Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Double Release Day: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa and Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins

Hey everyone! So sorry we've been in a cave for basically the last week. I am getting desperately behind on reviews right now, but it's getting hard to squeeze in time to get them done. I can probably have a review up by this Friday, but until then it will be silence unfortunately. School gets in the way with life, right?

Well today is special, since it is the release day for both The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa and Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins! I loved both of the first books in these series, and I've already been lucky enough to read The Eternity Cure! (You can read our review for that HERE--Dani and I both LOVED IT, and we came out of the shell to review it!) I cannot wait to read Sweet Peril, the follow up to Sweet Evil (no, sorry I never reviewed this one) in the Sweet Trilogy as well. Kaiden made our BB list, and I'm eager to see what will happen in this installment!

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2)The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
(Blood of Eden Series Book 2)

Goodreads Synopsis:
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy, #2)Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
(The Sweet Trilogy Book 2)

Goodreads Synopsis:
Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.

When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?

Are these books on your to read list? I recommend them both!
Happy Reading!

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's a Sentinel Teaser!

Sentinel (Covenant, #5)

JLA recently posted a SENTINEL teaser on Facebook, and Dani and I would like to share it with you all. For all you Team Seth fans...(if there are any left???)...this is your hope. 

Okay, the teaser now:

“Poor Persephone.” He stared down his nose at the god. “That must be hard on her if that’s what gets you off.”
I wrinkled my nose.
“If her name drips from your forked tongue one more time, I will rip it out,” Hades promised, voice deadly low.
Was his tongue really forked?
His lips curled up on one side. “What? You don’t like me talking about your wife?” He looked over at the three of us. “Is abduction as a means of marriage still all the rage these days?”
Seth arched a brow.
“Uh… no,” I said, shaking my head. “It’s really frowned upon.”
Hades cheeks deepened in color. “You’re really pushing me.”
“I haven’t even begun to push," the Titan replied.
Aiden sighed and said under his breath, “Well, this conversation has really digressed.”
“Yeah,” I muttered, crossing my arms as I watched the two try to out snark each other.
This is going smoothly. Seth’s voice filtered through my thoughts.
I kept my eyes on the Titan. He’s not that… bad. I mean, all things considered, right?
His answering chuckle tugged at my lips. I sort of like him.
Of course.

Well, it's nice to know Seth has been hanging around Alex and Aiden and so far no one is trying to rip each others throats out. That's always a positive! Looks like we will be seeing more of Persephone (I really liked her in Apollyon), and Hades (who I am a little bit mad at, but he supposedly has a British accent to make up for it!). It seems that the Titans will also have a role in Sentinel, which I am uber excited about. They've been mentioned in the past books and they will finally be making an appearance. Maybe this has something to do with Titan's blood? 

For those who haven't seen JLA's message, Sentinel has been moved up one month for release! (YES). It was previously scheduled for December 2013, but its has been pushed to November 2nd instead. Sentinel is currently up for pre-order on Amazon. 

Cannot wait to read this! I know it will be amazing, and well it is JLA. How could I possibly deny reading a book written by her? 

Hoped you enjoyed the tease! This is the first one she's posted in a while. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Steph's Rating: 4 stars
Overall: 4 stars

Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: January 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 387

Goodreads Synopsis:
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Steph's Review: 
Cinder is a wonderful read that follows retelling pattern of the fairy tale, Cinderella (hence Cinder). We get a robotic twist in this one, where our protagonist, Cinder, is a cyborg. Caught in a terrible fire as a child, Cinder was injured so horribly to the point where surgeons had to replace parts of skin, limbs, and bones with metal parts in order for her to survive. It's great having her life back, but the downside is losing privileges that a "normal human" would have. She's basically treated like dirt, just like the beginning of the tale of Cinderella, and she even lives with two step-sisters and an wicked stepmother. The plus is being a great mechanic--something that's hard not to be good at especially when parts of your body are chunks of metal. Weighed down with the job of being the only source of income for her "family", Cinder really has nothing great to say about her life.

When one of Cinder's sisters contracts the cure-less, ravaging plague "letumosis", the blame is put on Cinder by Adri, none other than Cinder's evil stepmother. Looking for any chance to get rid of a burden, Adri hands Cinder over to the New Beijing government to be a guinea pig for letumosis cure testing, in exchange for money. While being prodded at though, scientists find a special secret about Cinder, one she did not know about herself. She is a double-edged sword. She may be the savior to humankind, but if the Lunars (the enemies in disguise) get their hands on her, it could all be over.

