7/29/11

Follow Friday!

Follow Friday is a meme hosted by www.parajunkee.com where bloggers can gain followers and tell their followers a little bit about themselves. To sign up, click the link above and enter your blog and email address :)

This week's question: 

What t-shirt slogan best describes you?

Awesome question. Mine would probably be "My eyes are up there, buddy," (with an arrow pointing up) or a recent favourite: "Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake" :P

How about you?

7/28/11

Waking the Witch

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Pages: 336
Publisher: Random House
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads)The orphaned daughter of a sorcerer and a half-demon, Savannah is a terrifyingly powerful young witch who has never been able to resist the chance to throw her magical weight around. But at 21 she knows she needs to grow up and prove to her guardians, Paige and Lucas, that she can be a responsible member of their supernatural detective agency. So she jumps at the chance to fly solo, investigating the mysterious deaths of three young women in a nearby factory town as a favor to one of the agency's associates. At first glance, the murders look garden-variety human, but on closer inspection signs point to otherworldly stakes. 

Soon Savannah is in over her head. She's run off the road and nearly killed, haunted by a mystery stalker, and freaked out when the brother of one of the dead women is murdered when he tries to investigate the crime. To complicate things, something weird is happening to her powers. Pitted against shamans, demons, a voodoo-inflected cult and garden-variety goons, Savannah has to fight to ensure her first case isn't her last. And she also has to ask for help - perhaps the hardest lesson she's ever had to learn.

--- 
My Summary: Savannah - daughter of a dark witch and a powerful sorcerer - is 21 now, and eager to prove herself to her guardians Lucas and Paige. So when she gets a call about murders is a small, run-down town and is asked to join the investigation, she jumps at the chance.

But things are not what they seem, and what starts off as a simple double-homicide investigation turns into a fight to stay alive as Savannah is hunted by the mysterious killer and a few rogue supernaturals. 


My Thoughts: Yet another awesome read by Kelley Armstrong! I loved Waking the Witch


This was the first novel readers got to meet Savannah. In other novels, we hear about her, but we never really get to see the world through her eyes. And lemme just say, Savannah Levine is a badass, and I loved seeing the world through her point of view.


The writing was - as usual - flawless. Armstrong is like the Yoda of all things paranormal, and her writing keeps you hooked until the very last page.


And for those looking for a little romance with their paranormal: there's a hint of something developing between Adam and Savannah, and you just know it's going to be hot when they finally get together! ;)


Final Thoughts: I recommend this book to anyone who's ever read and loved anything of Kelley Armstrong's, and to adults looking for some paranormal that doesn't involve teens. Check out the other novels in her Women of the Otherworld series as well!

7/27/11

Sing Me to Sleep

Author: Angela Morrison
Pages: 301
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)


THE TRANSFORMATION

Beth has always been "The Beast" - that's what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Beth's only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is, until she's selected to be her choir's soprano soloist, and receives the makeover that will change her life forever.

THE LOVE AFFAIR

When Beth's choir travels to Switzerland, she meets Derek: pale, brooding, totally dreamy. Derek's untethered passion - for music, and for Beth - leaves her breathless. Because in Derek's eyes? She's not The Beast, she's The Beauty.

THE IMPOSSIBLE CHOICE

When Beth comes home, Scott, her best friend in the world, makes a confession that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous, intense new feelings she has for Derek?

THE HEARTBREAK

The closer Beth gets to Derek, the further away he seems. Then Beth discovers that Derek's been hiding a dark secret from her ...one that could shatter everything.
--- 
My Summary: Beth has spent her whole life knowing that she is the ugliest person in the room. With her towering height, thick, coke-bottle glasses, unruly hair, and acne scars colouring her face, she's not what you would call attractive, and she knows it.

