Friday, September 3, 2010

Weekend Plans

I won't be participating in the hops this weekend because I'm about to get in my car and head off to my hometown for the weekend to spend time with my parents. This was planned almost last-minute because of my Daddy falling through the attic of their rental house (he's okay). So, being the only child (and Daddy's girl), I'm going down to help him fix that and whatever else he may need my help with while I'm down there. Plus, I get to see my best friend and trade some books with her. Woohoo!

I'd also like to remind everyone that my $40 CSN giveaway is still going on until Saturday. I guess I should just say Sunday because I won't be home until then. So, you have until 11:59pm Sunday to get in your entry. To make it easier, I'm putting the form on the bottom of this post for entries.

If you need me, e-mail me at and I'll be able to get back to you. Otherwise, I won't be very active on here until Sunday.

Have a great weekend, guys!!

Review: The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller

The Eternal Ones
by Kirsten Miller
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 10, 2010 by Razorbill
ISBN: 1595143084 (ISBN13: 9781595143082)

What if love refused to die?

Haven Moore can’t control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother’s house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves¸ before all is lost and the cycle begins again.

Haven Moore comes from a small town in Tennessee where being different isn't complimented - in fact, the town pretty much thinks you've got a demon in you. I'm sure you can take a guess at what they think of Haven - who faints when she has visions from a past life - and her best friend Beau - who is gay. That's right, it's small town closed-mindedness at its best! One fateful day, Haven just so happens to see Iain Morrow on the TV and is instantly drawn, knowing in her heart that he is her beloved Ethan. With the help of her friend Beau, Haven takes off to New York in hopes of finding her one true love. What follows is a story of a girl not only trying to figure out who she was, but also finding out if her love is truly the man she thought he was - or if he's the murderer he is accused of being, in both this life and the past.

I have to say, I have a love-hate relationship with this book. There was definitely moments when I wanted to toss the book against the wall.. but the story was intriguing enough to keep me reading until the very end. I'd have to say that I could have done without about a third of the first part of the book. Yes, we get that Haven's grandmother is not a nice person. Yes, her mother is a spineless lump that doesn't really act as her mother - though she does start to step up, though not much. Yes, Haven is treated as an outcast because she has visions and faints where ever she may be when the vision comes. Oh, and did I mention that all the Christians are closed-minded. I live in a small town and I can say that I'm honestly sick of the whole portrayal of small towns being so judgmental and unforgiving. Gossip? Yes. But, in real life, I've never experienced something like this.

I digress. I'll get off my soapbox now.

Past that: Once Haven gets the box of notes written by her father from her mother, things start to pick up. You get even more insight into Haven's visions - and proof is from Haven's father, who started chronicling all of her visions as a child. Part Two starts out with Haven arriving in New York, and she quickly finds Iain. It's obvious that they're drawn to one another and Iain seems to be just as in love with Haven as he was when he was Ethan and she was Constance.. and it may help that he's able to recall ALL of his past lives. Haven, however, has this whole hot-cold relationship with Iain. Between not recalling all of her memories from her life as Constance and believing every single word out of every single person's mouth, she's very bi-polar when it comes to Iain. One moment she'll be all over him and completely trust him, the next she'll take the word of someone and believe Iain is a killer, and within the next few moments she'll be back in his arms all lovey-dovey. I'm sure Iain's ability to withhold truths and tell white lies doesn't help any, but I don't think that would merit Haven's inability to decide something and stick with it. Yes, she's only seventeen so you have to account for some immaturity ... but, Haven's behavior was a little too much for me.

I know it sounds like I hated the book, but it was actually a good read. Like I said, it kept my attention and kept me reading until the very end. I like the history of the Ouroboros Society. The other characters were also well fleshed out. The villian was good, but the villian's big reveal was a little bit of an "oh, come on!" moment for me - it could go both ways though because I didn't see that one coming. The history, the flashbacks to the previous life, the Society, and all of the twists definitely hooks you into the story and keeps you until the very end. The writing was well-constructed. Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal reads.

The Verdict?

