Sunday, September 30, 2012

Thirteen by Kelley Armstrong

Genre:  Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Women of the Underworld Series, Book 13

Description (taken from Kelley Armstrong's website):
A war is brewing—the first battle has been waged and Savannah Levine is left standing, albeit battered and bruised. She has rescued her half brother from supernatural medical testing, but he’s fighting to stay alive. The Supernatural Liberation Movement took him hostage, and they have a plan to expose the supernatural world to the unknowing.

Savannah has called upon her inner energy to summon spells with frightening strength, a strength she never knew she had, as she fights to keep her world from shattering. But it’s more than a matter of supernaturals against one another—both heaven and hell have entered the war; hellhounds, genetically modified werewolves, and all forces of good and evil have joined the fray.

Uniting Savannah with Adam, Paige, Lucas, Jaime, Hope, and other lost-but-notforgotten characters in one epic battle, for a grand series finale.

The Women of the Underworld series has been a major favorite of mine because the books are from various characters' points of views.  For example, we get to experience the supernatural world from a werewolf's perspective in one book while seeing it from a half-demon's in another book.  The last three books in this series are from Savannah's, a witch, point of view.  And I do believe it was very fitting.

Now to the story.  I'm not going to say much to ruin the plot, but I will say that the book immediately picks up where number twelve left off.  And there's a lot of action and violence.  All the characters we have come to love show up in this epic battle.  And no one is safe from death nor despair.

But once the fight is over, it just kind of ends with a theme that life goes on.  Just another day in the paranormal neighborhood.  Was it a good ending?  Sure.  Am I sad to see the series end?  Obviously...

Saturday, September 29, 2012

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

It seems the Fall activities are really kicking my butt when it comes to reading and posting.  I went from 2-3 books a week to only 1.  Boo...  But that's life.

  • Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso

For Review (e-edition):

The Athena Effect by Derrolyn Anderson
Look at her eyes in the cover: one blue and one green.  Interesting.  And the cover says "Athena;" is that in relation to the Greek God or something else?  The description hooked me because of all the intrigue and mystery.  Thanks goes to Derrolyn Anderson for my review copy.

manda-rae's Past Two Weeks


Monday, September 24, 2012

Black City by Elizabeth Richards

Genre:  YA Paranormal Dystopian
Black City Series, Book 1
Expected publication date:  November 13, 2012

Description (taken from Elizabeth Richards' website):
A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable — they fall in love.

Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash's long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they're caught they'll be executed —but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Elizabeth Richards is an excellent story teller.  She can keep the reader captivated and wanting to know what happens despite the questions that come up.  However, I'm a little torn with this book.  I just don't know if it worked for me.

Boy meets girl.  And they hate each other despite the odd things happening when they're around each other.  And with the snap of a finger, their hatred becomes infatuation, and they're in love.  That's how it felt for me as I followed Ash's and Natalie's relationship.  It felt kind of cheesy.  But I quickly got over it.

Darklings, what an interesting concept.  They seem like vampires but a little bit different.  We actually don't get any background or detail as to how they came along.  And this really bugged me.  I mean, we have a whole race of people that are being segregated and tormented, and I don't really understand anything about them.  This is where I really got hung up with the story.

Black City is a quick read that I think readers who are looking for a good love story and interesting dystopian world will enjoy.  However, if you're looking for a lot of paranormal explanations, you're not going to find it here.

Thanks goes to Grace from Books of Love for setting up this ARC Tour.

Challenges:  Debut Author Challenge and Young Adult Reading Challenge

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Ten Bookish People You Want To Meet

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's post is Top Ten Bookish People You Want To Meet.

So I'm going to give a list of bloggers and authors that I love.  Hopefully you'll find some more blogs/authors to follow...

Blogs I tend to Stalk:

Anna at Anna Reads
One of the first book blogs I started following.

Brittani at Hope, Faith & Books
She reads some of the best books that I really need to pick up and read.

Giselle at Xpresso Reads
She has some of the funnest posts to read.

Grace at Books of Love
One of those bloggers that tends to comment on a million book haul posts over the weekend while still managing to read a lot of books (I look up to her reading habits).

She was my first introduction to arc copies due to her many arc tours; she's very generous with making sure everyone gets the opportunity to read something good.

Authors I absolutely love:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Libyrinth by Pearl North

Genre:  YA Fantasy
Libyrinth Series, Book 1

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Haly is a Libyrarian, one of a group of people dedicated to preserving and protecting the knowledge passed down from the Ancients and stored in the endless maze of books known as the Libyrinth. But Haly has a secret: The books speak to her.

When the threat of the rival Eradicants drives her from her home, Haly learns that things are not all she thinks they are. Taken prisoner by the Eradicants, who believe the written word to be evil, she sees the world through their eyes and comes to understand that they are not the book-burning monsters that she has known her entire life.

The words of a young girl hiding in an attic—written hundreds of years before Haly’s birth—will spark the interest of her captors and begin the change necessary to end the conflict between the Eradicants and Libyrarians. With the help of her loyal companion Nod, a creature of the Libyrinth, Haly must mend the rift between the two groups before their war for knowledge destroys them all. Haly’s life—and the lives of everyone she knows—will never be the same.

Have you ever read a book about books?  I mean besides the obvious Fahrenheit 451, I can't say I've read a lot of books about books.  And no offense to book readers, the idea of reading about a book seems kind of boring to me (I think I just dissed the whole reading community including myself by saying that).  But Pearl North completely proved me wrong with her book.  Reading about books in a fantasy world is anything but boring.

