Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

Obviously, something went terribly wrong. Genetic mutations have festered, reducing human longevity to twenty-five, even less for most women. To prevent extinction, young girls are kidnapped, mated in polygamous marriages with men eager to procreate. Sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery, a recent victim of this breeding farm mentality, has vowed to break loose from its fetters; but finding allies and a safe way out is a challenge she can only hope she will survive. A dystopian fantasy series starter with wings.

When I received WITHER, I didn't start it right away. I have no clue why because they book was amazing. In the near future, genetic engineering has made females living to age 20 and males to age 25. Young women are kidnapped and sold to rich men in polygamy acts. Rhine is sold to Linden and there are two other girls there.

When I first heard polygamy, I had a big question mark, but this book had so much more than that. Laure DeStefano writes in such a lyrical way, that I was lost in her writing. If the synopsis doesn't grab you, Lauren's writing will.

Lately, I have been craving dystopian novels. When they first were being published, I wasn't too fond of them, but now I'm dying to get my hands on all dystopian books. This book had so much more the being set in the future. I felt bad for Linden. He was being kept out of the loop by his father and had no clue what was happening to the other girls that weren't chosen to be his brides. They were murdered, but he didn't know that. Jenna died because of his father at age 19. Women die at age 20, not 19.

His first bride died and his baby and his father hides himself in the basement all the time thinking he will find the antidote, but all he's doing is experimenting on everyone in the house. And then there's Gabriel, the house servant, whom Rhine falls for immediatly. I loved Gabriel. He had this sweetness in him that showed he only cared for Rhine.

The ending did leave me on a cliffhanger because even though Gabriel and Rhone are gone, Master Vaughn is after them and will do anything to bring them back and might even kill them for hurting Linden.

I'm dying to read the second book in the series, FEVER. WITHER's cover was absolutly gorgeous and FEVER's cover is up as well and it hasn't let me down. I recommend this book to everyone.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Juliet Immortal By Stacey Jay

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: YA
Rating: 3/5
Source: Publisher

"These violent delights have violent ends And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .
Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

I had heard a lot about Stacey Jay, but never really had read any of her books and when I found out she was writing a spin-off of ROMEO AND JULIET, I was excited to read it. I did however, find the book to fall a bit short. It's not that the book was bad. I really enjoyed it, but I guess I'm so used to the original Romeo and Juliet, that it was hard for me to jump into this one and look at the classic in a new way.

I love the cover for this book. Juliet on the rocks does stand out and I have to say, this book was one of the good modern re-tellings of classic novels. This book may seem to be long, but it won't take you long to finish it. Within a day, I read this whole book. Stacey Jay created a paranormal world from a tragic classic which was brilliant.

When I heard there was going to be paranormal elements in this book, I wasn't too sure how Jay was going to pull that off, but she does! I can't wait to read more of Stacey Jay's work and if you want a modern retelling of ROMEO AND JULIET, this book is for you and it won't disappoint.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar.

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something.

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts.

I absolutly loved the first book, HUSH, HUSH and was so excited to read the second book. We know that Nora lost her father, but here she begins seeing him and she has no clue if it's real or not. Also, Patch and her begin to seperate from each other. I'll tell you, I was heart broken. I didn't want to Patch to leave Nora, but what got me furious was him being with Marcie Miller. Hello! Marcie is Nora's worse enemy!

Fitzpatrick has thrown so mnay great twists and turns that I just couldn't keep myself from putting this book down. I'll be honest, I was scared to pick this book up. I was worried that I was going to be disappointed that CRESCENDO wasn't going to live up to HUSH, HUSH, but it totally did.

Here, we find so mnay secrets that will only shock you and you will be dying to read the third book, SILENCE. Heads up, SILENCE comes out in October which is almost here and I just can't wait to get my hands on it.

