Friday, December 31, 2010

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

First, thank you to HarperTeen for sending me the ARC of this book. I love being able to write these reviews.

There are so many wonderful things to say about Unearthly. At first, I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to feel about it, but the more I read the more I fell in love with this story. I've also had a somewhat difficult time getting my thoughts just right for this, because I want to be able to give this book the justice it deserves.

Clara Gardner has learned that she is an angel blood, a descendant of angel and human parents. For the most part she is your typical teenage girl; only she has wings, the ability to heal fast, and has an otherworldly glow when she's really in tune with the world around her. So, when Clara begins to receive visions of her purpose, the reason she was put on Earth, she is excited to get to work.

The vision doesn't give her all of the details, only bits and pieces, but one thing she does know is there's a boy and he needs her help. Turning her and her families lives upside down, Clara moves to Wyoming and discovers that her quest to fulfill her purpose won't be as easy as she thought.

I thought that I had this story all figured out, but I wasn't pleasantly surprised to find that it didn't go the way that I thought it would. Clara was very much like a regular sixteen year old girl who just happened to have special abilities and I think that made her a little more relatable as a character. She struggled with fitting in among her classmates and figuring out how to get closer to the boy in her visions, Christian Prescott, and you could tell the effect it had on her. Insert Tucker Avery, the twin brother of her friend Wendy, and things definitely don't go the way that Clara had planned.

Her mother, Meg, and friend Angela are two characters that I found myself wondering just what was going on with them. We get introduced to them, sure, but you soon learn there is more going on with them than you're originally led to believe.

The moments between Clara and Christian, when they are together, are natural and sweet. It's clear they have a connection, but just what is that connection. The surprise character though I believe was Tucker. The relationship he developed with Clara was absolutely adorable and he developed more of her human side. I loved the change in Clara's narration when she was with Tucker, it was lighter and happier, as opposed to how she was when trying to figure out Christian.

I feel like I'm giving too much away, maybe I didn't give anything away at all, but one thing that I can say is that I absolutely loved this first book in the Unearthly series and already can't wait for book two. Cynthia Hand's plot was brilliant and the subtle changes in her characters' voice were masterful. If you're looking for something cute and romantic with a hint of mystery, then I highly recommend this book. To find out more information about the author and this series you can check out her website here or follow her on twitter here

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Matched by Ally Condie

I fell in love with this book from the very beginning. Not only is this cover absolutely sensational, but the story line and premise were expertly delivered by Ally Condie. I couldn't put it down.

For Cassia Reyes, her matching banquet was the moment she had been looking forward to her whole life. The night she would find out who the Officials had decided she was best suited to marry and start a family with. And when her match turned out to be her best friend Xander, things couldn't have worked out more perfectly.

That is, until she saw another boys face on the microcard, or information card, she received for Xander. Life as Cassia knew it would never be the same again.

In the dystopian world that Ally created, the government had complete control over the people. The Society came in when things became too overwhelming and took over, taking care of the people and making sure everyone lived long and productive lives. No one complained because they were well provided for; jobs, food, school, matches. What could they possibly long for that they didn't already have?

Cassia never considered questioning the way things were done, until she saw Ky's face instead of Xander's. And then she began to think, to wonder. What if we had more choices?

In a society where, on the surface, everything seemed perfect and taken care of, there was more happening behind the scenes than anyone else knew about. There was a slow build up to Cassia's rebellion, her desire for more freedom, which I thought was just right for her. Being around her match was familiar, she knew what to expect and believed she would always be safe with him. With Ky, her longing to learn more about him, to comfort him, was stronger, opening her eyes to the reality around her.

Their relationship was beautiful and sweet, making the already intricate plot even more fascinating. I found myself cheering them on with each chapter, hoping for more interaction between them.

My only complaint was that the story had to come to an end. I didn't want to say goodbye to Cassia and Ky just yet, and I love Ally Condie for creating such wonderful characters for us to fall for. If you're looking for a love story, I highly recommend Matched. There are two more books in this amazing series, the next one named Crossed, which I can't wait to read.

For more information about Ally Condie and the Matched series you can check out her website here or you can follow her on twitter here

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Okay, remember when I reviewed Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton?

Well, her book is coming out in February, and leading up to the big day she's having a giveaway each week. That's right, and it's your opportunity to win either a copy of her book, Angelfire, or of Nightshade this week. You have a chance to win a copy of some amazing books!

