NavBar

April 30, 2012

REVIEW: The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

Title: The Book of Blood and Shadow
Author: Robin Wasserman
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published: 10 April 2012
Format: Netgalley eARC* 448 pages
It was like a nightmare, but there was no waking up. When the night began, Nora had two best friends and an embarrassingly storybook one true love. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands and an echoing scream that stopped only when the tranquilizers pierced her veins and left her in the merciful dark.

But the next morning, it was all still true: Chris was dead. His girlfriend Adriane, Nora’s best friend, was catatonic. And Max, Nora’s sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also—according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone—a murderer.

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora follows the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. It ultimately brings her to the ancient streets of Prague, where she is drawn into a dark web of secret societies and shadowy conspirators, all driven by a mad desire to possess something that might not even exist. For buried in a centuries-old manuscript is the secret to ultimate knowledge and communion with the divine; it is said that he who controls the Lumen Dei controls the world. Unbeknownst to her, Nora now holds the crucial key to unlocking its secrets. Her night of blood is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.
My Review:
Nora has been living with parents who barely acknowledge her presence since the faithful day her older brother died in a horrible car accident. It’s been rough on Nora, but she tries to keep living on despite her own feelings about the death of her brother. Now, Nora spends her time with her best friend Chris, his girlfriend Adriane and his roommate Max. Nora, Chris and Max become research assistants for an obsessive professor bent on translating the cryptic symbols of the Voynich manuscript, which Nora calls the Book. While Chris and Max are assigned to the Book, Nora is stuck reading and translating 400 year old letters from a woman named Elizabeth Weston. As Nora translates these letters, she starts feeling this connection with Elizabeth. The more letters she reads, the more Nora becomes intrigued and the more she learns about Elizabeth, her father, the Book and the Lumen Dei. However, innocent as this school project may seem, something dark and sinister is behind the Book and the Lumen Dei. It isn’t long before someone winds up dead, one in a state of shock, and another accused of the crime all the while leaving Nora and a handsome boy to uncover the truth. But sometimes the truth is not what we want to hear and in the end, lives are lost, trust is broken and secrets unveil. 



The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman was definitely a different read for me. It dealt with aspects that I wasn’t usually interested in, but this only made it a more enticing read. The story really grabbed me from the first page and then tossed me into this whirlwind of deep mystery that involved menacing secret societies that I couldn’t get enough of. 



The whole plot and storyline of this book is intricately detailed and highly complex. It’s not an easy read because this book really makes you stop and think. Robin Wasserman brings in the history, religion and cult aspects and weaves it into a complicated, highly intriguing and creepy story that deals with immense amount of secrets, lies and betrayals that are seemingly endless and unpredictable. With the addition of a murder mystery and sweet romance, The Book of Blood and Shadow really shines. 



Wasserman managed to take me on this crazy journey with Nora as she discovers the hidden truths within the letters belonging to Elizabeth Weston. At first, I wasn’t able to connect with Nora. She was bitter and sad, and though I understood her circumstances, it took me awhile to open myself up to her. I did appreciate her intelligence and her sense of humor. I also loved that she was able to translate Latin. I never gave Latin a second thought, but reading this book and getting to know Nora made me want to know the language. It made me want to be able to do what Nora could do. I also enjoyed the fact that Nora pushed on with life despite everything that was thrown at her family. I did feel anger towards her parents, but at the same time this made me see how independent Nora had become. She got her own life and she’s doing the best she can with her neglecting parents. I loved how I learned with Nora. I, too, got caught up into Elizabeth’s letters and I wanted nothing more to uncover what was all about this mysterious and elusive machine, known as the Lumen Dei. When things started to go bad for Nora, I really felt for her. I thought she was pretty strong and she handled things with grace. I admired her determination to clear Max’s name, traveling all the way to Prague to do so. 



The other characters in the book were very wonderfully developed. I loved Nora’s relationship with Chris. They were truly best friends who seemed like they were attached to the hip. I loved how they shared the same interests and secrets and I love their companionship with one another. It was a mistake to get attached to Chris, knowing his fate from the start, but I couldn’t help myself. He was charming, sweet, funny and caring. He made me laugh and smile even when most parts of the book put me in a dark mood. His ending was tragic and it broke my heart. With Adriane, she is probably the only character in this whole book that I couldn’t come to terms with. She was dry, bland and had no personality to me what so ever. I didn’t like her from the beginning and I didn’t like her in the end. She never redeemed herself in my eyes, but I tolerated her for Nora’s sake. I may be biased a little because I felt that Adriane was just in the way between my fantasies of Chris and Nora getting together. My favorite character had to be Max and then Eli. Max plays such a pivotal part of the book. His relationship with Nora was strange, but sweet. I liked them together. They just fit. With Eli, I loved his sarcasm and the way he ignited this fire within Nora. He challenged her and ultimately kept her safe. He really surprised me and I must say that I was rooting for him at the end.

I must confess that the beginning of the book is quite slow compared to the pace I’m comfortable with. Once I pushed through that, everything started to move quickly. All the lies and secrets were starting to be revealed and I was completely riveted and consumed entirely. The truth about the Book, the letters, the Lumen Dei and the underground societies took me by surprise in the best possible way. With this kind of story, you just never knew what to expect, you never know who to trust, who is lying, and who is lurking behind the corner. Also, I did have trouble understanding some of the writing/language of the book. Wasserman has a way with words. She’s descriptive, detailed, inventive and vivid, but there is plenty of sentences that run on and on without a pause. This is intentional, of course, because of Nora’s voice. However, I wasn’t used to this type of writing style, but I appreciated it, nonetheless. It was still gripping and still enjoyable. 



