were a bit to stomach, but I did get through it. The writing really flows, it’s a fast paced read and it’s just fun. I love this series.


Review: Dragonfly by Julia Golding

DragonflyTitle: Dragonfly
Author: Julia Golding
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish Corp/Ccb
Publication Date: October 8th 2009
Pages: 390
Genre: Young Adult High Fantasy, Romance
Series: Stand Alone Source: Hardback

Summary (Goodreads)

Princess Taoshira of the Blue Crescent Islands is appalled when she is ordered to marry Prince Ramil of Gerfal. And he's not too pleased, either. She is used to a life of discipline, ritual, and splendor. He is used to hunting and carousing. They hate each other on sight. But both of their countries are under threat from a fearsome warlord, and the only chance of peace is to form an alliance.
When Tashi and Ram are kidnapped, they fear there's no escape--from their kidnappers or from each other. Can they put aside their differences long enough to survive ambush, unarmed combat, brainwashing, and imprisonment? And will the people they meet on their adventure--including a circus strongman, a daring rebel leader, a sinister master of spies, and the best female fighter they have ever seen--help them or betray them to the enemy?

This story involves a prince, a princess, an arranged marriage, a kidnapping, bad guys, and a rescue.
Simple fantasy love story right. That is what one would think. I had a feeling from the beginning that this would be my kind of story. I love fairytales. I was amazed how quickly this book had me enthralled.  The writing is just beautiful. I fell in love with the characters right away. Okay let me rephrase that. I fell in love with Tashi right away, Ram took some time, not because he was not written well, but because he was written so well, I hated him at first.
Tashi is a young princess from a small island where the people live simply and love greatly. She is very naïve but strong and determined. She will do what she needs for her people, even when it is an arranged marriage to someone she has never met.
Ram is from another kingdom on the mainland.  A kingdom that is on the brink of a war and they desperately need the help of Tashi’s island marines.  Ram is arrogant and selfish and hates the idea of an arranged marriage but will agree out of duty.
Ram and Tashi’s first meeting is a disaster and the arrangement is close to being canceled, Tashi decides to right home to let her sister princesses know that she cannot follow through with the marriage when she and Ram are both kidnapped. From there, the story just takes off with romance and adventure.   
I cannot say it enough… I Love this book, this book is AMAZING….  I wish this book was a part of a series so I could have more of Tashi and Ram.  The book flowed well, kept me interested at every part, and made me fall for so many characters. I would recommend getting your hands on this book as soon as possible. 


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Follow Friday #2

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee and Alison of Alison Can Read

Q: Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?

A: I really avoid Non-Fiction. I know I can learn something from non-fiction, but I believe  my reading time is for escape not learning. 

Leave me a comment with your answer and FF. 

Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Title: The Lightning Thief
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher:  Disney Hyperion Books
Publishing Date: July 1st 2005
Pages: 375
Genre:  MG Contemporary Fantasy/Mythology
Series: Percy Jackson #1
Source: Audio


After getting expelled from yet another school for yet another clash with mythological monsters only he can see, twelve-year-old Percy Jackson is taken to Camp Half-Blood, where he finally learns the truth about his unique abilities; He is a demigod, half human, half immortal. Even more stunning; His father is the Greek god Poseidon, ruler of the sea, making Percy one of the most powerful demigods alive. There's little time to process this news. All too soon, a cryptic prophecy from the Oracle sends Percy on his first quest, a mission to the Underworld to prevent a war among the gods of Olympus. 

This book has been on my TBR list for a while, and I recently decided to get it off the list. I did not have really high hopes for this book. I saw the movie and it was ok but my husband and many others really enjoyed the book… so I put on my TBR list and let it sit there. I am glad I finally got around to reading it. I have always been a fan of mythology and hoped this book would do it justice but in a fun way. The author pulled through for me. The book was filled with mythology, from the creatures to the gods, and it was fun. It was amazing, adventurous and humorous.

Percy Jackson is 12 years old and he thought he was normal kid. That all changed after a school field trip where he sees his teacher turn in to a creature that tries to kill him. Percy finds out his father is Poseidon and he is being hunted by those who doesn't want him around because of who his father is. He is shipped off to a camp full of descendants of Gods and Goddesses. At camp is where the real trouble begins and it sends Percy and his friends on a journey to save himself and others like him. 

