**Notice** Due to transfering back from a godaddy hosted wordpress blog back to blogger, reviews published before june 2017 don`t all have a pretty layout with book cover and infos. Our apologies.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

After loving Gretchen McNeil's Ten, I decided to give her latest book, 3:59 a shot. I'm beginning to think that maybe Ten was a wild-card because I was extremely disappointed with both Possess and 3:59. 3:59 has a killer premise, but in the end the plot felt too convoluted and messy to the point where I became irritated with this book. Parallel universe and multi-reality books are usually hit or miss for me and 3:59 clearly didn't work for me.

At 3:59, Josie's world collides with an alternate reality in which her doppelganger, Jo lives.  On an impulse, the two decide to switch places because Josie is very eager to escape her present situation and welcomes a way to evade her life. Josie is sucked into a world very different from her own and soon, she realizes that she made a huge mistake.


The problem with 3:59 is that it tries to rely too heavily on scientific concepts and these concepts didn't mesh well with the book. McNeil tried to make this parallel dimensions feel plausible by using scientific explanations, but the science she used was very theoretical and complex. I felt like the science in this novel didn't feel legitimate and I couldn't suspend my belief at all. I didn't believe that parallel universes were plausible at all, despite the fact that McNeil kept throwing terminology and explanations at the reader.


Despite the plausibility of 3:59, it was an interesting read and I really liked the main character, Josie. Josie just wants to escape her life and she wants to live in a fantasy world of her own; I've felt that feeling way too many times and I loved seeing how McNeil broached this subject. I loved how Josie wasn't afraid to be nerdy and to unleash her inner science aficionado when trying to decipher the link between the universes. I truly wished the Nox and the parallel universes would've been explained in a clearer fashion because the plot really hinges on these two devices and the lack of clarification led the plot to collapse in on itself.


I'm still a bit hazy on what went down in this book and as a result, I can't recommend it to readers. Some readers will love this one and yet another faction of readers will be bewildered by all of the science mumbo jumbo. I fell somewhere in the middle and my lack of comprehension only partially clouded my enjoyment of this book. I will be reading more of McNeil's novels, but I still can't help but think that maybe I wouldn't enjoy TEN if I would reread it.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Peacemaker by Marianne De Pierres

PEACEMAKER shows us a very different Australia, one in which nature exists only in a reserve and walled megacities are a way of life. There's not a lot of explanation about why the world has changed so much, though some information does dribble out over the course of the novel. On top of that, there's all sorts of genre blending in PEACEMAKER. There are elements of westerns, science fiction, procedurals, and urban fantasy. It's a heady mixture and De Pierres should be commended for taking the best elements of these genres and incorporating them into her story and world. There is also a strong supernatural component, though Virgin doesn't realize it at first, thinking that her totem, Aquila, is just an imaginary animal.  Because of all of these elements, the Peacemaker series mythology has some of the most original and interesting worldbuilding and I was completely sucked in.

Virgin is a ranger in Birrimun (Big) Park, one of the nature reserves I mentioned. Founded by her father, the park is supposed to preserve Australia's unique habitat and act as a tourist attraction in such a heavily industrialized and built-up world. Virgin’s job is to maintain public safety and order in the park so she's understandably upset when her bosses bring in outside help in the shape of Nate Sixkiller, an old-fashioned US lawman, who is ostensibly in Australia to deal with drug smuggling. Virgin is an interesting mix of confidence and insecurity and I quite liked her. She's got a brashness about her that's tempered by the fact that she's always worried that she's going crazy... Nate is more inscrutable and we don't get to know him as well.

There are a couple negatives to point out, though. I have to say, De Pierres does play into the whole taciturn Native American thing a bit more than I would like, and the representation of American accent is not ideal. Representation of non-White characters is really important to me and I felt like Nate was a bit of a caricature at certain points. The other thing is the protagonist's first name, which I really didn't like. Virgin just isn't a good name for a character. Virginia, yes, Virgin, no. It just doesn't work for me. In fact, I almost skipped the book entirely because I didn't like the name. Petty perhaps, but who doesn't pass on a book for something a bit superficial, like a bad cover, every once in a while?

There's at least one more book in the series, due out next summer, so this is only the beginning for Virgin and Nate. I'm curious to see how things will develop now that Virgin's eyes have been opened to the supernatural. I'd recommend PEACEMAKER to folks who likes cleverly blended genres and interesting worldbuilding, with the caveat that there are a few flaws in the novel.


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Married With Zombies by Jesse Petersen

I’ve been binge watching The Walking Dead lately so that made me revisit my favorite zombie novels, MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES. Since it’s nothing like the famous AMC TV show, I would say the only thing they have in common is zombies. However, this is the book that started my fascination with zombies. Before, I was a little disgusted/afraid of them but now, I simply see them as unfortunate beings that can sometimes bring comedy in books like MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES.

I guess you can say the book begins like any contemporary book where a couple is having marital issues. Sarah and David have been seeing a couple’s therapist about their problems and they were actually on their way to therapy when they first discovered the apocalypse was upon them. The whole scenario is actually quite funny and ironic because what was making their marriage fail was their ordinary life, while what eventually makes them a stronger unit is the end of the world. And the most ironic thing is that what really begins their reconciliation is actually killing their marriage counselor turned zombie.

I would say Jesse Petersen’s comedy is really original. I’ve never encountered another book that’s quite like it. The humor and the zombie-ness is balanced perfectly and she is able to pull off the comedy really well, in what could have been a disastrous attempt to make light of a difficult genre to write. I really admire her ability to make you laugh and keep things light, while still making her hero and heroine fight off hordes of zombies. And she’s not afraid of gruesome details. And what’s even better is the fact that the humour is actually the kind of humour that makes you laugh out loud and make you stop reading because you have the absorb the greatness of the hilarity. It’s not just haha filler-type comedy.

Sarah and David’s quest to find safety makes them depend on one another. Their hope, not only to survive this thing, but their hope for their relationship makes this somewhat a romantic story. It does have those chick-lit moments but for those of you who stay clear of those, they are few and far between. It’s still nice to read about their relationship and how it evolves throughout the novel.

If you’re remotely interested in zombies, you definitely have to read this book. If you’re curious about zombies, you definitely have to read this book. If you’re crazy about zombies, you definitely  have to read this book. If you think zombies aren’t your thing, you have to at least try it, please! It will most probably change your opinion about zombies. This is without a doubt, my favorite zombie book and series. You can’t get any better than this!


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [105]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!



For Review:

Free To Fall by Lauren Miller

Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre


Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige


Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Rebel Heart by Moira Young

[inlinkz_linkup id=398193]


Friday, April 25, 2014

The Forever Song blog tour

• What are your top three book endings (stand-alone or series)?

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Greene. Not many books can make me cry. The end of this one did. In an airport. Full of people.

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling. I grew up with Harry, and when his story came to a close, I felt a part of my own life had finished.

