Current Giveaways

Review + Giveaway: Sealed with a Curse by Cecy Robson (ends 01/21)
Enter to win an ARC of Sealed with a Curse.

Please Note: New Holiday Review Policy! (extended indefinitely)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Title: Spells
Author: Aprilynne Pike
Genre: Dystopian Young Adult
Release Date: 05/04/10
Buy the Book:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger -- and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?

Plot: 5 Stars
An interesting part of this novel was how a major plot point was very similar to a lot of YA series second novels, while being wildly different. Instead of the mysterious, paranormal bad boy disappearing for the main character's "own good" (think Edward in New Moon), Laurel leaved David to go learn more about being a Fall faerie. She is not leaving to save David or keep him out of trouble. She leaves for the summer in order to better prepare and defend herself. The plot of this novel definitely takes a couple twists I was not expecting, and the ending had me biting my nails. As much as I fell in love with Wings a couple years ago (before I started blogging), I think Spells was even better and I can't wait to start book three!

Pace: 5 Stars
This was one of those novels I would have gobbled up in one sitting if life didn't get in the way. But sadly I had to put it down a couple times to go to work. And eat, since I didn't want to get any food on the pages. There was never a point in the novel in which the pace slowed down or started wandering off in an off-topic direction. I was glued to the pages until I got to the very end.

Characters: 5 Stars
This novel was all about growth for these characters. Laurel got to learn more about being a faerie at the academy. All of the reading and the notecards and the homework after she left didn't sound like a lot of fun for her, but it was still very interesting to read about. We got to learn more about Tamani and his family, and see him interact with more faeries. The dynamic between Laurel and her parents was different from the first novel, and the way they worked through the difficulties came across very real.

Cover: 4.5 Stars
I love the beauty and simplicity of this cover, although my heart will always love the cover of Wings the most. But the mix of very natural greens and browns in the water with the bright pink of the flowers and title is very eye-catching. The choice of a simple, cursive font fits the story very well. I really love the Paranormal Young Adult series that have these simple covers involving flowers because they allow the consumer/reader to get a feel for the mood of the book without forcing them to visualize the main character a certain way. I don't know about anyone else, but once I've seen the character (either on the cover or the actor playing the character), I lose the image I had crafted in my mind. Plus, the bright colors of this cover really fits Laurel's personality.

Overall: 5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this novel for my own reading pleasure.

Review: Betrayal by Lee Nichols

Title: Betrayal
Author: Lee Nichols
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 03/01/11
But the Book:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Emma Vaile is the most powerful ghostkeeper in centuries. Which is great when she's battling the wraith-master Neos, but terrible when she's flirting with fellow ghostkeeper (and soul mate) Bennett. When ghostkeepers fall in love, the weaker one loses all power, and that's not something Bennett can handle. Heartbroken and alone, Emma tries to lose herself in school with fellow ghostkeeper, Natalie. When a new team of ghostkeepers arrive-one a snarky teen boy, the other a British scholar-Emma finds solace in training for the battle against Neos. But as the team grows stronger, they are threatened by an unknown force. One they thought was good.

As chilling and page-turning as Deception, this sequel will grab readers and hold them to the last page. No one is safe from suspicion as Emma closes in on the traitor.

Plot: 3 Stars
This novel picked up right where Deception left off, but it could've used a bit more recap considering almost a year passed between each book being released. It felt kinda like when you miss a days worth of notes in class as I was reading the first couple chapters. It felt like I was missing something because I hadn't read the first book since last summer. Usually I can jump right back into a series without much of a problem. But after a couple more chapters, it all started coming back to me as the past events were touched on a little more. This book also felt a lot like many YA novels that have fallen into a rut. It felt a lot like New Moon in that the mysterious love interest disappeared in order to "help" the main character.

Pace: 3.5 Stars
This was one of those novels that started off on the slow side, but picked up momentum as the story unfolded. The events in the beginning of the novel were on the slow side, but nothing to make me put the novel down (on vacation, no less). As the events of the novel continued to unfold and become more complex, the pace picked up as well. By the end of the novel, it felt like I was reading at the same frantic pace as the characters were rushing to beat the bad guy. It kept me on the edge of my seat.

