Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Dani's rating: 4 stars Overall Rating: 4 stars

Goodreads synopsis:

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder--much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into th in air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing--not even a smear of blood--to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?
This is Clary's first meeting with Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a daemon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? That Shadowhunters would like to know.
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

Dani's Review:  
 I am reviewing this after I have read all of the books in The Mortal Instruments series that have been released. I found this second read to be even more enjoyable than the first because I could really analyze each character and watch how they grew as time went on. Cassandra Clare’s writing is chock full of description, imagery, and humorous dialogue. She has created a complex world with Shadowhunters, werewolves, vampires, faeries, demons, and warlocks; each with their own culture.
Clary is sucked into the Shadowhunter world by a fortuitous meeting with teenage Shadowhunters in the Pandemonium club. Her place in their hidden world is sealed when she discovers she has Shadowhunter blood running through her veins.

You will either love or hate this book. Some of you, like Steph, will be bored with Clare's slow-paced writing style and will stop reading after the first few chapters. Only two weeks have passed in this 485 page book. Others, like me, will become captivated with this strange world and its various characters. Clare has weaved one of the most complicated tapestries that I have ever seen. If the characters slip up even once, they will face dire consequences.

Quick rundown of the characters:
Jace: *sighs* A young shadowhunter who has killed more demons than anyone else of his age. He is as handsome as an angel, witty, and secretly broken inside. His father taught him that "To love is to destroy." His outer personality is really just an armor he uses to hide his true feelings. He won the 2011 YA Crush Tourney at the YA Sisterhood blog! Jace’s sexiness will cause you to keep reading even if you think the plot is boring!

Clary: You might be frustrated with Clary's supposed lack of usefulness. At first, I didn't like her. But as you keep reading this series, Clary becomes stronger and stronger. 

Alec Lightwood: If I said anything about him, I would be giving away a rather large spoiler. I will say that he is Jace's parabatai, his "brother from another mother" for lack of a better definition.

Isabelle Lightwood: A confident, headstrong young woman who uses her beauty as a weapon. At one point, Jace wonders why Clary doesn't know that she beautiful and doesn't use her beauty like Isabelle. Isabelle is hostile to Clary at first because she has always been the only girl with a pack of boys. She feels a bit threatened.

Simon: Clary's best friend who is secretly in love with her. He is a cute, awkward geek who loves playing Dungeons and Dragons and reading anime. He is a good archer and uses his skills later in the book.

Magnus Bane: A warlock who loves sparkles. Really, no joke. He gels and sparkles his hair! He is not so much of a main character in this first book, but in the sequels he is definitely a major character.

I knocked off a star because at some points, I was bored in his book. There are a few slow points filled with smalltalk and humor, but sometimes humor cannot make a ton of dialogue interesting. Clare generally uses a lot of humorous dialogue in her writing.
Overall, a great book! The movie is coming out soon, but it might be nothing like the book. I don’t think the guy playing Jace is hot enough...but I like the girl who plays Clary! :)

“What are all these?" Clary asked.
"Vials of holy water, blessed knives, steel and silver blades," Jace said, piling the weapons on the floor beside him, "electrum wire - not much use at the moment but it's always good to have spares - silver bullets, charms of protetion, crucifixes, stars of David-"
"Jesus," said Clary
"I doubt he'd fit."
"Jace!" Clary was appalled.

“A diary with no drawings of me in it? Where are the torrid fantasies? The romance covers?” Jace

“He made a sound like a choked laughed before he reached out and pulled her into her arms. She was aware of Luke watching them from the window, but she shut her eyes resolutely and buried her face against Jace's shoulder. He smelled of salt and blood, and only when his mouth came close to her ear did she understand what he was saying, and it was the simplest litany of all: her name, just her name.”  
ooh lala ;)


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A Big Thank You

Since today is Christmas, I would like to give a huge thanks to Deity Island and Jennifer L. Armentrout for their great contests and giveaways!

Me and Dani came out as the lucky draws for the Hebel Designs giveaway (I mentioned this before, but I think it deserves its own big thanks post) and for the JLA Reading Contest for the month of November, hosted by Deity Island (didn't mention this one before). We didn't expect this, so we just wanted to give a big THANKS! to the both of them for being so awesome.

Even though it is Christmas, getting lucky and winning these contests has basically made my entire month of December. It is a great present for Dani and I! The contests and giveaways were lots of fun to take part in, and we can't wait to enter any more hosted by them!

Deity Island:
JLA's Site: 

^.^ Steph

Merry Christmas Everybody!!!

