Friday, January 30, 2015

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the picture.


I’m more of a cake, brownie, and/or cookie girl myself, but pie’s good too. Especially if Dean Winchester comes with it. ;)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Compulsion by Martina Boone Review

Compulsion
(The Heirs of Watson Island #1)
Publication Date: October 28, 2014
Hardcover, 448 pages, Simon Pulse
Genres: YA, Paranormal

Three plantations. Two wishes. One ancient curse.

All her life, Barrie Watson has been a virtual prisoner in the house where she lives with her shut-in mother. When her mother dies, Barrie promises to put some mileage on her stiletto heels. But she finds a new kind of prison at her aunt’s South Carolina plantation instead--a prison guarded by an ancient spirit who long ago cursed one of the three founding families of Watson Island and gave the others magical gifts that became compulsions.

Stuck with the ghosts of a generations-old feud and hunted by forces she cannot see, Barrie must find a way to break free of the family legacy. With the help of sun-kissed Eight Beaufort, who knows what Barrie wants before she knows herself, the last Watson heir starts to unravel her family's twisted secrets. What she finds is dangerous: a love she never expected, a river that turns to fire at midnight, a gorgeous cousin who isn’t what she seems, and very real enemies who want both Eight and Barrie dead.

My Review

The Deep South, paranormal plotlines, and mysteries go together like chocolate and cake in this book! Martina Boone’s Compulsion is an entertaining and easy-to-read new addition to the supernatural world.

We start off by meeting the main character, Barrie Watson, after she’s just traveled from California to South Carolina after her mom passed away. But what Barrie doesn’t know is that there are secrets upon secrets spilling out of Watson Island, Barrie’s ancestral home. And of course, the two other families involved in these secrets—the cute boy-next-door, Eight, and Barrie’s cousin, Cassie—are making matters complicated in their own ways as well. It doesn’t help that Barrie has her own secrets, too. She finds lost items; they call to her.

At first, this book will make you feel very lost, confused (the family lineage was difficult to wrap my head around, even with a visual aid), and perhaps even bored when you start reading. Don’t give up! It’s not as shallow as it first appears. Barrie’s odd characterization, from her tall purple heels to her tendency to over-explain the details, will all grow on you. And, even though the third-person point of view seems to limit how much you really get to know her, the narration style works out in the end. I wasn’t even that interested in Eight at first, which is one reason why the book started out so slow for me. If I can’t find myself enjoying the love interest, I tend to want to shut the book, but he grew on me, just like Barrie.

After you’ve gotten past the first 70 pages or so, the pace of the story will start evening its way out. You may not get sucked in, but you’ll have a reminder in the back of your head when you’re not reading that you still haven’t found out what the heck is going on on Watson Island yet. Additionally, the tone of the story matches up to what someone from the Midwest (like myself) would imagine small Deep Southern islands to feel like. There’s the sense of traveling back into the past; what, with the small-town gossip, tearooms, and gothic-esque structures, and all. It would have been nice if the book had more southern dialects though, because, well… accents are fun.

In the end, this read will sneak up on you. Its plot isn’t fantastic, it’s characters aren’t wholly original, and it’s a little boring at first, but it is a good read for those who are looking for a light paranormal book—light as in it has no vampires, werewolves, and other dark and menacing creatures, not light as in it’s a small book. Also, it’s a great read for fans of Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures or even Lauren Kate’s Fallen.

3.5/5 stars

P.S. The cover for this book and the inside of it, as in the naked book’s spine, are beautiful—except for the couple on the road. I’m not sure who they’re supposed to be because that is NOT how I pictured Eight.

*Note: I received a copy of this book to review from Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

 

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

The Last Time We Say Goodbye
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Hardcover, 400 pages, Harper Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

There's death all around us.
We just don't pay attention.
Until we do.

The last time Lex was happy, it was before. When she had a family that was whole. A boyfriend she loved. Friends who didn't look at her like she might break down at any moment.

Now she's just the girl whose brother killed himself. And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.

As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret she hasn't told anyone-a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.

Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that a ghost doesn't have to be real to keep you from moving on.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye is a gorgeous and heart-wrenching story of love, loss, and letting go.

My Thoughts

Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series was soooo beautiful. And that was a paranormal series! Imagine what she can do with a contemporary book?! I can’t wait!

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Newly Revealed Covers

A few covers have been revealed in the last week or so, so I thought I would share them for your viewing pleasure.

Nobody’s Goddess by Amy McNulty

In a village of masked men, each loves only one woman and must follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.