I am a really big fan of the Cinderella story amongst fairytales, so of course I would enjoy any revamp of it. Meyer makes Cinder a witty and sarcastic heroine, and throws her into the most awkward situations (I love reading awkward situations, have you noticed? :D). These situations include our lovely prince, Kai. I didn't feel Kai was a super hot guy, but I liked him, just like in the real Cinderella story. He is a complex character; he is a prince who basically wishes he wasn't one, but must stand strong to his country who lives in fear of the Lunars and the plague. The poor guy can't really catch a break, especially with his father having contracted the plague as well. Cinder automatically grows on him because she's one of the few people who doesn't treat him like a prince, and she actually bothers to joke with him. Some of Cinder's lines really made me LOL during the book, especially this one (No not with Kai unfortunately, with the docs. Probably one of my favorites in the whole book!):

“I don't know. I don't actually remember anything from before the surgery."

His eyebrows rose, his blue eyes sucking in all the light of the room. "The cybernetic operation?"

"No, the sex change."

The doctor's smile faltered.

"I'm joking.”

Besides the plague, New Beijing has the Lunars to worry about--people of the moon hence their name. With their magic of brainwashing and compulsion, they could bend any human to their will and take over the world. The only thing stopping them is the tense peace treaty signed between Earth and Lunars. It's fragile, and deteriorating. I detest these Lunars with all of my heart, and it was a wonderful twist on top of the normal Cinderella story. I think the conflict with the Lunars is what makes this story stand out, because if it was only the fairy tail it'd be pretty mediocre. Without warning, Cinder is thrown into the heart of the Lunar/Earthen problem, where keeping her secret is the utmost priority. 

The only problem with this book is that since it is a retelling, it is very predictable. I could sense the plot twists and the ending from miles away, so I never felt especially giddy at any point in the book. It is a great read, no doubt, but it isn't particularly suspenseful. I love the world and characters though, and they make up for the so-so plot. I am definitely going to be reading Scarlet, book 2 of the Lunar Chronicles, which is the story of Red Riding Hood told Marissa Meyer style!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Review: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2)The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa
Steph’s Rating: 5 stars
Dani’s Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by Dani with Commentary by Steph

Format: Hardcover
Publication Date: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 446

Goodreads Synopsis:
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.

Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.

*Spoilers for The Immortal Rules (Book 1)*

Dani’s Review:

As usual, Julie has never ceased to amaze me. I have loved every single thing she has written. I fell head over heels in love with her Iron Fey series, and her Blood of Eden has earned my eternal devotion as well. The Eternity Cure was a stupendous follow-up to The Immortal Rules, and I can’t imagine it being any different. I didn’t and can’t find anything lacking about this book. It is one of the best Julie Kagawa books I’ve read to date.

The Eternity Cure begins with Allie searching for her sire, Kanin, who was captured by the crazy, psycho, and insane Master vampire known as Sarren. Allie has a blood tie to Kanin, so she can feel the excruciating pain Kanin feels as he undergoes Sarren’s horrible torture sessions. Sarren is probably the  most terrifying antagonist I have EVER read about. I was surprised to discover that Julie could create such a dark character. This entire series is so much gloomier and cynical than her Iron Fey series. Julie did an AMAZING job portraying Sarren’s broken logic and mind. He is desperate for revenge from Kanin for giving fellow vampires to human scientists to experiment on. He needs his retribution as much as he needs blood to survive. He is a true master of torture and loves to make his “birds sing”. *shudders*

Julie’s trademark description and imagery is in this novel, although it is much more grisly. It was such a change to read about the the “crunching of bones” and “skin peeking out of flesh” instead of “Oh look there’s Ash the extremely hot Winter Prince!” There is so much action and emotion packed into this book. I hated to read about Ally going through a truckload of pain, grief, anger, hatred, and the ongoing battle of the Hunger, her vampire instincts. She constantly fights her inner demon that is telling her to give in to the bloodlust and kill all the “puny, weak bloodbags”. I loved to learn more about Ally’s inner strength and will. She is truly one of the strongest protagonists in the YA world.

