Friday, December 30, 2011

Can't Wait Books #1 2012 Edition!


Top ten books I'm dying to get my hands on this 2012!

To be released: May 01


"Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so."


To be released: January 24


"Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. 


She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. 
Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. 


As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's."



To be released: May 22

"Emma and her friend Chloe are spending vacation in Florida. When Emma (literally) runs into a hot guy named Galen on the beach, little does she know he’s a prince of the Syrena. Galen and Emma both feel something strange – is it attraction? – and Galen suspects that Emma might well be the girl he’s heard of – a human who can communicate with fish. 

What follows is a deadly scene with a shark in which Galen witnesses Emma’s gifts. He must know more about her, and follows her back to New Jersey, and high school, to find out for sure if she’s the key to saving his kingdom. Soon, Emma can’t deny her feelings for him, but can’t explain them, either – and both she and Galen must learn more about where she comes from and what her powers are before they can trust one another and their feelings."

To be released: February 16

"Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. She's got her friends - the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She's got her art - and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they're dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?"


To be released: January 25

"Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave. 

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word . . . especially after she finds her mother's diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family's destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra. 
If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren't safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other."

To be released: March 05

"Haven Terra is a brainy, shy high school outcast. But everything begins to change when she turns sixteen. Along with her best friend Dante and their quiet and brilliant classmate Lance, she is awarded a prestigious internship in the big city— Chicago—and is sent to live and work at a swanky and stylish hotel under the watchful eyes of a group of gorgeous and shockingly young-looking strangers: powerful and alluring hotel owner Aurelia Brown; her second-in-command, the dashing Lucian Grove; and their stunning but aloof staff of glamazons called The Outfit.

As Haven begins falling for Lucian, she discovers that these beautiful people are not quite what they seem. With the help of a mysterious book, she uncovers a network of secret passageways from the hotel’s jazz-age past that leads her to the heart of the evil agenda of Aurelia and company: they’re in the business of buying souls. Will they succeed in wooing Haven to join them in their recruitment efforts, or will she be able to thwart this devilish set’s plans to take the souls of her classmates on prom night at the hotel?"

To be released: August 07

"Cas begins seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he’s asleep, and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong. These aren’t just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears. 

Cas doesn’t know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn’t deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it’s time for him to return the favor."

To be released: July 24


"The final chapter of Evie's adventures. Old friends, new ones, all wrapped up in impossible decisions. And some ball gowns. Because what's a life of normal and paranormal drama without a ball gown or two?"

To be released January 17

"Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine -despite the scans that showed significant brain damage. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it?

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?"

To be released November


"In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it's too late. As Jem's health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves — even if it means never seeing the other one again?"








Image in button Artist: red-birdie,
Artwork commissioned by: q_ang
Subject is my original character.
Given to me as a gift.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano (2/5 stars).




Title: Wither (The Chemical Garden #1)
Author: Lauren DeStefano
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Date Published: 06 December 2011
Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction
Paperback: 384 pages
Source: Personal copy
Rating: 2/5 stars


I’m not a fan of dystopian literature but I did pick up a few of such books and I still have at least two more (first in a series) in my to-read list. I just think the cover of Wither is so gorgeous so I read it first.

The first few pages made me gasp – Rhine was kidnapped by the “gatherers” to be sold off as a bride to a wealthy husband looking for a mate to bear his children, DeStefano’s narrative is vividly haunting:

“I feel too alive in this row of moribund girls with their eyes half open. I sense that their hearts are barely beating, while mine pounds in my chest. After so much time spent riding in the darkness of the truck, we have all fused together. We are one nameless thing sharing this strange hell. I do not want to stand out. I do not want to stand out. But it doesn’t matter. Someone has noticed me.”

– passage from when the girls were made to line-up as Lindel, the groom-to-be chooses his brides.

