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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Review: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Page Count:  402 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: May 10th 2011


Who is the real McLean?

Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out.

Combining Sarah Dessen's trademark graceful writing, great characters, and compelling storytelling, What Happened to Goodbye is irresistible reading.

My Thoughts: Not my favorite Dessen book, but hey, it's Sarah Dessen. It was awesome. 

When I picked up this book I was really needing a light, easy contemporary read and that's pretty much what I got from What Happened to Goodbye. I find Sarah Dessen's books are so similar and somewhat repetitive but at the same time, each of them have their unique qualities that make them super special.

Sarah Dessen has a way of making all her protagonists very relateable and loveable. They're vague enough that we can all pull something from them that reminds us of ourselves, but the girls are still complicated and have their issues that make the book so enjoyable. McLean was not my favorite Dessen girl, but I did really like her. The fact that she didn't know who she really was is something everyone can relate to at some extent and yet, with her character it was so extreme. She literally would change her name, style and personality every time she moved, so she didn't even know who McLean was anymore. Her pain over her mother's affair and trying to protect her dad were so raw on the pages and I felt so deeply for this fictional girl. I find in every one of Sarah Dessen's books I have one character where all I want to do is give them a big hug and talk to them for hours. But in this book, both McLean and Dave where those characters. I loved how akward Dave was and how his filter wasn't exactly in proper working order. The relationship between Dave and McLean was sweet and innocent and made me smile, but it wasn't anything super special. Generic contemporary romance, but I needed that for a break from all the dark stuff I've been reading lately.

We all know that Sarah Dessen is a fabulous author and that is still totally true. But I just hope that in her next book she will be able to come up with something a little bit more unique and different than her previous books. I love the way her words flow and the beautiful stories, but I'm needing something more. Of course, I'll read pretty much anything she publishes, but I was even hesitant about this one, because I wanted it to be special. Don't get me wrong, I did really enjoy it. I just hope I'll enjoy the next book, more.

If you're a Dessen fan and you haven't picked this book up, I do recommend you do. It is light and easy and a perfect book for the season. Tell me, what is your favorite Dessen book? What do you hope to see in her next novel? I'd love to know your opinions, so comment below if you've got something to share.

Have a great day/night!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years (7)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic is  Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years.

  • Just Listen by Sarah Dessen - This book has such an great message and it's so well done. I loved it sooooo much.
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins - Honestly? Do I need to explain why?
  • Divergent by Veronica Roth - This is one of my favorites of all time and like The Hunger Games, I feel no strong need to explain why this book should be read for a long time.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling - Because if you want to read this one, you need to read the first 4 that were published before 2002. ;)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling - See above
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - See above
  • Delirium by Lauren Oliver - This book is absolutely incredible and it has such an important message about love and fighting for what is right.
  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green - I finally read it guys! My review will be up soon, explaining in more detail why this book is so incredible and should be on every bookshelf in the world.
  • The DUFF by Kody Keplinger - This is a hilarious book that holds an incredible message for teen girls, or really anyone, in a fun and light way.
  • Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins - Just because this is probably one of the best books I've read so far this year. It was so incredible. Read it.  
  •  I'm cheating, but oh well... Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi - So incredibly written and deserves to be loved and cherished for all eternity.
That's it for this week's TTT! What books are on your list of should-be-read-in-30-years? Leave me a link to your list in the comments, I'd love to check it out!

Have a good day/night everyone!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Review: Under the Moon by Deborah Kerbel

Author: Deborah Kerbel
Publisher: Cormorant Books
Page Count:  194 pages, Paperback
Date Published: 2012
*Note* This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Goodreads Blurb:

A girl who's lost her sleep...
A boy who's lost his dreams...
And twenty-six nights that change their lives.

Fifteen-year-old Lily MacArthur has trouble sleeping. In fact, she doesn't sleep at all--at least, not since the death of her aunt. As the days turn into weeks, Lily becomes convinced that death-by-exhaustion is around the corner and searches the moonlit nights for a way to save herself from the long, dark hours of solitude.

Can her new friend, Ben, help her find her sleep? Or do secrets from Ben's past mean that he also needs saving?

My Thoughts: Don't let the size of the book turn you away. This book is filled with emotion and is a beautiful coming of age book about death, love and well... sleep. 

