{Book Review} Bloodlines by Richelle Mead

By: | Mar 31, 2012
3

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Bloodlines
Bloodlines #1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 421 pages
Published: August 23rd 2011
Rating: 5 Birds

Sydney is an alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of human and vampires. They protect vampire secrets - and human lives. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she's still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir - the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir - is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill's guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the last place anyone would think to look for vampire royalty - a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. But instead of finding safety at Amberwood Prep, Sydney discovers the drama is only just beginning...

The spin off series to Richelle Mead’s highly successful Vampire Academy books does not disappoint. Bloodlines brings together some of the lesser talked about characters we loved from the VA series and adds a few new ones to the mix.

With drama unfolding in the Moroi court Vasilissa Dragomir’s half-sister Jill is hidden away at a human school in sunny Palm Springs with guardian Eddie Castille in tow. Attempting to redeem herself from committing what her kind sees as treason, Alchemist Sydney Sage volunteers to pose as Jill’s and Eddie’s sister at a human preparatory academy in order to guard and watch over not just Jill and Eddie but playboy Adrian Ivashkov who is for reasons unknown to Sydney accompanying the group.

I have read this book at least 3 times since purchasing it on my Kindle. That statement alone should tell you how much I enjoyed this book. There were twists and turns that kept me glued to the book each time I read it. The relationships between each of the characters and how they develop throughout the book make me greatly anticipate the next book in the series The Golden Lily set for release June 12, 2012.

Find Richelle Mead:

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Yvette

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{Book Review} Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready

By: | Mar 29, 2012
1

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Shine
Shade #3
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Pages: 416
Format: Unbound ARC
Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating 3.5 – 4 Birds

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.
As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.

I have a hard time with endings.

As a reader it means saying good bye to people you’ve really grown to love. As a writer it means tying up lose ends and trying not to lose your mind in the process.

SHINE was a very detailed, fast paced and deeply entertaining ending to the SHADE series. I certainly didn’t feel like anything was left open at the end, I had all my answers, and things I wanted to happen did…again and again and again. *wink*

But by default, the last book in a series is never my favorite. I have never been able to sort out if it’s because I’m subconsciously punishing the author for taking someone I love away from me, or if I just have separation anxiety. Whatever the case, when I turned the last GIGANTIC page (see photo below) of the copy of SHINE I was reading, I had tears in my eyes and promptly thought about starting over again. I missed Zachary, and this whole world Jeri created immediately!

Rest assured, your patient waiting for SHINE to release will be well worth it, I promise. Don’t plan on going anywhere when you start and be ready for a lot of action. When I mentioned it was fast paced, I wasn’t lying!

There is a lot packed into this book, and at times I even felt like it might have been too much, but endings are hard and on the flip side, had Jeri left something open I may have been putting here that she didn’t wrap it up well enough….(joys of being a book blogger, we’re just never happy are we? LOL) There is a lot of people brought in to help round out the story and explain things, sometimes it felt a little crowded for my taste but each played an important and necessary role even if their time in the book was sporadic.

Things Zachary and Aura fans have been waiting for, will come to pass in this book but with that said I felt it lacked the heat of SHIFT. I can’t put my finger on it, (note that I have left out a particularly inappropriate comment here…lol). but in SHIFT I went back and reread scenes over and over, and had goose bumps from a few in fact. I just didn’t have that this time. Was it still good, of course. Was it like “OMFG *drool* *thud*” not for me.

The SHADE series has moved to my Top 5 Favorite Series of all time, and there is shall stay. If you’ve not read it, you are really missing out on a “ghostly good time” *wink* I’m rounding out the review of SHINE with something between a 3.5 and 4 Bird review, falling just shy of a full 4 for me.

Thank you to my girl Jen for loaning me this copy – and for those of you curious as to why I said the book was gigantic…it was a hand printed, spiral bound 8.5x11 sized, over 400 pages copy, directly from Jeri to a friend of mine….it weighed as much as a newborn and I carried it around with the same care….:0)

And thank you to Jeri – this world you let me into with your novels was the best vacation I have ever had!

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3.5-4 Bird Rating

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{Giveway} ARC of Slide by Jill Hathaway + Swag

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Who wants to WIN an ARC of SLIDE by Jill Hataway!
How about some AUTOGRAPHED BOOK MARKS!!!!

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.


All you have to do to enter, is fill out the raffelcopter form below (click "read more") and try your luck!
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{Book Review} Glimmer

By: | Mar 28, 2012
5

Glimmer

Glimmer
Author: Phoebe Kitanidis
Format: ARC – Harper
Pages: 352
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: April 17, 2012
Rating: 4.5 Birds

What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?
And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?

When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.
Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.
Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

My take: Mix a strange town, with strange events, some magic, and an age old…curse of sorts – and it’s likely you’ll have me hooked from the first word.

This was entirely the case when it came to reading Glimmer. Waking up to find you know nothing about yourself, the person next to you, or the town you’re in would be hard for anyone…but…waking up naked?  That would be cause for concern in the most extreme sense!  Elyse and Marsh not only have to learn about themselves, but about each other.