There are a lot of holes in DeStefano’s world building. I am not convinced that there are no other humans left in the world other than the first generation (perfect humans created by genetic science) and their children, the second generation. The second generation suffers from a virus and they die young, males die at the age of 25 and females at the age of 20. (Statistically speaking, women live longer lives than men in the real world) And I am sure that there are couples who would want to have their own imperfect children with their traits than genetically modified ones, I for one, would and therefore the generation prior to the first generation would still have normal offsprings; although I do understand that there are couples, if given the chance to, may want their children to have certain traits.

Realistically, genetic science is not cheap - the estimated cost of cloning is $2 Million*, even at a fraction of that cost, it is not believable that even those who cannot afford to pay for their basic necessities would be able to have genetically modified children. I could go on but I set these thoughts and more about this new world aside and read the story within the parameters that the author has set.

Rhine was filled with anger as her life was stolen from her and she knows she must escape somehow but she can only have that opportunity if she becomes first wife and so day by day she tries to win the affection of Linden, and as she does, her inner struggles grow, she discovers that Linden didn't know about the kidnapping or about what happened to the remaining girls in the van and I would like to think that somehow she has started to feel something for him, enjoying his kisses, his attention, becoming jealous when he danced with another blonde - and here, inside this beautiful cage, she can have anything that she wanted - the world on a string. But outside, there is freedom, and there is Rowan, her twin brother. I would have liked it if Rhine didn't fall in love with Gabriel, and for her to realize that she loves Linden and yet, she still leaves him.

I do love the mansion, the gardens, the parties and I particularly love it when Deirdre, Rhine’s handmaid would make dresses for her and make her up: “For me, Deirdre has constructed a soft orange frock that she says will make me look dazzling in the evening light. She leaves my hair untouched, long and wavy and many shades of blond.” 

DeStefano is deft at characterization, I particularly liked how she revealed just how sinister Housemaster Vaughn was: the way that he looks, his cold skin, how the servants are afraid of him, what Deirdre said about Rose’s new born daughter, what Rhine saw herself in the basement and what he did to Jenna. He loves his son but I think his real reason for finding him brides to get grandchildren and looking for an antidote is to achieve virtual immortality through his children and their children. As revealed by Rhine, soon, he will replace his son with his grandchild, which shows why he doesn’t care for granddaughters (because they do not carry the family name), and this cycle will go on until he is satisfied that there will be a son/grandson who would continue the family line.

My Verdict:

I found the story engaging and I love DeStefano's way with words, I would recommend it to a fan of dystopian literature.






*Herper, Matthew. “Cloning’s High Cost”. Forbes.com. 29 December 2011. <http://www.forbes.com/2001/11/26/1126cloning.html>


Next book on review:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth (5/5 stars).

Title: Divergent
Author: Roth, Veronica
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Date Published: 03 May 2011
Genre: Young Adult/Fiction
Paperback: 487 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars



I started reading this before bedtime and it was a BIG mistake! I couldn’t put it down and I didn’t get any sleep at all!

In this dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions: Abnegation (the selfless, those who serve and put the needs of others first before theirs), Dauntless (the brave, the protectors of the city), Amity (the peaceful, the caretakers), Candor (the honest, the lawmakers), and Erudite (the intelligent).

The world that Roth has created is quite imaginative and politically volatile that soon, I found myself immersed in it. The Dauntless faction is fascinating, they travel by jumping off of moving train cars unto roofs, they wear black clothes and adorn their bodies with tattoos and piercings; they would do anything reckless and extremely dangerous.

Beatrice Prior (Tris) is the perfect heroine for me. Her journey to self-discovery started when she chose Dauntless as her faction where the initiation is brutal and to survive she must fight against those who are bigger and stronger than she is, not only that, they are also cruel and would not think twice about betraying a friend, but no matter how bruised she is, she conquers the day and you realize just how strong and smart she is.

Born in Abnegation faction, where selflessness is valued above all, on the day of the Choosing Ceremony, she realizes that she cannot stay, she’s not selfless enough, she questions a lot of things about their way of life, she always have, but one thing is making this decision so hard – her family. Switching factions is considered a betrayal. I think that young people will find it easy to relate to what she was going through as she decides. As we go into adulthood and individualization, we sometimes have to leave our family and what they taught us to face a lot of unknown things on our own and form our own beliefs.