But when Beth opens her mouth to sing, all people can hear is the beauty of her voice. When she's chosen to be her choir's lead soloist, Beth's thrilled that she can finally share her voice with the world. But the position comes with a price: an extreme make-over to make Beth look good enough to lead the choir to the international competition. She's given the makeover of her dreams, and suddenly, she's the Beauty, not the Beast.

And when Beth meets Derek - the leader of another choir group with the voice of an angel - and she knows what they have is real. But Derek is hiding a secret from her, and nothing can get him to tell her what it is. As their relationship begins to suffer, Beth can't help but wonder what's happening - and if staying together is the right thing for both of them.

My Thoughts: There have only been a select few books that have ever made me cry, and I am proud to say Sing Me to Sleep is one of them.

Let's start with the characters. Beth, Scott, and Derek are such well developed character. The author wrote them in a way that, upon reading their description and a few lines of dialogue, you feel like you know the character. I love the open, honest relationship between Scott and Beth, and despite all his faults, I loved Derek as well. The author's insight into the minds of people who have endured emotional and mental abuse is astonishing, and the way she wrote Beth made complete sense; it makes you ask yourself: do we ever really change? Do we ever leave behind the people we used to be?

I also liked the writer's style - honest and simple, and extremely easy to get hooked by. I was flipping the pages and a few sentences caught my eye, and before I knew it I was more than 50 pages in.

And seriously guys, this book made me bawl my eyes out. That's not something you see everyday.

Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction, romance, and YA over the age of 16. And if you really want to enhance your reading experience, check out the author's site at http://web.me.com/angelamorrison/Angela_Morrison/Sing_me_to_Sleep.html to hear the songs written by Beth in the novel.

7/22/11

Follow Friday!

Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

I would definitely love to sit down with Kelley Armstrong, Cassandra Clare, and J.K. Rowling - I love their writing styles and the amazing worlds they created inside their books. I've been a fan of each of their series for years, and it would be a dream come true meeting them.

7/21/11

Forever

Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Pages: 386
Publisher: Scholastic
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.








My Summary: After making the decision to save Grace's life by turning her into a wolf, Sam can't help but wonder if dooming Grace to the life he risked his life to escape was the right thing to do. Along with Cole, Sam tries to ensure Grace is safe, as it is discovered that wolves - and people - are being murdered in the woods. When a teenage girl is found dead in the woods with her throat ripped out, the decision is made to remove the wolves from the protected wildlife list, allowing for the termination of the entire pack.

Now Sam, Cole, and Isabel must race against the clock to find a way to save the wolves - even if it means Sam must sacrifice his new life as a full-time human and become a wolf once again.

My Thoughts: I hope you guys don't mind a bit of a rambling review....

Three years ago in the middle of November, Shiver caught my eye while I wandered down the isles of my favourite bookstore. It was long before I discovered Goodreads and book-blogging, so all I had to go on was the teaser on the back of a book. Nevertheless, I decided it was worth it, shelling out the $22 for the hardcover and rushing home to find out what exactly I'd purchased.

It was freezing outside, and as I dived into the world of Grace and Sam - the amazing world Maggie Stiefvater had managed to create and paint so clearly in my imagination in a mere few hundred pages - I found it easy to believe that it was actually possible that the events in the novel could take place. I read about the cold and the heartbreak and I fell in love with Maggie's amazing writing style... I mean common people, everything she writes is like poetry. I'd love to see her grocery list or something (it'll probably make me cry as well)!

Anyways, enough rambling about nothing. On to the review.

Forever was everything I'd been hoping for - the perfect ending to one of my favourite series of all time. I'm not going to give anything away plot-wise, but I will say this: there were times when I balled my eyes out, and when I finally read the last page and shut the book at around 5am, my heart ached a little, because I knew there weren't going to be any more stories about Grace and Sam.

I loved the character development in this installment. You could see how much Isabel and Cole grew up in a few short months, and the way their relationship developed was perfect and exactly what you'd expect from them.

