Sunday, April 29, 2012

Anticipated Reads! - Defy by Raine Thomas


That moment when one of your favorite authors, publishes a new book.
            
But you don't know what to say, so you're like:
   
Then you remember how long you've waited for the book. So, you're like:
    
Then you pre-order the book, and the only thing that stands between you, and it is ... shipping & handling.
   
Then the delivery guy says, "Hey sweetie, where's your mom?" And, you have to "politely" inform him that you're not 11 years old...
   

(We'd like to apologize in advance for the excessive use, in question marks, explanation marks, elipses, and commas. Thank you, and please continue reading ...)

Are we the the only one who just can't stop looking at this cover?! Get a load of it. 

Just take a couple of minutes to observe this beautiful cover. Oh my god, there is so much Cover Love. We are simultaneously thinking of a way to fit all our thoughts, about JUST the cover in one post. Can you imagine how our review is going to be? We can see it now ... the invention of a 6 star rating. On a scale of 1 to 6. 1 being not worth looking at, and 6 being Raine Thomas.

Okay, so anyway, this cover! We should keep our mouths shut, because flies might get in...

Defy's cover, is so enticing! We like the peacock feathers in her hair, it kind of gives her this wild, but calm, and nurturing look. How exotic does she look! Ooh! We don't think our hearts can take this much ache, and yearning. And, the contour of her face, kind of keeps us guessing on how her personality will be like. Sweet, sympathetic, and a bit assertive, or sassy, and impulsive. We vote for sassy, and impulsive. Don't you love strong-willed-woman characters? Words CAN NOT explain how excited we are for this book to be released. April 30th?! But it's so far away! 7 freaking hours?! Kill me now, why don't you? We WILL post a video of our reaction to the book's arrival at our houses, via Skype, we assume.

Well, that's it, guys. While we curl up in fetal position, and refuse to do anything, or go anywhere, we hope you guys are having fun reading! Any highly anticipated reads?




Review: Central by Raine Thomas

Author: Raine Thomas
Series: Daughters of Saraqael (#2)
Publisher: Iambe Books
Release Date: July 2011
Pages: 257
Read in: 2 days


Overview:
For avid student Olivia Murdoch, life on the Estilorian plane is filled with wondrous adventure. Every lesson about her new existence is both exciting and challenging. Along with her sisters, she embraces this non-human half of herself.

Helping with her lessons is her Gloresti, James. Teacher, scholar and distractingly attractive, James takes on his roles of Olivia’s guide and protector with equal dedication. As he learns the human emotions that Estilorians no longer experience, he starts to see Olivia as much more than just an assigned pairing.

The physically weakest of her sisters, Olivia trains hard to learn things that no typical human classroom can impart. When they travel to “Central,” the Estilorian base, she comes to understand why she must become strong enough to defend herself. She and her sisters are targets.

Not all Estilorians welcome them. In fact, more than one would see them dead.

A Teenager's Perspective:

Everyone's had that feeling, where you feel like you can't measure up to other people's standards. Maybe to the point, where you totally loose all hope, and stop trying. But some people — some people don't give up. Some people surpass, the expectations of others, just to prove that they are different, that they care, and that they can do whatever they put their mind to. Clearly, Olivia in Central shows these characteristics. And for what it counts, those characteristics really helped us relate to her more.

In Central the perspective switches. The second sister, Olivia, is spotlighted. Olivia is supposed to be the weakest sister, due to her limited physical activity on the human plane. But,in the end, this weakness, and her sense of vulnerability, is what drives her to become better. Olivia is known for her quick thinking, quick learning, and overall ability to process, analyze, and react to unexpected events quicker than the rest of her sisters. This helps during her offense, and defense training, but besides being vulnerable, there's something else bothering her —her, and James' ever-developing relationship. Whenever she's with him, she feels this undeniable connection. She tries to push it off, with the fact that he IS her guardian, but Olivia knows the truth, (and it doesn't have
anything to do with the fact that he's protecting her.)

We thought the ending of Central was a little predictable. We felt like Thomas tried to find someway to fit all the events together, but instead, ended up making a too-good-to-be-true-ending. But overall,that was the only thing we saw wrong with the novel. That and that alone. However, having a predictable novel is never a good thing, so we though we'd note that in our review.

