Friday, February 24, 2012

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): "Once upon a time, I was a little girl who disappeared.
Once upon a time, my name was not Alice.
Once upon a time, I didn't know how lucky I was."
When Alice was ten, Ray took her away from her family, her friends -- her life. She learned to give up all power, to endure all pain. She waited for the nightmare to be over.
Now Alice is fifteen and Ray still has her, but he speaks more and more of her death. He does not know it is what she longs for. She does not know he has something more terrifying than death in mind for her.
This is Alice's story. It is one you have never heard, and one you will never, ever forget.

Book Review:
Wowzers. Where to start...Well, I guess I'll start with the truth. I actually read a portion of this book like a year ago after reading another blogger's review. I remember I was sitting in the cafe at my local bookstore, reading, and I kept looking up and around as if to check and see if other people could actually believe the content that I was reading. It was like a train horrifying as it was, I couldn't stop reading. About a third of the way through, I got up and put the book back on the shelf and made other purchases instead. I was actually embarrassed about reading the book. Over time, I would think back to it. I often thought of the main character. Did she make it out alive? If so, how? Did she end up dying? All these thoughts raced through my mind, and today, curiosity finally won out, and I made the purchase. This story is heart-wrenching. Parts of it make me cringe, and other parts make me angry. I like how Scott focuses on how the media often makes the victim feel guilty about not reaching out for help. Is that really the case, or do we just not pay close attention. The only thing I would like to change about this book is the ending, but ultimately, that is not my choice to make. This is a book that all readers should pick up. It has been argued that it may not be suitable for teens. Personally, I think teens are exposed to a lot. They cannot be protected from all the big bad things in the world. Knowledge is power. The more they know, the more they can protect themselves. A great review with the author can be found here.

Favorite Quote:
“I do not fall. I fell so hard so long ago there is nothing left for me to land on. I just keep falling and falling and falling.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
The cover pictured is actually not the cover of the book I have. But I like this one a lot better. It has so many components that are touched on in the book. The small white dress, the leg looming over it, the dead leaves on the ground, left to rot and decompose quietly.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

Book Summery (Via author's website):
Everything burns in Pandemonium, a city in Hell made of chrome and steel, where there is no future and life is an expanse of frozen time. That’s where Daphne lives.
The daughter of a demon and a fallen angel, she wonders what lies in store for her. Will she become a soulless demon like her sisters? Or follow in the footsteps of her brother Obie, whose life is devoted to saving lost souls on Earth? All she wants is to find a place where she belongs.
When Obie saves a bleeding, broken boy named Truman from the brink of death and then suddenly goes missing, Daphne runs away to Earth to find him. But on Earth, everything is colder and more terrifying, and Daphne struggles between her demon instincts and her growing—yet achingly unfamiliar—feelings for Truman. As Daphne and Truman search for Obie, they must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in their way. But Daphne also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

Book Review:
It may not seem like it per my review, but Yovanoff caught my attention with her debut novel The Replacement. It was dark and mysterious. I remember like it, but not loving it. However, she definitely stepped up her game with The Space Between. I inhaled this book like none other! The world building was amazing. For someone to describe Hell with such depth...I was truly in awe. If Yovanoff's writing was a bit choppy in her first book, she has definitely made some good strides. I found The Space Between smooth and seamless. I enjoyed the main character's voice. Daphnie, though a demon, is flawed and beautiful. Her love for her brother pushes her through difficult times. I really cannot say enough about this book. It's a wonderful tale with gothic elements and some paranormal touches. Really, really well done.

Favorite Quote:
“Once, my mother told a whole host of angels that she’d rather die than go back to a man she didn’t love.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
Hello gorgeous! I am totally in love with this cover! The colors are rich and the details are outstanding! Rather eye-catching! I didn't realize this before, but there is a detailed scene in the red background, behind the girl lying on the silver bench. I have a few ideas as to what it might be...but I can't say for sure.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2) by Beth Revis

Book Summery (Via author's website): It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He’s finally free to enact his vision – no more Phydus, no more lies.
But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that’s growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

Book Review:
After reading Across the Universe (my review), I've been dying to read the sequel A Million Suns. First of all, let me just say that I was not disappointed. :D I was happy to see Elder and Amy's relationship deepen. I felt like that was a piece that was missing in the first book. Also, I was happy to discover more about Godspeed's journey through space. I also enjoyed Amy's "scavenger hunt." That's about as detailed as I can get without giving too much away. :P Of course, chaos erupts and adventures ensue. Some of the big plot "twists" were rather predictable. Overall, this is just a fabulous series. I highly encourage readers of all ages to read it. In fact, I bought my nephew a copy of Across the Universe for Christmas! :)

