Mar 30, 2011

Review: Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Title: Wither (Chemical Garden #1)
Author: Lauren Destefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 356
Challenge: None

My Rating:

What if you knew exactly when you would die? Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out. When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home. But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left. -summary from

In Wither the human race is nothing but genetic engineering, and because of this there is a lethal virus that has Women dying at the age of 20 and Men dying at the age of 25. Enter our main character; Rhine (how awesome is her name?). Rhine is a 16 year-old girl who is orphaned and has fought day to day to survive in this chaotic world with her twin brother. She is kidnapped, and sold to the highest bidder. She soon learns that her new housemaster; Dr. Vaughn, intends to marry her of to his son, Linden. Along with Rhine is Cecily, a 13 year-old girl, and Jenna, a 19 year-old girl, who are to become sister wives.  Yes, you read it right- Sister wives. They will all share the same husband, Linden.
No enemy is to small; that’s what Wither taught me. Dr. Vaughn was a perfect villain. At first I was like, “If men die at age 25, why does Linder still have a father?” well, it turns out Dr. Vaughn is the first generation of genetically modified humans; they’re exactly what they were meant to be- very healthy and very strong. The defect, or the virus, showed up when the first generation began to reproduce, their children died young. Although we don’t see much of Dr. V throughout the book, we do hear A LOT about him… and let me tell you, it struck fear in my heart every time they mentioned his name.
Rhine is a smart, brave and kind-hearted heroine but what I really love most about Rhine was she knows what she wants and she won't stop until she get it. Also, her relationship with Rose and her sisters wives, especially with Jenna, was really beautiful. It's amazing how they formed their strong bonds with each other despite their given situation. You can’t help but feel for Linden. He may be ignorant, but he truly is a caring soul. He really does care for his wives and he thinks he’s doing them a favor by keeping them at home. The only thing I would have liked to see happen in the novel was for Rhine to tell Linden the truth; that she was sold to her father and not ‘saved’ as Linden likes to see it…. I just can’t see Rhine with Gabriel, I’m sorry. I know he was her only true friend, besides Jenna, and helped her emotionally, but I’m more of a Linden girl. When he went to Rhine after losing Rose and cried his heart out.... wow. Let's just say I teared up myself.
Overall, Wither is an awesome debut and a must read for all dystopian lovers out there. It's a beautifully written tragic tale. The ending was good, it had some closure on certain things but many other things unanswered. I’m so happy there’s going to be a series; I desperately want to know what happens next! 

Mar 29, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays (3)

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:
Glee- "Do you wanna touch me"

This song has been stuck in my head all week! I love me some Glee.... Lots of people say Gwyneth Paltrow is too old to be singing, but I beg to differ. She may be in her late thirties, but she's got some killer vocals. You know what would be even MORE AWESOME? If her and Chris Martin (lead singer from Coldplay) would sing a song together! That would be Epic :)

Thanks, Ginger, for hosting this Meme!

Mar 28, 2011

Review: City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)

Title: City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret McElderry
Pages: 453
Challenege: YA Series

My Rating:

A murderer is loose in New York City... and the victims are Downworlder children. Clary Fray and her fellow Shadowhunters have a strong suspicion that Valentine, Clary's father, may be behind the killings. But if he is the murderer, then what's his true motive? To make matters worse, the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, has been stolen, and the mysterious Inquisitor has arrived to investigate, with his eyes vigilantly targeted on Clary's brother, Jace. Clary will need to face some terrifying demons and even more terrifying family decisions. No one said that the life of a Shadowhunter would be easy. -summary from

