Friday, April 30, 2010

Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater Rhodes

"Cooper Blake has everything going for him—until he wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her.

No one from Cooper’s old life would understand what he can barely grasp himself. . . . But Delilah, the captain of the cheerleading squad, has secrets of her own, like her ability to see beyond the physical world, and her tangled history with Brent, a loner from a neighboring school who can hear strangers’ most intimate thoughts. Delilah and Brent know that Cooper is in more trouble than he realizes, and that Samantha may not be as innocent as she has led Cooper to believe. But the only way to figure out where Samantha came from will put them all in more danger than they ever dreamed possible."

Overall: 2/5

It seriously pains me to write this review, mostly because I just don't like giving bad reviews, but also because I'm such a fan of Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. I've loved all her stories, partcularly Hawk Song and Persistence of Memory, and had high expectations for this one as well.

Unfortunately, I was sadly diasappointed. The first thing about this one in particular was that it was told with a male MC. There's nothing wrong with this, I just don't connect as well to those stories. Never have. But I've read other books by Rhodes told from a male POV and haven't had too much of a problem with it. With this one, it was more than that. Something about the characters made it nearly impossible to feel for them, to form any sort of bond or sense of comaraderie.

And the story itself wasn't even all that engaging. It seemed almost as if Rhodes was sick of her own story and played it out as quickly as she could just to be done with it.

Sure, there were bits of humorous dialogue and a couple unexpected plot twists, but not quite enough to make this one worth while in my opinion. The only real reason that I continued this story through to the end was... loyalty, I guess. And a genuine hope that it would surely get better. And it did, towards the end. If I hadn't finished reading it, I probably would have given this one a single star.

Characters: 2/5
Plot: 3/5
Ending: 2/5
Cover: 4/5
Happy Factor: 2/5

Other books by Amerlia Atwater-Rhodes: Hawk Song, Demon in my View, Shattered Mirror, Persistence of Memory

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowen Boys by Kate Brian

"Megan is used to moving from place to place -- it's typical for an army brat. But she drew the line at South Korea. She insists on staying in the States to finish her last two years of high school. So her parents made arrangements for Megan to live with their friends, the McGowans...and the McGowans' 7 sons.

Turns out, living with 7 boys might as well be a foreign country! The boys are messy. They are cliquey (who knew?). And worst of all, two of the oldest boys are H-O-T. (A problem considering they are supposed to be Megan's "brothers.") Megan is definitely in enemy territory. She needs to win over the boys' hearts without totally crushing her own.

And when Megan starts falling for one of them, sibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning....

What is a girl to do?"

Overall: 4/5

I have two brothers (both younger, thankfully) so I was able to to sympathize with Megan to an extent on this one. It also made reading this book that much more enjoyable, because believe me when I say that Kate Brian got the sibling thing down perfectly. The bathroom wars, the bickering over the TV, the fist-fights, all of it. It made for a very enjoyable read.

Bits of the dialogue got on my nerves sometimes, and there were parts that seemed a little unrealistic (I mean, have you ever seen a fifteen year old I-hate-the-world punk admit that he was wrong, and to a girl, no less? Yeah, me neither), but I liked how the story went and how it was told, and it all ended up okay in the end.

Very cute, and with some important life lessons (namely, if I ever have seven sons, I should just shoot myself and get it over with).

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 3/5
Ending: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Happy Factor: 4/5

Other books by Kate Brian: The Private series, The Princess and the Pauper, Fake Boyfriend

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Crescendo

"Nora should have known her life was far from perfect. Despite starting a relationship with her guardian angel, Patch (who, title aside, can be described anything but angelic), and surviving an attempt on her life, things are not looking up. Patch is starting to pull away and Nora can't figure out if it's for her best interest or if his interest has shifted to her arch-enemy Marcie Millar. Not to mention that Nora is haunted by images of her father and she becomes obsessed with finding out what really happened to him that night he left for Portland and never came home.

The farther Nora delves into the mystery of her father's death, the more she comes to question if her Nephilim blood line has something to do with it as well as why she seems to be in danger more than the average girl. Since Patch isn't answering her questions and seems to be standing in her way, she has to start finding the answers on her own. Relying too heavily on the fact that she has a guardian angel puts Nora at risk again and again. But can she really count on Patch or is he hiding secrets darker than she can even imagine?"

