3/26/12

Matchbox Girls

Author: Chrysoula Tzavelas
Pages: 326
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
Format: Paperback (ARC)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)Marley Claviger is just trying to get her life together. Stumbling into an ancient conflict between celestial forces is going to make that a whole lot harder... 

When Marley wakes up to a phone call from a pair of terrified children, she doesn’t expect to be pulled into a secret war. She rescues them from an empty house and promises to find their missing uncle. She even manages to feed them dinner. But she barely feels competent to manage her own life, let alone care for small children with strange, ominous powers... 

And when a mysterious angelic figure shows up and tries to claim the girls, it all falls apart... 

Plagued by visions of disaster, Marley has no idea what she's gotten herself into, but she knows one thing: magical or not, the kids need her. 

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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: One phone call can change everything.

When Marley receives a phone call in the middle of the night from her friend Zach's neices, she knows something's very wrong. Zach loves the kids and would never leave them alone for so long, but his prolonged absence is starting to worry her. With nothing else to do but pick up the kids and take them back to her place, Marley takes up the position of temporary guardian until Zach can be found.

But what Marley didn't expect to find out was that there's something a little different about the girls - something supernatural. As things begin to spin out of control, Marley faces things she only thought existed in storybooks. Even while everything's falling apart, there's one thing she knows for certain: she must protect the girls, whatever the cost.

My Thoughts: I definitely did not expect to enjoy this novel as much as I did! The writing was great and the author wastes no time introducing the reader to the conflict. If you're a fan of hardcore paranormal books with their own different supernatural worlds this is definitely the book for you. 

Marley herself was an awesome character. When we first meet her she's a bit of a mess, but once she realizes the girls are relying on her she becomes the strong person she needs to be. I really liked that aspect of her growth in the novel alongside with the paranormal aspect.

Final Thoughts: This is a wonderful, engaging read from this debut author. Check it out if you've been in a bit of an urban fantasy slump or you're looking for something paranormal with a little more substance - you'll be glad you did.

3/15/12

Follow Friday!

I know I haven't participated in a while, but I'm back and better than ever! ;)


This week's question:


 What are the best and worst books you've read in the past month?


Answer: Hmm.. this one's a toughie. And not because I haven't read some awesome books in the past month - because I totally have - it's just that I haven't read any books that deserve the title of 'worst'. So how about this: I'll give you my absolute favourite book of this year (so far) and my least favourite. Sound good? Yes? No?


Ok, so without a doubt my favourite book this year was The Fault in Our Stars, but Nevermore was a close second. Hands down, shoes off, [some other euphemism that means without a doubt]. TFiOS made me cry so hard that my pillow got all nasty and soggy and I had to throw it in the wash and sleep with only one pillow that night. This was me at 4am after I finished:




This was me writing my review the next morning:



And this is me thinking about it as I write this post:


 

Ahem... I'll be okay, I swear. MOVING ON.


My least favourite book of the year (so far) was probably Past Perfect, but that's just because it was a little too fluffy for my tastes (none of the angst or intense emotions that lil' ol' me craves in a contemporary lit novel). But there's nothing wrong with that, you know? The writing was awesome and funny and the book was still a fun read - it just wasn't my favourite. 

3/14/12

In the Forests of the Night

Author: Kersten Hamilton
Pages: 295
Publisher: Clarion Books
Format: Hardcover (ARC)
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Teagan and her family made it safely out of Mag Mell, but things aren't over. Not by a long shot.

Fear Doirich is determined to get Aiden, and his warriors are invading Teagan's world faster than ever. And it's not just her family and friends that are being targeted anymore - one of Fear Doirich's goons infected Teagan with a virus engineered to destroy everything human about her from the inside out. As time races on and Teagan feels herself losing her grip on her humanity, she and Finn must travel back into the depths of Mag Mell and destroy Fear Doirich once and for all.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this novel immensely. Kersten Hamilton set the bar high with her last novel (book one in the goblin wars trilogy) and her second novel did not disappoint in the slightest. 

The second installment picks up right where the last one left off (which is crucial in this book). Teagan and her mis-matched new family are all attempting to find some semblance of normality while they plan for Fear Doirich's next attack, but things are happening faster than anyone had ever planned for. Soon goblins are following Teagan and Finn around everywhere, and with nothing to do but fight back, the pair are more than a little overwhelmed. I loved the way the author really made you feel Teagan's frustration with the situation and the sense of helplessness she had when she didn't know what to do.


The plot, as usual, was awesome. I really liked the character development we saw in Thomas, Finn, and Teagan - it really added to the story and changed my perspective on a few things. And for those die-hard Finn fangirls: he's still just as dreamy in this installment. ;)

Final Thoughts: If you haven't already checked out this amazing, kick-ass series, I definitely recommend you pick up Tyger Tyger (and a copy of In the Forests of the Night while you're at it, because you'll be aching to read it the minute you finish). Check it out if you're looking for something new in the paranormal YA genre!

3/5/12

White Horse

Author: Alex Adams
Pages: 292
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Paperback (ARC)
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Summary (from Goodreads)"White Horse" is the first book in an absolutely unique debut trilogy--a post-apocalyptic thriller chronicling one woman's quest to nurture those she holds dear against the backdrop of a shocking, new world.Thirty-year-old Zoe wants to go back to college. That's why she cleans cages and floors at GeneTech. If she can keep her head down, do her job, and avoid naming the mice she'll be fine. Her life is calm, maybe even boring, until the end of the world when the President of the United States announces that humans are no longer a viable species.
Zoe starts running the moment she realizes everyone she loves is gone. Her boyfriend Nick, fearing he's contracted the virus, leaves for Greece. When Zoe discovers she's pregnant--and entirely alone--she treks across the world to find Nick and reunite her growing family. On the way she encounters characters both needy and nefarious--some human, some monster, and some uncertain beings altered by genetic mutation. On her journey, Zoe comes to see that humanity is defined not by genetic code, but by soulful actions and choices.
Told in alternating before and after chapters, "White Horse" is a terrifying and romantic story that readers will be unable to put down.
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Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Zoe is just a normal girl who wants to make something more of herself. She works as a janitor at a lab, cleaning the cages and polishing floors. She knows that if she can just make enough money to put herself through school, she'll be able to make a better life for herself.

But when a pandemic breaks loose and Zoe's boyfriend flees the country - leaving her pregnant and alone in a world were humans are a dying breed - she knows what she has to do: follow him to Greece to ensure her baby will have a real family.

But Zoe's trip changes her outlook completely, leaving her wondering: what does it really mean to be human?

My Thoughts: First off, I'd like to say thank you to S & S Canada for allowing me to read this book. It was amazing and so different from anything I've read in a really long time! 

The writing was gorgeous. I think Alex Adams could write about trash blowing in the wind and it'd still sound poetic and beautiful ... and if you don't believe me, I suggest you pick up a copy of White Horse and find out for yourself.  I loved the plot as well! The entire thing was gripping and terrifying because you could definitely see something like this happening in the world today. I seriously couldn't put this book down until I'd finished, and even then I wanted to flip back to the beginning and re-read it.

Final Thoughts: I definitely recommend you add White Horse to your to-be-read list (and pre-order it as well if you can)! I know anyone who likes dystopian (YA or otherwise) novels will really enjoy it. I can't wait for the second installment!