Julie somehow managed to include some humour into this dark novel! She never ceases to make my jaw drop in awe. Remember Jackal from the Blood of Eden? He was the raider-king who murdered several of Allie and Zeke’s friends. Well, he plays quite an important role in this novel and also happens to have a hilarious yet sick sense of humour. He is incorrigible; even when he’s in extreme pain with a pole impaled in his gut, he still manages to crack some jokes!

In the first chapters of The Eternity Cure, Allie is trying to cope with the loss of Zeke, her biggest regret. The Blood of Eden ended with a HUGE cliffhanger: Allie leaves Eden, where she is not welcome for being a vampire, and subsequently leaves the boy who might be the love of her life, Ezekiel Cross. Of course, no good writer and especially not Julie Kagawa leaves the two protagonists of their story apart for long. Don’t worry! Zeke makes a reappearance and is a HUGE part of this novel! However, Zeke has changed....

If you have read The Blood of Eden, you must already be dying to get your hands on a copy of The Eternity Cure! So, I don’t have to explain again why you MUST read this novel. And if you have not read The Blood of Eden yet for some reason are reading this review, I HIGHLY recommend you to read it, especially if you are a Julie Kagawa fan. To sum it up, Julie Kagawa has created another YA series that will blow your mind!

Steph’s Commentary:

I totally agree with everything Dani said, especially on The Eternity Cure being rather...dark and chilling. I don’t know how many times I got shivers when I was reading the scenes with Sarren. He is a psychopathic mess, and yes, flat out terrifying. I didn’t even know Julie was capable of portraying characters like this, especially after The Iron Fey goodness. Blood of Eden is definitely not for the weak-stomached!

Allie is just amazing in this book. Her continuous battle against herself is really admirable, since she is going against her vampire instinct and nature. The suffering she has to deal with is just horrendous, and she is such a “big girl” who doesn’t cry throughout. Most definitely one of the best!

I feel like I should mention this. Remember that twiggy boy named Stick from way back whenever? Well I hate his guts. Just read The Eternity Cure and I’m sure you will be harboring the same exact feelings.

Jackal. While Dani doesn’t like him very much from his past actions in The Immortal Rules...Julie kind of made me love him. Okay, really love him. He has the crudest and nastiest humor, along with terrible manners and timing, but he is just hilarious! The funniest scenes in the book pretty much included Jackal. I actually had a love/hate relationship with him throughout the book, but I settled with really love by the end of the book. You’ll just have to read to find out why. His antics with Allie is so funny to read, because they seriously act like bickering siblings (which they are, but they are just closer in The Eternity Cure than before. Loved reading that!). I’m basically writing this commentary to tell the world I love him now. ;) P.S. ZEKE </3.

I also highly recommend this book and series, along with anything else written by Julie Kagawa! Eagerly awaiting book 3 of this series!

Release Day: The Elite by Kiera Cass

The Elite (The Selection, #2)Oh. Meh. Gods. 

THE ELITE IS OUT! *parties* I have been looking forward to this book so indescribably much because I just need MORE of The Selection Series. I loved Book 1 (See our review for The Selection HERE), albeit lacked some of the action that I am looking forward more to in The Elite. I loved Maxon in book 1, but Kiera threw us a screwball at the end of The Selection about that Aspen boy, so I want to know America's situation with her boys now too :). I dare say "it's complicated" if that synopsis gives anything away. I also can't wait to see just what kind of "dystopic" setting will be revealed to us (hopefully it is revealed!). Unfortunately, I did not pre-order this book :( since I'm running low on book money, and I have a long wait ahead of me in the library (grrrrr). I'm considering getting this on ebook, because just knowing it's out there for me to read without having it in my palms makes me insane with anticipation. Can't wait to read this! I will be sure to review this, although I can't make promises as to when. Just ASAP!

Goodreads Synopsis:

The hotly-anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Selection.

Thirty-five girls came to the palace to compete in the Selection. All but six have been sent home. And only one will get to marry Prince Maxon and be crowned princess of Iléa.

America still isn’t sure where her heart lies. When she’s with Maxon, she’s swept up in their new and breathless romance, and can’t dream of being with anyone else. But whenever she sees Aspen standing guard around the palace, and is overcome with memories of the life they planned to share. With the group narrowed down to the Elite, the other girls are even more determined to win Maxon over—and time is running out for America to decide.

Just when America is sure she’s made her choice, a devastating loss makes her question everything again. And while she’s struggling to imagine her future, the violent rebels that are determined to overthrow the monarchy are growing stronger and their plans could destroy her chance at any kind of happy ending.

