11.30.2011

Waiting on Wednesday (5)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that showcases future releases we're quite antsy for.


This is an easy one, folks. It's not hard to tell what book I'M looking forward to . . . unless you're blind or you don't have a brain. Here it is, though. The other two books in the series *hint! hint!* are already out, and the series as a whole went through a redesign between the first and second books, a redesign which I really hated at first but got used to after a while. And, in my opinion, this cover is the best of the three.


Ready to see it? Get ready . . . get set . . .


BLOODROSE!


Release Date: January 3, 2012

The Ultimate Sacrifice. 

Calla has always welcomed war. But now that the final battle is upon her, there’s more at stake than fighting. There’s saving Ren, even if it incurs Shay’s wrath. There’s keeping Ansel safe, even if he’s been branded a traitor. There’s proving herself as the pack’s alpha, facing unnamable horrors, and ridding the world of the Keepers’ magic once and for all. And then there’s deciding what to do when the war ends. If Calla makes it out alive, that is. 

In the final installment of the Nightshade trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Andrea Cremer creates a novel with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until its final pages. A dynamic end to this breathtaking trilogy.

What are YOU waiting for this Wednesday? LINK ME!

11.27.2011

Whisper -- Alyson Noel

Title: Radiance
Author: Alyson Noel
Format: eARC (to be published in paperback, $7.99)

This time, Riley might really have bitten off more than she’s ready for. After practically begging the Council for a more challenging Soul Catch, she is assigned an actual Roman gladiator—Theocoles, the Pillar of Doom. How is Riley, a skinny twelve-year-old, supposed to get through to him? Then she meets the beautiful Messalina, who convinces her that her only chance is to become part of this world. To accomplish this, Messalina helps Riley through a dramatic, mystical makeover, transforming her into the beautiful and mature teen she’s always wanted to be. Finally, Riley can experience her first boyfriend and her first kiss. With a dream this enchanting, will she ever want to leave?

Review:

This is the first book I read on my new Nook.

The Riley Bloom series is one of my favorites out there, not because it's amazing or written well, but because it's such a good escape. Riley is spunky and totally out-there, and it makes for a really fun reading experience. Whisper is the fourth in the series about Riley Bloom, a twelve-year-old girl who complains a lot about her "semi-stubby nose" (her words, not mine) and her flat chest. In Whisper, Riley is given a difficult Soul Catch: a Roman warrior named Theocoles. During her trip to try to cross Theocoles over, she's introduced to Messalina, a girl just like her, the only girl in the entire place. Riley and Messalina become instant friends, and Messalina decides to give Riley the ultimate makeover.

Whisper would've been the conclusion to the series had Noel not added two more, and it shows, with the end as grand as it was. Whisper deals with some concepts such as growing up, finding love, and staying true to your heart. The word "whisper" rings true to the book, which you'll see come about page 150 or so. In Whisper, Riley finds a friend, something she hasn't had in a while (well, besides Bodhi), and it's nice to see her happy. She also gets the opportunity to turn thirteen, which she's wanted for as long as she can remember so she could be just like her older sister, Ever (who the Evermore books are written about). In the beginning of Radiance, she went off on a tangent about how much she wanted to be thirteen and how much she hated how she died at the age of twelve, and only a few weeks shy of thirteen. For some reason, she has this grand idea that once she turns thirteen, she's going to completely mature and life will be perfect.

Noel has this way of writing where a scene can be really super long but not feel like it, and it's wonderful. With as much plot as the books actually have, this book could've been only about one hundred pages, but it doesn't feel slow. I love it, and you can see the same thing happening in her Immortals series, which lots of readers complain had been dragged out for too long.

Whisper is, dare I say, the best Riley Bloom book to date, and it shows!

Four and a Half Owls

11.26.2011

Crossed -- Ally Condie

Title: Crossed
Author: Ally Condie
Format: Hardcover ($17.99, Dutton)

The hotly-awaited second book in the dystopian Matched trilogy.In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Review:

"Crossed, Crossed, mighty crossed,
Do not go gentle into that good night,
When I have crossed the bar.
Across the waves and to the shore,
I climb into the dark for you
Are you waiting in the stars for me?"