The sequel to Hush Hush! SQUEE!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Walk of the Spirits by Richie Tankersley Cusick

"When Miranda Barnes first sees the sleepy town of St. Yvette, Louisiana, with its moss-draped trees, above-ground cemeteries, and her grandfather's creepy historic home, she realizes that life as she knew it is officially over. Almost immediately, there seems to be something cloying at her. Something lonely and sad and . . . very pressing. Even at school and in the group project she's been thrown into, she can't escape it. Whispers when she's alone, shadows when no one is there to make them, and a distant pleading voice that wakes her from sleep. The other members in Miranda's group project, especially handsome Etienne, can see that Miranda is in distress. She is beginning to understand that, like her grandfather before her, she has a special gift of communicating with spirits who still walk the town of St. Yvette. And no matter where she turns, Miranda feels bound by their whispered pleas for help . . . unless she can somehow find a way to bring them peace."

Overall: 3/5

This was a good read, though a little long at points. I think I liked the idea of the story more than the actual story. Ghosts, pleas for help, and pretty boys; what's not to love, right? But honestly, I think ghosts are falling into the same problem that vampires did a couple years ago: there are only so many way you can switch them up before all the stories start to sound the same.

Cusick did manage to keep my attention with the story, and there were several parts where I followed the characters with interest. There were some unresolved plot points in the end that kind of make me want to continue the series, but I haven't decided for sure yet.

Characters: 3/5
Plot: 3/5
Ending: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Happy Factor: 3/5

Other books by Cusick: The Unseen, The House Next Door

Monday, April 26, 2010

Where did it go? -Revisited

A while ago, I put up a post here about a book called The Back Door of Midnight by Elizabeth Chandler, wondering what had happened to it, since it was never actually published.

Well I don't know what happened the first time around, but it looks like it's finally getting published for real this time:

It looks like they just decided to wait until they re-released all the other Dark Secrets novels before putting this fifth one out there. Such a pretty cover!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

In My Mailbox (17)

Thanks to Kristi from The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week.

Wow, this has been the weekend of the internet connection from hell. So, finally....

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
"Everyone knows the unwritten rule: You don't like your best friend's boyfriend.

Sarah has had a crush on Ryan for years. He's easy to talk to, supersmart, and totally gets her. Lately it even seems like he's paying extra attention to her. Everything would be perfect except for two things: Ryan is Brianna's boyfriend, and Brianna is Sarah's best friend.

Sarah forces herself to avoid Ryan and tries to convince herself not to like him. She feels so guilty for wanting him, and the last thing she wants is to hurt her best friend. But when she's thrown together with Ryan one night, something happens. It's wonderful...and awful.

Sarah is torn apart by guilt, but what she feels is nothing short of addiction, and she can't stop herself from wanting more... "

The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
"Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now, along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I’m on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We’re hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We’ll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we’d left behind and to take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope."

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz

"With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged.

Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz's vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series."

Overall: 4/5

I didn't expect to like this book. If I'm being honest, I was expecting this one to be the last one I would read in this series. Don't get me wrong, I loved Blue Bloods and Masquerade, but Revelations killed it for me. I read this one as kind of a last-chance sort of thing and expected it all to go downhill.

But it didn't. Within the first fifty pages I was sucked in (no pun intended). Once again, the chase is on and this time I'm following it every step of the way. I'm not sure what else to say without giving something away, but I was happy with the amount of action in this one and especially pleased with the ending.

I will happily pick up the next in this series, which I believe comes out at some point this year (I'm too lazy to actually look it up).

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Ending: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Happy factor: 4/5

Other books by Melissa de la Cruz: Blue Bloods, The Au Pairs, The Ashleys

Saturday, April 17, 2010

In My Mailbox (16)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week!

This week:

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
"Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself."

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
"Seventeen year old Veronica "Ronnie" Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alientated from her parents, especially her father...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church.The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story of love on many levels--first love, love between parents and children -- that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that love can break our hearts...and heal them."

Ten Little Indians by Sherman Alexie
"Sherman Alexie, a gifted poet and storyteller, plows familiar yet fertile ground in his third collection of short stories, Ten Little Indians. The book contains nine stories populated by at least one American Indian (usually of Alexie's Spokane heritage, and mostly living in Seattle), but "little" is a bit of a misnomer; the book addresses human (not necessarily Indian), rituals, ceremony, love, loss, insecurity over life choices, and personal sacrifices. A lot of intense basketball is played, too."

Hourglass by Claudia Gray
"Bestselling author Claudia Gray’s Evernight series continues. In Hourglass, Bianca and Lucas have found a way to be together. But it means lying to the people who care about them the most.

