Thursday, January 31, 2013

ARC Review: Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi

Title: Unravel Me (Shatter Me #2)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Pages: 465 pages
Format acquired: Paperback (ARC)
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: February 5th 2013
Source: Received from publisher for an honest review (Thanks, Christine!)
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

tick, tick, tick, tick, tick
it's almost
time for war.

Juliette has escaped to Omega Point. It is a place for people like her—people with gifts—and it is also the headquarters of the rebel resistance.

She's finally free from The Reestablishment, free from their plan to use her as a weapon, and free to love Adam. But Juliette will never be free from her lethal touch.

Or from Warner, who wants Juliette more than she ever thought possible.

In this exhilarating sequel to Shatter Me, Juliette has to make life-changing decisions between what she wants and what she thinks is right. Decisions that might involve choosing between her heart—and Adam's life.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Review:

Wow.

This entire review could be summed up to that one explosive word. Why wow? Well, because of all the revelations, surprises and intensely exciting scenes or rather, chapters Unravel Me had, I'd have to day that it definitely did not fail my expecting imagination. WOW.

I would like to admit though that at the beggining, Juliette was such a major female doggy. She was so whiny and cranky and rude and... uncooperative that I really just hated her. It came to a point where I thought about stopping or just quitting the book entirely because I thought it would be one of those books... You know, the sequel we could have lived without. But just as I was about to toss the book aside, the real action happened. It wasn't like a BOOM! fight scene or BOOM! revelation. It was more like... "Eh... wait... what... What?!...WAIT!!! AAAH~!!" *insert freaking out here* Or something along those lines (or episodes, if you wish). You could really feel the tension balloon up, and when it came to a point of bursting, it just... burst and burst and burst. Like simultaneous time bombs. O.o

What I did love though, was how slightly predictable but still unpredictable the plot twists were. I know it sounds crazy, but do you know the little voice in your head saying... "maybe he isn't the bad guy." or "the quiet one's the evil guy." or even "maybe they're siblings". Yes, just like that. The whole Warner-Juliette-Adam triangle really heated up more now that we know some huge things about these three. *sly smile* But for the record, I LOVE Warner. If bold, underlined and italicized doesn't stress out this word enough, I don't what can.

I really don't know how to describe this book without getting too much into the details. One thing I can say and remember though, is that: NO ONE DIES. Here you go, Louisse. You can now sleep in peace. 

This is a definite must-read if you liked, loved, adored or worshipped  Ms. Mafi's first book, Shatter Me. (and even if you didn't like Shatter Me, why not give Unravel Me a shot? Why not? Every book is different in its own way. *toothy grin*)

P.S. Although I DID provide a teeny spoiler at the end, it doesn't make that big of an impact to the excitement rating because I just said no one died... other things could have happened to these people. *saucy wink*

Rating:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (26)

Waiting on Wednesday/s are hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine in which you choose a book or books that you're excited and waiting for.
This week's Waiting on Wednesday book is:
Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publication date: May 7th 2013
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.
(Image and summary take from Goodreads)

Why I'm excited for this:
I have no idea what the waves mean or signify but I sure as hell would like to! The premise is just so mystery and honestly a whole lot of creepy. And the cover? Oh my God. The color gives off such an eerie vibe to it! I seriously canNOT wait to read this one!

What's your WoW pick this week? Leave us a comment with a link to it and we'll check it out. :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

ARC Review: Prodigy by Marie Lu

Title: Prodigy (Legend #2)
Author: Marie Lu
Pages: 384 pages
Format acquired: Paperback (ARC)
Publisher: Putname Juvenile
Publication date: January 29th 2013
Source: Won a copy from Fiona Paul.
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long. 

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.
(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Review:

HOLY SH--. Those were the two words that repeatedly ran through my brain as I read Prodigy. (Yes, I don't finish curse words in my brain. Haha!) There were literally times where I was gripping the book too hard or just plain cursing a blue streak subconsciously while reading it. The fast pacing just kept me anticipating on what would come next, will this happen or will that? Marie Lu really knows how to get all the cogs in your brain working. She'll leave you guessing and guessing and guessing but you'll never truly know if you got the answer right till you finish the book.