In the Daughter of Saraquel series, Raine Thomas makes Amber, Olivia, and Skye, (the 3 daughters)so different, but so alike at the same time. She takes us on the journey of their new lives on the Estilorian plane, (this amazing, old, and exciting dimension, from which the sisters are originally from). On this journey, all three girls discover new things about themselves, their sisters, the people around them, and other Esitilorians. As they bring change to the Estilorian plane, others are getting angrier. The ones who believe that their existence, itself, is an abomination. The sisters don't let this hold them back, but they are still very aware of the threats against them. Even more so, the desires of others to see them dead.

As all of Raine Thomas' novels are starting to prove, Central was also another addition to her line of perfection. A few things that could have been changed here, and there, but overall it was an enticing novel, that I would read over, and over again —if I could. This was writing at its finest, and we must say; we're SO not waiting to read Foretold.

Rating:



Review: Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Series: Hex Hall (#3)
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Pages: 327
Read in: 3 days


Overview:
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident.

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?

A Teenager's Perspective:

FINALLY! I've bought, read, and am now reviewing my long awaited birthright: Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins. First things first, may I just point out how cruel it is to make an overburdened teenager, wait how many months for a novel's release? Oh yeah, that's right twelve! You know what that is? CRUEL & UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT.

Any who Spell Bound. Right. Sophie, has no powers, or well-- she might as well not have any. After the Casnoff sisters attempted to follow through with the Removal, for Sophie, there was a small mix-up. Well, maybe not a mix up. More like an INVASION! Sophie manages to escape within an inch of her life, while the building begins to burn down, with her beloved Archer AND father, of course.Luckily, sexy, caring, amazingly beautiful, gorgeous -- okay, that's enough. Cal comes to save the day! *Cue, the Superman music* (Oh my god, I love him.)

*A bit of a spoiler, ahead*

In Spell Bound, Sophie discovers a new side of herself, and her mom, that she never knew existed.Secrets are uncovered, as the past interlocks with the present, and Sophie has to really ask herself: "What side of the battle am I on?"

I was a little disappointed at the turn of events in Spell Bound. I was so sure I was going to love the book, but I just -- I didn't. I liked it, but I just wasn't able to "love" it. Sophie seems to just want to make-out with Archer, each time there is a problem. Archer appears, and disappears, and even though Cal is there EVERY waking minute, of her freaking existence, she chooses Archer. Maybe I'm Team Cal, or maybe SOMETHING isn't clicking in Sophie's brain. But, out of all the novels in the Hex Hall series, I must say -- this was not my favorite.

Sorry guys, I'm so frustrated with this review, because I want to express my feelings so many events that took place, but then I'd be a spoiler, wouldn't I? And, I wouldn't want that. So, I guess I'll end this review by saying: What did you guys think of Spell Bound?

Rating:







Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Sunshine Award - Nominated & Nominees!

Multi-styled Text Generator at TextSpace.net
The Sunshine Award, is an award that helps to spotlight new YA -- or any blogs. (Most, that have under 1,000 followers.)

Before we start, we'd just like to give a HUGE thanks to Vanessa @BluestRibbon. She's amazing, and we're so honored to have recieved this award from her. If you're not already following her, stop reading immediately, and go follow her blog. We'd also like to thank each other, for the encouragement we always give to each other. *Tear* Oh my god, we might just cry. But, we promised ourselves we wouldn't ...

Okay, so here are the answers to the questions:

1. Favorite color?

Anastasia: Either Cerulean or Salmon. No. Definitely Salmon!
Demitra: I like all colors. Hmm ... glittery silver, I guess. (I like glitter.)
Persephone: Purple. (Lavender, more specifically lol)

2. Favorite animal?

Anastasia: Dogs ( Labradors & Beagles!)
Demitra: Dogs & Turtles (Beagle, and my turtle, Franklin.)
Persephone: Cats (Tabby, hands down.)

3. Favorite number? 

All: ANYTHING THAT'S NOT ODD. And not, 666, of course ... O_O

4. Favorite (non-alcoholic) drink? 

Anastasia: Vanilla & strawberry shakes!
Demitra: Blue-Hawaiian Juice!
Persephone: Green tea!

5. Facebook or Twitter? 

Anastasia: Facebook.
Demitra: Facebook.
Persephone: Facebook.