1. The Return of the King by J.R.R Tolkien. Okay, honestly, I read this a long time ago
and can barely remember much of the story, but I do remember the very last line, and how it was just the perfect end. When Sam comes home to his family after seeing Frodo off, and says: "Well, I'm back."

• The End: The trickiest/most fun/most rewarding aspects of bringing a series to a close?

The trickiest thing about finishing a series is giving the characters an ending that makes sense, while also satisfying the fans. You know that you can't please everyone, and not everyone is going to like where you went with the story, but the ending should make sense for the characters and the world. I hope that readers close the last book with feelings of both sadness and contentment. Sadness in knowing that the story has come to a close, but knowing that it couldn't have happened any other way.

• What do you like to do when you’re not writing ?

When I'm not writing I can either be found at my art desk making clay figurines, or playing games in front of the Xbox One or PS4. I also take Wing Tsun kung fu and kali (better known as Hit People with Sticks class) several days a week. And I'm on twitter a lot, chatting or just wasting time, so I'm very rarely bored.


About the book:
TheForeverSongbyJulieKagawaAllison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.




Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the path is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal.


The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost— the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie. In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

My Review

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository


Each tour stop is offering up the winner’s choice of either THE IMMORTAL RULES, THE ETERNITY CURE or THE FOREVER SONG - whichever book of the series you might be missing!


There are also 2 grand prizes:

• 1 winner will get a complete set of Julie Kagawa’s books, including The Iron Fey Saga and The Blood of Eden Saga!

• 1 winner will get a $100 gift card from either iTunes, Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open to US/Canada and ends May 2nd.


Julie Kagawa authorAbout Julie Kagawa

Julie Kagawa was born in Sacramento, California. But nothing exciting really happened to her there. So, at the age of nine she and her family moved to Hawaii, which she soon discovered was inhabited by large carnivorous insects, colonies of house geckos and frequent hurricanes. She spent much of her time in the ocean, when she wasn’t getting chased out of it by reef sharks, jellyfish and the odd eel.

To pay the rent, Julie worked in different bookstores over the years, but discovered the managers frowned upon her reading the books she was supposed to be shelving. So she turned to her other passion: training animals. She worked as a professional dog trainer for several years, dodging Chihuahua bites and overly enthusiastic Labradors, until her first book sold and she stopped training to write full-time.

Julie now lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where the frequency of shark attacks are at an all-time low. She lives with her husband, two obnoxious cats, one Australian shepherd who is too smart for his own good and the latest addition, a hyperactive Papillon puppy.

Tour Schedule:
Monday, April 7th - Harlequin Paranormal Romance Blog

Tuesday, April 8th - fiktshun

Wednesday, April 9th - The PageTurners

Thursday, April 10st - Booksand Things

Friday, April 11th - Ticket ToAnywhere

Monday, April 14th - TwoChicks on Books

Tuesday, April 15th - Parajunkee

Wednesday, April 16th - Refracted Light Reviews

Thursday, April 17st - Bewitched Bookworms

Friday, April 18th - Mundie Moms

Monday, April 21th - A Book Obsession

Tuesday, April 22nd - The Book Cellar

Wednesday, April 23th - Supernatural Snark

Thursday, April 24st - The Busy Bibliophile

Friday, April 25th - Tyngas Reviews


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reunion by Meg Cabot

Cabot introduced a new element to this story by having Suze's best friend from New York, Gina, come visit her for a week since it was her Spring break. I have to admit that I was excited for this and I enjoyed a lot of the shenanigans that ensued between the two long-time friends, but I hated the cliches that Gina brought with her. It seems that Cabot is drawn towards stereotyping and cliches. I mean, suddenly every single male in the book aside from the ones too young to understand the female anatomy was tripping over themselves to impress the Amazon-look-alike goddess? I'm over it. Was not a fan of that.

I did, however, think that the RLS Angels plight was interesting. At first, I really hated them. Four rich kids that model, captain athletics teams, and win elections because they've got the looks, the muscles, the money, and the connections to get everything they want. They die in the middle of the night because they're driven off of a highway at a sharp turn, go over the guardrail, and plummet hundreds of feet to their death. Not a nice way to go out, if you ask me. They're bent on revenge because they're determined that their deaths were the product of a deliberate murder, not a car accident, and they're bound to extract revenge on the boy who they think prematurely ended their lives: Michael Meducci. Michael flew under Suze's radar at school as a shy and awkward nerd, but he's suddenly thrust into the spotlight because a month after his sister was put into a coma, he was involved in a car accident that took the lives of four of the areas most high-profile rich kids. But something's off about Michael, and it's up to Suze to figure out what that is.

The mystery evolving around this case was superb, much stronger than the one that I struggled with in book two. I have to say that the perpetrator outted themself after directly threatening the lives of those close to Suze. Not a smart thing to do when girl's got some serious scheming and fighting skills, you know? There was a lot of unraveling of lies and even a few moments that had my heart stuck in my throat as I tried to flip the pages at a rapid speed. And though I hate people like the RLS Angels and am not a fan of some of their methods, I can understand where their rage came from and they earned some brownie points from me for stepping aside and attempting to allow Suze to do what she needed to do. With that in mind, Suze made some not-so-wise decisions in this one that had me cringing, but she learns a lot from her mistakes and had me praising the fact that it's not easy to kill a mediator.

And then there's Jesse...How can I not talk about Jesse? Some serious plot development occurred in this book. No declarations of feelings and no intimacy of any sort, but something so miniscule occurred that made my heart burst in my chest because this is Jesse and Suze and things are never easy with them. I mean ah! My inner romantic is so happy and anxious for book four right now. Book two was definitely a small bump in the road and we're back and better than ever with book three!

Now, if you excuse me, I've got some serious reading to do for book four!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In The Shadows by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo

In The Shadows is a graphic novel hybrid, in a style that's reminiscent of The Invention Of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck (both of which were written by Brian Selznick).  The text in this novel was written by Kiersten White and the novel's artwork was illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo;  both White's prose and Bartolo's artwork are extremely well-crafted and masterful, but for some reason I didn't really enjoy this novel.  In The Shadows follows two converging story-lines and I wasn't a fan of the convoluted way these story-lines connected.

Kiersten White's prose is incredibly addicting and transports to a small, remote town that a witch inhabits.  My main qualm with In The Shadows is that I never formed a connection with her characters, most likely due to the alternating plot lines. This apathy towards the characters never allowed me to invest myself in the story and have a desire to continue reading. I could have just set this book aside and I wouldn't have cared at all because there wasn't a hook factor that allured me back to In The Shadows.  I did decide to finish this because it's not lengthy and I was curious to see if the ending would redeem this book for me; the ending was rather messy and I feel as if quitting early on would've been a better option.

