Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Another great YA series for Kelley Armstrong! This book has been on my to-read list since it was announced. I devoured the companion series “Darkest Powers” last year and I have been anxiously awaiting The Gathering since then. This is not a continuation on The Darkest Powers series so don’t worry if you have not read them. There is a whole new bunch of characters and even some new paranormal abilities being explored. There are a few names dropped here and there and some info that those who have read the other books will pick up on but it doesn’t affect the comprehension or flow of this book if you haven’t.

This series takes place in Canada on Vancouver Island in a tiny medical-research community. I think this series will be a lot like Darkest Powers in the sense that they can almost be slapped together and read as one book. The plot is ongoing and you cant really read them out of order.

The main character is sixteen-year-old Maya. She is average by all intensive purposes. She was adopted when she was a baby and brought up in a stable home. She has two loving parents and a close-knit group of friends. Maya has always felt connected to the wildlife that surrounds her home. When she is not hanging out with her best friend Daniel, Maya is helping to rehabilitate and reintroduce injured animals back into the wild. Sure the animals seem to heal faster when she cares for them but that doesn’t mean anything...right? Things start to get complicated for Maya when Rafe enters the picture.

I love Rafe, then again who doesn’t love the bad boy? Well...Maya, she is unimpressed (unlike every other girl at their school) by his smooth talking. He is going to have to try a new approach if he wants to win her over. Then there is the best friend, Daniel, I’m sure some will be rooting for him. I think there is a lot more to learn about Daniel in the rest of the series because you only get a touch in The Gathering. Buts its enough for you to wonder…

With mountain lions seeming to test their boundaries, it’s unclear who’s to blame for the unexplained deaths that are popping up around Vancouver Island? There are a lot of questions at the end of this book and I am bummed that I have to wait a year for The Calling. But I do recommend this book if you liked The Darkest Powers. I have a feeling that the two series will collide more in later books too, which means fans may get to see more of there favorite characters again. :-)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

New Release Tuesday

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

I actually picked this book up to browse while drinking my coffee at my local bookstore. I figured I would read a chapter to kill time. I ended up sitting there for hours until I finally left because I kept laughing out loud and people were starting to glare at me. This book is very similar to the plot of “She’s the Man” but don’t necessarily let that deter you if you have seen it. The characters are well developed and easy to relate to. I think that any woman reading this will have no choice but to laugh out loud at some of the situations that Natalie “Nat” gets herself into.

Natalie is a journalist for her high school newspaper, not that anybody knows what her contribution is (except for her two best friends and her editors). Natalie is Dr. Aphrodite, the relationship guru behind the very popular advice column. When Dr. Aphrodite is accused of knowing nothing about what guys really think/want Natalie decides to do a little investigating into the minds of the teenage boy. After many failed attempts at getting straight answers out of her male classmates she has the brilliant idea to disguise herself as a guy and enrolls in the near by all-boy boarding school, Underwood Academy.

This is where the real hilarity ensues. Her and her two best friends contrive an alter identity for Natalie, “Nat.” This identity comes complete with a drastic haircut and a well-placed roll of socks. ;-) It turns out that being a guy is not as easy as it seems, especially when you are really a girl. Having to dodge her arch nemesis that will surely blow her cover isn’t helping either. Worst of all, when she is escorted to her new dorm room she is shocked to discover she has a roommate. And Emilio is probably the most gorgeous guy she has ever seen; too bad he thinks she’s a “he.”

I think you can imagine all the possibilities for catastrophe. From locker rooms, to wardrobe closets, and even a date with Emilio’s sister, Natalie has her hands full keeping up her cover and trying to get as much research done as possible. It turns out that she learns just as much about what girls are doing to repel guys as she does about what they are really thinking.

Like I said this book is not as original as some of the others I have read but it had me cracking up and sometimes that’s all you need. So if you are looking for something lite to read I recommend this book.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Jane by April Lindner

Jane Eyre is a classic that is beloved by many. I have been meaning to read it for a while now but unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I have been procrastinating because I prefer more contemporary books. When I saw Jane on the shelves I was instantly interested. Now I can get the classic story with a modern edge. I will say that since I have not read the original I cannot attest to how they compare but I can say that I loved Jane. I figure if I read a book in less then 2 days I have to give it five stars.

Jane is also great for those YA fans that are like me and “a bit” older. Even though the story has everything we have come to love from a YA book, Jane Moore is older then your typical YA heroine. Jane Moore is a practical girl. She knows her place in the world and is content with her status. She was just happy to be on her own and attending an East Coast college but the sudden death of her parents took even that away. With no way to pay for school and no support from her siblings (who I came to loath), Jane does the only thing she can. Jane applies to work for a nanny service. Due to her plain appearance and her complete lack of interest in pop culture, Jane is selected to work for the rock star Nico Rathburn. Nico is making his comeback and he needs someone to look after his daughter. He has a sorted past filled with drugs, sex, and other various scandals (some yet to be revealed). Luckily Jane is not impressed by his bad boy persona.

As Nico tries to get Jane to open up to him, they begin spending more time together. I think that Nico’s interest in Jane becomes apparent to the reader way before it does for her; after all there is no way a rock star like Nico Rathburn could ever love a “plain Jane” like her, right? The build up to their relationship is nerve racking for the reader. I just wanted Jane to admit that she loved Nico and make a move already… Maybe that’s all he’s waiting for too ;-)

Jane knows that Nico has a complicated past but when a deception and a dangerous secret is revealed Jane does the only thing she can think of, she runs. Jane’s disappearance may be what she thinks she needs but what if she is leaving the only person who ever made her truly happy?