And Maggie's writing... what more can I say about it? The woman was born to write. Usually whenever I read a book I mark off quotes and passages with a sticky-tab, but while I read Forever, I had to forgo this habit because I found myself marking off every other passage or page. Seriously. I ran out of stickies before I hit page 90.

Final Thoughts: I strongly recommend this entire series to people who enjoy romance, paranormal YA, and even contemporary lit (it's not all fluff - these characters have depth and issues). I'd recommend keeping it to readers 16 and over though - there are some more mature themes that aren't appropriate for younger teens. And if you do take my advice and check out this series: make sure you have a box of Kleenex next to you.

Thanks for an amazing series, Maggie!

7/19/11

Sizzling Summer Reads Giveaway!

Because it's summer and everyone needs something new and exciting to read, I've decided to host a giveaway! It's international and open to my followers (old and new!), and you can win one of the great summer reads I've reviewed in the past couple of weeks :)

7/15/11

Shadow Hills

Author: Anastasia Hopcus
Pages: 391
Publisher: Egmont USA
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA — a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died. 
 
Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach — the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after — seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.
--- 

My Summary: Phe has had a rough year - after the death of her sister Athena and the break-down of her parents, she's begun to have cryptic nightmares and visions about a mysterious graveyard. With her sister - the only person who had the same problem - gone and no one to turn to, Phe decides she has visit 'Shadow Hills' - a town her sister mentioned in her last diary entry, claiming that help could be found there. 

With nothing else to do, Phe packs up and moves out to Shadow Hills, Massachusetts, and immediately notices something 'off' about the town ... and its residents. Can Phe find the answer to her and her sister's question in the town choc-full of its own secrets?

My Thoughts: Shadow Hills was a great paranormal YA read - not the best, but entertaining and interesting enough to keep me reading until the end. The plot was original as well - like nothing I've read before, with its own distinct paranormal element.  

The characters were original as well. Phe was a mix of girly-girl and tomboy, and Toy, Graham, Brody, and Adriana were good supporting characters (although I do wish the ending included what happened to them... I'm not quite sure if there will be a sequel yet). I also like the fact that there were multiple paranormal elements involved in the story, and that even though Phe was looking for answers about her own problem, she also spent time investigating the stuff that was going on around her. 

Something that bothered me a little: I thought the development of the characters was a little weak in the beginning, and Zach and Phe's romance was a little rushed, but all in all it wasn't that bad.

Final Thoughts: Shadow Hills is a great paranormal read with  interesting characters and enough suspense to keep you hooked until the last page. I don't recommend it to anyone under 16, though - there are some casual drinking scenes and some mentions of sexual encounters.

7/14/11

Welcome to Follow Friday everyone! Since you all know the rules by now I won't bother posting them, but I will answer the question:


What do you do when you're not reading?

Sorry, I have a problem when it comes to grammar :P Anyways, when I'm not reading, I'm usually either writing, swimming, or doing homework. I usually don't have a lot of free time, but I try to read as much as possible when I can, so there's not much time to do anything else :) 

This Lullaby

Author: Sarah Dessen
Pages: 345
Publisher: Puffin

Format: Paperback
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?
---

My Summary: It's the summer after highschool graduation, and Remy is, once again, planning her mother's wedding. Being the fifth time she's had to do this, Remy can't help but feel a little cynical about the whole thing - after all, in a year or so, she'll be planning another wedding  anyway.  


Which is why Remy doesn't believe in love. Instead, she has a  time-line for relationships, along with a set of rules - one of which being that she has to give each boyfriend 'the talk', telling him their relationship is about nothing but having fun for her. Each boyfriend Remy's ever had has been given the talk .... except Dexter, the cute and clumsy musician who's determined to make their relationship last. But will Remy be willing to change and take the risk?


My Thoughts: This is my first Sarah Dessen novel, and I gotta say, I'm impressed. Based on what I'd heard about Sarah Dessen's books from other people, I thought this book was going to be all fluff and not have a lot of deep, emotional meaning. But, as always, I was wrong.