I really loved the way Prodigy turned out. I felt that it was a really wise decision of Marie Lu to focus on the action aspect of the book and not so much on the romance. While I thought that the lovey-dovey parts were a bit scarce (but hot, nonetheless,) the fight scenes/epic battle scenes totally made up for it. Prodigy really made me realize that the Legend series isn't just about a girl and a guy on the run from the government, noooope. I realized that the series is about a badass girl and a kickass guy on the run from the evil, evil government. See the difference? Most people would assume that it's all about Day and June's relationship, but it's not all about that. These two kids are still on the run and trying to start a revolution, this was really emphasized more in Prodigy. Marie Lu was able to bring back the essence of the series in this book.

Even though these characters already started out strong and well-equipped, Marie Lu still found spaces for improvement. She was able to make her characters better and even more exciting. There were honestly parts where I just wanted to climb into the book and smack some sense into the characters though. I guess it's inevitable for the characters to make mistakes and misunderstand things as well. It's these mistakes that help them grow into better and more improved characters that will only serve to make us love them even more.

I'm sure everyone's wondering if there's going to be the proverbial love triangle that usually pops out during the second book of a series. I honestly don't think that anyone should be worried... Or not. I'm not really going to elaborate too much on it lest I spoil the book for you but, it's not something a reader/a fan of the series will get annoyed about. Marie Lu was really able to work this out well and was able to keep the machine well-oiled and going smoothly. It didn't seem out of place or too overkill, I thought that what she did with the romantic aspect of the book was really good. And of course it added drama. Who doesn't love some good drama? *muches on popcorn*

Prodigy exceeded my every expectation. I'm usually wary with reading sequels especially when there's a lot of hype that goes with it, but this book will not disappoint at all. Prodigy just reinforces Marie Lu's mastery in being able to create worlds that will just boggle your mind. It reminded me why I love the Legend series so much. And the ending? Explosive. I suggest you go hide somewhere and don't come out till the next book gets published. I honestly hope that you love Prodigy as much as I did.

Rating:
.5


Monday, January 28, 2013

ARC Review: Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton

Title: Shadows in the Silence (Angelfire #3)
Author: Courtney Allison Moulton
Pages: 469 pages
Format acquired: Paperback (ARC)
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: January 29th 2013
Source: Received from publisher for an honest review (Thanks, Christine!)
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Your strength in heart and hand will fall. . . .
Ellie knows that the darkest moments are still to come, and she has everything to fight for:

She must fight for Will.
The demonic have resorted to their cruelest weapons to put Will in mortal danger, and Ellie makes an unlikely alliance to save him and to stop Lilith and Sammael, who seek to drown the world in blood and tear a hole into Heaven.

She must fight for humanity.
As the armies of Hell rise and gather for the looming End of Days, Ellie and her band of allies travel to the world’s darkest and most ancient regions in her quest to come into her full glory as the archangel Gabriel.

And Ellie must save herself.
Her humanity withers beneath the weight of her cold archangel power, but Ellie must hold tight to who she is and who she loves as she prepares for the ultimate battle for Heaven and Earth.

In this final installment in the Angelfire trilogy, Courtney Allison Moulton brings her dark world of epic battles and blistering romance to a blazing bright conclusion.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Review:

Do you know those moments when you feel like you want to throw something out the window and then go outside to pick it up just to throw it back out again? I had a lot of those moments while reading Shadows in the Silence. There were parts that left me so frustrated that just wanted to clobber someone but there were also parts that left me so elated that I wanted to hug the person I almost clobbered. Courtney Allison Moulton will literally bash your heart into a gazillion little pieces and then super-glue it back together in a matter of a few pages. There will be times when you think that you've outsmarted Courtney Allison Moulton but in truth, she's outsmarted you... yet again.