From what I hear, April Lindner held very true to the original story. The only major changes involve bringing it into a more realistic/relevant present day setting. So if you are looking for a way to enjoy a classic but get bored with the 19th century atmosphere then Jane might be just what you are looking for.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Release Tuesday

The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Strange things are happening in Maya's tiny Vancouver Island town. First, her friend Serena, the captain of the swim team, drowns mysteriously in the middle of a calm lake. Then, one year later, mountain lions are spotted rather frequently around Maya's home—and her reactions to them are somewhat . . . unexpected. Her best friend, Daniel, has also been experiencing unexplainable premonitions about certain people and situations.

It doesn't help that the new bad boy in town, Rafe, has a dangerous secret, and he's interested in one special part of Maya's anatomy—her paw-print birthmark.

The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer

Fans of the #1 New York Times bestselling Twilight Saga will treasure this definitive official guide!

This must-have hardcover edition--the only official guide--is the definitive encyclopedic reference to the Twilight Saga and provides readers with everything they need to further explore the unforgettable world Stephenie Meyer created in Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. With exclusive new material, character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, and much more, this comprehensive handbook is essential for every Twilight Saga fan.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Seriously this book is amazing! I could not put it down. I almost didn’t buy this one because when reading the synopsis I was interested, but I thought that it was really similar to a few other books I had read recently. But I decided to pick it up anyway, mostly because I loved the cover art :-) I can honestly say that I fell in love with this book. It is unique and beautifully written.

Imagine love being thought of as a disease. Not just romantic love but all love, even the love of a mother for her children. That is the world that Lena Holoway lives in. Amor Deliria Nervosa had plagued our society before the scientists discovered a way to cure it. The procedure can only be done on those who have reached the age of eighteen. Lena is excited to be only a few months away from her procedure. She has seen first hand what the Delirium can do and she wants the threat behind her. Love is pain. She learned this from the loss of her mother, who was overcome by the disease despite repeated attempts to cure her.

All Lena has to do is coast through her evaluations and prepare for her cured life. Only problem is that Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love, and not with just any boy. Alex is from outside the walls of Portland. He is part of the resistance. Despite how dangerous it is to be together it doesn’t take long for them to realize they cant stand to be apart.

This is where the beauty of the story really takes shape, the fight to be together, the struggle to keep their secret, and the timer running out as Lena gets closer to her eighteenth birthday and her procedure. Lauren Oliver wrote an amazing story. The way she describes this world and the characters in it, brings the reader in immediately. I felt emotionally invested in the story very quickly. The poems used are perfectly placed and give even more depth to the story.

The end will leave you feeling relieved, devastated, and begging for more. I was daydreaming about this book and its characters for days after I finished it. I highly recommend it. Pandemonium (Delirium, #2) is scheduled for release Feb 2012!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins

I have been anxiously awaiting Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) since I read Hex Hall last March. If you want to read my review of Hex Hall you can find it here. Demonglass picks up shortly after Hex Hall left off. Sophie Mercer attends Hecate Hall ,or Hex Hall as the students have come to call it; a school for delinquent Prodigium (witches, warlocks, vampires, werewolves, and faeries) who have had trouble controlling their powers.

In Demonglass, Sophie has decided to go through the Removal after discovering that she is a demon, not a witch like she always thought. The problem is that demons are rare (Sophie and her father are the only ones currently in existence) and volatile. Sophie has seen first hand what can happen if a demon goes rogue and she refuses to risk hurting anyone she loves. The Removal is the only guaranteed solution. It will strip her of all of her powers but it will leave her covered in purple tattoo like marks and could also end her life.

Now, Sophie is off to London, with Cal (who, I might add is delicious) and Jenna (her vampire best friend) in tow, to spend the summer with her Dad. He is determined to prove to her that the Removal is not her only option. If only that was her only dilemma. It turns out that Archer Cross, her former classmate and crush is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. Sophie hasn’t seen him since she discovered his secret and he fled Hecate. But rumors say he has been spotted in London…

The Eye has always been a concern for Prodigium. But with the discovery that someone is raising new demons, the Eye have become more aggressive then ever. A war is brewing and the ones responsible may be closer then they think.

Demonglass was fantastic! This installment is packed with new information and new riddles. Some family secrets are unveiled as well. Although I will admit that Rachel Hawkins doesn’t actually come out and tell you the last big revelation but I think you’ll know. And what YA book is complete without a little love triangle action? Cal really starts to become a contender for Sophie’s affections in Demonglass. I’m still rooting for Archer though ;-) Hex Hall #3 should be out spring of 2012. It will be a long wait but will you can bet I will be picking it up as soon as it hits the shelves!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New Release Tuesday

Red Glove by Holly Black

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

City of Fallen Angels is the fourth book in the bestselling series The Mortal Instruments.

City of Fallen Angels takes place two months after the events of City of Glass. In it, a mysterious someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace.

As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever in City of Fallen Angels.

Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer

Sixteen-year-old Tansy Piper moves with her grandfather and her mother, a horror writer, to the setting of her mother's next book--a secluded house outside of a tiny, desolate West Texas town. Lonely and upset over the move, Tansy escapes into her photography and the dark, seductive poems she finds hidden in the cellar, both of which lure her into the mind and world of a mysterious, troubled young man who died sixty years earlier.
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