6. My  Our Passions: 

Anastasia: Planning parties & events, shopping, architecture & design, soccer, BASKETBALL, and reading, of course. (:
Demitra: Psychology, mediating, soccer, learning, tutoring kids, SHOPPING, and reading. (I'm a little Velma - from Scooby-Doo)
Persephone: Mediating, soccer, Psychology, learning Greek & Spanish, shopping, travel. And, Ooh! Reading lol.

7. Getting or Giving Presents: 

Anastasia: Giving. 
Demitra: Honestly, getting. :D
Persephone: Giving.

8. Favorite pattern ?: 

Anastasia: OMG, Polka dot.
Demitra: SHINY, and glittery.
Persephone: Polka dot & Stripes!

9. Favorite day of the week ? :

Anastasia: Saturday.
Demitra: FRIDAY, Friday. (Gotta' get down on Friday! lol)
Persephone: 

10. Favorite flower ?: 

Anastasia: Petunias.
Demitra: Lilies lol (;
Persephone: ALL flowers. Hence the Greek name, Persephone. 

Any who, for the moment we've all been waiting for, Nominees! Before we name them, we'd just like to state the rules for this award.

"If you are mentioned, don't forget to thank the person that nominated you for the award on your blog, answer the ten questions, choose ten other recipients to pass the award onto."

Okay so we basically "stalk" these AMAZING blogs, everyday.(Awkward ...)  We always get the funniest, and coolest vibes from their blogs. And ... if you're not already following -- go now.

(No particular order, guys. Click on the links, to visit their blog.)

1. Lady Krishna Asi @ Journey With Books
4. Yarethzia @ Book Nook Girl
5. Victoria @ Ttoria
8. Nancy & Ivette @ Tumbling Books
9. Cheyenne @ This Girl Reads

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Night - Jennifer E. Smith

Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Poppy/Little Brown
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Pages: 236
Read in: 1 day


Overview:
Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

A Teenager's Perspective:

Ah, Love. It's a tricky concept, isn't it? No one can truly explain what it is to be in love, because if you are, you'll know it. One thing anyone who's been in love can explain are the things love makes you do. Those stupid, embarrassing moments, that you wish to erase, but just don't seem to have an eraser that's large enough. That moment when you snort while laughing, or trip over your own feet (trying to get a better look at those amazing eyes ...), or maybe when you attempt that one cliché, that looked so easy in the movie you watched.

The point is, that these moments are the moments that define a hugely complex idea that even science can't explain. However, Jennifer E. Smith, does an amazing job portraying all these feelings and moments in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. This book, was a work of perfection, and we WILL all do a Book Chat on it, once we can form our thoughts into words.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight begins with our damsel in distress, Hadley. Practically forced against her will, she is going to London for her dad's and her stepmother's wedding. Hadley is constantly on edge, but while she tries to be happy for her father; she still blames him for tearing apart their family. To make matters worse, she misses her first plane ride, and has to settle for the next plane ride. On this plane , she meets a cute, helpful, english guy; that ultimately becomes her new "best friend," in a matter of two hours. As Hadley takes one of the best plane rides of her life, she'll learn what it means to love, forgive, and maybe even forget.

"One of the best Chick-Lits we've ever read!" is something we might use to describe The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. We laughed, hugged, teared-a-bit, and got all-tingly inside. This is usually the mission of all Chick-Lits, however, not all authors are able to accomplish this. Fortunately, for Jennifer Smith, she was able to achieve this goal with a precise, detail-by-detail description. Every awkward stare, or awkward touch, or mouth/eye twitch, had us rolling around with laughter, and asking ourselves "What is WRONG with them?!"

In contrast to other Chick-lit novels we've read, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight ACTUALLY DID MAKE US LAUGH. Not an "lol," that made our lips twitch upward, but a sincere, and wholey laugh. And if an author can make you laugh, then they might as well tattoo, "Best Author of 2012" on their forehead. How about you guys, what did you think of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight?

Rating:








Monday, April 16, 2012

Author Interview with Kate Evangelista


Author Bio:
When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels.

Kate's Interview:

1. In your opinion, what is the hardest part of being an author? What do you love about it?

The hardest part of being an author is all the waiting you'd have to do. You wait while you send out your novel to your critique partners. You wait when you query agents or submit to publishers. You wait to sign contracts. You wait for the release. Lots and lots of waiting. And usually, when your patience isn't up to the wait, it's when you break.

