Feb 28, 2011

Short but FUN interview!

Hey guys,

Just wanted to let you all know that I did a short but fun interview with Lulu over at her blog, The Book Worm is Here!

Stop by and let me know what you think :) If you really wanna be extra nice, you should give Lulu a Follow. She does awesome, in-debt reviews... and the best part is that they are spoiler-free! Check it out if you have some time. 

In the mean time I am working on some reviews, reading, working, trying to balance a loving boyfriend and a crazy Mexican family.... can you say fun?! Booo! Oh well, that's Life :) Thanks again for this quick-escape interview, Lulu!

Feb 23, 2011

Review: The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods #4)

Title: The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods #4)
Author: Melissa de la Cruz
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Challenge: None
Pages: 384

My Rating:
With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged. Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz's vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series. - summary from goodreads.com 

Let me just begin by saying that I LOVE this series! Every time another book comes out in this series I get wrapped up in it. In the fourth installment, the events takes place a year after the evens in Rio (from the third novel) and is written from three key character's points of view: Bliss, Schuyler, and Mimi.

Plot wise, there is a lot of action going on as we now know who Bliss really is and begin to see what plans her father is hatching. I really admired Schuyler in this novel, she's traveling the world with no one but Oliver by her side, and she has a team of Venerators on her trail, yet she stays strong and cool. We seem to get some sort of resolution in the Schuyler-Oliver-Jack love triangle.

And NO, (as badly as I want to have someone to talk to about this) I will not reveal what happens. But I will say this- I’m Team Jack all the way. He’s the mysterious, deathly angel with a heart of gold, you can’t help but love him. His passion and love for Schuyler is just freaking hott! Just the way he looks at her, you don’t know if he wants to grab her and kiss her, or… um, do her. He drives me crazy!

Overall, add this book to your TBR pile people! If you’ve made it this far, you won’t be disappointed. One more thing, the ending- it was intense, and I did not see it coming. Just when I thought I had the plot figured out, de la Cruz takes her story and twists it 180 degrees. Well done Mrs. De la Cruz, well done. 

Feb 22, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays (1)

This meme is hosted by Ginger over at GReads & showcases music. Each week we will post a new or old song in hopes to gain more interest. Let's all help spread the love of music and find some new favorites on the way! Everyone should feel free to get involved with this meme - just head on over, and link up, and remember to link back to Ginger's blog, too!

 This weeks Tune
MUSE- Hysteria 


I am currently obsessed with this song. I have it on repeat on both my itunes and ipod. I've always been a MUSE fan, but it wasn't until last September (when I saw them in concert) that I became a fan-girl obsessed. To me, personally, this song reminds me of a well known "life quote"- you always want what you can't have.

Feb 21, 2011

10 good things on a Monday (1)

10 Good Things on a Monday is a weekly feature over at Nina’s blog- Brush up On Your Reading. Every Monday we are going to make a list of 10 things that will cheer us up and help tide us over the whole week.

My 10 Good Things for this week: 
My Top 10 dream destinations

1. London, England- Not only for the scenic tour, but also because London is home to my favorite Soccer team, Chelsea FC.

2. Paris, France- The Louvre museum, the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame, SMDB, etc. The list goes on and on :)

3. Madrid, Spain- I need to visit the Prado Museum! Not to mention watch me a Real Madrid FC game, and maybe stop by the Plaza Mayor.

4. Tokyo, Japan- The technology capital of the WORLD! Being a tech freak myself, I'd love to visit Japan some day (eat some REAL sushi!)

5. Beijing, China- Who doesn't want to visit the Great Wall of China. I've been wanting to go there since my elementary school report on China.

6. Berlin, Germany- The Berlin wall, the national museums... not to mention that the Black Forest is only a couple hours away :)

7. Amastradam, The Netherlands- Although a lot of people see it as a controversial city, I'd love to visit the red district.

8. Venice, Italy- Do I need to say anything? This is like the ultimate city of love. During my last visit to Italy, I was super bummed we couldn't go up north. I wanted to visit either Venice of Florence.

9. New York, New York- Believe it or not I have not been to NY. I know, I know... I'm lagging it. I live in the US and have never been to Times Square, but ONE DAY!

10. San Juan, Puerto Rico- I actually have an aunt who's been here and ever since she told me about her travels and how beautiful the country was, Puerto Rico was added to my top 10.