Though Kiersten White and Bartolo are talented individuals, In The Shadows failed to make an impression on me and this was one of the weaker graphic novels that I've read lately.  Pulling a graphic novel like this isn't an easy feat and it saddens me that In The Shadows failed at doing this alternating story structure justice.  I think Kiersten White's novels are far better and I'd recommend picking them up instead of In The Shadows.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Kept by Shawntelle Madison

After reading COVETED, I dove into KEPT since it, too, had been sitting in my (virtual) TBR pile for ages. I wasn't sure what to expect from the love triangle and Natalya's continued drive to rejoin the pack but I was confident that Shawntelle Madison would deliver a great story. And KEPT is a fun book. There's lots of excitement, as Natalya prepares for the trials, the physical tests she must take to re-enter the pack. But Natalya's training is pushed to the back burner when her father doesn't come home after trying to pay his moon debt to Roscoe, the alpha of another pack. Nat takes it upon herself to investigate since her brother's baby is due at any moment and ends up on a very bizarre road trip, complete with mystery package and support group in tow.

I really enjoyed this storyline because it gives us more insight into the werewolf world. Madison's werewolves have a Code, which they take very seriously. It governs every behaviour and decision. A moon debt is a Big Deal and the stakes are quite high since failure results in death. And the drive is quite entertaining because Nick, Heidi, and Abby end up accompanying Natalya on her drive. I won't say too much about the details but I can promise you that the Coveted world mythology grows significantly as a result.

Another great part of KEPT is the fact that Natalya's struggles with her anxiety and OCD continue to be depicted realistically. She hasn't gotten better overnight. In fact, it's a constant battle for her, which seems to be an honest portrayal of the problem. As someone who does not suffer from these types of illnesses, it's hard for me to know if it's completely accurate but Madison has created a very sympathetic and likeable heroine in Natalya and her problems are just one aspect of her character. Thankfully, Natalya is making some progress and is able to push her worries aside in times of crisis, which shows a lot of growth. And it's growth she needs to face the pack's trials, which involve a 10-mile race, an obstacle course, and a one-on-one fight. I figured Madison would drag things out but she brings the matter to a head in the final part of KEPT.

The downside for me was the love story. I still don't really like Thorn, though we do finally get an explanation for why he left five years ago and never came back. It's not what I expected and it makes him a more sympathetic character, which is good. And it creates a whole new aspect of the world to explore. I can only hope that Madison will continue with this plot thread because I'd love to know more about this side of things. On the plus side, however, we do get a partial resolution for the romantic elements, which was a pleasant surprise.

KEPT is a strong follow-up to COVETED, the first book in the series. Madison is a talented author and she's assembled a memorable cast of characters. We have a little while to wait before the next story in this world but I'm sure it will be a doozy.

Read an excerpt



Sunday, April 20, 2014

Black Gold by Vivian Arend

I'm really glad I discovered this series. Entertaining and fun, this paranormal romance had me hooked from the first page, until the very end. It might sound silly, but I wish I had discovered this book a few years back when I was doing a reading challenge where I wanted to read one book set in every state of the USA and province of Canada. Yukon was always one that I could never find, or at least I couldn't find a book that interested me instead of boring me to tears. The setting of the book is definitely majestic, and I love the way the author takes the time to describe the wonders of the north.

The interactions between the two main characters is what makes this book worth reading. Shaun is a lone wolf from the far north that's set in his ways, but has been having some strange, lonely feelings lately. The urge to find his mate couldn't have hit him at a better time, as he and Gem stumble upon each other, quite literally. Their instant attraction is because of some primal werewolf instinct, and while I'm always skeptical about these mating urges, it was pretty well done in this case. Their initial contact ends up with a steamy scene but the way their relationship develops is what makes this mating thing more believable.

Gem, is from Georgia, so she and Shaun couldn't be more different. Raised in seclusion and with a protective father, she never got the taste of true freedom until coming to Yukon on a research project to finish her studies. I think her father's protection is a little over the top, especially since she didn't meet her first human until she was ten years old. That proves how little freedom she had growing up and I can't blame her for wanting to get away from all that, by going as far north as possible. As the main character, I had a little trouble with Gem because she always seemed to be this naive, gentle belle from the south, without any werewolf strength or guts. I mean I admire her for deciding to visit the Yukon on her own, and apparently she has all this werewolf mojo, but she doesn't really act upon it, leaving all the hard fighting to Shaun.

Shaun is exactly how I would picture a northern werewolf. His independence is obviously something he thrives for, but at the same time, his dedication to the pack is ingrained in his wolf DNA. I think he and Gem are good for each other because she learns about freedom from him, and he learns about attachments from her. The heartwarming love story isn't necessarily original but definitely enjoyable. The steamy love scenes are quite numerous but well placed, without making the book only about the sex and the mating. Shaun and Gem do end up in some trouble, with them being kidnapped, and I wish the story could have been a bit more elaborate on the intricacies of the different shapeshifting politics. It's nice that the author wanted to concentrate on the developing relationship, but getting more in depth explanation behind some actions could have made the book a little more action packed.

One thing I was a little peeved about is the fact that in one scene, the main characters were snubbing Perrier, more or less saying that it's a drink for sissies and that it's disgusting. Personally, I love Perrier and it's one thing to say that they don't like it, but it's another thing to completely insult the people who do like it. I mean, this isn't something that would prevent me from reading the rest of the book or buying another of the author's books, but for that small moment in the story, I didn't like the characters and I didn't like the author for writing that scene. Just thought I should point that out.

A fast paced story and likable characters is what stands out the most, for me, about this book. The steamy love scenes are definitely an added bonus and the mating attraction kind of has you wish something that deep and soulful existed for humans too. The banter between Gem and Shaun kept the story light and fresh. These werewolves aren't your blood thirsty shapeshifters but you definitely don't want to mess with them and their politics. When I think of paranormal romance, this is exactly the type of book that comes to mind. The fact that it's about werewolves makes it that much better.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [104]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


It's been an eternity since my last Stacking the Shelves and I am sorry about that but I've been extremely busy with the girls.

Here's a recent picture of them ^^


Now onto my books, those are the ones I received since February 22nd.


For review:

The Perilous Sea by Sherry Thomas
The Mark of the Tala by Jeffe Kennedy
Enslaved by the Others by Jess Haines
Hunt the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy


Prince's Fire by Amy Raby
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas

What did you get?

tynga[inlinkz_linkup id=393859]

Friday, April 18, 2014

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Karou lives a double life. Her official persona is an art student who lives in Prague with very few friends and an annoying ex-boyfriend. What people don't know is that she is also an errand girl for a paranormal creature living in a parallel world. How badly her best friend would freak out if she ever found out?

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was a truly original and highly engaging read! I've had this book on my shelf almost since its release and I can't believe I had not read it yet. The novel was split in roughly three parts. The first one we get to know Karou and her world, the second part we witness how she deals with the destruction of her world as she's always known it and the last one, she discovers who she really is, at last. I truly enjoyed all three parts, but I have to say, the last part was by far my favorite!

Laini Taylor has an awesome talent when it comes to keeping us in the dark, yet feeding us enough information to keep us railed in. It takes a long time to really know how Karou came to work for Brimstone, why does he need her to gather all kind of teeth, what are the angels up to, what really is going on and what the lore behind it all is. The mystery kept me glued to the pages and when the facts were revealed bit by bit I basked in the information! This is mostly why I enjoyed the third part so much, because everything makes even more sense then I gathered along the treacherous way.