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school, Bianca and Lucas seek refuge with Black Cross, the elite group of vampire hunters led by Lucas’s stepfather. When Bianca’s close friend—the vampire Balthazar—is captured by Black Cross, Bianca knows she has to do whatever it takes to save him. But at what cost?

Hourglass, the third book in this gripping vampire series by the author of the New York Times bestseller Stargazer, has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s books runaway successes."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shadow of the Moon by Rachel Hawthorne

"Hayden was born a werewolf, a Dark Guardian. But her ability to sense the feelings of fellow werewolves has made her life unbearable. She runs away, only to be tracked by charming, mysterious Daniel, a newcomer to the pack and the one Shifter immune to her powers. As she reluctantly follows him home, Hayden finds herself falling dangerously in love. . . .

But even as her feelings for Daniel deepen, Hayden begins to wonder if he is who he claims to be. Where did he come from and why has no one ever seen him transform? When they stumble upon the body of a Shifter still in wolf form, her worries grow. Someone is killing her kind. Is her handsome tracker really a hunter? And is Hayden now his prey?"

Overall: 4/5

I adored each of the first three books in this series, but when you think about it, they all seem to tell pretty similar tales. One of my main fears when I picked up this book was that, after a fourth re-telling, it would start to become painfully obvious and distrssingly annoying that there really was nothing new to add to these stories.

I needn't have worried. Hawthorne has come through once again with something new; an original perspective on an original situation. It didn't feel redundant or monotonous, despite my doubts.

You could tell that Hawthorne stepped a little out of her element for this one, though. There were some actual battle scenes, which always adds some excitement. But love and romance are Hawthorne's strengths and some of those action sequences seemed a bit rushed and/or strained.
The other thing that bugged me a little was something I had expected to be in there, but wasn't. In previous books (all three of them, I think), there had been some aluding to the possibility that keeping the werewolves a secret from the world was becoming too much of a challenge in a world full of advnaced technology and that maybe it was time to start thinking about going public with their species. By the end of the last one, it had become the primary issue on their minds and I thought that this one would have some sort of final decision on that, some key action that would signal the beginning of a movement. Or, you know, anything. But there was no mention of the issue anywhere in the fourth book. I feel like it was just left kind of hanging there, with no conclusion in sight.

Maybe they'll return to it in a future book, even though there's no mention of one as of yet.

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover: 5/5
Happy Factor: 4/5

Other books by Rachel Hawthorne: Moonlight, Thrill Ride, Caribbean Cruise, Suite Dreams

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Zombies vs. Unicorns

"It's a question as old as time itself: which is better, the zombie or the unicorn? In this anthology, edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier (unicorn and zombie, respectively), strong arguments are made for both sides in the form of short stories. Half of the stories portray the strengths--for good and evil--of unicorns and half show the good (and really, really bad-ass) side of zombies. Contributors include many bestselling teen authors, including Cassandra Clare, Libba Bray, Maureen Johnson, Meg Cabot, Scott Westerfeld, and Margo Lanagan. This anthology will have everyone asking: Team Zombie or Team Unicorn?"

On a general basis, I don't like anthologies. But there's something about this one. Maybe it's because it's a bunch of my favorite authors, maybe because this is one of those questions that I find myself switching sides on on a regular basis and I'm hoping that this might help me make the final decision, and maybe it's because I just can't say no to such an awesome cover. But any way you look at it, I'm super excited about this book.

It comes out September 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Books vs. Movies

I think most people will agree that books, on a general basis, are way better than the movies that are made out of them. Which is why, when there is a movie based on a book, the people who have read the book usually don't enjoy the movie because of their frustration with the movie's lack of ability to tell the story the way the author did.

A huge example for this one would be Twilight. I don't know a single person who read the book that liked that movie. On the other hand, one of my best friends never read the book and loved the movie.

Now taking this even a step farther, there is only one example for me personally where I liked a movie better than the book, and that was A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks. But I didn't read the book until after I had seen the movie. So is it just that you like whichever version it is that you see first?

I'm bringing this up because I just saw the movie The Last Song and adored it. A close friend (ironically the one who has never read Twilight) read the book and told me that it's a must-read. After seeing the movie though, I just don't know if I'll like it ans am slightly worried that if I do read it, it'll ruin the movie for me. I have the same fear for My Sister's Keeper, which I also saw the movie for and have been told I need to read the book.

