Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: Destined (House of Night #9)

Title: Destined (House of Night #9)
Author: P.C. and Kristin Cast
Rating: 3/5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Breathing hard, Aurox stood there over the bodies of his vanquished enemies. He turned to Neferet.

"Very good," she said in her emotionless voice. "Let us leave this place before the authorities descend."

Aurox followed her. He walked heavily, his hooves gouging furrows in the dirty alley.

Weak. He felt weak. And more. There was something else.

"What is it?" She snapped at him when he hesitated before entering the car again.

"I do not know. I feel--"

She laughed. "You don't feel at all. You're obviously overthinking this."

"Yes, Priestess." Aurox got in the car and let the world speed past him.I do not think. I do not feel. I am a weapon.
Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet -- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together -- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more -- or possibly less -- than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there's something strangely familiar about him . . .

Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all? Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

My Take:
I feel like it took me forever to finish this book. I just didn't like it as much as the others in the series. All the other books were written in this way, but for some reason only in this book did it really get under my skin that the language used a lot of teenage jargon that really isn't used. It's almost like they were trying to make up a lot of their own teenage sounding words so it would appeal more to YA. I don't know if it worked for actual teenagers, but it definitely didn't work for me. (I'm in my early twenties and I use a lot of slang but this was just too different for me.)

There didn't seem to be much happening in the story. This book was basically just a huge set up for the next book, I think.

Zoey is keeping secrets from people and I'm not understanding why exactly. All we hear is something like 'I won't tell Stark about this' but she never goes on to say why. You would think she would want her guardian/warrior/amazingman to know everything, but she doesn't. She's keeping secrets and I don't like it, and even think it's slightly out of character for her.

Aphrodite seemed to take a full swing back into b*tch. I thought she was getting better, but after reading this, not so much.

I'm also not completely understanding what it is Zoey is seeing when she looks through the pendant the Skye island queen lady gave her. I could use a better explanation on that.

I LOVED the new story between Lenobia and her new cowboy! I don't understand why all of that was in the book, probably just for the next book. But I think all of those parts definitely could have been left out unless they play a big role coming up. It's almost like I was reading two different stories in one binding.

There was also a lot of repetition in this book. They would tell a small scene from two different viewpoints when I didn't think they needed to.

I know I did a lot of complaining in this review, but I was REALLY looking forward to this book because the previous two were probably my favorites, but I was vastly disappointed. We have to wait a whole year for these books and I was expecting more :/ They could have at least made it longer.

Overall, I wouldn't call this book a waste of time. Just a disappointment. I will tell you though, I'm glad Zoey isn't always the main focus anyone. If you're a fan of other characters, like Repheim for example, you'll be happy they are in this book a lot. It's like the 'nerd herd' goes every-freaking-where together.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I FINALLY picked a career

Yes, it's true! I've finally decided what I want to do with my life :) And I've picked.........

English Education!

I'm elated I've finally made up my mind. I've been toying around with this idea forever, literally since about 4th grade, and I've finally yielded to my hearts calling. 

I started out undergrad planning to go into Math Education but I wasn't completely sure, and after a quarter, I was still undecided. I finally graduated with dual degree in Business Administration (specifically  International Business) and Psychology. No, I couldn't pick just one. Are you crazy? A girl has to keep her options open. But throughout undergrad I tutored a kid in English, read to little grade school children and was even a teaching assistant for a class. I loved every minute of all those things, yet I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life.

But after I graduated I knew I had to continue school - I'd be a permanent student if it paid - and I wasn't 100% sure on what for. I think it took me so long to decide because teacher's pay really sucks. But I've decided that I don't really care. I'll be doing what I love, and that's the end of it. 

I've started looking at programs already and I can't wait to see where my life takes me now. This is a HUGE step for me and I'm so glad I've finally taken a step towards something. 


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tomorrow's Tuesday: Oct. 25th

Tomorrow is Tuesday!! and you know what that means?! Books are coming out :D

I'm so excited because so many books have come out this month that I've been patiently, ok, dying is more like it, to get my paws on. Luckily, tomorrow there are TWO that I'm running to get as soon as I wake up. 

