Friday, February 25, 2011

READING: Clarity by Kim Harrington

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Publication date: March 1st,2011
Published by: Scholastic Point
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5
When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?

This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.

Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.

And a curse.

When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case--but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother--who has supernatural gifts of his own--becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?
Main character Clarity(Clare) is a psychic, her brother a medium and her mother a telepath. They own a small "business" where they do readings for tourists. But when a girl is found murdered, Clare must put her powers to the test and catch the murderer.

I loved Clarity so so much!! Harrington's writing is amazing, smart and to the the point. The mystery part of the story is very good, although I must admit I kept anticipating for it to be royally screwed up, but thankfully it wasn't. Maybe you don't get the heart-stopping revelation at the end, suspects after all are few as this is a small town, but that doesn't mean you won't be surprised. Harrington will keep you at the edge of your seat until the very end, no doubt about it!

Clare is someone you like right from the start, from the very first sentence. She is clever, with a great sense of humor, loving and caring, even to the people who hurt her in the past.
Her mother and brother are also very likeable.  You can't imagine my relief when I realized that her mother is not a controlling know-it-all, who doesn't tell her daughter anything for fear of "hurting her" and that her brother is not an over-protective jerk. They are normal people, a normal family. Well, except for their psychic abilities. But that's all the paranormal you'll get in Clarity. What I mean is, there is no unnecessary drama and hysteria going on,which let's face it, gets a little old after a while. They just live their lives like every other person.

Which means of course, that Clare, being a normal teenager, falls in love with the new guy in town, whom she investigates the murder with.
However, she is trying really hard to get over things that hurt her in the past, along with her ex boyfriend that caused them. Is she willing to take that step forward and start trusting someone new, or does she decide life is too short to hold grudges?

Once in a while, a book comes screaming right at me not to lose my faith in YA.That not all YA books are all glamour and sparkle on the outside and absolutely nothing on the inside. Turns out Clarity, is one of those books.Loved it :D
Recommended!
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

READING: Haven by Kristi Cook

Haven by Kristi Cook


Publication date: February 22nd, 2011
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Simon & Schuster Galley Grab
Rating: 2,5/5
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011

One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.

But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.

Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.
Haven unfortunately left me feeling disappointed, and rolling my eyes most of the time while reading it didn't help much, either.

I cannot think of one word that could describe Haven. I can think of three, though: lack of originality. 
In my opinion, Haven is a combination of scenes taken from very popular YA series, like Twilight and Vampire Diaries. To make it perfectly clear, when I say "taken", I by no way mean stolen! These small pieces obviously drew Cook's eye when she read them and thought that it'd be awesome to change them a little bit(some were left almost exactly the same!)and add them all in one book, thus very easily ensuring a YA audience. Apparently, this infamous YA recipe has worked really well for her, seeing how many people loved this book. 
Me? Not so much.

Pretty much every aspect of Haven left me with a "Meh.So?" comment. 
I didn't find Violet's character interesting, or Aidan's or any of the characters, for that matter. They weren't obnoxious or anything, but they were so bland you just couldn't bring yourself to like them. And what was with all the crying?? Doesn't matter what was going on, "Violet felt hot tears blurring her vision". I mean, she cried at almost anything! That's a recurring theme in YA books lately and I don't like it one bit!
Needless to say I didn't detect even the slightest spark, attraction, chemistry whatsoever between Violet and Aidan. That off-and-on-again situation made me feel like they didn't like each other all that much, in the first place.
The ending was also kinda meh(see?). We kept hearing of Violet's visions about Aidan's impending doom and how it was of the outmost importance she trained because these guys that were coming were so bad ass like nobody's business, but in reality nothing like that ever happened because the fight of all fights was 3 pages overall! And after that battle of obviously epic proportions(NOT), the next morning Violet wakes up only to learn that everything had been resolved and settled.
That's some of the reasons why I didn't enjoy Haven. What was the worst for me though, was its complete unoriginality. It was exactly like every other Twilight clone out there and I am not a huge fan of clones of any kind. It's called "creative" writing for a reason, people!

