Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black City Cover Reveal & Giveaway!

Hi guys! So today I am very excited to show off the GORGEOUS cover for an upcoming YA book called Black City by Elizabeth Richards. It is the first novel in a new sci-fi dystopian trilogy, set to be released this November. Scroll down to also get a sneak peek at the first chapter and enter to win a chance at an ARC of Black City as well-- it's international so all can enter! :)
Aaaaaaand....... Here it is!

Author: Elizabeth Richards
Publisher: Penguin Books
Series: Black City Chronicles #1
Release Date: November 13, 2012
<---- CLICK to see it bigger!!
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Summary: In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

Ah! Not gonna lie, this is a flipping sweet book cover! I absolutely adore the colorful explosion of petals and how it looks like shattering glass, it's just like-- BAM! And then you have the cityscape at the bottom, I really just love it. The futuristic, forbidden-love story sounds very intriguing as well-- this is definitely a book that I am looking forward to getting my hands on!

Interested in learning more about the Black City Chronicles? 

Well you're in luck because here is a sneak peek at the first chapter of Black City!

CHAPTER 1: ASH

An air raid siren wails in the distance, alerting Black City citizens to lock their doors and turn out the lights. They don’t want to be out in the dark alone. They might meet something dangerous. Something like me.
I head under the canal bridge and wait for the girl, taking a packet of Sentry-regulation smokes from my back pocket and sparking up. The nicotine courses through my veins, making them throb with adrenaline; the sensation is almost like a pulse . . . almost.
Footsteps approach the bridge, and a short girl with straggly black hair appears from the shadows, dressed in men’s work boots, tight black trousers and a tailcoat made from a patchwork of clashing fabrics. Her hazel eyes gaze up into mine. She’s brave. Not many cherry-poppers have the courage to look me in the eyes. She hands me an old playing card with two hearts on it, one red, one black. It’s my calling card. It seemed an appropriate choice; that’s what I’m selling her after all, an illusion of love. I slip it into the pocket of my dark green military jacket.
“You’re late,” I say. “Last thing I need is to be caught out here after curfew by a Tracker. They’re just begging for a reason to throw me in jail.”
“Sorry, they’ve put up extra checkpoints, stopping everyone. There’s tanks everywhere!” she babbles. “I guess they can’t be too careful with the Sentry Emissary back in the city, what with the boundary negotiations with the Legion and—”
“You paid Beetle?” I interrupt.
The girl nods.
“Terms and conditions,” I say. “No refunds. You don’t enjoy it, you puke, you freak—not my problem, okay?”
She nods again.
“You pregnant?” She blushes furiously. “I’ll take that as a no. It may cause drowsiness, so don’t drive or operate any heavy machinery.” She smiles at this, and I grin. They always like that. “And no repeats for at least two weeks, all right? I mean it.”
“That all?”
“No kissing. Strictly business, okay?”
She seems a little disappointed by this, but I don’t like to mix business with pleasure. She shyly unbuttons the collar of her coat, revealing her slim, pale neck. Hunger grips my stomach at the sight.
“What do I do?” she asks.
“Lean back,” I say.
She obeys like a good girl. I place a hand against the wall and slip my other hand between her thighs, gently easing her legs apart. Touching her doesn’t turn me on, but I groan like it does, knowing she’ll enjoy that. They all do, even the guys—it’s why they come to me instead of the Haze dens. I slide my body between her thighs so we’re face-to-face. Her shallow breaths are warm against my cool skin.
“Relax, okay? It’s more enjoyable if you relax.”
“My heart’s pounding a mile a minute.” She gives a nervous laugh.
“Can’t say I know how that feels,” I admit.
She tentatively presses a hand against my chest, and her eyes widen. “So it’s true, then? You don’t have a heart?”
“I have a heart,” I growl, shoving her hard against the wall. It just doesn’t beat.
A small tear snakes down her cheek, her thin lips trembling.
“Sshhh, it’s okay, sweetheart. I didn’t mean to frighten you.” I gently wipe her tear away. “Forgive me?”
She nods, then tilts her head to one side, exposing the smooth whiteness of her neck. The poison sacs behind my fangs swell with venom.
Focus, Ash. Don’t blow your load.
I lean toward her, pressing my lips against the soft flesh on her neck, just below her ear. Her pulse flutters under my lips, and I nearly lose it. I begin to nibble on the flesh, tickling the tiny hairs on her neck with my tongue, making them wet with my saliva.
“Do it,” she whispers.
So much for foreplay. I sink my fangs into her jugular. Hot blood spills over my tongue, making my taste buds burst with its sticky sweetness. Man, I love the newbies; they always taste the best. She sighs as my venom enters her bloodstream. I wait for the Haze to take effect before I start to drink from her. That’s the bonus of Haze; my clients get high from me, and I get high from them by drinking their drugged blood. It’s win-win.
A sour, bitter flavor suddenly floods my mouth, and I gag, leaping back.
“What the—” I spit up blood.
The girl stares at me with glazed eyes, blood trickling down the two puncture wounds in her neck.
“Everything’s sparkling,” she says dreamily.
“Didn’t Beetle tell you I don’t take clients on meds?”
She lurches toward me, and I grab her before she falls into the water.
“I love you,” she slurs, trying to kiss me.
I shove her, hard. She falls back against the wall and slides to the floor. Her eyes roll back into her head, and she begins to spasm, white foam bubbling out the corners of her mouth.
“No, no, no! Wake up.” I kneel down and shake her, panic rushing through me.
The girl jerks, her boots leaving black scuff marks on the cobblestones. Fragg! This is why I don’t take clients on meds. You can never tell how they’re going to react to the Haze. I shrug off my jacket and place it under her head.
A Sentry tank rolls over the bridge, and I shut my eyes and wait for it to pass. Even though the war is officially over, I still get chills at that sound. Wherever they went, Death followed. I had a few close scrapes during the war. During those days, the fact that I was a legal citizen and half human didn’t mean much to them. If you weren’t 100 percent human, you were the enemy. Every day was a fight for survival. Not much has improved since then; I’m still the enemy in most people’s eyes. All they can see is the Darkling in me. The tank turns down Bleak Street toward the Sentry Emissary’s headquarters.
The girl groans. It’s too dangerous here; I have to go. I could just leave her . . . No, that’s not an option, but I can’t take her to the hospital. I’d get in so much trouble.
Beetle!
I peer down the canal. A yellow barge is moored about one hundred feet away. The lights are off. Where is he? He’s meant to be my wingman; that’s why I came to the bridge in the first place. Can this get any wor—
An explosion of pain bursts inside my chest, and I clutch a hand over my lifeless heart. I sense someone behind me and turn.
A girl stands by the entranceway, lit by the headlamps of a passing truck. In the fleeting light, I catch a glimpse of cornflower-blue eyes flicking between me and the Hazer writhing on the ground.
Her gaze finally fixes on me.
I fall back, struck down, as the pain in my chest blooms again.
Shivers run through my body, rushing toward a single point in my chest. There’s a spark of electricity and then:
A flutter.


Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist and debut author, who spent her early career writing for videogame publications such as CUBE, P2 and GamesTM,and now works as a website editor. Previously, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls. She won the Jane Hayward Young Journalist of the Year award for her feature on girls in the games industry, and was named 'Editor's Choice' in the industry trade magazine, MCV.

Elizabeth Richards lives in Buckinghamshire, England and can be found online at her blog, The Red Pen of Doom
Isn't she so pretty?!? ------------------------->


~The Giveaway~

And now for the MOST awesome part: As part of this cover reveal, Penguin Books is sponsoring a fabulous giveaway for an ARC of Black City AND a chance to win a unique drawing of the main characters Ash and Natalie, created and signed by Elizabeth Richards herself!

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RULES:

All you need to do to enter are THREE simple things:

1.) Be a follower of LC's Adventures in Libraryland (GFC, Linky, whatever you use!)
2.) Fill out the form at the bottom of this post (just click the button)
3.) Leave me a comment below about what you think of Black City's cover! (IMPORTANT: MUST leave a comment to be eligible! :)

EXTRA ENTRIES:

Anaand... of course, because I'm an extra entries kind of gal, there will be some ways to increase your chances of winning this awesome YA debut. To make things easy, you can click on the pink links below or look in my sidebar!

+2 Tweet about this giveaway (with a link to this post)
+2 Subscribe to me on YouTube
+2 Follow me via Networked Blogs
+2 "Like" LC's Adventures in Libraryland on Facebook

OTHER INFO:

Giveaway is international
Giveaway ends March 7th, 2012 at 11:59PM EST
ONE (1) winner will receive ONE ARC of Black City AND a chance to win a signed copy of one of five unique drawings created and signed by Elizabeth Richards, author.
Winner will be notified by email on March 8th, 2012 and their contact info will be forwarded to Penguin in order to receive their ARC
All galleys generously provided by Penguin Books for Young Readers 

Good luck everyone and Happy Reading!!
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Monday, February 27, 2012

ARC Book Review: Embrace

Author: Jessica Shirvington
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Series: The Violet Eden Chapters #1
Release Date: March 6, 2012
Pages: 367
Read it in: 2 days
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Summary: It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…

LC's Take:

This book was total love for me. From the very first chapter, I was hooked and could not put it down until I had finished! I know, I know, you might be a little hesitant because it's in the infamous "fallen angel" genre, but really this one stands out from the rest-- and in fact, Embrace is hands-down one of the best YA angel books I have read so far.

Violet Eden is about to turn 17, and the biggest thing on her mind is figuring out how to tell Lincoln, her hunky trainer, that she has feelings for him. Unfortunately, things are about to get seriously complicated, because on her 17th birthday Violet finds out she is Grigori-- half angel, half human. Added to this, exiled angels are roaming the earth, trying to gain complete control over humanity to do their will, and it's up to the Grigori to stop them. Now Violet has to make the ultimate choice to embrace her role as a Grigori-- knowing that to do so means both saving and losing Lincoln-- and leaving behind life as she knows it forever.

I really loved Violet-- not because she was a perfect character, but because she was so perfectly imperfect. She made some major mistakes but she knew when she had screwed up and wasn't afraid to admit it. She was also incredibly strong-willed and had the ability to stand up for herself when need be. And best of all? She wasn't weak or whiny! I also thought that her emotions were incredibly real, and the author described them in such a way that you can actually feel all of Violet's conflict and struggle-- over figuring out who her mother really was, whether to become Grigori or hold on to a normal life, whether to fall for Lincoln or Pheonix, whether to stay true to herself or wander in a different direction-- The girl had some serious decision-making to do in this book! Altogether, Violet was the type of character that I love to read about.

As far as the romance goes, I actually liked the love triangle in Embrace. I usually find all the triangle drama to be annoying or tedious, but in this case, I was right with Violet and could not for the life of me choose between dreamy Lincoln who has been her friend for so long, or Pheonix, the sexy and dangerous angel exile who is both alluring and a bit creepy at the same time.

Added to the steamy romance, action-packed plot, and awesome characters was vivid imagery that quickly transported me into Violet's world-- a dangerous yet brightly-lit urban setting filled with nightclubs and shadowed alleyways, mysterious Grigori and dark angels. The world-building definitely pulled me into a whole other world, and provided the perfect backdrop for all the romance and crazy celestial showdowns.

Probably my favorite part about this book was that the plot was action-packed AND well-thought out. Many of the scenes left me biting my nails to see what would happen next, and much of the narrative was filled with unexpected twists, turns and surprises. I guess the only thing that was a bit of a draw-back for me was that some of the angel lore was hard to follow. (Example: the explanations of the different ranks of angels got to be a little confusing.) Still, Embrace was fun and entertaining, and it centers around a smart and strong-willed heroine. I would say that it was even good enough to overcome the bias against fallen angel books-- in my opinion, I think readers will really enjoy this one, even if they haven't had luck with angel books in the past!