The setting of the book is in the modern world and the way that the author entwined the modern world and the ancient myths were fascinating. The gods and many monsters seemed to show themselves in public throughout the book but humans were unable to see what was actually going. This made events even more amusing.

The story takes us on a journey with the main character Percy Jackson and his friends. Percy Jackson seems to be a troubled kid on the outside and he ends up getting kicked out of every school his mother enrolls him in. Percy isn’t really troubled, although he has plenty of reason why he would be, he is just different. Percy is smart, spunky, and just plain fun throughout the entire book. He seems to take things in great stride, even when he isn’t sure if he really believes what he is told. For a 12 year boy he handles every situation with bravery and skill.

We also meet his “sidekick” Grover in the very beginning. Grover is by far my favorite character. The words that come out of his mouth are extremely amusing. I would call him the star of the book. The mixture of Percy and Grover is pure comedy.

The book is also filled action, friendship, and twists. I don’t recall any boring spots that I seem to find in many fantasy books. The author is vivid and has a way with his characters that is very captivating. It really is a complete story that has it all and I can’t wait to read the next installment. 

I would recommend this book to fantasy lovers and not so fantasy lovers.

Review: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Author: Ann Brashares
Publisher: Delacorte
Publication Date: September 11th 2001
Pages: 294
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Realistic Fiction
Series: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants  #1
Source: Paperback


Carmen got the jeans at a thrift shop. They didn’t look all that great: they were worn, dirty, and speckled with bleach. On the night before she and her friends part for the summer, Carmen decides to toss them. But Tibby says they’re great. She'd love to have them. Lena and Bridget also think they’re fabulous. Lena decides that they should all try them on. Whoever they fit best will get them. Nobody knows why, but the pants fit everyone perfectly. Even Carmen (who never thinks she looks good in anything) thinks she looks good in the pants. Over a few bags of cheese puffs, they decide to form a sisterhood and take the vow of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants . . . the next morning, they say good-bye. And then the journey of the pants — and the most memorable summer of their lives — begins.

I was late bloomer when it came to reading this book. I watched the movie with my daughter when it first came out, and I enjoyed it and vowed to read the books one day. Well here it is yearssss later and I have read it and I loved it…. I ask myself, what took so long?

The story is simple it’s about 4 best friends. These 4 friends have been together every summer from… well basically before they were born. Their mother’s were in a birthing class together and all the girls were born within a month. They call themselves “The Septembers”. The books begin right before the girls will spend their first summer apart. They are nervous and a little scared of the summer they would have without each other, until the pants came along. With these magic pants the friends decide they will have the strength to make it through the summer with keeping in touch with letters and passing around the pants.

This book was filled with so much goodness. It made me laugh, it made me cry. I remembered what it was like to be a teenager and to get through life’s adventures with my friends along for the ride. It’s a book about life, friendship, sadness, joy, and growing up.  The author did a great job on the emotions in this book, I felt I was right there the entire time. There were times I wanted to hug, lecture, or just join the girls in their fun. It’s a must read. It’s a real feel good book!

The girls were so very different and even though they were their own person, they worked best together. Where one was shy another made up by being the life of the party. The way they complimented each other really made their friendship.  Lena was the head on straight, shy, good girl. Bee was the outgoing charismatic, trouble maker. Carmen was the loud, say it like it was, not gonna take anything from anyone girl. Tibby was the artistic, genuine, out there girl. Yup a one of kind group.  I loved them all because they all had something to bring to the story. 

Even though they worked well together, they didn't share their problems. The girls shared most things but when they were separeted for the summer, they didn't share as much as they should have, well except for the pants. They were able to make their own stories and deal with the problems alone. They all tended to forget that the others helped with their problems. Once they all got together again, things started to fall back into place. 

I loved the story of relationships in this book. Friendship took center but the stories also contained some really good stuff about family and romance too.  A great balance of issues and resolve that take place in a teenage girls life. 

A real treat. I am can't wait to read more. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #1 Article 5 by Kristen Simmons


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly
event, hosted by Breaking the Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that
we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I am eagerly awaiting the release of

Article 5 (Article 5, #1)

Article 5 (Article 5 #1)


   New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.
The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow. 