Overall, The Book of Blood and Shadow was a terrific read. It’s full of deceit, creepy moments and eye-popping revelations that never cease to entertain. 



My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
*Many thanks to Netgalley and Random House for allowing me to read this book

Robin Wasserman:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

Purchase The Book of Blood and Shadow:
Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

April 29, 2012

Book Haul #19


A book haul feature that shares items, such as books and swag, that I received within the week. 

Note: From now on I will be doing these book hauls on Sundays instead of IMM's. It's still the same concept, but just not under than certain meme. I'll be editing my other posts to correspond to this one :) Thanks for your understand and I hope you keep checking out my book hauls!


- Click on the book cover to redirect to the Goodreads page

*Thanks to Netgalley, St. Martin's Press, and Flux.

*Thanks to Brina Courtney!

*Thanks to Tiffany King for Wishing For Someday Soon



Guardian of the Gate by Michelle Zink (signed & personalized)
Circle of Fire by Michelle Zink (signed & personalized)
*Thank to Michelle Zink for sending me these awesome signed copies! Love her to death <3

A Temptation of Angels Prize Pack:
Be Tempted T-Shirt
$15 Starbucks Giftcard
$10 Itunes Giftcard
$50 Visa Giftcard
Victoria Secret Lotion/Perfume set
Gold Roller Nailpolish
Mini Angel Frame
A Temptation of Angels Post card 
A Temptation of Angels Bookmark
A Temptation of Angels (hardcover, signed and personalized)
*A super big thanks to Michelle Zink <3 She totally rocks my world and beyond :)

Meant to Be  Cover Picture
Forgotten Souls Cover Picture
The Ascended Cover Picture
*Thanks to Tiffany King for signing each picture and for sending them to me! I love them so much. 


Last but not least:
Last weekend I went to the LA Times Festival of Books! I have been going for the past 2 years and each year I've always had a blast despite traffic, crowds and the heat. It's always worth it all when I get to meet my favorite authors! So last weekend I went and I got to meet and get my books signed by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Lauren Kate, Stephanie Perkins, Robin LaFevers, Kendare Blake, Josephine Angelini, and Maggie Stiefvater! Every one of those authors rocked! There was more that I wished I could have met, but it's ok. I can go next year again. Also, I wish I took more pictures, but my iPhone camera lacks quality and a decent zooming mechanism. LOL. 

*Me with Maggie Stiefvater plus my signed copy of The Scorpio Races :)

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate (signed and personalized)
*I got to meet and get all my Fallen series books signed by Lauren Kate herself. She's super nice!

Swag I got from the signings during the festival!
Beautfiul Chaos Bookmark
Beautiful Chaos Rubber Bracelet
Anna Dressed in Blood Bookmark (signed)
Dreamless Bookmark/Bookplate
Anna/Lola promo post card from Stephanie Perkins
Team Adam (from If I Stay & Where She Went) pin
& Medieval Times tattoos (lol, just wanted to add that in there!)

All the books I got signed at the festival:

Did you get any bookish items this week?
Let me know what you got in your book hauls, IMMs, or whatever in the comments below!
Have an epic awesome week! 

April 27, 2012

Interview: Tabitha Vale, Author of Pawn of Mine

About Tabitha Vale:
I'm 20 years old, from Portland, Oregon, and have a passion for writing. There isn't much else to say about me since I'm a new author! Aside from writing, I'm a college Sophomore, I've lived in South Korea, I love traveling, love Glee, Friends, and Modern Family, and I love being outside! Can you keep up with all the books I'll be publishing? Hope so!
Tabitha Vale is the author of three books:
Venus City, Ephraim City and her new release, Pawn of Mine.
Read my review for Tabitha Vale's Pawn of Mine


The Interview:

1) Can you describe Pawn of Mine in five words?
Set fire to the rain....

Hahaha just kidding. That's five words though :D How bout Clash of fire and water? Nah, doesn't have the same appeal as the Adele one. /whines/ five isn't enough xD

2) What gave you the idea and/or inspiration to write Pawn of Mine? How did you come up with such a unique world?
Actually Pawn of Mine used to be an entirely different story, and I wrote it almost two years ago. I transformed it a lot to be something that really blended my interests. I got a lot of inspiration from Avatar: the Last Airbender (one of my favorite shows I'll admit... I was only like 14 or something when it came out xD) but I didn't want to copy it or draw too much from it because I believe in making things my own. So first it started off as an idea of elemental elves... then I got this random idea while I was eating cereal (my best ideas come to me when I'm doing the most mundane things haha) about a race of people being a mixture of the elemental elves and falling stars. Then I realized that might be a little weird or too complex, so I hexed out the elves part, made it so that EVERYONE was the same sort of people so there weren't extra races, and I was left with elements and stars... and I somehow meshed it all together into Pawn of Mine.