However, there were some parts in Haven I did like.
I liked that Cook regarded vampirism as a disease, with a possible cure and everything. I like the cynicism in that. 
I also liked the scene with the licking. 
Ewwwww, guys!Get your minds out of the gutter right now!That's SO not what I'm talking about!Anyway, it was a sweet and sensual moment and the only time the possibility of anything serious happening between Violet and Aidan, ever crossed my mind.

All in all, despite its OK first half, Haven let me down big time. However, I do believe that hardcore "Twilight and co." fans, will love this one. So I guess I can safely recommend it to them. 
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (30)

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


(Thanks Evi <3
US title for this one: Angel Burn)


(have you guys seen the cover of Supernaturally, Paranomalcy's sequel?
It's too die for!Check it out here: 



*Bright Young Things by Anna Godbersen




::EDIT::




*The Goodess Test by Aimee Carter
(Check this book out, you guys. It's new on NetGalley.
I just requested it and got approved immediately!
How awesome is that?)



What did you get in your mailbox?



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Thursday, February 17, 2011

READING: Demonglass(Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Rachel Hawkins

Publication date: March 1st, 2011
Published by: Hyperion Books CH
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4,5/5
Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch.

That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth.

Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers.

But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she?
Having loved Hex Hall, I admit I was expecting a lot from its long-anticipated sequel, Demonglass. I am here to tell you that Demonglass did not only meet my expectations but it most certainly exceeded them!

Demonglass doesn't pick up exactly where Hex Hall left off, but some time after the life-threatening events that took place in HH. That gave Sophie, the protagonist, plenty of time to evolve and we are witnesses of that from the very first page. She admits so herself, explaining that when she first arrived in Hecate she wouldn't do this or that but now she does, because the things that happened to her changed her and the way she sees things. And how could they not? Having a bunch of classmates of yours hurt or worse, killed!, and the boy you have a huge crush on turn on you, is not exactly the most pleasant situation to be in.

Along with Sophie, we get to meet new characters like Sophie's dad, James, who I found interesting and contrary to popular belief, very likeable. I liked his and Sophie's relationship, which practically had to start from scratch, seeing that he was absent from her life all these years.
There was also Nick and Rosy: semi couple and semi nuts! Oh and did I mention demons? Yeah, that too! Funny and lethal, equals awesomeness!
And of course, let's not forget Archer, the smug, hottie warlock and Sophie's crush in HH. Yes, we get to see him again, you crazy Sophie-Archer shippers! Get ready for some serious swooning because let me tell you, he is even more amazing than he was in HH! Impossible, I know! Trust me though, by the end of the book, you might just find yourselves torn between Archer and a certain someone, so things might not be as clear-cut as you think...

Of course, all of that could not be even remotely possible without Hawkins's ah-mazing, awesome, writing! I mean, her sense of humor alone is brilliant. She had me practically laughing out loud at certain points, which for me is a rare commodity. Seriously, who wouldn't love a vampire pony??
Story is told in just the right pace, not too long: full of detail and yawn-worthy, not too short: hey, what's a pink dragon doing in the yard? Did it say something about a pink dragon before and I missed it?Shoot! No, none of that. Everything's working like clockwork in Demonglass and that is what makes it such a great book, I suppose.

Oh Rachel, why do you have to be such a tease?? Yep, you guessed right! DG ends with a ginormous cliffhanger, which will only leave you with the very strong urge to pester and annoy the hell out of Rachel to write even faster, because you would desperately want to read HH3.
*whispers* Write faster, Rachel! :)

Until then though, I am sure you will absolutely love Demonglass. An 100% worthy sequel to Hex Hall, highly recommended!
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!!