Characters: 4 Stars
Although Bennett disappearing for most of the novel was disappointing, I felt like it gave me a chance to connect more with the rest of the characters as well as the new characters that were introduced. Emma and her powers continued to grow while dealing with both school and ghostkeeping. I liked that she didn't whine and complain about Bennett being gone the entire time. Emma, along with her friends, deal with the events from the previous novel that involved Coby in their own ways, which was interesting to read. Natalie grew on me throughout this novel. I remember not liking her as much while reading the first novel. This novel also introduced a number of new ghostkeepers, which was great because it meant more information about ghostkeepers and their powers.

Cover: 3.5 Stars
Although I like the continuity of using the same cover model, this cover isn't as strong as its predecessor, Deception. The angle of the cover model's head is a little strange, and her hair is hanging almost too straight to be natural. My favorite part of this cover is the color scheme. I like how the blue is very monochromatic around the cover model, while she gets to have more color. And the green title works very well against the blue. My least favorite part of the cover is the boy lurking in the background. He comes across very stalkerish, especially with his brooding facial expression. The background image of tree branches and parts of a cemetery give the cover a creepy feel that works even without the stalkerish boy.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I borrowed this novel from the local library.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Giveaway Winners + Update

Before I get to the winners, I just want to explain my absence over the past week. It wasn't planned ahead of time, but I ended up taking a week off from the blog. By the time Friday rolled around and I realized I hadn't touched it in almost a week, I figured I'd just take the rest of the weekend off and focus on reading. My IMM next this coming weekend is going to be huge because I hit both of my favorite used bookstores. Between trade-ins and the overstock sale, I think I walked away with around 30 books for $26 (and that doesn't even count the ones my girlfriend bought). It was crazy. But in my defense, I traded in 11. And I had to rearrange my bookshelves like crazy because I'm running out of room again.

There were only 4 participants in The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne giveaway. Using, I randomized the list of entries, and then random selected the winner. The winner is...

4. Anonymous!

There was a total of 34 participants in the Illusions by Aprilynne Pike giveaway. Using, I randomized the list of entries, and then random selected the winner. The winner is...

23. Claire @ YA Bookie Monster!

There was a total of 30 participants in the Divergent by Veronica Roth giveaway. Using, I randomized the list of entries, and then random selected the winner. The winner is...

16. Kaci!

Congratulations! Please respond to the e-mail I sent with your mailing information within 72 hours.

Didn't win? You can pick up a copy from The Book Depository and have it shipped for free!
[The Paradise Prophecy] [Illusions] [Dead on the Delta] [Divergent]

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (89)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

This week was an awesome week. It seemed like every time I opened the front door, there was another box on the doorstep. I love those weeks. Starcrossed and Hexed were pre-ordered a couple weeks ago, and finally arrived. Trial by Fire, Hereafter, and Shadow Walker were purchased with an Amazon giftcard I got from having enough points on my credit card (I can thank a huge car repair for these... Lol). And I bought Passion at the signing in Miami on Thursday, and also got it signed (along with my copies of Fallen and Torment). I also got a big box of books from Michelle today. I'll talk more about it in my July RAK wrap-up post (including the novels I sent her this month).

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini [Buy now 41% off!]
Trial by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes [Buy now 41% off!]
Hexed by Kevin Hearne [Buy now]
Hereafter by Tara Hudson [Buy now 41% off!]
Shadow Walker by Allyson James [Buy now]
Passion by Lauren Kate (signed!) [Buy now 41% off!]

Random Acts of Kindness:
Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase ARC [Buy now]
The Legend of Michael by Lisa Renee Jones ARC [Buy now]
Destiny of the Wolf by Terry Spear [Buy now]
To Tempt the Wolf by Terry Spear [Buy now]
Heart of the Highland Wolf by Terry Spear ARC [Buy now]
(Thanks to Michelle @ Michelle's Book Blog)

Review: Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Title: Rage
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Genre: Paranormal Young Adult
Release Date: 04/04/11
But the Book:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was... different.

That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade -- a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control.

A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world.

Plot: 3 Stars
After reading Hunger, the first novel in this series, I was excited to see what Jackie Morse Kessler would do with Rage. I knew I wanted to read it when I found out it would deal with another tough subject, self-injury, because I would be able to draw on my own experiences while reading. I really connected with Missy and felt what she was going through while I was reading the novel. One part of the novel I didn't completely understand though, was how everyone was so cruel to Missy about her scars and wounds. Maybe I was just lucky enough to not experience the aspect of self-injury in which the entire student body finds out, but I couldn't believe how harshly all of the students in the novel reacted. I guess I expected more than just Missy's best friend to be the only one sticking by her side. But I love the way the author subtley weaves the paranormal aspect into the story. And although the ending isn't exactly what I expected, it did wrap up in a satisfying way.