~Cover Talk~

The US cover of Embrace is definitely beautiful, no doubt about it. I love the purple-y background and the smoked-out, whispy wings on the girl who represents Violet. I actually don't have this specific cover because the ARC cover art is much different-- much simpler. And then there is the original Australian cover, pictured to the right. This is probably my favorite out of the three. I'm not sure why but I just find it to be so eye-catching, and I love the colors, the girl's dark hair against the white and purple, and how you can just barely make out the suggestions of wings in the background.

Both are gorgeous I think! Do you have a favorite?


LC's Rating:
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Smart, edgy and completely addicting, this book was absolutely impossible to put down! Embrace will totally change everything you've come to think about the fallen angel genre.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

In My Mailbox! (15)


Another week has come and gone, but with it are some awesome new books to add to my ever-growing TBR pile!
~Quick Week In Review~


~The IMM Vlog~
Here is what I got this week!


 
~Goodreads Links~

Belles by Jen Calonita
Fever by Lauren DeStefano
The Pledge by Kimberley Derting
Shatter Me by Tehereh Mafi

What did you get in your mailbox this week???
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: Shattered Souls

Author: Mary Lindsey
Publisher: Philomel/Penguin
Release Date: December 8, 2011
Pages: 336
Read it in: 2 days

Summary: A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

LC's Take:

Warning: If you don't like reading rants about books, especially for ones that you liked or think you're going to like, then you aren't going to like this review. If you do like reading rants about books, well then, this should probably be pretty darned entertaining...
*****
OK, so let me start off by just saying, I really tried to like this book, honestly I did.

I tried up until the very last page to have hope that something was going to happen that would redeem the entire thing for me.

But it just.

Didn't.

Happen.

[Insert sad face here.]

Maybe I should blame my OCD tendency to finish a book no matter what. Because even when I absolutely can't stand a book, I have to finish it. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I really did consider DNF-ing this book about halfway through because I just could not take much more of Lenzi's weak character-- she was literally making me sad and angry at the same time-- but then, I thought well, maaayyybeeee she'll get better, maybe she'll have some kind of major revelation and turn into this super awesome character, transforming into a strong, confident, kick-butt kinda gal who can stand on her own two feet without a man to validate her entire existence.

But alas! It was not to be.

And the farther I got to the end, the more annoyed and disappointed I became.

~Brief Summary~

Lenzi's dad has recently died-- committed suicide-- because he couldn't get rid of the voices in his head. Now 16, Lenzi is starting to not only hear voices, but see things too. Her musician boyfriend Zac can't help her. Alden, the strange guy she meets in a graveyard one night, tells Lenzi that she is a Speaker-- she can speak to lost souls and help them to find rest in death by freeing them from the problems that keep them bound to Earth. Alden is her Protector-- he protects her from Malevolents, violent spirits who don't want to be helped, but who could potentially possess Lenzi's body, using it to take out their rage or revenge. But Lenzi has no recollection about her past lives as a Speaker, and now there is a really dangerous Malevolent who wants revenge on her for something Lenzi can't even remember...

~My Thoughts~

So the number one reason why I could not stand this book was because I could NOT stand Lenzi. The girl absolutely annoyed the living crap out of me, and it was downright painful having to read from her whiny, immature point of view. Yes, I can understand her frustration and fear after finding out that she's supposed to talk to the dead and help them out of Earthly purgatory, but really? If I had just found out that I could talk to dead people AND it was up to me to save them from eternal damnation, I'm pretty darned sure my number one concern wouldn't be which boy I'm currently dating. For real.

Now, this seriously drove me crazy, because all Lenzi ever did was: A.) Drool over how gorgeous and beautiful Zak and Alden were, or B.) whine and complain about how sucky her life was.

That's it, the girl had no other thoughts.

Oh, but she can fold origami-- lots of origameeee!

(Because, you know, the main character has to have a "hobby" to make her seem "smart" and "interesting.")

Meanwhile, the immaturity levels reached astronomical proportions-- I'm talking whining and complaining galore. And when she does finally try to be the mature adult? She gets about as far as donning a pair of "tan slacks and cream-colored turtleneck"-- yes, that is an actual description of what she wears, I'm not making this up-- because clearly you have to dress like a flipping geriatric to appear "grown up." Slap on a pair of Velcro Easy Strides and Lenzi is good to go. Terrific!

OK, so on a more serious note, my main beef is that I thought the message Lenzi sends out to readers was absolutely horrible-- I found nothing about this character that was respectable, admirable or worth emulating: she was lazy, whiny, vapid, annoying, willingly ignorant, and worst of all, completely and desperately dependent on the acceptance of a guy-- no matter how controlling or abusive-- to validate her existence and her sense of self-worth.

I'm sorry, but that is a crap-tastic way to present a character.

If you're going to write about a self-deprecating girl who constantly belittles and demeans herself, you need to at least let her eventually come to the realization that she doesn't have to debase herself, and that she really is worthy of respect and healthy male attention. But if this never happens? If the main character never learns to respect herself? How am I the reader supposed to respect her? I honestly wish that Lenzi had developed into a strong and confident character. But this never happened. And it made me sad. Really, it did.

And then there's Reason Number Two why I didn't like this book-- Zak.

Whom I affectionately like to call Zak the Asshat.

Where do I even begin with how much I loathed this crappy excuse for a love interest?

Zak (the Asshat) was hands down the biggest jerk-wad I think I have ever read about. And what's worse, he was passed off as actually being in the running for Lenzi's heart! I mean if this is any indicator of what a cruddy little weasel he was-- the guy got drunk on page 40, tried to feel up Lenzi at her father's GRAVE and then abandoned her in a cemetery at night, in a bad neighborhood, on her freaking BIRTHDAY.

Say whaaaat?!?

Oh, you heard me right.

Which brings me to what I hated most about this book-- the dysfunctional, abusive and completely NOT romantic relationship between Lenzi and Zak. So after everything that Zak puts her through, Lenzi goes right back to him so she can appease her mountain of insecurity, essentially turning into a total doormat and kissing the ground he walks on for the next 20-something chapters.