3) Are any of the characters you created in based off of real people? 
Some are based off of other fictional characters. For example, Hazel is a mesh of Zuko (from Avatar) and Draco Malfoy, but I've also mixed in a little of my own boyfriend in there so there's something about him that I'm more familiar with. But like I said, when I base my stories, characters, or settings off something else, I never mimic the original in an obvious way. Just subtle similarities help me form a character of my own. Also has anyone watched Glee? Aurora I kind of drew from Terri, Will's ex-wife. She was possessive and a little crazy, but I made Aurora even more extreme than that. Then after I was done writing I noticed that some characters matched with other fictional people, but I did it unintentionally haha.

4) Which character can you relate to the most?
Hmm... I would say Sage, but not in the brave and fearless sense that she is. More so I can relate to her in how much she trusts herself and her goals. But still she's way more intense than me haha.

5) I especially love Saffron's name. How did you come up with such interesting names for the characters?
I'm soooo glad you pointed that out!! Naming characters is one of my FAVORITE things about writing. I have the chance to give these characters beautiful names! Why waste it? I always scour the internet for ideas, usually searching for more unique names for the main characters and allowing the minor characters to take more generic, but still good names. Saffron, Evander, and Blair were my favorite from this book, and even from my other series, Legacy of the Sares, I packed it with names that even I came up with, like Bellamine, Maydessa, and Leraphone. Course Asher, Channing, Braya, and Aspen were also cool names that I adore :D But back to Pawn of Mine... haha what else was there? Oh right. Some names even have meaning. Agni means fire, did you know? I made up Sayon and Cryent, and found Acheron around the web somewhere... xD

6) I love the cover to Pawn of Mine, is there a story behind the beautiful cover? 
Yes, a bit :) The coloring kind of portrays Sage's position as a Water controlling fire, doesn't it?

7) What was the most difficult part and/or scene to write during Pawn of Mine?
The last couple chapters were the most challenging for sure! I always like to make sure that the ending is satisfying, intense, and cleans most things up while at the same time leaving the readers wanting more, so I have to strike that balance and it's very difficult!

8) How many books are you planning to write for the Fiery Water series?
I'm thinking six. It's going to be a challenge writing a series that long, but I think I can handle it! There is still SO SO MUCH about this world that needs to be explored and so many more story lines that need to be delved deeper into that I can't imagine not pulling six off.

9) What can we look forward to down the road with Sage and the rest of the characters in the next book? (More Zane, I hope! lol)
Yes! lol lots of more Zane. He's like the second most frequent character in the book! But you can expect these characters to get a lot stronger with their abilities in starlight, and not only that, but they will discover more to their powers. More on the Ancients, more on the characters that didn't get much time in this book like Sayon, and you can definitely expect a lot more Hazel development and hmm... Agni is going to be a thorn in their side for a long time to come haha.

10) What is one random fact about you?
I've lived and studied in South Korea :D


Favorites:
Favorite Book: I can't say BOOK, but a series, and that's the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld.

Favorite Author: Scott Westerfeld

Favorite Book Boyfriend: Zane... from Pretties lol. Maybe that's why that name lodged itself in my head xD

Favorite TV Show: Avatar/Legend of Korra. Just pure genius.

Favorite Band: Hmmm... no one will know them since they're Korean. On the rare chance, I say it's DBSK.

Favorite Drink: Water!

Favorite Color: Purple

Favorite Food: Korean food :)

***

Thanks so much Tabitha for stopping by Words, Pages and Books! It was an honor and complete pleasure. I can't wait for the next book in the Fiery Water series :)

Connect with Tabitha Vale:
Blog || Twitter || Facebook || Goodreads

Check out her books:



Venus City (Legacy of the Sares #1)
Ephraim City (Legacy of the Sares #2)
Pawn of Mine (Fiery Water #1)


April 26, 2012

Guest Review: ReVamped by Ada Adams

A good friend of mine, Pavan, will be doing guest reviews for me from time to time. She's hoping to have her own blog in the near future and I thought this would be a great start for her until then. :)

Without further ado, here is Pavan's review for a a book by an author that is near and dear to my heart whom I have come to love bucket loads. She and Pavan are pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. <3 



A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.
***
Pavan's Thoughts:

ReVamped
*Thanks to the lovely Ada Adams for the e-copy which has no effect on my honest review!

What if vampires and humans coexisted peacefully? What if vampires had their own U.S President and their own house called the Scarlet House? Mix in some concoctions like Blood Vodka, Blood Beer and even Blood Cola and you get an amazing debut from Ada Adams!

Dawn is a nineteen year old BORN vampire, who lives with her overly protective Father. ReVamped is where we see Dawn finally able to spread her wings. This girl is loyal, protective and absolutely loveable while still being kick-ass. After training day in and day out in the Scarlet House we see Dawn off to her first mission, trying to turn a group of MADE vampires into the new guardians of Angel Creek. This may seem like a simple task but Dawn has to get all her vampires past their prior issues whilst also dealing with someone, or something, hunting her.

Brooke, Sophie, Seth and Hunter form the new guardian group. Since they all have their own version of a strong personality their were strong clashes, especially between Brooke and Seth but that is all explained within the story ;). The personal growths within each character brought something to the plot and were all brilliantly written.

