Tempest Rising (Tempest #1) by Tracy Deebs


Release Date: May 10, 2011
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 352
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0802722318
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water’s temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean’s future hangs in the balance.

Review:

Tempest Rising tells the story of Tempest, a girl with unparalleled skills on a surfboard and a strong love for the water. But Tempest knows that the pull the sea has on her is not normal, even for surfers. Her mother was a mermaid, and after her seventeenth birthday, she could become one, too. As her birthday approaches, she has a decision to make: to remain on land as a human with her family, boyfriend, and friends, or answer the call of the ocean and become a mermaid. Her mother left her father and brothers behind to return to the water, something that Tempest resents greatly. She does not want to be like her mother; she does not want to abandon her family. Add to the fact that a sea witch would like nothing more than for Tempest to either succumb to her power or die by her hand, Tempest has plenty of reasons for staying human. But when she meets Kona, a fellow sexy surfer, she notices that he is not all that normal himself. Kona shows her the beauty in being a creature of the sea, and the want to become a mermaid is stronger than ever. But will Tempest leave behind all she knows to stay with Kona and the new underwater world she discovered, or will she stay on land with her family, forever longing to be one with the sea?

Ah…mermaids. I cannot remember the last time I read a book about mermaids. I also forgot how much I love stories about them, and boy, oh boy, did I enjoy Tempest Rising.

The story and descriptions are just beautiful. Deebs creates a stunning and picturesque underwater world that really draws the reader in. The storyline was well thought out and developed, and while the plot may seem simple to some, it was actually pretty complex at times. There were some slow moments in the middle, but overall, the book was well-paced. I really enjoyed the plot twists, and with action scenes and some intense emotional moments, it was a great read that was impossible to put down!

I really liked the characters. I connected with Tempest pretty easily and I could not help but feel for her. She had such a wide range of emotions throughout the book, from sheer happiness to despairing to the point of feeling numb inside. It was truly an emotional rollercoaster ride! And now on to Kona (originally called Kai in the book summary and ARCs, but later changed). [sigh] I feel that no matter what book I read, I am always enamored with one (if not more than one) male character. Well, I love Kona. In the beginning, he is super mysterious and unknown (and he grabs my attention), then he becomes sexy and secretive (and then I start to fall in love with him), and then he becomes passionate and even more sexy (and then I am A LOST CAUSE). It happens with some character in every book, guaranteed. I do not even know why I am surprised anymore. But anyway, Kona is an amazing character and even though he is secretive and mysterious, he is a good guy. But the best thing about the whole book (and this is very biased) was…..my name got dropped! YAY! The character Bri may have only been present in the story all of ten pages, but they were an AWESOME ten pages. J

Something that I think deserves its own paragraph was the chemistry between Kona and Tempest. Did you know that Tracy Deebs is actually a pseudonym for romance novelist Tracy Wolff? Trust me when I say that she is the master of sexual tension/chemistry. She owns it like no one’s business. The attraction Tempest feels for Kona is immediate, and usually something like that in the story makes me groan. But Deebs/Wolff is so good that it was not over the top, and I found it pretty believable! And when things got physical….wow. WOW. It was just kissing scenes, not even any heavy petting, and I was speechless. The descriptions Deebs/Wolff uses were lyrical and breathtaking (literally) and the emotions were just crazy intense. I ate up every word! ><

The sequel to Tempest Rising is due out June 5, 2012, and it is entitled Tempest Unleashed. I am super excited to get my hands on it! I cannot wait for some more Kona/Tempest action! 
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Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill at Breaking the Spine, and it is a weekly event in which readers mention one book they are eager to get their hands on!

For my second WoW post, I have chosen….. [drumroll]

Struck by Jennifer Bosworth


Release Date: May 8, 2012

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):
Mia Price is a lightning addict. She’s survived countless strikes, but her craving to connect to the energy in storms endangers her life and the lives of those around her.