The Iron Knight
by Julie Kagawa

Here is the Goodreads summary:

My name—my True Name—is Ashallayn'darkmyr Tallyn.
I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her.
My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl…
It's exciting because this book is from Ash's POV, where all the previous were from Meghans. It's understandable because it's about Ash's quest, and I CANNOT wait to get inside this guy's head. He's so icy, and we've seen him fervent and emotional but to be inside his head, I think is going to be a great ride. 

by P.C. and Kristin Cast

The Goodreads summary:

Destined, the forces of Light and Dark collide as their epic struggle focuses on Tulsa's House of Night. Zoey is home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side and preparing to face off against Neferet. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, he and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together if Rephaim can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow.

But is Zoey really safe? Does she truly know those who are closest to her? And will love win when it is tested by the very soul of Darkness? Find out what s destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.
I've been following this series, and I know a lot of people gave up on it because they think things may have been taken too far, which they might have, but I'm still in love with the series. Ok, I'm in love with Stark, but I like to think the plot is interesting too :)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls #2)

Title: Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls #2)
Author: C. C. Hunter
Rating: 5/5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Now that she’s settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen’s determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities. But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie’s quest for answers is quickly put on hold.

To make matters worse, just when she’s about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away. When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie’s feels more conflicted than ever. Her weekend with her mom should have been the just the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point. Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie--and it'll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive...
 My Review:
I'm a big fan of this series. First, there's so many different, uh, species, in thse books that it's hard not to love them. Each species, or maybe I should say paranormal?, brings a uniqueness to the book that's refreshing. Sometimes it's boring to always be reading about the same kinds of people. And the fact that Kylie has no idea what the heck she is kept me fascinated. She seems like she could be a mixture of things, and just when you think she might be one, she shows major signs of another. Crazy and interesting!
I feel like a lot of characters grew up in this book. Kylie matured quit a bit, and even though she vacillated through every emotion under the sky on every issue that came her way, she eventually made some really solid decisions. My favorite eomtional turmoil for her is the boys, of course.

I like that we really get to know Derek better in this book. He's one of my favorite characters and I really wish we knew more about how he's feeling. I liked him better than Lucas even in the first book (it was close though!), but this book really made me fall hard. I know it's no surprise Meghan doesn't pick one just yet. While she's mostly with Derek in this book, because Lucas is gone, Kylie still won't fully commit to him. She has a lot of unresolved feelings, and you'll find out what Derek thinks about those if you read. Remember, he can always tell what she's feeling - I feel so bad for him sometimes!

We get a huge taste of minor characters here. Some characters, like Della, Holiday and Miranda, I think are borderline major characters. There's so much between the burning, hidden romance of Holiday and Bunnett that I ate it all up!

I will say that all the different things happening to Kylie, like all the crazy changes she's experiencing, are a little hard to follow, but they were still fascinating, because it's all one step closer to figuring out who she is. At one point I thought maybe too much is changing with her, but then she stopped changing, so maybe it was just the right amount?

The threat at the end of the book seems to be a little strange to me. What those paranormals wanted seemed a little too off the wall for me, but it wasn't bad, just totally different than what I expected.

I didn't get the title of the book till I thought about it. Something keeps happening to Kylie right at dawn - a ghost appears. I won't say why or what she wants but it's got me curious about the next title, Taken at Dusk. What the heck could that mean?!

There are still so many questions left unanswered.. and so many feelings still needed to be explored, that I'm dying waiting for Taken at Dusk!! Please get here now :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Sweep, Volume 1

Title: Sweep, Volume 1
Author: Cate Tiernan
Rating: 2/5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
The first three Sweep books bound into one gorgeous edition at a fabulous price! Morgan Rowlands never thought she was anything other than a typical sixteen-year-old girl. But when she meets Cal, a captivatingly handsome coven leader, she makes a discover that turns her whole world upside down: she is a witch, descended from an ancient and powerful line. And so is Cal. Their connection is immediate and unbreakable; Cal teases out Morgan's power, her love, her magick. But Morgan discovers too soon that her powers are strong - almost too powerful to control. And she begins to suspect that Cal may be keeping secrets from her . . . secrets that could destroy them both.