The lore was especially rich and colorful and I will refrain from giving you any details because it would spoil everything but know that everything that's happening is about a distant war between angels and chimeras. It's honestly the first time I came across chimeras in a novel and I really liked it.

The characters proved to be engaging and I liked every one of them. Karou is colorful (her hair grows blue!) and spontaneous, making for an highly interesting protagonist! Brimstone is shroud in mystery and the desire to pierce the fog kept me awake at night. Akiva turned out to be more than I expected and I really love him to pieces. Despite all this love fest, Madrigal turned out to be my favorite, and I'll let you discover why :)

Needless to say to conclusion was of epic proportion and I am really glad I have the second book already sitting on my shelves. With the third and final book in the series releasing on April 17th, it's the perfect time for you to pick up this amazing YA trilogy! Its originality will surprise you and I'm sure you won't be disappointed :)


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is easily one of the most frustrating books I've ever read and yet at the same time, I absolutely loved it. This book is truly an unique addition to the paranormal genre and there is nothing on the market that's similar to this. Between is a lush, gothic surprise filled with an extremely seductive, yet irritating romance, beautiful prose and heart-pounding, frightening moments.

Violet White lives in a remote estate on a cliff with her brother,  Luke; Violet's parents work in the art industry and are absent from their childrens' lives. One day, a mysterious stranger named River West responds to Violet's ad and would like to a boarder in her guest house. River West is not what he seems and nothing good can come from falling in love with the devil...

River West is such a despicable, infuriating character and yet, at the same time he's extremely seductive and alluring. Even when River does horrible actions, Violet can't stop falling in love with him and the reader will have the same issue. Violet and the reader knows that River is bad news, but it's impossible not to fall for his extremely charming and deceptive nature.  That being said, the romance in Between is absolutely addicting and yet at the same time, it feels so wrong and disgusting.  The romance in this book is like getting addicted to a drug, you know it's wrong but at the same time, you can't stop yourself from obsessing over it. If you're looking to read a book with a healthy relationship this is not it, but the romance in this book is captivating and irresistible.

April Genevieve Tucholke has answered my pleas for the YA genre to include more horror-esque books and this debut is deliciously creepy and gothic. Tucholke creates such a mysterious, dangerous atmosphere that is impossible not to bask in and there is a constant build-up of tension throughout the book.  Tucholke's writing really reminded me of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl's style in Beautiful Creatures and Between has that same intense gothic tone to it.  Few writers have the chops to scare me and Tucholke is part of that select few; there is an endless amount of terrifying moments in this book that will have readers sitting on the edge of their seats and get their hearts pumping. This is YA horror at it's best and I truly hope that Tucholke continues this trend with her future books.

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is one of my absolute favorite books this year and I'm dying to read the sequel, Between The Spark And The Burn. This book isn't for everyone, but I just know that there's a huge cross-over audience that will fall for this horrifying debut. This is an absolutely brilliant novel by an extremely talented writer and I can't wait to devour Tucholke's next literary masterpiece.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Giveaway: The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst

Sarah Beth Durst has a new release and she has graciously offered up a signed copy as a giveaway to one lucky reader. Here's the scoop on THE LOST, her first book for adults. It sounds like a great read. See for yourselves:

The Lost by Sarah Beth DurstLost your way?

Your dreams?


Welcome to Lost.

It was supposed to be a small escape. A few hours driving before turning around and heading home. But once you arrive in Lost... well, it's a place you really can't leave. Not until you're Found. Only the Missing Man can send you home. And he took one look at Lauren Chase and disappeared.

So Lauren is now trapped in the town where all lost things go -- luggage, keys, dreams, lives -- where nothing is permanent, where the locals go feral and where the only people who don't want to kill her are a handsome wild man called the Finder and a knife-wielding six-year-old girl. The only road out of town is engulfed by an impassable dust storm, and escape is impossible....

Until Lauren decides nothing -- and no one -- is going to keep her here anymore.

Read an excerpt

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

giveaway banner

Sarah is giving away one (1) signed copy of THE LOST to a lucky reader.

Canada/US only

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, April 14, 2014

Guest post by Yolanda Sfetsos + giveaway

Yolanda SfetsosIt's with great pleasure that I welcome today's guest, Yolanda Sfetsos. She's a fantastic writer and I've loved her Sierra Fox books since I first started A PATCH OF DARKNESS. Yolanda has created a really original series populated by characters you can't help but love (or hate).

Yolanda is here to celebrate the release of TORN FROM THE SHADOWS, the fourth and penultimate book in this amazing series, by sharing some thoughts about where the series is right now. She's also graciously offering up an e-copy of TORN FROM THE SHADOWS to a luck reader so be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post.

Welcome, Yolanda!


Not Just a Spook Catcher

Hello, it's great to be here today. I'd like to thank Team Tynga’s Reviews for having me over to help celebrate the upcoming release of my urban fantasy book, TORN FROM THE SHADOWS.

Torn From The Shadows by Yolanda Sfetsos (Sierra Fox #4)This is the penultimate book in the series. Writing the Sierra Fox series has been a blast, and a rollercoaster ride of emotion. I’ve enjoyed every moment of danger, excitement, and everything in between. So much has happened to Sierra since her journey began. Her life has changed drastically since we first met her in A PATCH OF DARKNESS, and she’s grown a lot. Back then she was just another spook catcher with a quirky assistant, trying to make it on her own. She had financial worries, a caseload she couldn’t keep up with, a hunky werewolf crush, and thought she knew who she wanted to be with.

Well, as it turns out she was wrong about a few things.

Since she discovered that her deceased grandmother was hiding a bunch of secrets in SPLIT AT THE SEAMS that would directly impact her life and very existence, Sierra has been trying to come to terms with her growing ability. And not just that, because the determined demon-obsessed Obscurus are eager to steal the power she possesses, and some that she hasn’t even tapped into yet.

It’s tough being a woman with a target on her head, but six months have gone by since ON PINS AND NEEDLES and she’s had a chance to settle into a passionate and happy relationship with the right guy. A Patch of Darkness by Yolanda Sfetsos (Sierra Fox #1)As well as becoming accustomed to the ever-growing circle of family and friends. She’s not alone, and actually has a great support system of people she loves and trusts. But at the back of her mind she’s always waiting for everything to fall apart—waiting for Mace to return, or the Obscurus to strike.

The one thing she didn’t expect was for one of her friends to start acting creepy for a very ominous reason, or for Papan’s past to come knocking on her front door. She also didn’t expect someone from the Council to contact her, not after the awful stuff she’s seen there. And most of all, she never suspected that her fate would be tied to an ancient Goddess and her pet demon.

Yeah, a LOT happens in this book. There are answers, more questions, and a destiny to be fulfilled. I hope you enjoy Sierra’s latest journey, because it’s almost over…

Thanks for reading,


Thanks so much for visiting us, Yolanda. It's a pleasure as always. :)

For more Yolanda, check out these links:

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


Here's the scoop on TORN FROM THE SHADOWS:

Torn From The Shadows by Yolanda Sfetsos (Sierra Fox #4)All it takes is one goddess-affiliated demon to seal the deal.