Dani and I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!!! (or Happy Christmas if you're British :D). 

Hope everybody has a fun filled and safe day, and we hope you all get cool presents!!! Remember, Christmas only comes once a year (okay that was totally obvious but still) so it is okay to treat yourself today! Don't hold back! Do what you want, play what you want, eat what you want, and never to forget read what you want. Even better, the world did not end in 2012 on December 21st, so this Christmas is definitely something to celebrate! Have fun!

Best Holiday Wishes,
Steph and Dani

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Indigo Spell by Richelle Mead Chapter 2 Teaser

The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines, #3)
Here is a gift from Richelle Mead!
Chapter 2 of The Indigo Spell, book three in her Vampire Academy spinoff series, Bloodlines.
The first chapter was previously released and it can be found on Richelle's blog, now here is the second! The Indigo Spell is released on February 12th, 2013 (see the timer on the left!). Can't wait!

This is the link for the chapter, which is exclusively released on the Entertainment Weekly website 

The link can also be found on Richelle Mead's Facebook page, which can be found HERE

Happy reading!
I just want to say that this chapter was awesome! I love Adrian, he is so hilarious and his banter with Sydney just cracks me up. He is so sweet too, and I am pro Sydrian!

Only about 2 months left until the release! The Indigo Spell is on my to-read list :)


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Mini Review: Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Shadows (Lux, #0.5)Shadows by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Steph's Rating: 4 stars Overall Rating: 4 stars

 Goodreads Synopsis:
     The last thing Dawson Black expected was Bethany Williams. As a Luxen, an alien life form on Earth, human girls are…well, fun. But since the Luxen have to keep their true identities a secret, falling for one would be insane.
     Dangerous. Tempting. Undeniable.
     Bethany can’t deny the immediate connection between her and Dawson. And even though boys aren’t a complication she wants, she can’t stay away from him. Still, whenever they lock eyes, she’s drawn in.
    Captivated. Lured. Loved.
     Dawson is keeping a secret that will change her existence...and put her life in jeopardy. But even he can’t stop risking everything for one human girl. Or from a fate that is as unavoidable as love itself.


Steph's Review:
Hmmm. I think the only reason this novella didn't get 5 stars is because I read it after Obsidian and Onyx (Its okay, you may berate me I know its a crime).

well lets do a checklist:
Good Plot: check
Good narrator: check
Romance?: check
Original?: check

So Why? I just don't think Dawson was as hot as Daemon!!! LOL. You may kill me over that reason, but seriously I have a thing for that jerk sexy hot alien Daemon that I don't think I will ever get over.

JLA is really good at writing novellas I think. Usually when I read a novella I look so forward to it and then I'm just so disappointed afterwards because it was just a bunch of fluff to earn cash off of
JLA is not that way. Her novellas have lots of sufficient plot and can help you understand her series better!

Shadows follows the story of Dawson, Daemon and Dee's triplet, meeting and falling in love with Beth. It follows through all the way to his demise with the DOD. Dawson is a lot sweeter than Daemon, and yeah I can see why girls would like him...:) but I go for my bad boys ;)
Beth was pretty cool too, but I don't exactly understand why she was just so special to Dawson. She was pretty average to me, but she was nice and funny I guess. I really feel bad for her towards the end because she really didn't deserve what she had to go through (and continues to go through).

This is a full, complete part of the Lux series, and not just some novella you can just throw out the window like you can with other series's. Read it, Love it, and gush lux about it!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mini Review: Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Onyx (Lux, #2) Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Steph's Rating: 5 stars Dani's Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
     Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.
     Something worse than the Arum has come to town…
     The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.
     But then everything changes…
     I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
     No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

