Thursday, April 26, 2012

Taken at Dusk (Shadow Falls #3) by C.C. Hunter

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Kylie Galen wants the truth so badly she can taste it. The truth about who her real family is, the truth about which boy she’s meant to be with—and the truth about what her emerging powers mean. But she’s about to discover that some secrets can change your life forever…and not always for the better.

Just when she and Lucas are finally getting close, she learns that his pack has forbidden them from being together. Was it a mistake to pick him over Derek? And it’s not just romance troubling Kylie. An amnesia-stricken ghost is haunting her, delivering the frightful warning, someone lives and someone dies. As Kylie races to unravel the mystery and protect those she loves, she finally unlocks the truth about her supernatural identity, which is far different—and more astonishing—than she ever imagined.

Book Review:
Ok, I'll be honest. I fell in love with the series from the first page of the first book. This book is no exception. In Taken at Dusk, we learn more about Kylie and her supernatural abilities. Also, things between her and Lucas heat up. I love that Hunter incorporates the supporting characters well into the story as well. I have grown found of them all. I felt like this book was more about self-discovery for Kiley. The interactions with the "evil" characters felt rushed and were rather brief. Other than that, I really enjoyed this installment of the Shadow Falls series.For some reason, I thought this was a trilogy. I am sooooo happy to discover that this is an on-going series. I can't find anything that says "there will be x number of books," but the series does not seem to stop in the next book that is due to be released. Ok, I'm a geek, I admit it. Anyways, I highly recommend this series, especially if you like paranormal YA. :)

Favorite Quote:
“Wow," Miranda said, "You'd better be careful Della. In the last few days, I think you've used up your vampire quota of apologies for the next ten years." 

Cover Art Commentary:
I wasn't a fan of the series' covers (pictured below) at first, but I have fallen in love with them. They all look gorgeous together don't they?


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Book Review:
This book came highly recommended by my fellow bloggers, and I can see why. Carson wove a fabulous tale full of romance, adventure, religion, and friendship. I enjoyed Elisa's character arc. At the beginning I was quite frustrated with her. However, over time she matured and grew into a strong, confident character. I also enjoyed the supporting characters as well. I also quite enjoyed the role that religion played in this book. While I'm not one for overly religious tones, Carson does a good job of incorporating it into the story on it's own accord. I'm curious to see where this series will go. There were a few things that knocked down the rating...Elisa's obsession with her weight was tedious and downright annoying. Also, several times I felt that she kept telling the reader how close she felt connected with another character, but I didn't actually feel their connection. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Once I started reading, it was difficult to set it down!

Favorite Quote:
“Honor from death,” I snap, “is a myth. Invented by the war torn to make sense of the horrific. If we die, it will be so that others may live. Truly honorable death, the only honorable death, is one that enables life.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
I am not a fan of this cover. The blue jewel has a lot of meaning to the story, but I find the background colors to be on the bland side.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Book Review:
Let me just say I loved LOVED Anna and the French Kiss. I was dismayed to read several reviews that claimed Lola didn't live up to Anna. I honestly believe this is what lead my delay in reading Lola. However, I am happy to report that not only did Lola live up to my expectations, Lola exceeded them! I found the main character Lola to be original and delightful. I just adored Cricket! I really can't do this book justice. It was a quick, enjoyable read. I highly recommend it! :)

Favorite Quote:
“Just because something isn't practical doesn't mean it's not worth creating. Sometimes beauty and real-life magic are enough.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
Well of course I loooooove the purple! :) I also like that you can see both characters, unlike the cover of Anna and the French Kiss. I totally love the open sky behind Lola and Cricket! The colors are bright and eye-catching!


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Looks can be deceiving!

 A feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This weeks topic: Top Ten Books That Were Totally Deceiving (those covers or titles that don't fit the books, a book that was totally different than its summary, or those books you thought were going to be fluff that turned out to be more serious etc etc.)
  1. : What a gorgeous cover! I absolutely despised the ending of this book, which pretty much ruined the entire story.
  2. The  Extraordinary Secrets of April, May & June by Robin Benway : I found this cover to be okay, but really enjoyed the book!
  3. The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade: I really disliked this cover. It seemed rather juvenile, but the story rocked!
  4. Ice by Sarah Beth Durst: I found this cover to be gorgeous, but was disappointed story-wise.
  5. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: I held off on reading this because I found the cover (and title) to be a little immature. The story itself was fabulous!
  6. The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney: This cover is shown below. Gorgeous, right? I definitely found the story to be sub-par.
  7. All These Things I've Done (Birthright #1) by Gabrielle Zevin: I held off reading this book because I thought it was a self help book for teens! I loooooved the story!
  8. Legend by Marie Lu: I fiiiiinally picked this up as an audiobook for my trip up north this past Easter weekend. The cover just looks so blah, but I am totally loving the story so far! :)

 So, what book covers have you found to be deceiving?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.
Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.
For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story. A regular contributor to, she lives in New York and Long Island and is married to the writer John Taylor.