Kiera also posted some "spoiler" videos, if you can call them that, on The Selection Series page on Facebook. I believe they can be found on YouTube as well. They aren't really big spoilers or anything (I know, if only), and if you haven't gotten to the book either like me you can watch these videos to find out little tidbits of what to expect in The Elite. On a second thought, I don't know if that will be helpful especially if you don't have the book lying around close to you :). Viewer discretion advised! 

Happy Reading! 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review: Wait For You by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)

Wait for You (Wait for You, #1)Wait For You by J. Lynn (Jennifer L. Armentrout)
Steph’s Rating: 5 stars
Dani’s Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars

Format: E-book
Publication Date: February 26th, 2013 (Released March 4th)
Publisher: Self-Pub
Pages: 332

Goodreads Synopsis:

Traveling thousands of miles from home to enter college is the only way nineteen-year-old Avery Morgansten can escape what happened at the Halloween party five years ago—an event that forever changed her life. All she needs to do is make it to her classes on time, make sure the bracelet on her left wrist stays in place, not draw any attention to herself, and maybe—please God—make a few friends, because surely that would be a nice change of pace. The one thing she didn’t need and never planned on was capturing the attention of the one guy who could shatter the precarious future she’s building for herself.

Some things are worth experiencing…
Cameron Hamilton is six feet and three inches of swoon-worthy hotness, complete with a pair of striking blue eyes and a remarkable ability to make her want things she believed were irrevocably stolen from her. She knows she needs to stay away from him, but Cam is freaking everywhere, with his charm, his witty banter, and that damn dimple that’s just so… so lickable. Getting involved with him is dangerous, but when ignoring the simmering tension that sparks whenever they are around each other becomes impossible, he brings out a side of her she never knew existed.

Some things should never be kept quiet…
But when Avery starts receiving threatening emails and phone calls forcing her to face a past she wants silenced, she has no other choice but to acknowledge that someone is refusing to allow her to let go of that night when everything changed. When the devastating truth comes out, will she resurface this time with one less scar? And can Cam be there to help her or will he be dragged down with her?

And some things are worth fighting for…

*THIS BOOK IS NEW ADULT. Not YA, like we usually post review for. Just noting!*

Steph and Dani’s Review:

I was debating whether or not I should put up a review for this for a while, because it is NA, and Dani and I have a YA blog. Well, I loved this book so much that now I don’t care if some unsuspecting person picked it up, was scalded by the *ahem* love scenes, and kept on reading. This was just PERFECT! Cam is perfect. Avery’s story is perfect. The pacing is just right. Like this is the best adult genre novel Jen has ever written. I’ve read Gamble Brothers, but Wait For You is just--out there. Sitting on a throne, altar, tier, whatever. I know I’m biased because I’m in love with JLA’s books, but seriously this was just absolutely heart wrenching and amazing. It is a true gem in the New Adult genre! I wasn’t surprised at all when this hit #1 on the NYT Bestsellers list, because it deserved that position with every page and word written. I’m so proud of Jen, and she has never failed to amaze me!

Avery’s life has been like hell since that Halloween party 5 years ago. She decides to go to college far, far away from her Texas home to escape her past. I was so incredibly angry at her parents and all the people living in her small town. No one understood that she was NOT the one to blame on that horrible Halloween night! Her parents are pompous, narcissus freaks who will and did do anything to maintain their “unblemished” and “perfect” public image. They are terrible, irresponsible parents who left their poor daughter at home on Thanksgiving and Christmas while they traveled the world and went on fancy cruises. They are the epitome of bad parenting. Somehow, Avery managed to pull through this dark time of her life without the support of her family or friends. Another strong heroine.

And then....it happens. She meets the king of sexiness himself: Cam. They are undeniably attracted to each other the moment they collide on the way to Astronomy class. This is somewhat a “love at first sight” scenario, but JLA writes so artfully and paces everything so well, it worked. It wasn’t cheesy or stupid at all, unlike some other “insta-love” novels. I loved to laugh about Avery’s awkwardness around Cam when they first begin to know each other. I can’t count on my fingers how many times she blushed! This book completely reinforces JLA being a Queen of Awkward Situations :).