Awesome, but not as good as the first. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great sequel, but sequels hardly ever live up to their predecessors. City of Ashes picks up right after book one. Clary’s mom continues to be in a coma, Jace is being a jerk and avoiding Clary, but I don’t blame him; he has so many things going on in his life. First he finds out he’s attracted to sister, secondly the Maxwell’s pretty much shun him out of their family, and lastly, his father is a crazy ex-shadowhunter who will stop at nothing to have him at his side.
After a couple of chapters I came to the realization that I was leaning a bit more towards “Team Simon”. You know when that happened? After the fey court scene; I felt so bad for Simon!... I was totally ok with the fact that Clary was honestly trying to move on; she was willing to give Simon a fair chance at her heart. I admired her for it; I knew how hard it was for her to accept her circumstance with Jace. We see Clary grow so much not only as a shadowhunter, but as a person as well. She truly is a worthy heroine, especially towards the end- the ship scene. Omg! I’ll say this- Clary kicked ass.
Overall, City of Ashes was a great continuation to TMI storyline. The only thing I’m not feeling is Jace/Clary sibling relationship? Am I the only one that feels a bit frustrated that we’re at the end of book 2 and still no info? I thought we were on to something when the inquisitor recognized one of Jace’s scars but then of course, she died. How convenient! I know, I’m a big baby, but I am seriously going to pick up City of Glass right after I’m done with this review. I need to know what happens… it’s not an option, it’s a must. 

Mar 26, 2011

Review: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)

Title: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic press
Pages: 390
Challenge: None

My Rating:

Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding. -summary from

I am at total loss for words. I don't think this had ever happened to me. I must admit that I've lost so much sleep this past week just thinking about this book and how it played out (talk about book mourning...!). This book was intense; it covers many societal problems and topics such as immigration, over use of resources, PSD, reality tv, war, and many more! Prepare yourself for a crazy ride across Panem, filled with war, blood and horrors.... Oh the horrors! But don’t worry, Mockingjay kicks ass! The story is freaking AMAZING! Prepare yourself for a couple of sleepless nights people…. Don't hate me, but there are certain things I just HAVE to get off my chest... 

*This part of the review contains spoilers!*
It completely tore my heart when Katniss finally gets Peeta back but he isn't himself. Poor Katniss, I mean hasn't she suffered enough? Hasn't enough been taken from her already? Oh and then Finnick; he had just got married! What will happen to his poor unstable wife? That's just cruel! But what I thought was beyond cruel and just plain evil was the fact that even after the author puts Peeta through hell, kills of his family, makes him loose his sanity, she still doesn't have the decency to either fix him or kill him. Don't get me wrong- I'm all for Team Peeta (never really like Gale) but poor guy! He suffers so much. Katniss does not deserve him. Gosh that sounded so mean. Alright, maybe she does deserve him... I mean the girl gave everything she had, but in the end that still wasn't good enough. She had to loose the one good thing, that in my opinion helped keep her sane; poor Prim. And the ending…. I have major mixed feelings. I’m happy she ends up with Peeta, but I wanted MORE! I know for a fact she loves him, but I just wish she would have shown it. It felt to me that the only reason she stays with Peeta is because he’s around, she really didn't get to choose who she wanted to be with because she was such a mess after what happened with Prim. Poor girl, will she never catch a break?  
*End of spoilers*

Does anyone else feel the same way? I feel like I'm going crazy at night because I'll just lay in bed and repeat Mockingjay over and over again in my head. It’s as if I'm in denial... I just can't accept the ending. *sigh* I feel so week, Mockingjay has left me vulnerable. Either way, if you've read The Hunger Games and Catching fire, you should add book 3 to your list NOW! It's always good to have proper closure to every series, even if it’s not what you wanted personally. 

Mar 25, 2011

PERU- Getting spit in the face by a Peruvian llama

Alright, so in going through some of my old Peru files, I found this video of me that my friend Sonia recorded. It was during my second week in Peru; I felt pretty badass going up to a llama no one else wanted to go near.... yeah, it didn't go so well.

Peaceful creatures, my ass!.... but I guess I deserved it for bothering it. Never disturb a llama while it is eating.

Review: Once in a Full Moon

Title: Once in a Full Moon
Author: Ellen Schreiber
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Pages: 292
Challenege: None

My Rating:

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves, Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight. Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run. Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens... once in a full moon. -summary from

