Tuesday, March 31, 2015

REVIEW: Enders by Lissa Price




Enders (Starters, #2)
Someone is after Starters like Callie and Michael—teens with chips in their brains. They want to experiment on anyone left over from Prime Destinations—Starters who can be controlled and manipulated. With the body bank destroyed, Callie no longer has to rent herself out to creepy Enders. But Enders can still get inside her mind and make her do things she doesn't want to do. Like hurt someone she loves. Having the chip removed could save her life—but it could also silence the voice in her head that might belong to her father. Callie has flashes of her ex-renter Helena's memories, too . . . and the Old Man is back, filling her with fear. Who is real and who is masquerading in a teen body?

No one is ever who they appear to be, not even the Old Man. Determined to find out who he really is and grasping at the hope of a normal life for herself and her younger brother, Callie is ready to fight for the truth. Even if it kills her.






NOTICE: THIS IS A SEQUEL FOR ANOTHER BOOK. THERE MAY BE SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOK.

MY THOUGHTS
I read Starters all the way back in December 2012. The only reason why I remember that is because I read it the day the world ended. I enjoyed Starters, but it's been so long that I was kind of iffy about this book just because I felt like my memory would not be the best. My memory still felt a bit vague, but there was enough of a recap for me to enjoy the book.

Prime Destination was destroyed and Callie is now living with Tyler and Michael in Helena's home. But things aren't over and done with. The Old Man is still talking in Callie's head and a trip to the mall reveals that he is able to control Starters. Callie has to figure out a way to stop the Old Man, prevent herself from being controlled, and protect her brother. Easier said than done.

This was a very well done sequel. This book has more of an odd thriller vibe than dystopian. This is still a very dystopian novel, but it has many thriller aspects. This book is very fast-paced, full of many on-the-run scenes and so many twists.

I liked Callie and she is a great main character. She honestly has to do so many things in this book. Though, for some reason she just felt flat to me. I really don't know why. There wasn't really anything wrong with her or any of the other characterizations. I just couldn't really connect with Callie or anyone else. It could be just the fact that I read the first book so long ago. The other reason could just be that I generally don't connect with thriller-esque books.


IN CONCLUSION
I liked this book, but I didn't like it as much as I liked the first book. I just had trouble connecting to the characters and while I liked all the plot twists, they made me dizzy! Anyway, this was still a great sequel! If you enjoy thriller-esque dystopians with a fast-pace and plot twists, then you will most likely enjoy this book.
I hereby give this book
3 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten (Twenty?) Books I Recently Added To My To-Be-Read List

Hosted each week by The Broke and the Bookish, it's a meme for listing the top ten for everything bookish.

I'm lazy, so I'm just going to list the ten most recent additions.
As some don't have covers yet, I'm having two separate parts...
*I'm not including any sequels


I've read, and loved, almost every Sarah Dessen book. I only have this one and The Moon and More to read. So, I decided to add this one to the list.


I just 'bought' these books from a used book sale at my library. I saw bought lightly because I had a coupon that allowed me to get them for free.


This sounds like such a unique dystopian and I've heard many great things!


Again, heard so many great things!


I have loved all of the author's other books, so I decided to add this one!


It sounds so haunting. I'm a sucker for ghost stories.
Sadly, I checked out the Youtube channel that this is based on and it was disappointing. There wasn't any ghost activity whatsoever. I have much higher hopes for the book.


I participated for the blog tour recently and thought it sounded very interesting!


I love the Falling Kingdoms series!! I am definitely looking forward to this spin-off!

Ones Without Covers:
1.Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
2.Untitled by Jasmine Warga
3.Relic by Gretchen McNeil
4.A Week of Mondays by Jessica Brody
5.Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda
6.Vicarious by Paula Stokes
7.Bad Luck Charm by Paula Stokes
8.Can't Kiss, Won't Tell by Sandy Hall
9.The Steep and Thorny Way by Cat Winters
10.Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira

What have you added recently?


Monday, March 30, 2015

BOOK BLITZ: Bone Dry by Cady Vance




24466321
Series: Soul Shamans #1
Release date: February 3rd 2015
Publisher: Sagan Press

Purchase: Amazon



Synopsis via Goodreads:


Sometimes it isn’t as easy as choosing right or wrong.