What I love about being an author most is the editing process. I know, it sounds crazy, right? But I find that it's through the editing process where I really get to shape the novel to what it really should be. In the years I've been reading and rereading Taste, it only started sounding like a real novel to me by the third pass edits with my editor. Don't get me wrong, editing is also one of the hardest parts of being an author, but for me, it's certainly what I love the most about it.

2. What inspired you to begin writing for teens?

I love the teenage years. There's so much magic to be discovered. So many firsts to be experienced. At the same time, I couldn't argue with the fact that the age group of the characters in my head are mostly in their teens. At least, the loudest ones are. :-P

3. How was the novel able to develop, throughout the span of the various drafts of "Taste?"

Oh, Taste went through so many drafts. I actually started writing it three years ago. You can just imagine all the waiting that had to take place during that time. There were moments when I was playing around with the love interests. Who would end up together. But the progression of the story, the plot, hardly changed as the novel evolved through the years.

4. When you're having a case of writer's block, what do you do?

I don't usually get writer's block because I don't overwork myself when writing. After I finish writing one chapter, I call it a day so I can start thinking about what happens next for the next day. But if I do find myself stuck, I take a walk and work the scene over and over in my head until the answer comes. And when that happens, the feeling is such a high that I race back home and start writing.

5. What have you gotten out of your path to publication? What did you learn from it?

That's a great question and not usually asked. Since I'm still at the beginning of my path, I still have so much to learn. But so far, I've learned to keep believing in what I've set out to do. I've learned to have fun with it. And I've learned not to be afraid to ask for what I want. It's an awesome ride, and I plan to enjoy every minute of it. :-)

6. What advice do you have for aspiring, young authors?

The advice that I always give is one that I wish was given to me when I was starting out: be prepared for the wait. Like I said before, all that waiting can break you. Sometimes you will feel that you're career isn't moving forward and you just want to give up so you can move on to something else, but if you can't see yourself being anything else other than an author, then prepare to wait. Gather as much patience as you can and you'll be better off because of it.

7. What's next, after "Taste?"

I'm actually editing the first of a trilogy that I have with Entangled Publishing called Til Death. As excited as I am to share Taste with everyone, I can't wait to show Selena's and Dillan's story with all of you. So, for the latest news about my writing and the shenanigans I find myself in, come over to my blog by visiting my website: www.kateevangelista.com

I'd like to take this moment to thank the wonderful ladies of Characterized Book Blog for inviting me to answer their questions. It's a pleasure to be featured on your lovely blog. Please continue blogging and keep up the great work!

Closing Thoughts:

Clearly, Kate Evangelista, is a woman with a great amount of perseverance, and heart. We would just like to once again, thank her for the interview, and wish her "Best of luck," on her journey as a writer (:


If you'd like to get in touch with her, click on any of the following links.


www.kateevangelista.com

Taste Cover & Excerpt Reveal !


Overview:
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

So, the author, Kate Evangelista, was nice enough to give us an excerpt from her new YA book, "Taste!" We're really excited to read this book, and even more excited to be sharing this excerpt with you guys. We also have a really amazing treat for you guys, the trailer! We have the video at the bottom of this post. Read the excerpt, and watch the trailer. We hope you guys enjoy it. Happy Reading, everyone!

