Friday, April 23, 2010

Blue is for Nightmares/White is for Magic by Laurie Faria Stolarz

I wasn't as enamored with this book as I have been with most of my recent reads. When I picked up "Blue is for Nightmares" I was really excited because the plot seemed really good and I am a suck for the paranormal fiction genre. But it was only ok. I have purchased the second book in the series "White is for Magic" at the same time so I even though I was not impressed with the first book I decided to give it a try as well.

As fo for "Blue is for Nightmares," let me start by saying that the story was very good. I thought that the writing and the suspense was great. BUT…I was annoyed by the bed wetting in the book. I know it had a valid point in the plot, but I still thought that it got old and gross real fast. Maybe I am just being prissy about it, if so, oh well.

Anyways, the story is about Stacey. She is living at her boarding school starting her junior year. She is, according to anyone on the outside, a perfectly average teenager, but Stacey is a witch. Not a shoot fire from your fingers kind of witch but a general practitioner. She does however have these nightmares that seem to be warning her about a tragic murder….not just any murder, the murder of her best friend Drea. I thought that the friend she was trying to save, Drea, in this book was kind of an annoying/rude bitch. I was not a fan of her (which made it more difficult for me to want Stacey to safe her).

The love story aspect of the book was not very well developed either. Stacey has a crush on her best friend’s ex-boyfriend and he seems to feel the same, but it it not explored at all. As for those pesky nightmares, the last time Stacey was plagued by nightmares a little girl way murdered and Stacey has never forgiven herself for not being able to prevent it. Now Stacey must follow the clues in her nightmares to prevent Drea’s murder. With everyone as a potential suspect, Stacey turns to the one secret weapon she can trust, magic.
After reading "Blue is for Nightmares" I decided to try the second book in the series, "White is for Magic." I mean the bed wetting was specific to the situation in the first book and that was my only real complaint. BUT… once again I was annoyed. In this book Stacey is puking all the time. Also relevant to the story like the bed wetting but still! I am reluctant to read the rest of the series because I just don’t know how many more bodily fluids I want to read about this girl secreting. Once again, the story/plot was good and I liked the new introduction of Jacob to the list of characters.

Stacey is having nightmares again, but so is Jacob (the new student who seems to be popping up everywhere). She may have more in common with Jacob then she ever imagined. This time it is her life on the line and the death of that little girl in her past is coming back to haunt her. At the begining Stacey is dating Drea’s ex from the first book, which I was happy about in the first book but I found myself quickly hoping she would drop him after Jacob was introduced. Stacey’s friends drove me a little crazy and I am not such a fan of Drea in particular (the author can spin it anyway she wants but if a friend made moves on someone I was dating that would be the end of that friendship but I digress). Jacob was a breath of fresh air and from what I hear he is in the rest of the series. I might actually pick those up at some point. This book has redeemed the series a little for me. I just hope that in the rest of the books she isn’t peeing or puking on herself again….that is getting old and kind of gross to read about.

Side note: This review may make it sound like I didn't like these and thats not true I did like them its just....I guess I just didn't like all the ick factor I felt while reading it. Maybe it wont bother you.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Captivate by Carrie Jones

This book was good but frustrated me. This is a series and so I should expect that the perfect relationship that Zara and Nick start at the end of Need will have to be shaken up a bit throughout the series but grrrr! I love Zara and Nick together and this book changes things A LOT. I am going to try not to give any spoilers away for Captivate in this review but if you have not read Need then you might not want to read this because I guarantee their will be Need spoilers to follow.

In the first book (read review here) we find out that Zara is not your average teenage girl. She is half pixie and there are those out there that would like to make her their Queen. Sounds good right? Wrong! The only ones standing in the way are Zara’s friends and her grandmother. Who, by the way, are Weres. Shape shifters who protect the town from the evil pixie population.

In Captivate, Zara and her friends think they have neutralized the pixie problem. They may have confined the King and his people but there is a new King in town, Astley, and once again he has his sights set on Zara. After something happens to Nick, Astley may be Zara’s only hope of saving him. But can she sacrifice her humanity for the one she loves? Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together and that he is one of the good guys. Can a pixie ever by trusted?