Sixteen-year-old Holly Bennett is a comic book nerd, a con artist, and a shaman. Most days Holly wishes she could trade in her power of spirit communication for something more useful--like fireballs or Wolverine claws. She knows spirits aren't exactly Casper the Friendly Ghosts. They're dangerous beings from Lower World who snack on human life, and messing with the magic from their world is an express ticket to big trouble. But when a shaman sticks her mom's mind between their world and ours, Holly becomes the unexpected breadwinner in the family. She uses her burgeoning shaman powers to set up fake hauntings and "banish" the so-called ghosts from her wealthy classmates' bedrooms. For a fee, of course.




When actual spirits start manifesting, Holly discovers that other shamans have come to town, summoning life-sucking spirits for their own ends. And the newcomers may just hold the clue Holly's been looking for--the one that can release her mom's mind from its Lower World prison. With the help of both a cute web comic artist and her partner-in-con, Holly plots to take them down, throwing her into a whirlwind of speedboat getaways, breaking and entering, and astral projections into the spirit world. And as her mom's mind slips further away, Holly has to fight to save her, and the rest of the town, before they get sucked into Lower World permanently.








EXCERPT



There are times when I listen to the moralistic words of the angel on my right shoulder rather than the wicked whispers of the demon on my left. With Kylie Wilkinson leaning across the cafeteria table, eager to hand over cash I so desperately needed, I couldn’t help but smack the halo off that perfect little angel.

“Two hundred bucks,” I said, holding my hand palm up. The eagerness on Kylie’s heart-shaped face fell into a scowl. She tucked a stray strand of glossy hair behind her polka-dotted headband and shifted in her seat.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Holly.”

I pulled back my hand, closed my fingers into a fist and pretended to be interested in my bologna sandwich. That move got them every time. The din of cafeteria chatter rose up around us as we sat in silence. Girls laughed, plates clattered and sneakers squeaked. Five seconds passed before Kylie cleared her throat.



“Okay, wait.” She reached into her Eddie Bauer backpack and pulled out her wallet. 



I kept my attention on my sandwich, nibbling away while she anxiously counted the cash. She had exactly four fifties which made me think she already knew what I charged and had been playing me to see if I’d go lower.



A guy walking by our table stopped to watch the transaction. I turned to raise my eyebrows at the tall, thin figure towering over us. Nathan Whitman, Kylie’s ex-boyfriend. He flashed a grin at me, his dark, wavy hair curling on his forehead, his high cheekbones carving a V on his otherwise boyish face. I smiled around my sandwich and hoped I didn’t have bits of meat stuck between my teeth.



“Is our friendly, neighborhood ghostbuster in action again?”



I’d taken a case for Nathan last year. He’d thought he was being haunted—they all did. Before that day, I’d considered Nathan just another bland guy navigating the Seaport High popular crowd. A preppy sailor only interested in country clubs and stock points. But after seeing the stacks of comic books in his room, I decided there might be an interesting guy hiding behind the polo shirts.



Not that I’d ever had the time to find out.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Cady Vance

Cady Vance is the author of YA and NA speculative fiction. After growing up in small-town Tennessee, she decided to embark on a grand adventure by packing up her bags and moving to NYC. Now, she studies for her PhD in the UK and dreams of seeing the world.











REVIEW: Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly

Seventeenth Summer
A summer to remember...

Angie always thought high school romances were just silly infatuations that come and go. She certainly never thought she would fall in love over one short summer. But when she meets Jack, their connection is beyond any childish crush. Suddenly, Angie and Jack are filling their summer with stolen moments and romantic nights. But as fall grows closer, they must figure out if their love is forever, or just a summer they'll never forget.












MY THOUGHTS
This wasn't a bad book, but it is very slow-paced and, to be perfectly honest, nothing really happens.

This book was published in the 40's, so this book also takes place in the 40's. Just something you might want to know before starting this. Angie, our main character, has just graduated high school and this is her last summer before college. She ends up becoming infatuated with Jack, who's kind of a popular athlete in her town. They end up becoming a couple and have a full summer together, but will their relationship last? Or is this the only summer that they will have together?

