Jun 30, 2011

Review: Demonglass (Hex Hall #2)

Title: Demonglass (Hex Hall #2)
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion Books
Pages: 359
Challenge: None


My Rating:


Sophie Mercer thought she was a witch. That was the whole reason she was sent to Hex Hall, a reform school for delinquent Prodigium (aka witches, shapeshifters, and fairies). But that was before she discovered the family secret, and that her hot crush, Archer Cross, is an agent for The Eye, a group bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. Turns out, Sophie’s a demon, one of only two in the world—the other being her father. What’s worse, she has powers that threaten the lives of everyone she loves. Which is precisely why Sophie decides she must go to London for the Removal, a dangerous procedure that will destroy her powers. But once Sophie arrives she makes a shocking discovery. Her new friends? They’re demons too. Meaning someone is raising them in secret with creepy plans to use their powers, and probably not for good. Meanwhile, The Eye is set on hunting Sophie down, and they’re using Archer to do it. But it’s not like she has feelings for him anymore. Does she? -summary from goodreads.com
 
And Mrs. Hawkins does it again! This was such a great addition to the Hex Hall series; I literally could not put it down.
Sophie finally gets to meet her dad, which I’ll admit was not pretty. More than anything that scene seemed too tense and just awkward. But I did love the way the dad played his protective parental role… “Come to England, learn about your demon side and then decide whether or not you want the removal.” But being the typical (sarcastic) teenager that Sophie is, I love the way she took advantage of the situation, “hmm… It’s been said Archer’s been spotted in England. Maybe I should go. I might get lucky and see him!”… Ok, maybe the dialogue didn’t exactly go that way, but come on! We both know that’s exactly what they were thinking! But no worries, their relationship develops nicely throughout the book. They team up to crete a funny yet hard working father/daughter duo :)
Sophie’s dad arranges for her, Jenna and Cal to fly out to England for the summer. Upon arriving Sophie and the gang is introduced to Nick and Daisy, two other demons. Now I know what you’re thinking, “WTF!? I thought Sophie and her dad we’re the only demons left?” Well my friend you are partially correct. Sophie and her dad WERE the only demons, but that’s the new curveball Mrs. Hawkins has thrown our way. It turns out someone is creating new demons, and it’s up to Sophie and her dad to find out who!
I was counting down the pages until I got to see Archer again. If you read my Hex Hall review, you’ll know that Archer is one of my favorite book boyfriends. Sophie and his’ relationship is steaming! I’m always cheering for the underdog, but in this case I’m all for Team Archer. Cal’s great, but he just not for Sophie, she deserves to be with Archer.
Spoiler…. Highlight to read: Mrs. Casnoff and her sister Lara; I wanted to slap the s*%$ out of them! What is wrong with these women? Gosh, I wanted to reach in and strangle them (Missie knows what’s up)! It’s been a while since a character has provoked such hatred in me. If they do anything to Jenna, I will personally start a “Casnoff haters club”!
Overall, DEMONGLASS was a great sequel to Hex Hall. My only complaint; I kind of wanted to see Sophie grow more as a character. Don’t get me wrong, she finally realizes that’s there’s way more to her powers then she ever dreamed, and I’m happy she comes to accept it… But I was expecting a bit more development from her. With that being said, Sophie has a lot more problems and things going on in her life… Poor girl, even her sarcasm took a low toll. So I guess I sort of overlooked her character development and just accepted her as is… Oh, one more thing; the ending! That’s just CRUEL! I know authors like to end in big cliffhangers, but this ending felted rushed and unfinished. I CANNOT WAIT till book 3 comes out.

Jun 29, 2011

When I'm Not Reading



Hi guys,

Just wanted to let you know that I've been featured :)

Would you like to know what I do in my spare time?... You know, when I'm not reading?! Then head on over to this weeks post of, "WHEN I'M NOT READING". (Click here to go to the post) I would love for you all to stop by and let me know what you think.




This feature is hosted by Missie over at her blog, The Unread Reader. Thanks again for having me as a guest, Missie.

Jun 28, 2011

Tune in Tuesdays (4) plus friendship story

This weeks tune:
Paramore
The Only Exception




Haven't posted a TUNE IN TUESDAY in a while. I miss it.

For the past couple of days Paramore's The Only Exception has been on repeat on my iTunes library. This song obviously has to do with love and learning to open up once more, but to me, personally, it speaks about friendships.