Friday, August 26, 2011

*Due to Hurrican Irene coming to the East Coast and affecting me, I will not be putting up any posts during the weekend and if there's still no electricity on Monday, I will resume regualr blogging Tuesday or when the lights come back.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

I have been longing to read a book that will keep me up all night and not let me sleep until I knew for sure no one was going to come and take me. CRYER'S CROSS is the book. In the small town of Cryer's Cross, Montana, the population is only 212 so everyone knows each other. And when two students disappear, the whole town gets worried and so does Kendall when Nico leaves without a trace.

Th whole journey with Kendall trying to find Nico was fun and scary at the same time. Lisa McMann never wrote a dull part that left you wanting to close the book shut. The really creepy parts of the book were the "We" parts that McMann incorporated. At first I wasn't too sure of what they were or meant, but later on the book I understood better.

Now, the cover. The creepy writing on the desk which Kendall herself noticed all the time makes this cover one of the best of 2011. Every time Kendall sat at the desk, there was something new written, someone was writing these, giving her clues.

Overall, this book was so much fun to read, but I warm you not to read it at night or else you'll be up. With Halloween just around the corner, this book will give you a little scare.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Vision by Jen Nadol

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: YA
Rating: 3/5
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: September 27, 2011

Cassie Renfield knows the mark tells her when someone is going to die and that she can intervene and attempt to change fate. But she still doesn't understand the consequences, especially whether saving one life dooms another. With no family left to offer guidance, Cassie goes in search of others like her. But when she meets Demetria, a troubled girl who seems to have the power of the Fates, Cassie finds the truth isn't at all what she expected. And then there's her heady new romance with bad boy Zander. Dating him has much graver repercussions than she could ever have imagined, forcing Cassie to make choices that cut to the essence of who she is and what she believes.

After reading the first book in the series, I wanted to follow where Cassie's  adventure was going to take her next. Cassie has left her entire past behind and moved. She has new friends, new person she lives with, and a new crush. Zander. Zander has the reputation as a player. Everyone in school knows that, but Cassie still finds him cute.

Cassie also is pretending to be "friends" with a girl placed in a mental institution because she believes they share the same power of seeing the mark. But then Zander comes near Cassie and their love story begins.

What I loved about this book was how Nadol threw in Greek Mythology. I haven't read much YA that has Greek Mythology and even though I'm not too into it, it wasn't boring. While reading the book, I always had a feeling that Zander was up to something or just knew something. I am going to try and keep this review spoil free so all I'm going to say is there's more to Zander than the rumors and what he appears on the outside.

Now the cover. I love the whole mystery, creepy feeling it has with the guy in the dark and the blue halo surrounding him. It totally captures your attention.

Overall, if you thought THE MARK was good, I would say give THE VISION a try. Or if you're waiting for another book to come out, THE VISION is a quick read that will speed up the time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clarity by Kim Harrington

Publisher: Point
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

When you can see things others can't, where do you look for the truth?
This paranormal murder mystery will have teens reading on the edge of their seats.
Clarity "Clare" Fern sees things. Things no one else can see. Things like stolen kisses and long-buried secrets. All she has to do is touch a certain object, and the visions come to her. It's a gift.
And a curse.
When a teenage girl is found murdered, Clare's ex-boyfriend wants her to help solve the case - but Clare is still furious at the cheating jerk. Then Clare's brother - who has supernatural gifts of his own - becomes the prime suspect, and Clare can no longer look away. Teaming up with Gabriel, the smoldering son of the new detective, Clare must venture into the depths of fear, revenge, and lust in order to track the killer. But will her sight fail her just when she needs it most?

This book has been the far best murder mystery I have read. I was on the edge of my seat and biting my nails through reading CLARITY. The book is filled with twists and turns and I couldn't trust anyone.

I felt horrible for Clarity (Clare). She was made fun of in school and had no friends because of her psychic gift. Her family needed the money they received by doing psychic readings to pay the bills off during the Winter and life just seemed tough for Clare. Then a murder happens and all the tourists freak out. But to solve the case comes in a new Detective from NYC with his drop dead gorgeous son, Gabriel. Clare immediatly falls for him and Gabriel does for her until he finds out she's a psychic.