I notice that a lot of people who want to participate in the tours, don't read the tour rules.
Guys, you must have an active,and by active I mean actually posting book reviews!,book blog for at least two months in order to participate in any tour!
The reason authors and publishers trust me enough to give me those proof copies is to build exposure for them and help boost the buzz of up and coming titles.And that is accomplished through feedback,which means posted reviews in active book blogs.
I am really sorry, but that's the way it is.Please, take a second and read the RULES before commenting.If you don't meet the requirements, your comment will not count!


Thank you for understanding :)

*If you want to participate in a tour please please fill out the sign up form!!!I cannot possibly add you to any tour otherwise!* 

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

READING: Wanted by Sara Shepard

Wanted by Sara Shepard

Publication date: June 8th 2010
Published by: HarperTeen
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 5/5

In Rosewood, majestic estates sprawl for acres, and Tiffany toggle bracelets dangle from every girl's wrist. But not all that glitters is gold, and the town harbors secrets darker than anyone could imagine—like the truth about what really happened the night Alison DiLaurentis went missing. . . .

Back in middle school, Ali plucked Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer from obscurity and turned them into the beautiful, popular girls everyone wanted to be. Ali was the best friend they ever had. But she also made them do terrible things and taunted them with their worst secrets. Now, three years later, all their questions about Ali have finally been answered and they can put this awful chapter of their lives behind them. Or so they think.

Not every story has a happy ending, especially when four pretty little liars have done so many wicked things. In the dramatic conclusion of Sara Shepard's bestselling Pretty Little Liars series, Emily, Hanna, Aria, and Spencer could get everything they've ever wanted—unless A has one more horrifying twist in store.
Noooo! I can't believe it's over, I am so sad :( 
Wanted, book 8, is the last book in the Pretty Little Liars series and Shepard choses to end he story with a bang.And a huge on at that!

I'll keep this brief because I certainly don't want to spoil the ending for you guys.
Wanted hits you with a big surprise right from the first 50 pages or so, and manages to wrap it up with an even bigger one.Throughout the book I felt like Shepard took a long walk down memory lane, reminding us of stuff that happened between the girls and Ali before she went missing, which at first glance might not have seemed all that important, but it turns out they did play a big part in the story.At the end, we get answers to all the questions that have sprung from the girls' ordeals throughout the series and of course we get to see how these ordeals finally come to an end, as Ali's real killer is revealed.Let me tell you, I did NOT see that coming!Not by a long shot!The revelation at the end was just mind blowing!I'm sure some people may find it a bit far fetched and even impossible.However, I'm a true Sara Shepard believer and I admire the work she's done  with PLL so far, so I had no problem whatsoever with her choice.I am just saying that I can see why someone might have some objections.

Overall, I love the Pretty Little Liars series and I think that Wanted was a well deserving ending!
Will Wanted be the end, though?It surely won't!Books 9,10,11 and 12 have already been announced and I can't wait to see Shepard work her magic once again!

Twisted, book 9, comes out July 2011 by Harperteen!
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (29)



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


Demonglass(Hex Hall#2) by Rachel Hawkins
(I actually did a happy dance and screamed a little bit when I got this one.
I AM DYING TO READ IT!!!!)


* Rules Of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
(I am so ashamed I haven't read this one yet)


Book Of Spells(Prequel to the Private series) by Kate Brian
(you can see my review HERE)




What did you get in your mailbox?
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Friday, February 11, 2011

READING: Book Of Spells by Kate Brian

Book Of Spells by Kate Brian

Publication date: December 21st, 2010
Published by: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Source: Bought
Rating: 3/5

The year is 1915 and 16 year old Eliza Williams has just arrived at the Billings School for Girls.her parents expect her to learn the qualities needed to be a graceful and obedient wife, but Eliza has other plans...

After finding a dusty, leather-bound spell book, Eliza forms a secret coven with eleven other Billings girls, disguising their gatherings as a literary society to hide their secret.Bonded by sisterhood, the girls taste freedom and power for the first time, but what began as innocent fun quickly turns into something sinister when one spell has an unexpected-and deadly-consequence.Eliza realises that magic has the power to bring her all she's ever wanted...or destroy everything she holds dear.

