Sunday, June 26, 2011

Review: Stolen by Lucy Christopher

"You saw me before I saw you.
A girl: Gemma, at the airport, on her way to a family vacation.
You had that look in your eyes.
A guy: Ty rugged, tan, too old, oddly familiar, eyes blue as ice.
Like you wanted me.
She steps away. For just a second. He pays for her drink. And drugs it.
Wanted me for a long time.
He takes her, before she even knows what's happening.
To sand and heat.
To emptiness and isolation.
To nowhere.
And expects her to love him."

Copyright ©Scholastic- 2010


This book left me breathless at every page and a story that twisted my mind into thinking how wrong is quote-on-quote wrong.

This story follows around a sixteen-year old girl named Gemma, who comes from a wealthy/posh urban London lifestyle. She has been used to the life that her parents laid out for her and she just follows the path that was imprinted among her. Her mother's job, a curator, led her and her father, a stockbroker, into Bangkok Gemma is not the only one following them. Then comes this dark, handsome, mysterious man named Ty will the palest, icest, most gorgeous blue eyes you have ever seen. He is pretty much a hunk. When Gemma let him pay for her coffee he slips a drug in it causing hallucinations and dizziness and before you know it...both of them are along in the wilderness of the great outback, Australia.

Most of the story (letter) revolves around Gemma's life in Australia while Ty is there watching every move of hers. 

Gemma may be once taken advantage from Ty, however she is definitely not weak and tries to stand up to Ty every chance she gets. At first she shows a strong hatred to him, of course, and she will not eat, drink, look at his icy-blue eyes, or anything to do with Ty. Ty has dreams of them being alone together keeping her "forever, of course." Ty has been following Gemma for six years, ever since she was ten when she saw Ty at the lowest, most emotional point of his life. That ignited Ty's passion for knowing everything about Gemma and to hopefully, someday...make her her's. However, as much Gemma resents Ty and doesn't believe anything, she knows that Ty is right in the end. Ty and Gemma are the only people they have when they are stranded in the middle of nowhere and the only thing they have is a vast array of red sand. Gemma knows she is not going anywhere, but she keeps trying to escape in an abundance of different ways. Ty is a very dysfunctional and multi-dimensional yet Gemma bonds emotionally to him, because she knows that Ty is the only thing that will set her free. Ty never hesitates to any of Gemma's questions, and all he wants to show her is a new, different life. He wants to show her how great the stars can be, the simplicity of nature, and how freeing your surroundings can be. He knows that Gemma should have a better life...and you can't blame that on Ty. He is a very protective, and ahem handsome character who will do everything he can for Gemma, especially in the end where he hurts himself to save her. The best way to describe Ty as a non-venomous snake and if you read the book you will know why. He tries to conceal every bad emotional experience through his life by using Gemma, but in the end it all comes crashing down to him like a bunch of rocks. Again, read the book and you will know why...

I thought this book was an amazing read and you really wrap your head through Gemma's thoughts throughout the whole experience of being captured. Christopher's writing is very dark, illusive, awe-inspiring, and she shows the rawness of when a person is stripped to the very core and all she has is one person that knows everything about her, but she knows nothing about him. Because there is only two characters in the story there is alot of emotional fury through Gemma's character and alot of anguish/distress through Ty's. I couldn't take anyone's side, because I felt bad for both of them. I read this book in one sitting and Gemma knows that whether she likes it or not she does have Stockholm Syndrome. I just felt enraptured through Christopher's writing whether it would been the humid climate of the Australian desert, the emotional trauma, or through the tension between each character.

This is what I got reading through the book. 
Gorgeous right?!

This book was amazing and one of my favorites so far.


Five out of Five Stars.




           


And expects her to love him.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

"Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It's gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie's estranged father--an elusive European warlock--only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it's her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.
By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire student on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.
As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her."
Copyright ©Disney-Hyperion 

This is the 2nd book in my Witch challenge for 2011! (even though it has faeries, vamps, and shapeshifters--it mostly talks about witches)

I want to go to Hex Hall and be one of the Prodigium basically...
Honestly, I was quite nervous getting into Hex Hall simply due to the fact that Hex Hall was such a gush-worthy place in the blogosphere. Everyone has been raving and hyping up this book for so long, that I decided to pick it up and give it a go. 