-Hayden Casey

Crossed seems to revolve heavily around poetry, so I took every poem in the book and took a line from each and put them all together for you. Well, except for that first line. I made that one up all on my own. Don't you like it?

</bad joke>

As was the case in Matched, the writing in Crossed is top-notch, lyrical and beautiful and poetic and delicious. I just want to eat it, like it's a big cake full of poetry, except the poetry is candy because poetry is written on paper and I'm pretty darn sure no one wants to eat paper inside their cake.

Like Matched as well, Crossed has virtually no plot and virtually no conflict, but here's what you need to know, guys: it's okay. It's okay for these books to be running low on the technical stuff. It's almost like this book and Matched are in a genre all on their own. Even though the plot and stuff run dry, the writing quenches your thirst like no other and makes the books worthy of reading.

In Crossed, both Cassia and Ky are outside of the Society, and at the end, the whole book is kind of pointless, but I'm not going to get into too much detail about that; don't want to ruin it for you, but whatevs. The plot is steady for people who are on adventure, but it's still not as quick as I would've liked for it to be. Lots of it was background information, which filled the reader in on the story a little more, and it made Crossed an enjoyable read.

Lots of people have been saying Crossed is the sophomore slump of the Matched trilogy, but I don't agree. In Crossed, the reader is thrust in on this completely different adventure from what we see happening in Matched, which probably threw some people off. I don't think it's any worse quality than Matched (especially not in the writing aspect. In fact, it's even more lyrical and beautiful than I remember), just completely different, and the reader is left going "OMG what just happened?"

Overall, Crossed is much less intense than Matched, which again probably threw some readers off and left them disappointed. In Matched, there was the big prospective question hanging over the readers' head the whole time: Cassia's Match went wrong. Is she going to choose Xander or Ky? In Crossed, there isn't that much of an issue with the love interest. Ky seems more of her main love interest since 1) he is a narrator, and 2) he plays a main role in the book. Xander isn't mentioned that often in Crossed; he kind of takes the back-burner for a while, and Ky steps up to the forefront. I didn't really mind it; I don't like books where the love triangles are completely in the dark and the main character seems to just choose at random in the end. I like when there is foundation for them, and in Crossed, you get that.

Crossed is a thrilling and adventurous sequel to Matched, and it'll leave you waiting for the third book anxiously. I know I can't wait for it!


***


This review has been brought to you by Mac 'N' Cheese.


(Just kidding.)

Five Owls

In My Mailbox (6): VLOG (Again)

In My Mailbox is a meme, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, that showcases books you've received during the current week.




This week, I got . . . nothing.
That's right, nothing!
But I still somehow manage to make a three-minute video (don't ask me how).
I also do some drawing. Fun times over here in Bloggerland.

-Hayden

http://youtu.be/C-h3X6iPsr4

11.25.2011

Cinder review -- Marissa Meyer

Title: Cinder
Author: Marissa Meyer
Format: ARC (to be published in hardcover)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

REVIEW:


Cinder, Cinder, where to start . . .

Cinder is a modern retelling of Cinderella, but it doesn't come off as so immediately. Upon the mentioning of a ball, and a prince, it soon dawned on me like a frying pan to the face. Other than those two things, it doesn't have much connection to Cinderella as we know it . . .

. . . but what it does have is an amazing, twistful plot and some rockin' characters!

Seriously, guys! Cinder had so much action and tension that when I had to put it down, I would rather have slit my wrists. The premise is original, especially for a retelling.

And that's all I have to say about the masterpiece that is Cinder.

(I'm bad at gushing.)

Five Owls

11.23.2011

All I Want For Christmas (1)

All I Want For Christmas


This is a feature/meme where I choose a book each week leading up to Christmas and say why it's made it onto my wishlist. I'd love to see what books everyone else is hoping to get (maybe I'll add a few of them to my own list!) I'll be posting my pick each Monday, but feel free to link up and visit other people's posts all through the week. (This meme is from A Tapestry of Words.)