Los Angeles, where lightning rarely strikes, is one of the few places Mia feels safe from her addiction. But when an earthquake devastates the city, her haven is transformed into a minefield of chaos and danger. The beaches become massive tent cities. Downtown is a crumbling wasteland, where a traveling party moves to a different empty building each night, the revelers drawn to the destruction by a force they cannot deny. Two warring cults rise to power, and both see Mia as the key to their opposing doomsday prophecies. They believe she has a connection to the freak electrical storm that caused the quake, and to the far more devastating storm that is yet to come.

Mia wants to trust the enigmatic and alluring Jeremy when he promises to protect her, but she fears he isn’t who he claims to be. In the end, the passion and power that brought them together could be their downfall. When the final disaster strikes, Mia must risk unleashing the full horror of her strength to save the people she loves, or lose everything.

So this week’s choice is another dystopian novel. This dystopian kick of mine continues…. 

Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices, #2) by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare


Release Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 502
Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook format)
ISBN: 1416975888
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):


In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.

Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?

As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
Review:


I just have to start out by saying that I am completely enamored with Cassandra Clare. The Shadowhunters and the world she created around them just draw me in and leave me wanting more. She is a gifted storyteller and I devour every word. I honestly do not think she could ever disappoint me! (As long as no male characters are killed off, that is. I might be a little enraged then.)


In Clockwork Prince, we are transported back to Victorian England, a time when carriages were the main form of transportation and candles (or witchlights) were the only ways to see in the dark. I love Clare’s use of history and her knowledge of Victorian England. Her descriptions make the reader feel like they are in London themselves, getting a personal tour of Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner with Jem himself. It is so real! Victorian England is not just captured in Clare’s descriptions of London and facets of life, but also in the characters themselves. Tessa’s actions and ways of thinking are those of a true Victorian era woman. There are instances where she speaks out and others when she is too forward, and she is always dwelling on the improperness of it. It is even in the minor details of the story, such as how is it scandalous for a woman to ride in the carriage with a man when they are not married or how Shadowhunter gear is too inappropriate for a woman since it shows feminine curves. The details are breathtaking and spot-on, and coupled with Clare’s amazing prose and dialogue, the story itself becomes so much more beautiful.

Of course, the main focal point of the story is the dynamic relationship between Will, Jem, and Tessa. The three of them are just pure…magic. I do not know how Clare created these brilliant characters, but I am so glad she did. Jem really shines in this book. He is finally able to step out from Will’s shadow, and as I understood more about him, it is impossible not to fall in love him. He is sweet and charming, and it is obvious he cares deeply for both Tessa and Will. In Clockwork Angel, he was always Will’s support and the nice guy that Tessa could always run to for advice or help. But in Clockwork Prince, we get to see more of who Jem really is. He gets angry with Will, embarrassed with Tessa, and there are moments when he says what he really feels. We get to know him in a much deeper way, and my heart went out to him. Tessa, in my opinion, is the perfect female heroine. She is brave, intelligent, and all in all, a strong soul. I love how much she loves books and her frequent use of literary quotes. She is a true kindred spirit, and it is so easy to relate to her. The turbulent emotions and conflicting love she holds for Jem and Will breaks my heart, just as it does hers. And I cannot forget Will! Will’s past and his curse are finally revealed and I got to understand what makes Will….well, Will. The façade he puts on for others finally begins to crack, and the real Will can be seen. His emotions are so raw and intense, and I could not help but feel for him. And of course, Will is not without his sharp tongue and repertoire of retorts!

Now about Tessa and choosing Will or Jem… I am so conflicted! I seriously love them both. Will is a troubled soul who really deserves happiness after all the sadness and pain he has been forced to endure. And Jem is a great guy who also deserves love with the limited time he has left. They are both amazing, and I love them both for different reasons! I can never choose between the two of them! I SERIOUSLY HATE LOVE TRAINGLES. This booked just helped reinforce my hatred. How can I decide, much less Tessa? However, this love triangle is well written and developed, which I think makes it a little more bearable. So many triangles today have the two men facing off in a battle of physical prowess, immediately hating and constantly insulting one another, and any other possible way of claiming the girl as their own. This is blissfully absent in Clockwork Prince, so while I hate the love triangle itself, I love how the relationship between Jem and Will remains intact and just as strong as ever. I, personally, think Tessa should just become Mormon and take them both, but I am not too sure how keen she would be to the idea. But I honestly see no downside to it! She would have two wonderful, gorgeous, funny, caring, [insert any other adjective here] men at her side! Better yet, she should find a way to just give them to me. I will keep a close eye on them. Yes, I will watch them very closely, so have no fear. I have always wanted an English man (but I guess in this case, I get two!).