The book is action-packed and I find myself holding my breath in some of the scenes like their fights during stage one of the initiation. When Tris beat up Molly, I didn’t think that she (Tris) has become cruel at all. She was raised by conservative parents, she is used to wearing clothing that would fully cover her skin and for them to snatch her towel, make her run naked then jeer at her is just vile. What Tris did was to vindicate her honor and I cheered for her when she was winning. She was blinded by her anger for a while but Four was there to save her.

Four is quiet, strong but not cruel, and I thought he was cute when he got drunk! Definitely crush-worthy, and I love his inked back. Their love story is cute and I like how he never treats Tris as a weakling.

Just when I thought that it couldn't get any thrilling than the last test of the initiation where Tris might be revealed as Divergent, Roth gives us scene after scene more cliffhanging than the last with a climax that left me dumbfounded, and it is only after reaching that train in the end that the heartbreaking moments sank in and I think how truly beautiful a parent's love is. 

Verdict:
Fast paced and exhilarating! If you haven’t read this yet, stop whatever it is you’re reading and grab the book! Can't wait for the next installment.


Next book on Review:


Monday, December 26, 2011

The First Days by Rhiannon Frater (4/5 stars).

In this new world, violence was the way to redemption.


Title: The First Days (As the World Dies #1)
Author: Frater, Rhiannon
Publisher: CreateSpace
Date Published: 14 August 2008
Genre: Horror
Paperback: 298 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars

This is my first time to read a Zombie book! And I now understand why a lot of people are fascinated by Zombie books. I’ve only watched Zombies in movies before but with reading, the horror is heightened by the emotions, anguish and desperation of the survivors as they lose their loved ones who then turn into monsters, hungry monsters, who would eat them.

What makes the book so riveting is how eerily real the response of those who survived the first day are - a tv reporter commits suicide because her family has perished and couldn’t bear to live with this new reality and she imparts the same advice to others. Some people are in denial, they refuse to believe that Zombies exist despite what they’ve seen with their own eyes, saying that Zombies are sick and they need medicine or that a bite can be cured. Some act stupidly, they don’t care that their actions might endanger other people, becoming part of the problem instead of the solution. Some go insane and I mean hysterical-insane while others go catatonic, their minds stop functioning.

I love that both main characters are women! They are both strong and beautifully dynamic. Rhiannon Frater writes about their inner struggles. Jenni (with an “i”) was a battered wife, she felt imprisoned by her role as wife and mother, and while she grieves for her children who were bitten by her husband, she finds freedom in this new world and comfort with Katie, the woman who saved her. She changes from being the meek housewife in a catatonic state to a gun-slinging badass babe dubbing herself as the “deadly Tinkerbell of death”, enjoying Zombie killing a little too much. 

Katie was a prosecutor and she was on her way to work when she was first attacked by a zombie. She was saved by a priest sacrificing his life for her. When she got home to check on her wife, (she’s a lesbian but later on it is revealed that she’s bisexual) she finds her wife, Lydia, undead. She keeps her grief in check as she tries to get herself, Jenni, and Jack (the priest’s German shepherd pup they later on find) to safety.

Only knowing that they had to get away from the city, the girls were driving aimlessly to the hills when Jenni remembered that her stepson Jason is in camp and even after finding temporary refuge in the home of an old couple who owns a hunting store, they again had to take a road trip to save him. As they pass by a school and a clinic, a horde of Zombies running very fast (when they’re supposed to be slow!) started to chase after them. After saving Jason, they find that the Zombies are still running after them, they were running out of gas and they all had to pee! 

After that AMAZING car chase, they get to Ashley Oaks, where a group of survivors have built a fort, the girls meet Travis, he instantly feels attracted to Katie, who, guilt-stricken with Lydia's death, pretends to only be attracted to other women when she's not, trying to build a wall between them. I was drawn by Katie's character at first, she's a fighter and she seems pulled together but when she meets Travis, she seems to fall apart, overwhelmed with guilt that Lydia is undead and she's starting to feel something for Travis, that she's replacing Lydia. Jenni disappears for a bit but comes back strong, that by the end of the book, she has become my favorite character; she may be loca but she won't hesitate to risk her life for the people she cares about.

