Tuesday, November 30, 2010

READING: Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh

Publication Date: August 31st, 2010
Published by: Atheneum
Source: Bought
Rating: 2/5

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.

Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.

As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.

His life depends on it.

OK I just wanna say this: you see my rating of this book?It's 2/5.If you loved this book, I don't see the point in reading this review, unless you are open to other opinions. I know how painful it is to have someone bash a book you love believe me, I know.So this small preamble was to spare you the disappointment.
So, with that out of the way, I'll start writing my review.

Friends of mine recommended Nevermore to me,people who I trust their opinion completely, mind you.I thought "Well, we can't go wrong here.It's gonna be legendary!" 
Yeah.Well, no.It wasn't.Far from it.

I did not get Nevermore.At all.I could not connect to the story, to the characters, the writing, nothing.Well, the writing was not bad, per se. I could do with a  little less adjectives and endless descriptions of eeeeevery little thing(including cheerleading routines), to be honest.But more about the story later.

The characters.Isobel and Varen.I felt no chemistry whatsoever between them.The fling they had was not believable at all,in my opinion.It came completely out of the blue.One second Isobel thinks Varen is a weirdo and disgusting, and the next he touches her hand and suddenly her whole life changes.She suddenly realised that what she was doing up until then was wrong and that her friends were a bunch of morons.I didn't buy the whole "reformed popular/evil cheerleader" situation.I believe that Varen ignoring her was what triggered the whole thing.If it wasn't for that, she wouldn't have gotten intrigued by him("But I am popular and pretty.Why doesn't he like me?I have to make him like me!") and she would still be her same old self, girlfriend to a douche and mean to unpopular kids.Varen was OK,I guess.Again, I couldn't tell from how the author chose to develop his character, that he was attracted to Isobel.I just guessed, because she was the female lead and he was the male lead.So you understand my surprise when somewhere near the end Isobel finds a letter he wrote her expressing his eternal love and that he is "hers" !!! Um, OK.Where did that come from?However, I did find Varen's dad a very interesting character,his family history a mystery, and I believe that both have a big part to play in the story.I also liked the idea of Isobel and Varen's paper presentation and how it played out.

The story.Where was it?I was struggling to find a point, somewhere that the almost 600 pages would lead to.Maybe I'm plain stupid, because I didn't find one!Not until the last 50 pages or so.Even now that I've finished the book, the plot is not very clear to me.Something about Isobel having visions,or out-of-body experiences, a guy named Reynolds, some freakish dudes who were missing body parts(they were awesome,by the way!)a goth party and then all hell broke loose!It was so chaotic, I couldn't tell if I was reading new material or re reading pages I had already read.And I still don't know what went on!I mean, I just can't get it.And most importantly: what did Poe had to do with anything...?

Nevermore exhausted me.I couldn't get into it and it took me forever to finish.I am really glad,and I mean it,that other people loved it and feel the need to "defend" it.We should all do that for things we feel passionate about.
Unfortunately, Nevermore wasn't for me.
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

In My Mailbox (23)

::Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting IMM::

The Body Finder - Kimberly Derting 
(I can't believe I still haven't read this!)

Misguided Angel - Melissa De La Cruz (finally!)

The Dark Divine - Bree Despain 

What did you get in your mailbox? :)

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

READING : Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Published by: HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: February 15th, 2011
Source: Net Galley
Rating: 4,5/5

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.
I had my reservations going into this book, to be honest.Angels, romance, been there-read that.I didn't mind that it had to do with angels, as long there was a unique and nicely woven story behind it.Thankfully, Angelfire more than delivered in every aspect I wanted it to!

Writing was fast paced, simple and right to the point-just the way I like them!While reading Angelfire, I kept having the impression that it was a book written by a friend of mine, someone I know well.It emitted a very peculiar sense of familiarity.And I am not talking about relating to one of the characters or anything like that.I mean that there were things that went on in the book, that made me remember all these endless conversations I usually have with friends about books and how they should be written and what we would like to see in them.It turns out,a lot of those were in Angelfire, and I just loooove when that happens!It made me connect with the story and the characters from the first to the very last page.