Why, ‘ello, govna.

But in all seriousness, I am so conflicted. I want to pull for them both and they both deserve to be happy with Tessa, but only one will be the ‘winner.’ I hate the idea that one of them will be hurt and brokenhearted. ><

Something else I really appreciated about this book was how the relationships between characters besides Tessa, Will, and Jem developed. These developments may be a little overshadowed by the main love triangle, but they were amazing all the same. I have a new respect and liking for Henry and I think the blossoming relationship between him and Charlotte is adorable! One of the new characters, Sophie, is a great addition to the story, and her relationship with Gideon is super sweet. The growing affection they have for one another really warms the heart and I will be rooting for them! J And do not even get me started with Magnus. I really thought it was impossible for me to like him more than I already do, but I have been proven wrong. I am glad he ditched Camille and was able to find Alec!!

The story itself has plot twists galore, and with a little action thrown in now and then, it is a rollercoaster ride that makes this book physically impossible to put down. The dialogue is ridiculously witty and I cannot help but laugh out loud sometimes. Clare also is a master at writing dirty, sexy scenes, as is evident with the dirty sexy balcony scene (which was hot)! Clare really is in a league of her own. I cannot even put into words how excited I am to read the conclusion of the series, Clockwork Princess, due out September 2012. Cassandra Clare, with her flare for writing, has created an amazing series and I will eagerly be awaiting the end of it! Go Team Will and Team Jem!!

Shades of Blood by Samantha Young

Release Date: December 12, 2011 (PB), December 5, 2011 (eBook)
Publisher:
CreateSpace (PB), Smashwords (eBook)
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Pages: 342
Format:
Paperback (also available in eBook format)
ISBN: 1468009575
Buy the Book:
Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):
Eden’s life has taken a turn she would never have imagined. She’s gone from soul eater to warrior, left behind a family she was ashamed of and moved in with one she admires. She has a purpose, a future, and… she has Noah.
Life should be good.
But… the most fervent and powerful soul eaters are determined to take down the Ankh and Eden is the key to the destruction of the warrior race. Moreover, a shadowed enemy is still after Eden, and the mortal Warriors of Neith have chosen the worst time imaginable to start an uprising.
With an enemy in every corner, the problems before her are overwhelming. Then again, Eden hasn’t come this far to let anyone snatch her new life from her…
However, just when Eden thought she’d battled the monster within and won, the warrior who took something precious from her comes back into her life, tempting Eden to take a course of revenge there is no turning back from.
Vengeance is such a bitch…
… So is Eden when the stakes are high.
A YA Paranormal Romance recommended for ages 16 and up.
Review:

I am pretty conflicted right now. One side of me is like, YES! This series was AWESOME, this book was AWESOME, and Samantha Young is AWESOME. And then there is the five year old in me: What? What do you mean it is over? I want moreeee. [sigh] I am never really going to grow up, am I?

Eden has more problems now than ever before. Just when she thinks everything is going smoothly, someone just has to come and ruin it all. Cosmina is breathing down her neck, a small rebellion is rising in the Neith that would like to see Eden dead, and Romany has come back which drives a wedge between Noah and Eden and reminds Eden how much she would like to see Romany dead. Eden also discovers a few things about herself as an Ankh warrior that she is not sure how to deal with. All she wants is to catch a breather and spend some quality time with Noah. Will she ever have peace?

So as I have already mentioned, this book was amazing, and it was the perfect conclusion to the series. I honestly think it is the best book in the series. It is packed with action and raw emotions that just left me wanting more afterwards. The action scenes were intense and the flashbacks to moments between Eden and her brother, Stellan, tugged at my heart. Also, I did not think it was possible, but the chemistry between Noah and Eden got even more intense and the reader can definitely feel the depth of their love for one another. They face some hardships and some enemies from the past, but through these obstacles, they become closer than ever before. Noah and Eden have officially become one of my favorite book couples! >< Overall, this series was AMAZING and WICKEDLY AWESOME and I would definitely recommend it to anyone. 🙂


Be quiet, inner child! Go and read some other Samantha Young book!