We're in a fantasy future where people are divided.  We've got the Libyrinths, the literate, whole value the written word and books.  We've got the Eradicants, also known as the Singers, who value the verbal word and music.  These two are on opposite sides of the spectrum and continue to fight claiming one is better over the other.  And really, both are two sides of one apple; they're both needed to form a complete sense of knowledge.  And the journey begins for Haly to help her world conclude with that basic fact.

Haly's world in the beginning was a little bizarre for me.  And there was a lot of description which made me feel long-winded in the beginning.  It took me a bit to become comfortable in Pearl North's world.  But once I got the hang of things, I was hooked.  And Haly has the kind of faith in humanity that I believe most of us had: that there is some basic goodness in all of us.  So of course, she's the perfect narrator for this journey.  And who's that little guy in the cover with Haly?  It's an imp named Nod.  I was so curious about him when I first saw the cover...

Honestly anyone who likes fantasy would enjoy this book.  This book will take you on a journey from the readers to the singers and then somewhere in between.

Thanks goes to Tor Teen for providing me a review copy.

Challenges:  Young Adult Reading Challenge

Saturday, September 15, 2012

manda-rae's Haul

Stacking the Shelves consists of books we received in the last week, hosted by Tynga's reviews.

I've had a busy week at work.  But I'm still reading, which is good!

For Review:

  • Black City by Elizabeth Richards

manda-rae's Past Week




Friday, September 14, 2012

Diminishing Paige by Robert Shields

Genre:  Adult Contemporary

Description (taken from Goodreads):
She leaned over and kissed him on the mouth totally catching him by surprise. Her warm lips erased any symptoms of being cold on the bridge, yet she froze him in place. It was wonderful, but it was over in a flash and he thought, "I never kissed her back."

A fool knows the price of everything and the value of nothing is the romantic theme between Paige Wheeler and Storm Lancaster. The intelligent high school expellees serendipitously meet at a garage sale and end up approaching sex in an awkward text book fashion. They start viewing the relationship through the lens of economics as if sex was a commodity.

As they grow closer together, Paige’s promiscuous past comes to light that haunts her, which leads to complications in their relationship. Storm’s ineptness in handling the pressures of a relationship from previously attending an all-boys school causes problems while Paige finds some amusement in his immaturity. Her sterilized view of sex creates consternation for Storm over their rapport.

At their new school, they make a mutual friend in Jamal. The trio engages in pranks as their friendship with him develops. Storm’s proclivity as an adolescent male leads to poor decisions with Paige as Jamal, often the voice of reason and conscience is ignored to the detriment of the couple.

Emotions spin out of control after a frolicking camping trip with Paige’s old high-school buddies and the sexual economics experiment explodes.

The tagline: A fool knows the price of everything and the value of nothing is the perfect tagline for this book.  Meet Paige, the cliche "it" girl who has everything.  She's the kind of mean girl you love to hate because she's got the looks and she somehow manages to snag guys left and right.  However, deep down, she's just as insecure as the next girl.  Meet Storm, your average joe just trying to fit in and survive high school.  With a chance meeting, they become friends and deal with life, relationships, sex, and emotions in an odd way.  This book has a few twists and turns, some expected and some not expected.

In the beginning, I was put off by Paige.  I mean, what kind of girl out there is so straight-forward and confident enough to talk about sex with mere acquaintances?  It's almost as if it's how guys wish girls would attack the subject but girls just don't (i'm generalizing, I know).  But she really grew on me because she is a girl with issues.  And even though I don't have her confidence at all, I feel I can relate to her struggles in life. And her fascination with economics is a little weird, but it worked.  While reading this book, I felt like I got an economics lesson without the pain of learning economics.

On the other end of the relationship, we see Storm: a guy who's very inexperienced with relationships.  And it seems that Paige kind of educates him on relationships and sexual matters while he tends to bring Paige back down to everyday life.  So somehow, these two work well together.  And as their relationship grew, their characters grew on me as well.

This short story is a contemporary tale that weaves economics into everyday relationships.  And it's something I'd recommend to more mature audiences looking for a good afternoon contemporary.

Thanks goes to Robert Shields for providing me a review copy.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it spotlights upcoming books that we as readers are anxiously awaiting...

Everbound by Brodi Ashton
Genre:  YA Mythology
Everneath Series, Book 2
Brodi Ashton's website
Expected publication date:  January 22, 2013
Amazon | Book Depository | Goodreads

Description (taken from Goodreads):
Two months ago, the Tunnels of the underworld came for Nikki Beckett. That night, Nikki's boyfriend, Jack, made the ultimate sacrifice. All Nikki wants is to save Jack before it's too late. All Cole wants is to find his queen - and he thinks Nikki is the one. Both determined, both desperate, Nikki and Cole form a tense alliance, leading them on a dangerous journey to The Heart of The Everneath.

I really enjoyed Everneath.  And even though I have a fond attachment for Cole, Jack stole my heart in Everneath.  So, of course I'm looking forward to what happens next in this series.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten Books That Make You Think

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's post is Top Ten Books That Make You Think.

Books that make me think?  That shouldn't be too hard.  I'll have to leave comments about what the books make me think about.

Books that make me think of, well, books:

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Libyrinth by Pearl White

Books that make me think of how much I would not survive in a dystopian setting:

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Divergent by Veronica Roth
XVI by Julia Karr

Books that make me think of death (and life):

Chastity by R Rodriguez
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Books that make me think of Greek Gods:

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Everneath by Brodi Ashton

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