Sierra Fox, Book 4

Sierra Fox knows better than to believe the demon-obsessed freakshow has given up on her. She’s settled into a nice routine of living with her sister, enjoying her relationship with a sexy werewolf, and staying on top of work—and always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Predictably, things start falling apart as she’s suddenly swamped with surprise visits and unwanted advances, and someone she despises wants her help.

When a spook-catching training session goes horribly wrong, she encounters a man who’s not quite as dead as she’d hoped. Mace is now more than human and still determined to get his hands on her. But not if Sierra accepts the strengthening gifts her grandmother bestowed at her birth.

Having the good guys put a price on her head is enough to ruin anyone’s day, but Sierra refuses to give up or give in. Even if it means exercising the last option on earth she wants. But claiming the ultimate power may not be enough to save the man she loves before his werewolf past destroys him.

Warning: Phantasms, pookas, werewolves, and demons, oh yes! And a spook-catching heroine who must choose to take what’s rightfully hers—even if it means walking the shadows with a demon.

Read an excerpt (click on Excerpt tab)

Purchase: Amazon

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Yolanda is giving away one (1) e-copy of TORN FROM THE SHADOWS to a lucky reader.

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Torn from the Shadows by Yolanda Sfetsos

I sure do love Sierra Fox. Despite being hunted by the Obscurus and experiencing all sorts of crazy, life-changing events, she's still a sweetheart. A sweetheart who will kick your butt in a minute if she thinks you're doing wrong but a sweetheart nonetheless. Her tough exterior can't hide her squishy marshmallow insides, not when we see how much she cares for the people in her life. She'll face down evil with a letter opener if it means helping her loved ones, and it's a trait you have to admire, especially since she's not gifted with super strength or healing. Sierra is a  powerful spook catcher but she's as physically vulnerable as the rest of us, which gives her story a little extra oomph.

At the start of TORN FROM THE SHADOWS, things are pretty good for Sierra and company. Sierra and Papan are madly in love, Willow is settling in, Roe and the new spook trainers are getting into a routine, Ebony has come back to herself for the most part...but it wouldn't be a very exciting book for us if things stayed on such an even keel and death, phantasms, demons, and more come flooding out of the woodwork before you know it. There's a lot going on and it's all quite exciting. And it all advances the overall series plot even though the parts of the book may seem like disparate threads: Mace is back as a phantasm, another old "friend" is also causing trouble, Sierra has to train the newbie spook catchers, Willow takes in a stray dog, Ebony and Oren make cow eyes at each other, and Papan and Sierra are trying to find time to enjoy their relationship. And that's the first half of the book. Sfetsos does a great job of taking these storylines and building and building the novel to its exciting climax and I thoroughly enjoyed each page.

While juggling her familial responsibilities and her battle to stay ahead of the Obscurus, Sierra also discovers more about her grandmother and the extra abilities Pepita gave her. And this was really interesting to me. I love it when a series mythology blossoms and the Sierra Fox series gets really juicy in this respect in TORN FROM THE SHADOWS. Everything is really building to a head, which will hopefully come to an amazing conclusion when the fifth and final book in the series comes out.

Another plus about TORN FROM THE SHADOWS? We learn a lot more about Papan's background. For the first time, we get to see his family and learn a bit more about how werewolves operate in this world. Despite this, I don't think we got nearly enough page time with Papan this time around. When he's there, he's his usual fabulous self -- and he and Sierra spend a significant number of pages getting smexy -- but I didn't get nearly enough of his humour. And Papan's storyline ends in something of a cliffhanger so I'm quite curious to see what his fate will be as the series comes to a close. I won't spoil it for you but I will say that things are definitely up in the air for him, and consequently for his relationship with Sierra.

On a personal level, I really enjoyed getting into a book set in Sydney. Having been to Australia over Christmas to visit my brother, I was lucky enough to spend a couple weeks there and I can know safely say that Sfetsos does a great job of creating a sense of the city in TORN FROM THE SHADOWS  and all the other novels in the series. Admittedly, the series is set in a fictional suburb but I think I enjoyed TORN FROM THE SHADOWS just a teensy bit more from having been in Sydney recently.

I'm a huge fan of this series and I highly recommend that you urban fantasy lovers out there give Sfetsos' writing a chance if you haven't already dove into her work. The Sierra Fox series is outstanding.  You won't be sorry.

Read an excerpt (click on Excerpt tab)


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Bewitched, Bothered and Biscotti by Bailey Cates

After reading the first book of the series a few weeks ago, I had to find the time to read the rest of the series. Bewitched, Bothered and Biscotti is a good follow up novel, but I still feel like there could have been more to the story? Usually with paranormal romance or urban fantasy novels, there's a lot going on, but this series is neither. I guess I'm still not used to the relaxed atmosphere of cozy mysteries. Don't get me wrong, the story is good and entertaining but I think I miss that extra action you get with PR and UF. Instead, there's a lot of scenes about sitting around discussing things, food description, and scenes about eating the food. I love food as much as the next person (actually, I like cooking so I appreciate the foody scenes), but I think it was used as filler a little too often in this sequel.

The series revolves around The Honeybee, a bakery/coffee shop the main character Katie and her aunt and uncle opened recently. Business is going well since we saw it open in book one, but trouble tends to follow Katie around, and when I say trouble, I mean murder. Finding three dead bodies in a six month period shouldn't be normal, yet it looks like it will be the norm for Katie from now on. Although she knows she should stay away from this new murder mystery, she feels inadvertently drawn to the investigation. Actually, you might even say it follows her around since her spell group of friends is asked to investigate the horrible affair.

The magic in this series is very subtle. Katie might be a witch but not the kind of witch you would see in Harry Potter. Her talent lies mostly around green/natural magic, where she uses plants and nature to create potions, and minor spells. The approach to magic is very Wiccan, for Katie and her group of friends. However, the murder investigation centers around a secret Druid Society which the victim was a part of, and this society's approach to magic is a little less subtle. For example, she's magically attacked in her own home and with quick thinking, and a little bit of help from beyond, she's able to survive the ordeal.

While I usually find love triangles tiring and annoying, the one in this book is actually interesting. Katie still can't decided between a hunky firefighter Declan, and the witchy reporter Steve. She really could see herself with Declan, since he such a nice guy and would do anything for her, yet she find herself drawn towards Steve. Steve believe there's something magical pulling them together, making them meant to be, but Katie still hesitates between the two, especially since her broken engagement to another guys is still fresh and makes her hesitate to get involved with someone officially.

I probably said it about book one, but this series is very light and fun. Don't expect major action, but you'll find an amateur sleuth who will try to do anything to protect herself and the ones she cares for. What keeps me interested in this series is the easygoing characters and the complicated love triangle Katie finds herself in. Combining magic and cozy mysteries, in my opinion, is a pretty good idea. It adds a little flair to the mystery solving and a little spunk to the bakery food. There's definitely a recipe I want to try, that's included at the end of the book. The Cinnamon Raisin Biscotti sound amazing!