In This Lullaby, Remy is not the usual protagonist - she's a little OCD, has daddy issues, and resents her mom for all the turbulence in their lives. She's also a little cold, never letting anyone in. Throughout the novel we see this change as Remy begins to open up to the clumsy, messy musician who crashed into her life and never left. I loved Dexter, and the way he helps Remy realize that everyone can find love is amazing (even though I wished he'd tried a bit harder to hold on when Remy started pulling away).


Final Thoughts: I recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary literature (YA), but be advised that there is some drinking throughout, along with a few mentions of sexual encounters (nothing graphic, it's just mentioned in passing). I'll definitely be looking out for more from Sarah Dessen!

7/11/11

Calling All Bloggers!

My side-bars have been looking a little bit empty lately, so I thought, "why not fill them up with some fellow bloggers' buttons?" So here's the deal: leave a comment on this post telling me you'll put my button in your side-bar, and I'll do the same. It's a win-win! 


Here's my button - just copy and paste the image URL :)

Red Glove

Author: Holly Black
Pages: 325
Publisher: M. K. McElderry 
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe's world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else. 

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she's human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila's been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila's love is as phony as Cassel's made-up memories, then he can't believe anything she says or does. 

When Cassel's oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can't trust anyone—least of all, himself? 

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.
--- 

My Summary: It's been months since Cassel discovered the truth about himself and foiled his brother's plan to overthrow the biggest crime-boss in the city; it's also been months since his mother worked Lila, the girl Cassel loves, into loving him, forever destroying any chance he had with her.

Now Cassel is living with his mother, moving from hotel room to hotel room and doing his best to forget about Lila. He thinks he'll be home-free once he goes back to school, but once he arrives, his worst nightmare comes true: Lila followed him, enrolling in the same school - ensuring Cassel wouldn't be able to escape the guilt of what his mother did.

And to top it all off, Cassel is picked up by the Feds, who try to recruit him to help find a killer that leaves behind no bodies ... a killer that Cassel's brother was supposed to lead them to before he was killed.

My Thoughts: Another awesome read from Holly Black! I gotta say, I loved being back in Cassel's world - there's something about the mobster/worker thing that fascinates me. And of course, Holly's writing is always amazing, making this a novel you could breeze through with no problem. I, for one, read it all in one sitting (2am - 5am... I know, I have a problem), needing to find out who the killer was before I could put the book down. 

I really liked the way Holly showed Cassel's struggle to stay away from Lila - it made him seem more human and relatable. And I seriously laughed out loud when I read the mention of Jace (from The Mortal Instruments series, which you should definitely check out as well!).

Final Thoughts: I recommend this series to anyone who loves paranormal YA but is a little sick of the usual vampire/werewolf/faerie stuff (or fairy, or faery, or fayrie or however else you wish to spell it, because I have no idea which is correct). There are a few scenes that probably aren't appropriate for anyone under 16 (some cases of drinking, plus some more mature topics), but they're not too bad - if you're a parent are are worried about this stuff, I recommend reading it before giving it to your child. Check it out! It really is a great series. 

7/10/11

The Last Little Blue Envelope

Author: Maureen Johnson
Pages: 282

Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)Ginny Blackstone thought that the biggest adventure of her life was behind her. She spent last summer traveling around Europe, following the tasks her aunt Peg laid out in a series of letters before she died. When someone stole Ginny's backpack—and the last little blue envelope inside—she resigned herself to never knowing how it was supposed to end.

Months later, a mysterious boy contacts Ginny from London, saying he's found her bag. Finally, Ginny can finish what she started. But instead of ending her journey, the last letter starts a new adventure—one filled with old friends, new loves, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Ginny finds she must hold on to her wits . . . and her heart.