My Synopsis:
This book follows a dark witch named Sophie Mercer who instead of trying to help one of her human 'friends' with a love spell, everything went downhill. See, witches and humans don't really interact well and Sophie's spell leads her to a reformatory school named Hectate Hall, or like everyone calls it Hex Hall. Hex Hall not only has witches and warlocks (male witches); shapeshifters, faeries, and maybe a vamp or two or as the Council likes to call 'The Prodigium.' Each group of Prodigium don't necessarily get along well together as catfights and brawls ensue between everyone and it seems like Sophie Mercer is in the middle of the mess. However, Sophie Mercer ends up rooming with a vampire with not-so-traditional vampire named, Jenna. However, due to the fact that Sophie's dad is a powerful warlock (and head of the Council, may I add) she is having a tough time living up to the name of being a dark witch, well because her spells aren't the best. There are more suspenseful elements added by Ms. Hawkins, because the Prodigium are being attacked by something--it could be L'Occhio di Dio (The Eye of God) or maybe the other obnoxious dark witches blame poor Jenna on the attacks. Sophie Mercer has a lot on her plate: trying to clear her friend Jenna on these attacks, trying to pass her classes, being forced into a coven she never wanted to be a part in, romance on a fellow warlock, and also trying to figure out her family's past and who Sophie Mercer really is.

Characters:
Sophie Mercer: I found Sophie to be my ideal heroine. She was witty, heroic, brave, humorous, and sarcastic. She definitely got the chuckles out of me that's definitely assured. There was definitely more than meets the eye with Sophie. Her responses to her fellow classmates and teachers mark a total LOL moments in the book and she doesn't feel the need to prove herself to anyone that she is this dark and majestic witch, because even though that's what Sophie is she is totally the opposite of that. She just wants to make peace, fit in, and try to make everything right between her and the Prodigium equals. The more I found out about Sophie in the story, the more I couldn't believe who she was really. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but you have to read the book to find out more (especially towards the end) on Ms. Sophiiaaa ;D
Jenna the Vamp: Jenna is not your run-of-the-mill vampire. She is pink obsessed; she has a pink stripe in her blond hair, and her whole room is decked out in yo guessed it pink.... definitely no coffins for Ms. Jenna. You definitely have a soft spot for Jenna in the book, because she is the only vampire in the school and everyone blames her on the two deaths of the dark witches. You figure out from the beginning that vampires do have a bad rap in the Hectate universe. Jenna definitely doesn't mean any harm and Jenna has only one friend Sophia who cheers her spirits up. Jenna is also gay, which I totally give props for Ms. Hawkins for incorporating LGBT in the book. 
Archer Cross: Dark, dreamy, mysterious--the ultimate bad boy. Archer is a warlock (or so we think in the beginning) and he complements Sophia very well. Both have the same humor and you want Sophia and Archer to be together from the very beginning. He, like Sophia, is troubled in his powers and even though he is the bad boy in the book there is a glimmer in him that you see that just wants to make peace and friendship between several of the characters.
Elodie: I had a rollercoaster relationship with Elodie in the book. Elodie is one of the few dark witches in the school and she tries to make Sophie join her coven which could only be dark witches. Elodie is more evil thank Sophie, and unlike Sophie what you see is what you get. she uses her powers her bad: killing other dark witches, summoning demons, and ultimately she does pay the price in the end. Her and Sophie don't really get along well throughout the story, but throughout the ending it's Alice (Sophie's great-grandmother) who ties them together. Elodie tries to bash on Sophie alot, because it's totally obvious Archer likes Sophie and doesn't like Elodie's illusions.

I also wanted to make note that everyone always thinks Archer as the ultimate hottie, but why not Cal? He is the white healing witch filled with that Paul Bunyan lumberjack mixed with highschool football quarteback into one! SCORE! (I need more Cal!) *lol*

Overall, the book was magnificent. I felt truly drawn into all the characters Ms. Hawkins threw in and she did a magically delightful job in putting her own unique twists in each one. So, I have to thank her in bringing Sophie into my life and creating a world like Hex Hall. I enjoyed the setting and I was a bit hesitant at first, because schools tend to be the same in YA stories. But, Hex Hall provided a mix of taboo, enchantment, and the strong old-fashioned values of the south into one place. The older female characters were amazing as well and I found myself being enraptred by Ms. Casnoff, Sophie's mother, and even wickedly-evil Ms. Vandy. I do have to admit the beginning showed a little bit slowness, but you always knew something was coming to you in Hex Hall. I loved Ms. Hawkins fluidity in the way she wrote and the constant cliffhangers chapter through chapter is what made me not willing to put the book down. The book also ends on a cliffhanger so, guys please don't read Demonglass reviews, because it will ruin the story. 