Because, you know, God forbid she lose this absolutely perfect specimen of male chivalry.

Yes, I know she goes off with Alden to do her whole Ghost-Speaker thing, but here's what grinds my gears: Lenzi never gets a clue about what a dirt bag this guy really was-- and what really scared me was that the author never seemed to have a clue either, because even by the very end, Lenzi was still spouting about how Zak was such a "cool guy" and her only "real friend."

Well, NO-- no he wasn't.

Actually, he was a controlling, possessive, alcoholic, and even dangerous and abusive psycho. And I'm not OK with that never being addressed. I'm NOT OK with that kind of a person being passed off as romantic or attractive.

To hammer home my point, there is even one point at the end of the book where Lenzi gets into a car with drunk Zak, and tells him it's all her fault that their relationship failed and that she's a freak who isn't good enough for him-- this is the same guy, I'll mention one more time, who abandoned her in a bad neighborhood at night on her birthday, and possessively stalked her to the point where the police should have been involved! Umm, NOT OK!!

[Side Note: If I had to hear Zak say "babe" at the end of one more sentence, the book would have gotten hurled across Starbucks. (Not really, it was a library book-- and I wouldn't want to knock over anyone's triple venti macchiato-- but you know, in theory). Seriously, give me a fa-reaking break.]

Oh but wait ladies and gentlemen-- there's more douche-baggery ahead!

Let me introduce you to Alden, Lenzi's second love interest, whom I affectionately like to refer to as Asshat #2. Alden is Lenzi's Protector who keeps her safe from all the big, bad Malevolents. Except for the fact that he never tells her anything, keeps her completely in the dark, and did I mention that he is TURNED ON by Lenzi's fear and pain? Yes, I kid you not, it actually says in the book that Alden Asshat #2 is turned on by Lenzi's fear and pain.

I'm sorry, but isn't that the definition of sadism??? Why yes, yes it is! And how lovely-- it's being passed off as hott, sexy and romantic!

*****

[This is the part where I take a long, deep breath and try not to FLIP THE CRAP OUT.]

*****

Alrighty, so added to all this wonderfully disturbing twistedness, the book was also full of some of the most bizarre and ridiculous one-liners that I've ever read, which illicited reactions running the gamut from bursting out laughing hysterically to slapping my forehead in total frustration to looking up from the pages like someone had just run across my yard wearing nothing but a thong and a cowboy hat.

Oh, I know you're curious now! Well here are a few little gems that I couldn't resist mentioning:

"Even lifeless, he was hot." ~p.80 (OK, that's a little creepy...)

"I wasn't addicted to Xanax, but I could certainly become addicted to Alden." ~p.116 (I literally burst out laughing for a good 5 minutes after reading this.)

"Should I shake his hand or kiss him good night on the cheek? Maybe I should act like Spook and just lick his face." ~p.138 (No comment-- I'll just let you revel in the sheer awkwardness of this quote.)

We also have a wonderful villain in the story, named Smith. Smith is a crazed lunatic from the 19th century who is out to whack Lenzi due to a century-old grudge he has because Lenzi jilted him in some past lifetime. (Totally by coincidence, Smith was the only character in the book I liked.)

Finally-- and this is a HUGE pet peeve of mine in YA literature-- I HATE when the protagonist comes across as being mind-numbingly vapid and completely useless.

Now I don't want to beat a dead horse because I've already ranted about Lenzi, but I'm still not quite over her character and how she came across as being 115 pounds of pure dead-weight. Throughout the whole book, Lenzi is just thrown around by events outside her control and by the people (in this case, the boys) around her, and she reacts-- no real thought or action on her part changes the plot all that much, so she's basically a pretty-- albeit whiny-- little puppet.

And what's worse? It comes across as though Lenzi's entire sense of identity is wrapped up in whether she has a guy to fawn over. This bothers me big time, because not only is it annoying for me to have to read about; I think it sends a really bad message to readers in general. I mean, if you look at this story, Lenzi basically lets herself be a doormat for Zac to wipe his dirty boots on for the first half of the book, and the second half of the book is Lenzi pathetically trying to be a good Speaker just so she can impress Alden and live up to his expectations. AND she's also cheating on Zak, who yes, does win Asshat of the Year, but still, I was not at all impressed with our girl Lenzi throwing herself at Alden when *technically* she was still with Asshat-- I mean, Zak.

So yeah, I don't like any of that. Why couldn't she have wanted to be a kick-ass Speaker to make herself happy, to increase her own self-confidence, based on what she's capable of and not what some dude thinks of her? Not to stand on a feminist soap-box, but I'm just saying, I would have liked to see Lenzi be more independent, strong-willed and confident, without the whole "I'm nothing without a man" attitude.

Sigh... OK, so after that tirade, it's now time to say something positive about this book. It's a policy of mine that no matter how much I disliked a book, I won't leave a review without stating at least ONE thing that I did like about it. So I will say that the action scenes in this book were really well done, and the concept of the Speakers and Protectors freeing the Hindered and fighting the Malevolents was a really good one-- I thought it was interesting and creative.

Honestly, I did, I'm not just saying that to avoid getting the stink-eye numerous times for being a total jerk about this book...

So to wrap up this really long review, I will just say that there were lots of readers out there who adored Shattered Souls. I totally respect their opinions, and know that my review is only one of many. And even though I didn't like it, that doesn't mean that you won't! I can't recommend this book myself, but I would suggest checking out other reviewer's opinions of it to see whether it's something you want to get into.

[FINAL NOTE: To fully appreciate my feelings and reactions to this book, it's best to read my Goodreads status updates-- in fact, if I didn't get all of this off my chest while I was reading the book, I'm pretty sure I would've had an aneurysm, no joke. So a big thank-you to Goodreads for helping me to maintain my sanity.]

~Cover Talk~

OK, I admit it-- I was a total sucker for this cover. I saw that dang cover and I had to get this and read it. Unfortunately, I was not as impressed by the story inside as I was by the rose-petal-prettiness that first lured me in. And well, to be perfectly honest, the cover in person is a little strange if you look at it closely-- it sort of looks like the girl was cut in half at her torso and then petals were pasted on top. It is still beautiful, but the design could've been a little more put together...