Under the Moon is about a girl named Lily who, after her aunt dies, can't sleep and is scared that any day now, she will die. When I say can't sleep, I mean not a wink. She spends every night trying and trying to get to sleep and it just doesn't happen. No, this isn't the whole book. We also have the fact that there is this absolutely amazing new guy in town, Ben. He's aggravated and moody and seems to be extremely tired all the time. Lily can't help but be fascinated. Having been super reclusive and not having a lot of friends before her aunt's death, when Lily finds herself put into extremely social situations like say, a party, she doesn't really know how to handle herself. Then there's the fact that her aunt Su left all of her possessions to her niece and Lily has no clue what to do with them.

 I loved the characters in this book. Deborah Kerbel did an excellent job of making the reader feel connected to them. I felt Lily was such an humorous character. She was snarky and sarcastic and totally loveable. I loved the fact that she was so scared that she was going to drop dead any second. I mean, yes it was an extremely bad situation that she was in, but the way her mind was working, it was one of the best parts of the book. I also really liked Ben. He is definitely not just the 'new friend'. Ben was extremely complicated and a little scary at times. His and Lily's relationship was really confusing but sweet at the same time. You could really see how much Ben cared for Lily even though he tried to hide it. 

I also would like to note just how well written this story was. I felt that the style was creative and unique but not over the top. We could have such an insight into the story and Lily's mind, but still be left hanging waiting to see what was going to happen next. There was a sense of suspense, trying to figure out what was wrong with Ben and whether or not he was bad or good. Plus, the relationship between Lily and her parents were done really well, too. The emotions written on the page made me feel so much for Lily and Ben and all the rest. I grieved aunt Su's death with Lily within the first ten pages. I smiled, I laughed, I cried. This book was such a delightful read and I'm sure I'll be coming back to it again and again. Don't judge it by it's size. It may be tiny, but it's mighty. If you can find a copy of this book, I highly recommend it. 

Have a great Tuesday everyone,

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Stacking the Shelves (2)

Stacking the Shelves is a book haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews -This is a great way for us to share what books we added to our shelves each week! 

 Remember how last week I didn't buy any books? Yeah, well this week? Not so much. I was kind of going through withdrawals and I stepped into the book store, inhaled and felt like I was in heaven. Do you ever get that? Where you step into the book store after almost two weeks and the smell of thousands of books comes at you like a million daggers. (Haha is that even an expression?) Well, that's how it was for me. :P So, yeah I went to both Coles and the used book store, so while there I was kind of like "Mwahahahaha!!!" and went slightly overboard. Okay, not really. But I did buy a few books, so that was really exciting. Here's what I added to my shelf this week!

 For Review:

Thanks to BethanyHouse

So  yes, I did get the 5$ copy of Hush, Hush! I've been dying to read this since it came out, but I couldn't bring myself to buy it, as I don't actually like angel books that much. Then I saw it was only 4.99$ and I was like O.O! Plus, Crescendo was on for 5$ as well for an inventory clear-out so I got that yesterday. So, I am SUPER excited about that! Plus I got The Forest of Hands and Teeth for a couple of bucks and all These Things I've Done is in paperback now!!!! Finally! I don't know why I got Prophet, but it looks good so I'm excited about that. What did you get new on your shelf? Leave a link in the comments to your haul and I'll check it out!

Have a great day/night everyone!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count:  391 pages, Paperback
Date Published: October 13th 2009

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. At least, not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and probing eyes, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment. But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure who to trust—she can’t decide whether she should fall into Patch’s arms or run and hide from him. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth more unsettling than any feeling Patch evokes. For Nora stands amid an ancient battle between the immortal and those who have fallen—and choosing the wrong side will cost her life.

My Thoughts: I'm not sure why I stalled with reading this...
My expectations for this book were shall we say... Low. I had put off reading it for so long, but when I saw it in Coles for 5$ I bought it impulsively, then convincing myself that it was finally time to read it. I don't want to say I don't like angel books, but it is a fact that it takes a lot for me to actually finish one and say "Holy crow, that was great." Though I didn't say that about this book, I did really enjoy it.