Now for the love interests. That’s right more then one! But this isn’t the story of an awkward love triangle, just of one girl and two guys. However Dawn does not string along either Ethan, the adorable sweetheart, or Sebastian, the sexy silent one. For the record, I am a Sebastian girl :D. With the way Ada has structured the story we see the good elements of both guys and I admit there were certain times where emotions ran high!!

ReVamped is fast paced with action packed twists and turns! Ada Adams has expertly written a story that brings another side to vampires, and makes the reader connect and believe they are on Dawn’s mission themselves.

Pavan's Rating: 5 out of 5! 

***

Wow! That was a wonderful review! Your thoughts and feelings were expressed beautifully! Thanks so much Pavan for allowing me to post your AMAZING review for ReVamped. 



April 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #19


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where you share an upcoming release that you're anticipating on reading.

I'm waiting on..


Expected Publication: July 31, 2012

From Goodreads:

 So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.  Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Why I'm waiting?

1) The Cover.
How can you resist that hot, steamy, CAN I BE THAT GIRL?! cover? Honestly, there is just no no no way. If I had a guy just about ready to kiss me like that..all up against the lockers.. holy hell, we would not be talking right now. So DUH. This cover kills me. I just want want want!

2) Echo Emerson.
First of all, how bad-ass is that name. Not just for anyone, but for a girl! Some people don't care for names, but for me, the cooler the name the more I'll remember the character. It's just the way it goes. Second of all, what is up with these freaky scars on her arms!? And what happened to make her go from being all popular to being not so popular? If you ask me, I want to know! Like bad. Plus she can't even remember what happened on this night where all bad things happen. MAN. This book is SO up my alley.

3) Contemporary Me.
I'm into dark dark, pitch black, freaky weird sh*t sort of novels. It's just my thing. I rarely read contemporary, but just know I'm the one who picks up the contemporary books that  A) Make me bawl my eyes out like nothing or B) Deal with dark, mysterious, secretive aspects of life that are so true it makes my skin crawl. Anyway, Pushing the Limits has piqued my interest because I feel it's got that realism, dark, super in-depth emotion that I adore in comtemps. This book is begging to be read.

4) The Blurb.
The blurb doesn't give away much, which I totally love, because it keeps you wanting more more more and more before even opening the book. It drew me in and well, I'm so hooked I've been wanting it to be July already. The unknown, the mystery, and the suspense I feel while reading the blurb makes me want to pull my air out in frustration because DAYS. ARE. NOT. PASSING. FAST. ENOUGH.

5) Noah Hutchins.
First, I love the name Noah. Second, I love me a good, well-developed, Oh My God he is to-die-for BAD boy. And Third, Where the heck can I get one!? LOL. I am so feeling this Noah character already. GUESS WHAT!? I hear some parts of this book is in his POV!! *runs around in circles* Holy smokes, right? I'm so in. He wears a leather jacket, (*dies*) has a tough attitude AND I hear he's broken. BROKEN. I love me a broken boy. <3 If he's not enough to convince you to add this one too, well I don't know what will!

6) HarlequinTEEN.
This book is published by HarlequinTeen, people! Need I say more!?

Will you be adding Pushing the Limits to your endless waiting lists? I sure as hell hope you do ;)

Pre-order Pushing the Limits
Amazon | B&N


What are you waiting on?
Let me know below with your awesome links!


April 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #16



Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading.


He laughed. Now I wanted to kill him - then die.
   "That's a terrible reason," he said.
   "Yeah? You've got a better one?"
He leaned forward. He cupped his hands around my face, one warm hand over each cheek. He kissed me.
   "Because I wanted to," he said, when he let go. "That would have sufficed." Location 758

--
He was lying face down.  His left arm was flung out at an unnatural angle, elbow bent backward and splintered bone poking through the flesh. His right arm was crushed beneath him. He was so still.
And the blood. Location 1171

What do you think of those teasers? 
Let me know and leave me your links to your teasers!

April 23, 2012

REVIEW: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Title: Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3)
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic Press, Inc
Published: 12 July 2011
Format: First Edition, Hardcover; 400 pages
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 Review:
Like with Shiver and Linger, Forever was everything I had hoped it would be. Maggie Stiefvater continued to impress me and move me with this final conclusion to the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy. It makes me really sad that Forever is the last in the. Like all things, everything must come to an end despite my wish that it didn’t. I can never get enough of Sam and Grace’s story. I can never get enough of their love. Most of all, I will never be able to find a trilogy that touched me so deeply than the way this one did.



In Forever, Sam, Cole and Isabel do their best to adjust to the changes and aftermaths to the ending of Linger. Sam and Cole are trying to find some kind of cure for Grace while Cole and Isabel try to reconcile their somewhat rough relationship. In this last book, everything is at stake: Sam and Grace’s relationship, Grace and Cole’s humanity, but most of all.. the wolves they’ve come to know and love. 



Sam, Grace, Isabel and Cole continue to grow as individuals and together as a group of friends. Their friendship with each other has strengthens. They mature a bit more in Forever and they continue to see things differently. Their fight is more desperate in this one and I can really feel each emotion coming off of them. 



This book has definitely more action and adventure with more lives at stake, for both human and wolf. Sam and Grace’s love is even stronger than the beginning of the trilogy. To watch them together brings tears to my eyes each time. Their love has been constantly put to the test and I feel each time just makes their bond stronger than ever. They’ve fought so hard and it all comes down to these last 300-400 pages. Isabel and Cole shine so much more in this one and their end ultimately left me wanting more of them together. 