For long time fans of the Angelfire series, trust me when I say that you will not be left disappointed reading Shadows in the Silence. Courtney Allison Moulton leaves a trail of breadcrumbs that you will keep chomping on but as you get near the part when the trail ends, it only keeps getting more exciting. Shadows in the Silence has to be my most favorite book of the series. There's something just so special about it that makes it shine brighter that it's predecessors. I think it's mostly because of the fact that Shadows in the Silence is more mature than the books that came before it. Not in the sense that there are explicit scenes or anything but in a way that the characters, the storyline and even the author becomes more "mature". You'll notice a big difference in the way the author writes as well. And that's something I really appreciated reading Shadows in the Silence. There being a progressiveness to the way the author writes and executes her action scenes, lovey-dovey scenes and whatnot.

Shadows in the Silence will never lack in the fighting/action department, and I thank the Lord for that. I live for the fight scenes in the Angelfire books. I love the easy flow of Ellie and Will fighting together, there's just something so magical about them that captivates me. Courtney Allison Moulton will never sell you short in that department and trust me, the fight scenes in this book are just TOO EPIC FOR WORDS. Seriously.

I never thought I'd ever fall in love with a girl before, but I totally fell for Ellie. Hard. When you read Angelfire, you find a beautiful (badass) girl whose still slightly confused as to what she's destined for, in Wings of the Wicked you see a girl who's recovering from the life-altering incident that happened to her, and in Shadows of the Silence you find a girl who's purpose is renewed and has already discovered her destiny and isn't afraid to utilize all her powers. THAT is what made me fall for Ellie, her change from being a slightly weak girl to The Preliator. You see that, sort of, evolution happening and you see a new Ellie reborn in each book, looking better and more badass as they go. And trust me, she is an absolute BADASS in this book. Though the most dreaded thing in the world happened (I'm not sure you know what I mean but I won't spoil it for you,) but the way Courtney Allison Moulton smoothed it out made me want to hug her senseless. You can really see that no matter how much we feel like we're not ourselves, we will always have ounce of humanity to keep us grounded. I'm also really glad that Ellie isn't the type of protag who's confused as to who she loves. There is no love triangle in this series because there's really just only one person she loves, and that's Will. No matter how extremely yummy Cadan is, it's never going to happen. (Courtney, please feel free to send Cadan to me, I'll add him to my harem.) And those lovey-dovey scenes I was talking about? Swoon-worthy!

I suggest you all start with Angelfire first and then work up to Shadows in the Silence because this series is just too awesome to take a pass on. If you want your action, romance and Fantasy hot, then this series is for you. You will fall in love with the characters and you will also loathe characters to death, but that's really just the way it is. I'm really sad to see this series go but oddly enough, there were no tears shed. Most likely because I was too busy with my heart stopping at timed intervals due to the anticipation of reading certain parts. Heart-stopping action FTW. Y'all seriously need to check this series out. You will love every single second reading it. *brandishes Kopesh swords* Shinyyy!

Rating:
.5


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (16)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews! It's where bloggers can share what they got for review, bought, borrowed, won or gifted (both physical and eBooks may be included! :D)

Here's what I got this week:
Bought:

Just One Day (Just One Day #1) by Gayle Forman (Goodreads)

For review:

Prophecy (The Dragon King Chronicles #1) by Ellen Oh (Goodreads)
Through the Ever Night (Under the Never Sky #2) by Veronica Rossi (Goodreads)
Breaking Point (Article 5 #2) by Kristen Simmons (Goodreads)

Big thanks to Christine from HarperCollins, Tor Teen and my parents! You all rock! :D

What did you guys get this week? :) Leave us a comment with your Stacking the Shelves post and we'll check it out!


ARC Review: Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook

Title: Nobody But Us
Author: Kristin Halbrook
Pages: 272 pages
Acquired format: Paperback (ARC)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication date: January 29th 2013
Source: Received from publisher for an honest review (Thanks, Christine!)
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Bonnie and Clyde meets IF I STAY in this addictively heart-wrenching story of two desperate teenagers on the run from their pasts.

They’re young. They’re in love. They’re on the run.

Zoe wants to save Will as much as Will wants to save Zoe. When Will turns eighteen, they decide to run away together. But they never expected their escape to be so fraught with danger....

When the whole world is after you, sometimes it seems like you can’t run fast enough.

