Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book Review: Frozen Fire by Tim Bowler

Book Description:

It starts with a phone call. “I’m dying,” a voice tells Dusty. Who is he and how has he gotten her cell number? Dusty wants no part of this strange boy . . . until he begins saying things that only someone who knows her intimately could say—things that lead her to think he knows the whereabouts of her brother, who disappeared over a year ago. Suddenly drawn in, Dusty very much wants to save this boy. Trouble is, she cannot find him. Part human, part spirit, he won’t let himself be found. He is too dangerous, he says. There are mobs of people who agree and who want to see this boy dead . . . and who will hurt anyone who stands in their way.


A gripping, hair-raising mystery about a boy not of this world, and a girl determined to protect him.

My Thoughts:

Okay, I just finished this last Saturday afternoon. It started with a really weird phone call. I must say, that phone call alone was enough to keep me going. As the story progressed, I got to see how the boy was different. He's as white as snow. Sometimes he leaves footprints, sometimes he doesn't. He can kill people or animals with just a wave of a hand and send anyone and anything flying against such a powerful and unseen force. He knows intimate things about people. He can peek into your head.

When a person, attempts to commit suicide, it means that that person is really in a bad situation. Suicide is a cry for help in terms of psychology. On the night the boy called, he admitted that he was commiting suicide. This is the reason why eventhough everyone claims and insists that the boy is dangerous, Dusty couldn't believe them. She sensed that the boy is in a desperate and painful situation. Apart from that she was convinced that he knew something about Josh, her brother who's been missing for two years. Since she's convinced of the boy's good side and his knowledge of Josh, she was determined to protect him from his numerous enemies, as well as the authorities.

This is one of the most wonderful books I've ever read. Why? Tim Bowler described the place really vividly. I haven't seen or experienced snow in my entire life. I live in a tropical country. But when I read his novel, it was as if I've experienced it. He presented a great mystery. One that was not fully explained. By now, you'd probably be thinking, why is it one of the most wonderful books I've ever read if I wasn't really able to understand what the mystery was. Well, the thing is I love this novel because the mystery remains a mystery. Not all things can be explained. There are a handful of things that can never be answered and this mystery is one of those things. I got to see what was it like to be the boy through Dusty's experience near the ending of the book. And to know what the experience of the mystery itself is a form of answer in a way.

Frozen Fire is an intense psychological thriller that will keep you asking for answers and will touch your heart with the pang of loss, sadness, aloneness, confusion and pain. But in the end, eventhough the ending of this story is quite sad, you will find hope for a fresh start. We can lose the people we love. And if that happens, there's nothing we can do but to accept it and move on. Moving on doesn't mean completely wiping out everything about the ones we lost. Moving on means keeping a part of them inside your heart and living life to the fullest.

Rating:


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Heavenly Saturday (2)


Heavenly Saturday is a new meme hosted by Precious (me) from Fragments of Life, which features verses from the Bible that can spark inspirations within our lives. Personally, I have experienced God in my life and I can attest to the fact that He is 'real.' If He isn't, I don't think I'll be where I am right now.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;

for thou alone, O Lord, makest me dwell in safety.

 - Psalms 4:8


Thanks to Luce for the wonderful photo!

Angelic Friday (26/02/10) Featuring City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare


Angelic Friday is a new Meme started by me, that features books that explore the lives of angels, nephilims and fallen angels.



The third angelic series that captivated me is the Mortal Instruments Series! I didn't have the chance to read this chronologically. MI is so famous here that when the stocks would arrive, they'd be gone in a day or two. So I had to deal with it. I read the second book first - City of Ahes. (I know. I'm not supposed to do that. But I couldn't wait anymore. I wanted to know who Clary and Jace are.)

Book Description: Clary Fray just wishes that her life would go back to normal. But what's normal when you're a demon-slaying Shadowhunter, your mother is in a magically induced coma, and you can suddenly see Downworlders like werewolves, vampires, and faeries? If Clary left the world of the Shadowhunters behind, it would mean more time with her best friend, Simon, who's becoming more than a friend. But the Shadowhunting world isn't ready to let her go -- especially her handsome, infuriating, newfound brother, Jace. And Clary's only chance to help her mother is to track down rogue Shadowhunter Valentine, who is probably insane, certainly evil -- and also her father.