Pace: 3 Stars
For such a short novel, it felt like it took me a pretty long time to read it. I was on vacation at the time, but we weren't doing vacation-y things all day long. I found that throughout the novel, there were a lot of ups and downs with the pacing. There were a few big, emotion scenes but the smaller scenes between them weren't enough to keep me going. I found myself putting this novel down numerous times in between these big scenes, instead of reading through the smallers scenes to the next big scene. It wasn't until the last third of the novel that the pace picked back up and didn't slow down again.

Characters: 3 Stars
Teenagers can be very mean and judgmental, and the author does a fantastic job of making the teenagers in this novel feel very real. I enjoyed Missy as a main character because I could relate to her from my own experiences as a teenager. Because of this, I feel like I connected with Missy more than I connected with the main character of Hunger due to my lack of experience with eating disorders. Death was once again a very interesting character. I love how the author alludes to him looking and acting like a certain rock star, without ever coming out and saying whether or not Death actually is said rock star. It was interesting to see the other Horsemen, Famine and Pestilance, although I didn't completely understand all of Pestilance's actions. I'm hoping a future novel will clear up some of the confusion. The parents and other grown-up figures didn't work out as well for me. Missy's parents came across slightly robotic. I feel like they should have noticed a little more of the dynamic between Missy and her sister (that they strongly disliked each other), instead of just brushing it off and telling them to kiss and make up. I also didn't completely agree with how the soccer coach dealt with a certain situation.

Cover: 4 Stars
The simplicity of this cover is what works so well. The sword gives you an idea about the content of the novel, without giving away too much. The font choice lets the imagery speak for itself instead of overwhelming the cover. All too often, novels with very short titles will over embellish the title to make up for its lack of length, but the simplicity of this novel's title really lets the sword speak for itself. The colors of this novel also work very well. The color choices work well with the sword, while still giving the cover a dark and moody feel that fits the novel. The shine of the cover works well too. I think that the cover wouldn't work nearly as well if the cover was in a matte finish. The colors wouldn't be as saturated, and the cover wouldn't be as dark.

Overall: 3 Stars

Disclosure: I borrowed this novel from the local library.

Lauren Kate's Passion Signing

This past Thursday, I made the 4.5 hours drive down to Miami, FL for Lauren Kate's signing for her latest release, Passion, which came out this past Tuesday. A lot of my co-workers couldn't understand why I would drive nine hours in a day to meet an author and have her sign my books. The biggest reason I have for driving that far for a signing is that the Orlando area doesn't get nearly as many signings as other areas of the Southeast. We don't have that many indie bookstores, and those we do have do not have the presence that many indies do in other areas. We're mostly surrounded by chains. And I think the crazy touristy part of Orlando might frighten some people away. So anyway, the drive didn't feel nearly as long as I thought it would (except when we hit rush hour traffic in Miami). The drive back, on the other hand, was mayhem. Mapquest wanted us to take I-195 East for 198 miles, instead of staying on I-95, which would basically lead us into the ocean. So I made the executive decision to stay on I-95 and we got home just fine.

So on to the actual event! We arrived really early, so I purchased a copy of Passion and then we walked a couple blocks to get some Starbucks. And stop at an ATM because I didn't have any cash for the parking garage. Oops. We still had some time to kill, so we tried reading, but as more and more people showed up the noise became too much for me so I settled for games on my iPhone. And then Lauren Kate walked in and the event started. There were a lot of people (the staff had to add more chairs), but it still felt very intimate due to the layout of the bookstore. Lauren started off the evening with an anecdote from when she met Lucinda Williams, who influenced her character Luce. Although she had brought a copy of Fallen to the meal, she never thought she would actually tell Lucinda Williams about the novel, but her husband talked her into it. She was really surprised when Lucinda took the novel and started reading it right there. It was a pretty cool story.