This book leaves you with MAJOR cliffhangers but I guess that can be expected. The third book in the series (I think their will be four books) will be out January 2011 and it is titled Entice. Captivate was good but it is really a filler between Need and Entice. Nothing is really resolved in this book and things just get more complicated.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

I was reluctant to read this book because the title sounded kind of cheesy but I was wrong. Once you get into the second or third chapter you are hooked. I simply could not put it down. Antanasia Dragomir and Jessica Packwood are the same person but with very different destinies. Antanasia was a vampire princess betrothed to the son of another vampire family in an attempt to bring peace to the vampire world. Jessica is in her senior year of high school and focusing on her“get-a-life” plan.

Jessica was adopted by the Packwood's when they were studying her family (the Dragomir's) in Romania. After Antanasia's birth parents are attacked and killed the Packwood's agree to take the baby back to the U.S. and raise her as their own (changing her name to Jessica). Jessica has always know this side of the story but so much more has been kept from her. The truth about her past and who she really is presents itself in the form of Lucius Vladescu.

Lucius is the new exchange student from Romania. Having a hot foreign exchange student living with you seems like a good thing unless he claims to be a vampire, and your fiancé. Lucius is not happy that his future bride has no knowledge of her past or future but he is prepared to win her love and hand. Marrying a vampire does not fit in with Jessica's plans but it turns out that its not just Jessica's future at stake. There is a war brewing and her marriage to Lucius is the only thing that will end the feud between their two families. Lucius is not without his charm and soon Jessica begins to question her true feelings for him. But does she realize her feeling too late?

It's funny how Beth Fantaskey was able to introduce a character (Lucius) that the reader instantly is annoyed with, but by the end of the story the reader is yelling at Jessica for not grabbing him when she had the chance. I highly recommend this book!

Also Beth Fantaskey released a follow up story the Jessica's Guide on her website. So if you like this book you can get a little more of the story here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin

This book was amazing! There is a lot of symbolism in this story which I always love. The romance is this book is approached differently as well. In the first few pages you know who the love story will refer to (I U typo..once you read it you will know what I mean) but the story does not focus on their romance relationship. I am always a sucker for a good catch phrase and this book has a great one. “Sometimes a girl needs to lose.” I think that it really sets up the theme of the book. The story is about losing yourself and finding yourself again and sometimes (like the line suggests) it is the mistakes, wrong turns, and failed relationships that shape who we are and the decisions we make in the future. I really enjoyed reading this book and rooting for Naomi, Will, and even James.

It all starts with a coin toss. Namoi and Will are headed home when they realize they forgot something at school. Who should go back for it? I guess fate will decide. Namoi loses the toss...and so begins the chain of event that lead to her waking up in an ambulance with amnesia. She can not remember the last 4years. Not her boyfriend, her mom's new family, her dad's fiancée, or even her passion for yearbook.

Her best friend Will is just about the best friend that I could imagine having. He is always so understanding and always puts Naomi before himself and what he wants (which it turns out is Naomi). James is the troubled boy who rescues Naomi and helps distract her from the stress of losing her memories. What if your slate was wiped clean? Would you like the same things? Like the same people? Be the same person? Once again I really liked this book. It is very thought-provoking. I recommend this book to all!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Wake, Fade, Gone by Lisa McMann


I really enjoyed this book. It was very fast paced and had a great story line. I am always a sucker for a great love story in a book and this one does not disappoint. Janie and Cabel are a great pair and their characters compliment each other nicely. The general plot of the book is focused on Janie's Dream Catcher ability in which she is uncontrollably drawn into other people's dreams and how it is messing with her ability to live a normal life.

Janie has known Cabel for a long time but has only interacted with him a few times. It doesn’t take long for Janie to fall for Cabel after he helps her get through a rough class trip in which people fall asleep on the bus and Janie gets sucked in. Despite Cabel’s help she is scared by the dreams she has witnessed from him and she is plagued by the fear that he is not to be trusted.

The way the book is written could be confusing for some since the chapters are not your traditional 1, 2, 3 setup. This book is set up with sections and dates and times in order to organize the story flow. It can be hard to follow at first, but stick with it and you won't be disappointed.