Book Trailer:

Book Review:
It is so hard to put my emotions into words after reading this book. I stumbled across the title on goodreads (I am on there waaaaay too much!), and picked up a copy of The Glass Castle, along with Half-Broke Horses, both of which are by Jeanette Walls. She writes with such a honest, non-biased approach. After watching everything I can about her on the internets, I can only conclude that this woman is a saint. She speaks with such charisma and understanding. I am amazed by her as a person, and by her story. I can not imagine the hurt, pain, and humiliation she had to endure growing up. She had done a fabulous job of keeping her family out of the spotlight. However, I definitely have my theories. Of course, her dad was an alcoholic, but I also wonder if her mother is bipolar? Many of her descriptions of "good days" and "bad days" as well as her descriptions of her cyclic moods seem to fit the bill. When asked, Walls just always replies "Mom is kooky." I wonder if she is attempting to keep a semi-good name for her mother, or if she hasn't been tested. I could see Wall's as perceiving this as "crossing a line." Anyways, I digress. There were times this book had me near tears, or cheering along. Needless to say, it's an emotional story of strength, endurance, and love. READ IT. IMMEDIATELY! I will need to take a break with something light and fluffy before moving on to Half-Broke Horses.

Favorite Quote:
“You should never hate anyone, even your worst enemies. Everyone has something good about them. You have to find the redeeming quality and love the person for that.” 

“No one expected you to amount to much," she told me. "Lori was the smart one, Maureen the pretty one, and Brian the brave one. You never had much going for you except that you always worked hard.” 

“One time I saw a tiny Joshua tree sapling growing not too far from the old tree. I wanted to dig it up and replant it near our house. I told Mom that I would protect it from the wind and water it every day so that it could grow nice and tall and straight. Mom frowned at me. "You'd be destroying what makes it special," she said. "It's the Joshua tree's struggle that gives it its beauty.” 

Cover Art Commentary:
So, the cover of the book I own, is the one of the lower right hand side. I featured the one on top because I thought it best displayed the childhood perception of perceived happiness with the little girl in her dress up clothes, happy as can be, while the reality of living in the middle of nowhere, penniless is represented by the broken-down car below.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Reading Reflections: March 2012

Books Read:
The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa
Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood
Perception (Clarity #2) by Kim Harrington
Cinder (Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer
Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Total Number of Books Read This Month: 5

Total Number of Books Read This Year: 18

Most Anticipated:
Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Biggest Letdown:
Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Favorite Read:
Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Jessica Spotswood

Highest Rank: 5

Lowest Rank:

Overall Reflection:
It's been a good reading month, overall. I ended a few series and started some new. Perception, Cinder, and Spell Bound were all great reads, but none of them quite lived up the expectations I had built. I enjoyed The Iron Knight, but my favorite book this month was Born Wicked. I am pleased that I was able to get 5 books in this month. I am currently finishing up a class that has been rather...painful. I am very much looking forward to moving on to something a little more interesting. Hopefully March has been a good reading month to all of you. :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spell Bound (Hex Hall #3) by Rachel Hawkins

Book Summery (Via Goodreads): Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

Book Review:
Ok, I admit it. I have completely fallen in love with this series. Hex Hall had me at hello. Demonglass was even better! So I had high hopes for Spell Bound. Sadly, while I enjoyed it, this book did not live up to my expectations. I certainly had a difficult time setting down the book once I started reading. I still love all the characters, but the flare that I enjoyed so much in the first 2 books just wasn't there for me this time. The character development wasn't as rich. I also would have enjoyed a different ending. Oh. well. Sophie's one-liners had me cracking up. I love her sense of humor. I also enjoyed learning more about her "family." ;) I'd love to have another 3 books added to the series. This book left me wanting to learn more about Sophie's story. She has quite the journey ahead of her. Please don't let my review deter you. This really is a great series. I even enjoyed this book. However, my favorite book in the series will always be Demonglass. I know that Hawkins plans to write a few spin-off series, which I am quite geeked about! :)

Favorite Quote:
"Look, we are dealing with the possibility of an army of demons. I don't know about you guys, but those words are right up there with 'root canal' and 'school on Sundays' in terms of things that terrify me." p. 111

Cover Art Commentary:
I am a sucker for beautiful covers, and this is no exception. The colors are gorgeous...of course, I'm sucker for purple. :P I love how the reflection show's Sophie's duality, which is prominent in the story.