Then Lauren read an excerpt from Passion. I'm not sure which chapter it was, since I have not started reading it yet, but it was a very interesting chapter. The chapter took place in Halston, and is basically the prologue of Fallen from present day Daniel's perspective. It was great to revisit that scene and learn more about what was happening. Lauren also enjoyed being able to read an excerpt that wasn't the prologue. She explained that for Fallen and Torment, she couldn't read anything but the prologue because they were the only scenes that didn't really build off of earlier scenes. But the departure taken in Passion, where every chapter is its own little story in a sense allowed her to pick a scene besides the prologue to read.

Next, was the Q & A. Lauren answered a number of questions from readers. A fellow blogger from Miami posted a number of the questions on twitter under the hashtag #All4Love. My favorite questions involved learning more about how she researched angels for the novel, and how she got to mold her own angel lore because a lot of the information she found was contradicting. We also learned that Passion is her favorite novel of the series, and that Cam was supposed to be the bad guy, but his character grew and changed throughout the writing process and she grew to love him.

Afterwards, we lined up to get our books signed. And we also got a bottle of nail polish. The choices were white, pale pink, hot pink, and red. I chose hot pink and gave it to Christen, since I'm not really a nail polish person. Lauren signed very quickly, but still took the time to take pictures and talk with each fan. When it was my turn, she commented that she really enjoyed Memphis (I had on my Memphis Zoo t-shirt). I also mentioned my blog, and was stunned to find out that she had heard of and seen it before! I never expected that because I had never contacted her, just posted my review of Fallen back in 2009. A couple employees at Books & Books asked for a business card after they heard I had a blog because they like to work with bloggers as well (although they were very surprised to find out I was from the Orlando area). All in all, this was a great event and I can't wait to read Passion.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Giveaway: Illusions & Divergent

Courtesy of AuthorsOnTheWeb and HarperTeen, I have one (1) copy of Illusions by Aprilynne and one (1) of Divergent by Veronica Roth to giveaway to two lucky readers. All you have to do to be enter in the giveaway is leave a comment stating which novel you would like to win (you can choose both, too).

"I don't do patrols, I don't go hunting, I just stick close to you. You live your life. I'll keep you safe," Tamani said, sweeping a lock of hair from her face. "Or die trying."

Laurel hasn't seen Tamani since she begged him to let her go last year. Though her heart still aches, Laurel is confident that David was the right choice.

But just as life returns to normal, Laurel realizes that a hidden enemy lies in wait. Once again, Laurel must turn to Tamani to protect and guide her, for the danger that now threatens Avalon is one that no faerie thought would ever be possible. And for the first time, Laurel cannot be sure that her side will prevail.

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue -- Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are -- and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves... or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series -- dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.

Giveaway Rules:
Must include a valid e-mail address.
Open to US and Canada only.
Giveaway ends Saturday June 25th.
Winners will be chosen via

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Giveaway: The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne

Courtesy of AuthorsOnTheWeb and Penguin, I have one (1) copy of The Paradise Prophecy by Robert Browne to giveaway. It's set to release July 21, 2011.

A spectacular thriller inspired by John Milton's Paradise Lost in which the final chapter of the War in Heaven is about to play out on Earth, with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance.

The Myth

When God cast the archangel Satan into Hell, ending the War in Heaven, peace prevailed on Earth. Until the fallen angels took revenge in the Garden of Eden. Ever since, mankind has been in a struggle between good and evil, paradise and apocalypse: the fall of Rome, The Crusades, World Wars, nuclear proliferation, the Middle East Crisis... The War in Heaven never really ended-it just changed venues. For millennia, God's angels have been fighting Satan's demons on Earth, all in hopes of bringing about Satan's greatest ambition, the Apocalypse.

The Reality

Satan has never been closer to his goal than right now.

Agent Bernadette Callahan is a talented investigator at a shadowy government organization known only as Section, on the trail of a serial killer with nearly supernatural abilities. Sebastian "Batty" LaLaurie is a religious historian who knows far too much about the other side- and that hard-earned knowledge is exactly what Callahan needs. This unlikely duo pair up for a race across the globe, decoding clues left in ancient texts from the Bible to Paradise Lost and beyond. In the process they stumble upon a vast conspiracy-one beyond the scope of mankind's darkest imagination.