My Review:
Book One
The characters are a little hard to get to know. I can't really get connected to them and I'm SO confused as to why Morgan is completely infatuated with Cal besides his good looks. He seems really sweet but honestly, he doesn't have much personality. It's almost like he just obsesses over Wicca and that about sums up his life.

Of course he's attracted to Morgan but I wish I could see more emotion from him. When we do see it, it's almost out of the blue.

The book is also a little too descriptive for me. I like to use my imagination so I don't want everything described. And I don't want to know everyones names, especially if we aren't going to meet them again.

It is interesting to learn about the Wicca stuff though. It almost reminds me of The House of Night Series by P.C. and Kristin Cast.

Book Two
I can't understand how Morgan already feels so strongly about Cal. I mean all she talks about really is his good looks. Why else does she like him?

Book Three
The text keeps repeating itself. Like we forgot what happened 100 pages ago so we keep needed reminded. This even bothers me when authors do this from one book to another, I understand there's technically 3 books in this paperback, but lets get real, it's one book, therefore, no need to recite info.

Overall, the story was just ok. The characters were different and not bad, but I didn't fall in love with them. My friend started reading it right after I was done and she's hooked, but I wasn't. I'll probably continue the book but just because I'm curious and already have them. I'm hoping the series gets better! It's not all together awful, just don't think it was one for me to love.

On a side note I also had a lot of trouble understanding where the text in the beginning of the chapters always came from. Since they were different characters it confused me a little and I didn't think it was always necessary. Unless they are foreshadowing.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

So this is the book that I've been anxiously away for FOREVER it feels like. I finally got a chance to read it and here's my opinion!

Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkins
Rating: 3.5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.

There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.

She's wrong.

My Review:
Throughout this whole book I was just kind of thinking 'What the hell is going on?!' Even though that's what I was thinking, it didn't keep me from enjoying the story.

Mara has no idea what is going on with her, and it's blatantly obvious we aren't supposed to figure it out. Hodkin makes it nearly impossible to figure out what is happening to Mara. While it's frustrating throughout the book, I'm thinking it's a major plot player because we still haven't figured it out by the end of the book. Thankfully, there's another coming!

I think being so vague about what's up with Mara is going to push a lot of people into not enjoying this book. For me, it annoyed me but at the same time I couldn't stop reading. I was so intrigued as to what the heck this girl is about.

Of course there's great romance - Noah is a great guy. I don't know why but when a guy is gorgeous and rich it really irks me. Not all great guys have to be rich. In this story it helps that he is, but still it bothers me a little. I hate it when guys are too perfect. He does have the bad boy thing going on tho - I liked that. He's doesn't care that he's rich at least :) The part that got me about him was that he always stared (if it's this book I'm remembering, I wrote this review a little later) - that would creep me out just a little.

Overall great read. Would recommend if you like mind game or mental health books. You aren't sure if Mara has mental problems or if she really has a super ability, well at least half way through. Something happens that really makes you think one way over the other, but I'm not a spoiler!

It's not one of the book I'll read over and over again but I liked it.

I only gave this a 3.5 because I'm still a little confused and I'm not honestly sure how it made me feel. Hopefully the next book will clear things up so I can like it more.

Awaiting the next book!

My Town's Book Selection Sucks

So I live in the tiny town of Cambridge, Ohio. The only place to really get a book around here is Walmart or Kmart, and they basically carry the same titles. I'm getting SO unbelievably frustrated because they don't get half the books I want to read! Or they get them about a week after they come out. :/ I want the book THE DAY IT COMES OUT. Is that really too much to ask? Curse living in a little town!

The reason I say this is because Awake at Dawn by C. C. Hunter

came out today and I've been looking forward to it. BUT, like I had to do with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I had to order it off Amazon and then wait like a week for it to get here. >:/ Not a happy Alexandria.

I know some of you might be like 'buy a ereader!'. Well I have a Kindle, and I adore my Kindle, but some books I just have to have in print. My favorites, or ones I know I'll love specifically. I like to be able to flip through easily and get to pages easily. It's an idiosyncrasy of mine :)

Ok, that's my little rant about small town living. I've always dreamed about opening up a bookstore here, but I'm afraid it wouldn't do so well. It's rough times around these parts.