This time, there are no instructions.
--- 

My Summary: Six months after the abrupt end of her European trip, Ginny receives a mysterious e-mail, sent by someone who claims they have her stolen back-pack... and more importantly, all 13 of Aunt Peg's letters - including the last one, which Ginny never opened. This stranger tells Ginny that they will be willing to give her back everything if she meets them at a cafe in London.

Ginny immediately books a flight to London, arriving the day before Christmas Eve. She knows she must meet the stranger to get her letters back to complete her journey, but there's something else she has to do as well: revisit her feelings for Keith, the hot English guy who helped her complete the tasks in the first twelve letters.

But nothing goes as planned, and soon Ginny finds herself on the weirdest trip of her life, along with 3 of the most unlikely people she ever thought she'd bring along.

My Thoughts: I adored this book - probably a little more than the first. Maureen Johnson's writing is always extremely smooth and easy to follow, and the way she writes Ginny's story always keeps me hooked. The characters are always awesome as well; they're so real and easy to identify with - especially Ginny. I was so glad Keith was in this one as well, and I really liked Oliver - he was an asshole at times, but you couldn't help but feel bad for him.

I loved that this book tied up a few of (what we thought were) loose ends from the first book, and the way the author incorporated them into this book didn't feel forced at all. And we finally got to read the last letter! 

I was also extremely happy with Ginny's decision at the end of the book - I would've done the same thing in her situation :)

Final Thoughts: If you haven't read Thirteen Little Blue Envelopes yet, you should definitely do yourself a favour and pick it up... and you might as well buy the sequel as well, since you're going to want it in your hands as fast as possible. I definitely recommend it to fans of romance, and anyone who's ever wanted to go to Europe.

7/6/11

The Chaos

Author: Rachel Ward
Pages: 368
Publisher: The Chicken House
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)
Adam has more than inherited his mother's curse: When he looks in someone's eyes, he not only sees the date of their death...he feels the searing, shocking pain of it. Since Jem died, Adam has lived by the sea with his great-grandmother, Val. But when rising tides flood the coast, they return to London. The city is an alien, exciting, frightening place. Most disturbing of all, Adam can't help but clock how many people's numbers are in January 2027; how many are on New Year's Day. What chaos awaits the world? Can he and Sarah stop a catastrophe? Or are they, too, counted among the "twenty-sevens"?



My Summary: Adam is Jem's and Spider's son. When his mother dies of cancer, Val (Spider's grandmother) comes to raise him. Life would be great for Adam... if it weren't for the fact that he inherited his mother's 'gift' (more like a curse, he's sure). Adam, like his mom Jem, can see people's 'numbers' - the date of their death - when he looks into their eyes, along with feeling the pain of it.

When their home by the coast is flooded, Adam and Val are forced to move back to London, where Adam is disturbed to find that a large majority of the population all have the same number: January 1, 2027. Now, with an oppressive government blocking him at every turn, Adam must warn everyone before it's too late... but will he be able to change people's numbers, or is it all for nothing?

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - more than the first, I think. Adam was a great character, and you can really feel his internal struggle when it comes to figuring out what he has to do and how he feels about Sarah. Sarah was a great character, too - I loved how strong she was, despite everything she's had to go through. 

I really liked how the author managed to mix dystopia with paranormal elements like Adam's gift and Sarah's visions - for some reason, it works really, really well. Ward's writing is great as well; it pulls you in and doesn't let go. I read this one all in one sitting (2am - 6am, so you know I mean it when I say I couldn't put it down despite how tired I was!).

Final Thoughts: This novel is a solid read for fans of dystopian fiction and anything paranormal, and the romance is satisfying enough for those who crave it with their fiction. I recommend it for teens over 16 (for some sexual content - nothing too descriptive, but I definitely don't recommend it for teens under 14). 