"And we've got to find other ways, to make it alone. Or keep a straight face."

Complete lyrics: http://www.directlyrics.com/paramore-the-only-exception-lyrics.htmlHave you ever had a friend you thought was going to be around forever? A friend you thought was probably going to be a brides maid at your wedding? A friend you considered to be a sister, but then as time went by, you came to the sad realization that people tend to grow apart and go their separate ways?.... Ok, so maybe this is my personal story.... don't judge me :)haha! but after losing one of my closets friendships (as in we stopped talking because of a fight), I completely blocked myself out to the whole "best friend" department. Of course I had girl friends, but I felt no one could ever hold the best friend title ever again. Recently, I've been blessed with the opportunity to meet some AWESOME new gals. Gals that I know truly care about me and my well being.

"Up until now I've sworn to myself that I'm content with loneliness. Because none of it was ever worth the risk."

So, as the song dictates.... I basically need to open up and find my only exception :) well maybe not just one. I'm starting to believe a girl can have more than just one close friend! I've always had my sister, whom I know will never leave my side.... but sometimes we tend to look outside our own family walls for love and support. I'm sorry if all this seems super lame or childish, but this is pretty much exactly what goes through my head when I listen to this song.

Haven't heard it? Go push play NOW!  & like always, THANK YOU GINGER for hosting such a great weekly feature.
This meme is hosted by Ginger over at GReads & showcases music. Each week we will post a new or old song in hopes to gain more interest. Let's all help spread the love of music and find some new favorites on the way! Everyone should feel free to get involved with this meme - just head on over, and link up, and remember to link back to Ginger's blog, too!

Jun 27, 2011

Event Re-cap: YA IN BLOOM


Picture from Ms. Lisa Lee's twitter :)

This past Saturday was the first ever YA IN BLOOM event at Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena, CA. My cousin and I decided on making the trip which was about an 1 ½ drive, not too bad considering it was the Gold Cup final; Mexico vs. US (in Pasadena as well).

Upon arriving we were given a swag bag (it was orange! *squee* My favorite color!) filled with goodies, swag and 2 books. Upon taking our seats I happened to run into Tessa, From The Bookshelf of T.B. I was so excited to finally get to meet her. She has been one of my blogging buddies from the very beginning. I am still utterly amazed at the fact that she is only a freshman in High School. This girl can WRITE! She is also very dedicated… I don’t think I would have been able to run a blog at such a young age.
Tessa and I! Isn't she cute?!
Tessa and I were comparing books from our goodie bag when we happened to meet yet another great blogger, Lauren over at 365 Days of Reading. Both these girls are adorable and super young! (I felt so OLD!) And can I just mention how awesome Lauren is?! One of the books she received in her goodie bag was TRAIL BY FIRE by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Since she already had a copy at home, she gave me her extra copy… yeah, she’s THAT awesome! Thanks so much again, Lauren :)
We all decided to sit together up front and gave our undivided attention to our wonderful hosts Alyson and Alethea.
These lovely ladies are too cool for words. YA IN BLOOM was an idea they started about a year ago and after working their butts off to have various authors’ present, books to giveaway; including 2 booster boxes that were worth over $500… I think it’s safe to say that YA IN BLOOM was a success! The event had approx 100 people present at the event; writers, author, bloggers, book lovers, etc. They also provided a delicious lunch :)
The Vroman’s staff was also super friendly and helpful. I don’t think they could have picked a better bookstore to host the event. They gave us a 20% discount coupon too! After a ton of giveaways, author Q&A and an enthusiastic YA presentation on book selling, it was time for the author signing. There were some pretty awesome authors present; 
Cindy Pon (Silver Phoenix)
Lisa Yee (Absolutely Maybe)
Katie Alender (Bad Girls Don’t Die)
Gretchen McNeil (Possess) 
Nancy Holder (Wicked) 
Jessica Brody (My Life Undecided) 
Andrew Smith (The Marbury Lens)
 
 
I was very excited to finally meet Cindy Pon. She was so nice and fashionable, definitely felt under dressed when I was standing next to her. After getting my books signed, I made my way over to the desert table, I grabbed myself a slice of the most delicious Lemon pie I have EVER tasted! Seriously, my taste buds were in heaven! A special shout out to Lizette Hernandez, the genius behind these creations.
Well my friends, that concludes my event re-cap. Thanks once again to everyone who helped organize this event. Also, make sure and check out the website Bridge to Books, for more info and future events.