LC's Rating:
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Ugh, I really feel bad that I disliked this book so much, especially since so many other readers loved it. But basically, I was completely disappointed with Lenzi, the main character. The story itself was creative, but the dysfunctional romance and undeveloped protagonist were total turn-offs for me!

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Blog Makeover! Sucked Into Books

Hi guys, so as you might know I have started dabbling in web design for bloggers. I have actually received a great response from people already! Here is my first completed blog makeover, for Savannah at Sucked Into Books-- head on over to check out her new look, and follow her book blog! :)

Makeover Pics!

Before:

After:
Custom header with matching background and coordinating colors

Matching Grab Button

Custom Rating System





Custom Social Media Buttons

Custom Signature

Link!

If you have a blog that could use a makeover, or even just a new header, grab button, or other little "tweaks," get in touch with me through my email! I would be happy to talk to you about a redesign-- and since I am new, my pricing is much less than everyone else ;)

Happy blogging all!!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

ARC Book Review: Perception

Author: Kim Harrington
Publisher: Scholastic Point
Series: Clarity #2
Release Date: March 1, 2012
Pages: 288
Read it in: 2 days
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Summary: When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you?

Everybody knows about Clarity "Clare" Fern. She's the psychic girl in school, the one who can place her hands on something and see hidden visions from the past. Only Clare would rather not be a celebrity. She prefers hanging back, observing. Her gift is not a game to her.

But then someone starts playing with her head . . . and heart. Messages and gifts from a secret admirer crop up everywhere Clare turns. Could they be from Gabriel, the gorgeous boy who gets Clare's pulse racing? Or from Justin, Clare's hopeful ex-boyfriend who'd do anything to win her back?

One thing is certain. Clare needs to solve this mystery, and soon. Because the messages are becoming sinister, and a girl in town has suddenly disappeared.

LC's Take:

I really can't explain how freaking awesome Kim Harrington's books are. Clarity was such an amazing surprise-- I had no idea how awesome the story would be-- and Perception was another brilliant mix of suspense, hilarity and endearing characters that was just impossible to put down. Yes, I am totally sold on this series!

Clare "Clarity" Fern has just had one crazy summer. After being at the center of solving a murder case involving a serial killer and her own brother as the prime suspect, she's ready to start a normal school year. But this year Clare is no longer the outcast at school who everybody used to call a freak because of her supernatural abilities-- after solving the case, she's now a celebrity, and everyone's vying to be her new best friend. However, things start getting weird when Clare starts getting letters and gifts from a creepy secret admirer. Then a girl in Clare's Cap Cod town turns up missing. Clare has no idea who she can and can't trust-- or if she'll be next on the list.

Perception was a bit different from Clarity, in that the plot centered more on Clare's relationships with Justin and Gabriel and less on her supernatural abilities. Also, there seemed to be more focus on school drama than on the murder case-- even though there is a murder mystery with a missing girl, just like in the last one. I really loved this book just as much as the first one though, because even if it wasn't quite as involved with the crime, it was just as fun, fast-paced and action-packed. And seriously guys, Kim Harrington is the master of cliff-hangers-- every chapter ended in such a way that I HAD to read the next!

Clare is definitely one of my biggest reasons for loving this series-- she's got major personality, she makes me laugh with her snarky thoughts and comments, but at the same time she's also a very genuine and sincere person. After solving the murder case from the first book, Clare is seriously starting to re-think the reasons she has supernatural powers and how she could use them to save others. Her brother Perry jokes that she's gone into Spider-Man mode, spouting about how "With great power comes great responsibility." But I love this about her character-- while she can be funny and clever, she has a deep-down desire to use her abilities to help others.

Perception is filled with crazy twists and turns, and honestly, I had no idea who the killer was until *almost* the very end. And as far as the romance goes-- well, personally I was rooting for Gabriel the whole time, I'm not really a big Justin fan, but I'll let you read it to see who Clare ends up choosing! Bottom line, this is a deliciously addicting series and I absolutely love Kim Harrington's writing. If you are a sucker for a good story with lots of suspense and humor sprinkled in, I would highly recommend starting these books!

~Cover Talk~

I really love the cover of Perception-- and that is saying something for the design, because I typically do not like white book covers, or at least I'm not drawn/attracted to them. That's actually why I had never planned on reading Clarity, because I wasn't a fan of the cover (although side note: Have you seen the NEW Clarity cover? It's such an improvement!) But anyways, I could be a little biased nonetheless due to the fact that there is a redhead and I love covers with redheads (Go figure, I am one haha). I also love the lighting on the girl's face, the birds in the background, the way the colors fade from the bright gold-red to green-- it's just all around a very beautiful book cover in my opinion! Which do you like better? The first or second?

LC's Rating:
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This sequel to Clarity was another amazing murder-mystery story that I could NOT put down! Kim Harrington will keep you guessing till the very end, and you'll still be laughing the entire time. I love this series!!
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Saturday, February 18, 2012

In My Mailbox! (14)



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Kristi over at The Story Siren, where we get to share about the books that we've gotten recently, whether it's in the mail, from the bookstore or the library!



Hi everyone! So here is this week's book haul, well actually it's the past 2 weeks, I've been busy moving so I didn't have time to do one last week. And hey! I shaved my time down by over 3 minutes so this one isn't nearly as long as my last 2 videos. Oh, and also, if I look kinda tired and sound a bit out of it here, it's because I was exhausted when I filmed this haha... But anyways, hope you enjoy!

Also, if you want to subscribe to my YouTube channel, it's Libraryland84 :)


~Book Blogger Link~

Savannah @ Sucked Into Books

Check out the blog makeover I did for Savannah and let me know what you think-- And if you are looking for your own blog makeover, shoot me an email!