To complicate matters, someone in New York City is murdering Downworlder children. Is Valentine behind the killings -- and if he is, what is he trying to do? When the second of the Mortal Instruments, the Soul-Sword, is stolen, the terrifying Inquisitor arrives to investigate and zooms right in on Jace. How can Clary stop Valentine if Jace is willing to betray everything he believes in to help their father?

In this breathtaking sequel to City of Bones, Cassandra Clare lures her readers back into the dark grip of New York City's Downworld, where love is never safe and power becomes the deadliest temptation.
 
My Thoughts:
 
After reading the first few pages of City of Ashes, I felt stupid. Why? Because I've been denying myself such a wonderful read for years! I've always seen MI at the bookstore, but I never got to the point where I picked it up and brought it home with me.
 
Jace is a very sexy badboy. Aside from witnessing his passion to fight, we get to see his soft spot for Clary. Speaking of Clary, I love her. I like how she's so herself. As the story progresses, we find out about Jace and Clary's unique abilities. What's so wonderful about Clary is that she tries to do what's right. That's the thing that makes her so realistic. It can be seen in this line:
 
"What do you want me to tell you? The truth? The truth is that I love Simon like I should love you, and I wish he was my brother and you weren't, but I can't do anything about that and neither can you!" - from page 181.

She admits that she loves Jace and it's clear that there's a part of her that wants to be with him, that wants to love him openly but she also knows that it's not...proper. Because they're brother and sister. Then there is Simon. The bestfriend. He's so funny! He makes me laugh. MI will definitely not work without Simon. And then, another character that struck me is Alec. I was shocked when I found out he's not straight. Man! I didn't see that coming. But hey, Magnus Bane has his charms.

This is the only novel I've ever encountered that probably had all the supernatural creatures imaginable in it - vampires, werewolves, faeries, demons, nephilims. I especially love how Cassandra Clare defined what faeries are - the children of demons and angels, having the beauty of angels and the wickedness of demons. She gave the race a very justifiable reason to exist in the paranormal world.

The attacks made by their father, Valentine, and his very deceiving words makes the whole story complex and thrilling. There were times when I'd think like this: He's just being good - standing up for what he thinks is right and leading a movement that will bring change for the better. Then he would do something that a father won't do. And I'd stick to my first impression: He's bad! He's bad, bad, bad! Cassandra Clare makes me react. She makes me love, hate and understand the characters.

I enjoyed everything: the love triangle of Jace-Clary-Simon, the unexpected relationship between Magnus Bane and Alec, the terrifying Inquisitor, the steps of Valentine, the somewhat-bitter experience of Maia, the fight scenes and the moments of emotional struggle.

City of Ashes is a story of good versus evil, a strained confession of brother-sister love, a tangle of feelings and emotions that kindles as events unfold one by one. The lesson here is standing up for what's right. We can't tolerate anything bad, even if it means going up against our own family. When the time comes to do our duty as people, as citizens, we must only do what's right, in accordance to the law and justice.

Rating:

For days, I've been thinking about nothing but the world of MI. My mind kept drifting back to Clary and Jace. I will give this...5 Cupids!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Alexandra Bracken's Contest


Only one more month before Brightly Woven's release day!
And Alexandra is holding a big contest!

Check out the prizes:

First Prize:


- A signed, finished copy of Brightly Woven
- A $50 gift card to the bookstore of your choice (Amazon, B&N, Borders, Chapters, you name it!)
- A signed bookmark

Second Prize:

- A signed, finished copy of Brightly Woven
- The following fantastic books from EgmontUSA:
The Dark Divine, Scones & Sensibility, and Candor,
- A signed bookmark

Third Prize

- A $20 giftcard to the bookstore of your choice
- ARCs of these fantastic Egmont books: Siren, The Boy Who Could Fly, The False Princess, and Frozen in Time
- A signed bookmark

The Prize for Anyone that sends her proof that they pre-ordered a copy of Brightly Woven at acbracken(at)gmail.com:

- A spiffy signed bookmark
- Alexandra's eternal love and gratitude

Go to Alexandra Bracken's site to join!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fast Forward Monday

Fast Forward Monday is a Meme that I will be starting in Fragments of Life. It features books that will be released in the next three months.

Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
Release Date: March 2, 2010

Book Description:

Something—some power—is blooming inside Laurel. She can use flowers to do things. Like bringing back lost memories. Or helping her friends ace tests. Or making people fall in love.

Laurel suspects her newfound ability has something to do with an ancient family secret, one that her mother meant to share with Laurel when the time was right. But then time ran out.

Clues and signs and secret messages seem to be all around Laurel at Avondale School, where her mother had also boarded as a student. Can Laurel piece everything together quickly enough to control her power, which is growing more potent every day? Or will she set the stage for the most lovestruck, infamous prom in the history of the school?

Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
Release Date: May 25, 2010

Book Description:

It’s all she’s ever wanted to be, but it couldn’t be further from her grasp…
Dana Hathaway doesn’t know it yet, but she’s in big trouble. When her alcoholic mom shows up at her voice recital drunk, again, Dana decides she’s had enough and runs away to find her mysterious father in Avalon: the only place on Earth where the regular, everyday world and the captivating, magical world of Faerie intersect. But from the moment Dana sets foot in Avalon, everything goes wrong, for it turns out she isn't just an ordinary teenage girl—she's a Faeriewalker, a rare individual who can travel between both worlds, and the only person who can bring magic into the human world and technology into Faerie.

Soon, Dana finds herself tangled up in a cutthroat game of Fae politics. Someone's trying to kill her, and everyone seems to want something from her, from her newfound friends and family to Ethan, the hot Fae guy Dana figures she’ll never have a chance with… until she does. Caught between two worlds, Dana isn’t sure where she’ll ever fit in and who can be trusted, not to mention if her world will ever be normal again…

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Release Date: May 18, 2010

Book Description:

Torn between two destinies?
Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?.

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
Release Date: May 3, 2010

Book Description:


Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents’ rules – especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father’s office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.

To better her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen’s sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill’s accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything – even Tristen’s love – just for the thrill of being… bad.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Book Description:

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.

We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

The Trailer:



My Thoughts:

I have one word: WOW.

Beautiful Creatures is a wonderfully written original story. While I was reading, I felt like I was really there. Gatlin is a place that I could easily see in my head, it was as if Gatlin really existed. There was never a time that I got tired of reading. This one kept me thinking. While I was in school, in my Spanish major class, I would think 'I wonder what will happen next.' Since I brought my book to me everyday to school, my hand kept itching toward my bag and I had to fight so hard to listen to my prof. That is how Beautiful Creatures captivated me.

I loved that for once, the guy is telling the whole story. Ethan Wate and Lena Ducchanes are one of the most real characters I've ever met. Yeah, I know, this is fiction. But where I'm from witches do exist. And no, I'm not kidding. It just so happens that I live in the city and they live in the provinces.

I never got tired of reading Ethan and Lena's adventures with the locket, their poring over The Book of Moons, their silent mind conversations and their dreams. And this time, the guy is the normal one. It's great to be able to get inside a guy's mind and see what he thinks and what he feels. Plus, I loved the moments when Ethan would wake up from a dream-turned-nightmare and find himself covered in mud or water or whatever it was that was in his dream. Lena is a very unique girl, apart from her gifts, she isn't like the other girls in Gatlin and frankly, I can't imagine her as one of them. Her being suits her personality. Even though she's going through a lot of pressure and agony, she makes sure that the people she care about are okay. In the times that she does hurt or worry the people she care about, she makes sure that she makes it up to them. She's an unordinary girl wanting to be ordinary in a society with fixed assumptions.The other characters are equally distinct and mesmerizing.