Nobody But Us, told in alternating perspectives from Will and Zoe, is an unflinching novel, in turns heartbreaking and hopeful, about survival, choices, and love...and how having love doesn’t always mean that you get a happy ending. Described as “beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhilarating” by Kody Keplinger, author of The DUFF, Nobody But Us will prove irresistible to fans of Nina Lacour, Jenny Han, and Sara Zarr.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Review:


I honestly had pretty high expectations for Nobody But Us, mostly because Kody Keplinger, who I worship, blurbed it and also because they compared it to If I Stay in its summary and we all know how amazing If I Stay is. I just felt like this book fell flat with me, there was a disconnection between me and the characters. It's like no matter how hard I pulled, they just kept pulling back as well. It wasn't that the characters were hard to relate to (and they were because of certain aspects that will be mentioned in the latter part of this review) but mostly it's because they weren't properly created as people. Or rather, they lacked in being fleshed out further.

I really got into the first parts of Nobody But Us but towards the middle to the end, it kind of got a bit too much for me. 'Cause yeah, two teens decide to run away and the cops start going after them... but how? Zoe's father is an alcoholic who beats her and pretty much killed her mother, why would anyone listen to someone like that? It was mostly her friend's parents who got into looking for her. I actually thought that no one would really notice her leave since she is kind of a quiet loner-type. But I guess everyone is important.

I think that both Will and Zoe had plethora issues they needed to sort through. I really felt that Zoe was just too weak to be a protag. I don't know if the author did it on purpose to show us how much Zoe needed Will in her life or how much she depended on him or something. The girl gets beaten up on a daily basis, you'd think that when she got her freedom she's finally grow a backbone but nope, nada. Still nothing. I think it was near the end when I really started to care about what she did. There was a realization somewhere in there that really made me feel like Zoe and I were finally on the same page. Zoe still had so much potential to grow as a character but with the way it ended, all that happened was a gigantic roadblock was placed in front of the people.

I know that I'm usually suppose to fall in love with the leading man no matter how much of an asshole he really is or what, but I just couldn't bring myself to feel anything other than pity... and fear for Will. Lots and lots of fear. Will is a human being with enough issues to fill a whole room. Yup. This guy is frightening, I honestly don't even know why she thinks it's safe to behind her abusive father for this guy. The whole book, I was waiting for him to explode and maybe start beating her or something. He has got one long violent streak. There was actually a part where I thought I was going to cry, Will's chapters are definitely more heartbreaking than Zoe's is. I honestly really felt bad for will.

Their relationship can accurately be more described by the word "obsessive". I honestly didn't know if they were in love with each... The details are pretty ambiguous and I really think that really needs to be further elaborated on in the book. The fact that they've only actually been together for two months isn't really assuring either. When you read both their POVs, you'll feel a sort of dependence for each other radiating from the two characters. And being together obviously makes them tick.

I felt like the ending was kind of an overkill already. It was very predictable, especially since you already know where the storyline is heading. I think what made the ending special, albeit predictable, is that the emotions of the two characters are emphasized in the last part. You'll really see how important they know their respective counterparts are. Just a note though, I really don't understand what happens at the end. You may understand what I'm going through if you decide to read it.

Even though there were parts that were a bit too much for me, I'd still recommend Nobody But Us to people who feel like putting themselves in the crying/depressed mood. Don't expect too much from it though, certainly not like If I Stay but it's definitely unique in its own way.


Rating:

Friday, January 25, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday (25)

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read! :)

Q: What is the last book that kept you up late into the night just to finish it?


A: The book that really kept me up at night would have to be Hopeless by Colleen Hoover (Goodreads) The story is just so captivating and heartwarming that if you try to take a break, it'd feel like you're ruining the mood. Hopeless just has this effect on you where you'll want to just focus solely on it. Colleen Hoover will really wring your heart in this book. I'm still having a hard time writing a review for it... Words cannot express how beautiful it is.


What's your answer for this week's FF? Leave us a comment with a link to it and we'll check it out! :)
We follow back.