~Goodreads Links~

In Honor by Jessi Kirby
 Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian
Cleopatra's Moon by Vicki Alvear Shectar
Auracle by Gina Rosati
Perception by Kim Harrington
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Book Review: City of Ashes

Author: Cassandra Clare
Series: The Mortal Instruments #2
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: March 25, 2008
Pages: 453
Read it in: 3 days
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Summary: Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go — especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil — and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings — and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breath-taking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.

LC's Take:

Holy crap-- seriously guys-- you NEED to drop everything you're doing and GO READ this series like, pronto! No pressure or anything. I'm just saying. It is totally rocking my socks off-- I really enjoyed City of Bones, the first in The Mortal Instruments series, and City of Ashes has just sucked me in even more. From the world-building to the characters to the storyline, I am so hooked into these books!

One of the things I love most about this series so far is that it keeps you on the edge of your seat, not knowing what to expect next. In City of Bones, we were thrown an absolutely crazy plot twist towards the end, so I knew going into City of Ashes ANYTHING could happen. And Cassandra gives just enough info away that you're begging for more, but not quite enough that you ever stop guessing as to what will come next. For this reason, City of Ashes was definitely a page-turner!

So this second book continues the story of Clary, Jace, Alec, Isabelle, and Simon warring against the evil Valentine, to save the powerful Mortal Instruments and make sure Valentine doesn't gain ultimate power to destroy all Downworlders-- vampires, werewolves, faeries and warlocks. Along the way, they team up with Magnus Bane again, Chief Warlock of NYC, the Queen of the Fairy Realm, and others to battle against the demons that Valentine has summoned to wipe out anyone he thinks is "impure" and ruin the Clave of Shadowhunters who live to keep a balance between everyone. In the last book, Valentine was after the Mortal Cup which gave him the power to turn humans into zombie-like Shadowhunters who would kill at his will. In this second book, Valentine is now after the Mortal Sword, which he can turn evil with the blood of 4 Downworlder children and then raise a demon army to follow his command.

I don't want to give too much away because it's really something you need to read and discover for yourself, but there were lots more surprises in store for the reader-- for example, the Faerie Queen makes mention that Valentine had used Clary and Jace as science experiments long ago. Now Clary is discovering that she can write out new and powerful runes that no one else even knows, and Jace can fly off buildings completely unharmed and fight off more demons than any other Shadowhunter. It's almost like Valentine tried to turn them into powerful weapons, and they are only now finding out what they are capable of...

I really love how Clary's character develops in this one, and the dynamics that play out between her and Simon, and her and Jace. Yes, it's a love triangle, but it's totally different than any other love triangle out there-- sometimes in disturbing ways, if you know what happened in the first book! But I am like 99% positive that Clary and Jace's "relationship" is going to turn out to be completely different than what it seems to be right now. (Otherwise, um... eeww. Haha.)

If I could change ONE thing about this book, it would be that more took place in the other worlds, like Idris. We hear about them all the time, and I am dying to actually GO there and see what these worlds are like! I do love the Institute but I think the story should move away from New York City for a change and go out into new places-- just a personal thought!

So I am all ready to get into City of Glass now, and can't wait to continue this crazy ride that Cassandra Clare has begun. If you love action and adventure and plot twists that keep you guessing, I would definitely recommend starting this series. Trust me, there is a reason they are so popular!


~Cover Talk~

I love this cover. I think I like it even more than the first-- the colors are just so awesome, I love how Clary's bright red hair stands out against the dark blue backdrop of the city sky, and I just love Clary's pose-- she looks like such a bad-ass Shadowhunter, and this is just the way I would picture her being-- really strong, defiant, and brave. So yes, really fantastic job on this cover!

LC's Rating:
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Total awesomeness and totally entertaining. City of Ashes had everything that makes you want to keep reading a book-- action, adventure, crazy plot twists, characters you connect with and a romance you can't help but get caught up in!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Book Review: Harbinger

Author: Sara Wilson Etienne
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Pages: 320
Read it in: 3 days
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Summary: When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn't expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she's going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she's come home. She's even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she's the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can't trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her - and the rest of the world too.

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller.

LC's Take:

Harbinger was a super creepy, darkly mysterious book with amazingly good writing that was also nothing like what I was expecting it to be. It definitely stood out from a lot of other YA fiction out there because it had such a unique and interesting plot twist-- which I'm not going to give away here, because I want you to be just as surprised and taken away as I was if you decide to read it!

Faye has suffered from terrifying visions and nightmares ever since an incident down at the beach when she was a little girl. Her parents think she is going insane. Heck, Faye even thinks she's going crazy. But she never expects her dad to bring her to Holbrook Academy one day, abandoning her to the sadistic tyranny of Dr. Mordoch and the school's "care takers." The craziness only gets worse, as Faye and the members of her new Holbrook "family" start waking up on the floor of their rooms with red stains on their hands and disturbing drawings on the floor...

So let me just start by saying, holy crap was this book creepy! The mystery was done really well and definitely gave me chills-- I mean, people's hands turning red overnight and strange symbols drawn on the floor and a secret diary and talisman hidden in an old library? Add in some screaming statues and an old set of tarot cards with an unnerving poem on the back, and I was seriously on the edge of my seat!

I also really liked Faye's character, mainly because she was smart and completely aware of what was happening to her. She wasn't some clueless, TSTL bimbo who couldn't put two and two together-- she knows something very strange is going on, has been going on for awhile, and she's absolutely determined to figure out what it is. It made the story so much easier to follow because I was reading from the POV of an intelligent character.

The romance in this book was more understated than a lot of other YA books, which I thought was kind of refreshing. There is some romance going on between Faye and Kel, but for the most part it takes a back seat to focus on the mysterious harbinger plot. I think a lot of readers will like Kel's dark, emo-ish vibe but honestly, he didn't really stick with me as a character, and I don't remember all that much about him...