He has the "thing" against psychics and Clare's old boyfriend, Justin, is in on solving the case. I was glad when Clare was picking up things with her psychi abilities, but she did capture images that she didn't want to see. The her brother, Perry, is taken by the police because on the night Victoria died, Perry was with her. Even though Clare knows her brother is innocent, she can't help but wonder. I did at times too.

And then arrives the ending. Out of all my guesses of who killed Victoria, I was wrong. I stayed up late at night wanting to finish this book because I had just had to know who killed Victoria. And let me tell you, you're going to be suprised.

I can't wait for the next book, PERCEPTION and see what else is going to happen in Clare's life. CLARITY was a great murder mystery and a great start to a new series. 

Monday, August 22, 2011

Between by Jessica Warman

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

Elizabeth Valchar --- pretty, popular and rich --- wakes up the morning after her 18th birthday on the yacht where she’d been celebrating with her closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, she finds her own drowned body is hitting the side of the boat. Liz is dead. She has no memory of what happened to her, and can only observe in horror the fallout of her death.

She’s also soon joined by Alex Berg, a quiet boy from her high school who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. The two keep each other company, floating in and out of memories and trying to piece together the details of what happened to each of them.

In her regular life, Liz was a runner. It wasn’t abnormal for her to run 8-10 miles per day. But as memories from closer to her death begin to surface, Liz finds that she’d been running much more than normal, and that she’d all but stopped eating. Liz’s mother, who died when Liz was nine, had battled with anorexia as well, and those around her worried that Liz was following in her mother’s footsteps. But something more sinister was consuming Liz from the inside out...

I first discovered Jessica Warman when I read her book WHERE THE TRUTH LIES. I really enjoyed that book and when I heard about her new book, BETWEEN, I was excited to read it. Every year, there comes out a book or two that takes me on a journey and makes me feel emotions I never knew I could feel from just words on paper. BETWEEN is one of those books.

After partying on her boat for her birthday party with her friends, Liz wakes up and finds herself dead. She then meets Alex Berg, a guy who died a year ago in where they both are which seems to be in Between. Liz goes back and views parts of her life from when she was little and in high school. I have to say, I hated Liz. The way she would treat people as though they were nothing and she was the only person that everyone should bow down to was just wrong. She was even mean at times to Alex, but there she would control herself. She always felt as a queen when she was with her friends, but when she was dead, she was basically nothing. No one cared anymore. Liz changed and I liked that.

Liz watched her boyfriend, Richie, how he and her sister Josie were getting together and as Liz was getting annoyed with Josie, so was I. But as the book continues, you find out why Liz began acting the way she did and why Josie was just Josie. After Liz's mom died, her dad married Josie's mom, but everyone, including Josie believed Liz's dad was her real dad. It hurt Liz, expecially since she had lost her mom.

But before Alex leaves Liz, he shows her who killed him and I was shocked. I would have never guessed it would have been that person. Even though they went through my mind, I still marked it off as no. But then Liz is left alone to see who killed her.

The ending was the biggest shocker in the book. I'm not going to spoil it, but the person who killed Liz was with Liz the entire time. They acted as though they cared for Liz, until the night of the party came, Liz was drunk, everyone was drunk and it was the perfect time to get rid of her.

I loved this book so much that I stayed up late to finish it. This book haunted me while reading it and when I finished. It gives you a feeling that lingers with you after you're done with the book. JessicaWarman has created a masterpiece here with BETWEEN. I loved every bit of it.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Michel Grant's New Novel

The missing son of a U.N. diplomat... the reemergence of a strange organization... a pair of society twins caught in the middle... this is just the beginning of "Go BZRK," a new transmedia experience from author Michael Grant.

If you're ready to take the plunge in an interactive story like you've never experienced before, visit and register with to take your first steps in a strange and compelling universe.