My choice is . . . SHADOW HEIR!

Shadow Heir -- Richelle Mead (Dark Swan, #4)


#1 New York Times bestselling author Richelle Mead returns to the Otherworld, a mystic land inextricably linked to our own--and balanced precariously on one woman's desperate courage...

Shaman-for-hire Eugenie Markham strives to keep the mortal realm safe from trespassing entities. But as the Thorn Land's prophecy-haunted queen, there's no refuge for her and her soon-to-be-born-children when a mysterious blight begins to devastate the Otherworld...

The spell-driven source of the blight isn't the only challenge to Eugenie's instincts. Fairy king Dorian is sacrificing everything to help, but Eugenie can't trust the synergy drawing them back together. The uneasy truce between her and her shape shifter ex-lover Kiyo is endangered by secrets he can't--or won't--reveal. And as a formidable force rises to also threaten the human world, Eugenie must use her own cursed fate as a weapon--and risk the ultimate sacrifice.

Why I Chose This Book:

I've been a fan of Richelle Mead since . . . well, to be honest, since SHADOW KISS came out, the third book in her best selling Vampire Academy series that I adore. I read all her Succubus books, cried when they ended, read all her VA books, cried when they ended, started Bloodlines, and read through the Dark Swan series with no trouble. This is the last Dark Swan book, and I'm afraid I may cry when this is over as well.

Waiting on Wednesday (4)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that showcases future releases we're quite antsy for.


For me, this week, my future release antsiness goes to one book in particular. The first book grabbed my attention immediately with its gorgeous cover, and this time around, the cover's even more breathtaking! The colors all work so well together.
So, without further ado, I present to you ARISE, by Tara Hudson:

Release Date: June 5th, 2012

Amelia—still caught between life and death—must fight for every moment of her relationship with the human boy Joshua. They can hardly even kiss without Amelia accidentally dematerializing. Looking for answers, they go to visit some of Joshua’s Seer relatives in New Orleans. But even in a city so famously steeped in the supernatural, Amelia ends up with more questions than answers…and becomes increasingly convinced that she and Joshua can never have a future together.Wandering through the French Quarter, Amelia meets other in-between ghosts, and begins to seriously consider joining them. And then she meets Gabrielle. Somehow, against impossible odds, Gaby has found a way to live a sort of half-life...a half-life for which Amelia would pay any price. Torn between two worlds, Amelia must choose carefully, before the evil spirits of the netherworld choose for her.

Tell me! What are you waiting for on Wednesday?

11.20.2011

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer -- Michelle Hodkin (5 owls)





Title: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Pages: 452
Format: Hardcover


From Goodreads:


Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.
It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed.
There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love.
She's wrong.



Review:




Let's face it everyone: this book was so good.


I'm pretty sure that if I read this book in only one day (as opposed to the eightit took me to read, what with NaNo and stuff going on), it would have been a lot better for me. I began to get a little disconnected in the middle, but that'smyfault, because I didn't have any time to read it.

But, let's pretend I did, shall we?

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. IT CAN.

The premise of this book, plus the cover, had me itching to read it. I was really excited when I started reading, because I'd seen the book around for months before I finally decided to pick it up. When I did, I totally didn't regret it, because from the very first page, the book grabs you and won't let you go. I have a feeling that if I would've read this in a night, I would've not been able to put it down, only to look up after you've turned the last page at one-thirty in the morning and go WTF?

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. THERE IS.

Toward the middle of the book, the plot started to get a little muddy, but it was probably because of the fact that I had to put the book down and lose the naturally built-up excitement every five or ten pages.


She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. SHE'S WRONG.


The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is destined to make you laugh and make you scared out of your wits within minutes of each other, and if that's not the sign of a great book, I don't know what is! Make sure you read the book during the day time. . . .




Five Owls

In My Mailbox (5): THE VLOG EDITION

In My Mailbox is a meme, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, that showcases books you've received during the current week.


This week, I received five purchased books and one book donated by a generous blogger for review.