Any advise/suggestions?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Look Both Ways by Jacquelyn Mitchard

"Mally and Merry Brynn thought that with the death of David Jellico, their nightmarish visions of the future and past were gone for good. Now, Merry's only worries revolve around cheer tryouts, and Mally has slipped back into her homebody, tomboy ways.

Then a cheerleader lands in the hospital. And a mysterious, beautiful mountain lion is maimed.

When they begin to suspect their friend Eden was involved in both events, Merry and Mally are catapulted back into a world of visions that they do not yet understand. And this time, they must race to prevent the people they love most from unspeakable tragedy."

Overall: 3/5

I was honestly surprised at the twists and turns that this book took. I've stopped reading the front flap before starting a book, so I didn't really have any expectaions set for what this one was going to be about. When the plot turned to Mally's friend Eden and a whole bunch of interesting events and mysteries surrounding her, I was unprepared for it (in a good way).

Part of me feels like this sudden plot twist seemed to come a little out of no where even though Mitchard dropped some hints in the first in the series, The Midnight Twins. I have no idea where she's going to take this story in the next one, which I guess is part of the fun.

I loved reading about the love and struggles both with Mally and Merry, mostly, I think, because they reminded me so much of how I am with my own sister. Mitchard definitely has the sibling thing down pat.

Slow at points, but an altogether cute read.

Characters: 4/5
Plot: 4/5
Ending: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Happy Factor: 3/5

Other books by Jacquelyn Mitchard: The Midnight Twins, No Time to Wave Goodbye, All We Know of Heaven

Saturday, April 10, 2010

In My Mailbox (15)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week!

And here's what I managed to snag this week:

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
"Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her."

The Hollow by Jessica Verday
"When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead?and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral, and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her—one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity."

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles
"Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares — has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other."

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

"Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author's own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings that reflect the character's art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he thought he was destined to live."

Overall: 5/5

The first time I ever heard of this book was actually on Scott Westerfeld's blog, because he was a part of the team that determined which book won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature back in 2007 (this was the winner, in case you didn't notice the giant award on the cover). Then, a few months ago, a friend of mine mentioned the author, Sherman Alexie, and how much respect they have for him and his books. So I thought, why not? and picked it up.

The other thing I feel I should mention is that every year, I go on a week-long trip up to Montana and spend time on the Indian Reservation up there helping out with some local projects. Reading about life on the Rez from Alexie's perspective made me not only completely nostalgic for Montana, but also kind of shocked me because of how much there is going on that white people like myself never see. I mean, I always knew that things on Indian Reservations were pretty bad. I know that they're very poverty-sticken areas and that alcohol is a serious problem. But it just never really hits you until you hear it straight from the horse's mouth.

This book was incredibly heart-wrenching, especially for someone like myself who's had the opportuninty to see a lot of this stuff first-hand. I'm so gald that Alexie has been able to write down this, and other stories that will hopefully help people realize that there are a lot of changes that need to be made in these areas.

But one of the great things about this book is that not once does it give off a woe-is-me vibe. Alexie's not looking for pity here, he's just telling it like it is. And the way he tells it is stinkin' hilarious. I laughed out loud several times while reading this book. The MC Junior has such a great and original way of looking at life, even when things are at thier worst. You just can't help laughing with him even as you're crying for him. I can't help but compare it to Libba Bray's Going Bovine (review here) despite the obvious differences.

And now that I've written pretty much the longest review ever....

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 5/5
Writing: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Happy Factor: 5/5
Other books by Sherman Alexie: Reservation Blues, Flight, Indian Killer, Ten Little Indians

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Short Second Life of Bree Turner

"Fans of The Twilight Saga will be enthralled by this riveting story of Bree Tanner, a character first introduced in Eclipse, and the darker side of the newborn vampire world she inhabits. In another irresistible combination of danger, mystery, and romance, Stephenie Meyer tells the devastating story of Bree and the newborn army as they prepare to close in on Bella Swan and the Cullens, following their encounter to its unforgettable conclusion."

I vaguely remember Bree Tanner from Eclipse, though it's been a while since I read it. Still, it's by Stephenie Meyer, so it pretty much can't be bad. I'm just excited that she's finally started writing again, 'cause her last actual book came out in August of '08.

This one will be released June 5, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spell Hunter by R.J. Anderson

"Deep inside the great Oak lies a dying faery realm, bursting with secrets instead of magic. Long ago the faeries mysteriously lost their magic. Robbed of their powers, they have become selfish and dull-witted. Now their numbers are dwindling and their very survival is at stake.