Where the rest of her village celebrates this mystery that binds men and women together, seventeen year old Noll is just done with it. She’s lost all her childhood friends as they’ve paired off, but the worst blow was when her closest companion, Jurij, finds his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever loved her: she is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a Byronic man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him and who has the power to fight the curse. Thus begins a dangerous game between the two: the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled man is willing to lose.


Dream a Little Dream by Kerstin Gier

Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals.

The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . .


Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with -- secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand -- a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?


Hidden Huntress by Danielle L. Jensen

Sometimes, one must accomplish the impossible.

Beneath the mountain, the king’s reign of tyranny is absolute; the one troll with the capacity to challenge him is imprisoned for treason. Cécile has escaped the darkness of Trollus, but she learns all too quickly that she is not beyond the reach of the king’s power. Or his manipulation.

Recovered from her injuries, she now lives with her mother in Trianon and graces the opera stage every night. But by day she searches for the witch who has eluded the trolls for five hundred years. Whether she succeeds or fails, the costs to those she cares about will be high.

To find Anushka, she must delve into magic that is both dark and deadly. But the witch is a clever creature. And Cécile might not just be the hunter. She might also be the hunted…


Ungodly by Kendare Blake

***

So I think my favorite out of the bunch is Hidden Huntress, but I'm not a huge fan of the others. What are your thoughts?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout Review

Wicked
(A Wicked Saga #1)
Publication Date: December 2014
Paperback, 371 pages
Genres: NA, Paranormal

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

My Review

New Adult! Jennifer L. Armentrout! Paranormal! Hot guy! Faeries! JLA! Hot guy! Yep. I read it. And I reeeeeeeeally enjoyed it. Almost loved. Less than a millimeter away from epic love feelings. And who knows, I may totally change my mind and feel epic love feelings later. Like, I’m writing this review less than a week after I’ve read the book, and originally I was going to give it 4 stars. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m giving it 4.5. Because I’m cool like that.

I love JLA’s paranormal books. I think that’s obvious. White Hot Kiss, Obsidian, and Half-Blood are some of my faves. So when I heard that this book was only $1.99 on Kindle, I pressed that Buy with 1-click option immediately and started reading it on my phone. And I did not regret it.

JLA has created another wonderful paranormal world. I’m not even a huge fan of fairies. I’ve read Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely books (okay, only the first three, but I’m working on it) and Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, but fairies were never some of my favorite paranormal creatures (they go in the same category as ghosts, vampires, and psychic powers in that regard). But JLA didn’t make the fairies the main characters, she made them the bad guys. That helped A LOT!

The plot of the book was solid. I feel like it could have been better, considering WHK and Half-Blood were such wild rides. I just wanted a little more. And unfortunately, the ending was a tad bit predictable. I enjoyed it, but I knew it was coming.

Now for the characters. Ren is a babe. I’m pretty sure those are the only types of boys JLA knows how to write. And this time, JLA gave one of her boys a motorcycle! The drool was flying everywhere ladies and gentlemen. But Ren isn’t just a hot guy; instead he’s a boy with a sad background (with alive parents! Yay! Living parents for the win!) and a job (Yay! Employed characters!). Ivy is also a good character. I love every single mention of her hair. It cracked me up and made me extremely grateful for my own hair—and trust me, that doesn’t usually happen.

All in all, I can’t wait to read book #2, Torn. Sadly, it’s just another JLA book that I have to wait a torturously long amount of time to get my hands on.

4.5/5 stars

*Note: I purchased a copy of this book for myself.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Which Team Are You? : The Covenant Series Edition


I basically just post a book series every week and have people vote on what team they are. I know the YA Sisterhood does the YA Crush Tournament, but I just want to find out how much you guys like one love interest over another, in one series.

Last week's poll was over Team Sam or Team Nick from Jennifer Rush’s Altered series. Team Sam won! 

So for this edition of “What Team Are You?” I’m going to ask you who your pick of hunky man-flesh is from The Covenant series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. 

You can choose from:

1)      Aiden


or 2) Seth


I’m Team Not Sure. I used to love Seth more than anything when I first read the books, but now that I’ve finished the series, I do like Aiden. If you had to choose one, who would it be, and why? If you haven’t read the books that are out right now (How is that even possible!?), who do you think sounds more appealing from the Half-Blood summary below.

The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi–pure bloods–have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals–well, not so much.

Half-bloods only have two options: become trained sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:

Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.

Unfortunately, she’s crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn’t her biggest problem–staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden.

And that would kind of suck.

Which Team Are You?