Giveaway Rules:
Must include a valid e-mail address.
Open to US and Canada only.
Giveaway ends Friday June 24th.
Winners will be chosen via

Saturday, June 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (88)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

This was a crazy week. I received a finished copy of Dead Iron, which I had just received an ARC of last month. I did not know this happened. I also finally received my signed copy of Those Who Fight Monsters. Apparently Justin Gustainis sent one and it never got here, so I'd like to give him a big hug because he was generous enough to send another copy. Plus, it's signed. :) And the used book I purchased this week from the library is not pictured because I forgot about it until just now.

Dead Iron by Devon Monk [Buy now]
(Thanks to the Penguin!)

Those Who Fight Monster anthology [Buy now]
(Thanks to Anna of Anna's Book Blog and Justin Gustainis!)

Random Acts of Kindness:
Changeling Moon by Dani Harper [Buy now]
(Thanks to Anna of Anna's Book Blog)

Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke [Buy now]
Hourglass by Myra McEntire [Buy now]

Lover Revealed by J.R. Ward [Buy now]

Allison Hewitt is Trapped: A Zombie Novel by Madeleine Roux [Buy now]

Review: Faefever by Karen Marie Moning

Title: Faefever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: 09/16/08
Buy the Book:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
"He calls me his Queen of the Night.
I'd die for him. I'd kill for him, too."

When MacKayla Lane receives a torn page from her dead sister's journal, she is stunned by Alina's desperate words. And now MacKayla knows that her sister's killer is close. But evil is closer. And suddenly the sidhe-seer is on the hunt: For answers. For revenge. And for an ancient book of dark magic so evil, it corrupts anyone who touches it.

Mac's quest for the Sinsar Dubh takes her into the mean, shape-shifting streets of Dublin, with a suspicious cop on her tail. Forced into a dangerous triangle of alliance with V'lane, an insatiable Fae prince of lethally erotic tastes, and Jericho Barrons, a man of primal desires and untold secrets, Mac is soon locked in a battle for her body, mind, and soul.

As All Hallows Eve approaches and the city descends into chaos, as a shocking truth about the Dark Book is uncovered, not even Mac can prevent a deadly race of immortals from shattering the walls between worlds with devastating consequences.

Plot: 3 Stars
Where most series stall a bit in the second book, this series seems to hit a wall in book three. There just didn't seem to be as much progression in the storyline for the first two-thirds of the book. There was a lot of talking about events, planning how to deal with events, wondering how to deal with events, etc. but not much actually handling said events until the very end. The crazy events at the end make up for the lack of events throughout the novel though. Everything that has happened up until now was building towards the events of All Hallows Eve. It took me by complete surprise, and took the series in a direction I wasn't expecting. The events that unfolded as the novel was drawing to a close, have me reaching for the next novel in the series.

Pace: 3 Stars
This installment of the Fever series involved a bit too much inner monologue from Mac. There seemed to be more time in between the important scenes in which she tried to put the always increasing amount of pieces in the puzzle together. Maybe it seemed this way because I listened to this book, instead of reading it in print (it was my first audiobook adventure). Listening to Mac walk herself through these events and try to figure out what to do next, instead of reading them, could have made some of these seem more drawn out. And the ending! I'm not sure if I would consider it a cliffhanger perse, but it definitely wasn't the ideal scene to end the novel. I'm definitely glad I waited to read this series until all of the books had been released, especially since I've heard the next book will have a cliffhanger that's even more frustrating.

Characters: 3.5 Stars
A number of characters that were mentioned, but not elaborated on too much, in the second novel came back to become major players in this novel. It was great to learn more about the other sidhe-seers and Christian MacAllister, especially since Barrons seemed a little distant for a good portion of the novel. Even when he was helping Mac learn to fight against Voice, he seems preoccupied. I hope the next novel will shed some light what has been going on with him. There has been a bit of foreshadowing about what he is and how he fits into this fight, and I'm ready to find out. Mac continued to grow in this novel, and continued to learn more about the situation surrounding her sister's death. She also became more confident and self-sufficient. She still needed her allies, but she wasn't as dependent on them and started making more decisions for herself, instead of Barrons or V'lane.

Cover: 4 Stars
I know I sound like a broken record, but these new covers are to die for. The purple of this cover was very bright and eye catching. I love how the purple fades into the title. The image on the cover is a great choice. Although I'm not sure which building it is portraying, Mac did venture out to a few new locations throughout this installment that could easily be the beautiful building captured on the cover. My favorite part is how the covers continue to keep the cover model very small. I like the lack of detail in the small image, so that I can imagine Mac looking how I interpret the descriptions, and also because it really fits the mood of the series. Mac is in over her head in Ireland, and the composition of the cover model makes that very clear.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I listened to this novel using an audiobook I borrowed from my local library, but also bought a copy of this novel for my own reading pleasure.