I'm leaning more toward 3.5, but the story is too good for 3 stars.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2010 Series Book Releases: September 1 - September 4

September 1, 2010

A Hope Undaunted by Julie Lessman (#1 in Winds of Change)
A Secret Identity by Gayle Roper (#2 in Amish Farm Trilogy)
Amos Walker: The Complete Story Collection by Loren D Estleman (#21 in Amos Walker)
Black Magic Lover by Cynthia Cooke (#2 in Nocturne)
Bobby The Brave Sometimes by Lisa Yee (#2 in Bobby Ellis Chan)
Deadly Reunion by Ron Handberg (#5 in TV Newsroom)
Doctor Right by Janet Tronstad (#1 in Alaskan Bride Rush)
Hellfire by Kate Douglas (#2 in Demonslayers)
Hot-Blooded by Karen Foley (#1 in It Takes a Hero)
Love Me Tonight by Gwynne Forster (#4 in Harrington)
Mark of the B*E*A*S*T* by Rebecca Goings (#4 in B*E*A*S*T)
Mesmerizing Stranger by Jennifer Greene (#2 in New Man in Town)
Murder in Vein by Sue Ann Jaffarian (#1 in Fang-in-Cheek Mystery)
Perfect Alibi by Sheldon Siegel (#7 in Mike Daley)
Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles (#2 in Leaving Paradise)
Rise of the Huntress by Joseph Delaney (#11 in Wardstone Chronicles)
September by Gabrielle Lord (#9 in Conspiracy 365)
Shelter of Hope by Lyn Cote (#1 in New Friends Street)
Sins of the Soul by Eve Silver (#2 in Sins)
Spy Glass by Maria V Snyder (#3 in Glass)
Sweet Surrender by Lori Wilde (#1 in 3 Encounters)
The Cowboy's Convenient Bride by Wendy Warren (#1 in Men of Mercy Medical)
The Devils Kiss by Stacy Kennedy (#3 in The Magical Sword)
The Faults of Others by Alexander McCall Smith (#7 in The Sunday Philosophy Club)
The Forgotten Echo by Henry Chancellor (#3 in Remarkable Adventures of Tom Scatterhorn)
The Lighthouse Mystery Graphic Novel by Gertrude Chandler Warner (#14 in Boxcar Children Graphic Novels)
The Perfect Blend by Trish Perry (#1 in Tea Shop)
The Pumpkin Head Mystery by Gertrude Chandler Warner (#124 in Boxcar Children)
The Woodshed Mystery Graphic Novel by Gertrude Chandler Warner (#13 in Boxcar Children Graphic Novels)
Tide Water Talisman by Glynn Marsh Alam (#8 in Luanne Fogarty Mystery)
Warrior by Zoƫ Archer (#1 in Blades of the Rose)

September 2, 2010

Almost True by Keren David (#2 in When I Was Joe)
Autumn's Promise by Shelley Shepard Gray (#3 in Seasons of Sugarcreek)
Lisson Grove by Anne Perry (#26 in Thomas Pitt)
Mortal Coil by Derek Landy (#5 in Skulduggery Pleasant)
Strictly Friends? by Jo Cotterill (#2 in Sweet Hearts)

September 3, 2010

Demon Games by Steve Feasey (#4 in Changeling)
Heartstone by C J Sansom (#5 in Shardlake)

September 4, 2010

The Legend of Brown Eyed James by N E Walford (#4 in The Island Hunters)

Don't forget to enter my $40 CSN giveaway that ends Saturday! Click on the post here.

Review: Beautiful Malice, by Rebecca James

Beautiful Malice
by Rebecca James
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published July 13, 2010
ISBN: 0553808052 (ISBN13: 9780553808056)

So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?

Following a terrible tragedy that leaves her once-perfect family shattered, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.

But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.

But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.

And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice - she doesn’t like being cast off.

First line: I didn't go to Alice's funeral.

At the beginning of Beautiful Malice, we meet a girl named Katherine who is talking about a girl's funeral. We don't know who Alice is, only that Katherine doesn't go to her funeral and that she is pregnant. From there, we're shifted from present (years after Alice's death), to the past when Katherine met Alice, to a past being remembered - a past when Katherine Patterson was Katie Boydell and her younger sister, Rachel, was still alive. As the chapters bounce back and forth, we're weaved into a twisted story of death, guilt, grieving, friendship, romance, betrayal, and so much more.