P.S. For those of you who are also Twilight fans and read Midnight Sun, you might be interested to know that on Lisa McMann's website you can read about 12 pages of Cabel's point of view. I was a little disappointed that all it covers is the bus ride Junior year, the skateboard ride, and a little of his time in Canada when finds out about Janie. But hey it is still worth a read!


This was my favorite book in the series. I once again read this book in one sitting. Fade was a lot more adult then the last book in the series. Janie and Cabel's relationship is really solidified in this book. They become more intimate with each other physically and emotionally.

In Fade there are disturbing things happening at Fieldridge High, where Janie and Cabel attend school. A previous attack on a student is reveled through Janie’s dream catching and she goes undercover to discover which faculty member is assaulting the students. Being undercover is difficult more many reasons. Janie and Cabel can not be seen together in public and the stress of keeping their romance a secret does put a strain on the relationship at times. Not to mention the fact that this time it is Janie who will be in the line of fire and there is nothing Cabel can do about it. The sting does not goes like planned and Janie is suddenly in more danger then even she anticipated.

Like I mentioned before this book is a lot more intense then the last book. There is sex, rape, drug use, and various assaults described in the book. Nothing to graphic but just want to make sure you are aware. The story concludes with Janie’s discovery of her bleak future as a dream catcher. Now Janie has some discussions to make and there seems to be no good answer.


This book was a quick read. I started it and finished it in one sitting (few hours). I wish that this book would have been longer. I think that for the last book in the series it was a little short. I am torn on whether or not I liked the ending. Not ever story can have the perfect walking off into the sunset ending and I can appreciate the more practical ending for this book but still I didn't feel the closure that is needed for the end if a series.

Janie thought she knew what her future held and she was ready to accept it but the thought of putting Cabel through it is too much. Janie knows that Cabel will not willingly walk away even though she sees his fears and doubts in his dreams. Have I mentioned how much I love Cabel? He’s amazing! Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves: She has to disappear, leaving him so that he will not have to watch her deteriorate.

All that being said I would still recommend this book for those who have read the first two. If you didn't read those then this one won't mean much to you. I did enjoy this series and I am sad that it is over :(

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

There is a funny story behind how I acquired this book. I actually received this book by mistake. I was browsing the recommended section on B& and clicked on this book to add to my cart rather then the book I had been looking at. I didn’t realize until I opened up my shipment and was like, “Rampant? What is this?” I decided to give it a shot even though the premise was a little strange. I love paranormal books but “Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns…?” I just don’t know. The story turned out to be very interesting. Once again I am a sucker for a series and that’s just what this is so I am glad that I get to find out what happens next in the whole big battle against the unicorns. I still snicker at that concept, I just can’t help it.

The character names in the story were also I little silly. The story takes place in present day, so why is there a girl named Dorcus? To be honest it is mostly superficial things that I didn’t like about this book. It was actually pretty good. If you love supernatural/fantasy books but need a change of pace from the current vampire/werewolf frenzy then this might be what you are looking for. If nothing else it provides good conversation. "Yeah, I am reading a book about unicorn hunters who protect people from venomous unicorns with razor sharp teeth that try to eat people!" lol

Astrid Llewelyn is a very dynamic character and the heroine of the story. She always shrugged off her mother's stories about killer unicorns until the day that one attacked her and her boyfriend. It is this very attack that suddenly provokes her sudden relocation to Rome. At first Astrid thinks this whole situation is insane, being trained as a unicorn hunter was not what she had planned for herself. At least she gets to do it at the ancient cloisters that hunters have used for centuries, and Italy is a perk right?

The unicorns seem to be all around the cloister just waiting to attack. That does not stop Astrid from venturing out and meeting Giovanni Cole, the hot art student living in Rome. When a sudden attack forces Astrid to use her hunter instincts to slay a unicorn she finally decides to accept her training. But there are many secrets that are being kept from her and soon Astrid does not know who or what to trust.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

The nice thing about creating this blog and committing to review every book I read it that I get to revisit the books that I read months ago in order to properly review them. Although this is a lot of work it is also a lot of fun. The Hollow was a book that I read a while back (Nov 2009). So I had to flip through it to jog my memory on some of the finer points of the book. Another bonus to this is that it is preparing me for the next book in the series “The Haunted,” which is set to release August 31, 2010!

