Jul 31, 2011

15.00 Amazon Gift Card Winner

The winner of my 15.00 Amazon Gift Card giveaway has been emailed and she has 72 hours to respond.

The winner is Alison!

Congratulations!

Stay tuned for more giveaways.

ARC Review of Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 20th, 2011
Pages: 336
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Cold KissCold Kiss by Amy Garvey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:


When her boyfriend, Danny, is killed in a car accident, Wren can’t imagine living without him. Wild with grief, she uses the untamed powers she’s inherited to bring him back. But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy she once loved.


Wren has spent four months keeping Danny hidden, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school and somehow, inexplicably, he can sense her secret. Wren finds herself drawn to Gabriel, who is so much more alive than the ghost of the boy she loved. But Wren can’t turn her back on Danny or the choice she made for him—and she realizes she must find a way to make things right, even if it means breaking her own heart.


Amy Garvey’s transcendent teen debut is perfect for fans of Shiver and Beautiful Creatures. Wren’s unforgettable voice and story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.


My Review:


Thinking logically, bringing someone back from the dead would be a very bad idea. Even if you had some crazy magical powers and knew you could, what would possess a person to do such a thing? Sure you would miss the person that passed, but you would have to know that if you raised them from the dead, things would just not be the same. They would not be the same person, or even a person at all, without a beating heart and a functioning brain.


Putting all of that in perspective and then thinking about it for a few days, and I can see why I had a sort of disconnect to this book and its characters. I would never have done what Wren did. No way, no how. My grandma was my best friend, and when I lost her I just about lost my mind, and still I would not have brought her back to life. Even if I had the capability to do so. It would have been freaky and weird, and I would have had to hide her because what would the rest of my family say, and etc. Ultimately, it takes a crazy person to do something like that, and I'm not crazy, which is why I couldn't relate to Wren.


As far as the writing, it was sad, poetic, and beautiful. I didn't hate the book at all. Don't misunderstand me, I just think that maybe I am too much of a logical person to really "get it." Maybe I'm too old, maybe I'm a realist, who knows? I do believe in love, but like all things, life goes on. People die, we get old, and that's just the way it is. I felt bad for Wren, but that's all. Heal and move on, that's what everybody else does. We don't raise our loved ones from the dead.


I'm not saying you shouldn't read it. It was a great book. It was obviously very depressing, but even so, it was an enjoyable read. Just keep in mind the things that I have said. If you are more of an emotional person than a logical one, I think you will probably be able to relate to the characters more. It's a good story, and it's fiction, so maybe I'm making a big deal out of nothing, but that's why it didn't get five stars from me.


You can preorder Cold Kiss from Amazon by clicking the book cover or the link below.
Cold Kiss



Jul 27, 2011

ARC Review of Fury by Elizabeth Miles

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 30th, 2011
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Mythology
Series: The Fury Series #1
*I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Fury (Fury, #1)Fury by Elizabeth  Miles
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:


It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...


Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.


On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.


In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.


Review:


Why is it easier to review books I didn't like over books I adored? The last review I wrote was super difficult to write. This one not so much. And it's not because I didn't like it, because there were a lot of good things going for it. The writing was gorgeous. The tone of the book was very mysterious and subtle. There was always a feeling that something was going to happen right around the next corner. I was always on edge while reading, but yet the poetic prose was at the same time relaxing.


The characters were likeable, but not overly so. They couldn't be, because with the plot of the book they had to be somewhat expendable. Here's the thing though. The story was very much cliche. It was wrapped in a pretty package and bookended by gorgeous prose, but when you strip away all of that, the story was very uninspired. It was a whodunit without the whodunit part. Let me explain. Were the villains the furies? Or the protagonists? As the reader, you have to decide. People get injured and die along the way, but in the end, nothing was really surprising. Nothing made me say, "Wow. Now that was a fantastic book." It was a bit generic. And yet, I did like parts of it.


The problem for me is, I like to have an emotional reaction to the books that I read. And with this one, it just didn't work for me. And I'm not really sure if I am done with this series or not. Part of me wants to continue reading, but at the same time, is the story going to get any better? Or is it just going to stay kind of ehhhh. I could go either way. Ultimately, I guess I will wait until I see what the synopsis of the next book is. Then I will make my decision.



Pre-Order Fury from Amazon by clicking on the book cover or link below.
Fury

**If you order anything by clicking on those Amazon links, I will earn a small commission which I use for site upkeep and giveaways. 

Book Review of The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

Publisher: Hyperion
Release Date: March 25th, 2008
Pages: 342
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
*I own  a physical copy of this book that I purchased.