As you may know, I'm all about books surprising me. This book both did and didn't surprise me when it came to the plot line and everything else about it. There were so many predictable moments and yet they still made me raise my eyebrows or say "Oh. My. Rowling. Did that just happen?" I was totally suspicious of the 'bad guy' and yet it still shocked me when it turned out to be true... He was evil. I felt like the story was slow at the beginning but began to pick up when there were about 100 pages left. But I read it all in a day, non-stop so I can't exactly tell you it was a slow read. I enjoyed the style of writing, but it wasn't that unique or special. I feel like the only way to describe Hush, Hush is that it's a generic YA paranormal angel romance, but it's so not.

The thing that made it for me was the characters. I loved Patch and even though he was creepy and rude at times, the entire time all I wanted was for Nora to realize he was the one for her. BUT. When it finally did happen, I was really confused and disoriented. I didn't understand what happened to make them suddenly realize they wanted to be together. Here was Nora totally hating Patch, and then there's Nora... Kissing Patch. ??? I mean, yes I realize sometimes it suddenly spontaneously clicks inside a girl's brain, like "Oh hey, I kinda like this freak-of-nature angel dude who may or may not be attempting to kill me," but I would have liked it more if I could make some sense into what exactly made Nora she loved him. I liked Nora as a character, but some of the things she did made me want to hit my head against a wall, moaning "WHY?" I also really enjoyed the way the author created the supporting characters. They were there, they had a part and they weren't totally unnecessary. But, the spotlight was still on the main two and it let me focus on a nice, easy read. The conclusion to the book was just that... A conclusion. I didn't automatically gasp and yell "WHAT IS THIS?!?!?!?" as I put it down. There was definitely more that could be added, but if you for some reason didn't like it, there wasn't this huge hole in my heart waiting to be filled by the second book.

Considering the next book, Crescendo is only 5$ because of inventory clear-out of the hard-covers at Coles, I'm going to go get it soon and enjoy looking at it on my shelf until I start having a need for more Patch. For now, I'm enjoying the fact that I got through another angel book with no real difficulties. Maybe I'll be able to convince myself that I should read Illuminate by Aimee Agresti... It has been sitting there for awhile. I don't know, maybe! Tell me, what do you think about the angel genre? Yes? No? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to know your guyses opinions!

Have an incredible day/night everyone!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Winner of 350 Follower Giveaway

Hey everyone! I am pleased to announce the winner of the signed copy of Shatter Me is...

Linda Trinklein

 Congratulations Linda! You will have 72 hours to reply to my email before I pick another winner. If you didn't win this time, don't worry. I will be doing more giveaways in the near future... Just have to save up some money for shipping. ;)

Free Swag - The Lure of Shapinsay by Krista Holle


Hey everyone! So today I wanted to tell you guys about something exciting that I'm hosting for an author. Krista Holle, author of The Lure of Shapinsay is giving away a bookmark and bookplate to every entry for the next week. She's an indie author who published The Lure of Shapinsay this past December.  It will be released as paperback next month. The Lure of Shapinsay is classified as “New Adult” for older teens. See it on Goodreads: The Lure of Shapinsay

Ever since Kait Swanney could remember, the old crones of the village have been warning her to stay away from the selkies. They claim that like sirens of old, the seal men creep from the inky waters, shed their skins, and entice women to their deaths beneath the North Sea. But avoiding an encounter becomes impossible when Kait is spotted at the water’s edge, moments after the murder of a half-selkie infant. 

Kait is woken unexpectedly by a beautiful selkie man seeking revenge. After she declares her innocence, the intruder darts into the night, but not before inadvertently bewitching her with an overpowering lure. 

She obsesses over a reunion deep beneath the bay and risks her own life to be reunited with her selkie. But when she lands the dangerous lover, the chaos that follows leaves Kait little time to wonder—is it love setting her on fire or has she simply been lured?

SO. How do you enter? It's a little bit more complicated than just a usual Rafflecopter, but not really:

  • You MUST follow Krista's blog HERE
  • After following, proceed to her CONTACT page and fill it out with your shipping address and your GFC name or email that you followed with. 

 That's it! Simple, right? This is international, so wherever you are, you can get some swag! This will be closed May 31st. 