100 YA Follower giveaway at Books, Biscuits & Tea

Books, Biscuits and Tea is hosting an international giveaway since they've officially hit 100 followers! 

Two lucky winners will get to pick one book each from the following:

All the books are in epub format. You just have to be a follower of theirs to enter! Go check it out! 

Click on the button below

Books, Biscuits and Tea

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Silence (Hush, Hush #3)

Title: Silence (Hush, Hush #3)
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

My Review:
This was one of my most anticipated books this year and I'm SO happy I finally got my greedy paws on it :)

I pretty much loved this book. Definitely not in the beginning, but the last 2/3's seemed to make up for it. Nora basically doesn't remember Patch from the beginning and it's frustarting, because obviously we know everything.

It's almost like everything was re-explained again, except this time I understood it a lot better. Probably because we get to know more about the arcangels, fallen angels and the Nephilim. I'm not completely assured of everything they do, or are capable of, for example the stealing memories thing seemed to come out of no where, but I feel better about where I stand on their issues. Fitzpatrick did a good job of not explaining the unimportant or boring monotonous details over again, but still I didn't feel like I was learning much new information, and that was frustrating for a while. It's not like this through the whole book, mostly just the beginning. We learn quit a bit more and something HUGE happens at the end. (of course it's the end). 

The first 1/3 of the book was pretty much Patchless and it depressed me. :( He's basically the reason I read the books. Patch's banter towards Nora makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, and I liked the more sensitive Patch we get to know in this book. He's so adorably charming and cute. He had me melting in his papery hands. HIs arrogant, devious ways are all still there though, so no worries if you love him for those!

At times I didn't understand why some characters came into play. I didn't completely understand why Patch's old love interest, and Nora's enemy, had to come into play but luckily she was only involved in a couple of scenes.

Overall, a lot of my favorite quotes of the series are from this book. I didn't find out about Book #4 until a couple of days before Silence's release. And I'm completely stoked for it!

This was one of my most anticipated books this year and I'm SO happy I finally got my greedy paws on it :)

Review: Shift (Shade #2)

Title: Shift (Shade #2)
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Summary:
Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.
Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

My Review:
This book starts out with a bang. Within the first chapter you find out something special that Logan can do, and I was absolutely shocked! I thought it would be cool if that happened, but I never really expected it to.

This book is full of action. There are so many emotions flying through Aura that I don't always follow her. I just remind myself she's a raging hormonal teenager and then everything's ok again. For example, all the instances of sex, or I should say almost sex, in this book. For being a YA book, this book is full of them. It almost makes it seem like that's all the character want to do half the time. Aura ends up kissing someone and it caught me off guard. I never expected THAT relationship to happen.

I'm a big fan of the series but I can't relate to the characters all that well. I love them, especially Zachary, *swoon* but there's not enough in these books to make me love them. I will say Zachary and Logan seem like pretty consistent characters, but Aura is pulled in so many directions. It was unpleasant, but I liked that the author took the chance to make one of the guys go for someone other then Aura. Sticking solely to someone you like is great to read about - it usually makes me love that character more because of their avoidance of unyielding desires - but it's not always practical. It seemed the author made her character a little more real that way.

Overall, there's still a lot of questions I want answered that I hope will get answered in the third book. Like can other ghosts do what Logan can? Was it only because of Aura he could do it? And why the heck do the government, shifter stopper, people always want Aura and Zachary?

Can't wait for the next book!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: Hourglass (Hourglass #1)

Title: Hourglass
Author: Myra McEntire
Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Description:

One hour to rewrite the past . . . 

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

My Review:
This book was very enjoyable. McEntire really made Emerson come to life by giving us an inside into so much of her past. Emerson has had a rough life so far, having been hospitalized after having both parents die. It was actually nice to see a character broken and depressed at some points like Emerson was. You don't read many YA stories to this extent of mental stability issues and I liked the change.