The New Moon Effect

There's a trend in Paranormal YA that I've encountered numerous times over the past couples years. I've named it the New Moon Effect, because that was my first encounter with the trend. This trend involves the dark and mysterious love interest (that just so happens to be a supernatural creature) disappearing in book two. Whether it's because they're kidnapped or they feel it's for the main character's "own good", there are way too many series that use this plot device in the second book. I don't necessarily dislike the New Moon effect when done well, I have just noticed over the years how often it is used. My only problem with it is that when it's used, 99% of the time it's used in the second novel of the series.

Besides New Moon, there are a number of other Paranormal YA series that I've witnessed use this same plot device with varying degrees of success. There are probably plenty more Paranormal YA series that use the New Moon effect in book two that I probably have on my shelves waiting to be read, but here are a few that I have read:

1. Blue Moon by Alyson Noel (have read books #1-2)
I've seen many readers point out numerous similarities between this series and the Twilight saga. I personally thought Evermore was pretty unique when compared to Twilight, but Blue Moon hit a bit closer to New Moon. I almost put this novel down because it's use of the New Moon effect seemed a bit forced and formulaic, but as the story continued to unfold it did get better.

2. Betrayal by Lee Nichols (up to date on this series)
When two Ghostkeepers get together, the stronger of the two steals the powers of the weaker. So the New Moon effect made sense in this novel. Emma couldn't be stealing Bennett's powers if the series was to continue. Bennett's absense was also a much smaller portion of the book compared to other novels.

3. Torment by Lauren Kate (currently reading book #2)
Having only read six chapters so far, I can't speak for the entire novel in regards to this trend. But I knew this title would fall into this category when Daniel talks about leaving Luce along at Shoreline in the prologue, before the reader even gets to check in with Luce.

4. Deadly Little Lies by Laurie Faria Stolarz (have read book #1)
I haven't actually read this title yet, but just from the very end of book one and the blurb on the back cover of book two, I can tell it's going to fall into the New Moon effect. I really enjoyed Deadly Little Secret, so I'm interested to see what book two brings to the table.

On the other hand, there are a number of Pararnormal YA series in which the New Moon effect is absent (I'm not saying these books are automatically better, they're just different). My absolutely favorite example of a book two straying away from this trend is:

Spells by Aprilynne Pike (have read books #1-2)
What I really enjoyed about this novel is that Laurel, the main character, is the one that "disappears" when she goes to train with other faeries. She leaves her parents and her boyfriend in order to learn more of the skills that should come natural to her. And she's only gone for a couple chapters, instead of the majority of the novel.

Then there's the one series that stands out because it sits inbetween:

Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series (have read books #1-4)
Ink Exchange, the second book in the series, draws the reader away from Ash and Seth's story and focuses on other characters. But in the third book, Fragile Eternity, Seth disappears for a while. But the roles are reversed in this relationship: Ash is the supernatural creature, Seth is still human. He disappears to try to find a way to ensure that he can continue to be with Ash. I think this series is a great example of using the trend in a novel that isn't the second in a series.

So basically, switch it up. I'm not saying don't have the mysterious, supernatural bad boy disappear. I just want it to be a surprise when he disappears.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Most Anticipated: Summer 2011

Back in January, I posted a list of most anticipated books for the first half of the year (January through June). I was planning on doing a similar post for the second half of the year (July through December), but there are sooo many books coming out this summer, I decided to do a summer list just for June, July, and August. Plus, there have been a large number of titles for June that weren't available back in January. There are also a few titles that I have an ARC or eARC of already, but they're still very anticipated titles!