Tell me- What's on your "to-visit" list?

Review: Hunted (House of Night #5)

Title: Hunted (House of Night #5)
Author: PC & Kristen Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Challenge: YA Series Challenge
Pages: 323

My Rating:

What if the hottest guy in the world was hiding a nameless evil, and all he wanted was you? Kalona looks gorgeous, and he has the House of Night under his spell. A past life holds the key to breaking his rapidly spreading influence, but what if this past life shows Zoey secrets she doesn’t want to hear and truths she can’t face? On the run and holed up in Tulsa’s Prohibition-era tunnels, Zoey and her gang must discover a way to deal with something that might bring them all down. Meanwhile, Zoey has a few other little problems. The red fledglings have cleaned up well – they’ve even managed to make the dark, creepy tunnels feel more like home – but are they really as friendly as they seem? On the boyfriend front, Zoey has a chance to make things right with super-hot ex-, Erik, but she can’t stop thinking about Stark, the archer who died in her arms after one unforgettable night, and she is driven to try to save him from Neferet’s sinister influence at all costs. Will anyone believe the power evil has to hide among us? -summary from goodreads.com

Hurray for Hunted! I seriously was beginning to doubt the mother-daughter duo, but they have pulled it off once again! I won’t lie, I was really feeling this book…. we finally see a bit more action going on, the plot moves forward (even though at times, the book did seem like a bit of a “filler”, but it’s ok cause I loved it). And although, to me personally, Zoey is on the brink of looking like a hoe, I LOVE STARK! (Erik, who?) I'm very happy with what happens between Zoey and Stark, but a bit of closure with Erik or Heath would have been nice. Maybe we’ll see this in the next installment.

The only thing I wasn’t feeling was the fact that I'm finding way too much repetition for such a short book. These books are way too short and the first couple of chapters are dedicated to summarizing past events. Um, hello! This is book 5 for goodness sake. If we’ve followed this far I’m pretty sure we know what’s going on.

Overall, Hunted is an awesome add to the HON series! More than anything, this book shows us how Zoey struggles with her powers and her friends, not so much as by arguing, but how to make them see her point of view. She still continues to have a bit of guy drama, but not as much as in other books. It was nice to read about Zoey’s true feelings and what she planned on doing about everything and everyone. It truly was a light, easy, entertaining read. If you’ve followed Zoey and the Nerd Heard up to book 5, read it now! You won’t be disappointed.

Feb 18, 2011

Book bloggler hop (5) & Follow Friday (5)

Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee's View & Blog hop is hosted by Crazy for books! This is an awesome way to talk a bit about yourself and make some new friends along the way! 

Follow Friday! :)
This week's question is:

"What book(s) would you like to see turned into a movie?"

I am counting down the days til Mrs. Clare's Mortal Instruments movie comes out.... I wonder if they have a countdown widget for that? Also, Aimee Friedman's SEA CHANGE would be an awesome book for a movie adaptation.... haven't read it? YOU SHOULD!

Book Blog Hop! :)

This week's question is: 

"If you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read Science Fiction before...any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?"  

-Being a YA lover, I have currently added The Adoration of Jenna Fox to my TBR pile. This is a YA science fiction read. Here's a bit on it. 

THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary E. Pearson-  Long after the accident, Jenna finally wakes from a coma with no memories. Who is she now, and how can she begin again? Does she have a right to? A compelling near-future story that will haunt readers long after the last page. Masterful.

Hopefully I can start it soon :)

Feb 17, 2011

Guest Post: Laura Kreitzer on human trafficking

Hello Literary-Folk!

My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I’m the author of the Timeless Series and the Summer Chronicles. This week I would like to alert everyone on a colossal crisis that’s gone unnoticed in the world: human trafficking. That’s why I’ve asked hundreds of blogs to be involved with spreading the word on this issue that’s become close to my heart.

As an author, and someone whose life is put in the spotlight, I keep most people at a distance. Only a handful of my friends know the whole me and the events from my past. But this week I’d like to share with you a part of myself that the outside world doesn’t see (and a part of me I don’t like to share). I was emotionally abused for five years by someone I thought loved me, my mind beaten into submission. Though the turmoil I went through doesn’t penetrate as deep as someone forced into slavery on the worldwide market for human trafficking, I can sadly relate in some ways: imprisoned, my life dictated down to what I wore, ate, where I went, whom I spoke to, where I worked, when I slept, bending to his every whim. He did not sway, even when I cried through some of the more traumatic things he had me do. I was a slave in my own home. In my desperation for freedom, I held out a gun and asked him to just end my suffering. I was desperate.