My Verdict:
Frater is just so freakin' good! The book has got my heart pumping all the way! I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to try reading something new.




Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (3/5 stars).

The Night Circus, Le Cirque des Rêves, indulges its readers with pages after pages of dreamlike and graphic imagery. I found myself lost in its utterly captivating and magical world, with Morgenstern’s beautiful narrative it is difficult to want to be found.
Title: The Night Circus
Author: Morgenstern, Erin
Publisher: Doubleday
Date Published: 2011 September 13
Genre: Fantasy/Romance
Hardbound: 400 pages
Rating: 3/5 stars


Celia has a natural gift for magic, she had been an unknown daughter until her mother committed suicide and she was brought to her father, Hector Bowen, also known as Prospero the Enchanter who did not want to have anything to do with her until he found out about her gift and decided that she will be his next student, his next champion in a duel.

Marco was chosen from the orphanage by the man in gray suit to be his student after answering a few questions, all he knows is that he is to play in a game, that was the reason Alexander had taken him in, he did not know how the game is to be played and how the winner is to be determined or if he is prepared for it all, because all he has done for years is to read books.

Other characters mentioned in this review: Widget and Poppet, the twins, they were born to the wild cat tamer and his wife on the circus’ opening night, they have bright red hair and like Celia, they have natural magical abilities.

Bailey, grew up in a farm, his father wants him to inherit the farm, his grandmother wants him to study in Harvard but his dream is something else, something impossible. He met Poppy when they were children, when his sister and their friends dared him to enter the circus in midday.

Isobel is the circus’ tarot reader, she ran away from her fiancé and she fell in love with Marco, joining the circus to help him.

Chandresh is the original proprietor of the circus.

I am giving it three stars because while I thought that Morgenstern’s imagery was exceptional and a slow pace is just right for the book, (something other readers might have a different opinion on) allowing me to enjoy every circus attraction, my favorite - the lighting of the bonfire, arrow tips lit with ordinary fire were shot into the cauldron in the courtyard, setting the bonfire aflame with a different color each time the fanciful circus clock chimed, until the bonfire flames turned white and the twins were born; I think that the book is saturated with details and as much as I love details like how the color of Celia's gown would change to match the person closest to her, I would have wanted more of the story.

The story didn’t come to life for me. Her (Morgenstern’s) main characters – Celia and Marco were flat, that they fell irrevocably in love with each other by the end of the book wasn’t believable, when Celia first saw Marco and a long time after that, she didn’t show any interest for him, they just didn’t have any meaningful encounters before Celia found out that Marco was her opponent which was more than halfway into the book.

If their opus is what binds them together, then wouldn’t Celia, even before knowing who her opponent is, have this inexplicable attraction to Marco? That when she (Celia) finds out that Marco was her opponent all along, she would finally understand why she felt inextricably linked to him, but that didn’t happen.

When they first met, it was obvious that Marco found Celia attractive, but is this enough for him to sacrifice everything? He liked Isobel at first too, I even liked their first kiss! And even when he knew that Isobel was in love with him, and that he couldn’t return her feelings, he just avoided her. Celia was right to doubt his intentions.

Events do not unfold in a linear manner, we are taken back and forth in time, later on some chapters confused me so I had to start noting when a particular event happened but the story flows smoothly and this style made me so curious as to what part Bailey would play; sometimes we see parts of the circus as a patron and we experience the attractions ourselves, I love these bits than looking at the room through a character's eyes.

As I was reading the last fifty pages of the book, I was wondering how Morgenstern would be able to tie everything together with only fifty pages left.

She was able to do so, nicely, Bailey was key to tying the whole story together in the end. I liked how the story ended for Bailey, (except Marco binding him, I thought that that was unnecessary) Widget, Poppet, and Chandresh. Lastly, I thought Hector/Prospero deserved exactly what he did to himself!