Though some people may have found the jumping around confusing or just all our irritating, it seemed to only strengthen the suspense for me and kept me flipping through the pages, reading like a maniac. I think the skipping around worked well for this particular story because it kept giving you clues and insight into each of the times. While you know Alice dies, you don't know about Alice - so you get more into the time when Katherine and Alice become friends. While Katherine is grieving, you don't exactly know how and why her sister was killed - so you get chapters sporadically on the day that Rachel was killed. Honestly, all three time lines build up and come to the perfect conclusion(s) at the perfect time at the end of the book. All loose ends are completely tied.

*I think one problem that some people had was the actual location the book was set. I have an ARC, so I don't know if it's fixed in the final version - but I've heard that the book was set in Australia, but for some reason they decided to take out those references for the US copies? I'm not sure how true all of that is. I can understand the confusion, but specific locations (ie- cities, states, countries) never bothered me as long as the setting is drawn out well.

The characters were fleshed out well and kept to their own persona. Katherine was a heroine with a very tragic past, but I think that she handled her situations well, given the circumstance. Alice was definitely a mental-case, and you definitely love to hate her. Her friend with Katherine is certainly what I would call a toxic friendship - it's not a healthy relationship, but you can't help but somehow you just can't seem to let go. I love how James handled this with Katherine and Alice. Katherine's reasons for holding onto her friendship with Alice was realistic and something you can empathize with if you've ever been in that type of relationship before. Philippa comes into the story a little later on. She's a great female character that becomes the healthy (read: not psychotic) best friend of Katherine. I love Philippa. She's a keeper. Then there are the two main boys: Robbie and Mick. I fell in love with both! Robbie has a very rocky relationship with Alice - another toxic one - and it takes something extreme for him to break ties with her. His friendship with Katherine grows and I'm glad they were able to find one another and become strong friends. Mick is also another lovable character. He's the love interest for Katherine and he's pretty much an "A" in my book. The story between those two is so very bittersweet.

I'll have to admit that I guessed Alice's intentions about half-way through the book. That didn't stop me from reading, though. Rachel's death was a little graphic and some of the scenes were hard to read, but I think they were necessary and it gives you a better feel of what Katherine witnessed and how it ended up shaping her into the person she became afterward. Like the relationship between Katherine and Mick, the ending of the story is bittersweet. While it's heart-wrenching and tragic, there are some happy things that come out of it ... so it's a good compromise.

I want to say so much more about this book, but there's just no way of saying more without spoiling something for someone. All I can say is that I definitely recommend this to those that like psychological thrillers and, if you're anything like me, you'll be left wanting more. I cannot wait to read more from Rebecca James!

The Verdict?

Waiting on Wednesday

by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz
Paperback, 256 pages
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 1442408162 (ISBN13: 9781442408166)

Coming out September 21, 2010

Shay has had a rare blood disorder since she was born. In fact, her mother married one of Shay’s doctors, Martin, who left his world-renowned leukemia research to try and figure out exactly what the disorder is and how to cure it. When she turns seventeen, Martin begins to give her new blood transfusions that make her feel the strongest she has ever felt. But she also has odd visions where she sees through the eyes of a vampire. At first, she thinks she must be imagining the visions, but when she begins to see Martin’s office in them, she knows she has to check it out. That’s when she finds Gabriel, a sexy, teenaged vampire, imprisoned in Martin’s office. The connection she has built with Gabriel compels her to set him free. But when he kidnaps her in an attempt at revenge on Martin, their lives become deeply intertwined. She doesn’t know the half of it.
I've actually been looking forward to this book for a while. Since it's a September release, I figured better now than never. Yes, I know, I'm back on the vampire kick ... but, I can't help it! Plus, this is coming from the author of the Roswell High series - a series that I devoured in junior high and high school - especially when the tv show came out!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading.