Cam is just perfect and just what Avery needs, as she will find. He is going to be her new outlet to the world, and eventually how she gets over her past. He will help make her  social again, and edge out of the corner Avery has retreated into during her life. This was a perfect love story, where each person will be there to support the other and get through hard times. It wasn’t too fast either. While it did feel like they had an instant attraction, I wouldn’t call it love exactly. Jen paced it just right to make it feel real and believable, so kudos to her for that! I honestly hope that when I fall in love with someone it will be like this. Cam isn’t completely clean either, he is harboring his own secrets and “tarnished” past that Avery will have to help him come over too. This is such a sweet romance, because Avery doesn’t exactly feel ready for a relationship, but it is great watching her fall deeper and deeper in love with Cam despite what her mind tells her.

Jen has made me love turtles now, however random that may sound. Cam has this pet turtle named Rafael, and it is just the most random thing ever but hilarious in the book. This turtle is just too cute, and I’ve never even laid eyes on him before :).

This is a definite must read for any romance and JLA fan. I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that she would be writing two sequels to Wait For You (#2 will be called Be With Me). I was a giggling mess, no doubt, and onlookers probably thought I was mentally unstable or something (and I’m not refuting that! xD). Cannot wait to see what Jen has in mind for the continuation of the story! 

Book News: Origin Blurb, Divergent #3's Title, and Gameboard of the Gods Excerpt!

Important Bookish News coming up! 

Jen released the blurb of Origin, book 4 of her Lux series, today on her blog. I'd like to share it with all of you, as I am basically dying for this book. No like really--dying. The ending to Opal was a monster and I just need this desperately and ASAP. I will most definitely be pre-ordering and reviewing it!

So the blurb, I love it:

Daemon will do anything to get Katy back.
After the successful but disastrous raid on Mount Weather, he’s facing the impossible. Katy is gone. Taken. Everything becomes about finding her. Taking out anyone who stands in his way? Done. Burning down the whole world to save her? Gladly. Exposing his alien race to the world? With pleasure.
All Katy can do is survive.
Surrounded by enemies, the only way she can come out of this is to adapt. After all, there are sides of Daedalus that don’t seem entirely crazy, but the group’s goals are frightening and the truths they speak even more disturbing. Who are the real bad guys? Daedalus? Mankind? Or the Luxen?
Together, they can face anything.
But the most dangerous foe has been there all along, and when the truths are exposed and the lies come crumbling down, which side will Daemon and Katy be standing on? And will they be standing together?

I am madly excited for this book, I need to know what is going to happen with Daemon, Katy, and Daedalus. The cliffhanger in the last book drove me nuts, is still driving be nuts, and the Post-Opal-Stress-Disorder background will be hanging around on my twitter page until I get my hands on this book. Can't wait!!!

Original Post on Jen's Blog (with extra info as well as a lovely pic of Pepe): http://www.jenniferarmentrout.com/origin-details/

Obsidian (Lux, #1)Onyx (Lux, #2)Opal (Lux, #3)

Also, Veronica Roth has released the title of the third and final book of her Divergent series. It will be called:

Not what I was expecting nor was it on my list of guesses, but nonetheless, book 3 finally has a name. Yes, I actually did look up the set definition for this book after I found out :) Allegiant will be released on October 22nd, 2013 and is currently up for preorder on Amazon.

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Insurgent (Divergent, #2) 


Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1)Alright, one last thing. Richelle Mead has shared Chapter 2 of her next release, Gameboard of the Gods with us recently. She also previously released Chapter 1 of this book as a teaser as well, which can be found on her blog. Here is the link for Chapter 2, this time it is in Justin's POV instead of Mae. Enjoy! 

Link to the chapter directly: http://richellemead.com/excerpt/excerpt23.htm
Richelle Meads post and what she has to say: http://blue-succubus.livejournal.com/311444.html


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ARC Review: A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest

A Shade of Blood (A Shade of Vampire, #2)A Shade of Blood by Bella Forrest
Steph’s Rating: 4 stars
Dani’s Rating: 3.5 stars
Overall Rating: 3.75 stars

Format: ARC (provided by author for review purposes)
Publisher: Kindle E-book (self-pub)
Publication Date: April 8th, 2013
Pages: 322 (ebook)

Goodreads Synopsis:
In A Shade Of Blood, Bella Forrest transports you deeper into a unique, enthralling and beautifully sensitive story.
Prepare to be lost in its pages…

When Sofia Claremont was kidnapped to a sunless island, uncharted by any map and ruled by the most powerful vampire coven on the planet, she believed she’d forever be a captive of its dark ruler, Derek Novak.