Upcoming Releases: December 18th- December 24th

Flyaway by Helen Landalf


Release Date: December 19, 2011

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):


Fifteen-year-old Stevie Calhoun is used to taking care of herself. But one night, her mom, who works as an exotic dancer in a downtown Seattle nightclub, never comes home.

That’s the night Stevie’s life turns upside down.

It’s the night that kicks off an extraordinary summer: the summer Stevie has to stay with her annoyingly perfect Aunt Mindy; the summer she learns to care for injured and abandoned birds; the summer she gets to know Alan, the meanest guy in high school.

But most of all, it’s the summer she finds out the truth about Mom.
FLYAWAY is the story of a teen girl’s struggle to hold on to what she’s always believed, even as her world spins out of control.

Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 19, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Reid Alexander’s life is an open book. His Hollywood celebrity means that everything he does plays out in the public eye. Every relationship, every error in judgment is analyzed by strangers. His latest mistake totaled his car, destroyed a house and landed him in the hospital. Now his PR team is working overtime to salvage his image. One thing is clear—this is one predicament he won’t escape without paying for it.

Dori Cantrell is a genuine humanitarian—the outward opposite of everything Reid is about. When his DUI plea bargain lands him under her community service supervision, she proves unimpressed with his status and indifferent to his proximity, and he soon wants nothing more than to knock her off of her pedestal and prove she’s human.

Counting the days until his month of service is over, Dori struggles to ignore his wicked magnetic pull while shocking him with her ability to see past his celebrity and challenging him to see his own wasted potential. But Dori has secrets of her own, safely locked away until one night turns her entire world upside down. Suddenly their only hope for connection and redemption hinges on one choice: whether or not to have faith in each other.
I cannot find where you can buy this book from, so I am sorry! ><



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Persephone has been running for her entire life. Running from the humans to keep her immortality a secret. And running from a man who haunts her dreams. Not a man but a god, who will stop at nothing until he gets what he wants. And what he wants most, is her.

Trapped in the realm of the dead, Persephone plans to return to the land of the living. The underworld is a terrifying place where ghosts roam freely, three headed dogs patrol the gates, and it’s a living grave where the rules of earth and the warmth of the sun no longer apply. But then, something unexpected happens. Persephone finds herself falling for the god who abducted her, the god who has chased her for five thousand years, a god who is none other than death himself, Hades.

Ripped out of the underworld by Zeus, Persephone must find a pomegranate to return to the realm of the dead and to her beloved. Consuming only a seed of the fruit of the dead would bind Persephone to spend her life beneath the earth’s core with Hades. But Zeus has reduced every pomegranate tree in the world to ash. Except one. Persephone must locate that one remaining pomegranate tree, a quest that could ignite a war between the two mightiest of the god’s. A war that could cause Persephone to lose the only family she’s ever known or give up a love that comes only once every five thousand years.
I cannot find where to buy this book, either! I am so sorry! I am such a fail! ><



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Hannah can’t wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget.

But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a bit…off. They can’t find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone’s been living there, even though it’s been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety.

Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan assumes their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos.

Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands: Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price of peace may well be her life….
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

When her widowed father dumps 16-year-old Katy Jessevar in a boarding school in Whitfield, Massachusetts, she has no idea that fate has just opened the door to both her future and her past. Nearly everyone in Whitfield is a witch, as is Katy herself, although she has struggled all her life to hide her unusual talents. Stuck at a boarding school where her fellow studens seem to despise her, Katy soon discovers that Whitfield is the place where her mother commited suicide under mysterious circumstances when Katy was just a small child. With dark forces converging on Whitfield, it’s up to Katy to unravel her family’s many secrets to save the boy she loves and the town itself from destruction.
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Trey Laporte believed he was the last werewolf. But he’s found his pack, and they’re more dangerous and wild than he’d ever guess. If they are monsters, does that make him one, too?