As a whole, this book can be defined as beautifully tragic. There’s a touch of bittersweetness in the end, but I thought it was the best, most realistic end for the four characters. Maggie Stiefvater has managed to capture my heart all over again. I was once again absorbed by the story; captivated and utterly enchanted. It tore me a part inside to see it all come to an end. I know some people will dislike such an open ending, but it fits well. Maggie Stiefvater lets your imagination wander past the last page of the book.



The final conclusion to Maggie Stiefvater’s the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy will render you breathless and speechless. You’ll be sucked into a whirlwind of love, friendship, hope and pure, magical beauty. 



My Rating: 5 of 5 stars.

 

April 22, 2012

Book Haul #18


A book haul feature that shares items, such as books and swag, that I received within the week. 
My book haul this week is pretty small, but full of LOVE LOVE LOVE <3

 For Review:


*Thanks to Roxanne from Bewitching Book Tours + Julie, Netgalley + HarlequinTeen
Note: I'll be participating in a blog tour for So I'm a Double Threat, early May! Look out for that :)

Bought:


Note: Thanks to Valerie from Stuck in Books. She's the reason why I bought this book. 
Also, I must say that I LOVE the cover to this book. I just want to kiss this boy. lol
AND, I hear it's only $0.99 on Amazon! ;)

Gifted:

Descended by Blood by Angeline Kace bookmark
Ellie James bookmark (signed)
Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready bookmark
Vampire Academy tattoo

*Many THANK YOUS go to Bailey @ Novel Nerd! She's rocks my world and more! You NEED to go follow her because A) She's awesome, B) She writes epic reviews C) She picks wonderful Songs of the Week and D) She's 2 away from 100 Followers and she's holding a giveaway when she hits it! Don't wait and follow Bailey :)

A gifted surprise that made my week :D

(2) The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova stickers 
In the Arms of Stone Angels by Jordan Dane postcard (signed) 
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood bookmark
Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood Magnet

*HUGE THANKS to my besssttt Tiffany from Escaping One Book at a Time. You do not know how much I LOVE Tiff! She's so freaking awesome and amazing and she's lovely in every way! I adore her to death. Go forth and check out her blog! She's always got new posts that are epically epic. 
I love you to death, Tiff <3 


That's all I got this week! But it's full of awesome, yes? 
I went to the LA Times Festival of Books on Saturday, but I don't have all the books I got signed with me, so I will either do a separate post or add them in my book haul next week since I'm not expecting anything!

What's in your book haul!?
Leave me a comment with your links :)

April 21, 2012

REVIEW: Pawn of Mine by Tabitha Vale

Title: Pawn of Mine (Fiery Water #1)
Author: Tabitha Vale
Published: 09 April 2012
Format: Kindle ebook*
The world never ended in fire and ice. The people were consumed by it and now control the elements. The Fires have harnessed the power down to an art while the Waters cower in fear of their abilities, remaining weak and hopeless. Seventeen-year-old Sage Sinclair hopes to dispel the weakness of her Water people because she knows that if she doesn’t do anything, no one will. When she discovers something special about herself, she seeks Humble Narcissist Ruler Agni in the great fire city, Saint Firefly. Once she gains his seal of approval, she’s admitted into Erra Academy where she secretly sparks a revolution among her ennui peers—a revolution to fight back against the Fires. She has every hope in her movement, just as long as her feelings for a handsome and frivolous Saffron Larkspur don’t get in the way—that, and Agni’s sudden fascination with her.


My Review:
I was simply blown away by Tabitha Vale’s Pawn of Mine. It’s got everything I’ve wanted in a story and so much more. She didn’t just meet my expectations, she surpassed them! I loved every aspect of this book, wanting even more once I finished. 



In Pawn of Mine, a meteor shower hits the earth, giving the people control over the elements of Fire and Water. They do this with the stars by drawing out the constellations with their hands and/or feet. This becomes their ultimate power that they called starlight. After the second meteor shower, the Fire and Water Ancients are wiped out. Now, there is no more balance between Fire and Water. The Fire element has become superior to the Water element, rendering them useless to all the Fires. The Fires are able to use starlight, while the Waters are not taught to use it at all. The main protagonist, Sage, is willing to do anything to overthrow Agni as the leader and give her Water people the equality and best leadership they deserve. However, Sage may be in over her head. She still has much to learn and sometimes things don’t go her away, especially if love is involved. 



One of the best things about Pawn of Mine is the unique world that Tabitha created. It’s completely well-thought out. I love the idea of people acquiring elemental powers. This is such a creative concept, I praise Tabitha Vale for thinking outside of the box. She builds up the world nicely, drawing everything out and not overwhelming the reader with this new world. She explains how the people came to have this elemental power in great detail throughout the story and alongside Sage’s journey. I learned as Sage learned and I loved that this happened. It felt like I was in the story rather than being an observer on the outside. This world has Media Maps, star dust, star syrup, humens, and oppos that make Pawn of Mine considerably original and quite well-rounded. She also parallels the story with the rich vs. the poor in each the Fires and the Waters. This is an intriguing addition to the story that Tabitha weaves in flawlessly.