Now, after months of surviving an endless night, the morning sun may soon rise again for Sofia. Something has possessed Derek’s heart and he offers her a gift no human slave has ever been given in the history of his cursed island: escape.

High school, prom and a chance to move on with her life now await her.

But will she be able to forget the horrors that steal her sleep away at night? … and the feelings that haunt her for that tormented prince of darkness?

Steph’s Review:

This was such an amazing sequel to Bella Forrest’s first book, A Shade of Vampire!!! In A Shade of Blood, we delve deeper into the world of vampires and hunters that were just barely introduced in the predecessor, where things are not exactly as they seem on the surface. Mysteries are unraveled, and prophecies are foretold. A Shade of Blood is definitely not a novel to miss!

After A Shade of Vampire, Sofia Claremont and her best friend Ben Hudson are sent back to the human world after a brief yet horrifying experience at The Shade, the sunless vampire haven. All they want is to get back into their former lives, something proving to be harder done than expected. Ben’s parents and the authorities, along with the whispers aren’t helping them any. Ben tells her to just forget everything, but it also doesn’t help that no matter what Sofia tries to do, her thoughts always trace back to a certain prince she left behind...

After a chilling surprise visit from Vivienne Novak, princess of The Shade and sister of Derek Novak, Sofia is left with a decision that will pull her in two. Dark things are brewing in The Shade, and even the collected princess thinks Sofia is the only one who can help at this stage of the game. Sofia can trust her heart and let it lead her to whom she thinks of most, but that will mean leaving behind her best friend and surrogate family behind--probably forever. It also means giving up her freedom by returning to The Shade as a human slave once more.

A Shade of Blood is really deep and dark compared to A Shade of Vampire. It was just absolutely compelling. In this installment, the insanity of vampires and their cruelty is revealed on a whole different level, and the amount of psychological stress and PTSD the characters have show true. Former enemies become new acquaintances, but some are just digging themselves into more and more evil. Bella shows us the history of The Shade, how it came to be and why. I really loved Derek in this book, because as the reader we now understand why he has such a self-depreciating personality. He is completely torn apart at the soul, and even as a vampire his conscience still stands. He blames himself too much and holds only past guilt. Sofia really opens up into a glorious character in this book, and I know that I will only continue to like her more from here on out.

Bella also reveals information on the Hunters association, and a shocking reveal on it’s members just totally blew me away. I actually thought the Hunters were pretty cool, they weren’t at all how I expected them to be! There were plenty of twists and turns in this, and I know that whatever happens in the next novel will be paramount to the entire world Bella created.

The only complaint I have is the lengthiness of this novel. It’s actually not many pages, but the first half was rather slow in my opinion, when Sofia and Ben are in the human world. I couldn’t find much exciting about that part, and it was mostly just a back-and-forth of unsure feelings. I’m betting other readers won’t feel that way because I am a super impatient reader and I adore action :), but that’s how it felt in my opinion. Any Shade of Vampire fan will be sure to love A Shade of Blood as well, and any vampire/paranormal book lover should pick up on this series as well! I am eager to see what Bella Forrest has next in store for us!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
Steph’s Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars

Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: January 10th, 2012
Pages: 368

Goodreads Synopsis:
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

Steph’s Review:
Words cannot describe how much I loved this book. I have never cried so much in a long time, and nothing is even close to how heart-wrenching this book is. It is just Flat. Out. Amazing. As my friend Angie would describe it, it was just...beautiful. This book is a lot different from books I usually read, probably because of it’s realism. Cancer exists, and right now we can’t do anything to stop it. The Fault In Our Stars is very touching, and within the span of it’s pages, John Green was able to fully connect his characters and world to me as if they’d been there my entire life. I actually wasn’t expecting this to be as good as it was, but I listened to the awards and raves it got and gave it a shot. I had no regrets that I started read this from the very first chapter.

At just 13 years old, Hazel Grace was diagnosed with thyroid cancer which metastasized to her lungs. By some miracle, a cancer-treating drug perceived to ineffective became her savior, and halted the growth of any new tumors in her body. However, Hazel is and will be tethered to an oxygen tank for the rest of her life, because her lungs simply won’t be “good lungs” anymore. She’s practically given up. It’s not exactly a good situation, because anything “normal” for kids her age is now out of her reach, or so she believes.