Thanks guys!
Have a great day/night!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Blogs/Sites You Read That AREN'T about Books (6)

Top Ten Seven Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.This week's topic is Top Ten Blogs/Sites You Read That AREN'T about Books. Okay, well... Considering Harry Potter is a book series, I can't put my favorite Potter sites on here (But I am on those... a LOT.) Umm I think there are only a few:
  1. http://www.elleandblair.com/ - I used to follow Elle and Blair religiously on YouTube, but not that much anymore. Now I just check their site every once in a while...
  2. http://www.stylishbynature.com/ - I love, love, love her posts. They're professional, well thought out and enjoyable.
  3. http://lilcammo93.blogspot.com.au/  - LOVE her videos and posts!
  4. http://www.thatssotrue.com/ - Okay, I just had to put this on here... It's not so much a blog to read, as a laugh. There are hilarious gifs on here and if you can look past the language, I'm sure you'll find something to make your day a little bit happier!
  5. edsheeran.com - ... ED <333 I'm such a huge Sheeran fan... I mean, if you follow me on twitter, you'd probably see that my tweets other than book stuff are mostly him. I mean, he's just so so so perfect and his music has gotten me through so much the past ten months. Go listen to him. :)
  6. tumblr.com - Yes, I tumbl. I hope this counts as a site on this list... But if you want, here are my tumblrs: Ed Sheeran one: http://oweitalltomylittlebird.tumblr.com/ Normal one: http://fireflyloosetonight.tumblr.com/
  7. Facebook.com - To be perfectly honest, I'm only ever on facebook for the Harry Potter fan pages... o.O Is that weird? (NEW ---> http://www.facebook.com/ALittleShelfOfHeaven)
Yeah, other than book sites, these are the only seven I visit on a somewhat regular basis. But to be honest, other than LilCammo93, I only visit the fashion ones when I'm needing some inspiration. So, that's really all there is... Could you find ten sites not book-related? Let me know and leave a link to your TTT in the comments below! I'd love to check out more sites on the web!

Have a great day/night everyone!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Review: When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Page Count:  334 pages, Hardcover
Date Published: May 1st 2012


 In this intensely romantic, modern recounting of the greatest love story ever told, Romeo’s original intended—Juliet’s cousin Rosaline—tells her side of the tale.

What’s in a name, Shakespeare? I’ll tell you: Everything.

Rosaline knows that she and Rob are destined to be together. Rose has been waiting for years for Rob to kiss her—and when he finally does, it’s perfect. But then Juliet moves back to town. Juliet, who used to be Rose’s best friend. Juliet, who now inexplicably hates her. Juliet, who is gorgeous, vindictive, and a little bit crazy… and who has set her sights on Rob. He doesn’t even stand a chance.

Rose is devastated over losing Rob to Juliet. This is not how the story was supposed to go. And when rumors start swirling about Juliet’s instability, her neediness, and her threats of suicide, Rose starts to fear not only for Rob’s heart, but also for his life. Because Shakespeare may have gotten the story wrong, but we all still know how it ends…

 My Thoughts: Don't get me wrong, I liked it. But just something about it...

Being a huge Shakespeare buff, I was somewhat hesitant to read this book, but also really excited. I have loved the story of Romeo and Juliet since I was a little girl and got my illustrated Usborne copy of it, so I really was unsure whether or not I wanted to read it from
another person's perspective. But, I have always been curious as to what happened to Rosaline, so that was the thing that made me buy it. What happened to Romeo's first love? 

When You Were Mine is a modernized 'retelling' so it's set in a high school in California. Juliet is portrayed as being an evil little female-dog (if you know what I mean) and Rosaline is heart broken and lonely when Rob, (Romeo) leaves her for Juliet. Okay, HOLD UP. This was the first thing that bothered me: Juliet and Rob's relationship? Practically non-existent. They kissed, it was really cute. They then had a day at school of awww until Juliet showed up. Then, at the dance, BOOM, Rob falls for Juliet. I don't know, I just didn't get the whole "...waiting for years for Rob to kiss her." It was more like a few months. Yes, what Rob did, leaving Rosaline for Juliet with not even a word about it, was crappy, but still. I think that part of it was a bit over-played.

I'm having a bit of a hard time setting out my thoughts on this one. On one hand, it was a good book full of emotion. But on the other hand, it was... merely okay. Knowing where the story would inevitably go was not even the biggest part of its predictability. I knew from the beginning what would happen, down to who Rosaline would end up with in the end. It was disappointing having not a single thing in the book surprise me. I know that's not a huge factor for liking a book for some people, but in my opinion, when an author can pull a rabbit out of the hat (or in other words, surprise you big time) well enough, it makes the book just so much better. So I guess what I'm trying to say is even though this is a retelling of sorts, it would have been nice to see some twists and turns other than reading from the perspective of Rosaline. 