If you want to enter here's the link:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cover for City of Fallen Angels

Anyone who reads my reviews can tell how excited I get over book covers. Some absolutely blow me away, while others are just so, so...

Well, the cover that Cassandra Clare posted for the next book in The Mortal Instruments Series, City of Fallen Angels, has me beyond ecstatic! They are beautiful and I'm even more thrilled for this next installment.

Even the banner with all of the cover images so far is breathtaking!

I can't wait for this next book to be released. Her series seems to have some of the best covers in my opinion, which just happens to go along with how fabulous her writing is. Thank you for sharing this with us Cassie!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Yes, I'm finally getting around to writing my review for this book, so hold on to your seats.

First, one of the reasons I'm writing this now is because I want to make a comparison of sorts between this series and Matched (which I will be writing the review for after this). There's no way that either of these books could be compared, they are both set in different worlds and have completely different premises. But, at the same time they are both about oppression and finding the will to fight back.

For Katniss Everdeen, her world has always been about survival; finding enough food to trade for other things to keep her family from going hungry, hunting with her best friend Gale, keeping her family together after her father passes away. She has always been the protector of her family.

So when her little sisters name is called in the drawing for the annual Hunger Games, it's no surprise that Katniss volunteers to go in her place. She puts her life on the line to keep her sister safe and to possibly provide more for her District.

The Hunger Games is a riveting story that shows just what people are willing to do to survive. Before I had gotten to the point where the actual competition began, I stopped, afraid that it would remind me of Lord of the Flies (a book that I personally didn't enjoy reading in high school). But, I was surprised and pleased to discover that it was vastly different and so much more engaging.

I loved the characters that Katniss found herself surrounded by leading up to the games, her view of how unjust it all seemed, and just how clueless she was to the effect she had on her teammate Peeta and her best friend Gale.

At times this story was difficult to get through and others I couldn't put the book down. It was beautifully crafted and engaging, terrifying and yet encouraging. Suzanne Collins created something beyond words with this first book and I know the rest of the series is just as masterful.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Mailbox Surprises

So, this week was a pretty nice week for me. I got some great books in that I can't wait to get started on. First, Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead was released this week, the last book in her Vampire Academy series.

I fell in love with this series from the beginning. Her unique take on the vampire world was wonderfully thought out and the main character, Rose Hathaway, is one tough chick. She's sarcastic and smart and very too the point, I love her. Even though it's sad that this series is coming to an end, I know that Richelle will give it the ending it deserves (plus she's doing a spin off series with the characters from the Vampire Academy world *squee*).

Matched by Ally Condie came in the mail for me over the weekend and I couldn't wait to get started on this book. It's a dystopian series, but definitely different than say the Hunger Games (which was a fantastic book by the way, just a different society and dynamic set up).

This cover is brilliant and I've already fallen in love with this book. There's so much about it that just draws you in and I know the rest of it is going to be even better (can't wait for books 2 and 3)!

The second book in Laura Kreitzer's Timeless series also arrived in the mail for me this week and I am so excited to get started on it.

Not only is Laura a fantastic story teller, but her characters are also fascinating and so much fun to read. I hated reaching the end of Shadow of the Sun and can't wait to read the next step in Gabriella's journey.

Lastly, I got a few ARCs in from HarperTeen that I've been itching to get my hands on, so thank you guys for passing them on to me and giving me the chance to read them.

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand sounded so cute from the summary (and apparently I'm on an angels kick right now, so why not). I know this one will be great!

Delirium by Lauren Oliver is another dystopian type of story that sounded so intriguing, I couldn't not want to read it. The cure for falling in love. Yep, I definitely can't wait to read this one.

And Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr. Okay, I had the privilege of meeting Melissa at the Chicks Kick It Tour and she is quite possibly the sweetest person on the planet. She was so encouraging and adorable, it's a joy to be able to read this book in her Faeries series (Wickedly Lovely is the first). 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Books I Can't Wait to Read

Okay, so lately there have been more and more books coming out that are just fabulous. It's so nice to be able to go to a store and not be able to choose which book I want to get because they all sound so intriguing. When I was growing up things definitely weren't that way.

And, since the holidays are coming up, I figured it would be kind of fun to talk about the books we can't wait to read. Whether they haven't been released yet, or your just waiting for your copy to come in, I want to know what you're excited to read.

For me, I'm going crazy for the next book in the Nightshade series:

I fell in love with the first book. The characters, storyline, even the premise were all superbly done. And when I reached the end of Nightshade, I just sat there going "This can't be the end! Not yet!" So yeah, I really can't wait for this next book.