Filled with video, puzzles, community collaboration, and more, "Go BZRK" put YOU the player right in the middle of the action as you join Nexus Humanus and unravel a mystery that may hold the key to the fate of all mankind.

Below is a Q&A with Michael Grant:

What is “Go BZRK”? Is this a book or some kind of interactive story?

Both. The book comes out this winter, but the interactive part starts now.  One leads up to the other, but they're part of a complete package.

Why “transmedia”?

There are different approaches to transmedia.  Most people take a single story and reproduce it on various platforms.  My philosophy has been to make each element - ARG, app, web, book - a thing unto itself, each revealing some aspect of the world of BZRK.  I've been fascinated with this is as a new way to tell stories.  The book remains central, but now I can reach beyond the book and create a much more complete world.  I can tell stories that enhance the book, and stories that parallel the book, and stories that are offshoots of backstory.  I guess the answer to "why" is "because it's fun."

Is this the future of publishing?

I began a few years ago reaching out to publishers and saying we collectively needed to understand that the old models were dead or dying.  I want publishing to survive, and of course I'd like my own career to thrive.  So Egmont Publishing and my partners and I certainly hope this is a part of the future of publishing. 

How long is this running? Is this part of a larger picture?

We'll be running this in several chunks between now and the book release this winter. Because these things have a hard start/stop point, August is a ramp-up phase. There'll be a lot of content coming out, but the experience really gets underway at the end of the month… just in time to distract the kids from their schoolwork.

What if someone wants to follow the story but doesn’t want to participate?

You don't have to do anything.  You can do one thing and not another.  But the deeper you plunge the wetter you get.  I think every part of this is fun, I think people will enjoy the ARG, the app, the site and the books. 

App? You've mentioned that a couple times now.

Just wait and see.

What can you tell us about the story? What is “BZRK”?

It's a battle for the soul and freedom of the human race carried out simultaneously in the world we know, and in a world that you're not going to expect. It's a world where if you make a false move, you're going to lose your mind.

Insanity… is this something you have a personal familiarity with?

The line between writer and crazy person is very thin.  Both go around holding long, involved conversations with people who aren't there.

What’s this other world thing all about?

Do you really want spoilers? I'll tell you this. We'll be going "down in the meat." It's going to be vast, bloody, and beautiful.

Wait… isn’t this supposed to be for kids?

Adults like to flatter themselves that kids won't get, won't understand, won't be able to handle, more intense, more complex stories. That's nonsense.  It's the adults who are easy to creep out or scare.  Say the word "biopsy" in a room full of adults. Or "audit."  See?  Easy to scare.  Kids are a tougher audience because kids think they're immortal.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Christine Seifert

1.      I'm sure with your book, THE PREDICTEDS, coming out in just a while, you must be excited. Can you relate to any of your characters?

I’m very excited! I suspect most of us can relate to some of the characters in THE PREDICTEDS, especially to Daphne and Jesse. I think everybody knows what it’s like to feel like an outsider at times. And I think everybody knows what it’s like to feel wrongly judged.

2.      How was your road to publication? Easy or Hard?

Both! I am truly fortunate to have a fantastic agent, Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group, who supported my work from the very beginning. Her encouragement and mentorship was instrumental, and she made things easy. The team at Sourcebooks, especially my editor, Leah Hultenschmidt, has been great to work with; their professionalism and general brilliance makes my job quite easy. The hard part—for me, anyway—was just staying focused for so long on one project. I like to get things done quickly and novels don’t work that way! You have to be willing to utterly live in front of the computer. I

3.      After your book, THE PREDICTEDS, is out, will you be writing any more books? What can we expect?

I’m working on something right now. It’s sort of a YA adventure story about a girl whose
parents own a company that creates “adventures” for clients in the form of fake
kidnappings and the like. I got the idea from an NPR story about a real-life company that
actually kidnaps people, for a hefty price tag, so clients can experience what kidnapping
feels like. That struck me as a really strange way to spend your time and money. I
wondered what it would be like to live in a world where your job is to create fake “adventure.”