But when it all comes down to it, this book is about two people: Ellie and Will.These two had such chemistry, it's ridiculous!They were meant to be together, no question about it!And I loved how it wasn't yet another super fast, super lame love.It was deep, meaningful and epic!!I caught myself screaming "Kiss him already, can't you see that he loves you???" because I'm telling you, you could cut the sexual tension between those two with a knife, it was so good!Even though this is the first book in what I hope will be a series, you'll definitely feel like you have read numerous books about Ellie and Will, you feel like you know so much about them already.

Overall, Angelfire is an awesome debut novel by Moulton and one you should undoubtedly add to your 2011 must-reads!

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Debut Author Challenge 2011 @ The Story Siren

Yes!It's DAC 2011 time!!!

What is DAC I hear you ask.Well,dear reader I'll tell you!
Debut Author Challenge aka DAC 2011, is an annual challenge hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.
As Kristi herself puts it "the objective of the DAC is to read at least twelve novels from Young Adult or Middle Grade Authors. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit!"
I wanted to participate in last year's DAC, but I didn't find out about it until later this summer,so I just figured I'd skip this one and wait for next year's.And oh yes!It's here!
So roll up your sleeves and get ready to read some books :)

If you want to learn more about DAC 2011, you can go here: Debut Author Challenge 2011

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

READING : The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Publication date: February 1st, 2011
Published by: Harlequin Teen
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5
My name is Meaghan Chase.

I thought it was over.That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stay by my side. Drag me into the core of a conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.
Why is it so difficult to write reviews for books I love??My finger is stuck on the backspace button, immediately erasing every word I dare put down.They all seem insufficient somehow, redundant. I am afraid, this is also the case with Iron Queen because Julie Kagawa's world has left me speechless once again!

Iron Queen picks up where the Iron Daughter left off.Meghan and Ash have been exiled from the Nevernever but when the forces of the false Iron King threaten to destroy both Summer and Winter court, Oberon and Mab ask for their help to destroy the Iron Fey once and for all.

Julie Kagawa's writing is simply amazing!Apart from the captivating descriptions of the fascinating world of Tir Na Nog and the fey, the characters she's created and the way they were developed throughout the whole series, is really unique.

Iron Queen is a book dedicated to Meghan.Of course, it has many other characters in it and all play their part, but I believe that IQ is about Meghan and her growth from IK till now.How from a normal teenager,part of a normal family, she ended up yielding swords and fighting to protect the existence of the fairies.This book I feel is the end of her adventure, of her journey to find herself and her destiny.
Always with her, Ash, the love of her life.Ash has also matured a lot through all this.The story he tells Meghan of what he used to do to mortal girls and of his total disregard for mortals in general, is disturbing to say the least!And to come from that,an emotionally  detached and cruel being to this loving and caring person, willing to risk and sacrifice everything for the people he loves, is incredible.And all that because he fell in love with Meghan.Meghan is the common denominator of every character changing and growing in the book.Oberon, Mab, Puck, Ash, even Grim and Iron Horse changed because of Meghan and the way she chose to interact with each and everyone of them.
Meghan is the indisputable protagonist of IQ.And that is totally fine by me, since she is a very likeable character.But personally, I don't think it's her likeableness that drew me to her and the other characters, consequently making me like these books so much.It's because I feel for her,I care about what happens to her, to her family to her friends.My eyes well up with tears when something terrible is happening and I instantly feel calm and at ease when everyone is happy.I know you are going "Hello?That's the whole point!" and I agree.But please try and remember which books really made you feel that way about its characters.After finishing IQ I gave it some thought and I found the number of these books disappointingly small,so I try to appreciate and treasure the ones that make me feel that way.So a huuuuge thanks goes out to Julie for writing these beautiful books and for making me believe in the power of good story telling!

I know my review is very sloppy, I try not to reveal anything about the plot and that's why I talk about everything else but.

Besides, the only thing that you really need to know is that Iron Queen is an awesome, awesome book and so is the entire Iron Fey series.If you haven't read it yet, you are most definitely missing out!
Can't wait for The Iron Knight, the 4th installment in the Iron Fey series!