OOOOOOOOOH! That's right! I changed the location!


Provided by My Wallet / Walmart:

The Iron King - Julie Kagawa
The Iron Daughter - Julie Kagawa
The Iron Queen - Julie Kagawa
The Iron Knight - Julie Kagawa


Provided by My Checking Account / Barnes & Noble:

The Space Between - Brenna Yovanoff


Provided by a Very Generous Blogger for Review:

Cinder (ARC! *squee*) - Marissa Meyer

And that's my book haul for the week! What's in YOUR mailbox? Leave a link with yours!

-Hayden

11.19.2011

Carrier of the Mark -- Leigh Fallon

Title: Carrier of the Mark
Author: Leigh Fallon
Pages: 348
Format: paperback

From goodreads:

From the moment she sets foot at her new school in Ireland, Megan is inexplicably drawn to the darkly handsome Adam DeRis. But Megan soon discovers that her feelings for Adam are tied to a supernatural fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that unites them could be their ultimate destruction.

This electrifying debut novel was first discovered on inkpop.com. the online community for aspiring writers. THE CARRIER OF THE MARK sizzles with unbridled romance, a unique supernatural hook, and a breathtaking Irish setting, and will entice fans of the Need series by Carrie Jones and the House of Night series by P. C. and Kristin Cast.

Review:


Carrier of the Mark is a refreshing story told from the perspective of seventeen-year-old Megan Rosenberg, a girl who just made the big move to Ireland for her father's work. I can't say it's original (see this review if you need more on that), but I can say her supernatural being is pretty creative.

I enjoyed watching the plot slowly unfold from the very beginning. Fallon writes characters very nicely; they don't blend together in my head, like characters in so many other books. The plot was pretty slow in the beginning, while characters were getting to know each other and while Megan was getting to know Ireland, and in the very middle of the book, there is a sixty-page long infodump that made me want to tear my hair out. It was literally sixty pages, and it was very gruesome and terrifying, but the infodump itself signified something great, because the hundred-something pages after that flew by in a blur.

Fallon created a unique and interesting supernatural being, which I'm going to leave to the infodump to explain. It's refreshing in YA literature to see a paranormal creature that's not a carbon-copy or a recycled version of every other paranormal creature we've ever read about. Fallon passes with flying colors in this department.

Overall, Carrier of the Mark is a spectacular debut that had me flying through the pages in delight and whim. Expect me to buy the next two installments in the trilogy.



Four Owls

11.14.2011

Update

Hi, guys! You probably won't be getting a lot of book review updates from me, because I'm using all of my creative juices on NaNoWriMo, a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month, which happens in November.
For more information on this project, including how *you* can participate next year, visit http://www.nanowrimo.org/.

Thanks,
Hayden :)

11.11.2011

Anna Dressed in Blood -- Kendare Blake





Title: Anna Dressed in Blood
Author: Kendare Blake
Pages: 316
Format: Hardcover


From Goodreads:

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.
So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.
When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.
But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

Review:




Ladies and gents, I think I've found myself a new favorite.

Anna Dressed in Blood is not only a good book: it's a great book, and let me tell you why. You know how there is a book you see with a really cool cover and a really good summary and you're just like "Lemme have this now or else
!"? This was one of those books for me. I had no idea that when I finally got it and when I finally read it, it'd be this good.

Anna Dressed in Blood is a story of a BOY, Cas Lowood, who's been a ghost hunter his whole life (I know, it sounds really lame, but it's actually quite interesting). He's been sent on a mission to a new town to kill a ghost known as "Anna Dressed in Blood" by the locals. Her murder was vengeful and disgusting, and Anna reacts in a way similar to that: every time someone alive enters the house she used to call home back before she was murdered, she will kill them. Anna still wears the dress she was murdered in, a long white one, stained red and dripping blood. Cas has to find out how to kill Anna . . . or free her.