In the end When You Were Mine won't be a book I'll remember too well in a few months. It wasn't bad, but it also didn't quite live up to my expectations. The writing was good enough, but it was also a little unoriginal. I found a lot of the story too be a big cliche, from the supporting characters to the scandalous past between the Monteg family and Caplet family. The conclusion to the book, though sad because of the inevitable, well-known ending, was sweet and that made me like it just a little bit more, but probably not enough to read it again.

What did you think of When You Were Mine? Disappointing? Well-done? Let me know, I'd love to know your opinions!

Have a great day/night everyone!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Stacking The Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is a book haul meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews -This is a great way for us to share what books we added to our shelves each week!

Yup, I've decided to go back to a meme for my hauls. I originally wasn't going to, but I actually really like this one, so I thought I'd join! anyways, here's the two books I got this week!

 Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield (ARC) - Thanks to Penguin Group USA
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry - Thanks to Lisseth @ Read-A-Holicz

 Look at that! I didn't buy anything! I was so good this week actually. Every time I thought about the book store, I'd take a breath and remind myself that I have too many books on my shelf to read. It worked! I'm really excited about winning Gathering Blue. I read it a long long time ago, but I didn't really get it. So when I read The Giver, I was like 'Oh, I should try Gathering Blue again,' but I couldn't find it anywhere. So now it's on the shelf and ready to be read! Whoooo! What did you get new on your shelf this week? Leave me a link below and I'll be sure to check out your haul!

Have a great day/night everyone!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

I've Succumbed to the Power of FB...

You read it right, I did it. I made a page on Facebook! I actually did this a few days ago, but then forgot to tell anyone, except for one tweet. :P I'm kind of bad at publicity... There goes my hopes and dreams at becoming a publicist! Haha anyways, I just wanted to let y'all know if you'd like updates on your facebook, here's the link!

 'Like' for more random ramblings and updates on the blog, books, etc!
TTYL! (Ooh look at that, we're using acronyms now... Going all chatty... Don't worry, it's a one time thing!)

Friday, 18 May 2012

Review: Until I Die by Amy Plum

Author: Amy Plum
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 357 pages, Hardcover
Date Published:  May 8th 2012

  Goodreads Blurb:

Kate and Vincent have overcome the odds and at last they are together in Paris, the city of lights and love.

As their romance deepens there’s one question they can’t ignore: How are they supposed to be together if Vincent can’t resist sacrificing himself to save others? Although Vincent promises that he’ll do whatever it takes to lead a normal life with Kate, will that mean letting innocent people die? When a new and surprising enemy reveals itself, Kate realizes that even more may be at stake—and that Vincent’s immortality is in jeopardy.

In Die for Me, Amy Plum created a captivating paranormal mythology with immortal revenants and a lush Paris setting. Until I Die is poised to thrill readers with more heart-pounding suspense, spellbinding romance, and a cliff-hanger ending that will leave them desperate for the third and final novel in the series.


Yup... There's a cliffhanger. And oooh boy is it a big one. Get ready, you're gonna maybe need some tissues, and not just cause of allergy season.

Until I Die is yes, a middle book. But it's a good middle book. It definitely didn't suffer from second-book-syndrome and I was so glad. We learn so much about the revenants and their mysterious backgrounds, it was a nice eye opener into more of their world. The Paris setting is still magical and romantic, just like Kate and Vincent's romance. I really enjoyed the fact that though it wasn't the same as the first book, their relationship didn't suffer in the way that some do in the second book of a series. You can tell they love each other with all their might and only want to do what will protect one another. The book revolved a lot around Vincent trying to find a way to stop him from suffering from not dying for other people and Kate attempting to find a healthier way for him to do that. I actually really loved this in the book... It was sweet how though Vincent was saying he had everything under control, Kate knew he didn't really and went and took it under her own hands. Their love for each other was actually so much more clear in this book, compared to the first. The fact that Kate couldn't keep a secret from Vincent warmed my heart. Their relationship blossomed and was in my opinion more mature. It was enchanting, in a word.