Back in London, Trey’s vampire guardian, Lucien, is battling his own darkness. Meanwhile, Lucien’s daughter, Alexis, is trying to hold off a Necrotroph that is after her father.

For both male and female readers who like their paranormal served on the dark side, Blood Wolf ramps up characters and action in a series that mustn’t be missed.
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 20, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

The Drakes and friends will be tested when an infestation of deadly vampires threatens Violet Hill.

Lucy’s cousin Christabel has come to live in Violet Hill, and adjusting to the difference between life in a small mountain town and her home in the city is difficult enough. The strict curfew that Lucy’s parents enforce is the worst part. Something really dangerous couldn’t possibly happen in this tiny town.

But Christabel has noticed some mysterious happenings, and it seems like Lucy, her boyfriend Nicholas and his brother Connor are all in on a secret that Christabel doesn’t understand—one that seems deadly serious. Although she won’t admit it, Christabel would love to be in on any secret with Connor Drake. But when she is kidnapped by the ruthless Hel-Blar vampires, Christabel must cause more and more trouble in Violet Hill, Lucy and Connor finally fill Christabel in on all the undead drama. Together, they must find a way to stamp out the Hel-Blar for good.
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 21, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

A Private prequel that tells the true origins of Billings House!

Interested? Buy it here from Amazon! 






Release Date: December 22, 2011

 

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

Four girls. One dead body. A whole lot of guilt.

Alice King isn’t expecting the holiday of a lifetime when she sets off with her classmates on a trip to the Scottish wilderness, but she’s not exactly prepared for an experience beyond her darkest nightmares…

Alice and her best friend Cass are stuck in a cabin with Polly, the social outcast, and Rae, the moody emo-girl. Then there’s Tara – queen of mean. Powerful, beautiful and cruel, she likes nothing better than putting people down.

Cass decides it’s time to teach Tara a lesson she’ll never forget. And so begins a series of events that will change the lives of these girls forever…

A compelling story of guilty secrets, troubled friendship and burgeoning love.
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!



Release Date: December 22, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

The official guide to the #1 international bestselling Vampire Academy series
Sink your teeth into the perfect holiday gift and must-have collector’s item for every fan of Richelle Mead’s totally addicting Vampire Academy series.

Discover the history of St. Vladimir’s Academy, explore the dark psychology behind Rose and Lissa’s spirit bond, and find out even more illicit secrets about Moroi society. This ultimate guide will feature everything readers want and need to go even deeper into the world of Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, and Last Sacrifice . . . every heartache, every betrayal, every sacrifice, and so much more!
Interested? Buy it here from Amazon!