Steph's Mini-Review: 
And the 5 star JLA Marathon continues in ONYX!
     When i read Obsidian, I was like oh this series can't get better than this can it? Well JLA has continued to completely blow me away, both in her Lux series and her Covenant series.
     I thought I loved Daemon in Obsidian but I hadn't seen anything!
He is just so much sweeter and nicer (well mostly) to Katy in this book, and you can tell he just loves her. Oh did I mention he's just really really hot!? <3
     Katy is also stepping up especially with her newly formed bond, and she realized that she is falling for our Daemon baby too!!! (please, who wouldn't. I totally understand Katy, it's okay) Katy is just so strong in this book, and she is also getting new found powers with the bond, just making her even better. I didn't like her so much in Obsidian, but I love her now!
     The plot really broadens up in Onyx. There is a new enemy, the D.O.D., and sometimes you wonder if the good side is going to prevail. You thought Arum were bad? Yeah, those humans at the DOD are bad too, maybe worse.
This book caused my heart to pound and race, and I think I was gasping at all the twists and turns in this book. Yes, there are a ton. What do you expect? It's JLA.
     THIS BOOK HAS A CLIFFHANGER ENDING that just completely killed me and left me tossing and turning and aching for more. I was not expecting it at all and when i was finished i was like, "wait, thats it WHAT no no no more!!!" Opal opal...stop hiding i need you now.
     Another applause, another 5 stars. Well, 5 stars will never get old with JLA because I swear every book she writes just gets better and better! It's so hard for me to choose a favorite with her ;)
     All righty everyone, I now command you to drop whatever you are doing and run to a bookstore (or amazon) and get yourself a copy of this amazing book!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mini Review: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Obsidian (Lux, #1)
Hey guys! Me and Dani put this review up on Goodreads a while ago, and we kind of neglected it for a while and forgot to put it up on our blog later (its okay, we know its a sacrilege).

But finally, here is our mini-review of Obsidian, Lux Book 1, by Jennifer L. Armentrout!!! 
(yes, if you've noticed, i'm trying to see how many JLA related posts I can make in one string :D)

We should have the Onyx (Book 2) review up soon, with Opal's (Book 3) review following.

Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Steph's Rating: 5 stars Dani's Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
Starting over sucks.
     When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
     And then he opened his mouth.
     Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.
     The hot alien living next door marks me.
     You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
     If I don't kill him first, that is.

Steph's Mini Review:

JLA is my YA Fiction Queen.

When I first read the blurb, I was a little iffy on it...totally hot alien jerk? Interesting combination, I think we've seen this before. Oh well! Lets read it anyways!

Oh I don't know what I was thinking feeling so sarcastic towards it because it was AMAZING first page to last. I literally read this in one sitting, even though I actually had tons of work I needed to get done. I thought Obsidian would kind of be one of those pass and go kind of YA books, you read it and its over.

Nope. Not at all. I was gushing about Daemon (still am today) for a veeeery long time before I got over it. He may be jerkish, but he is my hot sexy (insert as many compliments as you can) alien darling. Then Onyx came out and the cycle started again. I think my friends are going to start avoiding me because of it.

The plot of Obsidian was actually quite original! I'm really happy its not about vampires or werewolves or any of those cliché topics you find on every YA shelf. (No, I don't really have much against werewolves or vampires, but just saying) Aliens!!! No, not the green little blobs, but really hot (quite literally) Aliens!!! I loved Obsidians plot, and it was very fast past all the way to the end, typical JLA. It just plowed right through the gates!

Obsidian deserves every one of those shiny 5 stars, and I recommend everyone put this on your to-read list!!! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Official Release of Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

So today, Opal, the third novel in Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux Series, is officially released!!!

Opal (Lux, #3)

It actually went live on ebook format about a week ago, so plenty of people have already started to or finished reading Opal (thats including me). Trust me when I tell you that there is A LOT to look forward too in this installment. I think it tops both Obsidian and Onyx (Books 1 & 2 respectively), and you will be hearing Dani and I's thoughts pretty soon.

We hope to get a review out as soon as possible, but I think I need a little time to organize my thoughts for Opal. Yes, I am under Post-Opal Stress Disorder, as you can see below. I have a feeling that banner is going to be sticking around for a while. It was wonderful JLA, as usual, and it left me shocked and breathless and desperate for more.

Here's JLA's post about the release, and there is some news about the Opal Release Party:

Dani and I also have some mini-reviews of the first two books posted on Goodreads, so check 'em out!

1. Obsidian:
2. Onyx:

A Walk on Words

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

CursedWell, since we are on a JLA roll, why don't we keep it up, right? 
Here is our review of her standalone novel, Cursed
Hope you guys enjoy!!!

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Steph’s Rating: 3 stars Dani’s Rating:5 stars Overall rating: 4 stars

Goodreads Synopsis:
Dying sucks-- and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.
Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out.
However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