4.      Can you tell us something about yourself no one may know?

Hmmm, that’s tough. I’m kind of an open book, so most people know everything about me. But here’s something that’s kind of weird and unusual about me, I think: I like to write with the TV on. I turn the volume way down so that the noise doesn’t disturb me. There must be something about the moving pictures that I like, I guess. I’m partial to particular shows, too, even though I can’t hear them. I love 90210 re-runs for writing (no idea why). Supernanny and Lifetime movies work pretty well too. I couldn’t tell you what happens in the shows, but I like feeling like there are people in my office with me, and that makes writing easier for me. Strange, isn’t it? Maybe it’s a sign that I don’t have enough friends or something.

5.      What kind of research do you do before you start writing a book?

That’s a great question. I’m usually sparked by something I read or hear about. In the case of THE PREDICTEDS, I was hearing a lot of news stories about school shooters and why they do it. I read a few books about mass murderers and what they tend to have in common. That led me to some books on sociopaths. And from there I found some reports about computer programs that can (supposedly) help predict the likelihood of recidivism among sex offenders.

But none of that was as important as reading lots of great YA literature. And there’s tons of it out there. I just read a ton of other YA books and got inspired to write!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Age Group: YA
Rating: 3.5/5
Source: Publisher

Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...
Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.

When I first looked at the cover of DARK PARTIES, I thought it was going to be some sort of mystery novel, but only to find it was a dystopian. I'm just getting into the hang of dystopian novels and so far, I'm liking them, even though they give me the chills. This book definetly did bring chills through me.

The characters in DARK PARTIES, live inside the Protectosphere which is isolated from everyone thing else on Earth. Everyone inside the Protectosphere live in fear everyday because the government just fills them with lies on what's beyond and no one actually knows. Neva and her best friend Sanna are going against the government and they have this own party of theirs called the Dark Party. And also, the government wants the citizens to have lots of babies. So if you're pregnant, no matter what wrongs you have done, you're safe because you're being good by having kids.

Neva was very smart and didn't give up easily. She wanted to do what was right and she never gave up and I felt horrible for her that she didn't have the support from her father who worked for the government and knew all the secrets.

Towards the end of the book, there are so many twists and turns that only engage you and make you want to read more. And did I meantion there's a love triangle? Neva has to chose between her boyfriend, Ethan and Sanna's boyfriend, Braydon, who loves Neva as well.

For me, the cover is pretty eye catching. The blood red snowflake dripping (which has a meaning in the book with Neva's name) and the girl with her eyes covered is pretty eye-catching.

Overall, this book was a great read and if you're looking to read more dystopians, try this one.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Lacey Anne Byer is a perennial good girl and lifelong member of the House of Enlightenment, the Evangelical church in her small town. With her driver's license in hand and the chance to try out for a lead role in Hell House, her church's annual haunted house of sin, Lacey's junior year is looking promising. But when a cute new stranger comes to town, something begins to stir inside her. Ty Davis doesn't know the sweet, shy Lacey Anne Byer everyone else does. With Ty, Lacey could reinvent herself. As her feelings for Ty make Lacey test her boundaries, events surrounding Hell House make her question her religion.

Melissa Walker has crafted the perfect balance of engrossing, thought-provoking topics and relatable, likable characters. Set against the backdrop of extreme religion, Small Town Sinners is foremost a universal story of first love and finding yourself, and it will stay with readers long after the last page.

One word for this book - Amazing! Never before have I read a book with religion incorporated in it, but somehow this book took my breath away. There was something about Lacey that made me want to continue reading and seeing what was going to happen.

Lacey has grown up in a very religious home and town. Her father is a pastor and every year, her church does the annual Hell House and Lacey is dying to get the role of Abortion girl, even though she's a junior and mostly seniors get that role. To her disappointment, she does not land the role, but her best friend's, Starla Joy, sister does, Tessa. But later on, Tessa abandon's the role because she's pregnant. Everything around Lacey's life changes. And when a childhood friend returns to town, Ty, she begins to question her own faith.

