Where reading is a way of life

Monday, April 30, 2012

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Synopsis: Bethany Church is and angel sent to Earth to keep dark forces at bay.  Falling in love was never part of her mission, but the bond between Beth and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier Woods, is undeniably strong.  But even Xavier's love, and the care of her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can't keep Beth from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in hell.  There, the demon Jake Thorne bargains for Beth's release back to Earth.  But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well.

My 2 cents:  Oh my.  This book was as different from the first book, Halo, as you could get!  The only thing that was really the same was Bethany.  Somehow throughout her ordeal, she never loses faith and still manages to seem so innocent.

Jake has returned and is even bigger and badder than before.  After Bethany ends up in Hell with him, she figures out a way to "Project" herself to her loved ones.  They can't see her or hear her, but she gets to see them and know what's happening on Earth while she's in Hell.  The idea of projection is pretty cool.  But I was like, "yeah, right."  It just didn't seem all the realistic.  Maybe it would have been more so if it didn't happen on her first day in Hell.  If she'd had to actually earn it a little harder...maybe I could have believed it.  It almost seemed like a method for the author to keep Xavier, Gabriel, and Ivy in the story, since the story is told in first person from Bethany.

Other than that, the story was as good as Halo.  This book was as dark and twisted as Halo was sunny and light (through the first 2/3 of it, anyways!)  The ending was totally believable to me, and I feel the author did a great job staying true to the characters.  I can't wait to read Heaven!  4 stars on this one

The Demon Trapper's Daughter by Jana Oliver

Synopsis:  Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get—even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen. 

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart—and her life?

My 2 cents:  First of all to clear up some confusion, the book I read above was that cover and that title.  I guess the publisher changed it recently to a new cover with a new title called "Forsaken."  They are one and the same book, in case you wanted to find the book to read in the future.  There are 2 more sequels to the series out, too. And I happen to like the first cover and title better.  Oh, well!

Back to the review!    This book is in a class all its own.  You know how you read some books, and you are able to compare it to another book that is very similar.  Then there are those few rare gems that are really unique, and all their own.  The Demon Trapper's Daughter was one of these gems!

The story itself was really different.  First of all, Riley is a kick-butt, take no prisoners kind of girl, who is trying to prove herself in her dad's world.  The relationship between father and daughter so complex and interesting.  There was definite love there, but also mutual respect and understanding.  

Then there is Paul Blackthorne's apprentice, Beck.  He's just like Riley in so many ways, but the 2 can't stand each other!  A lot of the time it was like watching a brother and sister bicker.  Since Beck is so close to Paul, and thinks of him like the father he never had, its not a far leap I guess!  

Then the book turns into funny and sarcastic to tragedy and horror pretty quick.  Riley has to suddenly deal with a lot, and the one who ends up having her back is Beck.  Another apprentice, Simon, who is much nicer than Beck, plays the love interest in the story.  Although it becomes pretty clear that Beck may have some buried feelings as well.

In the middle of all this drama is world of evil and demons that are waiting to unleash Hell on the city of Atlanta.  This book was an awesome read, and a real page-turner!  5 stars

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

Synopsis:  Three angels--Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, the youngest and most human--are sent by Heaven to bring good to a world falling under the influence of darkness.  They work hard to conceal their luminous glow, superhuman powers, and, most dangerous of all, their wings, all the while avoiding all human attachments.
Then Bethany meets Xavier Woods, and neither of them is able to resist the attraction between them.  Gabriel and Ivy do everything in their power to intervene, but the bond between Xavier and Bethany seems too strong.
The angels' mision is urgent, and dark forces are threatening.  Will love ruin Bethany or save her?

My 2 cents:  I was so excited to finally read this series!  Its been collecting dust on my shelves for a long time!  I haven't read many angels series, but I really loved this book!

First off, I love how the author was able to paint a picture and to make us really believe in angels.  And how innocent Bethany truly was.  Parts of the book were just hilarious, as she had no teenage experience whatsoever, and did not understand half of what was going on around her!  Luckily, Xavier has a kind, good heart, and doesn't take advantage of that! Loved that about him.  I also loved how their relationship worked.  They were definitely head-over-heels for each other, but it was a lot more emotional than physical.  In so many YA novels, the physical part of the relationship really seems to dominate.  Which I suppose is very realistic, with raging hormones; but if was nice to have a break from some of that!

Things really get good in the story once Jake Thorne enters the picture.  He obviously has a thing for Bethany.  Luckily, the author did not fall into a love triangle trap.  But it almost happens anyways, basically because Bethany is so naive.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, but we go from a happy, teenage love story to a suspenseful adventure pretty quick!

Overall, a great YA novel, and can't wait to read Hades, the sequel!  4 stars

In My Mailbox #7

In My Mailbox is put on by The Story Siren.  We highlight books we have received this week, whether store-bought, checked out from the library, received from review, or book you may have won!  This week's haul is pretty good!