Anna is narrated by a male, for one. This is the thing I most adore about the book, the fact that Kendare Blake (whoever you are, I love you) can write a male's perspective so well without making it sound contrived and boring. I wouldn't doubt it if Blake grew up surrounded by boys. She has a great mental picture of how they work, yet she can still make them sensitive and caring sometimes. It's great. I just got done reading one of the Beautiful Creatures books, and they're also told from the male's PoV, yet it isn't as well-done as it is in this book. He can still hang out with his friends and go out and kill ghosts (something which seems pretty redundant, but at the same time it makes sense).

Anna Dressed in Blood has a pretty high level of vulgarity for a YA novel -- I haven't seen many others with as much as this one. I'm not saying that's a bad thing -- I tend to use it a time or two in my own writings as well (there was a point on here when I couldn't stop). It's refreshing to see something different, is all I'm really trying to say here. It's nice to see an author not trying to conform herself of her novel to the boundaries set by other YA books and authors. Going outside the lines isn't a bad thing to do once in a while, and Blake has that on lock!





Five Owls

11.10.2011

The Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater (2 owls)





Title: THE SCORPIO RACES
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 408
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Hardcover

From Goodreads:
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

Review:


This sums up THE SCORPIO RACES.



It's like reading a really interesting book lliikkee tthhiiss. It just ddooeessnn'tt wwoorrkk wweellll.

I almost feel bad giving THE SCORPIO RACES two stars, because the writing is Gorgeous with a capital G. I really do. I feel like any book with beautiful writing deserves at least three stars. The writing is the only thing saving this dreadful thing from the ocean-floor depth of one star.

You see, Stiefvater likes to describe things. And, yeah, at first, because her writing is so pretty, it seems like it would be really interesting to read. But, sadly, that's not the case, because after the first few thousand instances when the over-describing occurs, you get bored, and when you're bored, it's like the writing becomes transparent, and you can see everything that's lurking underneath: shoddily constructed characters, little to no plot, and black Adobe Garamond font. Underneath the gorgeous writing is a mess, and that's all THE SCORPIO RACES is. A mess.

Stiefvater overdescribes, but she also cuts her chapters off after each instance, so you're left wondering what the heck happened while you're immersed once again in top-notch writing with no plot. THE SCORPIO races is like one of those roller coasters that goes round and round while it goes up and down, so your stomach is going up and down and all around, but it's unpleasant. Then you throw up all over everything.

THE SCORPIO RACES is another overhyped book that's come from the bowels of YA. Except this time, it's really messy.

Two Owls

11.09.2011

Jekel Loves Hyde review -- Beth Fantaskey







Title: Jekel Loves Hyde
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Pages: 282
Format: ARC

Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents rules; especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father's office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything, even Tristen's love just for the thrill of being . . . bad.

Review:


This review is going to be short, because it's late and I'm very tired.

I do, however, have a few points to make, and I'm going to do so below.

1) The Writing
The writing in Jekel Loves Hyde is, well, good. I can't really say anything else about it. It's better than most tragic YA writing, yet it isn't purple. It doesn't compare to Nova Ren Suma's writing, but that's an entirely different story. Jekel Loves Hyde is a well-written book, let's put it that way.

2) The Characters
Jill Jekel is an interesting character, because she's kind of fun to read, yet she's a total dork and really quiet and intrapersonal. Tristen Hyde is a total music nerd, which is fun to read about, but Fantaskey made several references in the book to the way his fingers fit over his piano keys and how hard he pressed and other extraneous information, which slowed down the story. Tristen didn't have nearly the amount of energy and spunk as the guy love interest in Fantaskey's first book, Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, but he's still interesting enough to read.

3) The Story
Being as I'm not a total chemistry whiz, I found it hard to grasp most of the concepts of their project. I would rather have had their relationship be based around something else and not a chemistry project, because the whole school-project-brings-two-opposites-together thing has been way overused in fiction in general. Also, the ending was a little contrived and cutesy-happy for me, but, hey, you can't please us all!