But is it too late to stop what she's started?
Books Of Spells takes a break from the main story and is set in 1915, telling the story of the original Billings girls.So in case you were wondering, there is no Noelle,Reed,Josh or any of the usual Private gang in Book Of Spells.

Even though I liked the premise,  and I loved the fact that Brian decided to write historical, the execution wasn't very good, I'm afraid.
I didn't care all that much for any of the characters, to be honest.While Eliza and Theresa may remind you of Reed and Noelle at first, they are nothing like them. Eliza is this coy, caring, adventurous 16 year old girl, who later makes a complete 180 and decides to go after what she wants no matter the cost. She then goes back to being decent and respectful and then back to boyfriend-snatcher again!The love story didn't do it for me, it was not believable at all and I think Brian added it just to fill the awkward pauses between the story, which by itself, was awkward enough.
Theresa was the obvious mean girl, who in my opinion, was the victim and nothing more.We were never told what happened between her and Eliza's sister, not in full anyway, even though everyone acted like it was a big deal.Speaking of Eliza's sister, what was that she told Eliza at the beginning of the book?And why was it presented to us as "important", only to be left unexplained?

Honestly, I expected more from Brian at this point and from this series which I absolutely love.I mean the story was not all bad, but I think it would have been best if it was a short story or a companion novel or something and not a whole book, and a prequel at that.Especially considering the first Private prequel, Last Christmas, which was maybe the best book in the series.

Despite the fact that Book Of Spells disappointed me, I got a taste of Ominous, the next book in the Private series coming out February 22nd, and it was more than enough to get me back in Private mode!
So, I really can't wait to read it and if you are considering picking up the Private series,please do because it's amazing!Even with some minor bumps on the way :)
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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

READING: The Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

Fever series by Karen Marie Moning
Published by: Delacorte Press

Book 1: Darkfever
Book 2: Bloodfever
Book 3: Faefever
Book 4: DreamFever
Book 5: ShadowFever







::These books are Adult books.They are in NO way books for Young  Adults or Middle Graders::


I only finished reading ShadowFever last night but alas!The emotional roller coster that is the Fever series has come to an end.
For almost a week I lived and breathed Fever.Anyone that knows me was painfully aware of that!
To say that I completely and utterly adore this series, would be a colossal understatement!
Although I was kinda hesitant at first, seeing that the Urban Fantasy genre is not my scene, I soon came to realize that the Fevers, as I call them, are nothing but the finest example of excellent writing and brilliant story weaving.
From Barrons's enigmatic existence and Mac's unfathomable compassion, to V'lane's majestic composure, each and every one of the characters is created so meticulously and with so much care, that make Moning's excellent writing skills and unbounded imagination, a thing of beauty!
I am not gonna dwell on each book separately, that would take ages!However, I would like to express some thoughts about the last book, Shadowfever.

*SPOILER ZONE FOR ALL 5 BOOKS:YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!*

- Barron's identity is not exactly defined in the last book, and I know that it pissed a lot of people off.
Me?I couldn't care less!Why put a name on it?We learn so much stuff about him that I really don't feel the need to label what Barrons is or isn't.Some things are just meant to remain a mystery and left to the imagination.

- Shadowfever exhausted me.It just mentally drained me.There was such an enormous flow of information in SF that you had to fight tooth and nail to stay clear headed and grasp everything that was going on.Why did Moning choose to do it this way?Honestly, I don't know.I believe that if this book was divided into books 5 and 6, it would be so much easier to get into and not constantly feel like SF is literally sucking on your brain, tormenting moment after tormenting moment.
How many different personalities did Mac change in Shadowfever?Hm can't remember. And there's a reason for that!
I am the concubine, I am the Unseelie King, I am Mac, I am the Unseelie King again...There was really no need for all that.It almost made ME feel bi-polar by the end of the book!

- Oh my God,Mac!Seriously?You want to change the whole world for Barrons one minute(let's not forget that such thought never crossed her mind when she lost her sister) and say that you don't trust him the next?Come on!