Another one I'm really excited to start is Soul Stalker:

I just recently finished the first book, Shadow of the Sun, and was amazed at how wonderful it was. Not only are the covers jaw-droppingly gorgeous, but the writing and tale are beyond words. I'm just itching to get my copy of Soul Stalker in the mail.

A book that was just released Tuesday that I'm waiting for is Matched:

The cover alone is breathtaking and the description drew me in even further. I've heard nothing but good things about this book and am most definitely excited to get my hands on it.

What books are you dying to read? Let me know.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer

First of all, I absolutely love the cover for this book! It is insanely beautiful and just amazing. This is what first drew me in to look at this series and I can certainly say that I was not disappointed. I wasn't really sure about the story when I first started it, but the more I read the more I wanted to keep reading. Putting it down to go to bed was nearly impossible, I was so in to it.

Laura Kreitzer not only came up with a unique take on angels, but is also a fabulous story teller.

Gabriella Moretti worked as a supernatural specialist in a lab, trying to prove or disprove different paranormal mysteries. One day a case comes into her office that she can't even begin to figure out how to solve, and she ends up on a journey she never would have imagined. With three regenerated bodies that show up in her lab, Gabriella learns that there are angels, but not like the stories you've always heard. I pictured them like Greek gods sitting on Mount Olympus (which happen to be my favorite myths).

So much happens in this book and I don't want to give any of it away. Gabriella is a wonderful character, strong and independent, and she handles the new world she's thrust into rather well. Along the way she's gains the help of Joseph, and FBI agent, and the three angels.

Andrew, one of the three angels, protects Gabriella as they try to free the others and figure out just what it is that's going on around them. With Dreams of the past haunting her, and new powers surfacing that she never knew she had, a whole new journey is opened up for Gabriella and her friends.

Prophecies and lies, angels and shadows, there's so much more than any of them could have ever imagined.

I absolutely fell in love with this book and the characters, Andrew especially. Once I found myself nearing the end I kept trying to drag it out until I could get the next book in the series, Soul Stalker. But hopefully I should be getting that soon, too. This story was wonderfully told, leaving the reader anxious to find out just where it all leads.

The Timeless series is one that I highly recommend if you're looking for adventure, romance, and mystery. To learn more about Laura Kreitzer, the Timeless series, and the other series she's working on you can check out her website at: or you can follow her on Twitter at:

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

If you haven't read Beautiful Creatures, this review will contain a few spoilers from that book.

These ladies did it again, another fabulous book for the Caster Chronicles that I just absolutely loved. Kami and Margi have such fluid writing, you'd think that these books were written by one person instead of two, which I think only adds to the stories.

Beautiful Darkness picks up a couple of months after Beautiful Creatures ended, taking us right to the funeral of Macon Ravenwood. From that moment I knew that this book was going to be difficult to get through. We all know how difficult it is to move on from the death of a loved one, and the struggle that Lena goes through is wonderfully portrayed. She was desperately trying to find her own way, struggling with her love for Ethan and the powers she can barely control.

Ethan was doing everything he could to hold them together, to keep their relationship from falling apart. In the midst of all that, new characters were introduced and Ethan found himself being pulled further and further into the Caster world. With Ridley, Lena's Dark Caster cousin, and her friend John spending more time with Lena, Ethan goes to Marianne and her research assitant, Liv, to do what he can to help Lena. He's seeing visions of Macon's past, and learning just how many secrets Gatlin has.

Unlike the first book, we get a better look into the Caster world and just how entrenched it is around Gatlin and the rest of the world. And Ethan finds out just how much of a connection he has to that world. With Caster tunnels, Caster pets, crazy aunts, and Southern traditions, the beautiful world that Kami and Margi created comes to life in a new and exciting way in this second installment.

And just like from the first book, I loved that it's told from Ethan's perspective. I'm always a fan of reading something from a male perspective, there's something fascinating about it. Add to the fact that we're also getting to see this world from a mortal's point of view on top of that and it makes it even better. I just think that was a smart move on both of their parts to do that. 

Just as they proved in Beautiful Creatures, not everything is as it seems in Gatlin County. There are even more questions left to be answered now and more to look forward to. So I highly recommend this book and am looking forward to the next two books in the Caster Chronicles, thank you Kami and Margi for sharing this books with us and putting so much time and effort into them.


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