Team Aiden
Team Seth
Poll Maker

Friday, January 23, 2015

Dean Winchester Friday

Dean Winchester (or sometimes Jensen Ackles) Fridays make me a very happy fangirl. You'll see why when you look at the picture/gif (in this case).


What episode is this from?! Why can’t I remember what this is from!? OMG I need to binge re-watch all nine seasons on Netflix!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, what's really got my pages in a twist is...

Things We Know by Heart
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Hardcover, 304 pages, HarperTeen
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

When Quinn Sullivan meets the recipient of her boyfriend’s donated heart, the two form an unexpected connection.

After Quinn loses her boyfriend, Trent, in an accident their junior year, she reaches out to the recipients of his donated organs in hopes of picking up the pieces of her now-unrecognizable life. She hears back from some of them, but the person who received Trent’s heart has remained silent. The essence of a person, she has always believed, is in the heart. If she finds Trent’s, then maybe she can have peace once and for all.

Risking everything in order to finally lay her memories to rest, Quinn goes outside the system to track down nineteen-year-old Colton Thomas—a guy whose life has been forever changed by this priceless gift. But what starts as an accidental run-in quickly develops into more, sparking an undeniable attraction. She doesn't want to give in to it—especially since he has no idea how they're connected—but their time together has made Quinn feel alive again. No matter how hard she’s falling for Colton, each beat of his heart reminds her of all she’s lost…and all that remains at stake.

My Thoughts

I heard about this from a booktuber (not sure which one) and it sounded super sweet and mushy, and all that stuff that I’ll need in my life once it’s not 20 degrees outside. Until then, this book will have to wait. *sigh*

What book are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Top 5 Most Overhyped Books

Before people crucify me for listing some of these books, I just want to remind everyone that these are my opinions. I’d love to hear which book(s) you think are overhyped and maybe we will, or won’t, agree on them. Bookish debates can be fun…. right?

Also, I’m not saying that these books aren’t good reads; I’m just saying that the amount of hype they have doesn’t match up with my perceptions. Because I did read and enjoy most of these books.

So, here are my top five most overhyped books:

5. The Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi

I used to enjoy this series. Or at least, I enjoyed the first book. Then I kept hearing about Team Warner and how amazing this book series was because of him. So I didn’t finish the series. I’m not sure if I’ll ever read Ignite Me. Warner was a horrible person in the first book, and I don’t think any amount of sob-inducing backstory will make up for the fact that he had Juliette torture a little kid.

4. The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin

This is one series that completely baffles me. I read the first book and had absolutely no idea what was going on. Mara wasn’t that relatable and half of the time it sounded like she was on some kind of hallucinogens. Also, people go on and on about how sexy Noah is too. I don’t see it.

P.S. I’m also not a huge fan of the covers. They look like dirty pond water.

3. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I have a feeling this one’s going to get me a lot of hate. And honestly, I might have said that the hype was deserved with this book, if it hadn’t been for one thing: the dialogue. What teenager talks like that?! I know that there are highly intelligent teenagers out there, but this was ridiculous! Every. Single. Person. In. That. Town. Talked like they were a literary, scientific, mathematical, etc., genius. GAH!

2. The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

After what happened in Allegiant, I’m surprised anyone can still love these books. And it’s not the ending that bugs me. It’s the two points of view that were indistinguishable and the complete character changes that irked me. But even those could have been just minor annoyances if one other thing hadn’t happened.


***Potential Spoilers Ahead***


***Potential Spoilers Ahead***


***Potential Spoilers Ahead***


I’m just going to say that books should not create a world and then proclaim that everything in that world has been an experiment, basically that everything from the previous books was fake and set up. That’s disappointing to the reader and is a major taboo in children’s literature.

1. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who agree with me on this but who are afraid to say it for fear of the potential of being shunned from the bookish community: This series has a lot of hype. I think it’s a lot of undeserved hype. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good series, I read the first three books in less than a month, I believe. I simply don’t understand why everyone is so fascinated by these books.

The characters aren’t particularly exciting. They aren’t Celaena’s or Katniss’s. They don’t have a lot of excitement going on. (EXCEPT for Magnus and Alec. Those two are great.) Jace and Clary are just another YA paranormal romance addition to the YA paranormal world. Now Tess and Will/Jem, that was a great ending romance that does deserves some hype. Plus, the whole incest storyline was just plain WEIRD. And storylines like Clary’s have been written by other authors in a more detailed and fascinating manner.


So, those are my top five most overhyped and overrated books. What’s some of yours? Sound off in the comments!