Michael was a fun character because he's so charming. He's a little mysterious and I even really like his good friend Kaleb. In fact, Kaleb could be the main guy in this novel and I'm sure I would have loved every minute of it. While Michael's a good guy, Kaleb is witty and extremely charming.

This is only the second book I've read about time travel. The first being The Time Traveler's Wife, and even though I saw a huge resemblance at one point, it didn't make me this this story was unoriginal. There was more time travel then I expected, and these people could actually, kind of change the future. Emerson could also see things because of her ability to travel and do other things (which we didn't even really learn about all she can do yet).

I do have to say that at one point a mention of sex blindsided me. I didn't think it was really needed and I couldn't really figure out why it was put in there. It wasn't even with the main character, it was with minor characters.

Overall, I would recommend the book and will be reading the sequel! 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Top Ten Books That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a different top ten list and I found it's fun to sit and think about the lists! Anyone can participate and if you link your post on their page, other's might stop by as well.

Yes, I'm a little late on this one, oh well! I've been so busy this week but I've finally gotten around to it. I'm lucky I did it at all really. 

So this one might be hard because I'm going to not give away any spoilers, so I'm going to have to watch my ramblings!

1. Mockingjay by Suzanna Collins - for anyone that's read this series, yes, I'm talking about the end of this entire series. I couldn't believe who she ended up with! Looking back on it, it was the right choice, but I was definitely the other guys team. And **slight spoiler***** different districts? ***** you probably won't understand what I mean anyways unless you've read the end of the books. But promise, only slightly spoilery thing.

2. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare - I know everyone who's read this series agrees with me on this one. Really, Cassandra? REALLY? I have no idea where this relationship is leading now.

3. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick - Just when things were getting happy again too! :(

4. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa - Thank goodness there is a fourth book in this series and I found out about it before I read this book, or I would still be bawling my eyes out.  

5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver - This one produced the most tears of any other book ending I think I've ever read. If there wasn't another book after this, I would have seriously questioned Oliver's sanity in leaving so many people broken-hearted and confused! AWFUL (but amazing) ending!

6. Shade by Jeri-Smith Ready - Even though I sort of expected, ok I didn't expected, I was more hoping because I didn't think at all it would happen, but it did. At that point in time though I was kind of just like, 'Really? Come on, quit switching things around.' 

7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin - This one wasn't a big one but I just read it recently and it's fresh in my mind. This was kind of brought on because of the feeling I was getting throughout the whole book. I keep thinking something would be explained and then it wasn't.... so I was like WTF?! There will be another though, so hopefully I'll get my questions answered!

8. Wolves of Mercy Falls Series by Maggie Stiefvater - I don't remember which book exactly because I read them all right after another really, but after one, I remember thinking, 'Wow, what a cliff hanger.'

That's all that I can come up with. Either, I haven't read enough books in my lifetime to come up with a better list, author's don't write a lot of OMG endings, or my memory sucks. All I think are likely. I really think that one of the books in The House of Night Series by P.C. & Kristin Cast should be on this list, but there are so many of them there's no way I would be able to tell you which one. This kind of just a guess too :)

Hope you enjoyed the list! Let me know if you agree or disagree with any on my list. If you disagree, I'd love to know why too!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

In My Mailbox 3

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren  as a weekly post about all the books you bought, won, borrowed, swapped, or however you can get your paws on a book,  throughout the week! 

I finally got my hands on my most anticipated book this year! 

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
by Michelle Hodkin

I'm currently reading it now, I started yesterday and am about 70 pages from finished. Ya, it's good! 

by Myra McEntire

This book was also very good, and the review will be coming shortly :) Don't you just love the cover?

The Darkest Surrender (Lords of the Underworld #8)
by Gena Showalter

I haven't read any of her books before but so many people seem to love them, so I thought I'd give it a chance. This book was highly anticipated by a lot of people too, so hopefully it's good!

This next one I won through a Goodreads giveaway.

Help! For Writers: 210 Solutions to the Problems Every Writer Faces
by Roy Peter Clark

And that's all for this week. There are going to be so many this month too! There's at least one book coming out every week that I have to have. Most are sequels to some of my favorite books so I'm very excited for October to finally get it's butt here :)