My cousin w/Jessica Brody
Finally got to meet Ms. Nancy!
Alyson, YA IN BLOOM host. Check out her blog: http://www.kidlitfrenzy.com/
Alethea, other YA IN BLOOM host :) check out her blog http://www.readnowsleeplater.com/

And the winner is...?!

Random.org has spoken. 
Congratulations to; 

Letty

she is the winner of the WOLFSBANE ARC. Winner has been emailed, if there is no response I will pick a new winner. Thank you so much to everyone who entered. Stay tuned for yet another quick giveaway next week :)

Cover Reveal: The Last Echo (Body Finder #3)

Title: The Last Echo (Body Finder #3)
Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pages: N/A

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye.... (taken from author blog.)

I absolutely adored The Body Finder and Desires of the Dead was easily one of my most anticipated reads this year. I am so happy to finally have a release date for book 3, The Last Echo. And did ya'll notice, "mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe" I knew it! So called it out.... Although it wasn't clearly stated, I sensed tension going on between Rafe and Violet... I just didn't know if it was good or bad. Now I know :) *squee*!

Jun 23, 2011

Follow Friday Meme




Follow Friday is hosted by Rachel of Parajunkee's View.
 This weeks question:

Q. In light of the Summer Solstice. Also known as Midsummer...let's talk about fairies. What is your favorite fairy tale or story that revolves around the fae?

A. Without a doubt, hands down- The Iron Fey trilogy by Julie Kagawa. Team Ash all the way :)
Isn't he just dreamy? *swooooon*
What about you? Share your links! If your a new follower, make sure and let me know so I can return the favor :)

Jun 22, 2011

The awesomeness of Michelle

My friend Michelle over at Oh! For the love of books! has been with me since pretty much the beginning of my blog. She's my Blue Blood loving, President Snow hating, sappy romantic, awesome blogging friend. We have SO much in common.... Not to mention the same boys in our book boyfriend lists :)haha! I love reading her reviews and her random thoughts crack me up :) And even though we live on different sides of the country, if I ever make my way out to her end, I will be sure to grab a coffee with this girl.

Want your own proof of the awesomeness which is Michelle? Well then head on over to her blog, and check out her 100 follower giveaway! You'll be quite delighted to see that she is hosting a giveway for a pre-order of CLOCKWORK PRINCE by Cassandra Clare. You guys should defintely stop by and check it out. But hurry, the contest ends July 1st! Make sure you help spread the word :)

Jun 20, 2011

Updates!

I have a new button :) hip hip hurray! I wanted to thank the wonderful Jessica over at Jessica Rabbit's Corner . She posted a step by step tutorial on how you can make a fast but cute blog button. And behold, my newest creation.... I'm not very savvy when it comes to web/button design, but I am very please with my new button. Once again- thanks, Jess!



 

Also, this Saturday June 25, I will be attending the first ever YA in Bloom event. YA in Bloom is a casual lunch meeting for readers, writers, bloggers, and educators interested in young adult literature. If anyone else in the area (Southern California) is interested in attending, the event will take place at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena CA. It's going to be a great way to talk literature with some awesome fellow readers, meet bloggers/authors and win some swag :) I can't wait! Is anybody already signed up? Let me know, I wold love to meet up.


Well guys, that is all for nowww! I hope you all got to spend some quality time with your father yesterday, I know I did :)

Have a GREAT Monday!

ps. Some quick reading updates-- Just finished Halo, review to come soon :) Started Tiger's Curse this weekend and I LOVE IT! Can't wait till tonight... I will finish it!

Jun 17, 2011

Review: Absolution (Heavenly #3)


Title: Absolution (Heavenly #3)
Author: Jennifer Laurens
Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
Pages: 220
Challenge: YA Series



My Rating:
Zoe's secret is out. And the powers of Hell are ravenous to claim her soul. Her brother, Luke, knows her secret: that she sees both good and evil spirits. Her boyfriend knows. At least Matthias is her guardian angel again. But now Hell's most ruthless leader will stop at nothing to have her soul. Albert, Matthias' father, is relentless in his hunger for Zoe. He wants to destroy Matthias and will use Zoe to do so. The battle between Heaven and Hell tests everything Zoe has. As she witnesses everyone important in her life suffering, she's brought to the ultimate choice: will she sacrifice her soul to save the ones she loves? -summary from goodreads.com