So, I had heard both good and bad things about this book, I wont lie- mostly bad, but you know what, I enjoyed it very much. In this story we follow Celeste, she’s your typical teenage girl who’s trying to enjoy her boyfriend and at the same time survive HS. One day during her walk home from school, she gets lost in the woods and is attacked by wolves. Thankfully, Brandon (the new boy from school) happened to be around and he comes to her rescue by scaring of the wolves off, but not without a battle scar; Brandon is bitten. Now, Legend’s Run is a very small town, and a very superstitious community. For hundreds of years there’s been a rumor running wild… you know what it is? You guessed it. Werewolves!... Well, eh, in reality it was the Wolf man.
That’s what I enjoyed about the book; although the story was familiar, it was completely different in its own way because it revolved around the wolf man (on two legs), not werewolves (on all fours). The scene’s were very well described, we had enjoyable characters- loved Brandon and I hated Nash. He was such a coward and he was utterly annoying! His idea of a date was taking his girlfriend to his sports practice? Um, no thanks! Celeste was a bit on the, “OMG are you BLIND?” side, but I cared for her as a character. Being the poor one in her little clique, I could easily relate to how hard she tried to get others to like her. I think we’ve all aimed to impress the wrong people. The relationship between Celeste and Brandon was slow but natural. It felt real and unrushed, although I do wish they had spend a bit more time trying to get to know more about one another, but since Brandon was bitten early in the relationship, they really didn’t have much time for 21 questions.
Overall, Once in a full moon was a good, enjoyable read. Some scene’s where a bit too-mushy, but what do you expect?! The main characters are High School kids whom like each other but are afraid to admit it in front of their friends. The ending was a bit… wierd. It kind of just ends… not like a typical ending- you’re in the middle of the scene and all of a sudden to turn the page only to find it blank. I was like, “WTH? That’s it?” but I guess the author was just setting up the town of Legend's Run and it's key players, giving us only a sample of what's to come... I look forward to more secrets being revealed in the next installment!

Mar 23, 2011

Review: Penitence (Heavenly #2)

Title: Penitence (Heavenly #2)
Author: Jennifer Laurens
Publisher: Grove Creek
Pages: 322
Challenge: YA Series
My Rating:

Seeing good and evil spirits is a gift Zoe guards with her life.Despite her guardian angel's disappearance, Zoe forces herself to accept that she still has a purpose-but how does she carry the weight of her brother's drug abuse, the hardship of living with an autistic sister, and a best friend who's obsessed with a guy who only wants Zoe? She's never felt more alone. When a mysterious spirit appears, Zoe thinks she has a new guardian angel. Instead, her brother's addiction worsens, her parents are on the brink of separation, and her best friend tries to kill her. The spirit she thinks is her new guardian isn't there to protect her: he's out to destroy her family and seize Zoe's soul. . . for Hell. Will Matthias' return mean that he is Zoe's guardian angel again? Or is their love the reason the jaws of Hell now gape open? -summary from

Anyone else notice a trend in YA series? First book; intro to story. We meet characters, meet the love interest, get to know the plot and problems, climax, then we finish with resolution (not necessarily true for every YA series book, but bare with me). What typically happens in book two? There’s some more problems (ex: forbidden love, dram, hurt feelings) and the main love interest disappears for a while. Soooo, now what?... Yep, you guessed it; a new love interest is introduced. Typically this bugs the hell out of me! (Remember reading New Moon? I wanted to throw the book across the room after chapter 3)… And although Penitence tends to fellow this YA series trend, I absolutely loved it!
Mrs. Lauren’s sure knows how to make you doubt your feelings. I was in love, swooning over, 100 % Team Matthias… but after reading Penitence, Weston now holds a part of my heart, and I mean BIG! While Matthias continues to be a caring, witty, and loving angel- Weston is… Well, he’s real. He’s the young man who knows he did wrong by Zoe but he’s paying for it. He’s trying to make things right because, from the bottom of his heart, he truly is sorry for what he did. Penitence couldn’t have been a better title; Matthias, Weston and Zoe are all paying the consequences to their actions. We’re also introduced to a new character; Albert. He goes around messing with Zoe’s family and making life a living hell.  Every scene w/Albert tore my heart. Poor Zoe, she’s trying so hard to turn over a new leaf and help her family…. *sigh* Albert= grrrr!
Overall, Penitence was beautifully written. The story will have you hooked from the prologue. This book had some crazy chapter cliffhangers, I was nervous I’d turn the page at that would be the end of the book. If you’ve never heard or having picked up this series, you should REALLY consider it! I feel like an obsessed fan girl, I recommend this series to everyone! Anyone else out there reading, or have read the Heavenly Series? Share your links with me, PLEASE! :)