So with that being said, there were some things I didn't like about this book as well. First of all, the questions Faye asks herself are repeated over and over-- and OVER again to the point where I was like, OK give us some freaking answers already! There was a lot of repetition in other places as well that got to be pretty tedious, and about three-quarters of the way through I was starting to wish that the story would just move forward. Now, I'm one of those people who would almost never DNF a book three quarters of the way through unless it was absolutely putting me into a coma-- I'm just OCD like that-- but just to warn the reader: there is a "hump" to get over in this book, that was kind of frustrating.

On top of tedious parts, there were other parts that were (I thought) very overwhelming. Within the last 100 pages or so there was just so much explanation and background info being thrown at me that I started to get a slight headache. Basically, the mystery unravels of who exactly "The Harbinger" is, and what their purpose is, and it all goes back to like, 5,000 years ago! I don't want to give anything away, but the final part of the book was both totally unexpected and a **little** difficult for me to follow. By the end, I had things figured out for the most part, but I was nervous there for a few chapters that I was going to wind up being completely lost!

Harbinger did end on a positive note for me, despite some hang-ups in the middle. And also, the writing was absolutely beautiful, I have to add that! I was really impressed by Sara's writing style. I'm not sure this book is for everyone, but I would go for it if you are looking for something that will give you the creeps for it's darkly disturbing mystery, or if you just want something really different than other YA fiction out there!

~Cover Talk~

What a unique and eye-catching cover to go along with an equally unique and suspenseful book! And not only is it wonderfully different and gets you thinking (um... why is she blind-folded?), it's also a perfect fit for the plot. You know those books where you're like, what the heck does this cover really have to do with the story? Well, as you read this book you'll realize just how much thought went into the design of this cover. Also, I think that the stark paleness of the girl against the deep blue background is really beautiful. Definitely like this one!

LC's Rating:
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Harbinger definitely gets points in my book for creativity and creepiness. This book was nothing like what I had been expecting, and I love being surprised! However, some parts got to be either tedious or overwhelming, which led to confusion. Luckily, things ended on a positive note!

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review: City of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Series: The Mortal Instruments #1
Release Date: January 1, 2007
Pages: 485
Read it in: 4 days

Summary: When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder -- much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing -- not even a smear of blood -- to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

LC's Take:

Wow. I just need a minute here.

**Whew!** OK, I think I'm good.

Yup, that is pretty much my reaction to this book. So much happened and the ending was so crazy that I don't even know where to begin, but basically, City of Bones rocked! It wasn't perfect, but it had that energy and "special something" that just leaves you craving more.

So I can't really explain much of the plot since I don't want to give anything away, but the story starts out with Clary and her friend Simon who are at a club one night. Clary witnesses a murder that no one else can see and before she knows it, she is being pulled into a paranormal world of "Shadowhunters" who kill demons. Along the way she also finds out there are vampires, werewolves, faeries, and all kinds of other creatures-- and that the darkest and most dangerous of these has kidnapped her mother.

I absolutely loved Clary because she actually had a **gasp!** personality and wasn't afraid to speak her mind. She was strong, witty, honest and down-to-earth. While she was vulnerable, she could also stand on her own two feet and defend herself in a fight. No wimpy, wishy-washy character, Clary was also not "too" overdone to the point of being annoying or mean. And as the story went on? I only liked her more and more!

The other characters had just as much of a unique personality as Clary and this made all of them memorable-- they all had their own stories and struggles. Isabelle is the stuck-up and snotty beautiful vixen who turns out to have a sweet side. Her brother Alec was extremely stand-offish to the point of being violent, but then you learn that he is in a really desperate situation. Simon, Clary's best friend since childhood, has a dorky sense of humor but has secret feelings for a certain somebody. And Jace? Oh Jace, where to begin... I didn't like him at all but I think I'm going to as the story goes on! And even though I thought he was a mean, self-centered, egotistical jerk who treats Clary like crap, I thought he was a really well-developed and complex character. I am looking forward to seeing how he changes in the next books.

I also really loved the interactions between Clary and Jace. Why? Because they couldn't stand each other. But then they also had this crush thing going on. And then something ABSOLUTELY CRAZY happens towards the end, and I was totally thrown for a loop-- you're just going to have to read the book to find out what happens! But anyways yeah, it was so entertaining to listen to them argue and squabble back and forth.

I think what impressed me most about this book was that the plot was so intricate and encompassed so many different things-- demon hunters, vampires, werewolves, faeries, different worlds-- but it was told in a simple and uncomplicated way. There were maybe a few isolated parts that got me a little confused, but considering how detailed this story was, it ended up coming across as intriguing, not convoluted. This makes me think that Cassandra Clare is a really awesome storyteller.

And oh my gosh the ENDING!! I won't say anything but seriously guys?! This was one of the CRAZIEST plot twists I have read in a long time! I'm still getting over it, not sure I believe it. I guess I am just going to have to high-tail it to the library really soon to pick up the next book in this series! Cassandra Clare has successfully sucked me into the Mortal Instruments world, and I am dying to find out what happens next. I think this is going to be a dangerously addictive series!!

~Cover Talk~

Well funny story about this book and it's cover-- first of all, yes I do think it is pretty awesome. But... at the same time, I felt kind of awkward carrying it around in public because it has a gigantic picture of a half-naked guy on it! No I'm not a prude, but I guess I was just self conscious that people would think I was reading some paperback romance novel... or worse haha. So when I was at Delta Sonic getting an oil change the other day, I was very covertly trying to read it and not let any of the guys at the garage see the cover! But yeah, I guess it's still pretty bad-ass, and I'm in love with the other series covers too.

LC's Rating:
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Non-stop adventure and plot twists, City of Bones was one crazy book! Not to mention the characters were awesome-- not all of them were likable, but regardless they were all done extremely well. I am definitely looking forward to reading the next book in the Mortal Instruments series!
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Let's Link Up! The New Linky Widget...


Hello all!

I just wanted to let everyone know that there is now a NEW way to follow my blog. Because non-Blogger blogs will be losing their GFC (Google Friend Connect) widgets starting this March, I wanted to offer everyone a new way to follow me, and it's totally free and easy to sign up, I literally did it like 3 minutes ago. To create your own Linky Followers account to manage your blog followers and the blogs you follow, just go to www.linkyfollowers.com.