Check out our ARC Giveaway HERE too!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (25)

Waiting on Wednesday/s are hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine in which you choose a book or books that you're excited and waiting for.
This week's Waiting on Wednesday book is:
Title: Doll Bones
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date: May 7th 2013
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

A doll that may be haunted leads three friends on a thrilling adventure in this delightfully creepy novel from the New York Times bestselling cocreator of the Spiderwick Chronicles.
Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been friends forever. And for almost as long, they’ve been playing one continuous, ever-changing game of pirates and thieves, mermaids and warriors. Ruling over all is the Great Queen, a bone-china doll cursing those who displease her.
But they are in middle school now. Zach’s father pushes him to give up make-believe, and Zach quits the game. Their friendship might be over, until Poppy declares she’s been having dreams about the Queen—and the ghost of a girl who will not rest until the bone-china doll is buried in her empty grave.
Zach and Alice and Poppy set off on one last adventure to lay the Queen’s ghost to rest. But nothing goes according to plan, and as their adventure turns into an epic journey, creepy things begin to happen. Is the doll just a doll or something more sinister? And if there really is a ghost, will it let them go now that it has them in its clutches?
(Image taken from Goodreads and summary from Barnes and Noble)
Why I'm excited for this:
Not only is the cover super gorgeous and creepy, at the same time. The summary probably going to keep me up tonight. I absolutely love Middle Grade books and I seriously can't wait to read this one! Holly Black, you are a genius. (Credits to Stefan Bachmann because I saw this book in his 2013 Books For Which I'm Excited post.)

What's your WoW pick this week? :) Leave us a comment with a link to your post and we'll check it out!




Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cover Reveal: Radiant by Christina Daley

When Christina e-mailed us about doing a cover reveal for her book, I couldn't help but do a gigantic whoop. I absolutely fell in love with the cover of Radiant and I really hope that you do too.
Title: Radiant
Author: Christina Daley
Publication date: February 12th 2013


Mary is part Vietnamese. Carter is a complete jerk. Normally, they don't talk much.

But when Mary's in an accident on the way to school one morning, Carter nearly dies saving her life. The doctors say his chances of living are slim, and Mary's feeling the full weight of survivor's guilt.

However, Carter's back at school in a matter of days, as if nothing had happened. Although, he is a little "glitchy," and he's developed a sudden and intense interest in Mary. She thinks he's suffering from major brain trauma from the accident. Or that he's been possessed.

As it so happens, Carter really is possessed. And the thing controlling him is having the time of its life learning to be human.

Featuring a diverse cast of characters, RADIANT is a funny and heartfelt story about being human, being in love, and being healed.

Find the author:

Christina Daley

My thoughts:

I honestly love the cover of Radiant. It's very simple yet eye-catching and it's very bright as well, which definitely makes it radiant looking. Haha! But it's very pretty and it's simplicity makes it very appealing. I can't wait to start reading Radiant. The synopsis is very intriguing and I can actually feel happy/sad vibes from it and that's a very good thing.


Review: Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Title: Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)
Author: Kendare Blake
Pages: 316 pages
Format acquired: Hardcover
Publisher: Tor Teen
Published on: August 30th 2011
Source: Purchased from Fully Booked
Buy the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story...

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.

(Image and summary taken from Goodreads)

Review:

I don't think I've ever had so many heart palpitations reading a book before but reading Anna definitely had my blood pumping faster than normal, whether it was from fear or adrenaline, we'll never know. Kendare Blake definitely knows how to get your heart going, the way she intricately creates a story that is so simple yet leaves such a huge impact on you is astounding. She creates characters that you just can't help but fall in love with.

I have always been a huge horror buff, I practically live off of horror movies/books. There is just something so exhilarating about them that you can't help but get addicted. So when I heard about Anna Dressed in Blood and how bloody fantastic (pun, pun) it was, I immediately had a copy reserved at our local bookstore. I absolutely fell in love with the cover of Anna Dressed in Blood and when I read the summary of the book, I felt like I literally met my book soulmate.