Mar 22, 2011

Review: Fade (Dream Catcher #2)

Title: Fade (Dream Catcher #2)
Author: Lisa McMann
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 248
Challenge: YA Series Cahllenge

My Rating:

For Janie and Cabel, real life is getting tougher than the dreams. They're just trying to carve out a little (secret) time together, but no such luck. Disturbing things are happening at Fieldridge High, yet nobody's talking. When Janie taps into a classmate's violent nightmares, the case finally breaks open -- but nothing goes as planned. Not even close. Janie's in way over her head, and Cabe's shocking behavior has grave consequences for them both. Worse yet, Janie learns the truth about herself and her ability -- and it's bleak. Seriously, brutally bleak. Not only is her fate as a dream catcher sealed, but what's to come is way darker than she'd feared. -summary from

I had mixed feelings about Fade. After reading Wake, I was very hesitant, I thought that the author would have a hard time making Fade just as awesome as the first. I was both right and wrong. Let me explain why-
After you read Wake and get used to the style of writing the author employs in these two novels, the jerky short sentences actually enhance the writing; I actually enjoyed it. The love between Janie and Cabel seems real. They have more tension in this book than before, but end up growing closer because of it. Their relationship doesn't seem flawless or perfect. They have great chemistry, and the author really seems to portray love in a realistic manner.
With that being said, at a certain point, this book went from an awesome kick ass story to extremely depressing. Janie is more grown-up and is starting to realize that there are side effects to being a dream catcher. The older she gets, the more her ability deteriorates her. Some scene’s where a little too hard to read, I’m a big crybaby. Janie is given an assignment from the Captain that requires her to uncover sexual offenders at her high school. She ends up in the dead middle of it, and the results are not very pretty. 
Overall, this series is so much more than your typical High School Teenage Romance With a Supernatural Twists (something I thought this trilogy was). I still enjoyed reading it immensely, and the story is a great concept... but I got to a point where I feel the author doesn't know where to go with the story. It's as tough she doesn't do as much with it as she could... Anyone else feel that way?

Mar 21, 2011

Heavenly Giveaway

Hey my fellow bloggers,

Just a quick post to let you know of an awesome giveaway over at Mrs. Jennifer Laurens blog. She's having a giveaway with the chance to win either Heavenly or Season of Eden. Personally, I recommend Heavenly, I read it and LOVED it! But I did read it via e-book, I'd love to be able to get my hands on the actual book.

So go ahead and click on Jenn's blog and enter for a chance to win!.... Come on, you know you want to ;)

Review: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)

Title: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 391
Challenge: YA Series Challenge

My Rating:

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol. -summary from

Holy shit. That’s right, I know shit isn’t holy, but wow! This book is intense. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. In this story Katniss is back home and is getting used to her new icon/hero life. She’s back to hunting with Gale and feels more at home than ever before. Enter the Quarter Quell; think of it as the champion of champions. Every district must send a male and female whom have already won the Hunger Games. District 12 winners= Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch…. Yeah, guess who’s going back!
I was really impressed by the scene descriptions. Mrs. Collins did an awesome job bringing the arena to life. Characterization is amazing! All the characters have a spot in my heart. I really really loved Finnick! At first I didn’t know whether to trust him or not, but that quickly changed once we got into the story. Oh and Peeta… My dear Peeta. He’s just as great as he was in book one and even though he’s a bit heartbroken, he continues to do the impossible to keep Katniss safe. I am a die hard romantic, and Petta's sacrificial love for Katniss is so amazing, that I can't help love him!
Overall, Catching Fire is a fast paced, thrilling, not to mention nail biting read, that will have you hooked from start to finish. Its a fantastic mixture of adventure, romance and... well, war. The themes, while mature, are never so mature that I would feel uncomfortable in recommending the series to teenagers. The only thing I didn’t like; the ending. Major cliffhanger! Must get hands on Mockingjay NOW!

Mar 19, 2011

In My Mailbox #2

For more info on IMM or to sign up/post your link, 
visit Kristi over at The Story Siren.

This week's books :)

 For review:
The Awakening (Darkest Powers #2) by Kelley Armstrong
Can't wait to start reading it! I need to know what happens to Simon and Derek!