Four Owls

Beautiful Chaos review -- Garcia & Stohl

Title: Beautiful Chaos
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Pages: 518
Format: Hardcover


Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena's Claiming. Even Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals is affected - and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What - or who - will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin? For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He's being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it isn't by Lena - and whatever is haunting him is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Even worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself - forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn't know why, and most days he's too afraid to ask.
Sometimes there isn't just one answer or one choice. Sometimes there's no going back. And this time there won't be a happy ending.




Review:





Wow. Totally crazy.

Beautiful Chaos is one of those totally conflicting books. Right now, I don't know how to feel about it. The first three hundred pages were doze-off-while-reading boring, and the last one hundred pages were like a perpetual climax. Books like this really make me angry because they're nearly impossible to review, but with this one, I'm going to give it a try.

Ethan is the one going insane in this book, not Lena like in the other books. So if you're tired of Lena's constant "Ohmegaaad I don't know what I am and I need to find myself Waaaaaaaah!," this book is for you, because you get it from the narrator's point of view and it's not so obvious. It's really not that bad with Ethan, because he's more of a guy and he keeps the whining to himself.

From the very beginning of the book, you could tell something was up: Ethan thought chocolate milk tasted weird. Chocolate milk. How could chocolate milk go wrong? Chocolate milk is probably my favorite beverage (besides brown and orange sodas). I just don't understand. I'm at a loss for words.

As I said earlier, the first three hundred pages were relatively uneventful: a lot of it is Ethan talking to his friends about how things have gone wrong and them guessing how it can be fixed. The End of Days is almost here, and the fact that Ethan's about to witness it is scary to him.

THE CLIFFHANGER OMG THE CLIFFHANGER I HATE CLIFFHANGERS SO MUCH BECAUSE OF THIS BOOK THE CLIFFHANGER OMG.
Yeah, that's what you're going to be thinking, too, after you finish the book. I almost felt like crying at the end. It was so heartbreaking and poignant and --

I also didn't appreciate how MY FAVORITE CHARACTER(S) EVER DIED!!! (For those who have read it, the two deaths that happened in the last half of the book DROVE ME NUTS! I loved both of the characters, even though one of them I shouldn't have, and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book.

The bad thing about cliffhanger endings is in the beginning of the next book, the result of the cliffhanger will be shown in a boring way. I hope that doesn't happen in the next book.

Only time will tell who will narrate the next book . . . those who've read it know what I'm talking about.

The fourth and final Caster Chronicles book is at the top of my anxiously-awaiting list. Can't wait for it to be out and for us to finally figure out what's going to happen in the world of the Casters!


I graciously award this book five owls.

Five Owls

11.07.2011

Cover Reveal(s) -- Lauren Kate

Book 1: FALLEN (out now)
Book 2: TORMENT (out now)
Book 3: PASSION (out now)


And, now added in the middle of the series . . .
book 3.5: FALLEN IN LOVE (out 1.24.12)
and, the FINAL novel in the series . . .
Book 4: RAPTURE (out 6.12.12)




Are you as excited for the two new books as I am? The covers are so gorgeous!
Leave your thoughts in the comments if you have anything you'd like to add!

11.06.2011

In My Mailbox (4)

In My Mailbox is a meme, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren, that showcases books you've received during the current week (for me, it's different).

When I do In My Mailbox, I don't do it weekly. I don't buy or receive new books every single week, so for me doing it weekly is a bit pointless. What I do is post an update whenever I get a significant amount of new books, which for me would be now. My last post was after my birthday, which was in late September, so in the month-plus since then, I've gotten these new books:

Sorry for the shot of the orange writing . . . outlining like crazy for NaNoWriMo!

Purchased

Ally Condie -- CROSSED
Michael Connelly -- THE FIFTH WITNESS
Leigh Fallon -- CARRIER OF THE MARK
Kami Garcia + Margaret Stohl -- BEAUTIFUL CHAOS
Christine Johnson -- CLAIRE DE LUNE
Alyson Noel -- ART GEEKS AND PROM QUEENS
Tricia Rayburn -- SIREN

Received

Richard Adams -- WATERSHIP DOWN
Andrea Cremer -- NIGHTSHADE (personalized)

A big shout-out to Andrea Cremer for the awesome contest she hosted -- I won both of the above books from her! Check her out at http://www.andreacremer.com/, and check out her awesome Nightshade trilogy at http://www.nightshadebook.com/.