I did enjoy this book; my one complaint is that I feel like we are left with too many questions. As I have already mentioned this is a series so let me say that it is always important to leave the readers wanting more, but The Hollow just kind of ends. I think I literally said “That’s it?” out loud after reading the last page. The potential for the overall story is very good. I thought the plot was great and Abby was easy to relate to.

The story starts in the aftermath of Abby’s best friend’s death/disappearance. Kristen and Abby were inseparable until Kristen vanished from the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Even though the town has pronounced her dead Abby refuses to believe that her best friend is really gone. After the funeral Abby meet Caspian. Caspian is mysterious and gorgeous and to Abby’s surprise he seems to be fascinated by her. Abby begins meeting Caspian by the river in hopes of finding out what he may be hiding and for the sheer thrill of being with him.

While searching for answers Abby is met with even more questions. Who was Kristen meeting the night she vanished? Why was she keeping secrets from Abby? And the answers that she does find could shatter her assumptions about who she is and the world she lives in.

I hope that the next books explains more about what happened to her best friend, what is the deal with Caspian, and why she is important to him. I know the series as a hole will be good (I am truly confident in that) but this book on its own left me frustrated. Don't let that discourage you from reading it through because the writer is good and I am confident she will deliver a great series.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

I want to start by saying I love Sarah Dessen. I have read most of her books and they are all so brilliant. The Truth About Forever is no different. Macy Queen is looking at a long and boring summer working at the library. The only reason she is working at the library is to hold the position for her boyfriend, Jason who will be away at brain camp all summer.

Macy has been kind of lost since her father’s death last year. Macy’s live changed the morning she changed her mind about skipping her morning run with her father. He had a heart attack and died right there in front of her. Everyone is her family is handling it differently. Her mother has removed almost all traces of Macy’s father from their home, Macy has strived to be a perfect helper for workaholic mother, a perfect contrast to her older sister Caroline's wild days, and a perfect girlfriend to her genius boyfriend.

Then Macy is dumped by Jason while he is away at camp. Now she is stuck working at the library with girls who hate her and left with nothing but studying to pass the time until she meets the employees of the completely unorganized and chaotic Wish Catering. She even finds herself working for Delia the pregnant owner of the business. And for once she enjoys the chaos that comes along with this bunch. Kristy, the crazy outgoing girl who will not take Macy’s attempts to remain antisocial slide; Monica, the girl of few words (she rarely talks but when she does it is packed with meaning); Bert, the youngest of the bunch who thinks the end of the world is near; and Wes, Bert’s older brother who spent time in a reform school after his parent's divorce and then lost his mother to cancer.

Wes and Macy seem to bond from the start. He has a girlfriend who is away just like Jason is for Macy. Their friendship quickly becomes more even though Macy won’t allow herself to see it. I have to say that I love books that introduce you to something at the beginning and then at the very end reveal it to you again and suddenly it all fits. This book provides one of those “ah ha” moments and I was left with tears in my eyes. It is the relationships she makes through Wish Catering that finally allow Macy to accept her father’s death and realize that “Forever” this moment you are in now. It can be a second or a lifetime but that is what makes it so precious.

This is a wonderful book, but I expected nothing less from Sarah Dessen.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

I actually read this book for the first time last Fall, but I thought that with the sequel Linger coming out in a few months that it would be a good time to post a review (plus I am currently rereading it for the third time). Shiver is amazing! This was the first book that I had read by Maggie Stiefvater and I instantly became a fan. The transitions in narrator point of view gave an interesting flow to the story. Grace has been longing for her yellow eyed wolf since she was eleven and had been attacked by his pack. Grace does not have much memory of the attack by the wolf pack or how she was saved but ever since she saw the yellow eyed wolf she has felt drawn to him.

Sam waits for Grace every year, watching her from the woods that he and his pack call home for the cold winters. Sam is only able to be human in the warm summer months, but even that is slipping away. This will be his last transition from wolf to human and then he will lose Grace forever unless they can find away to stop it.

Grace and Sam have loved each other for years and despite the odds that are put against them they are determined to find a way to make it work. This book is full of passion, humor, sadness, and keeps you turning the page into the early morning hours.
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