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [103]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Hey guys! It's been a while since I've done one of these, so it's good to be back! Unfortunately...I only got one book this week. And, well, I have a confession...I traded for this book because I've never read an Elizabeth Eulberg book before! I know! Gasp! Don't kill me! Cross my fingers that I like it and it's as cute as it seems!



Better off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

Don't forget to link up your STS posts below so that we can see what YOU added to your shelves!


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Friday, April 11, 2014

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa

After Zeke's death to the hands of Sarren the psychopath, Allie is ready to give in to her own monster. She is ready to give up on humanity, only continuing on  driven by a desire for revenge. Sarren wants to destroy the cure to rabidism the humans discovered and unleash his own virus and wipe the world clean. Grief stricken as she is, Allie don't give a damn about his plan, she only wants to kill him, but along her journey with Kanin and Jackal she will manage to put her hatred aside and embrace her humanity once more.

Poor Allie can't seem to have a break even though, god knows, she deserves one. Loosing the one person she ever loved is seriously threatening her sanity and her befriending Jackal is a proof in itself. Especially after all he has done in the previous installment. Despite that, I think he was my favorite character in this novel. Don't get me wrong, I still love Allie and Zeke, but they were so serious and depressed all the time, Jackal's presence was like a highly entertaining - if deadly- breath of fresh air. His infuriating (to his traveling buddies) comments and barbs were keeping a smile on my face despite the dire circumstances our heroes face.

Julie Kagawa really has a talent to keep her readers on their toes and this novel is no exception. The plot line is once again a linear journey, from New Conviction to Eden but every step of the way is surprising and challenging. It was nice to see the vampire gang walk the steps Allie walked with Zeke and his family back in book one and see how everything changed in less than a year. The stakes are different, friends and foes changed and the objective is even more important.

I know it's gonna sound weird but I loved how disgustingly smart Sarren was. Too bad he is an evil bastard. His plans to destroy  humanity were simply genius and I was seriously wondering how our heroes would beat him. And when they think they are close to success, well they aren't because His Evilness already planned ahead or just won't die! Allie and Kanin had to play smart to defeat him and not everyone survives the final battle to save humanity.

I was really pleased with the conclusion of this installment and of the series as a whole. The end isn't an happily ever after, but it brought a wind of hope that humanity might just survive rabidism and it left me satisfied. Too often author leave a series conclusion too open for my taste, but Kagawa took the right decision when she wrote her conclusion, I think.

Paranormal and dystopian lovers must read this awesome trilogy. It's highly original, engrossing, exciting, with just the right amount of dark humor. I'm sad the series came to an end because I grew fond of its characters, but I feel like each character fulfilled their own destiny.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ninth Key by Meg Cabot

I'm on the fence about book two in this series. While Suze is still an amazing wise-cracking heroine that's trying to deny (and failing) her feelings for Jesse, the overall plot of this one did not impress me. However, I still loved the little things--especially Jesse's "accidental" interferences with Suze's potential new love life.

Suze meets a guy that is finally interested in her for her, despite some terrible rash, and that is Tad Beaumont. I have to admit that when I first met him I laughed hysterically. I mean...Tad?! I'm giggling simply by writing his name. Poor boy. Anyway, shortly after getting involved with Tad, a ghost of a woman whose death is suspiciously linked to his family crashes into Suze's life and she simply has to uncover the mystery. And while I admire Suze's "go for it" and "head on" take for solving mysteries, I seriously feared for her life a few times with this one. I felt like an old man on the verge of having a coronary. I understand how Father Dominic is always freaking out now, poor man has a lot to deal with in regards to Suze's stubbornness.

Things definitely took an unexpected turn with the plot, but I can't say I was mesmerized or entirely pleased. While it was unique, it didn't wow me. Let's just say that I like my vampires darker and sexier and not, well, the way that Cabot chose to present them. Again, it was a very unique plot twist but it simply was not done well enough in my eyes. It just helped me release that this book is cutesy more than anything else. It can't be as dark as it has potential to be, and I tend to prefer darker and grittier stories when you introduce dark and gritty elements. With that in mind, I can't wait to continue this series, I hear it only gets better.

My biggest complaint with this book is that it is very repetitive. Descriptions from book one seemed to have been lifted out of that book word by word and placed into book two. It was entirely unnecessary. All of this could be apparent to me because I'm reading the entire series back to back, but it bothered me how repetitive it was. I often found myself at the most random times rolling my eyes because I knew what the book was trying to tell me for the fifth time because I read that exact same explanation so many times in book one. I'm hoping that this habit dies down later in the series.

I'm still loving what Cabot has to offer me, I just think that book two may suffer a little with sequel syndrome. It's a six book series so there's a lot to come, but my gut instinct is telling me this is a small lull in between book one and book three to set up something big. What that big thing could be is beyond me, but fingers crossed that I'm right and I will be exceptionally impressed with book three. Onwards!


Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Immortal Hunter by Kait Ballenger

As you may remember, I thought there were some good elements to TWILIGHT HUNTER, the first book in the series, but I also took issue with other aspects of the novel. My feelings about IMMORTAL HUNTER are much the same.

One of IMMORTAL HUNTER's strengths is the cast of characters and their relationships. You have your traditional selection of supernaturals -- werewolves, vampires, demons, etc. -- and there's not a lot of deviation from what we see in much of the genre in terms of abilities. What really makes the series interesting is the Execution Underground team. Ballenger has put together quite the Scooby gang of supernatural police, each of whom will presumably get their own story. I really enjoy the team dynamics because a lot of the relationships are quite complicated. In the first book, we met Jace and Frankie (who do appear in IMMORTAL HUNTER as secondary characters) but now we're firmly focused on David and  Allsún, two characters I was quite interested in the first time around. They're both unique in the supernatural world: David is an exorcist feared by demons and Allsún is the only (part-)Fae who remains in our world. Together, they are essentially demon kryptonite but they've been apart for years, after a passionate romance when they were younger. David and Allsún never stopped loving each other but they both have regrets. These regrets and their time apart create the expected barrier the couple needs to overcome and add a nice amount of tension in the novel. 

I also enjoyed exploring the Fae aspects of the series. We spent most of the first book dealing with werewolf-related issues but now we get to learn more about the demons and the Fae, who are essentially sworn enemies. But all of the Fae except Allsún have retreated from the world. When Allsún is forced out of hiding, the demons are determined to kill her -- just as determined as David is to protect her. It's a shame that Allsún is the only Fae in the world (at least the only one that we know about) because there are so many interesting elements in this part of the series mythology.

My beef with IMMORTAL HUNTER is a small one: I think Ballenger is a strong writer but I wish there was more creativity in the series, in terms of how the supernatural species/races are realized. It's a very small beef and probably unfair since I know I couldn't do better but I think I would love this series if there were more unexpected elements. Generally, I like the Execution Underground series. It's filled with adventure and romantic tension. It's not the most original series -- there's not a lot of genre bending -- but the books are well-written romps with feisty characters. For me, this is an instance in which the series is much greater than its individual parts.