This is a coming of age book through and through. The issue is: it's kind of dull. This book is very drawn out and nothing really happens. The romance didn't really help. I say romance lightly, because I don't really consider this a romance or a romance book. I didn't really see much of a romance, or chemistry between Jack and Angie. Even their conversations and dates seemed very dull and most of them (conversations especially) were skipped over or simply just recapped (this book was written as if Angie was telling you about her summer).

I also had issues with Angie. She seemed very judgmental and uppity at times. I don't know if this is just a way that people may have acted in the 40's (though I doubt it), or it's just the way Angie and her family were (her family was also like this). There's a scene where Jack is invited for dinner and they're all eating ice-cream. While Jack is eating, his spoon clicks against his teeth and the whole family basically acts like they found Satan at the table. Later, Angie even mentions to us how disgusted she is by this and even debates whether to stop seeing him just because of the way he ate his ice-cream. Seriously. And there are more moments like this, though not as big.


IN CONCLUSION
I know I keep bashing this book, but it wasn't that bad. I liked the setting and the overall summer feeling to this book. The author obviously was an amazing writer! I can also see why this book was a classic in it's day. It's a great coming of ago book and it does show things about first loves, it just wasn't for me.


I hereby give this book
2 Wheels
Meaning: It was okay

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bookish Rants and Rambles: Bookshelf Tour

Bookish Rants and Rambles is basically where I either rant or ramble about something dealing with books.

So the other day I was on Goodreads and noticed a new comment on this photo:
Well, this is "The National Library of Jessica"
Not all of these books are mine (some are my brother's) and there are quite a few books from my elementary days (*cough**cough* Warriors)
But it is still my library!
This was my library in early 2013. It was seeing this photo two years later that I realized how I really need to update this picture. 
This is my library back at home. I have read all of these books in these photos.
Now, these are at my apartment near the college I am currently attending. Pictured here are the books I own but haven't read. Except for the 3 library books on the very top (I have bought many books that were previously library books, so the books with library stickers within the shelves (Bone Season, Reunited, etc.) are books I own. 
Yeah, it's a lot. There's even a few books under my bed...

I'm sure you can tell that I have a book buying problem, especially when it comes to cheap used book sales (hence all the old library books). I love my library, but I'm running into a big problem where I have no more space whatsoever. I only have one little smidgen of space left on my shelves at home and I have no clue where I can put my black cubes when I go back in the summer. 

Anyway, anyone else have the same problem as me?
Anyone want to show off their bookcases?


REVIEW: Born of Deception by Teri Brown



Born of Deception (Born of Illusion, #2)
Budding illusionist Anna Van Housen is on top of the world: after scoring a spot on a prestigious European vaudeville tour, she has moved to London to chase her dream and to join an underground society for people like her with psychic abilities. Along with her handsome beau, Cole Archer, Anna is prepared to take the city by storm.

But when Anna arrives in London, she finds the group in turmoil. Sensitives are disappearing and, without a suspect, the group’s members are turning on one another. Could the kidnapper be someone within the society itself—or has the nefarious Dr. Boyle followed them to London?

As Cole and Anna begin to unravel the case and secrets about the society are revealed, they find themselves at odds, their plans for romance in London having vanished. Her life in danger and her relationship fizzling, can Anna find a way to track down the killer before he makes her his next victim—or will she have to pay the ultimate price for her powers?

Set in Jazz-Age London, this alluring sequel to Born of Illusion comes alive with sparkling romance, deadly intrigue, and daring magic.






NOTICE: THIS IS A SEQUEL FOR ANOTHER BOOK. THERE MAY BE SPOILERS FOR THE PREVIOUS BOOK.

MY THOUGHTS
It's been awhile since I read Born of Illusion, so my memory was a little rusty. I picked up the book anyway, as I happen to own a copy and, really, I should start reading the books I own. It was actually fairly easy to get into this book. My entire memory wasn't refreshed and there wasn't really I recap, but I could grasp enough to understand what was going on, especially since this read less than a continuation and more like a companion book.

This book takes place after the events of Born of Illusion. Anna and scored a spot on the vaudeville tour on the vaudeville tour. She moves to London to join a society full of Sensitives and gets to see her boyfriend, Cole, again. But when Sensitives go missing and one is found dead, Anna begins to question what is really going on here and whether she can trust the Society.

While I do not quite remember what exactly happened in Born of Illusion, I think it could have worked better as a standalone. I mentioned that this felt like a companion book, mainly because the major events in the last book ended and now there's a new mystery. But really, I felt like the mystery oddly took a backseat.