Existence by Abbi Glines


Release Date: December 13, 2011
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Pages: 194
Format: eBook
ISBN:
B006LFVZ8E
Buy the Book: Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):
What happens when you are stalked by Death? You fall in love with him of course. Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, instead, she falls in love with him.
Seventeen year old Pagan Moore, has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, they left her alone. Until she steps out of her car on the first day of school and sees an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he’s dead. Not only does he not go away, when she ignores him he does something none of the others have ever done; he speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What Pagan doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with is not a soul. He is Death and he is about to break all the rules.
Review:
Hello, pretty boy on the cover. Is it shallow of me to say that I wanted to read this book after I saw you and all of your glowy eyed-ness? Because that is what happened.
But anyway, enough of the beautiful boy cover and on to the actual story. This book was a great read. The premise of the story was very original, so if anyone is looking to escape reading books about vampires, werewolves, or any kind of thing thereof, this is something you should definitely check out. I also really liked Glines’s writing style. When a good story line and good writing are coupled together, you get a good book. And that is what Existence was.
I really liked all the characters for the most part. Pagan is a great female lead. She is a smart and strong, and her emotions came across really well. When she was afraid, there were moments I would look around my room to make sure no one was watching me. I also liked Dank (although I am not a fan of his name). He is a brooding and dark man with a sexy smirk, which is otherwise known as my weakness. He and Pagan together make a decent couple. But I gave my heart to Leif. (I have to admit, when his name first came up, I went and made sure that this book was not written by Maria V. Snyder. I was like, What?? Leif Zaltana? I thought this was a story about Death, not the Study series…? Whoops. My bad.) In any case (quit getting distracted, Bri!), I really liked Leif. He was all about breaking stereotypes. Here was the star of the football team who used to date the most popular girl in school. I know, you have heard this story, right? But things are revealed about Leif that broke all the stereotypes and really surprised me. Here is a guy who beat some pretty unfavorable odds to become the person he is today and he just happens to fall in love with a girl who is enamored with Death. I couldn’t help but root for him! He really cares for Pagan and I thought the chemistry between them was nice. I really hope there is a sequel to this story and he can find his own happiness.
I still have some questions after reading Existence. How was Dank able to become human and why, oh why, did he even bother with Kendra? Was there a point to it? Did he want to make Pagan jealous or try to forget about her? And why did no one remember him once he left school? Hopefully there will be a sequel (*COUGH*PLEASE*COUGH*) and some of things will be explained! Plus, with the ending Glines wrote, there HAS to be a sequel! ><
I recommend this book to any fan of paranormal romance! I have never read any of Abbi Glines books before, but I will be catching up on her other works pretty quickly if they’re anything like Existence. I have definitely become a fan (and I am an absolute sucker for any kind of romance). Glines has another book, Because of Low, due out February 7, 2012 and I am excited to read it! 

Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey


Release Date: December 8, 2011
Publisher: Philomel/Penguin
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook format)
ISBN: 0399256229
Buy the Book:
Amazon
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger.

Lenzi hears voices and has visions – gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can’t help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she’s a reincarnated Speaker – someone who can talk to and help lost souls – and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn’t make a decision soon.

Review:

Lenzi’s father committed suicide after he could no longer deal with the voices in his head. But now Lenzi has started hearing them, too, and she is sure she is on a path to self-destruction if she cannot keep them out of her head. Her boyfriend, Zak, tries to help where he can, but it is never enough. Then a mysterious boy named Alden appears, and he says that he is a Protector, someone who watches over a Speaker, a Ghost Whisperer who is supposed to help the dead move on. He says Lenzi is his Speaker and he can help her control the voices. She is all for that, but even with her attraction to Alden, he seems a little crazy himself. And now a malevolent spirit out for revenge is back, and Lenzi is standing right in his path. Looks like it’s time for her to make a decision.
I enjoyed this book A LOT. At first, I was kind of confused as to the roles of the Protector and Speaker and their abilities, but things became clear pretty quickly. The premise of the story is actually really interesting, and while the idea of a ghost occupying and possessing a person’s body is not new (same with the Ghost Whisperer aspect), Lindsey gives a nice little twist to the story to make it super original and really enthralling. I also really liked Lindsey’s writing. She really has a way with words that clearly gets feelings across, and her descriptions are eloquent in a way that makes readers feel like they are in Texas themselves.  
I really liked Lenzi. I think what I liked about her the most was how down to Earth she was. She is known as one of the most powerful Speakers ever, yet there are still moments when she is scared and has no idea what to do. She listens to the advice others give her and she is pretty smart. She is definitely one of the better female leads in YA literature. And I LOVED Alden. Why is it I always fall for YA boys? I do not know, but Alden was AWESOME. He was willing to put Lenzi first and he just seemed to really care about her, which I loved. He almost never thinks of just himself, he is always there for her, he listens to her, and the list just goes on and on. Alden is the perfect man. I will end it there. I also liked Zak. There were moments in the book where the reader is not supposed to like him, but I could not help feeling for him. He is a troubled soul who has been abandoned by his parents and had a rough upbringing, and now the girl he loves is pulling away from him. He makes some bad decisions, but he just wants to save the relationship with his girlfriend. I do not know how other people feel about him, but I did not hate him at all. He may not be perfect like Alden is, but what real man ever is?
This was an amazing debut by Mary Lindsey. If you have not read this book yet, I would definitely add it to your to-read list. You do not want to miss out on it! Everything about this book is beautiful. AND THE COVER. I do not know what it is about this cover, but I am obsessed with it. It is GORGEOUS. There has been no mention of a sequel, but if there is one, I am going to be all over it. However, Lindsey will be releasing another book, Annabel, sometime in 2013. It is going to be a retelling of the original Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. I am looking forward to reading anything else this talented author releases (and please let there be a SS sequel!). 