We also get a couple of new characters come in, while Charles and Charlotte move out.  Violette and Arthur are added in and while the latter is stiff and a bit of a drag, Violette is quite a lot of fun to read about, though she's very mysterious. The other supporting characters were great as well. I continue to love Jules who is still as sweet and funny as ever. His protectiveness of Kate is amazingly cute and I really hope he can find love soon. Georgia, Kate's sister is spunky and witty as ever but she is in on the revenant secret now. She's a really fun character that loosens up the book a bit, giving some great humor. I really enjoyed her interactions with the revenants... Especially Violette and Arthur!

Then we come to the end. Seriously, the entire book is mostly about finding a way to keep Vincent alive and learning more about revenants, blah blah blah.  Then, BOOM. NUTSO ENDING. Yeah, you can kind of see it coming, but that doesn't stop it from coming as this huge surprise. It's sad and it's shocking and it's a little bit... Chilling. But I loved it. It left my jaw dropped and I am craving the next book in the series terribly. The writing in Until I Die  has improved. It's still simple and an easy read, but the vocabulary has come a ways and I really enjoyed the french in it. Oh yeah, that's another thing. I LOVE books like this, where it's in another country so you know they're speaking a different language, but sometimes they're actually speaking English and when that's made clear it comes as a bit of a shock. Being fluent in French, I was actually kind of reading it in both languages. When Kate stated she was speaking to say, a merchant in French, I'd automatically translate the words from English. I'm not sure how to explain it that well, but let's just say I really enjoyed the fact that I speak French. 

I would definitely recommend reading this series if you haven't already. It's a refreshing take on paranormal, with a 'creature' that we don't see very often in YA literature. Plus, it is filled with sweet romance that is satisfying but not overbearing. Until I Die was really good, but the last bit of it was pretty mind-blowing. I couldn't believe the author did that to us after such a sweet conclusion to Die For Me! So now, I am DYING (excuse the pun) for the third and final book, If I Should Die, which is set to be released in May 2013. What did you think of the sequel? Satisfactory? Incredible? Disappointing? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day/night everyone!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Review: The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count:  360 pages, Hardcover
Date Published:  April 17th 2012
In the end, all that's left is an echo...
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....

My Thoughts: Creepy. Just. Plain. CREEPY.

Yes, these are murder-mystery books. Yes, the protagonist can sense the murdered bodies and their murderers. But The Last Echo, the third book in The Body Finder Series gave me chills, nightmares and yes, a few eye-twitches. I felt the writing in this book improved a lot since the first two, and so did the plots, characters and timing of everything. Nothing was out of place. It was a clear story once again, which I think is something everyone enjoys.

Of course, there were some things that... Shall we say, irked me. What was hinted in the last book, Desires of the Dead, has become more prominent. Yes, the dreaded almost-love-triangle. No, there hasn't been an epic feud between Jay and Rafe, but there's most definitely that connection between Violet and Rafe that will make Jay fans cringe. Don't get me wrong, I like Rafe... But as a friend of Violet's, not a boyfriend. I liked the paranormal team in the book that are working with Sara Priest as well. Though I hated seeing Violet withdrawing from her other friends, it was nice seeing her interact with others who understand a bit of what she has to go through.

Then there's the total creep factor in the book. So, in each book, Kimberly Derting throws in chapters in which it's the killer's point of view that we're reading from... Sounds a bit iffy, right? Here's a series about a girl who can find dead-bodies and serial killers are going around murdering teen girls. I was totally fine with the first book. Yeah, it was a bit unnerving at first, but not so much that I had a nightmare. The second book having chapters from the POV of someone who isn't a serial killer was totally fine as well. But this book. THIS BOOK. *Shudders* The sections in which we get a peek into "the girlfriend collector's" mind had me cowering under the covers. I don't know, it's not even that bad, but something about it made me look behind me multiple times while walking to my bus stop. That guy is seriously messed up! He's obsessive and his brain is nutso and honestly, I think the thing that Derting was trying to get across was that he's really just a sad little boy in an adult's body, vying for his mother's attention. Which was upsetting, yes. But like I said... He was creepy. Creepy.