The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-BanksThe Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:


Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14:

Debate Club.

Her father’s “bunny rabbit.”

A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school.


Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15:

A knockout figure.

A sharp tongue.

A chip on her shoulder.

And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston.


Frankie Laundau-Banks.

No longer the kind of girl to take “no” for an answer.

Especially when “no” means she’s excluded from her boyfriend’s all-male secret society.

Not when her ex boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places.

Not when she knows she’s smarter than any of them.

When she knows Matthew’s lying to her.

And when there are so many, many pranks to be done.


Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16:

Possibly a criminal mastermind.


This is the story of how she got that way.


Review:


I had a lot of fun reading this book. And for those that don't know, this book has been nominated for and won a ton of awards. I'm not sure if I agree with all that, but I did enjoy what I read.


I guess when you compare the plot of this novel to the plots of other young adult novels that are out there right now, it was unique and really original. It was fun reading about a strong female heroine and Frankie was a great puppet master, but I wish she would have had less remorse for the things she did. Because I really didn't think her pranks were all that bad. Yeah, the one kid might have gotten expelled, but I think the way the teachers and the headmaster acted was a bit extreme. They were just some harmless pranks. No one got injured and no property was vandalized, so really, what was the harm? And I think that was probably the reason that the book failed to connect with me like it could have.


It's a great book for feminists and people who like to laugh. And it's a hard review to write, because everything was good, fun, and entertaining, but wasn't great. I really want to sit here and rave about it like everyone else has, but the fact of the matter is, it's been about three days since I finished it and I'm having a hard time remembering what I read.


The pranks were fun, and the plot was fun but it really didn't stop me in my tracks like it did so many others. It was a fast read though, and if you are looking for something quick and enjoyable, this would fit the bill perfectly. The writing was great though. And this is the second book by E. Lockhart that I have read, and I have enjoyed them so far. I will continue to read them, in the hopes that one will completely blow me away. But it hasn't happened yet.

If you want to order a copy of this book, click on the book cover or the link below.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks

**If you click on that link and order anything, I will earn a small commission from Amazon which I use for site upkeep and giveaways.


$15.00 Amazon.Com Gift Card Giveaway!







I'm going to have a busy next couple of weeks. I have a couple of work assignments and I'm not going to be blogging as much. So in order to reward you guys for being patient and loyal followers, I am having a giveaway!!

Up For Grabs??

A $15.00 GC to Amazon.com.


As long as I can gift you an amazon giftcard over the internet, you are eligible to enter this giveaway.

To enter:

1. Leave me a comment with your GFC follower name and email address. 

Extra Entries can be gained by:
-Tweeting about the Giveaway. Leave me a separate comment with the direct link. +1

-Installing my blog button on your webpage. Leave me a link to your webpage in a separate comment. +5

-Leaving me a comment on any of my reviews. +2

The winner will be chosen on 7/27, which is my 31st birthday!

Jul 24, 2011

ARC Review of Fallen Angels by Tara Hyland

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 1st, 2011
Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Contemporary
*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Fallen AngelsFallen Angels by Tara Hyland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:


From the poverty of post-war England and Ireland to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood's golden age, a beautiful, sweeping family drama that illustrates that the bonds between a mother and daughter can never be broken.


An unwanted child: San Francisco, 1958. On a dark December night, a baby girl is left at the Sisters of Charity Orphanage on Telegraph Hill.


A mysterious suicide: One year later, movie star Frances Fitzgerald takes her own life. Her husband, wealthy businessman Maximilian Stanhope, is rumoured to know more about her death than he's letting on, but nothing is ever proved.


A terrible secret: What is the connection between these two events? That's what Frances's daughter, Cara, wants to find out. Abandoned by her mother when she is just seven years old, her childhood is filled with hardship and loss. As a young woman she finds professional success as a journalist, but on a personal level, she still struggles to trust those around her. Soon Cara becomes convinced that uncovering the secret behind her mother's death is the only way to lay her demons to rest, but learning the truth may end up tearing her apart.


Review:


What do I want to say about Fallen Angels? First of all, I'm not even sure if it is the finished title. It's listed on GalleyGrab as Sins of the Mother, but that's not what it is listed as on Goodreads. So if you decide to read or order it, keep that in mind.


Epic book! I'd have to say it was pretty special. It was beautifully written and covered many vivid settings like Ireland, England, and Hollywood. The imagery and descriptions were well written but not overdone. I love the way old Hollywood was described. I could easily tell that the author had done her research. To me, most of the settings felt alive and they jumped off the page nicely.