The Warlock

Author: Michael Scott
Pages: 389
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars



Summary (from Goodreads)The fifth book in the New York Times bestselling series The Secrets of the Nicholas Flamel—The Warlock 

Alcatraz: 
Although their ally Dr. John Dee has been declared utlaga, Machiavelli and Billy the Kid will follow the plans the Elders have laid before them: they will loose the monsters of Alcatraz on the city of San Francisco, thereby triggering the end of the humani race. 

Danu Talis: 
The Shadowrealm that Scatty and Joan of Arc have entered is far more dangerous than they could ever have imagined. And they haven’t landed here by chance-the warriors were called for a reason. So were Saint-Germain, Palamededs, and Shakespeare. The group was summoned because they must travel back in time to Danu Talis and destroy it. For the island of Danu Talis, known in humani myth as the lost city of Atlantis, must fall if the modern world is to exist. 

San Francisco: 
The end is finally near. Josh Newman has chosen a side, and he will not stand with his sister, Sophie, or with the Alchemyst, Nicholas Flamel. He will fight alongside Dee and the mysterious Virginia Dare. Unless Sophie can find her twin before the battle begins, all is lost – forever. 

In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophecy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning.
---
My Summary: In a prophecy written thousands of years before their birth, it was foretold that two children - twins - would be born that would have the power to save the world ... or destroy it. Sophie and Josh Newman are those twins, and together they've traveled with the Flamels around the world, awakening their powers and trying to foil Dr. John Dee's plans to bring about the end of the world. For a while, they were succeeding - that is, until Dee convinced Josh that the Flamels were lying and recruited him. 

Now Sophie is alone with the Flamels, who are hours away from death and too weak to protect her. With only a few days left, Sophie knows the fate of the world is in her and Josh's hands.... 

The prophecy says one twin will save the world and the other will destroy it, and even though Josh's crossed over to what Sophie knows is the 'Dark Side', she's still unsure about which one she is.

My Thoughts: I've never read anything like Michael Scott's series - the mixture of mythology and fantasy is flawless, and his writing is practically magical. Seriously. I bought the first book in this series on a whim (this is the fifth book), and I've been hooked ever since then.

I really enjoyed the twists in this book, along with the addition of some new characters; although Josh's behaviour was a little irritating. I wanted to reach into the book and slap him or something (which is, as you know, physically impossible, but you know what I mean...). At one point it was like he was blind to what was going on, following John Dee  and Virginia Dare like a lost puppy.

And the ending was amazing! I'm still trying to wrap my head around it (in a good way) - it's going to be a difficult few months waiting for the last book!

Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend the series to anyone who's a fan of mythology and fantasy; I especially recommend it to parents who are looking for a good series that they and their children will both enjoy. It's safe for kids 12 and up (there's no swearing, no violence, and no sexual stuff, so fear not!) and the writing is very intelligent, so adults won't feel out of place reading it. Do yourself a favour and check out the series :D

7/2/11

Drowning in the Dark

Author: Allison Karras
Pages: N/A
Publisher: You Come Too 
Format: eBook 
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)There’s a demon walking the streets of Freeport. And only teenager Samantha Carver can stop it. 

It’s hard to outrun your past. But that’s what Sam thought she could do. After moving to a sleepy town on the Oregon coast to live with relatives, she thought she was safe. She thought she could be someone different. She thought she could be a normal teenage girl. 

However, the quiet coastal town of Freeport is no refuge. After a girl at the high school is brutally murdered, the police believe Samantha’s cousin and best friend, Terry, is responsible. 

But Samantha knows what her friends, teachers, and the police don’t. The murderer isn’t human. Samantha has seen this before. Too many times. She has witnessed the dead rise from their graves and do unspeakable things. She carries the scars on her skin and the sorrow in her soul to prove it.

The evil that she thought she had left behind in the rotting graveyards of her past is still stalking her.

Will Samantha be able to save Terry, Freeport, and herself from the malevolent power that threatens to rip her world apart? Or will she succumb under a surging tide of evil and drown in the growing darkness that surrounds her?