The Excerpt

I mentally stomped on the intimidation their perfection brought into my mind and said, “Excuse me.”
The group froze, startled by my words. The girls had their brows raised and the boys stopped mid-speech, mouths agape. They stared at me with eyes the shade of onyx stones.
I smiled and gave them a little wave.
The boy a step ahead of the rest recovered first. His stunning features went from shocked surprise to intense interest. He reminded me of a hawk eyeing its prey. I gulped.
“A Day Student,” he said, his eyes insolent and excited.
Something about the way he said “Day Student” made my stomach flip. “Excuse me?”
They snickered. The boys looked at each other while the girls continued to stare, muffling their laughter by delicate hands. I seemed to be the butt of some joke. 
“You broke the rule.” The boy’s grin turned predatory.
The students formed a loose semi-circle in front of me. My gaze darted from face to face. Hunger filled their eyes. The image of lions about to chase down a gazelle came to mind. I mentally shook my head. I was in the mountains not the Serengeti for crying out loud.
I took a small step back and cleared my throat. “Can any of you give me a ride back to the dorms?”
The boy wagged his forefinger like a metronome. “Ah, that’s unfortunate for you.”
One of the girls pinched the bridge of her nose. “Eli, you can’t possibly—”
“It’s forbidden, Eli,” another boy interrupted, pronouncing the word “forbidden” like a curse.
The nervous murmur at the pit of my stomach grew louder. Six against one. Not good odds. Instinct told me to cut my losses and run. Bad enough I faced expulsion, now it seemed like weird, beautiful people who’d suddenly appeared on campus wanted to beat me up. No, scratch that. Judging from the way they studied me, beating me up wouldn’t satisfy them. Something more primal prowled behind their looks.
I definitely wasn’t going down without a fight. Years of self-defense and hand-to-hand combat classes had me prepared. While other children from rich and important families got bodyguards, I got defense training. But I think my father meant for my skills to go up against potential kidnappers, not against other students who may or may not be crazy. Oh God! Maybe I stepped into a parallel universe or something when I reentered Barinkoff.
“None of the students are supposed to be on campus,” I said. Then, realizing my mistake, I added, “Okay, I know I’m not supposed to be here either. If one of you gives me a ride back to the dorms, I won’t say anything about all this. Let’s pretend this never happened. I didn’t see you, you didn’t see me.”
“We’re not ordinary students,” Eli answered. “We’re the Night Students.”
He’d said “Night Students” like the words were capitalized. I didn’t know Barinkoff held classes at night. What was going on here?
Eli smiled with just one side of his mouth and said to the group, “She’s right, no one will have to know. We’re the only ones here. And it’s been so long, don’t you agree?”
The rest of them nodded reluctantly.
“What’s been so long?” I challenged. I fisted my hands, ready to put them up if any of them so much as twitched my way.
“Since the taste of real flesh passed through my lips,” Eli said. He came forward and took a whiff of me then laughed when I cringed.
“Flesh.” Yep, parallel universe.
“Yes,” he said. “And yours smells so fresh.”
Someone grabbed my shoulders from behind and yanked me back before I could wrap my mind around the meaning behind Eli’s words. In a blink, I found myself behind someone tall. Someone really tall. And quite broad. And very male.
I realized he wore the same clothes Eli and the other boys did. Not good. He was one of them. Although… I cocked my head, raking my gaze over him. He seemed born to wear the uniform, like he was the pattern everyone else was cut from. My eyes wandered to long, layered, blue-black hair tied at the nape by a silk ribbon. Even in dim light, his hair possessed a sheen akin to mercury.
I looked down. The boy’s long fingers were wrapped around my wrist like a cuff. His fevered touch felt hotter than human standards, hot enough to make me sweat like I was standing beside a radiator but not hot enough to burn.
“I must be mistaken, Eli,” the boy who held my arm said in a monotone. “Correct me. Did I hear you say you wanted to taste the flesh of this girl?”
A hush descended on us. It had the hairs at the back of my neck rising. How was it possible for the atmosphere to switch from threatening to dangerous? Unable to help myself, I peeked around the new guy’s bulk. Eli and his friends bowed. They all had their right hands on their chests.
“Demitri, I’m sure you misheard me,” Eli said.
So the guy standing between me and the person who said he’d wanted to taste me was named Demitri. I like the sound of his name. Demitri. So strong, yet rolls off the tongue. Definite yum factor.
“So, you imply I made a mistake?” Demitri demanded.
“No!” Eli lifted his gaze. “I did no such thing. I simply wanted to show the girl the consequences of breaking curfew.”
“Hey!” I yelled. “Don’t talk about me like I’m not here!”
Demitri ignored my protest and continued to address Eli. “So, you threatened to taste her flesh.” His fingers tightened their grip around my wrist. “In the interest of investigating this matter further, I invoke the Silence.”
All six students gasped, passing surprised glances at one another.
Before I could ask about what was going on, Demitri yanked me down the hall toward the library. But why there? Oh, maybe we were getting my things. No, wait, he couldn’t have known about that. Everything was too confusing now.
Eli and the others didn’t try to stop us when we passed them. Demitri’s cold command must have carried power. Handsome and powerful, never a bad combination on a guy.
We reached the heavy double doors in seconds. He jerked one open effortlessly. I’d needed all my strength just to squeeze through that same door earlier. To him, the thick wood might as well have been cardboard. I raised an eyebrow and mentally listed the benefits of going to gym class.
“Why are we here?” I asked after my curiosity overpowered my worry. I’d almost forgotten how frightened I’d been right before Demitri showed up. I wasn’t above accepting help from strangers. Especially from gorgeous dark-haired strangers with hot hands and wide shoulders.
Demitri kept going, tugging me along, snaking his way deeper into the library. I had to take two steps for every stride his legs made. I tried to stay directly behind him, praying we didn’t slam into anything.
He stopped suddenly and I collided with him. It felt like slamming into a wall.
“Hey,” I said, momentarily stunned. “A little warning would be nice!”
He faced me, and I gasped. His eyes resembled a starless night, deep and endless. Their intensity drilled through me without pity, seeming to expose all my secrets. I felt naked and flustered beneath his gaze.
“You could have died back there,” he warned.
A lump of panic rebuilt itself in my throat.