This book was utterly astonishing, and I have to read Demonglass.

Five out of Five Stars!


Follow Rachel Hawkins on twitter too!
She's hilarious xD


Saturday, June 18, 2011

How Much I LOATHE Buffy the Vampire Slayer!





Man, I love me some Buffy..... I have this serious obsession about the TV series, I mean to me Joss Whedon is like a god for creating Buffy. Every summer I have this ongoing 'ritual' so-to-speak where I re-watch the whole Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons. I am such a nerdula when it comes to Buffy, and I nearly piss in my pants every time Angel aka. David Boreanaz comes in the scene. I again, have always loved Buffy and it was (and always will be) one of my favorite television shows. Whedon puts awesome characters like Drusilla to Giles to Willow and I love everyone of them. The mix of special FX makeup to action-packed scenes always captured my attention I suppose. I have been loving kick-ass females as well, and they have been popping up around lately like The Nine Lives of Chloe King series (which I am loving already). I think Buffy was one of the first paranormal TV shows which brought humour, suspense, paranormal elements, romance, and a whole lotta kick-assery which I think us paranormal YA readers have to respect. 


I am also going to pick up the book ( I know...total *lol* )

Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1: Coyote Moon; Night of the Living Rerun; Portal Through Time 


I also recently picked up Slayer by Amanda Marrone which I am reading at the momentum. 


I am sensing a theme here...*lol*

Anyways, do you guys like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and do you have an Angelgasm every time David Boreanaz comes on in the scene *lol*

(I'm watching the second episode now on netflix!) 

Bye bookwormies!









Sunday, June 12, 2011

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

"Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire. Smart, charming, beautiful, √Čtienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend. 
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with a long-awaited French kiss? Stephanie Perkins keeps the romantic tension crackling and the attraction high in a debut guarenteed to make toes tingle and hearts melt."
Copyright © Dutton Books 2010 by Stephanie Perkins

This book left me wanting more and more...and more.
Challenge: Goodread Quarterly Challenge 2011:
I couldn't help myself. This book just blew other YA chick-lit romances into the water. Usually, I am not a big fan of contemporary romances (I prefer my paranormal, but thanks to Anna and the French Kiss I really now am more open to checking out more books like this in the YA genre.

The Review:
Anna and the French Kiss has been generating a lot of buzz in the blogosphere, and I wasn't drawn to it apparently for some odd reason. Generally chick-lit gives the effect on me, but now i'm kicking myself with Etienne St. Clair's boots harder until I bleed, because I am mad I didn't get to this book sooner.
Seriously, if you're thinking about reading this book--do it!
The story is about a girl named Anna Oliphant (aka. bananaelephant) who gets shipped of to a French boarding school called SOAP (School of Americca), because her dad wants her to experience more culture and whatnot. However, Anna doesn't want to leave Atlanta, Georgia--her best friend, Bridgette, her sort-of boyfriend that she meets in the movies, Toph, and her favorite little brother in the world that she will miss- Seany. Lets just say, that going to SOAP is not her favorite idea persay. However, she does meet some colorful characters when she gets there: 

Meredith: The fun-loving soccer playing girl who lives across the hall from Anna and gushes over one boy that will have some consequences at the end for both Anna and Meredith.
Rashmi: Anna's true close friend who guides Anna in the right directions and always has Anna's back at the end of the day- she is flawed and understands that everyone makes mistakes, but that's life for her.
Josh: Rashmi's boyfriend and a very typical bad-boy. Ditches class, fights, is into sketching, and has a skull-and-crossbones tattoo. Very cool character and gives off the vibe that he doesn't give a f***. *lawls*
Etienne St. Clair: *dies* Oh, Etienne why must I love you so? He is Josh's roomate and the cutest guy at SOAP. Ultimate hottie- popular, nice, and the perfect gentleman who gives Anna the time of day that she deserves. He makes Anna experience Paris through his eyes, and gets aggravated when Anna doesn't give her full-frontal focus to him. He has a British-accent, *spoiler* a mother who developed cancer in the book* and his father is a total-douche--something him and Anna can relate to. Did I mention he has a girlfriend *Grrrrr*

Overall, I found the characters to be relatable, but not boring. There are fights in the book, partying, and how each character relies on each other in the book...especially Etienne and Anna. Etienne helps Anna experience Paris and he shows her all his favorite places; Anna's favorite is the Bassett Hound theater , because Anna loves the movies and she is an aspiring movies critic. As the story unfolds, Anna sees how amazing Paris is and she is itching to get back to see Etienne when she is in Atlanta for winter break. Etienne and Anna share a deep connection when they're alone, however both of them fight in the name of love. Etienne had a girlfriend, which deeply aggravates Anna at the end of the day, because she develops undeniable feelings for Etienne towards the end. Both Etienne and Anna gravitate towards each other from the very minute that they see each other and their chemistry is evident. I really got absorbed in the book with the unfolding of their relationship and I just wish every man would be an Etienne...not a Dave or a Toph (read the book and you'll understand). Anna is not absolutely perfect, because she shows her true emotions in the end and she realizes that she can't make her life as pristine as her room.