In the tradition of Amanda Hocking and Charlaine Harris comes a paranormal romantic thriller with more chills than a cold and windblown night on the Oregon coast.
---

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Sam may seem like an average teenage girl, but she's hiding a horrible secret  - she knows who's behind the murders in her new town.

But instead of telling the police, Sam keeps this knowledge to herself; not because she's scarred, but because she knows they won't be able to help. Because if there's one thing Sam knows, it's this: the only person who can stop the force behind these horrible crimes is her, because she is the reason they are being committed. But now her cousin Terry is being accused of the murders, and Sam knows she has to end things soon, before her cousin's life is put at risk.

My Thoughts: This was a very interesting book, and the premise definitely got me hooked and wanting to read it! 

I really love murder mysteries, and this one was really enjoyable, although I was hoping for a little romance along with the murder-mystery.  

I was really surprised that the author managed to write a great plot and interesting characters into such a short amount of pages! Usually in that limited amount of pages you would expect the story to feel rushed, but the pace of this one was steady and easy to follow.

Final Thoughts: I can't say much more without giving away a big chunk of the story, but I recommend you check out Drowning in the Dark if you're in the mood for a murder-mystery that's not too long but still a good read!

7/1/11

100 Cupboards

Author: N.D. Wilson
Pages: 320
Publisher: Yearling
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars



Summary (from Goodreads)Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but portals to other worlds.
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My Summary: When Henry's parents are kidnapped while on a biking trip, he is sent to live with his Aunt Dotty and his Uncle Frank, who live in the quiet little town in Kansas he is named for.  Unused to having the freedom to do whatever he wants to, Henry begins to grow and break out of his shell - he tries baseball for the first time and makes friends with the other guys in town.


But one night, while he lays in his attic bedroom, Henry hears a scratching noise coming from the wall. Then suddenly two knobs break through the plaster and begin to turn.


Curious and a little frightened, Henry breaks off the plaster around the knobs, revealing a cupboard with two compass-style locks. He begins peeling away the plaster until he realizes the truth: the entire wall is covered in cupboard doors, each with its own combination. And what he discovers beyond those cupboard doors will change his life forever.


My Thoughts: I bought this book on a whim, and it was definitely a good idea! 100 Cupboards is a great book for kids (or teens, or adults!) who have always dreamed of finding a little bit of magic in their own houses. 


Growing up in a small town, I could definitely relate to Henry and his cousin Henrietta - they were bored with their small-town lives, and hoped there was something more out there for them. I gotta say, there were times when I wished there were secret passages in my house :P 


I really liked the author's writing style as well - it was full of imagery, making you feel like you were right there with Henry as he discovered the secret of the cupboards. Also, I loved the way the author revealed little bits and pieces of information and secrets that the characters were holding back. I can honestly say the only reason I didn't give this one 5 stars is because it took a while to build up to the reveal of the cupboard secret (nothing too long!).


Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend this one to kids 10+ and anyone who's looking for a great adventure series. And you know what else? I already bought the sequel! :)

Follow Friday!

Hello, and welcome to my first Follow Friday in a while!


Also, happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadian bloggers! Enjoy those barbecues and take advantage of those sales! ;)


If you are new to the #FF fun, Feature & Follow Friday is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers. First you leave your name here, then you create a post on your own blog that links back here and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them hi in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!


Now for this week's question: 

Your favourite book or movie character walks into the room. Who is it and what is your reaction?

My Answer: My favourite movie / book characters of all time are Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe, and if they were in the same room as me...

I'd probably be like this at first:


And then probably like this:

 
 


And then finally, this:




So as you can see, I would be very, very excited :P Not gunna lie, I'd probably turn into a screaming fan-girl within ten seconds of realizing they were there.

 Anyways, follow me (and leave me your link) and I will definitely follow back! Have a good weekend everyone!