The Book Trailer


Cover Love: Taste by Kate Evangelista

Multi-styled Text Generator at TextSpace.net
 
Overview:
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans.

When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Our Take: 

Okay, so is this cover creepy or what? I mean, we can write a review just on the cover, and it would get a 5 star. Fortunately, we've learned not to judge a book by it's cover, but as we're anxiously anticipating this novel's release, we can tell it's going to be good. We really like the background with the clouds, because it adds a mysterious touch. Doesn't she look worn out? Hence, the flesh eaters, mentioned in the Overview. And what's she leaning on? A tombstone? This might just prevent us from having our happy-giddy-girly sleepover weekend-getaway. But if we're anything ... it's brave! So, we will be waiting for the novel's release, and reading it ... together, with all the lights on, of course. We're brave, but not that brave. The girl on the cover, looks as if she is hiding a dark secret. Does her hair signify anything, with that pretty auburn color? Tempting, isn't she? We guess Demitri, and Luka won't be learning to share, anytime soon.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Review: Harbinger - Sara Wilson Entienne

Author: Sara Wilson Entienne
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Pages: 309
Read In: 2 days


Overview:
Girl, Interrupted meets Beautiful Creatures in this fast-paced thriller

When sixteen-year-old Faye arrives at Holbrook Academy, she doesn't expect to find herself exactly where she needs to be. After years of strange waking visions and nightmares, her only comfort the bones of dead animals, Faye is afraid she's going crazy. Fast.

But her first night at Holbrook, she feels strangely connected to the school and the island it sits on, like she's come home. She's even made her first real friends, but odd things keep happening to them. Every morning they wake on the floors of their dorm rooms with their hands stained red.

Faye knows she's the reason, but what does it all mean? The handsome Kel tries to help her unravel the mystery, but Faye is certain she can't trust him; in fact, he may be trying to kill her - and the rest of the world too.

Rich, compelling writing will keep the pages turning in this riveting and tautly told psychological thriller.

A Teenager's Perspective:

As soon as we started writing this review, it got a bit chillier in the living room. Maybe, because we're reviewing, "Harbinger" by Sara Wilson Entienne. Doesn't that title just want to make you shudder, each time you hear it? The "Harbinger" *shudder*

First, let us start off by saying this book was BEYOND "good." Like oh-my-God-that-so-did-not-just-happen-good. Every few chapters, we had to take a quick break to process what we just read, and of course, turn up the heating system. Anyway, let's get to what we've all been waiting for ... "The Harbinger!"

The novel begins with Faye's parents conning her into attending Holbrook Academy. At first she thinks, the academy is just prison-like school for no-good teenagers; but little does she know, that there's an alterior motive. When strange things start happening to Faye, and new discoveries are made, Faye will really question who she is, her purpose, and why she feels so LINKED to the island Holbrook rests on.

Throughout the book, Faye struggles with the "hallucinations" that she has. The hallucinations spiral so out of control, that she begins confuse reality, with what she's seeing. She assures herself that "Fear is an illusion," but when strange become stranger, Faye will do anything to maintain her sanity.