I can’t even imagine how many women (and men) in the world are in a similar situation. What’s even worse, I had it mild compared to the children that are sold for labor or sex. Surprisingly, the good ol’ U.S.A. is reported to be the host to two million slaves. Did you know this? Because I certainly did not; not until I was preparing to write my newest novel: Phantom Universe. The main character, Summer Waverly, was stolen as a child and sold as a slave to the captain of a modern-day pirate ship. From a loved child who only knew “time-out” as punishment, to being whipped into silence was something I knew nothing about. So I researched deeply into human trafficking and the psychological effects of torture of various types that one would endure in these circumstances. I felt shaken at my findings and knew I had to tell Summer’s story. (Read a sneak peek here.)

A storm began to brew in my mind; transforming, morphing, twisting, and expanding into this massive, black cloud. I had to bring this tragic atrocity to the forefront. My own emotional experiences, mixed with the research I did on human trafficking, made me feel an intense connection with Summer, and to all women who’ve been through this kind of brutality. The cloud ruptured and rained all over my computer one day. It took one month to write Phantom Universe, the first in the Summer Chronicles. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote nearly nonstop, only breaking for necessary tasks like eating, showering, and occasionally—very occasionally—sleeping.

Though the book I’ve written would be classified as Science Fiction, or as I’d like to call it, Dystopian, the emotions and psychological aspects are not Science Fiction—they're real. Reviewers have said many amazing things about Summer, this character who is so real in my mind and who I cried along with as the words poured from my soul onto my screen.
“I admired Summer's strength and ability to adapt,” says CiCi’s Theories. “I felt tied to her emotions,” Jennifer Murgia, author or Angel Star admits. And Tahlia Newland, author of Lethal Inheritance, remarks, “Summer is strong and smart in mind [. . .]”
Through her overwhelmingly horrendous past, Summer goes on more than just a physical journey in Phantom Universe, she goes on a psychological one as well; growing beyond her mute state to persevere and survive in a new world beyond the whip she’s so frightened of.

Now that the release date is here, I’m excited and terrified to share this story with everyone. I’m emotionally tied in every way to the words I’ve written, because they’re more than words. More than just a story on a page. Beyond the fictional aspects, there’s a real issue that needs to be addressed: human trafficking must be stopped. We shouldn’t sit idly by while this continues to plague us. Our world’s children—our nation’s children—are being affected. It’s time we take action!

Earlier this month Phantom Universe hit Barnes and Noble’s top 100 Best Selling list. I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sales from Phantom Universe, until the end of February, to the DNA Foundation.
“DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators, and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

Freedom is a basic human right and slavery is one of the greatest threats to that freedom. No one has the right to enslave another person.”

—From DNA Foundation’s Website
I ask that you spread the word to everyone you know. Look around on the DNA Foundation website and find a way to get involved in ending human trafficking. Take action today. Everyone has a voice—you have a voice. Will you have the courage to use it?

Review: The Dark Divine

Title: The Dark Divine
Author: Bree Despain
Publisher: Egmont USA
Cahllenege: None
Pages: 372

My Rating:

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. -summary from goodreads.com
Being a religious person myself, I was really looking forward to reading this book. I had heard the author had superbly incorporated both religious theology and a paranormal climate. Can you say awesome? I always wondered how that would turn out (and let me tell you).... IT ROCKED! The story itself is awesome, you can practically imagine yourself in each scene from such great description. The plot didn't really start until the middle when you finally figure out the "secrets" that Daniel is keeping but after that things start to move FAST. At times I found myself slowing down, I didn't want the book to end- but I just had to know what would happen with Daniel and Grace.

Grace was a very interesting character. She’s the town pastors daughter and she goes to a Christian school with her older brother Jude. She flip flops between her love for Daniel and her fear of his past. She's always struggling with her desire to be a good Christian and her desire to be a loyal sister. At times, it was very interesting to see how Grace dealt with certain situations; her religion prohibited her from doing certain things, but how could she stay away when her heart told her otherwise? Grace was a fascinating character to read about, she was bit of both Christian ideology and doubt.