Lastly, the writing. It has definitely improved. I felt much more connected to all of the characters, even the most insignificant. Violet's gone from being in my opinion, a little bit whiny, to much more likeable. Yeah, Jay is perfect as always and Rafe was mysterious, but we got to learn so much more about him.  I can't say which of the three books so far is my favorite, but this one was most definitely extremely well done. Congrats Kimberly Derting on another fantastic book! I can't wait to read the next one!

Have you read The Body Finder series? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!!

Have a great day/night everyone!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open (5)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week was kind of a freebie, so since I couldn't think of anything, I thought I'd do a past topic: Top Ten Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Open.

1 & 2: Delirium and Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver - Lauren Oliver is the QUEEN of all cliff-hangers. HOLY CROW. The endings of both these books left me speechless. I threw Delirium across the room when I finished, but I actually hugged Pandemonium for a full five minutes, jumping up and down screaming. Not joking. 

3: Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead - Uhhh if you've read this, you'll know what I'm talking about. THROW THE BOOK ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, CRAZY ENDING. Richelle Mead TORE MY HEART OUT. I cried. I hardly ever cry with books. Yeah, I cried. I am still thinking about the ending of this book and I've finished the series. I know how it ends, but still, it's on my mind. If I swore, this little rant would be filled with offensive language, but I don't swear, so this is G-rated. :)
4: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - Well, yeah. My jaw was dropped for about a week after I finished this book. But not in a bad way! I was just in awe of the perfect ending to a perfect series, but so bummed it was over. That's an understatement... I was bawling my eyes out when I first finished, and then I went and moped around for a while, before picking up the first book and reading the series over again. Obsessed? Who, me? Pshhh no. Maybe. Okay. Sure.
5: Bloodlines by Richelle Mead - Yeah, another Mead book. But HONESTLY. Richelle, you made me so happy with that totally suspenseful, perfect kinda-surprise ending. I was so gleeful and cheery for so long after I finished the book. 
6: Until I Die by Amy Plum - I haven't even posted a review of this book yet, but let me tell you: The ending will have your jaw to the floor. I was so... distraught. Now we have to wait a year???!!!
7: Matched by Ally Condie - This book had kind of a similar ending to Delirium... Kind of. But my reaction was practically the same, except I didn't throw the book across the room, considering I was on a plane. But I did let out a strange, frustrated noise that turned many heads...
8: The Giver by Lois Lowry - We were reading this book in class, but of course I read ahead. I can honestly say that I read the end of this book four times over to see if I missed something. I love the way the author ended it, but it was so vague and so... empty in a way. I was one of the only ones in my class who actually enjoyed the end of the book. I think it was really well done.
9: Insurgent by Veronica Roth - So I was in the car on my way to Seattle when I finished this book, and I think my mom thought I was dying... I almost screamed, then was shaking for a while with waves of manic laughter going through me. It was actually a pretty predictable ending, but there were some twists and turns in there that made it so unbelievable!
10: The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour - I remember my reaction perfectly after I put the book down. It was one of those WTH moments where you make a silly face and are confused for the entire day after that. I don't know, it was a good ending, it just annoyed the heck out of me for some reason... 
 What list did you do for TTT? Leave me a link in the comments and I'll check it out!
Have a great day/night everyone!

Monday, 14 May 2012

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Author: Wendy Higgins
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 464 pages, Paperback, 1st Edition
Date Published:  May 1st 2012
What if there were teens whose lives depended on being bad influences?
This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels in Sweet Evil.

Tenderhearted Southern girl, Anna Whitt, was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but it isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage, and her will-power is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

My Thoughts: OH MY GOODNESS. I usually don't like angel books. They're just not my cup of tea. Other than Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, I can never seem to get through them. But this book... Different story.

 The chilling prologue of Sweet Evil sucked me in and the rest kept me wanting more and more. Like Anna attempting to find a flaw in Kaian's physical appearance, I couldn't find a single thing I didn't like about this book. The entire time I was reading I was half expecting it to suddenly become absolutely terrible and the other half of me was devouring the book as fast as I could. The angel and demon lore that Wendy Higgins has come up with is so unique and interesting and... well... Not boring. This is definitely a book for paranormal lovers, and I'd say read it, even if you don't normally like angel books.