Cas is a definitely a certified badass. If you're looking for the definition of what a "bad boy" really is, let us all just turn our heads to Cas Lowood. Anna Dressed in Blood is written in Cas's point of view and what I really like about it is that every page I read there's always a little snark happening. The things that go on in Cas's head is pretty... bad? I can imagine that this is how a real bad boy things, minus the athame and the ghost hunting. I am always left astounded and quite honestly, shell shocked every time I read something new in Anna. The way Kendare Blake writes with such smooth confidence makes you feel like as if the author is actually really a guy. Kendare Blake is definitely a talented author.

I honestly had no idea how anyone could write a romance between a ghost and a human without making it look ridiculous, but Kendare Blake managed to do it smoothly. There is a sense of realism when you read Anna because you know that you can't actually expect anything insanely WHOA to happen between them but that doesn't mean that there weren't any aww-worthy parts. Cas and Anna's relationship still feels like a mystery to m and reading their relationship progress was a pretty surreal experience as well. No matter how much we don't think horror books need romance in it, sometimes we need to concede that we are wrong because Cas and Anna's story is definitely an exception to that idea. Their relationship is so raw and heartfelt that you can't help but be affected by them. You'll keep wanting to root for them even though you know that what they have between them cannot possibly go on...

Anna Dressed in Blood is easily one of my most favorite horror books ever. And oh. My. Lord. Lots and lots of tears were shed, I honestly didn't know if the dam that was coming out of my eyes was ever going to stop. I never thought that I'd ever sympathize with a ghost, much less empathize with one. I really felt Anna's pain and the way she presents her back story, it was very heartbreaking. Anna Dressed in Blood is about sacrifice. Sometimes one thing has to go for you to survive no matter how much you feel like you'll die if you lose that said thing.

I demand that you all go out to the bookstore and pick up a copy of Anna Dressed in Blood and it's sequel, Girl of Nightmares, which I am currently reading after 8 years of waiting. (You should probably read it with the lights off to feel the full creeptastic effect.) The characters in this book will grip your hand and ask you to stay but in all truth, you'll never even contemplate leaving because you feel a sense of attachment to these characters that you can't help but not leave. Every line, every paragraph and every page will make you fall only more in love with Anna Dressed in Blood and there's really no stopping that.

Rating:
.5

Monday, January 21, 2013

ARC Review: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Title: The Archived (The Archived #1)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Pages: 336 pages
Format acquired: Paperback (ARC)
Publisher: Hyperion
Publication date: January 22nd 2013
Source: Gifted by Nancy (Tales of a Ravenous Reader) Thanks so much!
Pre-order the book: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.

Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

(Summary and image are from Goodreads)

Review:

I have to be honest. The Archived did not have the strongest opening for me. I expected the book to have a more stronger approach than the usual since it is a paranormal and slightly under romance with the usual love triangle category undertones. The beginning was a little weak, but not too weak that it made me stop reading. As I continued to turn the pages, the more confused I got. I don't know if it was from confusion or from being tired from reading or maybe both, but as I kept on flipping the pages, I felt my excitement drain away. Just as I was about to give up, the plot thickens and starts to get interesting. And I kid you not, my mind made a little victory shout saying "Thank you, God!!" I knew there had to something good in a big buzz book. :)

I think what confused me the most would be the alternating POVs between Da and MacKenzie. I sometimes felt like Mac's narration would be cut off inappropriately just to give way to Da's POV. Something I'm not really a fan of. I'd rather they have separate chapters for every character that makes a POV. Even if it's just a short one. Multiple POV books are one of the hardest books to write. Or publish. You should try your best so both the author and the reader understand the way it's laid out. (Well, of course the author knows how it will be laid out. But still, right?)

What I really like about MacKenzie was her stubbornness and her one-track mind. Unfortunately, these were also her weaknesses. The good parts is that she knew what she wanted and she made ways to get it. She knew how to satisfy her curiosity. Her hunger. Her craving for adventure. She made sure she got what she needed and made ways to reach that goal. But as I've said, these same traits also leads to her demise. Her hunger acts up so much, she becomes reckless. She does things that seem selfish and sad at the same time. Like when she would visit her brother's file, even though she knows nothing will happen-and does this so often that it makes her ask for something unforgivable for a Keeper like her. She is her best enemy. But then again, are we all our best enemies? I haven't had a close relative die on me yet. Hopefully I won't be able to stick around when that happens. I don't think I'd be able to handle it. But the way Mac narrates her story is such a crisp image, that you are led to feel what she was feeling and the feelings of other people around her, too. I found her power to know a story immensely awesome but then I thought about that harder and asked myself "Would you really want to know EVERYONE that way?" I'd rather not. Some memories, words, voices are meant to be kept and hidden because no one will know what happen when all the truth starts to break loose. At first I was like, "Oh dear. Not another emotional teen" but after a while I was like, "I feel you, sister!!"