The thing that stood out to me most about this story though, were the characters. It has been quite a long time since I have read characters that were as well-developed as these were. They were flawed, fragile, and felt very real. From the daughter Cara, who is in danger of following in the same footsteps as her messed up mother, to Frannie, the self-involved actress who comes to a tragic end. There weren't very many likeable characters to be had here, but that made what you were reading even more interesting.


I'd guess you could say Fallen Angels was women's fiction, but I think it goes much deeper than that. The target audience for this book is definitely women, but that doesn't mean a mad wouldn't enjoy reading it. It was filled with drama and kept me hooked because the story was so magical, but tragic at the same time. Action-filled and never a dull moment.


I was a little bit disappointed in the ending. The book was such a long and sweeping tale that I was kind of expecting the ending to just blow me away. And I wasn't shocked or surprised by the way it finished. Some of the events that took place I could see coming. There were a few surprises, but they didn't catch me by off guard like I was hoping they would. It's very hard to describe, but I was shocked and overwhelmed by the events in the book and I just felt the ending kind of petered out. Kind of like a Ferrari running on fumes. Or whatever. I stink at this.


I do highly recommend it though. And I hope Tara Hyland becomes more well-known than she is, because this book was a fantastic read. I have added her other book to my list and I look forward to reading it. If it's anywhere near as good as this one was, I'm sure I will enjoy it.

Pre-order Fallen Angels by clicking on the link or the book cover.
Fallen Angels

**If you click on that Amazon link and order anything, I will earn a small commission which I use for site upkeep and giveaways.



In My Mailbox #6



In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren

As far as books I actually got in the mail this week, it was a pretty slow week. I only got one. But I also made a couple of Kindle purchases, and I got approved for some upcoming books on NetGalley. 

Won:

Outside In (Harlequin Teen)

A signed copy of Outside In (Harlequin Teen) by Maria V. Snyder, who is one of my favorite authors. I jumped around my living room and squealed when this came in the mail. Probably my favorite contest win so far. Thanks for this goes to Jen at Romancing the Book.

Bought for Kindle:

The Beach HouseTyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars BookPearlTexas Gothic

The Beach House by Jane Green.
Tyger Tyger: A Goblin Wars Book by Kiersten Hamilton
Pearl by Jo Knowles
Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore

NetGalley:

VariantEveThe Girl of Fire and Thorns

Variant by Robison Wells
Eve by Anna Carey

Next week I will have my birthday books. Cannot wait. What's in your mailbox this week?


Jul 22, 2011

Book Review: Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: Jan. 25th, 2010
Pages: 454
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal

Bleeding Violet Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:


Love can be a dangerous thing...


Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.


Review:


Bleeding Violet was a very strange book. But it was also a fantastic book! I don't have a lot to say about this one, it was just a very demented read. It was gory, bloody, and very suspenseful. A lot of the plot events that occurred, sometimes didn't even have a reason for occurring. Some of it didn't even make a whole lot of sense.


At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like it. I think it took me about 80 pages for me to decide I was going to finish it. I am glad I made that decision.


This was one of those books where you couldn't really trust the narrator. Because Hanna was nuts. Or at least she used to be. But is she still? She comes to the town of Portero to find her mother. And her mother is nuts too. And all of the hallucinations that Hanna was suffering from come to life. And then suddenly they aren't hallucinations anymore. Because there are some strange things that go on in this town. There are monsters and ghosts, and what I couldn't figure out is, if  this is such a dangerous and crazy town to live in, then why don't people just leave? That question was never answered by the way.


It was a good book, it just wasn't mind-blowing. It was definitely different. In a genre where plots are getting tired, and there really isn't a lot of uniqueness left, the author managed to find some. She's got another book, and I intend to read it at some point. I think she's a great author, I just wish I understood her motivations for writing so strangely.


View all my reviews

Order Bleeding Violet from Amazon by clicking here: Bleeding Violet

Jul 20, 2011

ARC Review of The Garden of Empress Cassia

Publisher: Puffin
Release Date: Not sure, but apparently it is being re-released.
Pages: 112
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy


The Garden of Empress CassiaThe Garden of Empress Cassia by Gabrielle Wang
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Goodreads Summary:


Mimi lives with her parents above her father's herbalist shop. She hates being Chinese and being teased at school. More than anything she loves to draw, so when her art teacher gives her a box of pastels Mimi is thrilled. These are no ordinary pastels for the inscription on the box warns that they are "A treasure for some, a curse for others". Mimi is able to draw amazing scenes on the footpath outside her father's shop and the pastels breathe life into the pictures for those able to see it. When Gemma, her tormentor at school, steals the pastels, Mimi knows she must get them back - not only to keep them safe and their magic intact, but to save Gemma from the pastel's curse.