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

This is the very first post for Waiting on Wednesday! YAY! ><

Waiting on Wednesday was created by Jill from Breaking the Spine, and it is a weekly event in which readers select an upcoming release they are super eager to get their hands on. 

So for my very first Waiting on Wednesday post, I have chosen……. [drumroll]

The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass

Release Date: April 24, 2011
Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon. 
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. 
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I am super excited to get my hands on this! I have been on a dystopian kick lately, making this choice pretty easy for me. I hope it does not disappoint!  

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally


Release Date: December 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Older Young Adult (16+)
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback (also available in eBook format)
ISBN: 1402262272
Buy the Book: Amazon

Summary (taken from Goodreads.com):

What girl doesn’t want to be surrounded by gorgeous jocks day in and day out? Jordan Woods isn’t just surrounded by hot guys, though – she leads them as the captain and quarterback on her high school football team. They all see her as one of the guys, and that’s just fine. As long as she gets her athletic scholarship to a powerhouse university. But now there’s a new guy in town who threatens her starring position on the team… and has her suddenly wishing to be seen as more than just a teammate.



Review:


Even after finishing this book hours ago, I still have a big, goofy grin on my face. I cannot stop smiling!! (I really think I started to scare my Japanese co-workers. They were probably thinking, Oh, God, the foreigner is laughing to herself. Why, out of the hundreds of thousands of people in America, did we get stuck with the crazy one?) But seriously, I cannot help it! This book was all kinds of ADORABLE and CUTE!


I fell in love with Jordan! She is a six foot tall tomboy who eats, sleeps, and breaths football and is considered to be ‘one of the guys.’ But deep down, under all that tomboyish-ness, she is still an angsty and confused teenage girl. When the arrival of a sexy Texan has her finally looking at a guy, not as a teammate, but as a romantic interest, she has no idea what to do! She has never had a boyfriend, never kissed a guy, and certainly does not know how to date one. She feels the confusion that all girls feel when they have a crush, and she just wants to find a girlfriend to ask about the scary, unknown people called teenage guys. She is adorable and my heart went out to her!

The chemistry in this book was PURE AWESOMENESS. It was awesome in so many different ways! The love chemistry left me swooning and thinking about taking up football myself and finding a good man, and it was soooo cute.  But there was not just chemistry between Jordan and her boy toy; there was chemistry between Jordan’s family and her football team. The guys on her team were like her big brothers, overprotective and ready to pound anyone if they so much as looked at her funny. And Jordan constantly argues with her father about whether or not a girl should play football, and when they start to understand one another and really reconnect, it tugs at the heartstrings. Everything was so believable and I felt what Jordan felt, whether it was anger, heartbreak, or love.  

Catching Jordan is not just an adorable and emotional love story. It is the story of a tomboy who falls in love for the first time, learns how to overcome obstacles and gender barriers, and never gives up on her dreams. I recommend it to anyone, regardless of whether or not you like football! I am sure you will enjoy it and have a huge smile on your face when you finish! J

The Cover for Deity (Covenant, #3) is Revealed!!

Jennifer L. Armentrout just revealed the cover for the third book in the Covenant series, Deity! (GORGEOUSNESS!!!)

A YA Heroine Contest is currently being held by The YA Sisterhood, and Alex from the Covenant series has been nominated and is currently up against Nora from the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. As thanks for the fans who nominated Alex, Armentrout and her publishers released the cover 5 months early!! Also, if Alex wins the contest, Armentrout will give us a steamy Aiden/Alex scene that takes place between Half-Blood and Pure, so get out there and vote, people! To vote, click here to go to the voting page.

There is currently another battle between Rose from Vampire Academy and Clara from Unearthly. To vote for either of them, go here!

Happy voting! 🙂

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