I really enjoyed Perkins' writing style and how she really took me through Paris through Anna from the Luxembourg Gardens to creperies to the Notre Dame cathedral in the end (oh, so many good memories at the Norte Dame).
Here is a line from the book that summed up the gorgeousness' of Paris itself:
"The leaves are bright green with birth, the chesnut trees are clustered with pink buds, and the walkways are lined with lemon yellow tulips."
Yeah.
I loved the ending, but I do not want to spoil it for anyone else and I am glad it didn't end like one of the books of Anna's father (how they never had a true happy-ending). This book really was a coming-of-age story in a way and it answers that by leaving your parents can mean that true experiences evolve and I did enjoy Anna always second guessing herself in the name of Monsieur Etienne St. Clair. ;D

And, Stephenie Perkins is a NERDFIGHTER! Yes, DFTBA Stephenie Perkins and I can't wait for Lola and the Boy Next Door! 

Five out of Five Stars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy readings!





Sunday, June 5, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

"It's always been just Kate and her mom- and her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall. 
+
Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld- and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive when Kate tries to pass the seven tests.
+
Kate is sure he's crazy-until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.
+
IF SHE FAILS..."
Copyright © Harlequin Teen

This book was so hyped up in my head, and it just fell flat in my opinion. 

Synopsis: 
Katherine, or Kate, Winters grew up in the livelihood of New York City, with some of her favorite memories being with her mom. Her mom is terminally ill and she relocated to Eden, Michigan where all she does is sit at her mothers bedside and look as she slowly drifts away. Desperate to salvage her mother and her own identity she makes a deal with Henry. Henry aka. Hades is God of the Underworld, and makes a bargain with Kate when one of her friends, Ava, falls into the river and Henry retrieves her back to life. The deal Kate makes with Henry is that she gets to live forever if...she passes the seven tests in which the council (filled with a bunch of Henry's cousins and family aka. the main Greek Gods. Kate often questions if she has enough courage to stay or leave the manor on which Henry lives on or leave knowing she can't be with him or her mom forever. 

Characters
Katherine (Kate) Winters: Kate is your typical and average brooding teenage girl. She cuts class and questions life constantly and relies on others for her identity. Honestly, Kate is a boring character and the typical angsty teenager that I hope I would get in the book. I wish some more passion wold have ignited out of Kate to become more of a heroine in which she is supposed to be in the book. I couldn't deal with her nonsense and that she doesn't know how to defend herself in any way, shape, or form. She just allow strange men into her house and life and I wish I had more background with Kate as a character. Being that she is the main character... I didn't enjoy this book a whole lot. 
Henry: Henry is definitely not the bad boy I pictured when I was going into the story whatsoever. I felt as if, he was not God of the Underworld, but more as the God of do-whatever-you-want-I-don't-really-care-about-you-and-have-fun-frolicking-in-my-palace-filled-with-the-dead. I also didn't think he was dark, brooding, or mysterious (apparently, that was the opposite), because he was just annoying as well. His romance had a struggle budding with Kate and he, to me, was just a creeper that followed Kate everywhere and her bedroom when she was undressing. Wierd. 
Ava: Eh. I didn't really care for Ava's foolish endeveavors in the palace and she was the bane of my exsistence. She was more rebellious than Hades at least. 
Ella and Calliope: Ella was my favorite servant, she was the most bad-ass and Calliope just your run-of-the-mill caretaker. 
James: He was an OK character. Not the best re-appear character I have read about.