Favorite Quote:
“And here we are, in the middle, surrounded by a sea of stars.
A million suns.
Any of them could hold a planet. Any of them could hold a home.
But all of them are out of reach." (p. 218) 

Cover Art Commentary:
These colors are right up my ally! I am REALLY happy that they kept the cover with in the same theme as the last book. Lately, it seems after the first or second book, the covers of series are changed. I'm really glad they didn't change this series! :)


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Pledge (The Pledge #1) by Kimberly Derting

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): In the violent country of Ludania, the classes are strictly divided by the language they speak. The smallest transgression, like looking a member of a higher class in the eye while they are speaking their native tongue, results in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina has always been able to understand the languages of all classes, and she's spent her life trying to hide her secret. The only place she can really be free is the drug-fueled underground clubs where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. It's there that she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy named Max who speaks a language she's never heard before . . . and her secret is almost exposed.

Charlie is intensely attracted to Max, even though she can't be sure where his real loyalties lie. As the emergency drills give way to real crisis and the violence escalates, it becomes clear that Charlie is the key to something much bigger: her country's only chance for freedom from the terrible power of a deadly regime.

Book Review:
Wow. Well first of all, I can't believe how many low reviews I've read of this book. I was pleasantly surprised at the complexity of the world building. For some reason, I was expecting this novel to take place in the Czech Republic or Austria or Bulgaria or some such place. I loved the fictional setting that Derting created. She did a fabulous job of creating the setting of the story. I noticed that several people complained that they couldn't connect with the characters. I didn't seem to have this problem. I connected easily to Charlie. It was nice to see a strong female protagonist who knew her limits...she wasn't an unstoppable, martial arts expert, but she had a strong moral sense of right and wrong and did the best she could, as her circumstances allowed. Charlie's unwavering love and compassion for her sister is what really made me fall in love with her. I really, really enjoyed Max's character. I want to learn more about him and Xander in the following books. Sure, there were some predictable areas in the plot, and Charlie's resistance to Max was a bit odd at times, but those were such minor issues. Overall, I enjoyed this book from page one and can not wait for the next two books to be released!

Favorite Quote:
“I loved voices, I always had. Words held meaning, but voices held emotion.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
I really love this cover. It's dark and mysterious. I love the word "pledge" is displayed two different ways. Not your everyday YA cover (which is a good thing)! :)


Friday, February 3, 2012

Abandon (Abandon Trilogy #1) by Meg Cabot

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can't help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she's never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she's moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can't. Because even here, he finds her. That's how desperately he wants her back. She knows he's no guardian angel, and his dark world isn't exactly heaven, yet she can't stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

Book Trailer:

Book Review:
Ok, I'll admit it. I was a little hesitant to read this one. Before Abandon, I had only read snippets of Cabot's The Princess Diaries when I was babysitting (back in the day), and was less-than-impressed. However, the premise of Abandon piqued my interest. Combined with the solid ratings it received, I finally gave in and purchased a copy for myself. Overall, I am happy with the book, but it's definitely not without it's hiccups. I really enjoyed the relationship between Peirce and her mother. It's nice to see a book with some solid family foundation to it. I also liked the Hades-Persephone-ish storyline with a modern twist (also, I REALLY want her necklace). I'm a little torn on the timeline. I appreciate a good flashback, but there were so many of them, it was a bit confusing at times distinguishing between the past and present. Now allow me to dive into the things I did not care for...After a major (and sometimes not-so-major) event, there would be 1-2 pages of dialogue from Peirce's mind. As the reader, I processed EVERYTHING along with her. It was a little redundant and tiring at times. John. I wanted to like him so much. I just had a really hard time identifying with him. He was very cold and stand-offish. I'm thinking Cabot might have done this intentionally, but I had a really hard time feeling, well, anything for him. Overall, I devoured the book in 2 sittings and am anxious for the release of Underworld. I hope by then, some of the minor annoyances will be ironed out. I'm torn between a 3.5 and 4 rating, but have decided to rate upwards with some reservations.

Favorite Quote:
“But really, the term “forgive and forget” doesn’t make sense to me. Forgiving does allow us to stop dwelling on an issue, which isn’t always healthy. But if we forget, we don’t learn from our mistakes. And that can be deadly.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
I love the rich, earthy colors of this cover. Literally. I JUST realized that the girl on the cover is laying in dirt. Sneaky, very sneaky...It's done in good taste though. I feel like the color brown isn't used that much on book covers, and it's very successfully done here. The gold flower design in the corner gives a nice touch.The cover of Underworld is even more gorgeous!