-Hayden :)

11.01.2011

One Day Review -- David Nicholls


It’s 1988 and Dexter Mayhew and Emma Morley have only just met. But after only one day together, they cannot stop thinking about one another. Over twenty years, snapshots of that relationship are revealed on the same day—July 15th—of each year. Dex and Em face squabbles and fights, hopes and missed opportunities, laughter and tears. And as the true meaning of this one crucial day is revealed, they must come to grips with the nature of love and life itself.




































Dear Last Seventy Pages,


You are amazing. If I had to rate you, I'd rate you a gazillion stars. You are heartbreaking, poignant, loving, and precious. This book wouldn't be the same without you.




Now, why couldn't the rest of the book had been like that?


The beginning of the book was alright. The middle was dreadfully boring. The end . . . liquid gold. Books like this cause lots of worry inside the reader's mind -- they want to give the beginning/middle of the book zero stars because of dreadful boringness/uneventfulness, yet they want to give the ending a gazillion stars, because it's memorable and perfect. So, averaging zero and a gazillion, you get about three stars. Three stars isn't a good enough rating, because it doesn't give the flawless and beautiful ending justice. Then, you up the rating to four stars -- four stars isn't good enough, because it doesn't give the trainwreck of a beginning enough justice.


One Day is a perfect example of one of these books I've just described. As it is right now, I have no idea how in the Sam Hill I'm going to adequately rate this book while covering all of the things above.


In One Day, none of the characters are particularly memorable. I don't understand the deep connection Dexter and Emma apparently have in this novel.











An Indeterminable Number of Owls

Deep Storm review -- Lincoln Child


This was another hand-me-down airport novel donated from the lovely mother. Here's the deal with Deep Storm: while reading it, I felt super conflicted. It was written really well, the story was interesting enough, and the plot moved at a whiplash-breakneck-pace, yet I couldn't have wanted to put it down more. Seriously. My extreme need to drop this book where I stood (or, more accurately, sat) was immeasurably high, for an inexplicable reason. But I did. 

In Deep Storm, there was a lot of submarine and technological terminology, and I held onto or understood about 0.001% of it. Things like "hull" and "electromagnetic link" and "degausser" . . . yeesh. Maybe I'm just retarded or I didn't pay enough attention in 8th grade history class. 

I've never been one that fancied airport novels. In fact, my whole life I've tried to stay away from them. Seeing James Patterson in big, bold letters on a book cover makes me cringe (and not just for the rights issues). I cringe away from them because they're all so . . . predictable. Which is one thing this book was not. I was totally not expecting the ending this book had. 

 

It just jumped out at me, and honestly, it kind of made the entire book pointless. When the characters don't get anywhere in a book, it pisses me offmajorly. That is my biggest pet peeve in literature: books that go nowhere, which is why sitcoms bug me so much. They always start in the same place and end in the same place. 

Lincoln Child doesn't seem like a guy I'm going to buy on a whim at an airport the next time my flight is delayed. In fact, after this reading experience, I think I'm just going to drop all related authors. These books do nothing for me. Nothing! 

Clive Cussler said this book was "harrowing and brilliantly conceived." No wonder I hated Medusa so much if you think this book is any of those things you said about it. 

Another thing about this book that bugged me is that none of the characters really did anything for me. None of them were any different from the next. They were all scientist/marine biologist carbon copies, and when the end came, I didn't care whether they all lived or died. I actually couldn't have cared less. 

I actually kind of liked the book for a few chapters, but after those initial few I began to think, "By god, when is this thing going to end?" And that's a correct assumption to make. The thing is 370 pages with the smallest print imaginable. I think Child could've taken some things out and made it about 300, at the most. In the middle, I got really bored, and I skipped over the rest until I got to the end. Lincoln Child drew a few yawns out of me before I finally "finished" the book. 