I commend Tabitha for creating such an amazing and strong protagonist in Sage. From the start, Sage is so determined to start this revolution to save her people. Sage is such a visionary and her unwavering courage and her never-ending willingness to go through her plans is inspiring. Sage is a true fighter and an honorable person. She has big dreams, big goals. She’s independent, thinks freely for herself, speaks her mind and she’s intelligent. She’s unique and special in every way. Most of all, Sage is bold and has guts. She’s left an impressionable imprint on me and there is just no way you cannot not love her. On the plus side, Sage doesn’t whine or complain. She faces everything head-on. Sage truly is one of a kind.

The secondary characters in this book are very well developed, but Tabitha Vale manages to give these characters this air of mystery that made me want to get to know them more. Next to Sage, my most favorite character has to be Zane. He becomes Sage’s best friend and confidant. He’s funny, flirty, smart, super charming and he’s extremely attractive. Zane manages to brighten everything up in this book. Half the time he’s making some remark that makes me laugh endlessly or has me grinning from ear to ear. I found Zane to be the most remarkable character in this book. He swept me off my feet from the very beginning. Another character was Hazel. He keeps to himself, rarely says anything and he’s quite mean. He always seems to be in a foul mood, but his strength and the power he exuded along with his broken past made me adore him completely. He’s also got this bad boy, “stay-away” from me going for him. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s completely swoon-worthy and very handsome.Then there is Saffron. He’s is a total sweetheart, a little strange, but I like his charm too and his way with words. He’s the second person to show some sort of interest in Sage. He’s kind and a little overconfident. I didn’t get to know him much, but I liked his quirks and the way he could talk into Sage’s heart and possibly my own. The antagonist of Pawn of Mine was Agni. He was a complete surprise. He’s not like other villains out there. He’s a little crazy and over the top. He’s dense at times, but he’s powerful and his temper is crazy scary. Agni is the type that smiles and laughs and acts like everything is ok, but he’s got this evil, creepy and ruthless personality lurking inside of him that can come out at any time. The way he acts is a little terrifying and I never knew when he’d burst into a rage. He doesn’t seem like the clichéd type of villain with the way he treated Sage and the way he wanted to please the people, but I can see through Agni. Believe me when I say that he is dangerous. Agni is totally different and I love how Tabitha portrayed him to be this way. 



Overall, the writing and pacing to Pawn of Mine is superb and rich. It’s descriptive, easily engrossing and downright astounding. Pawn of Mine has everything a book needs: a kick ass heroine, romance that doesn’t overpower the main storyline, bursts of humor, well-developed characters, wonderful world building and lots of action with plenty of twists and turns that surprise the reader to no end.

Pawn of Mine is a must-read! 



My Rating: 5 out 5 stars

!

Read the First Three Chapters to Pawn of Mine

Get to know Tabitha Vale and her books:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Purchase Pawn of Mine

April 19, 2012

REVIEW: Paraglide by Peter Anthony Kelley

Title: Paraglide
Author: Peter Anthony Kelley
Published: 09 January 2012
Format: Kindle ebook*
For siblings Jim and Erica Winters, a summer vacation to London promises adventure and a bit of freedom from their overprotective mother. But once they arrive, they end up with more excitement than they bargained for. Their mother is kidnapped and her captors demand the one thing they can’t produce – their long-absent father.

Unable to trust the authorities, Jim and Erica set off in pursuit of their father, racing across Europe and fending off mysterious assailants. As the trail of clues dries up, help arrives in the form of a raven-haired beauty. Is she the answer to their prayers or a romantic distraction?
With the kidnapper’s deadline looming, the truth about their father’s shadowy past is revealed. In a last ditch effort to save their mother, Jim and Erica must climb high into the Swiss Alps where a perilous choice confronts them. Can they trust their father who has repeatedly betrayed them?

My Review:
Paraglide by Peter Anthony Kelley is a story about two siblings, Jim and Erica, who face a troubling dilemma. Their mother has been kidnapped and the kidnappers want someone they have not seen for nearly a year, their father. Due to unfortunate circumstances and events, the siblings are forced to travel from city to city, country to country trying to escape, not one, but two sets of kidnappers, survive and meet the deadline set up for them and find where their father is hiding. In Paraglide, Jim and Erica have to overcome their fears and face the utter truth about the secrets hidden within their family. 



The first page of Paraglide really hit me hard. Already, the first line on that page had me hooked into this story, pulling me into its clutches. I was so curious as to what was going on with the Winter’s family and why the children were stuck with such a responsibility as saving their mother. I wanted to know more about their father’s disappearance and why Jim and Erica’s mother is extremely over-protective. 



Peter Anthony Kelley does an excellent job of connecting the story, tying loose ends and creating a piece that just makes sense despite all the crazy things that are happening within the storyline. I enjoyed the way I was easily drawn into Paraglide and the fact that I had no trouble getting lost in the world. His writing style is not difficult to understand and everything seemed to flow perfectly well. I was also pleased that the book was sort of split into the Jim and Erica’s 3rd person perspective. This really brought their story together, making the events of the story blend well. Their perspectives are not stated clearly within each chapter, but it doesn’t take away from the story at all.

I really loved how Peter Anthony Kelley was able to transport me into the places that Jim and Erica were forced to go to. The descriptions of these places were well developed that I was able to picture it in my head effortlessly. He takes you on this journey along with Jim and Erica to rich and beautiful places such as, London, Tuscany and Venice. I have never been to those places and yet I felt like I was there with characters. Peter Anthony Kelley did a wonderful job of capturing the life of each place.