Burned (House of Night #7) by PC & Kristen Cast
If you've been on the blog recently, you'll notice that I'm a fan on The House of Night. Some installments I love, others I want to throw across the room. I just recently finished reading Tempted, and although I wasn't the biggest fan, I want to know what happens w/Zoey and Stark.

The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
I actually won this over at Brian's blog. He had the chance to interview the author then held a giveaway to one of his readers. Thank, Brian :)

Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder #2) by Kimberly Derting
Loved loved loved The Body Finder. Cannot wait to start reading this one. I also won this in a giveaway over at Ezzy's blog; Dreamz of a YA Author. Thanks so much girly, your the best!

That's it for me! What did you get in your mailbox? Share your links :)

Mar 17, 2011

RT Book Lovers Convention

So basically I just registered for Teen Day for this year's Book Lovers Convention. Ya'll have no idea how excited I am :) Can't wait til April 9th! There are so many registered authors, I don't think I'm going to have time to meet them all! (I know that sounds super show-offy... Forgive me, can you tell I'm excited?)

Anyone else planning on going, or have already registered? Let me know! I would LOVE to be able to meet up with other bloggers. The blogging community is one of the main reasons I blog. Everyone I've ever interacted with have been nothing but nice and helpful! Everyone's always willing to lend a hand or help out... its amazing!
Click here to check out my profile. There you will be able to see my Convention schedule and what workshops I'll be attending. This will be my 2nd author(s) event! I was lucky enough to have the Smart Chicks Tour 2010 stop by close to home last year. I had SO MUCH FUN! Since then I promised myself I'd try and make as many bookevents possible!

Here's to my YA author stop #2....! Let me know if anyone else will be at this event!

Mar 16, 2011

Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Title: Personal Demons (Personal Demons #1)
Author: Lisa Desrochers
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 365
Challenge: None

My Rating:
Frannie Cavanaugh is a good Catholic girl with a bit of a wicked streak. She has spent years keeping everyone at a distance, even her closest friends, and it seems as if her senior year is going to be more of the same . . . until Luc Cain enrolls in her class. No one knows where he came from, but Frannie can’t seem to stay away from him. What she doesn’t know is that Luc is on a mission. He’s been sent from Hell itself to claim Frannie’s soul. It should be easy, all he has to do is get her to sin, and Luc is as tempting as they come. Frannie doesn’t stand a chance. But he has to work fast, because if the infernals are after her, the celestials can’t be far behind. And sure enough, it’s not long before the angel Gabriel shows up, willing to do anything to keep Luc from getting what he came for. It isn’t long before they find themselves fighting for more than just Frannie’s soul. But if Luc fails, there will be Hell to pay . . . for all of them. -summary from

(This is the first book that's made me wish I had a 1/2 rating system. It should be 3+1/2 hearts.) 

It’s your typical good vs evil divine war, and Frannie’s caught right in the middle. This was such a fun and sexy read! I’ll admit; I did not like Frannie. She’s shallow and often times annoying. In reality, she didn’t deserve any of the hotness that is Gabe and Luc. One thing that really bugged me was her whatever’s. They would drive me crazy! I found myself literally screaming, “Come on… Give him a real answer!” or “Don’t you dare whatever him!” Gggrr! One thing that did make up for her shallowness was her relationship with her grandpa and the journal she kept for her dead brother. Those two aspects gave her a humble and caring personality.  

Although I didn’t entirely like Frannie, I did enjoy the story overall. The plot was great with a very nice (surprising) twist at the end. Gabe is your typical guardian angel; wants the best for Frannie, even if that means moving over so Luc can come into the picture. Gosh, I want my own hot guardian angel! Luc is hot hot hot! I loved him. I found the love that Luc suddenly feels for Frannie a bit unbelievable at first, but then a couple of things are revealed and all loose ends are tied up. 

Overall, Personal Demons is a fun page-turner that's sinfully sexy and passionate. You’ll find yourself zooming through the book. It grabs your attention from book one and doesn’t let go, especially the Luc scenes :) I probably drooled every time he made an appearance. The book ends in a way that made me think it was a stand alone, but it turns out there is a sequel and I will most definitely be picking it up.