Deep Storm is nothing special in the world of literary gems, besides the jaw-dropping ending and the fairly good writing. It's definitely nothing you need to spend $14.95 (or, as my mom paid for it half off, $7.48) on.







Two Owls

Destined (House of Night, #9) Review -- P.C. Cast

Title: Destined
Series: House of Night
Installment: #9
Author: P.C. Cast
Release Date: 10.25.11
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 325
Buy It Here: Barnes & NobleAmazonBook Depository

Breathing hard, Aurox stood there over the bodies of his vanquished enemies. He turned to Neferet. "Very good," she said in her emotionless voice. "Let us leave this place before the authorities descend." Aurox followed her. He walked heavily, his hooves gouging furrows in the dirty alley. Weak. He felt weak. And more. There was something else. "What is it?" She snapped at him when he hesitated before entering the car again. "I do not know. I feel--" She laughed. "You don't feel at all. You're obviously overthinking this." "Yes, Priestess." Aurox got in the car and let the world speed past him. I do not think. I do not feel. I am a weapon. Zoey is finally home where she belongs, safe with her Guardian Warrior, Stark, by her side, and preparing to face off against Neferet -- which would be a whole lot easier if the High Council saw the ex-High Priestess for what she really is. Kalona has released his hold on Rephaim, and, through Nyx's gift of a human form, Rephaim and Stevie Rae are finally able to be together -- if he can truly walk the path of the Goddess and stay free of his father's shadow. But there are new forces at work at the House of Night. An influx of humans, including Lenobia's handsome horse whisperer, threatens their precarious stability. And then there's the mysterious Aurox, a jaw-droppingly gorgeous teen boy who is actually more -- or possibly less -- than human. Only Neferet knows he was created to be her greatest weapon. But Zoey can sense the part of his soul that remains human, the compassion that wars with his Dark calling. And there's something strangely familiar about him . . . Will Neferet's true nature be revealed before she succeeds at extinguishing Light? And will Zoey be able to touch Aurox's humanity in time to protect them all? Find out what's destined in the next thrilling chapter of the House of Night series.

REVIEW:


The House of Night series is the definition of a guilty pleasure -- something you shouldn't like but do anyway. Let's face it -- the series has been going on for WAAAAAAAY too long. It could've -- and should've -- stopped at four. But it didn't. And some of us, like me, are still here, hanging on and enjoying the ride. For instance, it's obvious, and I mean really obvious, when the authors are inserting other people's works into their stories. For example (on page 63 of Destined):
"Actually, they're the Sookie Stackhouse books by a cool human author named Charlaine Harris."

I couldn't have caught it better had it been strapped to a bus and had it ran me over. Also, the books are edited very poorly: page 14 rolls around, andalready Damien's name is spelled wrong. (Damian. Pfft.) On page 91, it says Damien is a forth former. I'm pretty sure the editor is a monkey. 

One thing I notice about Destined is that, once again, the maturity level has been bumped down a notch. When TEMPTED rolled around and the Twins and Damien backed away from the forefront, Zoey, Stark, Kalona and Neferet became the main peeps and the immaturity came to an all-time low. Now, though, those aforementioned backburner characters came back into play and it's all silly and fun. 

My head is still reeling after that amazing climax. 

After the addictive disaster that was Awakened, this book proved to be another solid entry in the House of Night series. In this book, Damien and the Twins have returned to the forefront with Zoey after their much-suffered break. Due to this, the book reminds me of the earlier entries in the series, like Betrayed. The book mostly reminds me of Tempted, though, because the beginning parts of the book were all setup to the explosive climax like they were in that book. However, like they were in Tempted and Awakened, the events and the climax didn't seem contrived or rushed; in fact, they seemed exactly the opposite. 

Neferet is even more bad than she was in the last book. She's using her freaky Darkness powers to inflict evil on the House of Night. It's really exciting to watch and to wonder what she'll do next.

I also like how this one is longer than AWAKENED was . . . PC was slacking when she wrote AWAKENED. Not this time around, babeh! 
WooT! 


Five Owls

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