I grew to connect, relate and admire both Jim and Erica. For a fifteen and nine year old to take on such an incredible task of rescuing their mother by searching their father was absolutely incredible. I do admit that I had my doubts that these two could handle such a task because of their age. However, both Jim and Erica, were very intelligent and mature for their young age. At times, their youthful age did show when it came to making certain decisions, but I believe this made Jim and Erica more realistic. I thought both siblings were full of bravery and courage. I loved how they took the initiative, taking matters into their own hands and I really liked how they asked for help when they truly needed it. 



What I especially loved about Paraglide was the adventure and suspense that was prominent throughout the whole book. There really isn’t a dull moment in the book. When I thought things were looking up for the siblings, they were hit with another problem that caused them to run away. There is also this sense of imminent danger that kept popping up unexpectedly that made the story more thrilling. Also, I always had trouble trusting the other characters that kept showing up on page. I thought this distrust I felt was definitely mirrored with Jim and Erica’s uncertainty to other people in the book as well and I felt like I understood them more with this connection. Everyone felt like they were out to get the siblings and this brought true excitement to the novel.

Overall, Paraglide is a very enjoyable read for all ages. It’s an action-packed novel that seemingly manages to absorb you within the story. It’s full of twists, secrets, courageous acts, and betrayal from characters you would never suspect!



My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
 


*Thanks to Peter Anthony Kelley for providing me with a copy for review. In no way does Peter influence by opinion/review of this book. It is solely my own. 

Purchase Paraglide: Amazon

April 18, 2012

Words, Pages, and Books Feat. in VEUX Magazine

My first review request came from Ada Adams, author of ReVamped. I was pretty excited to have my first real review request. It made me feel like I mattered and that my opinion was valued! I was more than willing to read and review ReVamped for Ada.

Before starting ReVamped, I was a little hesitant. At that point, I usually read books that I bought and wrote reviews for that. Or for books I have won in giveaways, so I wasn't nervous to read the books and write up a review. My opinion is my opinion and I always stick with it. For ReVamped, I was quite nervous. The book sounded like something I would enjoy, which is a number one reason why I accepted the request. I planned on writing my honest opinion on the book, but I always had that nagging in my brain taunting me that I was going to hate the book and I would have to write a bad review and break the author's heart. I'm not one to directly put my opinion out there and shove it in the author's face. It's just mean. I would never link a bad review to an author. It's just not right. Despite these hesitations and doubts, I went it for the kill and read ReVamped. I was immediately smitten with the story. I absolutely LOVED ReVamped and was more than happy to write my gushing review

So I posted up my review for all the world to see, including Ada,  and she really liked it.  This was an honest review, people. My doubts and hesitations did not affect my way of thinking. What I wrote in my review for ReVamped was true and came from my very soul. After writing my review for ReVamped, it was this time that I started getting more review requests! I was happy to see that more authors wanted my opinion. I took advice from other bloggers and only accepted ones that interested me or that followed my review policy. I did stumble upon a book that I couldn't finish. It was sad, but I was honest and because of this, I knew that my review for ReVamped was not swayed by my fears. And for this, other bloggers shouldn't be afraid either. Authors have to understand that some books are just not for us. I was just lucky that most of the review requests I accepted have been books I have come to enjoy. :)

After this, Ada mentioned that VEUX Magazine wanted to post snippets from blogger reviews for ReVamped. I didn't really think much of it, but Ada offered me a little section in VEUX Magazine that would feature a part of my review with other bloggers, praising ReVamped. I was MORE than thrilled! This was BIG, for me whether or not it helps my blog get out there or not. I was just amazed that anyone would want to feature a part of my review to even begin with. I was very thankful and I still am. 

I'm actually much closer to Ada now and we talk on and off occasionally. She's super sweet and nice. She really loves her readers and I just know she'll get far with her writing. I'm a big supporter of ReVamped and I'm not so patiently waiting for the sequel: ReAwakened. It's been a complete honor to be able to interact and get to know Ada and be able to help her with spreading the support for her new book. 

I have been busy with school for the past few weeks and of course, the magazine slipped from my mind. I got a direct message from Ada, linking me to the page where my review was praising ReVamped. I completely lost it. I was screaming and jumping up and down. It was crazy. I think I nearly cried. It was just an eye-opening experience to see my name in that magazine! I was shocked and internally and externally freaking out about it. 

Of course, I wanted to share this with my blog readers and friends because of you guys, I was inspired to start up this blog and you guys have given me strength and courage to keep it going! This accomplishment is all because of you and Ada Adams <3 I can't thank you guys enough!

Cover of the VEUX Magazine:


Here's the tearsheet from VEUX Magazine where the blogger reviews and book praises are!



And here's my section from the magazine, blown up and captured: (I apologize for the quality)

It's really mind blowing to see that. It's still a shock to know that my name is in this magazine! :)

Anyway, the ReVamped Blog Tour is still going on! So don't forget to check out all the stops! There are interviews, guest posts, character interviews, excerpts and POVs from the two love interests that are to die for! Plus, I'm holding my own ReVamped Giveaway

Have an awesome day everyone :) <3 

Waiting on Wednesday #18


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine where you share an upcoming release that you're anticipating on reading.