If you want spunky paranormal romance loaded with heavy history between the two main characters, IMMORTAL HUNTER might be the book for you. I'm sure you'll enjoy Ballenger's voice and I hope you'll find the story engaging as well. The Execution Underground series isn't on my Must list but I do enjoy visiting the world and characters.

Read an excerpt




Monday, April 07, 2014

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue is the first book in the Waterfire Saga, a series that Disney-Hyperion is heavily promoting and they seem to think that Deep Blue could be the next big thing. I really enjoyed reading Deep Blue and this was such a fun, entertaining read. While Deep Blue is one of the best mermaid books I've read, I don't really think it lives up to the hype and that it has the potential to become a phenomenon. Deep Blue doesn't really deviate enough from other YA books for it to be able to resonate with readers.

Deep Blue is the story of Seraphina whose mermaid world is being threatened and so she is caught in a betrothal with Prince Madhi, a philanderer who Seraphina refuses to fall in love with. When Serafina's home is attacked and her mothered is attacked, she must flee and try to find the 5 other mermaids to save the only world she's ever known. According to a prophecy, only Seraphina and her companions can save the world and themselves from a great and terrible evil.

Serafina isn't a very memorable character and there really isn't much to distinguish her from countless other strong and powerful heroines. I did enjoy reading how music factored into Seraphina's life and how she learned to harness her magical abilities, but other than that Seraphina feels very dry and bland. I really wanted to root for her, but her character is superficially drawn out and there's not much that I really found unique about her. I really felt this disconnect between myself and Seraphina, mostly like due to the fact that this book is written in the 3rd person; I truly wanted to understand her character better, but I really feel like the 3rd person POV was restrictive and didn't allow for much characterization.

I really wanted to understand the mers on Serafina's quest better and I feel their characters were even more flat than Serafina's. It seemed like the other mers were extremely uninteresting and weren't special at all, despite the fact that they were the "chosen ones".  I felt like these characters were more concerned with their hair and boy mers while on the run than actually saving the mer world. The only character who I found intriguing was Prince Madhi,  - breaks stereotypes, sleeps around, has earring, isn't Prince Charming

I feel like one of my biggest issues with Deep Blue was suspending my disbelief; a good fantasy writer makes readers forget about the real world and immerses them completely in a strange, unique world. Donnelly is definitely an adept writer, but I always felt this nagging sense of disbelief when it came down to the intricate details. If Serafina and her fellow "mers" (as Donnelly refers to her mermaid creations) don't have contact with the human world, why do they utilize slang that feels like a watered-down, awkward version of human jargon? I also don't understand how the mers used electrical human technology underwater, which seems like a silly issue but it really seemed to bother me (if they had claimed something ridiculous like it was operated by magic, I would've been satisfied).  I was never all that interested in the world Donnelly had created and if I had, all those gritty details probably wouldn't have bothered me.

Though Deep Blue is being marketed for a Young Adult audience, it feels more childish as if it's better suited for a middle-grade audience. The dialogue in this book is way too simple and feels a bit too cutesy for my tastes; I truly expected Donnelly to write stronger dialogue after hearing so much praise for her novels. The characters truly don't seem to act their age and they seem more like pre-teens than young adults who are on the brink of adulthood.

Deep Blue is an interesting, addicting series opener, but it suffers from a troubling amount of flaws in terms of characterization and writing style. My interest was piqued enough for me to pick up the sequel, but I can't see this being the next big thing. Though Deep Blue is one of the better mermaid books, I don't think it measures up to some of my favorite paranormal books.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan

For some reason, I have a soft spot when it comes to faeries. Probably because when I was younger, I was intrigued by their history, and finding out more about them nearly became an obsession at one point. Now, every time I come across a fiction novel about faeries, and it has an original premise, I jump at the chance to read it. Personally, I think Rachel Morgan has created a wonderful and original faerie world, and THE FAERIE GUARDIAN is a great start to what might be an epic series.

Violet, or Vi to her friends, is training to become a guardian, a sort of police for the faeries. Guarding humans and fae beings alike, a guardian's purpose is to either chase away or kill their mark, although Vi much prefers not to kill anyone. When she is assigned to protect Nate, a young boy, she's surprised he can see past her glamour, something humans are not supposed to be able to do. She breaks the two biggest faerie rules by letting Nate see her, and inadvertently bringing him into Creepy Hollow. The mystery that is Nate, almost becomes an obsession for her, not only because he's good looking, but something curious is unfolding in Nate's life.

What's amazing is how many bad guys we encounter throughout the book. I think it's what's most appealing about THE FAERIE GUARDIAN. You really don't know who the main antagonist is and they keep coming at Vi and Nate for one reason or another. Whether it's a duo kidnapping Nate, a centaur chasing them in faerie Underground,  Nate's supposed mother that attacks Vi for some odd and unknown reason or another duo tracking Nate with a strange eye tattoo on his back, they keep coming at our protagonists, even if they are more or less in the dark about what's really going on. It's the mystery and the intrigue that keeps this book going and the fast pace of the story is definitively an advantage. It's paced so fast, sometime I wish that author might have slowed down a little and described her faerie world, just a little bit more. Sometimes it's those little extra thing that makes a book "exceptional", rather than "very good", and this book lacked a bit of it.

The banter between the characters  is also pretty amazing. Vi is a high-spirited character and when you throw in Nate that is curious about everything and likes to talk, you get some pretty great conversations. I especially liked this one exchange, which came early in the book when Vi and Nate first met.
"You can't be a faerie. You're way too big."

I lower my hands. "Excuse me?" I've been called many things in my seventeen years, but 'big' has never been one of them. Quite the opposite, in fact.

"Aren't faeries supposed to be, like, really tiny? With wings and a wand and faerie dust?"

"I'm not Tinker Bell!"

A character that I'm not sure what to make of is Ryn. As fellow student guardians, Vi and Ryn are competing to be the best of their graduating class and their feud has them squabble throughout the book. Their rivalry is really fun to read, and you keep wondering if there's something more than feud behind their bickering.

For a self-published book, I'm really satisfied with THE FAERIE GUARDIAN. It doesn't read like a self-published book because it's very well written, well edited and the flow of the book is quite perfect. I haven't read the other two books of the trilogy so I can't speak for the whole series, but if the rest of the books are as stunning as this one, I'm anticipating an epic continuation and conclusion. I really enjoyed reading this introduction to Morgan's faerie world, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series. So many things happened in this story that I can't wait to see how it all unfolds.


Saturday, April 05, 2014

Stacking The Shelves [102]

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!


Happy weekend everyone! I hope your weekend is starting off better than mine. I'm still stuck with mounds of snow and awful freezing rain. But on to the good stuff. I added a few new books to my shelves this week and here they are.