Beautiful Creatures is a story about a gifted girl's struggles with her destiny, her nature, and her social problems. In this novel, we get to see that in every place, there is bound to be an error, an unfairness in how the members of the society might respond to change - it could be cultural change or anything that will affect them. Honestly, I've seen it happen not just in Beautiful Creatures, but also here in my country. I guess there are just things that can't be entirely accepted by the people who like consistencies. Above all, this is a story of how love can be the ultimate source of strength, hope, and inspiration in times of problems.

Oh, and I CAN'T wait for the next one!!

To Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl: You guys rock! :)

Rating:


Friday, February 19, 2010

Angelic Friday (19/02/10) Fallen by Lauren Kate


There's an abundance of Daniels in the YA fiction world. And today, I'm going to review a book that stars a Daniel within its pages - Fallen by Lauren Kate!

Book Description:

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.
Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

My Thoughts:

I'm so attracted to the idea of Luce seeing shadows. I like shadows. To experience something such as being the only one who can see these things and not be believed is miserable. It's saddening in my part that Luce had to go through things as a 'consequence' for the rational behavior she exhibited - which is to tell that she indeed saw and heard shadows. The constant referral to the shadows are temporarily cut off when Luce goes to a reform school called Sword & Cross, the place where she meets Daniel.

Daniel was this cold guy who always avoids Luce. But as the story progressed, I started to understand why he was doing it, he was trying - in vain - to delay something that he fears from happening. From that angle, I can say that he was actually very concerned, thoughtful and protective. I can't imagine going through the eternal emotional torture he's been through.

The characters were well-developed. I particularly liked Arianne! I think she's the naughty version of Alice Cullen from Twilight. Plus, for the most part of the story, I liked Cam for Luce. I really did! Everyone in the novel has their own unique sane and insane characteristics.

The first half of the novel is all about Luce being the new girl - the only girl who doesn't know anybody in Sword & Cross prior to being sent there. We see how she struggles, how she copes, how she meets friends, how she meets Cam and how she develops her crush on Daniel. This part is stuffed with the adjusting she does to the strict rules. The first half of the novel was a little too slow for my liking. But despite this, I kept reading. Why? Because it was so beautifully written. And I wanted to know what would happen next. To elicit this kind of response from me, the book should be good. And Fallen is good.

The second half of the novel is where the magic happens - secrets are revealed bit by bit. We get subtle hints here and there. Daniel and Luce start to have this connection. But then, Daniel, being the cold guy that he is, doesn't let this connection become fully established. A shocking revelation is revealed somewhere near the end. Trust is betrayed. But as long as Luce is with Daniel and the fallen, she's safe. Isn't she?

Fallen is a tale of love that transcends through time with buds of hope in every meeting and the threat of enemies that coax the events to the battlefield. It's all about finding love in the strangest places, believing the unbelievable and choosing the right people to trust.

Rating:


Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain

Book Description:

From Amazon:
Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared--the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in his own blood--but she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night held. The memories her family has tried to bury resurface when Daniel returns, three years later, and enrolls in Grace and Jude's high school. Despite promising Jude she'll stay away, Grace cannot deny her attraction to Daniel, and the strange, hungry glint in his eyes...

My Thoughts:

The Dark Divine is a retelling of the Parable of the Prodigal Son with a paranormal twist. It’s one of the reasons why I was so excited to read this. Unlike most YA books, this has a religious theme. When I say religious, I mean that a Supreme Being is considered here.

Grace is a very considerate, loyal, helpful and independent character. She’s not a saint. But she’s definitely an angel on earth. Upon seeing the condition Daniel is in, she decides to help him get his life back, despite his brother’s warnings to stay away from him and all the accusations against him. As she tries to help Daniel, Jude starts acting unlike himself. Grace wonders what really happened the night she last saw Daniel, which made her brother loathe him.

Daniel is the i-don’t-really-care prodigal. But is he really? On the outside he looks rebellious, dangerous, bad. But as the story progresses, we get to see why he has become like this. It was revealed that he is still he childhood crush that Grace loved. But he didn’t return with the same mud pie eyes, he returned with onyx orbs that reflect light. He’s struggling with an ancient curse that’s passed down to him by his father.