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Thursday, November 11, 2010

READING : Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Publication date: June 16th, 2009
Published by: HarperCollins
Source: Gift
Rating: 3/5
Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken....

For seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow, faeries are just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery, whose steel-gray eyes mask an equally steely determination to protect her.

Sonny guards the Samhain Gate, which connects the mortal realm with the Faerie's enchanted, dangerous Otherworld. Usually kept shut by order of icy King Auberon, the Gate stands open but once a year.

This year, as the time approaches when the Samhain Gate will swing wide and nightmarish Fae will fight their way into an unsuspecting human world, something different is happening... something wondrous and strange. And Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her but to the heritage that awaits her.

Now Kelley must navigate deadly Faerie treachery—and her growing feelings for Sonny—in this dazzling page-turner filled with luminous romance.
When I started this book, I read the first half in one sitting, thinking that this will certainly be one of my new favourites.Then the rest of the book happened which unfortunately changed my mind completely.

When someone, you for example, are in your teens and think that someone is following you, stalking you to be precise and is very dangerous, what do you do?Run, mace him, hit him with a preferably heavy and sharp object.You surely don't engage into casual conversation with him!
Also, when this said dangerous stranger tells you you're adopted, how come the first thing you do is call your aunt and tell her "I am adopted,aren't I?"
And my all time favourite: when someone tells you that you are the fairy King's daughter, you surely don't go "Oh yeah?Ugh,bummer.So what do you want for breakfast?"
Yes, all these happened you guys!Maybe I am exaggerating a little bit(I really don't) and I know that this is a fairy tale, fiction,but come on!The line has to be drawn somewhere!The ease with which everyone took the most incredible and full of crazy news, was annoying to say the least and it made it very difficult for me to take the rest of the book seriously.

I was not convinced by Kelley and Sonny's romance at all!There was no transitional phase between Sonny being dangerous and stalkerish to being gorgeous and basically the love of her life.She just went from fearing him to adoring him in like seconds, and with no apparent reason.There was just no chemistry between them, whatsoever.

For someone who doesn't read too much into everything like I do, Wondrous Strange could potentially be a fine read.Unfortunately, I don't think I will remember reading this book after a couple of months.

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

READING : The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard

Publication date: December 7th, 2010
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5/5

Foster kid Emma Paxton has only just discovered Sutton Mercer, the wealthy twin sister she never knew she had, when Sutton drops off the face of the earth, asking Emma to cover for her at home, school, and with her friends—just for a few days. At first Emma enjoys trying on her sister’s fabulous life: her fiercely loyal friends, her adoring boyfriend, her close-knit family. But as Emma is drawn deeper into Sutton’s world she finds the friends are not so fabulous, the boyfriend is not who she wants to be with, and the family is clinging to long-buried secrets and a veneer of functionality. And worst of all, Sutton may not be coming back. In fact, someone may have made sure she never could…and that someone knows Emma is not who she claims to be. Emma will need all her wits to survive The Lying Game.
OK,it's official.I absolutely love Sara Shepard!I adore her series, Pretty Little Liars ,and honestly,I was expecting a lot from The Lying Game and it definitely didn't disappoint!

Emma is a foster home kid who has never stayed in one place for very long.Descriptions of her bad and sometimes violent foster parents make you really think of what these kids go through from a very young age through no fault of their own.In Emma's case, her mother Becky abandoned her when she was little and even though Emma could have grown up to be bitter and mean,she fought through it and became this amiable and kind-hearted girl.When she finds out she has an identical twin,Sutton,she secretly hopes for a new life and a shot at happiness. However, when she starts impersonating Sutton and living her life, she soon realises that things are not at all what they seem and that her happiness will take a lot longer than she thought.