Steph's Review:
    I became a SUPER MEGA EPIC fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout after reading her first two series, Covenant and Lux. Although there was only a few books out in each, I thought JLA was THE Queen of YA fiction  and one of my favorite authors ever (I still do). The basis of this novel, a touch of death, was pretty cliché to me, but I thought something on the lines of “hey, why not? It’s a JLA book, it’s gonna be amazing right?”
    Well, it wasn’t all that great. I know JLA for making strong and independent female leads, and super hot swoony guys. You fans know exactly who I’m talking about ;).
    In Cursed, we have our protagonist Ember, who was killed in a car accident two years ago but was brought back to life by her “gifted” younger sister, Olivia. Before the accident, Ember was one of the popular girls at her school who had a perfect world, but afterwards everything falls apart for her. Her classmates taunt and torment her, she no longer has parents to be there for her, and she has also gained a mysterious power--she will kill anyone she touches. Now she thinks she’s some soulless freak and that there’s no atonement for her.
    ARGH!!! I just had so many problems with Ember! Yeah, I know she’s been through a lot, but she spent so much of this book just being whiny and helpless. She also gets jealous way too easily. When she moves to her new home, and there is a lady who acts like Olivia’s surrogate mother, she hates on that lady instead of feeling happy for Olivia! Ember also has like, no self confidence! “I can’t do it”, “No, I’m just a cursed, soulless freak”. She’s spent two years, and the majority of this book, just moping about the accident. Get over it girl! It was hard for me to sympathize with her because I just felt like her self-pity had gone on long enough.
    Then there is Hayden...I guess he’s kind of hot in a way, but I think he’s just too submissive (yes, you’ve noticed I like my bad boys). His step brothers and sisters all say that Ember (and us as the reader) haven’t seen Hayden’s real side--the one other than his calm, sweet, and selfless one. But throughout this book, there was never an instance in which Hayden showed his supposed true self! He also won’t go against that adoptive father of his (whom I don’t trust at all by the way uh uh) even when it comes to Ember. He’s supposedly in love with Ember, but I can’t imagine why he would be because he never talked to her, but only stalked, yes stalked, her for two years after the accident.
    The plot of this book wasn’t bad at all, but I thought it was a little predictable. I did love the mystery shrouding the “Facility” and the part about Ember finally learning how to control her powers, but the whole subplot was pretty transparent. I basically knew what was going to happen during the “climax”.
It was a cute and fun-ish along the way. Though, I wish JLA made this into a series, because I feel that as a standalone, it didn’t conclude all of the points it started with. The ending was vague in my opinion, and I still had a lot of unanswered questions. I might recommend this if you don’t have anything to read, and just want something pretty brief and interesting. But don’t worry, no author can be perfect at everything, and I will still forever love JLA for all of the rest of her books!

Dani’s Review:
I completely disagree with Steph’s statement. Jennifer Armentrout has DONE IT AGAIN. She has created another amazing novel that happens to be a STANDALONE. I would love it if she made Cursed into a series, but then she wouldn’t have time to finish her Covenant and Lux series!
Ember is such a strong heroine, as strong as Alex from Covenant. I love her name; it makes me think of fire. Her name seems to reflect her personality. She somehow managed to care for her mother and sister after the accident and cope with her  newfound social rejection. This book literally made me BAWL because of the pain Ember was feeling. Ember thinks that she’s evil and soulless because of her ability and that just broke my heart. I found myself angry at the people who hated Ember for absolutely no reason.
Hayden is such a sweet, not to mention pretty HOT, boy. He’s one of the few who are nice to Ember, and what’s more they actually have a chance of a relationship together. Now you may be asking “How do the have a chance?”. Nope, lips are sealed. Not spoiling it.
The only complaint I have of Cursed is the ending. It seems like loose strings are left untied, but sometimes I like books to end that way. In this case, I enjoyed the rather vague ending. Now I can imagine my own happy ending and create my own stories to explain various events. (i.e.  This was how fanfiction was born.)
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It truly came from the heart; I feel like Mrs. Armentrout “left a bit of her soul behind” in this book. I know, cheesy description, but that’s what I think. The tone was much different from the Covenant and Lux books. This is the story of a girl trying to mend her broken family. A girl trying to believe that everything will be okay.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Full Cover Reveal and Blurb of Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout + A Thank You

So, here we go again! Another Covenant post!!! 
Isn't it pretty? I love the touch to Alex's eyes, a little creepy, but it does show Alex's current state. This is the full front and back cover of Apollyon, the fourth book in JLA's Covenant Series. This cover and the blurb of Apollyon were released today on Jenn's blog, and in case you can't see, here is the blurb:

     Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.
     Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.
     The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.
     Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself.

Oh my gosh. That is a heart pounding I must go into my little corner and start speculating on the coming events!!! April 9th just can't come soon enough.
Check this post out at Jenn's blog here:
Also, as a sidenote, I would also like to thank Jennifer for hosting the YA Scavenger Hunt "Hebel Designs" giveaway. Me and Dani came out as the lucky draw, and we have gotten ourselves some amazing items!!!

Steph ^.^
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