Where reading is a way of life

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Til the World Ends by Julie Kagawa

368 pages, YA dystopian
Blood of Eden # 0.5
My rating: 4 stars

This books includes 3 short novellas, all with a dystopian theme.  The first one, Dawn of Eden is a prequel to the Blood of Eden series.

Dawn of Eden by Julie Kagawa


Before The Immortal Rules, there was the Red Lung, a relentless virus determined to take out all in its path. For Kylie, the miracle of her survival is also her burden-as a doctor at one of the clinics for the infected, she is forced to witness endless suffering. What's worse, strange things are happening to the remains of the dead, and by the time she befriends Ben Archer, she's beginning to wonder if a global pandemic is the least of her problems.... 

My 2 cents

I love the Blood of Eden series!  The Immortal Rules was on of my favorite book of 2012!  So I was really looking forward to reading this prequel.  It was good, and I enjoyed it, but as far as I can tell, it only included one of the characters from the book, one of the vampires.  And his was actually a small part.  But I did enjoy getting to know Kylie and Ben!  The most important part of this story was how we learned how the rabids were created.  This was a gripping, chilling story, just like the book!

Thorn & Thistle by Ann Aguirre


After a catastrophic spill turns the country into a vast chemical wasteland, those who could afford it retreated to fortresses, self-contained communities run by powerful corporations. But for Mari Thistle, life on the outside-in the Red Zone-is a constant struggle. To protect her family, Mari teams up with the mysterious Thorne Goodman. Together, they'll face an evil plot in both the underworld of the Red Zone and the society inside the fortresses that could destroy those on the outside...for good. 

My 2 cents

This was my favorite of the three stories.  I really connected with Mari and Thorne, and their plight.  It felt like a really honest story between two people who are trying to survive any way they can in a hopeless situation.  I loved the characters so much!  There was still a lot of story left by the end, I am hoping she turns this one into a series!

Sun Storm by Karen Duvall


Sarah Daggot has been chasing storms since she was a child. But after the biggest solar flares in history nearly destroy the planet, she becomes a Kinetic, endowed by her exposure to extreme radiation with the power to sense coming storms-in the cosmos and beyond. And she's not the only one. Sarah believes the Kinetics are destined to join forces and halt the final onslaught of the sun. She'll vow to keep trying to convince the one missing link in their chain of defense, the enigmatic Ian Matthews, up until the world ends.

My 2 cents

This was my least favorite of the three stories.  I liked the concept, and I really liked Ian, but it felt like it would have been better as a full length novel.  There is too much that happens in 120 pages, so if felt very rushed.  I would love this one as a book or series instead!  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

424 pages, YA Paranormal (Angels)
Daughter of Smoke and Bone #1
My rating: 5 stars


Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My 2 cents

Oh my gosh, I LOVED this book!  I'm so glad I finally had a chance to read it!  The writing was beautiful, and the words just came alive on the page!  I also loved the setting of Prague.  It made me really want to go visit!

I've read loads of angel books--fallen angels, good angels, bad angels, but this book took it to a whole other level!  And normally, in an Angel war, there are demons.  Well, this book had demons, but not any demons that I've ever read about.  Its funny, because at some point, one of Karou's friends says something along the lines of, "This isn't Narnia!"  But it really felt like it at times.  It was a whole other world nestled in our own, and it was done so well!

I loved Karou.  She is one of the most interesting kick butt characters I have read about!  And it was kind of crazy how much I liked Brimstone.  I got the feeling early on that he had to be a bad guy, but he really felt almost like a Dumbledore type figure to me.  I hope we learn more about him later in the series.  I must admit, I wasn't very fond of Akiva.  I realize that he and Karou were in love, but he seemed like such a jerk!

And when we finally learn who and what Karou is...it was just devastating to me!  Suddenly the whole novel made perfect sense, but I bet we have even more to learn in future books! I can't wait to read Days of Blood and Starlight, I'm going to have to go pick it up soon!

Hooked by Liz Fichera

368 pages, YA Contemporary Romance
Hooked #1
My rating: 4 stars


When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done. 

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...


My 2 cents

This book was very different from most contemporaries I've read, just because most of the story centered around golf.  I'm not a huge golf fan, but I do know how to play a little, and all the terminology  so it was kind of fun!   If you don't know any of the golf lingo, there is a "Golf Tips" section in the back of the book.  The story is told from a dual POV, between Fred and Ryan.

So Fred lives a fairly horrible life.  She lives on the reservation, and like most families, they don't have much money. She plays with a horrible old red plaid bag, and doesn't have the proper golf shoes.  Her mother is an alcoholic, and makes home in their double wide trailer very stressful.  Her older brother is awesome, but he isn't home much, and her father is clearly the best person in her life.  But he is worn down my long working hours and life, although he does everything he can for his daughter.