Expected Publication: October 30, 2012

From Goodreads: 

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.


Why I'm waiting?

1. The Setting?
I'm not sure what the setting is for this book. It does seem like it's set in the past. Maybe in the time during the Renaissance, perhaps? Don't take my word for it, though. It could possibly be a historical fiction book with the gowns and having a lady's maid and whatnot, but of course I have no clue. Maybe that's the appeal about this book. I was never fond of historical fiction, but I was quite taken with the genre ever since I read A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink, The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare and Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. I have read others, but they have never stuck with me and I've had trouble getting into them. This one seems to be my type and I am very very interested.

2. The Mystery Aspect.
I'm so addicted to the mystery aspect in any novels. Especially when it comes to murder mysterious. I'm always the person wanting to guess who could be the killer! Venom is exactly what I'm talking about. Cass finds a woman murdered!? She tries to find out who killed her and ends up getting sucked into secret societies and such? Yesss! This is definitely my kind of thing. I'm so down for figuring out who the killer is! I'm kind of hoping the killer is reason #3! LOL!!

3. The unnamed fiancé.
I love the fact that Cass is already spoken for. This adds more tension in the book and I sure do LOVE tension. It seems like Cass is being forced into this marriage? Who knows, but I dig that so much. If she's looking for a way out of this soon-to-be-marriage, well, I want to know how she plans to do so. It says she's feeling trapped so I am only assuming here that she is living a miserable life. Plus, who is this guy anyway!? I wonder what he is like and if we'll get more than just a freaking glimpse of him. I hope he's got some dirty little secret that he's hiding from Cass. Of course reason #4 could be a suspect for being the killer and if so then we're all in for a crazy ride!! ;)

4. Falco.
How can I not mention this boy!? I mean, come on. I'm all for the mysterious artist with a lovely smile that puts our MC, Cass, into some trouble. I don't even know him yet and I kind of like him already. Although I have to admit that his name reminds me of a bird. Not a good visual. LOL. But Falco sounds like a really appealing guy and I'm ready to swoon all over him if I have to.

Side comments: If both Mr. Unnamed and Falco are wonderful characters, I'm going to pull out my hair because this means I'll end up either A) picking the wrong Team or B) liking both and end up torn. This is not good because lately, I have been picking the wrong Team and the MC ends up with the guy I don't want her to end up with and it's quite frustrating. True to the story, yes, but very infuriating on my part! Point number two: I'm sure some readers are tired of the same old love triangle we are constantly seeing and I am too, unless it's done fanFREAKINGtastically so I'm hoping Mr. Unnamed is a horrible, wealthy man while Falco is the irresistible creature that I want him to be. Maybe Cass never loved Mr. Unnamed and is being forced to marry him and falls for Falco! :) But if they end up being epically awesome, then I guess I'll have to be torn between the two and I'm totes ok with that! <3

*wishful thinking*

5. Not sure what to title this one sooo, just read on... LOL!
This one reminds me of A Temptation of Angels by Michelle Zink and if you know me or follow me on Twitter, all I've been doing the past month of March is gush about it. So if Venom is anything like it, well, you know that I will be spending the month of this release gushing about this one! :D



What are you waiting on?

April 17, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #15


Teaser Tuesday is weekly meme hosted by MizB from Should Be Reading.

I'm nearly finished with this book and I must say that I'm really enjoying it so far. It's got a unique world weaved into the story. But my favorite thing about this book has to do with the quotes I'm teasing you with today.
Like I said, I'm really enjoying this so far and I bet you guys can guess why..

"My name is Zane Nakari. I'm also part of Gemma House, so I'll be your escort for today. Although, I'm definitely open to being something more than that if you want. You know -" his grin broadened, "if we find a proper bookshelf, or a closet along our way for a pit stop." Location 443

"You know," Zane whispered into her ear, "if you keep borrowing my clothes like this we may as well have to merge our closets. What's mine is yours, what's yours is mine..."
   "Is this your way of telling me you want to wear my underwear?"
    "Oh, kinky, "Zane smirked. "I was trying to get at the fact that you should share something with me...your underwear -
I wouldn't mind hoarding a pair of those," he laughed quietly. Location 3974

*sigh* I adore Zane. So so so much. He's just so freaking disarmingly wonderful..

What did you think about those teasers?
Let me know and leave your teaser links in the comments :)

April 15, 2012

Book Haul #17



A book haul feature that shares items, such as books and swag, that I received within the week. 

 
For Review
*Thanks to J.A. Redmerski and Tabitha Vale for sending review copies. I'm excited to start these!
And a BIG thanks to Courtney Cole for sending me a signed copy for review of Every Last Kiss:



Freebies

Won:
Slide by Jill Hathaway || My Review
*Thanks to Jill Hathaway for sending me a finished copy of Slide! <3

Received Swag

The Saving Angels Series postcard (signed and personalized)

Starters postcard (signed and personalized)
Two Starters bookmark (one signed)
Starters bookplate (signed and personalized)
Starters rubber bracelet
Starters pin

Personalized card (signed)
Touch Magnet
Bookplate (signed and personalized)

Three Angelfire Bookmarks
Angelfire sticker


What's in your book haul?
Leave me the links below! :)
And have a great week <3