Anna really annoyed me in this book. I didn't remember Anna annoying me in the last book at all, but she was really bothersome in this book. Mostly because of the romance. Throughout the whole book, Anna complains about how distant Cole is, and he kinda is, but he is distracted. It really annoyed me how jealous Anna was at Cole being friends or just talking to other girls, one of which is married with kids. Then, she hangs out with a guy from her troupe, that actually wants to date her, and gets angry at Cole for being jealous. Hypocrite much?

IN CONCLUSION
I know I sound like I'm complaining, but I did like this book. My main issue was just the romance. I thought the the mystery was very interesting and I loved hearing more about the Sensitives. The 20's setting of this series is also great! Though, I really don't see the point in having a sequel. If you are a really big fan of Born of Illusion, then give this book a try.

I hereby give this book
3 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it

New Releases in YA! (March 29th-31st)

Every week I list all (or almost all) of the YA books (and the occasional MG and, rarely, adult) that are coming out within that week!
Here's what you get to look forward to this week:
P.S. Click on the book's cover for the Goodreads page!








What books, if any, do you plan to buy?

Saturday, March 28, 2015

REVIEW: Angel Eyes by Shannon Dittemore




Angel Eyes (Angel Eyes, #1)Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .

ANGEL EYES

Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.


A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.




MY THOUGHTS
This book was actually my first audiobook and it was a pretty nice start.

This book focuses on Brielle, who has just moved back to her small town after living in the city. Returning home is not a happy occasion, as her best friend has just died and Brielle blames herself for it. A new guy at school, Jake, becomes close to her and helps bring her out of her depression. After Jake heals her during a storm, Brielle finds out that there's a bigger picture involved. Both Brielle and Jake are involved in a war between angels and demons.

This book was really slow-going. It could be because of the audiobook, as I read much faster than the audiobook, but the first half of this book was very uneventful. It's just Brielle being enormously depressed and Jake trying to talk to her. That's it. There's a few scenes from the point of view of a demon and, I believe, a few angel points of view, but I just found those confusing in the beginning. Also, what happened to Brielle's friend is never mentioned in the beginning, along with why she was in the big city. So, it was a bit infuriating not knowing what happened. The story does eventual pick up the pace, though. And my questions do get answered! In fact, the entire last few chapters are very eventful!

Brielle was an okay character. At first, it was hard to fully connect with her. Her mind is very depressed in the beginning, which I can understand. When Jake began to talk to her, Brielle became a much more likeable character. It was very nice when chapters came along with Brielle having happier moments, mostly thanks to Jake (then she would feel guilty for feeling happy, which made me sad again for Brielle. I may not have known what happened to her friend, but Brielle deserves to be happy!). As for Jake, he is such a sweet guy! I loved how much he wanted Brielle to be happy again and how he kept trying to make her happy!

There is a romance in this book. As expected, it's between Brielle and Jake. I liked their relationship and I did think it was sweet. It wasn't insta-love, so that's a plus. Though, I'm a bit meh on it. It didn't knock my socks off or give me butterflies. It was just there.

IN CONCLUSION
Overall, I liked this book. The pacing is a bit slow and the romance is okay, but the characters and action-packed ending make up for it. I'm a little bit unsure about reading the next book, only because my library does not have a copy.
If you are a fan of angel books, then you should give this book a try!

I hereby give this book
3 Wheels
Meaning: I liked it

Stacking the Shelves (March 27th 2015)

Hosted by Tynga's Reviews. Stacking the Shelves is where all the book nerds can post about the lovely (or not so lovely) books that they've got this week.

P.S. The covers take you to the book's Goodreads page!



Books I've Read in the Last Week

I guess it was a slow week for me :(



From the Booksale

Yeah, I went to another booksale.
Though, I got all of these for free thanks to a coupon I had :)


Books I Reviewed
(The covers are linked to my review)





NEW DISCOVERIES
I add books to my TBR pile so often, that I decided to include the new additions to my ever-growing list.
I DID NOT RECEIVE OR BUY THESE BOOKS. I only added them to my TBR list.


No covers yet:
Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige

Also, I have a bunch of giveaways running! Check them out!




Anyway, what books did you haul in this week?