My Verdict:
When I read the words “fierce competition” between the two magicians on the book cover, the movie, “The Prestige” came to my mind and I thought the book would be something similar with a love story twist and that made me buy the book. Morgenstern’s narrative and imagery were enthralling but the plot disappoints. I’d recommend the book to those who haven't decided what to read next yet.





Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Horror & Urban Fantasy Challenge 2012


I'm signing up for my third reading challenge next year, another one hosted by Book Chick City: Horror and Urban Fantasy Challenge 2012. There are two levels and I'll be setting my goal to 24 books, if you'd like to join too just click on the challenge icon above to go to their sign up post. I'll be updating this post with my progress and links of my reviews.



1. Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Hand, Cynthia 5 stars
2. Anna dressed in blood (Anna #1) by Blake, Kendare 5 stars
3. Angelfire (Angelfire #1) by Moulton, Courtney Allison 1 star
4. Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Hawkins, Rachel 4 stars
5. The unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) by Hodkin, Michelle 3 stars
6. Halfway to the grave (Night Huntress #1) by Frost, Jeaniene 4 stars
7. One foot in the grave (Night Huntress #2) by Frost, Jeaniene 4 stars
8. Rage of the Fallen (The Spook's Apprentice #8) by Delaney, Joseph 4 stars
9. At grave's end (Night Huntress #3) by Frost, Jeaniene 4 stars
10. Destined for an early grave (Night Huntress #4) by Frost, Jeaniene 5 stars
11. The goddess test (Goddess test #1) by Carter, Aimee 2 stars 
12. Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Angelini, Josephine 4 stars
13. Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Hawkins, Rachel 3 stars
14. Angel's blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Singh, Nalini 2 stars
15. Jenny pox (The Paranormals #1) by Bryan, J.L. 4 stars
16. Shattered souls by Mary Lindsey 4 stars
17. Die for me (Revenants #1) by Plum, Amy 2 stars
18. I am Grimalkin (The Spook's Apprentice #9) by Delaney, Joseph 5 stars
19. Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Hand, Cynthia 3 stars
20. Harbinger by Etienne, Sara Wilson 2 stars
21. Dark Fever by Moning, Karen Marie 4 stars
22. Blood Fever by Moning, Karen Marie 5 stars
23. Fae Fever by Moning, Karen Marie 5 stars
24. Darkness becomes her by Kelly Keaton 4 stars
Challenge finished 21 February
25. A beautiful evil by Kelly Keaton 5 stars
26.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Immortals Reading Challenge



Signed up for Immortal, my second reading challenge next year! It's being hosted by UTC, click on the gorgeous challenge icon above to go to their sign up link. The challenge is to read novels with Vampires, Werewolves, Angels, Demons and Fae as main characters. I will be updating this post with my progress and links of my reviews. 

I'll try to read three books of each specie but I don't know any good werewolf books, so we'll see! 

Vampires
3. At grave's end (Night Huntress #3) by Frost, Jeaniene
4. Destined for an early grave (Night Huntress #4) by Frost, Jeaniene 

Angels & Demons
2. Hallowed by Hand, Cynthia
3. Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate
4. Angel's Blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Singh, Nalini
5. Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1) by Agresti, Aimee

Fae
1. Darkfever by Moning, Karen Marie
2. Bloodfever by Moning, Karen Marie
3. Faefever by Moning, Karen Marie
4. Dreamfever by Moning, Karen Marie
5. Shadowfever by Moning, Karen Marie

Werewolf/Shapeshifters
2.
3.


The girl who chased the moon by Sarah Addison Allen (4/5 stars).

After chapter five, I decided on a white chocolate macadamia chiffon cake to enjoy while reading this lovely book by Sarah Addison Allen and the book was as deliriously sweet as the cake I'm eating.

Title: The girl who chased the moon
Author: Allen, Sarah Addison
Publisher: Bantam
Date Published: 2011 February 28
Genre:
Chick-lit/Magic Realism

Paperback: 304 pages
Rating: 4/5 stars


Julia Winterson started baking when she was sixteen and she hasn’t stopped baking since. Her cakes smell of hope, her hope that by leaving a trail of silver sparkles made of butter and sugar it will lead someone she has lost to her. She never thought that she’ll be back in Mullaby but when her father passed away, she decided to take over J’s Barbeque, at least for until two years to pay off her father’s debt and earn enough to start her own bakery and not a day longer but with only six months left before she leaves for good, she’s no longer sure of what she wants.