Ryan seems to have a perfect life.  His family is rich and he's pretty spoiled.  He has lots of friends and a very cute popular girlfriend named Gwyneth.  But his home life isn't any better than Fred's.  His dad cheats, and his mom puts up with it and is almost never home.  His girlfriend is a horrible snob, and his best friend, Seth, is one of the biggest jerks I've met in book world!

Seth is actually the one who wants revenge on Fred for taking his spot.  At first, all of the other boys on the team, including Ryan, make things pretty hard for her.  Then she starts to help them actually win their tournaments, and Ryan's attitude starts to change.  Unfortunately for him, everyone else things he should stay away from the "Indian girl."

There are a lot of racist comments in this book.  Obviously the rich white kids don't understand the dozen or so Rez kids that attend their school.  Ryan is one of the few who doesn't say any comments, but at the same time, he doesn't try real hard to get others to stop, either.  Seth is definitely the worst, and I couldn't understand why Ryan put up with him for so long.  I really though Ryan was an arse for a lot of the book.  He would try to play nice with Fred, and then get sucked right back into his white world.  He was not good against peer pressure.

I really loved Fred.   Her chapters were definitely the most fun to read.  The story mostly felt like it was her journey.  I think the author did the dual POV just so we could see Ryan's side, and not hate him too much.  The story felt very real to me, and I enjoyed the romance.  The golf tournaments were the best scenes in the book.  That's were Ryan and Fred were truly themselves.   This was a fresh new contemporary read!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Breaking Point Book Tralier

Breaking Point has a book trailer out!

Breaking Point releases Feb. 12th! I can't wait!

Article 5 by Kristen Simmons

362 pages, YA Dystopian
Article 5 #1
My Rating: 4 stars


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.

My 2 cents

I fell in love with this book.  It surprised me, because I didn't expect to like it this much!  It was , at times, very horrific.  Bad and violent things were happening to innocent people.  The story was so compelling!

Ember's mom is arrested and Ember is sent off to a rehabilitation center.   The kind with a tyrannical matronly woman in charge with lots of soldiers to back her up.  The ideas this society presented were just awful.  Basically, it sets feminism back in time about 100 years!  Woman are expected to be sub servant  obedient, and chaise.  And men were allowed to use physical force if necessary.  It was just sick!  

Poor, poor Ember.  She's never had a man long term in her life, other than her best friend turned boyfriend, Chase.  But Chase has been gone in the army awhile now, and Ember doesn't even recognize him anymore.  Ember doesn't take well to the new attitudes her government is expecting her to be, so she gets punished a lot.  Then the unexpected happens--Chase breaks her out of there and goes AWOL, as a favor to Ember's mother.

This is where the story really took off.  It become a lot more about Ember and Chase's relationship, and less about the tyrannical society.  Of course, they are on the run and there is danger everywhere, so there is still plenty of action!  Lots of love angst and action make me happy!

Like typical love struck teenagers, Ember and Chase were just so STUPID with each other!   Sometimes I just wanted to knock their heads together!  I understood both of their point of views, though.  Ember goes from a semi-normal life to a world where she cant trust ANYONE.  So its really hard for her to trust Chase, especially when his soldier training kicks in.  And I figured he's been through a lot, considering how this government treated its citizens.  

The ending almost seemed a little too easy to me.  I'm guessing the next book will start off with a bang!  The sequel, Breaking Point, releases Feb. 12th, and I will be buying and devouring it!

Monday, January 28, 2013

What Are You Reading Monday #15

What Are You Reading Monday is hosted by Book Journey, where us bloggers highlight our book reading week. 

What I Read this week

My Reading List for next week

Blog Schedule
Monday--What Are You Reading Monday
Review of Article 5
Review of Crown of Embers
Tuesday--Review of Clarity
Review of The Diviners
Wednesday--Wishlist Wednesday
Review of Breathe
Thursday--Any other reviews to catch up on
Friday--Feed My Reader Friday
Fire Country Book Blitz
Any reviews to catch up on

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Cocoa and Hype Make Every Book Nice Read A Thon Wrap Up

My Reading List:

Gates of Pardise by Melissa De La Cruz--Finished! My Review
What's Left Of Me by Kat Zhang--Finished! My Review
The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark--on page 80--I don't think I'll finish this one.
Ten by Gretchen McNeil--Finished! My Review
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry--Finished! My Review
Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison--Finished!  My Review
The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater--Finished! My Review
Clairty by Kim Harrington--Finished! Review Coming Soon
If I Stay by Gayle Forman--Finished!  My Review
Breathe by Sarah Crossan--Finished! Review Coming Soon
The Diviners by Libby Bray--Finished! Review Coming soon
A Million Suns by Beth Revis--Finished!  My Review
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis--Finished! My Review

So, I was able to finish all the books on my list but one, which I abandoned!  It was a very productive week, and I had lots of fun doing this read a thon!   