The first half of the novel elaborates the life of Grace Divine, her responsibilities and duties as the pastor’s daughter in Rose Crest. We get to see the strict unwritten laws that she follows everyday. We get to see how sincere she is in helping people in need. In this case, Daniel – her once-brother and childhood crush. In the first half, there are subtle hints that can reveal bits of information about Daniel’s identity. The second half of the novel pours in the crafted mythology of Bree Despain mixed with biblical and historical content. Daniel’s past is unfolded before Grace in a strained and desperate confession. The events before the ending is fast paced, thrilling, exciting and it kept me reading at full speed. It all ended with a promise of change and love in the Garden of Angels, Daniel’s sanctuary – a place that he shared with Grace.

The Dark Divine is a wonderfully-written story of love, acceptance and forgiveness. It opens our eyes to the places where the danger of pride and anger can take us. Another lesson here is the act of charity. Don, a man who falls under the category of ‘needy’ donates 32 christmas hams to needy people. Sometimes, giving hurts. And when it does hurt to give, to sacrifice, that’s when our act of goodness is truly appreciated.

Rating:

Heavenly Saturday


Heavenly Saturday is a new meme hosted by Precious (*coughs* me) from Fragments of Life, which features verses from the Bible that can spark inspirations within our lives. Personally, I have experienced God in my life and I can attest to the fact that He is 'real.' If He isn't, I don't think I'll be where I am right now.



"Trust in the Lord with all your heart

Lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him

And He will direct your path."

Proverbs 3: 5-6



Thank you to my friend Luce for the wonderful picture! :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Angelic Friday (02-12-10)


Since the day I read Hush, hush, I've become so fascinated with angels and other divine creatures - fallen or not. I've decided to do host a new meme called Angelic Friday. Angelic Friday features books that explore the lives of angels, nephilims and fallen angels.

For today, I'm going to feature the book that started it all - the book that sparked and entirely kindled my fascination on angels: Hush, hush by Becca Fitzpatrick!


Book Description:

Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those who have fallen -- and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

First Impression:

I stumbled upon the Hush, hush while I was browsing the page of Shiver at the B&N site. It was included in the 'Customers who bought this also bought' part. 'The cover was so striking that I decided right there and then that I just have to buy it. The cover of Hush, hush is one of the most stunning covers I've ever seen. Plus, it really gave me a dark, dangerous and mysterious vibe.

My Thoughts:

Hush, hush is one of my favorite novels! I read this novel on a school night. I was barely able to sleep. And no, I'm not exaggerating! I really couldn't put this one down. I couldn't let Patch down.

Nora is a normal girl in high school. On a fateful day in Biology class, she gets partnered with a senior transferee who never talked in class - Patch - and on their first conversation ever, she gets creeped out. Patch seems to know a lot of things about Nora. To make things worse, he doesn't seem to care about their bio homework. With a tinge of annoyance and a sense that her bio partner is dangerous, she journeys through life as normally as she could. I got attached to Nora. She maintains her Nora-ish personality throughout the novel. And that's what I like about her.

Patch is the best badboy character I've ever encountered. Really! I've read lots of novels after Hush, hush but no other badboy can claim superiority above Patch. His character is strongly developed and is very realistic. He has this 'macho' identity. With a mouthful of innuendos and angelic allure, he can make any girl fall into temptation.

I really liked every bit of this novel. The plot was wow-worthy. Fitzpatrick weaved all the scenes in perfect order and released enough information regarding Patch's mystery at the right time. One of the things that I like about this is that there were lots of unexpected things that really surprised me. On the latter part of the book, many things were unraveled and I was left thinking: "I didn't see that coming! I never even thought of it!" I absolutely enjoyed it!

With a ton of questions, an admirer asking her out all the time, a school psychologist that tells her to stay away from her bio partner, a stalker, and Patch lingering beside her, alluring as ever, will Nora find out what's really happening around her before it's too late?

Hush, hush is a story of hope, chance and love. It opens our eyes to the fact that no matter how bad you are, there is always a chance for you to change for the better. No matter how hard we fall, we can always rise with a new surge of perseverance and hope. Love is found in the strangest places, in this case Nora found it in Patch - a guy she disliked in the beginning.