Emily Benedict never knew she had a grandfather, until she received a phone call from him when her mother, Dulcie, passed away. Her mother never told her about Mullaby, about a lot of things, but she has decided to stay and she wants to know more about Dulcie as a young woman. As she searches for pieces of her mother’s story she discovers that the mother she knew as perfect was once cruel and selfish.

This is the first book of Sarah Addison Allen that I’ve read, and I really enjoyed it, her characters are all so endearing you’ll want them to have their happy endings. I like how Allen gives us a whiff of magic realism here and there like rainbow sprinkles on a cupcake - Emily’s giant grandpa Vance, the wallpaper in her mother’s childhood room that changes with the occupant’s mood, silver sparkle cake trails and the “Mullaby lights”. Mullaby, Northern Carolina is a chockfull of character in itself too, the old Southern homes, the thick barbeque smells, the pine trees, and the lake, a place I'd love to spend my summer, just reading books and eating barbeque!

There are two things I didn’t like about the book, one is that the ending was so abrupt it felt like a few pages short and two, the “Mullaby lights” revelation was a little anticlimactic and too much like a scene from Twilight, but still, I had a very lovely afternoon reading it. My heart ached with that phone call to Sawyer (Julia's love interest, he was the jock and she was the pink-haired goth girl in high school) and when Julia finally confronted Beverly (her gold digger stepmother), learning why her father had all that debt. I laughed every time Stella (Julia's landlady, was popular back in high school) would say “do as I say, not as I do!”, was tickled pink when Sawyer confronted Julia about baking because of him and loved all of Grandpa Vance’s recollection of his wife, Lily.

Perhaps what I like most about how Allen tells the bittersweet stories of her characters is how my initial impression of them has changed so much by the end of the story, take for example, Stella. I initially thought of her as a bitter woman who might do something to stop Julia from getting back together with Sawyer but now I think of her as funny, loyal, and I like that she's living in the moment after leaving her husband.

My Verdict:
It’s a light read, whimsical, and delicious! I'd definitely recommend it for a girl friend who needs cheering up!




Tuesday, December 13, 2011

2012 Books

I'm signing up for Book Chick City's 100+ Books in a year reading challenge 2012. I will update my reading list in this post and created this blog for my book reviews. I finally have time to read and this challenge is just what I needed to start reading again, thanks bookchickcity.com for hosting this, and if you'd like to join the challenge, click on the challenge icon above and you'll be directed to their sign up post.