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

10048874Title: Dearly, Departed
Author: Lia Habel
Publisher: Del Rey
Publication Date: October 18th 2011
Pages: 470
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi Steam punk  
Series: Gone With the Respiration #1
Source: Audio


Love conquers all, so they say. But can Cupid’s arrow pierce the hearts of the living and the dead—or rather, the undead? Can a proper young Victorian lady find true love in the arms of a dashing zombie?
The year is 2195. The place is New Victoria—a high-tech nation modeled on the manners, mores, and fashions of an antique era. A teenager in high society, Nora Dearly is far more interested in military history and her country’s political unrest than in tea parties and debutante balls. But after her beloved parents die, Nora is left at the mercy of her domineering aunt, a social-climbing spendthrift who has squandered the family fortune and now plans to marry her niece off for money. For Nora, no fate could be more horrible—until she’s nearly kidnapped by an army of walking corpses.
But fate is just getting started with Nora. Catapulted from her world of drawing-room civility, she’s suddenly gunning down ravenous zombies alongside mysterious black-clad commandos and confronting “The Laz,” a fatal virus that raises the dead—and hell along with them. Hardly ideal circumstances. Then Nora meets Bram Griswold, a young soldier who is brave, handsome, noble . . and dead. But as is the case with the rest of his special undead unit, luck and modern science have enabled Bram to hold on to his mind, his manners, and his body parts. And when his bond of trust with Nora turns to tenderness, there’s no turning back. Eventually, they know, the disease will win, separating the star-crossed lovers forever. But until then, beating or not, their hearts will have what they desire.
In Dearly, Departed, romance meets walking-dead thriller, spawning a madly imaginative novel of rip-roaring adventure, spine-tingling suspense, and macabre comedy that forever redefines the concept of undying love..

I have been looking for a great zombie book for a while now. Well, I have found it. This isn’t your average zombie book, zombies bad, humans good, apocalypse is here story. Black and White does not exist in this book, just a big huge gray area. I really love the authors take on zombies and her love story between a zombie and a human. 

Nora is a teenage girl who is living without any parents, her mother died from the virus, and her father has been missing, now she lives with her aunt. Nora is trying to abide by society rules and live the way she needs but all that is put on hold when she is stolen in the middle of the night by commandos. Nora is then thrust into a world of zombies, good and bad, and she finds she lives in a world of secrets, some even her father kept. In the middle of the war on zombies, unraveling secrets, and trying to stay alive, she falls for a zombie.

Loved the plot, the writing, and the world building. A virus has come in to play and when you die, some shortly after and some years later, will reanimate. Sounds simple right? Not really. In this world, in the future, in a “New Victoria Era” reanimation does not mean you will become some violent flesh eating monster. For reasons unknown, some will go crazy and lose their mind and others can stay sane and keep their soul remembering who they were before and remaining that person, well for the most part. They are of course dead and their bodies react differently to “life”
Lia Habel does a great job in painting us a world of steam punk. She is very descriptive without it getting boring, (you know the boring that makes you want to skim through the paragraph) and the descriptions made everything so vivid in my mind.

I also love all the characters. The story is told from 5 points of view. Yes that is a lot, but it made the story so real. I have always loved books with alternate points of view. I love to get in the head of as many characters as I can. I admit I did at first think that this many points of view would be challenging to keep up with, it was well worth it. The Characters are all so amazing in their own way and are quite different from each other. 

Nora was a little difficult to get into at first. She seemed a little whiny and clueless. After getting into more of the story I did start to understand her personality more and the reasons she seemed this way. She does mature and starts to think clearly, It just takes a while. She was a great character but not my favorite. My favorite was her best friend Pamela. She seemed smart, brave, and very independent. The two really did compliment each other well. The other main characters were great too. Bram is easy to love and it’s really hard not to feel for him and his situation. He is sincere and gentle which I really did appreciate. Nora’s father did not stand out as much, but is really important to the story. The last character that had a point of view was Wolfe, I will not say much for this character. I would hate to give anything away.
This story goes beyond what we perceive is good and bad or right and wrong. There isn’t always an easy way or even an easier way. And, of course there is the love story… You will need to read to find out more. 

I cannot wait until the next installment goes out as I will be reading it right away. I Love This Book!!! By the way the cover, just gorgeous!

Lia Habel

I'm an author, and consequently spend the majority of my days locked up in my own head. When I'm actually actively participating in the groundbreaking experiment in groupthink known as "reality," you'll find me designing and sewing costumes, trying to teach myself to play roller derby (I do not tackle pedestrians, contrary to popular belief), planning trips, and watching zombie movies.
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