· Grab your current read.
· Open to a random page.
· Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the author and title, too, so that the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller

"Right." Beau's blue eyes locked on Haven's. "So, you're telling me that Ethan's your soul mate or something?"

Haven frowned and looked away. "Well, it does sound kind of cheesy when you put it that way."

Monday, August 30, 2010

2010 YA Book Releases: August 29-September 4

Click the picture: Go to Goodreads page. Click the links below to purchase from Book Depository.

August 31, 2010

Buy from Book Depository:
The Twin's Daughter
The Haunted

My review for Paranormalcy is here.

September 1, 2010

Buy from Book Depository:
Spy Glass
Return to Paradise

Early Review: Paranormalcy, by Kiersten White

Paranormalcy (Book 1)
by Kiersten White
Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: August 31, 2o1o
ISBN 0061985848 / 9780061985843
Weird as it is working for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, Evie's always thought of herself as normal. Sure, her best friend is a mermaid, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours, but still. Normal.

Only now paranormals are dying, and Evie's dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies. She soon realizes that there may be a link between her abilities and the sudden rash of deaths. Not only that, but she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

Evie is not the typical teenage girl. She sees through paranormal glamours and can totally kick paranormal butt, especially with her special pink rhinestone taser -- lovingly named Tasey. In being able to do so, she has become a priceless asset to IPCA (International Paranormal Containment Agency) - an agency that "bags and tags" paranormals living in our world. One night, there is a break-in at the agency and Evie catches the intruder - a shapeshifter named Lend that is like no paranormal Evie (or anyone) has ever seen before. Evie is intrigued. But as Evie learns more about Lend and why he's there, the more questions come up for Evie about herself, as well as questions about the agency that she has called home for so long.

Take the humor and wit of some of my favorite urban fantasies, mix in my favorite paranormals, and add a dash of teenage drama and romance - and you have Paranormalcy. Honestly, this is probably the most refreshing paranormal YA book that I've read for 2010. It's the perfect mix of light and dark, as well as action and a little bit of fluff.

For me, Evie is a perfect example of what I would call the best YA teen heroine in a fantasy story. Yes, she can kick butt and take names like it's no one business, but she's also still just a teen that yearns for a taste of normal teenage life. She's flawed, isn't perfect, and can whine with the best of them. Yet at the end of the day, she's still herself, who she wants to be and she's a fierce friend who sticks up and avenges her friends like it's no ones business. Reading reviews in the past, I thought I was going to get an overdose of uber-girly, "OMG, PINK!" moments. While Evie does love the color pink, it's not unbearingly so and, honestly, she makes it really cute. That, and her obsession with a teenage drama tv show. It's adorable.

And the guys? Yeah, we can't have a story without some hot guys ... and we definitely got that as well. You can't help but love Lend and Reth? Well, he frustrates you to no end, but there's the intrigue there as well! I can't say that I'm a huge fan of how the vampires were portrayed to look under their glamours, but I was able to look past that to enjoy the story.

White's voice and writing was just ... perfect. I don't know how else to describe it. She's excellent at provoking your emotions at just the right spots. When Evie is sad, you're sad. When she's happy, you're happy. When she wants to slap Reth, you want to jump into the story and do it for her. There are questions throughout that story that are sometimes answered and some that may stay with you until the very end - maybe even through the next book. When I finished this book, I was completely satisfied with what I had just read.. but I was definitely left with a small thirst to quench with the next book.

The Verdict?

Paranormalcy comes out tomorrow! Be sure to pick it up at a bookstore near you!

Scavenger Hunt Contest from Gena Showalter!

A new release by Gena Showalter

In order to celebrate the release of Unraveled, the sequel to Intertwined, Gena Showalter and other authors are hosting a 4-day scavenger hunt. Each day, specific author blogs (that will be listed below) will post a puzzle piece with a letter on it. Collect all puzzle pieces, unscramble the letters, and mail the word to

Three randomly drawn winners will win a $100 Visa gift card AND an autographed copy of Unraveled.

Five runner-ups will win signed copies of Unraveled.

Be sure to visit the blogs on the specific days to get all of the puzzle pieces!!

Good luck, guys!

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