Honestly, it was a struggle getting through this book. I wish it had more action and survival that Kate would experience in the Underworld--not everyone waiting on her hand and foot. I was annoyed with most of the characters and the relationships- except for Kate's undying devotion to her mom. Otherwise, the gods were so minor and so shy that they were invisible in the book, and the book should have relied more heavily on them, in my opinion. The seven tests Kate goes through are the seven deadly sins and there is no happy ending in the end. I have no idea how I finished this, but it was boring. Kate just offered her loyalty to any character that would appear and her constant whining and bantering with Henry made me agitated. Overall, the Greek mythology in the book was very poorly executed and the Gods shouldn't be Gods at all...especially Henry which he was a very questionable Hades. The gods were the most disappointing element of this Greek mythology-based book and that the Gods should be filled with more emotion, lust, vain, and fire--this was also what I wanted to get while reading this book. Alot of the things happened were predictable in this book. I gave this book a two-star review, because it had good writing in Kate's POV and Kate was redeemable as a character. Everything else was not. 

Guys, next time when you step into the bookstore just please...don't be fooled by the pretty cover.

2 out of 5 stars.


Review: Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block

"Something is happening to Charlotte Emerson. Like the fires ravaging in the hills of L.A., it consumes her from the inside out. 
Something to do with the tear in her enviably perfect nails. The way she feels when she's with the brooding, magnetic Jared. The blood rushing once again to her cheeks and throughout her veins. 
For Charlotte is a vampire, witness to almost a century's worth of death and destruction. But not since she was a human girl and mortality touched her.Until now." 
Copyright ©2009 HarperTeen- an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

This is the 1st book for my 2011 Vampire Challenge!


This was a strange vampire book that I have read and the first book that I've read from Francesca Lia Block. 

My Synopsis:
Vampire girl, Charlotte Emerson, has dealt with death her past, present, and future. She is surrounded by a busy world, but somehow she feels isolated in her palacial-like home. She finds herself that as much one desires for eternal life and beauty, it is something to her sh longs to not want to have anymore. Charlotte's true friend that she had, Emily, has died mysteriously; Emily's long wish to be just like Charlotte drop-dead beautiful and to live forever. When Emily dies, Charlotte starts morphing into a human and she gets zits, periods, and pimples. She also finds herself fancied by Emily's boyfriend, Jared, company. Also her creator and long-term boyfriend William comes strangely back into her life bringing Emily back from the dead. What will Charlotte do live forever or die human?

Characters:
Charlotte Emerson: Charlotte actually was tolerable, in my opinion. She writes gothic poetry, enjoys clothes, and she generally doesn't want to be stricken with death all the time. She is described as being drop-dead gorgeous with pale skin and painted red lips (hence, the cover) and nails. She really longs for her true soul mate and she really wants to have her baby. I would also describe her attitude as very maternal in terms her behavior towards characters in her book. 
Jared Pierce: Jared is very clingy and emotional. His look is very bad-ass and he is described as brooding and magnetic, but he is very torn emotionally inside from his girlfriend's death to being the 'black sheep' of his family. I didn't really like the male characters of the book, and I wished Jared would just honestly, grow some balls.
William (Billy) Stone Eliot: Now, William has too much balls and is very cocky. I do not like how he treated Charlotte, his forcefulness, and his pushiness. He caused ruckus and chaos wherever he went, and killed people who were close to him and Charlotte. Did not enjoy his tricks whatsoever.
Emily Rosedale: Emily was very vulnerable and a great character. She was very tomboyish and completed Charlotte's character. However, I did not think of her as the cute tomboy at the end and what *spoiler* William made her at the end.

Overall, this book was so-so. I think Block's writing style is very creative, illusive, and her fully-detailed imagery created pictures in my mind. I think that the nudity and the f-word curses could have been put away, but otherwise she done a beautiful job in taking us through the ages with Charlotte from 1925-to present day. I also, didn't really care for the fashion and all the grand splendor, but it added to the story- made it more fluffy than it would have been. There is some history, paranormal, and contemporary thrown in all together which I had enjoyed. I think her characters made me the most disappointed and the boy characters made this book fall from 5 to 3 stars. Honestly, if there were was a better romance (not just undeveloped sex) and a better male lead(s)...

3 out of 5 stars.



Thursday, June 2, 2011

Collective Giveaway of @ RickyShultz!

Hey bookwormies!
Just wanted to inform you about a cool giveaway that I stumbles upon over at Ricky Shultz's blog! You have a chance to win one book of choice and there are loads to choose from! From Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher to an ARC of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levinthan. She has seventeen different titles, and there is everything from chick lit to paranormal/horror. 


Here is the link where the giveaway is located:
http://rickischultz.blogspot.com/2011/06/giveaway-1-winners-announced-giveaway-2.html


Again, thanks to Ricki for hosting a phenomenal giveaway!


Follow her twitter too (to get an extra point even!)
http://twitter.com/RickiSchultz