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

409 pages, YA Paranormal (Ghosts & Magic)
The Raven Cycle #1
My Rating: 4 stars


“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.”

It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.

From Maggie Stiefvater, the bestselling and acclaimed author of theShiver trilogy and The Scorpio Races, comes a spellbinding new series where the inevitability of death and the nature of love lead us to a place we’ve never been before.

My 2 cents

This book was an odd duck!  I really liked the magical and paranormal elements to it, and the mystery of the ley lines.  The parts of the story where the group was uncovering the mysteries were the best parts of the story for me.  The characters themselves were definitely strange though!

So the way the synopsis read, I assumed that Gansey and Blue would be the couple of the book.  But not so!  It was actually Adam and Blue that were a sort-of couple in the book.  Although I think Gansey was drawn to Blue--but Blue really didn't like Gansey all that much.  After the ending though, I'm thinking Blue and Gansey may be drawn together in future novels.  

The group of friends was interesting and fun to read about.  Gansey is definitely the leader of the group--charismatic, rich, and in charge.  Ronan is his best friend, and they are like brothers.  Ronan has a major attitude problem.  Adam was my favorite of the boys.  He was the kid who was strong and sure, but suffered immensely for a hard knock kind of life.  He actually seemed the most normal.  Noah was always on the fringes of things,  and I didn't really get to know him that well until about two thirds of the way through the story.

Blue was an awesome heroine.  But it almost didn't feel like her story.  It really felt more like Adam and Gansey's story through most of the book.  Blue was just kind of there to lend support to the cause.  She was also the only one who knew Gansey's fate.  I am thinking her part to play must come later in the series.    

This was a great paranormal read with interesting characters and an interesting new concept of psychics  and magic.  I can't wait to read the next one!

Shades of Earth by Beth Revis

369 pages, YA Dystopian
Across the Universe #3
My Rating: 5 stars


Amy and Elder have finally left the oppressive walls of the spaceshipGodspeed behind. They're ready to start life afresh--to build a home--on Centauri-Earth, the planet that Amy has traveled 25 trillion miles across the universe to experience.

But this new Earth isn't the paradise Amy had been hoping for. There are giant pterodactyl-like birds, purple flowers with mind-numbing toxins, and mysterious, unexplained ruins that hold more secrets than their stone walls first let on. The biggest secret of all? Godspeed's former passengers aren't alone on this planet. And if they're going to stay, they'll have to fight.

Amy and Elder must race to discover who--or what--else is out there if they are to have any hope of saving their struggling colony and building a future together. They will have to look inward to the very core of what makes them human on this, their most harrowing journey yet. Because if the colony collapses? Then everything they have sacrificed--friends, family, life on Earth--will have been for nothing.


My 2 cents

This is definitely the best book I've read so far this year.  Its beyond amazing, and I'm not sure how to really write a review for it without giving too much away!  Be forewarned, if you haven't read the first two books, there will be spoilers, so you might not want to read this review yet!

Here we go.  Elder and Amy manage to crash land the ship.  And immediately, neither one of them is on the same page.  As soon as they land there is strife.  Some of the passengers have been hurt badly ( a few killed) and Elder wants to take care of them first.  Amy, meanwhile, starts the unfreeze process of the Frozens.  She is anxious to see her parents, but Elder is really not happy with her.  When the Frozens wake up, we realize that Amy's dad is in charge.  And he reminds Elder a lot of Eldest.  

Colonel Martin (Amy's dad) does not recognize the leadership role of Elder.  Its immediate from the start that he is in control, and the Shipborn people do not matter to him at all.  There isn't a lot of time for a debate, though, because survival is all anyone has time for.  They are not sure what's on this planet, but people start dying horribly.  

I'm not giving away too much here, this all happens within 50 pages.  So the theme of a controlling dictator continues in this story.  It seemed amazing to me that Elder and Amy had come so far, to have to start all over again.  Elder does not trust Colonel Martin, and sets out to find out what he's hiding.  Amy stays mostly loyal to her dad, but she does question his orders a few times.  She doesn't like the way he looks at Elder and the shipborns, like they are cattle and not people. 

I took away so much from this series, but one thing really stands out to me.  Amy.  She is the only character in the entire story who is a part of every group of people represented in the series.  So she is the only one who is also sympathetic to everyone.  She's from Sol-Earth; She lived with the Shipborns so she feels she understands them and what its like to live on a ship; And she becomes part of the group of people on the new planet.  Amy is the only character who can bring these groups together and fix things.  It made the whole thing very believable, and kudos to Beth Revis for writing it that way!