- After everything that has happened, and you know that soooo many things went down(I had to keep notes at some point!), the ending for me was, I don't wanna use the word easy but I will.It was easy and somewhat convenient.All hell breaks loose, half of world's population eradicated:call me crazy but I expected a huge bang at the end and I only got a teeny tiny one.Granted, surprises never cease until the very end but those too I found unnecessary. Why did V'lane had to be Cruce?I know he was not a completely likeable character but his sudden change into the BIG BAD with only 20 pages or so left, was not something I particularly enjoyed.

- Speaking of convenient-at-the-last-minute solutions, what the hell was Barron's son's death all about?Barrons, one of the most powerful creatures in all creation, who's lived for thousands and thousands of years and has searched all his life for a way to end his and his son's suffering but to no avail suddenly, but not surprisingly, Mac has an idea and his son dies just like that?5 lines, a paragraph was all it took?
Well, OK.Not my thing.

- Lastly, the only thing I am not gonna be able to forgive the Fevers was Dani's absolution.NO WAY I am gonna sit back and accept that Mac just forgave Dani for killing her sister, calling her her new sister and saying that Alina would understand, of all things!I just can't accept that.I am not saying she should hunt Dani down and kill her, no. But I am not gonna accept that she calls her sister's murderer her sister, either.Some things cannot be forgiven.

Last but certainly not least!
My objections about Shadowfever aside, the first thing that comes to mind whenever I think about the Fevers now or will think in the future, is chapter 4 in DreamFever.For those of you who can't remember that specific chapter, which I honestly think is impossible, chapter 4 is the one in which Barrons tends to Mac after she has become Pri-ya at the end of FaeFever.For me, that particular scene has rightfully earned its place amongst the all-time best scenes ever written in a paranormal book.And that's an undeniable fact!

*END OF SPOILER ZONE*

I could go on and on and on and on about the Fevers and things I loved and didn't love, things that made me mad as hell and things that made me laugh like crazy.The scale of humation emotions is vast and believe me, these books will stir up each and every one of them!
I absolutely, completely, totally recommend them!!



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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

READING: Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton


Publication date: February 22nd, 2011
Published by: Simon Pulse
Source: Simon&Schuster Galley Grab
Rating: 4,5/5
Eligible for Debut Author Challenge 2011

Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers just one message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
Darkness Becomes Her is an unbelievably original novel that completely won me over!

Granted, Darkness Becomes Her has somewhat of a rocky start.First 40 pages or so.You have to get used to Ari's character, who comes on a little too strong for a 17 year old girl and acclimate to the utterly new, semi-dystopian/futuristic surroundings. DBH takes place in New 2, which actually is the city of New Orleans,  partially rebuild by the Novem(made up of 9 families)after the hurricane Katrina in 2005.So, as you probably have guessed there is a lot to absorb at first.However, as you continue reading you'll quickly find yourself lost in this amazing world Keaton has created!

I loved all the characters in DBH.Brace yourselves, there are a lot, but each and every one of them is memorable because they have their own voice and distinguishable personalities.
Ari is a tough, VERY tough teenage girl.She has survived several foster homes and very bad living conditions. She is determined to find her true origins and nothing will get in her way.Then she meets Sebastian, whom she likes instantly. Now you know I am not a fan of the 2 minutes head over heels thing.Fortunately, Ari wasn't either!I loved how she constantly chastised herself for falling for a stranger so quickly.She knows it's not "natural" to like someone she barely knows and she is not afraid to say it.That made me admire Ari and made her feelings towards Sebastian all the more believable to me.That and her abhorrence to snakes(I can completely relate!), had me practically adoring her by the end of the book!

As for the story...where do I begin?Vampires, warlocks, shifters, harpies, mythical monsters, vengeful Greek goddesses, all of them part of a unique and imaginative story you will not want to end!Add to that a shocking revelation towards the end, and you have yourself a book that you just don't wanna miss!
Recommended. 
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