Melissa Walker has a natural way of expressing feelings and those feelings pop out of a page and come to the reader. I found myself not wanting to stop reading this book and when I did stop, I was still thinking of it. Everything was amazing about this book.

I loved the cover. It captured the book in just one snapshot. My favorite shot is the apple bitten into a heart shape.

I congratulate Melissa Walker for taking a sensetive subject and turning it to a breathless read and lingers after you're done reading.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

Publisher: NAL Trade
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4.5/5
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: September 6, 2011

Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor-it means death.

The first line of the synopsis caught my attention immediatly. I didn't really know what to expect with this book and when I began reading it, I hoped to just get an idea of what the book was going to be about, but found myself sucked in. I couldn't stop reading this book. Yes, this book is about vampires, but it introduces a whole new world that I've never read before.

I felt horrible for Annelise. When you say someone only has bad luck, Annelise, aka Drew, had all of it. Her father was so mean towards her and her stepmother wasn't any better. Everyone one in school treated her like she didn't exist, but she was very smart. And when she thinks she has graduated earlier than everyone, escaped them, and is finally going to college, bad luck comes back and bites her.

And there she meets Ronan. Not only is Ronan hot, but he also treats Drew nice. It was fun seeing Drew evolve from someone always being pushed around, to someone who has to fight for her life in order to stay alive in the new life she's going to live.

ISLE OF NIGHT is a great new YA novel that brings something that we enjoy to read - vampires - with a whole new plot. I'm so excited to read the next book in the series! If you enjoy the paranormal, give this book a shot, it doesn't disappoint.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dark Song by Gail Giles

Publisher: Little, Brown and Co.
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Mark said he heard the dark song when he creeped houses. The song the predator's heart sings when it hears the heart of the prey. I heard it now. Mark said it had always been in me. Lurking. Waiting for me to hear.
Ames is not the person she was a few months ago. Her father lost his job, and her family is crumbling apart. Now, all she has is Marc. Marc, who loves her more than anything. Marc, who owns a gun collection. And he'll stop at nothing--even using his guns--to get what he wants. Ames feels her parents have betrayed her with their lies and self-absorption, but is she prepared to make the ultimate betrayal against them?

At first, the book started of a little slow for me. When her father lost her job, I felt bad for her, but I felt worse on the way her mom was acting. Her mom didn't care for her kids at all anymore. Instead of trying to help the family get through the hard time they were going through, to me, she was just making it worse.

It turns out her father did something terribly wrong at work, so now they had to move to Texas. Then, Ames meets Mark. Mark at first was sweet. I liked him and kept wondering to myself how in the world can this guy be mean? But later on in the book, Mark begins getting angry and Ames' little sister realizes that when Mark is angry, it's better to just stay away and not say anything. He also knows Ames' pain and tells her that he can get rid of it because he has a gun.

Now, the book was getting really exciting and I couldn't believe what I was reading. I couldn't believe what Ames was getting herself into. The ending is heart - pounding. I just couldn't stop reading because I was scared. It was like watching a horror movie and not knowing if someone is going to pop out of the closet door or not.

Gail Giles has written a terrifiying story of a family gone off tracks and what happens when everything breaks. DARK SONG is truly an amazing book and I'm looking foreward to reading more of Gail's books in the future.

Also, look at that cover. How gorgeous! Even the cover has the creep factor that will keep you up wondering about this book.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Passion by Lauren Kate

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Publisher

Luce would die for Daniel.
And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .
Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.
Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.
Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.
Sweeping across centuries, PASSION is the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series.

Lauren Kate has done it again! I was so excited to read PASSION, but was afraid I was going to be disappointed, but I wasn't. In PASSION, we finally get some background on Luce and Daniel's journey.

Luce time travels to all her lifetimes and witnesses herself and Daniel, but she also witnesses when she dies and see's what torture Daniel goes through without her. But the bad part about all of this is that Luce could mess up the way history was written and could destroy the future. Along traveling with her is Bill. Now, at first, I thought Bill was sort of annoying following Luce everywhere, but he was nice to her and led her along, until you reach the end of the book and it's a total shocker. I never expected that to come.