Only one young faery—Knife—is determined to find out where her people's magic has gone and try to get it back. Unlike her sisters, Knife is fierce and independent. She's not afraid of anything—not the vicious crows, the strict Faery Queen, or the fascinating humans living nearby. But when Knife disobeys the Faery Queen and befriends a human named Paul, her quest becomes more dangerous than she realizes. Can Knife trust Paul to help, or has she brought the faeries even closer to the brink of destruction?

Talented newcomer R. J. Anderson creates an extraordinary new fantasy world and weaves a gripping tale of lost magic, high adventure, and surprising friendship in which the fate of an entire realm rests on the shoulders of one brave faery rebel."

Overall: 5/5

It took me a really long time to get around to reading this one. A huge part of it was that the author posted the first chapter before the book came out, and I read it. It's not that the first chapter wasn't good, but it was the beginning of the story and started out with a nine or ten year old protaganist. Having nothing else to go on (the synopsis doesn't really say anything about age), I assumed that the entire story would be told from the view of a rebellious ten year old. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but I just don't really get into middle-grade novels anymore. Not since I was in middle school myself, really.

But I did read it, eventually. And thank goodness the first chapter was the only one with such a young character telling the story. By the end of the second chapter, I was hooked. The story was exciting and the characters engaging. A very fun and enjoyable read.

Characters: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Ending: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Cover: 2/5 (UK Cover: 5/5)
Happy Factor: 5/5

Other books by R.J. Anderson: Wayfarer (June 2010)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

In My Mailbox (14) and HAPPY EASTER!

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting In My Mailbox every week!

And here's the weekly swag:

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
"Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril."

Token of Darkness by Amelia Atwater Rhodes
"Cooper Blake has everything going for him—until he wakes from a car accident with his football career in ruins and a mysterious, attractive girl by his side. Cooper doesn’t know how Samantha got there or why he can see her; all he knows is that she’s a ghost, and the shadows that surround her seem intent on destroying her.No one from Cooper’s old life would understand what he can barely grasp himself. . . . But Delilah, the captain of the cheerleading squad, has secrets of her own, like her ability to see beyond the physical world, and her tangled history with Brent, a loner from a neighboring school who can hear strangers’ most intimate thoughts. Delilah and Brent know that Cooper is in more trouble than he realizes, and that Samantha may not be as innocent as she has led Cooper to believe. But the only way to figure out where Samantha came from will put them all in more danger than they ever dreamed possible."

Poisoned Honey by Beatrice Gormley
"This story begins with Mariamne, a vulnerable girl who knows little of the ways of the world. Much as she wants to be in control of her own destiny, she soon learns she has no such power. She must do as her father and brother see fit, and when tragedy strikes, Mari must marry a man she does not love and enter a household where she is not welcome, for the good of her family.But she finds a small way to comfort herself when she meets an Egyptian wisewoman who instructs her in the ways of the occult arts. In the spirit world, Mari finds she has power. Here, she really is in control of her fate. But is she? Or is the magic controlling her?This gripping portrait of one of the most misunderstood and controversial Biblical figures is the story of a young girl’s path through manipulation and possession, madness and healing, to a man who will change the world forever."

Friday, April 2, 2010

A review... but not

There's this book that I recently finished that I absolutely adored, but couldn't decide whether or not I should post a review on it. You see, the book is an adult novel, and this blog is definitely centered around YA. So I decided to compromise and leave you with a high recommendation. So here it is:

The Actor and the Housewife by Shannon Hale

"Mormon housewife Becky Jack is seven months pregnant with her fourth child when she meets celebrity heartthrob Felix Callahan. Twelve hours, one elevator ride, and one alcohol-free dinner later, something has happened…though nothing has happened. It isn’t sexual. It isn’t even quite love. But a month later Felix shows up in Salt Lake City to visit and before they know what’s hit them, Felix and Becky are best friends. Really. Becky’s husband is pretty cool about it. Her children roll their eyes. Her neighbors gossip endlessly. But Felix and Becky have something special…something unusual, something completely impossible to sustain. Or is it? A magical story, The Actor and the Housewife explores what could happen when your not-so-secret celebrity crush walks right into real life and changes everything."

Such a cute and amazingly well-done story! Shannon Hale is laugh-out-loud hilarious and the dialogue alone was enough to keep me reading.

Very high recommendation to anyone even remotely interested. You won't regret it.