I did NOT want this series to end! In a way I think I avoided Absolution because I knew this was the last book in the series. But I am SO happy I finally got around to picking it up. I enjoyed it sooo much! Absolution was the perfect ending to such a unique and captivating series. This book grabbed me from the very beginning and didn’t let me go until the VERY last page. Seriously!
Zoe and Matthias' relationship was angelic (no pun intended). The final showdown between Matthias and Albert proved that he would be willing to do anything, even go up against his own father, to keep Zoe’s soul safe. I even enjoyed reading about Weston and seeing him and Zoe grow together. Weston’s drastic transformation throughout all three was believable and totally swoon worthy. When he told Zoe he couldn’t live without her, even though he knew Matthias would always be around… I BAWLED. I cried and cried like a 8-year-old girl.
Of course, I then cried once more at the very end… The ending killed me, but in a good way… And although I love Weston, (I truly do) I kind of wanted Zoe to end up with Matthias. But I understand that it was inevitable, he’s an angel for crying out loud. A very hot, charismatic and charming angel…. but an angel nonetheless. I guess I always knew things would end this way but accepting the facts was a bit more difficult. Mrs. Laurens should write a short epilogue in which Zoe and Matthias meet up in heaven after Zoe’s long and fruitful life with Weston, pleaaseee Mrs. Laurens! Haha! :) A girl can dream, right?!
Haven’t had a chance to read this series? Is the book sitting in your TBR pile as we speak? STOP what you are doing and go read it, NOW! You won’t be disappointed.

Jun 16, 2011

Review: Born at Midnight


Title: Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls #1)
Author: C.C. Hunter
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Pages: 416
Challenge: None

My Rating:
One night Kylie Galen finds herself at the wrong party, with the wrong people, and it changes her life forever.  Her mother ships her off to Shadow Falls—a camp for troubled teens, and within hours of arriving, it becomes painfully clear that her fellow campers aren’t just “troubled.”  Here at Shadow Falls, vampires, werewolves, shapshifters, witches and fairies train side by side—learning to harness their powers, control their magic and live in the normal world. Kylie’s never felt normal, but surely she doesn’t belong here with a bunch of paranormal freaks either.  Or does she?  They insist Kylie is one of them, and that she was brought here for a reason.  As if life wasn’t complicated enough, enter Derek and Lucas.  Derek’s a half-fae who’s determined to be her boyfriend, and Lucas is a smokin’ hot werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past.  Both Derek and Lucas couldn’t be more different, but they both have a powerful hold on her heart. Even though Kylie feels deeply uncertain about everything, one thing is becoming painfully clear—Shadow Falls is exactly where she belongs. -summary form goodreads.com

After having met Mrs. Hunter at this year’s RT Teen day, I was very excited to start reading her book. I had very high expectations and in certain ways, the book did deliver. I really enjoyed the storyline and was easily transported to the magical world of Shadow Falls that the author created, but my big problem was that it didn’t leave a lasting impression. After I finished reading it, not once did I give it a second thought…. It wasn’t until I sat down to write this review that I thought to myself, “Oh crap, what happened in this book again?”

I’ll admit, the beginning of the book was addicting and it promised an exciting plot. The story opens up with Kylie (our protagonist) having one of the worst days of her life. I quickly found myself feeling sympathy towards Kylie, her whole world was falling apart and she didn’t have anyone to comfort for. Even her friends were too busy slutin’ it up to even notice that Kylie needed a shoulder to cry on. Things quickly take a turn for the worst when Kylie gets set off to Shadow Falls, a camp that is supposedly for troubled teens, but she soon finds out that camp isn't made up of druggies and delinquents. Shadow falls camp is a place for witches, fae, werewolves, shapeshifters and vampires. The big question now is; how does Kylie fit in?

For about half the book, Kylie is in denial about what she is, and I enjoyed reading about her own journey of self-acceptance. In the majority of paranormal books I’ve read recently, it feels to me that the main character accepts his/her power/situation too readily… it’s as if they knew the paranormal existed all along, even if they didn't. Does that make sense? Kylie's denial seemed very real to me, but that won’t stop me in saying that I hated her attitude in the beginning of camp. Also, did anyone else notice how many times this girl would brush her breasts against other boys? (I think I read of couple of reviews that mentioned that detail). I know it was supposed to add a sort of sexual tension between the characters, but I just thought it was ridiculous and laughed every time it happened.