Top 12 Must Have Debuts/New Series of the Summer of 2011:
1. Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett 06/28
2. Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw 06/21
3. Dark Awakening by Kendra Leigh Castle 06/28
4. Dead Iron by Devon Monk 07/05
5. My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland 07/05
6. Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep 07/26
7. Wildefire by Karsten Knight 07/26
8. Working Stiff by Rachel Caine 08/02
9. Darkness Descending by Devyn Quinn 08/02
10. Bloodlines by Richelle Mead 08/23

Top 8 Must Have Continations of the Summer of 2011:
1. Hexed by Kevin Hearne 06/06
2. Trail by Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes 06/14
3. Deceived by the Others by Jess Haines 07/05
4. Hammered by Kevin Hearne 07/05
5. Grave Dance by Kalayna Price 07/05
6. Forever by Maggie Stiefvater 07/12
7. Supernaturally by Kiersten White 07/26
8. Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones 08/16
9. The Hour of Dust and Ashes by Kelly Gay 08/30
10. Succubus Revealed by Richelle Mead 08/30

Saturday, June 4, 2011

In My Mailbox (87)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

First, I apologize for the sideways book pics. I tried using my iPhone, and no matter what I do in picture manager, it won't turn them around. It's driving me nuts but fixing it will have to wait until tomorrow. Anyway, onto the bookish things! My local library has a used book cart where you can grab paperback for $0.50 and hardcovers for $1.00. This is where I pick up a number of my used books, although there are also two used bookstores I frequent when I have some books I want to sell. Anyway, it's just a small library cart filled with books, I don't think they put out every book for sale at once because over the past couple weeks I've found quite a few Sherrilyn Kenyon novels and three out of the five of Moira J. Moore's Hero series (although I am still missing the first novel). I also relented this week and downloaded the Kindle program for my PC. I don't enjoy reading novels on my computer, but there were a bunch of YA short story tie-ins on amazon that were free.

Infernal Affairs by Jes Battis [Buy now]
The Heist Society by Ally Carter [Buy now]
Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper [Buy now]
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross [Buy now]

Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon [Buy now]
Heroes at Risk by Moira J. Moore [Buy now]

Free Download: (not pictured)
Remedial Magic by Jenna Black [Buy now]
Beasts and BFFs by Shannon Delany [Buy now]
Turned at Dark by C.C. Hunter [Buy now]
Summer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa [Buy now]
Necromancer: A Novella by Lish McBride [Buy now]
Retro Demonology by Jana Oliver [Buy now]
Fallen from Grace by M.J. Putney [Buy now]

Friday, June 3, 2011

Giveaway Winners: Mercy, Dark Descendant, Dead on the Delta

This week, three giveaways came to an end on the blog. I have chosen (and e-mailed) all winners.

There were a total of 13 participants in the Mercy by Rebecca Lim giveaway. Using, I randomized the list of entries, and then random selected the winners. The winners are...

5.Bookish in a Box

There were a total of 31 participants in the Pocket Summer 2011 giveaway. Using, I randomized the list of entries, and then random selected the winners. The winners of Dark Descendant by Jenna Black are...

3.Robin K.
12.Book Flame
13.Michelle Greathouse

The winners of Dead on the Delta by Stacey Jay are...

2.Kristen - Seeing Night
9.Christie - The Fiction Enthusiast

Congratulations! Please respond to the e-mail I sent with your mailing information within 72 hours.

Didn't win? You can pick up a copy from The Book Depository and have it shipped for free!
[Mercy] [Dark Descendant] [Dead on the Delta]

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness: June (& May Wrap-Up)

I love this very cool program over at the Book Soulmates call Random Acts of Kindness. Basically, book bloggers sign up with their wish lists and other generous book bloggers can send them a gift from that wish list. I passed on one novel this month: The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan to Savs @ Savvy Escapades.

I received a copy of Dark Heart Forever by Lee Monroe from Lesley @ My Keeper Shelf. She was generous enough to ship this novel across the Atlantic for me. Thank you so much! :) I believe this novel has only been published in the UK, which would explain why I have had so much trouble trying to find it.

Now onto June. Below, I have posted both information about the Random Acts of Kindness program along with my wishlist for June.

Here are the details for June Sign Ups.

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
• Create a wish list and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month. (Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.)
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K! Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer
Crux by Moira Rogers
Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini (Gave in and purchased)
Strange Neighbors by Ashlyn Chase
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Changeling Moon by Dani Harper (Thanks Anna!)
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
After Midnight by Lynn Viehl
Something Deadly This Way Comes by Kim Harrison
The Vampire Voss by Colleen Gleason
Dead Girls are Easy by Terry Garey
The Restorer by Amanda Stevens
Always the Vampire by Nancy Haddock

***Note: I do not have an eReader, but I am all for used books and ARCs.