The ending was amazing.  Something really bad happens here, and I was so upset that it wasn't going to be a happy ever after, but I was satisfied with the way things ended.   We finally realize all the secrets, and nothing is what we thought.  I was surprised yet again--I thought I knew what was happening, but I was wrong!  Everything finally made sense.  It was exactly like watching The Sixth Sense, and it made me want to reread all the books again!

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if Revis does a spin off series, because there is so much story left to this new planet.  I also think this sci-fi dystopian adventure would make some great movies!  I hope you get a chance to read this series.  It is one of the most gripping dytopians I have read!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cocoa and Hype Make Every Book Nice Read A Thon Update--Day 8

My Reading List:

Gates of Pardise by Melissa De La Cruz--Finished! My Review
What's Left Of Me by Kat Zhang--Finished! My Review
The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark--on page 80--I don't think I'll finish this one.
Ten by Gretchen McNeil--Finished! My Review
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry--Finished! My Review
Notes From Ghost Town by Kate Ellison--Finished!  My Review
The Raven Boys by Maggie Steifvater--starting soon!
Clairty by Kim Harrington--Finished! Review Coming Soon
If I Stay by Gayle Forman--Finished!  My Review
Breathe by Sarah Crossan--Finished! Review Coming Soon
The Diviners by Libby Bray--on page 461
A Million Suns by Beth Revis--Finished!  My Review
Shades of Earth by Beth Revis--Finished! Review coming soon

If you'd like to join the Read A Thon, click HERE

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

392 pages, YA Contemporary Romance
Pushing the Limits #1
My rating: 5 stars


No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

My 2 cents

This book was hot, sexy, and dangerous all rolled up into one!  I loved the story between Noah and Echo. Noah is exactly the kind of guy I would have fallen for when I was younger.  While I was reading, I liked to think I was Echo, since I also have red hair, although I'm not nearly as hot as her!   

After I was about 100 pages in, I could see immediately why this is such a popular book.  Its all about two misunderstood teens trying to find their place in the world.  I think everyone can relate to this! Every teen has been misunderstood at one time or another!  I hope that most of us didn't have to deal with all that Echo and Noah did, though.

Noah and Echo's worlds are so different, I want to spend a moment talking about them.  Noah's world--unsafe, unstable, unhealthy, and no one to trust.  He's been moved around from foster home to foster home for two years.  The first home he was in, the father was abusive to Noah and his own kids, so Noah hit him, and has been labeled as "emotionally unstable."  So he doesn't trust hardly anyone.  He has two best friends--Isaiah and Beth.  Both have had the hard knocks as well.  Beth is a really big smart ass, and I really didn't like her.  But she does come through when it counts.  Noah has two much younger brothers--Jacob and Tyler.  He loves them more than anything in the world, but he only gets to see them supervised for 2 hours a month.

Echo's world--full of secrets, no one can say what they really feel, unhappy, and unloved.  Her father is the ultimate control freak, and doesn't let Echo do anything she really wants to do, like paint.  Her stepmother Ashley doesn't seem like a bad person, just very flaky and immature.  Considering she used to be Echo's babysitter when she was little, this makes sense.  Echo's friends--UGH.  Her best friend Lila I think does care about her, but she goes about things the wrong way.  Her other friends are only her friends when they are not in public.  We don't know much about Echo's mother, except she is bipolar, and has a restraining order, and Echo's older brother, Aires, her best friend, died while serving in Afghanistan.  

What do these worlds have in common? No one to trust, no one looks out for these two, and no one understands them.  In fact, the only person in the entire book who seems to really have these kids best interests at heart, is their therapist, Mrs. Collins.  Without her, I think both Noah and Echo would have been screwed!

The romance aspects between them was so HOT!  Even before they started even talking to each other, you could feel the sexual tension between them!  I loved it!  It was a great contemporary romance, and I really liked the dark and dangerous side to the book!  I can't wait to read more from this author!

In My Mailbox # 19

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.  Us bloggers feature any new books we've received in the past week, either bought, borrowed, or received for review. 

Another great week in my mailbox!  I definitely have no shortage of reading material!

ebooks I bought

ebooks from Netgalley

 ebooks for review

 Borrowed from the library


Books I won!

I won Ironskin from The Starry Eyed Revue and Timepiece from Jen Ryland/YA Romantics!
Thanks to both of you guys, I will enjoy these!

The Book n Bloggers Swap!

 I received some handmade bookmarks, some beautiful notes about the books and
A Feast for Crows, Fried Green Tomatoes and the Whistle Stop Cafe, and The Twitter Diaries!

What did you receive in your mailbox?