 I'm not entirely sure what lured me into wanting this book, but all I know is that as soon as I saw it in the store, I grabbed it. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and it completely represents the equally gorgeous story inside. I felt so connected with Anna, the main character. She was always the good girl in life, and whenever she did something remotely 'bad' like swear, she'd get gasps and looks of horror from her friends. But then she finds out she's not human... She's half-demon and half-angel. The demon side of her is pulling her towards drugs and alcohol and to survive the wrath of Lucifer himself, Anna must influence other teens to drink. Just like the other nephilim of the twelve sins represented. I'm not saying I'm pulled towards drinking alcohol and doing drugs, but I was so in tune with her 'good-girl' side. She is probably one of my new favorite book characters!

Once again, everything about this book, I loved. NOTHING was wrong with it in my eyes. Maybe because I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did? I don't know. I loved all the characters. I loved the traveling and the paranormal stuff and the romance. EVERYTHING! What is this sorcery? I cannot stop thinking about it! Because of course, there was Kaidan, the son of the Duke of Lust. Duke of Lust. You can practically see his hotness. I feel like such a teenage girl right now, but I guess that's okay, since I am. The fact that Kaidan was literally the ultimate playboy but cared so much for Anna.... EEEEEP! Okay, sorry everyone. Just a little bit fan-girling. I'm not normally so into a book like this. Okay yes I am. Anyhow, all of the supporting characters were done so well. I loved each and every single one of them, even the bad guys. Wendy Higgins has created this incredible angelic tale that I cannot get enough of. It's taken me forever to write about this book, because I am just so in love with it. I'm surprised this isn't more rambly than it already is...

If you don't like angel books, but think you could like one that is actually incredible amazingly awesome.... Pick up a copy of Sweet Evil. I am 90% certain you will love it. Some people won't, I get that. But if you have read it, let me know what you thought! Oh, and finally: Wendy Higgins, welcome to my list of authors of favorite series.

 Have an incredible day/night everyone!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Book Haul #3

 My book hauls are to show which books I've gotten each week for review or bought or borrowed!

 For Review:

                      Big thank you to Bethany House Publishing and Cormorant Books!


 Thanks to Lulu from The Bookworm is Here!



 That was my week in books, how was yours? Leave me a link to your IMM or Stacking the Shelves or whatever it is you do and I'll check it out! Don't forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi! Oh and a happy Mother's day to all the moms out there!
Happy Reading!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Review: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Author: Kimberly Derting
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page Count: 384 pages, Paperback
Date Published:  April 17th 2012  (first published February 15th 2011)
Goodreads Blurb:
Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.
My Thoughts: Very impressive second novel. Just as good as the first.

Though this is the second book in The Body Finder series, it's a different story. Meaning, the plot and everything in the book is a lot different from The Body Finder.The FBI are after Violet for some information and there's someone leaving her morbid messages and dead animals. There was no serial killer, but it was still a murder mystery. Jay and Violet were still in love, but there were some things that weren't quite right.

Considering I read the  three books in two days, I can't really say it took me longer to get through this one, but it seemed like it. There was no real gripping mystery. No "Who dunnit?" questions floating around everywhere. It was clear who the provoker was in the beginning and that made me reluctant to continue. But I did, and oh I am glad. The twists and turns at the end made my feelings for this book go from 'mehh' to 'WOW'. It was still a little predictable, but either way, fantastic. There were a lot more supporting characters in this one, especially Chelsea. I loved her character. She's hilarious! Then there's Mike, who though we don't get a lot out of, he was still a great character. 

The two mains? Well they're a different story. I still love Jay. He's still PERFECT and totally in love with Violet. He's very protective of her and still would do anything to keep her safe. Then, we have Violet. I felt that while Jay's character growth went up, Violet's went down. She was insensible and childlike in her decisions, choosing to keep stupid secrets from Jay instead of telling him the truth. I never understood why she wouldn't tell him about the threats. Their relationship was still adorable and romantic, but it hit some rocky edges for sure. Then there's the question of the new guy, Rafe. He works with the FBI agent who is trying to get to Violet and is very mysterious. I couldn't help but silently plead that this doesn't turn into another love-triangle. 

Derting does an excellent job of mixing mystery and paranormal with a beautiful romance. Her books are enthralling and unputdownable. Though I felt that less with this book than the other, the feeling was still there and I was dying to read the next installment. If you haven't already read The Body Finder and like a good  murder-mystery with a paranormal twist and epic romance, this is the series for you!

Have an incredible day/night everyone!
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