The cover is as always beautiful. I have loved all the covers of the books and can't wait to see the cover of RAPTURE, the final book in the series.

Overall, PASSION was great and Lauren Kate continues writing her magic in this seductive series that leaves you on the edge of your seat.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anne Crossman Interview

1. Balancing a social life and keeping a good gpa is hard. When you were in high school and college, did you ever have trouble keeping both?

If we're being honest--and I mean really honest--no, I didn't do both well.  In fact, that is part of what made me want to write this book.  I was a hardworking student, becoming valedictorian and student-body vice president and overloading my extracurriculars to get into Stanford just like every other high school student with ambitions of life after graduation.  But, I took my calculus book to basketball games (the few times I actually attended them) and spent far more time at my desk than I did with my friends.  Students tend to err in extremes on the question of social live versus scholastic acheivement, and if they have to do so--again, being super honest here--they're better off aiming for the library instead of the local pizza joint on Friday night.  That being said, it doesn't have to be an either/or scenario.  I am a recovering Unperfected Perfectionist (full details on that in the book) but hopefully once students read STUDY SMART, STUDY LESS they will be Brain Trainers, having their pizza and eating it too.

2. Publishing is hard now-a-days. How was your journey on becoming a published author? Easy or hard?

I would say my author journey thus far has been providential.  The publishing world is intense; there are a lot of hard-working writers who never get published and some who do.  One of my professors once told me, "If what you are writing is truly good, it will get published."  I believed her and spent less time on submitting my work for the first decade or so and more time on honing my craft, so that once the opportunity presented itself, I was ready.  And, she was right.  Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss) and Madeleine L'Engle are two of my heros for their stories of perseverance despite a looming stack of rejection letters.

3. When did you first realize that you wanted to become an author?

I have a journal dating back from when I was six years old and writing poetry.  Really awful poetry.  The kind where I rhymed Glue and True and thought I was doing something that had never been done before.  I can't say I have always wanted to be a writer, but I do know that I've always enjoyed writing.  Well, almost.  Let's just say I've never looked for an excuse to write research papers.  I do love poetry, though, and I'm pretty sure I've moved past the Glue stage.

4. Your book, STUDY SMART, STUDY LESS is hilarious. Plus it had so much helpful information. How were you able to put all that information down and not drive a student off the wall trying to memorize everything?

 Thanks!  I still laugh at some of my favorite parts in the book, and I love what Chris Kalb did with the illustrations.  From the very beginning with this project I was determined that the book had to stay small and precise.  If a student needs help in the study departement, it's because she had studying to do (and, thus, little time to read my book).  Plus, I remember teaching English and offering my students two book choices and you know which one they always chose?  The shorter one.  Because I wrote the foundation of the book as a gift to the students I was currently teaching, I think I was able to focus on the major points and leave all the other stuff for another book.  I remember what it was as a student; to be stressed and behind and lost and overwhelmed, and to the extent I am able to help out students who find themselves in a similar jam, I am thrilled.

5. What other book do you have planned for in the future? Can you tell?

So many books, so little time.  I would love to get back to my poetry at some point.  I recently published a poetry memoir on Alzheimer's, TRYING TO REMEMBER, as a response to my grandmother's struggle with the disease for 15 years.  (You can check out samples of the poems on my site--I promise, they are very readable and don't require a degree in English to understand them.)  I also have a second edition of GETTING THE BEST OUT OF COLLEGE I am working on with my colleagues, and that's due out in April.  Depending on how STUDY SMART, STUDY LESS fares in the marketplace, there may more similar work on the way...but, that's all very hush hush still.