Book I bought:

Book I won!  Thank you, Book Journey!

Also received some RAK!  Thank you, Lois@Quill & Ink, and Beth@ Living A Goddess Life!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Synopsis:  For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day.  And in the aftermath, she discovered nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought.
Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking realization: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months.  With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning.

My 2 cents:  I just love this series by Cynthia Hand!  Hallowed is a great sequel to Unearthly.  If you loved Unearthly, you will love this book!

Clara starts out sure that she made the right choice in the fire that day.  Although she soon starts having visions again.  In her vision, she is in a park of some kind with stone steps.  Jeffrey comes up to her in suit and tie and says, "Let's just get this over with."  Then Christian shows up and takes her hand.  Clara has no idea what it means at first; she is very confused on how good she feels in the vision when Christian holds her hand.  Yup, you guessed it folks--we are getting a love triangle here!

I did like the way the author handled this love triangle, though.  She really captures how unsure and confused Clara is feeling in all of this.  She loves Tucker, there's no question of that.  But he doesn't really belong in her world, and can't understand most of what Clara's dealing with in this story.  Christian, however, can.  I was totally team Tucker before this book.  By the end, I was leaning more toward Christian!

Wendy isn't a very big part in this story.  This story has a lot more to do with the angels, and their secret society.  There's a lot more Angela, Jeffrey, and Christian in this book.  I did miss Wendy a lot.  That is probably my only complaint.  The story itself was perfect--well paced, great character development, and a suspenseful ending.  5 stars on this one!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #7

Waiting on Wednesday is put on by Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases we are waiting on!

This week's WOW is the 4th book in the Fallen series.  Rapture by Lauren Kate, which will be released June 12th.

What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #5

Teaser Tuesdays is put on by Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play!  Just grab your current read and do the following:

·Grab your current read 
·Open to a random page 
·Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page 
·Be careful not to include any spoilers so as not to ruin the book for others.
Make sure to share the title and the author so other TT participants can add the book to their TBR piles.

This week's Teaser comes from Halo by Alexandra Adornetto

" I followed Xavier through the crowd, which seemed to part instictively to let the school captain through.  Once outside my eyes found the shattered glass littering the pavement, and I followed the trail to a car with its hood completely smashed in, smoke curling from the engine."

Monday, April 23, 2012

Fallen In Love by Lauren Kate

Synopsis:  Unexpected.  Unrequited. Forbidden.  Eternal.  Everyone has their own love story.
and in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories intersect over the course of a romantic Valentine's Day in medieval England.  Miles and Shelby find love where they least expect it.  Roland learns a painful lesson about finding and losing love.  Arrianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns.  And for the first--and last--time, Daniel and Luce spend a night together like none other.

My 2 cents:  Although this isn't my favorite series, I've always enjoyed the whole forbidden epic love story between Daniel and Luce.  So I had to read this book!

The first story between Shelby and Miles is so cute!  Its so funny watching them start to "like" each other in Medieval England on Valentine's Day!  Roland's story was kind of tragic.  I really enjoyed learning about his past.  Arianne's story was unbelievably sad.  I just really didn't connect with it well, I guess.  Although it was nice to learn how she'd gotten her scar.

The story between Daniel and Luce, though...so beautiful and romantic!  Its worth reading this book just for this story!  And what I love best about this book is that all 4 stories are connected!  4 stars!

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

Synopsis:  Violet is now working with a special government group where she uses her ability to track down murderers.  When she discovers the body of a college student killed by "the girlfriend collector," she is determined to solve the case with her new team.  Her instant connection with her mysterious partner Rafe is both confusing and unsettling, creating tension with her boyfriend, Jay, yet Violet refuses to give up on the case.  But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship" and Violet may have caught his eye...

My 2 cents:  I could not wait to read this book!  The Body Finder is one of my favorite YA series!  And this book did not disappoint! Jay was as dreamy as ever, Violet's ability was as strange as ever, and the body count was higher than ever!

I loved the addition of Rafe in this series.  I think its really cool that Violet has found others with other special abilities; it makes her feel more normal.  Rafe is the dark, aloof type of guy.  Not really Violet's type at all, but they do seem to have some kind of connection.  Jay was not in this story as much as the last 2 books, but he was still a powerful presence!  For those who love Rafe, I suggest reading Enthralled: Paranormal Diversions. Its a collection of short stories, and there is one about Rafe in there by Kimberly Derting.  Its even brought up a little in this book, so its great background information!

As for the murders--creepy!  Violet actually has 2 murderers she tangles with in this book!  She is in constant danger, I think from the 3rd chapter on!  Kimberly Derting did another bang up job on keeping us in suspense!  I read this book in one sitting!  ( As I have all the books!)  If you have not read the Body Finder series, I implore you to try it! This book gets top rating, 5 stars!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What Are You Reading Monday#7

What Are You Reading Mondays is put on by Book Journey.  Welcome to It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

Last week I read:

Hoping to read this week:

What are you reading?

Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins

Synopsis:  Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. With her powers locked inside her, 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 there is an epic war coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending.  But without her magic, Sophie isn't so sure.

The only known spell that can help Sophie regain her magic is at Hex Hall--the place where it all began, and now the headquarters of the evil Casnoffs.  Together with her best friend, the vampire Jenna; her boyfriend, Archer; her fiance, Cal (yeah her love life is complicated); and a ghost for a sidekick, Sophie most battle an army of demons.  But even with her friends at her side, the fate of all Prodigium rests on her shoulders alone.  Sophie's bound for one hell of a ride...Can she get her powers back before its too late?

My 2 cents:  First of all, let me say how much I love this series!  The first 2 books I was not able to put down, I loved them so much!  This is the 3rd book in the series (and I think its the last--although I'm hoping for a spin-off series).  My first impression was YES!  Loved the first part of the book, although at times it felt so hopeless to read.  Sophie learns even more about her family, especially her Mom.  The tension between her and Cal is heavy, which surprised me a little.  But it was good!

Then the middle part of the story got even better!  It was a complete surprise game changer!  I don't want to spoil it, but it of course has to do with Hex Hall.  I'm so glad Hex Hall was back in the story.  I loved Thorne Abbey for Demonglass, but I missed Hex Hall and its creepiness!

My biggest complaint in this story is the supposed love triangle between Cal, Sophie, and Archer.  It didn't really feel like a true triangle, in my opinion.  It was obvious Cal was in love with Sophie, and I did feel sorry for him.  But  I knew he never had a chance.  So I felt that whole thing could have been better.

The ending also feels kind of rushed.  The epic battle scene is kind of short, although it is a great ending.  The very end had me in tears.  It was so sad!  I would have loved another 20 pages or so to tie things up better, and maybe more action.  But overall, a good ending to a great series!  4 stars

In My Mailbox #6

In My Mailbox is put on by The Story Siren.  We showcase what books we've received over the week!  These include in the mail, bought, checked out from the library, and for review.

First of all, I have to apologize.  I am so behind on my blog this week!  It has been a crazy busy week for me.  I just found out a few days ago that I am on temporary lay-off at work.  I'm not quite sure how I feel about this yet.  On the one hand, I am super busy with lots of other things right now, so 2 months off of work isn't a horrible thing (I will be getting unemployment).  On the other hand, it leaves things up in the air on my job, and I hate things being up in air!  I am definitely a planner, and its hard to plan my summer now.  They might extend the lay-off time, or they can call me back to work anytime.  I'm going to try not to worry about it too much at the moment!

I will hopefully be getting caught up in the next few days!  I have 4 reviews to write, a few books to finish, and some winners to announce!

On to IMM!

This week I bought:

I received for review:

I also won a signed copy of Masquerade by Cambia Hebert!  Thank you, A Night's Dream of Books!

Also received some RAK!  Always a nice surprise!  Thank you, RJ Does Books & Keri!

What did you get in your IMM?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #5

Shelf Candy Saturday is put on by Five Alarm Book Reviews.  We highlight a book cover that we love, and explain why we like it!

This week's Shelf Candy is Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

I love this cover!  Its so perfect!  You can tell its Alice, but its more contemporary.  I love her dress, and her pose, where she's looking up...looking really confused like anyone would be in her situation.  The background looks appropriately creepy.  But the best part? The tagline!  "Off with their heads."  Genius!

Do you like this cover?

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Finds #3

Friday Finds is put on by Should Be Reading.

What great books did you hear about/discover this past week? Share with us your FRIDAY FINDS! 

What new books did you find this week?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Now over 100 Followers!

We are now over 100 followers!  Woohoo!  So awesome, and you guys are the greatest!  Thanks for all the feedback on my blog on my giveaway, I am finding it helpful for what people like, and a few suggestions were made!  Love it!

Still 2 more days to go on the 50 follower giveaway!  If you haven't entered yet, just click on the pic on the right!  Now giving away 3 boxes of books and other goodies!  Good luck!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #4

Teaser Tuesdays is put on by Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

--Grab your current read
--Open to a random page
--Share 2 sentences from that page
--Make sure to avoid spoilers!
--Share title and author

My Teaser Tuesday is out of The Demon Keeper's Daughter by Jana Oliver.

"These guys were hard-core, with a simple view of how the world should work.  Trapper Rule No. 1: No one messed with your capture.  Rule No. 2 :  No one messed with a fellow trapper."

What book are you currently reading?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

What Are You Reading Monday #6

What Are You Reading Monday is put on by Book Journey, where we highlight what we read last week, and what we are planning for next week!  Its great for planning your reading week!

What I read last week:

What I am planning on reading this week:

What are you reading this week?