The love interests in the novel kept my interest (Team Derick! Woo whoo!). Although I’m not to sure what team Kylie herself is on, she was pretty indecisive. To be honest, I lost count of how many times she came close to finally deciding on one and then changes her mind. Her relationship with Lucas felt super fast and forced. I understand that they’ve known each other since they were kid neighbors, but that doesn’t justify that fact that you’re making out with the guy during “Meet your camp mate hour”. That was another plot device that bugged me. It was obvious that “Meet your camp mate hour” was an excuse to have Kylie spend some alone time with the boys. The activity was designed to build friendship and to get to know another paranormal, but it's seemed more like a matchmaking service because they only pair a girl with a boy.

C. C. Hunter's writing was something that was constant throughout the whole novel. It was strong, easy to read, and had a great flow. My only complaint was the pacing; it was slow. The story does pick up towards the end, but by then I had already figured out who was behind all the mysterious camp activities. On the other hand, finding out the identity of the man following Kylie around was quite a pleasant surprise. I did not see that coming and it was well played out. Overall, I enjoyed BAM and I will be reading the sequel. Mostly because I want to see what happens to Kylie and the gang... and to see what’s up with the darn waterfall. All this reference to it in the book and we never even see it. Thank goodness book one wraps up nicely, no major cliffhangers, because book two won’t be out till October.

Jun 13, 2011

10 Good Things on a Monday (3)


10 Good Things on a Monday is a weekly feature over at Nina’s blog- Brush up On Your Reading. Every Monday we are going to make a list of 10 things that will cheer us up and help tide us over the whole week.

This week:
MY TOP 10 
Cartoon shows

Even though I’m an 80’s kid, we didn’t have a TV in the house until the early 90’s. So when it comes to cartoons, I guess you can say I was raised as a 90’s (& beyond) kid :] To this day I still watch cartoons. Here’s a list of some of my favorite Cartoon shows, they’re in no particular order… they bring back so many good memories!

1. Dragon Ball Z
2. Talespin
3. Doug
4. Duck Tales
5. Animaniacs
6. Fairly Odd Parents
7. Jimmy Nuetron
8. Tiny Toon Adventures
9. Bobby's World
10. Pinky and The Brain






So what about you? What were (are) your favorite Cartoon shows? Did you make a top 10 Monday list? Share your link!

Happy Monday!

Jun 11, 2011

Review: Babe in Boyland

Title: Babe in Boyland
Author: Jody Gehrman
Publisher: Dial Books
Pages: 292
Challenge: None

My Rating:


When high school junior Natalie--or Dr. Aphrodite, as she calls herself when writing the relationship column for her school paper--is accused of knowing nothing about guys and giving girls bad relationship advice, she decides to investigate what guys really think and want. But the guys in her class won't give her straight or serious answers. The only solution? Disguising herself as a guy and spending a week at Underwood Academy, the private all-boy boarding school in town. There she learns a lot about guys and girls in ways she never expected--especially when she falls for her dreamy roommate, Emilio. How can she show him she likes him without blowing her cover? -summary from goodreads.com

This is one of those laugh-out-loud kind of books. I started it during slow work hours- BIG MISTAKE! Everyone kept looking at me like I was crazy because of all the LOL moments I was having.
Natalie was my favorite character. She’s a witty girl who fought for anything she felt passionate on. For her school newspaper, Natalie decides to go undercover and become a boy. She enrolls at Underwood Academy as Nat. At first she isn’t accepted and she ends up befriending the “nerdy” group of boys. And then of course the inevitable happens; she falls in love with her roommate, Emilio.
Naturally, Babe in Boyland is full of drama, but it’s halfway realistic. The author gives you enough ridiculousness to accept Nat’s adventures at the academy, but enough reality to keep you from snapping out of your reading experience and claiming, “that would never happen!” One thing that really bugged me was the use of one main run-of-the-mill young adult plot device; the removal of parents or authority figures. By having Nat enroll in an all boys’ prep school and have to live there, the author cuts out unnecessary parental involvement. Authority figures are only incorporated at convenient times throughout the story. But in a way I see why this lit plot was used, by having it any other way, some scenes wouldn't have had that "utterly hilarious" feeling to them.

Overall, Babe in Boyland is a cute and funny read. I finished it in one sitting. And yes, I'm not giving to much away by saying that this book is very similar to the movie “She’s the man”…. But let me tell you that I’ve seen that movie countless times and I still very much enjoyed reading Ms. Gehrman’s novel. So if you’re looking for a quick, light, fun read- Babe in Boyland is the book for you.