6. Can you tell us three things no one may know about you?

Hmm, three unknowns about Anne Crossman... I love to ride the subway, I am a horrific speller, and I have a serious obsession with chocolate-covered-anything.  (Well, that last one may not be all that secret, given my chocolate references in the book.)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

*From August 4 - 10, I'll be on vacation and won't be checking email. I'm also not going to be posting anything on the blog, but occasionally I'll be on Twitter. If you send me an email and I don't respond right away, don't worry, I will when I get back.

The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

Publisher: Egmont USA
Age Group: YA
Rating: 1/5
Source: Bought

A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process.

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot, a newcomer to town. But as the two grow closer, Grace's relationship with Daniel is put in danger - in more ways than one.

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her - not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.

I did not like the sequal at all. The first book took me on a journey which I loved, but THE LOST SAINT, didn't. The book started off slow and continued to be slow for me. I had to skim throught the book to get through it.

The characters weren't annoying by any means, it was just the pace and the writing of the book that didn't capture my interest.

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Publisher: Egmont USA
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Bought

A Prodigal Son

A Dangerous Love

A Deadly Secret

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.

I loved this book! I started reading this hoping to just read a few pages, but realized that I couldn't just read a few pages. I was hooked and needed to read more. Bree Despain does a great job involving mythology with her character who are real.

Grace was a fun character. She loved her brother Jude, but she couldn't help but fall in love with Daniel. Jude and Daniel had this whole problem going on and Jude thought her was protecting Grace from Daniel, when Grace was only falling more in love.

There was so much mystery and suspence in this book, I was at the edge of my seat the entire time and waiting to see what was going to happen next.

I highly recomend this book!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

All You Desire by Kirsten Miller

Publisher: Razorbill
Age Group: YA
Rating: 5/5
Source: Author

Haven Moore and Iain Morrow have been living a blissful life in Rome, an ocean way from the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader. But paradise is not to last. The mysterious disappearance of Haven's best friend, Beau, sends the pair running back to New York, where they encounter the Horae, an underground group of women who have spent centuries scheming to destroy Adam Rosier. Only they can help Haven uncover the secret to Beau's whereabouts in one of her past lives. But their help comes at a price: Haven must infiltrate the Ouroboros Society, charm Adam Rosier, and lure him into a trap. It's a plan the Horae believe will save the world-but Haven and Iain fear that it may destroy the happiness they've been chasing for two thousand years.

Four words. I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK!! This novel was a journey that I never wanted to end. There were so many emotions and fears I had while reading it and I just couldn't stop. Haven thinks she's having a great peaceful life, until she finds out Beau is missing and she and Iain go back to New York to find him. There, Haven meets Adam again and a love triangle forms and the romance sizzles.

I enjoyed THE ETERNAL ONES so much that I wondered how Kirsten Miller was going to be able to pull of ALL YOU DESIRE, but she surpasses my expectations. Kirsten Miller has shown she has a talent in writing and I was hooked from page one. And I have to admit, I was falling for Adam and even I couldn't contain my emotions.

This book was a movie and roller coaster for me. The writing was so vivid. But I do have to warn you all that there is a cliffhanger and it left me wanting more. I can't wait to read what will happen next and I'm sure the next book will be just as amazing!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

Publisher: Walker Books
Age Group: YA
Rating: 4/5
Source: Publisher

Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

My interest for HUNTING VIOLET came from the idea of ghosts in this book. Lately, I have been loving books with ghosts in them and I haven't been able to get enough. I thought this book was going to be in present day, but it wasn't. It is set in the 1800s and I think that gives the book a creep factor.

At first, the book was a bit slow for me and I couldn't wait until Violet was seeing the ghosts and until they were asking her for help. Violet is a very strong character. She wants her way and that's what I liked about her. She doesn't depend on others - she can take care of herself. Also, she was being dragged into marrying someone rich, when all Violet wanted to do is marry someone she actually loved, not just for money.

Also, the whole ghost seeing thing is a family business. Now that grabbed my attention. I was waiting to see secrets unveiled. This book is great with all the murder mystery involved in it. It was also good to read a stand alone book with a very satisfing ending.