The other characters. Let's get to them, shall we? Okay, so we have our stereotyped-activist-stubborn-teenager, Maya. She seems to be portrayed as the "best friend," of Faye, though FRIENDS is not a word I would use for Faye's creepy "Family Unit." Then we have Kel. This mysterious, tall, dark, and handsome guy, who seems to "get" Faye, in ways she can't understand. Words can't begin to describe how wierdly connected she feels to him. (Though, they don't seem to need words to be able to communicate. Yeah, that's right. Plenty of lip-locking going on there.) The meat of the story, somehow revolves around Kel, and Faye's relationship; which by association also include the rest of the family unit. As weird events start to occur among the unit, they begin to realize that their "links" may be something more than a few personality traits they have in common.

We weren't to fond of the novel's ending, but what can we say? A novel can ONLY be so alluring. We'd go into depth about what we mean, but then we'd spoil it, wouldn't we? So, we'll leave that for you to decide.

Overall, we thought "Harbinger," was a heart wrenching, toe curling, and teddy bear-grabbing read. Though we had mixed feelings about Faye, in the end, she grew on us. What did you guys think of "Harbinger?"

Rating:


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Review: Goliath - Susan Woodring

Author: Susan Woodring
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 360
Read in: 1 week, 1 day



Overview:
When Percy Harding, Goliath’s most important citizen, is discovered dead by the railroad tracks outside town one perfect autumn afternoon, no one can quite believe it’s really happened. Percy, the president of the town’s world-renowned furniture company, had seemed invincible. Only Rosamond Rogers, Percy’s secretary, may have had a glimpse of how and why this great man has fallen, and that glimpse tugs at her, urges her to find out more.
Percy isn’t the first person to leave Rosamond: everybody seems to, from her husband, Hatley, who walked out on her years ago; to her complicated daughter Agnes, whose girlhood bedroom was papered with maps of the places she wanted to escape to. The town itself is Rosamond’s anchor, but it is beginning to quiver with the possibility of change. The high school girls are writing suicide poetry. The town’s young, lumbering sidewalk preacher is courting Rosamond’s daughter. A troubled teenaged boy plans to burn Main Street to the ground. And the furniture factory itself—the very soul of Goliath—threatens to close.
In the wake of the town’s undoing, Rosamond seeks to reunite the grief-shaken community. Goliath, a story of loss and love, of forgiveness and letting go, is a lyrical swoon of a novel by an exceptionally talented newcomer.

A Teenager's Perspective:

OMG, we were so excited to receive this book in the mail! We haven't officially started up our 'In My Mailbox' feature, but we're working on it ... we promise. Anyways, this was our first ever win from Goodreads, a contest that was apparently sponsored by St. Martin's Press. So, we'd just like to say, thank you!

Oh, right. "Goliath." This was kind of a first for us. From Susan Woodring, and a little out of our young adult realm. Not that this book isn't ... wasn't an amazing book for teens to read, because well, we loved it. (Though, we only got one copy so we passed it back, and forth in order to be able to read to ourselves, and each other.)

In the small town of Goliath, one of the town's most respected men, commits suicide. This comes as a big shock, to the many citizens of Goliath. The novel seems to focus mainly on his secretary, Rosamond, and the people that entwine with her life, and her road to closure. Her past, and present all come into play during this novel. As her feelings for Percy, and the people around her become more apparent. Her thoughts, and actions all accurately depict this real-life crisis. The small town, all comes together to mourn Percy Harding's death, but also really see each other for their potential. As the novel progresses, new bonds are formed, as old bonds are broken, and it becomes clear that the people of Goliath, truly are linked to one another.

Susan Woodring does an amazing job constructing these characters. We loved the detail she put into every single scene, destination, and new-found discovery. It kind of gives you an insight into the small town, Goliath, and the people living in it.

This was a longer read for us, but it was definetley worth it. Woodring's inspirational writing leaves us dumbfounded, and stealing quotes anywhere we can find them. We were a little concerned with the flow of the book, though. The way the characters seem to have their own stories, that somehow entwine with the lives other citizens; left us a little ... confused. It went from past, to present, to hoping for the future. So, in the end, we had to clean up a bit of a mess.

Overall, this book was amazing, and we would read it again, but, the show must go on. We loved Woodring's style of writing. It really makes you think about yourself as a person, the lives of the people around you, and how you each link to other people. We hope to be reading more by Woodring, soon enough. We'll keep a lookout, while we quickly add her to our list of lovable authors.

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