Jude, at first, seemed like an awesome guy but as times went on, you finally see how warped and messed up in the head he really is. Daniel on the other hand, I adored him. I loved the interactions between him and Grace. Daniel is so much more compelling than the rest of the characters. He comes from a broken home; his father beat him, his mother abandoned him and to make it all worse; he's cursed. He is an Urbat, Hounds of Heaven, but now are called the Dogs of Death. This was a concept i really enjoyed reading about. It was a new take on werewolves. These Urbats (werewolves like creatures) were created to destroy the demons that walked the earth, but their original purpose became corrupted. But despite his background and what he is, Daniel still tries to be good and honorable. You can’t help but love him.

Overall, The Dark Divine is captivating mix of religion, romance and even a bit of danger. I loved this book! This is a must read for all you paranormal-romance fans. I can't wait to get my hands on sequel The Lost Saint, which luckily for me is already out :) yesss! I hear B&N is having a president's day sale... you know where I'll be this Monday.

Feb 16, 2011

Review: Shiver

Title: Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Challenge: YA Series Challenge
Pages: 392

My Rating:

the cold. Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.
the heat. Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.
the shiver. For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future. -summary from goodreads.com
I actually finished reading this book a while back, but hadn't had time to write down my thoughts. In this lovely story, we follow Grace and Sam. As a child, Grace was attacked by wolves. She was seven years old at the time and dragged from her tire swing. She some how survived due to one wolf fending off the others. Ever since that incident, she has been wolf obsessed. She’s always on the lookout for her wolf; the one that saved her life.

It turns out that Grace’s wolf is actually a werewolf. He changes shape every summer into a normal teenage boy and he is every bit as obsessed by her and she is with him, as a wolf. Although she was bitten, Grace never changed, not when it got cold or when she got older. And when she finally meets Sam, her wolf in person form, she realizes that she’s always been in love with him.

What I loved about Shiver was the romance, the vivid detail of each scene (I loved the candy store scene) and the dialogue is so musical and romantic. I got sucked right into how much Sam and Grace feel about each other. At times, it did seem a bit too much “lovey dovey” (if you know what I mean), but most of the time things ran smoothly and enjoyable.

Overall, Shiver is a great novel with a new twist on werewolves. I liked how ordinary it seemed to Grace when she figures out all the wolves are werewolves. She doesn't freak out, she isn't even really surprised. It’s as if she always knew she’d end up with her wolf. Gosh, this story is great. If you haven’t read it, give it a try- you won’t regret it!

Feb 15, 2011

Review: Vampire Academy

Title: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Challenege: YA Series
Pages: 332

My Rating:

St. Vladimir's Academy isn't just any boarding school—it's a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They've been on the run, but now they're being dragged back to St. Vladimir's—the very place where they're most in danger... Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world's fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever. -summary from goodreads.com

Being a vampire book, I was VERY hesitant when it came to reading “Vampire Academy”, but surprisingly VA was an awesome read that I finished in one sitting… I loved it! In this world created by Ms. Mead, we follow our protagonists Rose and Lissa whom both attend St. Vladimir's boarding school. It's a school for Moroi and Dhampirs; Morois are mortal vampire royalty with a deep connection to elemental magic and Dhampir’s are their guardians. A Dhampir's most important job is to protect the Moroi they are assigned to. Rose is Lissa's Dhampir and Lissa is the last member of one of the royal houses.

In the beginning I really didn’t like Rose, she’s a 17-year-old girl who has a reputation for being easy, she has a terrible mouth and is very conceited. It felt to me that she often times bossed Lissa around. But as the story progressed, my opinion of Rose changed. We learn a bit about her personal life, family background and certain obstacles she’s had to overcome. As a reader, you start to feel connected to Rose and you want her to meet her goals. Of course, when Dimitri came into the picture, I desperately wanted Rose to end up with him. I wanted Rose to be a show-off and prove to Dimitri that she could hang on his level… eh, training wise.

This book has a really good storyline, character development, action scenes and romance. The plot touches base on somewhat difficult topics; “cutting” yourself, respecting your body, being loyal to your family or yourself… I really don’t want to go into too much detail, this is such a unique story that every reader should experience for themselves. Towards the end, there isn’t much “closure” to the story, but seeing as it is the first in a series, that's not terribly surprising. That having been said, every vampire lover should start this series. I really don’t know why I waited until now to start…. I’ve been missing out!