If you want to follow me using the new Linky Follower widget, it is right below my GFC followers (AKA "I ♥ My Followers"). I hope this helps everyone without a Blogger blog, so you can still follow me! And if you have the new Linky Followers widget, I will be sure to follow you as well :)

Happy Reading everyone!!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Book Review: Cold Kiss

Author: Amy Garvey
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: September 20, 2011
Pages: 304
Read it in: 3 days
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Summary: It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.

Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants—what she must do—is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her—and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

LC's Take:

Hmmmm... OK, so... I wasn't a huge fan of this book. Cold Kiss tells the story of Wren, a high school girl, who happens to have magic powers that her mom has kept a secret from her all her life-- until her boyfriend Danny dies in a car accident, and Wren finds out that she can use her powers to bring him back to life. The problem is that once she does, Danny isn't the same...
*****
When I first read the premise for this book, I was thinking to myself alright, this could either go one way and be really awesome, or it could just fall flat as a pancake. Unfortunately, I felt like it did the second of those two. I had numerous problems with it almost from the beginning, and even though I kept hoping the story and characters were going to get better, it all just kept getting worse.

So my first and biggest problem with this book was the main character Wren. She was completely unlikable. Wait, scratch that-- she was a miserable, stuck-up, ungrateful little toerag who I just wanted to slap into next week for being so incredibly selfish, mean, and bratty. And what really ground my gears about her, besides her insufferable and immature attitude, was her delusional belief that after raising her dead boyfriend back to life and basically turning him into a brain-dead zombie who lives in an abandoned garage, she still somehow thought that she had everything under control and refused to let anyone help her! Gah! So frustrating!

Alright, I will give the girl a little credit-- Wren does understand the horrible consequences of her decisions and she knows that she has to fix things somehow-- I just didn't like the way she went about it. I also get that Wren was incredibly frustrated because she has these crazy powers and no one-- not even her own mother-- will explain them to her. So I guess in a way it's no wonder that she ended up using them in one of the worst ways possible. But despite all of this? She still came across to me as a really crappy person.

Danny, Wren's undead boyfriend, was not much better. Honestly, he was laughable-- and not in a good way, because I feel like the author was trying to make him seem like this super-tragic, sexy undead guy, but instead he just came across as ridiculous and pathetic. I didn't feel sorry for him, which I know as the reader, I was supposed to. And this made me feel like a big, unsympathetic jerk.

Then we have Gabriel, the new hott guy in town who wants to help Wren out of her situation. He annoyed the crap out of me too-- why? Because he's only known Wren for what, like a couple weeks? And he's inexplicably bending over backwards to help out a girl who only responds to him with venomous retorts and ice-queen attitude. Why the heck is he even attracted to her? She treats him like complete and utter crap! This is not realistic at all, and I hate when books portray these totally unrealistic relationships that make zero sense. Almost every interaction was Gab acting like a love-sick puppy towards Wren, who only threw bitchy comments at him if he so much as looked at her the wrong way, and then Wren wondering why Gab likes her so much (a question I also had). It just baffled me that Gab continually took Wren's abuse and was so willing to help her out of a situation that she had selfishly gotten herself into in the first place. In real life, he would've ditched her.

Besides the annoying main characters whom I either hated or couldn't stop laughing at, the ideas in the story were very vague and wishy-washy. Based on the fact that Wren brought Danny back from the dead and that she has had some kind of "power" ever since she became a teenager, the reader would assume that she's a witch, right? But this was only hinted at throughout the book with a few mentions of spells and magic, and nothing was ever really developed too deeply. I don't think Wren even mentioned being an actual "witch" until Chapter 21! This made the whole paranormal aspect of the story really confusing for me.

Finally, I think that this book just took itself too seriously-- it tried to make some deep, meaningful, romantic story out of a premise that is to begin with pretty ridiculous. I would have liked it so much better if it was a comic, light-hearted story about some teenage witch and her undead zombie boyfriend getting into all kinds of shenanigans (love that word) and ending with a touching, happy ending. Unfortunately, any humor that was in the story seemed like it was just awkwardly thrown in as an afterthought, so it didn't come across as actually being funny. (Fail.)

So I don't know, Cold Kiss was readable, it's not like I ever felt like I wasn't going to be able to finish it, but it was one of those unfortunate cases where I just didn't like or wasn't interested in the characters-- and if I'm not invested in the characters, the rest of the story isn't going to do much for me. Let me also state however, that there are many readers out there who did like this book and thought that the characters were really well-done and multi-dimensional. Even though I wasn't a fan, you might want to check out some positive reviews on it because you might end up really liking it!

~Cover Talk~

I think this is an interesting cover, but it's not a favorite by any means. I do really, really love the font for the title though! Not only is it beautiful, but the letters are also raised and irridescent, which I always think is a nice touch. The close-up of the girls lips is definitely elegant-looking and it almost looks like she is encased in a thick layer of ice, which fits the story very well. However, I don't think it stands out much when compared to all those other gorgeous YA covers out there...

LC's Rating:
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Unfortunately, Cold Kiss seriously fell flat for me-- mainly because I either couldn't stand or couldn't connect with the characters. I also thought that the overall story was a little confusing and took itself too seriously. Some humor would have been appreciated in this rather morbid plot...

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

In My Mailbox! (13)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Kristi over at The Story Siren, where we get to share about the books that we've gotten recently, whether it's in the mail, from the bookstore or the library!

Hi all, so this week is my second attempt at IMM vlogging-- watch and be awed! (Haha, not really, it's super choppy and awkward in some spots but I managed not to say "um" 50 billion times this week so... improvement! lol)


Also, I would LOVE if you subscribed to my YouTube channel, which is Libraryland84 -- thanks so much for the love and support! ;)



Goodreads Links

The Waiting Sky by Lara Zielin
Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne
Cold Fury by T.M. Goeglein
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
The Wicked and the Just by J. Anderson Coats
Silence by Michelle Sagara

Other mentions:

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
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Creative Commons License