Hush, hush is a fast paced, thrilling and hypnotic novel that lures readers into the coldness of Maine where mysteries breed and secrets are unraveled in a maze full of twists and turns. Readers are bound to want the sequel - Crescendo that will be coming out later this year.




International Contests

Larissa at Welcome to Larissa's Life is having a 350 followers giveaway! Like most of her contests, this one is also open internationally. There will be 3 winners and for every 50 more followers that she get, she will add more winners!


There are 8 prizes to choose from:



Go here and enter!

Robby at Once Upon a Book Blog is having a January/February contest. You can win a book that came out last month or will be coming out this month. Go to her blog and comment! This contest ends on February 28.


Here are some of the books that came out last month or will come out this February:


Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson
All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab
The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Pretty Little Liars - Heartless by Sara Shepard
Boys, Girls, and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosalind Wiseman
In A Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth
Getting Revenge On Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook

Wings at Story Wings is having an international 49 followers contest! For every 25 more followers, she will three more books to her awesome pile of prizes! As of now, there will be two winners.

The Prizes (More will be added soon depending on the followers she gains):

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder
Going too Far by Jennifer Echols
City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater
Shiver by Maggie Steifvater
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Firespell by Chloe Neil
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Darklight by Lesley Livingston
Fallen by Lauren Kate


Soooo many books to chose from!
Follow her and enter the giveaway here!

Reggie at The Undecover Booklover is turning 15 next month! To celebrate this special event, she's holding a Birthday Bash Contest!

One winner will take all of the following:

1 Finished copy of The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
1 Finished copy of The Sight by Judy Blundell
1 Finished copy of Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn
1 Finished copy of Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
1 Finished copy of The Line by Teri Hall
1 Finished copy of The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
1 Finished copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
1 Finished copy of Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
1 Finished copy of Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White
1 Finished copy of Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Go here to enter!

The Book Resort is giving away a copy of Firespell by Chloe Neill!



Open internationally!
Ends on March 31.

 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

An Opportunity for International Bloggers

The Bookologist and The Undercover BookLover started International Book Tours(IBT). This step will definitely help international bloggers by giving them a chance to access to certain books (most likely ARCs) that's bound to help the YA market grow globally. Spreading the word about authors is one of the purposes of IBT.

Most publishers don't send ARCs internationally, by participating in the tours here, bloggers who are not from US and Canada will be given equal opportunity.

As of now, here are the current book tours:

One-book Tour: Forget-her-nots by Amy Brecount White
Two-book Tour: Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Three-book Tour: Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison
 
So, if you're interested in YA books and if you're willing to ship internationally, sign-up here!

If you have questions and concerns that you'd like to direct at IBT, go here.

Spread the word about International Book Tours and help us in fulfilling this bookish mission!

Monday, February 08, 2010

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Book Description:

Love can be a dangerous thing....

 Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

First Impression:

After reading several reviews about this book, I was entirely convinced that Bleeding Violet is going to be a once-in-a-blue-moon-book. It tackles several issues that thrive within the unusual setting of Portero.

My Thoughts:

I don't think I've ever encountered a book that possessed all the elements that are present in Bleeding Violet. Dia Reeves truly is a talented author for weaving all these elements in her novel, successfully.

Bleeding Violet revolves around Hanna, a half-Finnish, half-American girl who longs to be loved. Armed with her swan and accompanied by the ghost of her dead father, Hanna journeys to her mother's house in a town in Texas. But Portero is an unusual place, stuffed with freaky-looking monsters, dotted with hidden doors and covered by a sheet of mystery. It's a good thing Hanna is a little crazy. Okay, she's probably insane. And that's what I like about her. But unlike other people with loose screws in the head, she doesn't deny that she's crazy.

Bleeding Violet explores the issues of identity. Hanna is biracial, living with the consequences of belonging to two different races at the same time. She struggles to fit in, to find a place for herself in the town of Portero and in her mother’s heart. Apart from this, the subject of mental illness is also manifested. After being diagnosed and misdiagnosed over and over again, the issue of Hanna’s sanity and insanity is somewhat still unclear. All she knows is that they probably diagnosed wrong and no shrink could ever truly understand what’s going on inside her head.