[SPOILER ALERT]
Owen, on the other hand is the one I'd hug and hug and cry with. I don't know why, but I have this HUUUUGE weakness for the bad guy. Unless the bad guys is an extreme asshole from page 1, then no thank you. But the villains with the emotional back story wins my point. (Ash, at first, Warner, Owen...) I felt really sad for Owen. His pain seemed to permeate through my bones. And even though at the end he was just using her to get away, it seemed sad that he was doing those things because he wanted to see his sister again. And I sympathized big-time for him. (Until the mid-ending. He became a total ass-bite)

My only advice for the reader to have a great patience at the beginning because trust me, it gets better. It builds up then slows down. It's like the book has a tight grip on you now and can't ever let it go.

P.S. Does anyone know why Disney likes to use so much paranormal romance but I guess that's how the roll.

Rating:


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (15)


Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews! It's where bloggers can share what they got for review, bought, borrowed, won or gifted (both physical and eBooks may be included! :D)

Here's what I got this week:
Bought:
The books we ordered from Amazon arrived this week! Eeeee!!

Reason to Breathe (The Breathing series #1) by Rebecca Donovan (Goodreads)
Special Signed Limited Edition: Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie McGuire [Review] (Goodreads) A closer look:

Borrowed:

Ironskin (Ironskin #1) by Tina Conolly (Goodreads)

Gifted:

Not pictured: *ARC* The Archived (The Archived #1) by Victoria Schwab (Goodreads)
*ARC* Unremembered (Unremembered #1) by Jessica Brody (Goodreads)
*ARC* My Life, the Theater, and Other Tragedies by Allen Zadoff (Goodreads)
*ARC* Something Deadly This Way Comes (Madison Avery trilogy #3) by Kim Harrison (Goodreads)
*ARC* Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott (Goodreads)



SWAG:

I won super pretty The Archived SWAG as seen above. And oooh, a signed tote bag! So cool. :D
I got a lovely button and postcard from another blogger too!

Thanks so much to Nancy from Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Dani from Book Whales, Precious from Fragments of Life and my parents for buying me books. Y'all rock!!

Leave a comment with your Stacking the Shelves post and we'll check it out! :)

OH and check out our ARC Giveaway! Click HERE.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday (24)

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read! :)

Q: Who is your favorite villain from a book?

A: I'd have to say The Darkling from Shadow and Bone and Billy Dent from I Hunt Killers. Why did I pick The Darkling even though I am so, so in love with him? Well, he's the type of evil that believes that what he's doing is right and that's the type that you generally have to watch out for. He's like a fanatical fighter with badass super powers that can probably destroy all of humanity. Probably. Now, why Billy Dent. For those of you who have read I Hunt Killers, I think that you'd understand why and you haven't I'll tell you, Billy Dent is one sick mofo. Like, seriously. The insanely disgustingly disturbing things he's done is enough to make me want to crawl into a hole and never leave. Ever.

Leave a comment with your WoW post and we'll check it out. :)
We follow back.

Oh and check out our ARC Giveaway HERE. :D

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Giveaway that was Long Overdue... Win ARCs!

I'm sure you're all thinking the same thing... FINALLY. Haha! Don't worry, so am I. *smiles* Since the year just began (a few weeks ago) and we survived the supposed "apocalypse", Geraldine and I have decided to do a giveaway! Yaaaay! Without further ado, here's what you can win:

One winner will be able to pick TWO ARCs from the four and maybe if we get enough entries, we'll add more winners and prizes. ;) (Open INTERNATIONALLY. Check the Terms & Conditions on the form to see the rest of the details. )


Hee! Good luck to everyone! :D