My Progress: (78%)
1. Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Hand, Cynthia 5 stars
2. Anna dressed in blood (Anna #1) by Blake, Kendare 5 stars
3. Angelfire (Angelfire #1) by Moulton, Courtney Allison 1 star
4. Hex Hall (Hex Hall #1) by Hawkins, Rachel 4 stars
5. Lola and the boy next door by Perkins, Stephanie 4 stars
6. The unbecoming of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer #1) by Hodkin, Michelle 3 stars
7. Halfway to the grave (Night Huntress #1) by Frost, Jeaniene 4 stars
8. One foot in the grave (Night Huntress #2) by Frost, Jeaniene 4 stars
9. How to flirt with a naked werewolf by Harper, Molly 3 stars
10. Fracture by Miranda, Megan 3 stars
11. Rage of the Fallen (The Last Apprentice #8) by Delaney, Joseph 4 stars
12. Everneath (Everneath #1) by Ashton, Brodi 5 stars
13. At grave's end (Night Huntress #3) by Frost, Jeaniene 4 stars
14. Destined for an early grave (Night Huntress #4) by Frost, Jeaniene 5 stars
15. The goddess test (Goddess Test #1) by Carter, Aimee 2 stars 
16. Incarnate (Newsoul #1) by Meadows, Jodi 3 stars
17. Starcrossed (Starcrossed #1) by Angelini, Josephine 4 stars
18. Demonglass (Hex Hall #2) by Hawkins, Rachel 3 stars
19. Angel's blood (Guild Hunter #1) by Singh, Nalini 2 stars
20. Entwined by Dixon, Heather 3 stars
21. Peach keeper by Allen, Sarah Addison 2 stars
22. Under the never sky Under the Never Sky #1) by Rossi, Veronica 5 stars
23. Across the universe (Across the Universe #1) by Revis, Beth 1 star
24. Jenny pox (The Paranormals #1) by Bryan, J.L. 4 stars
25. Shattered souls by Mary Lindsey 4 stars
26. Die for me (Revenants #1) by Plum, Amy 2 stars
27. I am Grimalkin (The Last Apprentice #9) by Delaney, Joseph 5 stars
28. One for the money (Stephanie Plum #1) by Evanovich, Janet 4 stars
29. Two for the dough (Stephanie Plum #2) by Evanovich, Janet 3 stars
30. Hallowed (Unearthly #2) by Hand, Cynthia 3 stars
31. Tempest (Tempest #1) by Cross, Julie 5 stars
32. The One that I Want by Echols, Jennifer 3 stars
33. Bewitching by Flinn, Alex 5 stars
34. Harbinger by Etienne, Sara Wilson 2 stars
35. It Had to be You by Phillips, Susan Elizabeth 4 stars
36. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Smith, Jennifer E. 4 stars
37. Hourglass (Hourglass #1) by McEntire, Myra 5 stars
38. Dark Fever (Fever #1) by Moning, Karen Marie 4 stars
39. Blood Fever (Fever #2) by Moning, Karen Marie 5 stars
40. Fae Fever (Fever #3) by Moning, Karen Marie 5 stars
41. Born Wicked (The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1) by Spotswood, Jessica 2 stars
42. Darkness becomes her (Gods & Monsters #1) by Kelly Keaton 4 stars
43. A Beautiful Evil (Gods & Monsters #2) by Kelly Keaton 5 stars
44. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen 5 stars
45. Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test #2) by Carter, Aimee 3 stars
46. The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Jensen, Mellisa 
47. Starters by Lissa Price 4 stars
48. Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate 
49. Spellbound (Hex Hall #3) by Hawkins, Rachel
50. Welcome, Caller, this is Chloe by 
51. Illuminate (Gilded Wings #1) by Agresti, Aimee
52. Dreamfever (Fever #4) by Moning, Karen Marie
53. Shadowfever (Fever #5) by Moning, Karen Marie
54. Arcadia Awakens (Arkadien #1) by Meyer, Kai
55. The Peculiars by Maureen Doyle McQuerry
56. Grave Mercy by LaFevers, Robin
57. Kill me Softly by Cross, Sarah
58. The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden #1) by Kagawa, Julie 
59. Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
60. The Gathering (Darkness Rising #1) by Armstrong, Kelley
61. Croak (Croak #1) by Damico, Gina
62. Tomorrow Land by Mancusi, Mari
63. Cross my Heart by Gould, Sasha
64. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Mead, Richelle
65. Frost Bite (Vampire Academy #2) by Mead, Richelle
66. Spellcaster (Spellbound #2) by Cara Lynn Shultz
67. Tempest Rising (Tempest #1) by Deebs, Tracy
68. I Hunt Killers (Jasper Dent #1) by Lyga, Barry
69. Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Griffin, Bethany
70. The Selection (The Selection #1) by Cass, Kiera
71. Lure of the Dead (The Last Apprentice #10) by Delaney, Joseph
72. Switched (Trylle Trilogy #1) by Hocking, Amanda
73. This Side of the Grave (Night Huntress #5) by Frost, Jeaniene 3.5 stars
74. One Grave at a Time (Night Huntress #6) by Frost, Jeaniene 2.5 stars
75. Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Mead, Richelle
76. Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4) by Mead, Richelle 5 stars
77. Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5) by Mead, Richelle 3 stars
78. City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) Clare, Cassandra 4 stars
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