Her hallucinations fascinated me. There are times when I’m sure that Hanna's just hallucinating and there are other times that I doubt their being unreal. The hallucinations that struck me the most are the ones where Swan comes to life.

In this town, she meets a monster hunter named Wyatt Ortiga who she blackmails to take her hunting, so that she could prove to her mother that she can take care of herself. Wyatt and Hanna have a physical relationship. And as the days pass and as things get weirder and weirder, they have come to develop a relationship that is built on trust and forgiveness.

Strange things happen everyday in Portero. No one is ever safe. When Hanna finds out that something is utterly wrong with her now-nice mother, Hanna decides to fulfill her duty as a daughter, no matter how dangerous and deadly are the consequences.

Bleeding Violet is a dark, strange and unique read that will definitely blur the line between possible and impossible, sane and insane and right and wrong. This is a story that opens our eyes to the various supernatural tendencies that accompany the normal things around us, as well as the issues of identity and mental health.

I really liked this!


Thanks to my Mom for this copy. We had a deal. I succumbed to her persistence and agreed to participate in the "No Late Challenge" of hers. Every week - five weekdays - that I complete without being late, she buys me a book. It's a good deal, if you ask me.


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Need by Carrie Jones


Lots of people love this book, and I must admit, I'm one of them. I like how Carrie Jones used the name of phobias as the title of each chapter and how she showed in every chapter how this phobia played a part in Zara's life. It was like breaking the novel into pieces of experiences that linked to one another like a chain.

Zara possessed characteristics that set her apart from other main characters. She's into amnesty international and freeing people - which is quite rare in teenagers nowadays. Plus, she's probably memorized every single phobia that is named. It was a bit strange but unique nonetheless. Since I read Need, everytime I encounter a name of a phobia, I think of Zara. She is a little bit like Bella of Twilight, in the sense that she always mentioned how cute, handsome and perfect Nick is. However, it doesn't reach Bella's level of admiration. But I guess, that is also essential in this novel. Zara, having gone through her days with the agony and misery of the death of her father, is a little unlike herself. She's lost spunk and happiness. She's a little bitter and too sad. So when Nick comes along, a spark lighted within her. Love awakens her. And when a girl is inlove, mentioning and thinking about how cute and perfect her love(Nick) is, is absolutely understandable. Zara's only human after all. Okay, almost only human.

The other characters of this novel were developed well. We get to see how they're like and how they live. But there are cases when I wish I could know more about the other characters. Apart from that, they are distinct.

Many times I was surprised with the little revelations in the novel. As I read it, guesses form in my head, but at the time of revelation, I found out that I guessed wrong and that my guesses were far from the truth unveiled. It's good to be able to read a novel like this that surprises me. I hate predictable stories.

Need is a chain of experiences that link Zara's life to weres and pixies that are human most of the time or are glamoured most of the time. It's filled with phobias, unpredictable revelations and pixie-hunting, tinged with hints of fur and gold glitter dust.


Monday, February 01, 2010

Wake by Lisa Mcmann


When I first heard of this book, I was really interested. Wake revolves around Janie and her special ability to get in the dreams of other people. This ability is strange but useful in many ways. I really liked Janie's gift despite its disadvantages. It's amazing to be able to know the hopes and fears of people in a very creative way. Janie doesn't find out through reading something personal. But she finds out through seeing them.

The pace of the book is fast. I liked Lisa Mcmann's way of writing. Brief but expressive. There wasn't a single moment that I was bored. I was completely dragged into Janie's world. Hectic, tiring and eventful. Every dream she ventured into had me flipping the pages madly.

Cabel's dreams are what really grabbed my attention. At first, I thought he was the opposite of what he is. But yay! I'm so glad that he isn't! He and Janie make a good couple. Always looking out for each other, without being a pain.

Wake is a roller coaster ride that sends you flying through dreams and nightmares, while breezing through hints of hopes and fears of the people being watched and of the watcher herself (catcher.) It's a thrilling, heart-pounding story that runs in full speed.