Shepard's unbelievably meandering writing still continues to amaze me!You never know what will happen next and I know that most of you are going "Yeah, yeah,OK!We've read a mystery book or two,we know what to expect".Believe me,you really don't!Every time you start to devise a theory in your head of what might have happened, bam!next chapter comes and it completely changes your whole perspective, all the while making you start thinking of another possible scenario.I loved the idea of Sutton's narrative along with Emma's.It was like one person with two minds thinking completely different things.It was different and unique and also kinda creepy,if you ask me :)

The Lying Game had plenty of mystery, tons of twists, a pinch of romance and a whole load of awesome!If you enjoyed reading the Pretty Little Liars series, I'm absolutely sure you'll devour this one!
A definite must read!

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

READING : Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

Published by: NAL
Publication date: October 26th,2010
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5
The fragile peace between humans and vampires in Morganville is in trouble, and when Claire takes drastic action, she's put under serious pressure to re-establish the barriers that keep the town residents inside, and wipe the memories of those who leave. But working with her half-crazy vampire boss Myrnin means that things don't always turn out as planned ... and as the people of Morganville begin acting strangely, Claire and her friends must solve the mystery and try to put things right. But one by one, her allies are turning on her ... even the ones she trusts most.
First and foremost: I absolutely love the Morganville series. I know I have probably said this tons of times, but I really really do!Rachel Caine's writing is phenomenally good and the world she has created,amazing!However, I always try to be objective, even when I write about books that are very close to my heart,like the Morganville Vampire Books are.

Phew!Since we got this out of the way,let's talk Ghost Town!
I liked this book very much.Unfortunately, it didn't blow my mind like some of its predecessors,although it definitely had the potential to do so,but I liked it nonetheless.

I don't see the point in commenting on Caine's writing.It has always been exceptional throughout the series and Ghost Town is no exception.She is one of my favourite YA writers and that will never change,whether I end up liking her books or not.

However, I do feel the need to write about the story and the characters a little bit.When the amazing story line of Bishop and his arrival in Morganville ended in Carpe Corpus, I was afraid there would not be another story line as addictive and intriguing as that and I was partially right.Fade Out and Kiss Of Death were kind of stand-alones,with a story that didn't live up to the awesomeness of the previous books,in my opinion.Fortunately, Ghost Town was not like that.The story behind it was incredibly heartbreaking, to say the least,and something I honestly didn't see coming!And when I was about to say "Great.We found our arc and it's awesome!" it ends.Just like that.Why? :( I wanted to see more of it on the next book,for sure!I thought it was a great story and it should have been developed more.Also, I felt that the book dragged a little bit at the beginning and that it took you a while to get to the main story, probably because Ghost Town is considerably longer than the previous Morganville books.Other than that, I have no other objections about its story development.

As for the characters...what can I say?I find it's very rare to read about characters that are so unique and  so real!Vampires and supernatural entities aside, Claire,Shane,Eve and Michael and the relationship they have with each other are completely believable, a group of people that anyone could possibly meet at some point in their lives.It's incredible when you feel you can relate to someone who just staked a vampire!Their reactions,their behaviour,their attitudes, remain 100% human,even when they have to deal with all the craziness that goes on in Morganville.And that's what I love most about the series and consequently, about Caine's writing.I won't dwell into each character separately(Oh,Myrnin!Only one of my best characters in YA), they are all incredible and nobody is the lead's shadow.There is no lead,basically.Each and every one of the characters is nicely developed and they all have a very important part to play in the plot.

I tried not to include anything spoilery in my review(it's too hard,you guys!) so maybe you won't find it very enlightening.But.All you need to know is that Ghost Town is a very good installment in the Morganville series and if you haven't picked up the series yet, you-and I cannot stress this enough-DEFINITELY should!!!

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Book Of The Month #3

This is a meme created by me, Giota @Just Another Book Blog. If you want to know more about it,go here.

This month has been great for me.Unfortunately, only book-wise :( Regardless, it has to count for something,right?
This month I read 10 books and the ones I think were absolutely amazing are:

Ghost Town by Rachel Caine

Each one of them for very different reasons.
Rage: because Kessler's writing is phenomenal
Hex Hall and Deception: because they were awesome and fun
Ghost Town: because when it comes to the Morganville series,I just can't be objective.Love it!

So sorry to bend the rules of BOTM a little, but it just seems impossible to choose only one book this month!

What was your favourite book of the month? :)

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