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The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Hit List by Laurel K. Hamilton

Paper Towns by John Green

Under the Dome, Part 1 by Stephen King

Under the Dome, Part 2 by Stephen King


Bewitched, Bothered and Biscotti by Bailey Cates


I purchased Paper Town on a whim because I had just heard the news that it will be made into a film. This will be my first John Green book, and I'm anxious to see what it's all about. I also made the decision to purchase Under the Dome, in anticipation to season 2 of the TV show this summer. Based on the same concept, I've heard the book and the TV show are a little bit different from one another so I'm really looking forward to making comparisons.

What did you add to your shelves this week?


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Friday, April 04, 2014

The Falconer by Elizabeth May

I've been anxiously awaiting for this title to release in America since I saw the UK cover back in 2013. The powerful armed girl with the flames in the background really spoke to me and I love historical fantasy, which seems like a match made in heaven. Unfortunately, even though I did enjoy the book, I ended up slightly disappointed. Let me tell you all about it!

The premise is at first very engaging. A young gentlewoman is now of marrying age and assists bals to find a suitable husband. Unfortunately she is victim to a lot of gossips since she was found next to her murdered mother, in a pool of blood, the year before. The whispers peg her guilty of killing her mother, and even though she didn't commit that murder, she's a killer just the same, a faerie killer. I thought the whole proper lady front killing faeries at night was a great idea, and her partner in crime was also very engaging.

I also liked the historical set up and I loved that it was set in Scotland instead of the oh-so-common London. There was also a strong steampunk theme that despite being very important to the story, didn't overwhelm me like I feel so often when it comes to tinkering. I don't enjoy being swamp with technical descriptions of weird contraptions and thankfully, May wasn't overbearing in that department.

Now comes the first element that bothered me. I felt like May didn't pay enough attention to match the dialogues with the time period. Aside from the over-present 'aye' there wasn't much old vocabulary to speak of. Honestly, you could hear most conversations in a contemporary setup and not bat an eyelash. Aileana also possessed a very modern spirit, I didn't feel like she belonged to this time period and that's when I started feeling disconnected. 

Now the relationship between Aileana and Kiaran, despite having strong feeling about it, I don't know how I feel exactly. Sometimes I really felt for Kiaran, other times I wanted to smack him in the head, or even better, shake some sense into Aileana. I really just don't know what to think of that faerie, even after finishing this novel. Also an honorable mention to Derrick, her pixie, which I thought was quirky and cute.

Now the part where I thought I crossed in an alternative universe, or thought that I was missing part of the manuscript (which isn't impossible with an eARC)... the end. Where is the end??? May stops the book in the middle of the final battle. It would deserve caps lock, but I'll try to behave. Really?? Why would any editor let this slide? It's not a cliffhanger, it's an unfinished book and it annoyed me very much. I even went online to make sure the joke wasn't on me, but readers from UK (where it was published September 2013) also complained about it, so it's not an unfortunate mistake. That would be reason enough for me not to read book two, and I honestly don't know if I will.

In conclusion, The Falconer has an interesting premise, with fun and highly detailed lore, but some flaws I couldn't ignore. If you wish to give it a try, I would suggest you wait for the second book to release, that way you won't have to deal with the frustrating ending of this first installment.


Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

Noggin is one of the strangest books I've ever read and it's nearly impossible to fit it in a single genre. John Corey Whaley's novel is a mixture between coming-of-age, science fiction and romance elements to create one irresistible, yet bizarre novel. This isn't your typical YA novel and Noggin is truly an unique, out of the box novel that is filled with poignant, heart-breaking moments.

Travis was suffering from cancer and his doctors offered him the possibility of a new life thanks to the amazing scientific advances of cryogenics. The problem is that nobody believed that nobody believed cryogenics would allow Travis to return to his old life.  Fast forward five years after Travis's head was frozen, the doctors have finally figured out how to successfully transplant Travis's head onto a new body. Travis has to learn how to deal with the fact that his family and friends have moved on and that he has a new body.

Travis is a character that I was completely sympathetic to even when he acted rash and immature. It was so upsetting to see how Travis had 5 years of his life stolen from him and it broke my heart to see how much he missed in that time span. It's hard to fault Travis for his childish behavior because even though his head wasn't always in the right place, his heart was (Get it?). I truly felt for Travis and I felt like I understood him on a deep, personal level.

Though Noggin is a captivating novel about loss, rediscovering love, and the importance of friendship, it managed to make me laugh. Whaley truly writes extremely hilarious dialogue and his dialogue really helped add so much depth to his characters, making them feel extremely three-dimensional. I'm not sure if the humor in Noggin is for everyone, but it was just the kind of dry wit I needed to brighten my day.

Noggin is the type of novel that will have readers laughing hysterically one moment and the next readers will be bawling their eyes out. I'll admit it, Noggin made me cry and this novel really was filled with raw emotional moments; readers should definitely have tissues on hand while reading this book. This isn't an easy book to read, but Noggin is definitely worthwhile and I think that there's so many important messages that readers can take away from this novel.

Do yourself a favor and pick up Noggin because this "John Hughes-esque" novel is an absolute must read for both teens and adults alike. I really look forward to reading Whaley's Where Things Come Back and I hope it amazes me like Noggin did. Few books have surprised me like Noggin and this book is at the head of my favorites of 2014 list. Get ahead of yourself and read Noggin, this novel will mess with your head in the best way and will break your heart that I can guarantee.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Ring and the Crown Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Ring and the Crown by Melissa De La Cruz, Disney Hyperion is graciously offering two copies of the book to two lucky winners!

About the book:

RingandCrown.Magic is power, and power is magic…
Once they were inseparable, just two little girls playing games in a mighty castle. Now Princess Marie-Victoria, heir to the mightiest empire in the world, and Aelwyn Myrddyn, a bastard mage, face vastly different futures.

Quiet and gentle, Marie has never lived up to the ambitions of her mother, Queen Eleanor the Second. With the help of her Merlin, Eleanor has maintained a stranglehold on the world’s only source of magic. While the enchanters faithfully serve the crown, the sun will never set on the Franco-British Empire.

As the annual London Season begins, the great and noble families across the globe flaunt their wealth and magic at parties, teas, and, of course, the lavish Bal du Drap d’Or, the Ball of the Gold Cloth.

But the talk of the season is Ronan Astor, a social-climbing American with only her dazzling beauty to recommend her. Ronan is determined to make a good match to save her family’s position. But when she falls for a handsome rogue on the voyage over, her lofty plans are imperiled by her desires.

Meanwhile, Isabelle of Orleans, daughter of the displaced French royal family, finds herself cast aside by Leopold, heir to the Prussian crown, in favor of a political marriage to Marie-Victoria. Isabelle arrives in the city bent on reclaiming what is hers. But Marie doesn’t even want Leopold-she has lost her heart to a boy the future queen would never be allowed to marry.

When Marie comes to Aelwyn, desperate to escape a life without love, the girls form a perilous plan that endangers not only the entire kingdom but the fate of the monarchy.


2 winners will each get a copy of The Ring and Crown

Open to US only

Fill the rafflecopter below to enter!

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