Review:


I'm going to try and review this one as quickly as possible. Why, you ask? Because I hate writing negative reviews. And well, what I have to say is not good. And I really don't have a whole lot to say about this book in general. It just kind of...stunk. There it is. But it's the truth.


Look, I know it's a kids book, but that doesn't mean that just because they are kids they don't care what they read. I think even a child could tell The Garden of Empress Cassia was pretty stinky. The characters were boring and had no life to them. The plot was simple. But it was too simple. Kids aren't stupid. You can give them a little bit of mystery. Sheesh!


The story was basically written for The Harry Potter set. And I am telling you right now, stick with Harry Potter. Or Fablehaven. Or Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Don't bother to read this garbage. I would have had more entertainment burning ants on the back porch with a magnifying glass.


Y'all know I am no hater when it comes to writing reviews. But there were just so many missed opportunities for greatness here that I am actually angry while writing this review. It could've been beautiful. This could have been a magically Asian story. It should've been a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about a different culture. But instead we got a stupid story about a bratty girl and a box of pastels. Apparently the minute she puts one of the pastels into her hand, she turns into Vincent Van Gogh and can draw a magical lifelike garden on a sidewalk. Yeah I didn't buy it either. Then, if you are a person who needs assistance, all you have to do is read the inscription at the bottom of the drawing and you are sucked into the garden like rotten vegetables down a garbage disposal.


I could rant and rave forever, but basically when it comes down to it, the book was just very flat and it had absolutely no life. And that's about all that needs to be said. The concept was stupid, it didn't work, and the story was completely unmemorable. I finished this about three days ago, and I have already forgotten the characters' names.


View all my reviews

Jul 16, 2011

In My Mailbox #5



Hey y'all! It's time for another In My Mailbox! I haven't done one for a couple of weeks because I was waiting until I had a decent amount of books. I have a lot of thanks and shout-outs to do this week to other bloggers as well. In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Over the last couple of weeks, I won a lot of books from different contests across the blogosphere. I haven't received them all yet, but I'll just save the others for next time.

Thanks to Rachel at Fiktshun for a beautiful hardcover copy of Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini.
 Starcrossed
I'm also kind of stupid because I forgot to save the email for this next book and I don't remember what blog I won this from, but I know I won it from someone who participated in the Summer's Eve Giveaway Hop. So thanks to that person and let me know if it was you so I can give you proper credit. Anyway, I won a gift card and I picked out The Poison Eaters: and Other Stories by Holly Black.
The Poison Eaters: And Other Stories
Next up is a gorgeous SIGNED copy of Shift (Shade, Book 2) by Jeri Smith-Ready. Thanks for this one goes to Megan at Amethyst Daydreams.
Shift (Shade, Book 2)
Thanks for this next one goes to Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century. It's a hardcover copy of
 Ruby Red (Ruby Red - Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier. I can't wait to read this one.
Ruby Red (Ruby Red - Trilogy)
I also one a copy of Garden of Empress Cassia from Library thing through their Early Reviewers program. It's a great way to win free books. That being said, I already read this one and I REALLY didn't like it. The review for this one should be up soon.
Garden of Empress Cassia
Next, thanks to Kari Boardman at From the TBR Pile for an ARC of Ashfall by Mike Mullin and an ARC of The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. I can't wait to read The Apothecary. I've been wanting a copy since I heard about it. Ashfall I have already read, but I will probably be hosting a contest to win my copy soon. 
The ApothecaryAshfall
Yes, I'm still going. There are more. Remember, these are a buildup from like the last three weeks. Next up is a finished hardcover copy of Mercy by Rebecca Lim. Thanks for this goes to Christina at Confessions of a Book Addict. Thanks girl!
Mercy
Next, Thanks goes to Pixie Lynn for a copy of  The Girl's Guide to Homelessness: A Memoir. I don't know the blog for this one, so if you happen to read this post, let me know and I will add it in.
The Girl's Guide to Homelessness: A Memoir
This month I also have downloaded a few titles from Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab. These are Bright and Distant Shores: A Novel by Dominic Smith. No cover for that one yet. Also, I picked Fallen Angels by Tara Hyland which I should be reading next. And finally,  Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite.
Fallen AngelsGhost on Black Mountain

From NetGalley, I have been approved to read Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey, Domestic Violets: A Novel (P.S.) by Matthew Norman, and Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman.
Cold KissDomestic Violets: A Novel (P.S.)Those Across the River

And that's it for this week. What's in your mailbox?




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...