During a fateful meeting at the Cancer Support Group, Augustus Waters barrels into her life. He’s hot, one legged, funny, and hopeful. Cancer-free and in remission, Augustus Waters is what cancer patients hope to be one day. With his sweet talk, he gets right into Hazel’s nerves and shows her that living with cancer doesn’t take away who you are. You just have to make the time meant for you your own infinite, your type of forever.

John Green, amazingly, was able to put so much humor into this book despite it’s serious topic. I don’t even know how many times I LOL’d while I was reading it, and contrary to my personal belief, he can write romance. Augustus is such a sweetheart, and he’s pretty darn arrogant and hilarious. I love him, enough said. He’s a bright highlight, both to Hazel and to The Fault itself. Despite his near flippant attitude, he is one of the wisest characters in the book, and provided more support to Hazel than her parents ever could. Hazel’s first mindset is that she’s just an ugly nobody, waiting to rot in a grave, but Augustus makes her feel and become someone beautiful. John Green, through this book, tells everyone that there isn’t anything wrong with hope, and it’s one of the strongest feelings a person can have.  

Back to the crying part. While this book was happy-go-lucky for the first 2/3, a surprising twist made my whole world come crashing down like a meteor plummeting towards Earth. I was kind of expecting it to happen, but it was still surprising nonetheless because I didn’t want it to happen, I was hoping it wouldn’t. The ending of The Fault was as heartbreaking as it was heartfelt. There are so many life messages hidden between the pages that inspire you to be better. It was pretty bittersweet, but still hard to handle. I read too much paranormal stuff, when there is always a HEA. I cried at least three times within the last 100 pages, no joke. I could not get over this book for days, and me and Angie (mentioned above) blubbered over this book for a while. A long while. I once had to write an essay for school on the book that most changed my life and I chose to write it on Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kodohata. If I had to rewrite that essay today, The Fault In Our Stars would have been my top choice instead. This is definitely a must read for adults and teens both.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Winner for the Fate's Fables Giveaway + Dani's Blogging Break

Fate's Fables (Fate's Journey, #1)

Today we have for you the winner of the giveaway for a paperback copy of Fate's Fables by T. Rae Mitchell. View our review post HERE and author interview/giveaway post HERE. The winner for this is:

Sarah Peeling 

Congratulations on your win Sarah! The winner has been notified as has 48 hours to confirm their win before another winner is chosen. T. Rae Mitchell will send the book directly to you. 


The Blogging Break

Don't worry, we aren't disappearing completely for a few months. Dani is going to take some time off from blogging between mid-April and mid-May to study for school exams, and Stephanie will be posting less often for the same reason. Dani will mostly likely not be posting, but she will do a few reviews (but less than usual) that will be posted by Stephanie. For the next month, we will probably op out of the memes we usually participate in like Waiting on Wednesday, or at least we won't consistently do them every week. We might still post a few Teaser Tuesday's, but again, not every week like we usually do. We don't have any blog tours planned from mid-April to mid-May to keep our schedules clear, but we do have a few reviews we will definitely be doing from direct author requests and ARC's. We do have one blog tour planned right after our exams around the end of May for Stars in Her Eyes by Clare C. Marshall though, so we will be right back to blogging frequently as soon as we can!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead Chapter 1 Teaser!

Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X, #1)Hey again everyone! I was on Richelle Meads Facebook page today, and I saw she posted the first chapter of her next release: Gameboard of the Gods (clicky for Goodreads). I am really excited for this because I am a HUGE fan of Richelle Mead from her Vampire Academy and Dark Swan series's, and this is her venture into the dystopia genre. I'm don't know what her take on dystopia is going to be, but I know it will be flat-out amazing, as usual. 

Goodreads Synopsis: 

In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such megasuccesses: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.

Beware that this book and excerpt IS NOT YA. Gameboard of the Gods is book one in the new Age of X series for adults. This excerpt does have some bad language/profanity in it, just as a caution to readers who are sensitive to that kind of thing. It is in Mae's POV, one of the two main characters in GOTG (along with Justin). 

You can find the teaser chapter here: http://richellemead.com/excerpt/excerpt22.htm

You can find the original post here on her blog, where Richelle has some explanation:  http://blue-succubus.livejournal.com/311205.html

Happy Reading! I really enjoyed this chapter! Gameboard of the Gods is scheduled for release by Dutton Books on June 4th, 2013. Mark your calendars!
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