So what is it about this town…Summer Falls?  People fall into “heatnaps”, there are ghosts but no one knows or truly believes it – except for Elyse and Marsh.  And later, we find out Marsh’s dad also knows.  Giving away that part of the story though would be too much! 

Elyse finds different things out about herself, like that she’s popular, she likes to read, and she’s very plain to herself.  Oh, you think I’m giving away too much?  Well, when you read the book, there’s more then meets the eye of what was just put there.  As far as Marsh?  There is so much underlying backstory to him that he constantly makes you wonder.

Author Phoebe Kitanidis does a great job throughout the entire book going back and forth between Elyse’s point of view, and Marsh’s.  The execution of continuing in the same story line, but leaving little out is never overwhelming.  So if you enjoy ghost stories, and tales of curses, I’d definitely recommend reading this one!

Find more on Phoebe Kitanidis:

4.5birds

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{Book Review} Memories of the Dead

By: | Mar 26, 2012
2

Memories of the Dead Cover

Memories of the Dead
By: Phillip R. Hall
Format: ebook and Paperback 211pgs
Release Date: January 2, 2012
Rating: 3.5 birds

Locarno, when he was a boy of sixteen, was envious of vampires: they were elusive, immortal, strong, and powerful. But that was when he was foolish and young; and now, knowing what he knows, he understands that they are nothing but a plague upon humanity—a disease that needs to be removed. He despises them because of the things they did, and continue to do, to the unknowing populace: treating humanity like nothing more than cattle. And for that, they must be destroyed. This, his private journal—his memories—left for those who may find and read it, is a living record of the time when his destiny was first intertwined with unspeakable evil.

This book takes the reader from the time when Locarno first hears about vampires through his love with Juliana to the events that shape the remainder of his time on Earth.

I enjoyed this book immensely. While the descriptive scenes in the book perhaps aren’t for the faint of heart, Mr. Hall keeps it from becoming too uncomfortable. The reader gets to see not only a journal entry that recounts the events of this time but also the emotions behind Locarno’s actions. His love for Juliana and hers for him can teach society many lessons about love that while not always under the most perfect of circumstances can overcome.

This book was an exciting read and left me wanting more.

Find Phillip R. Hall:

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Yvette

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{And The Winners Are}

By: | Mar 24, 2012
4

Drum roll please……

winner-theme

For the 14 sets of A Touch Mortal/Morbid Bookmarks
(some autographed and some not…)

  1. Kristi S
  2. Ileana
  3. Jessica Billings Ball
  4. Kristina D.
  5. Shelby
  6. Sizzling Reads
  7. Hayley G.
  8. Rain
  9. Miki
  10. Jodie
  11. Margie
  12. Tammy W.
  13. Alicia
  14. GiGi

For the ARC of Harbinger by Sara Wilson Etienne

1. Annette

 

For the Copy of On A Dark Wing by Jordan Dane

1. Betsy

 

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{Book Review} Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

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Shift
Shade #2
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Pages: 367
Pub Date: May 3rd 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 5 + Birds

Aura’s life is anything but easy. Her boyfriend, Logan, died, and his slides between ghost and shade have left her reeling. Aura knows he needs her now more than ever. She loves Logan, but she can’t deny her connection with the totally supportive, totally gorgeous Zachary. And she’s not sure that she wants to.

Logan and Zachary will fight to be the one by her side, but Aura needs them both to uncover the mystery of her past—the mystery of the Shift.

As Aura’s search uncovers new truths, she must decide whom to trust with her secrets…and her heart.

An open letter to Jeri Smith-Ready:

Dear JSR:
Recently I started reading your SHADE series, by way of loving force from the girls at Fictitious Delicious. I’m writing this letter to prepare you; finically, for the bills you will henceforth be receiving from me for reimbursement I feel is necessary for the emotional and physical damage the SHADE series has thus far caused me.
The fact that I may have enjoyed the aforementioned physical and emotional damage is to be fully ignored, and not a viable piece of evidence in this case.

The actual bill is attached at the bottom, click it for larger view and to print for your records. I’ve provided a detailed description of each item from the bill, here:

$7.00 to be paid for my need of a sleeping pill Rx, so that I might actually catch some Zzzz’s. Your books have kept me up ‘til the late hours of night with it’s heart-stopping plot. Not to mention, the replaying of certain make-out scenes have kept me up ‘til the wee hours of morning….

$57.00 to be paid, weekly for 6 months for the expressed use of marriage counseling. This is really a preventative item, but will no doubt be needed over the course of the next few weeks as my husband starts to find it strange when I buy him a kilt, ask force him to learn a Scottish accent, and most importantly for when I call out “Zachery!” during….well….just during

$1.50 to be paid for a box of shamrock covered band aids. These will be used to cover the stubbed toes and minor injuries I received while trying to walk and read at the same time due the fact your books are purely unputdownable. (Yes, that’s a word. Don’t bother looking it up, it’s too cool for the dictionary)

$23.00 to be paid per hour, for 5 hours of professional house cleaning. It appears over the 2 days I spent reading SHADE and SHIFT I failed to properly take care of my home, and the kids did a bloody good job of taking advantage of my attention being directed elsewhere.

$3.99 to be paid for a box of Kleenex for use during the moments of sobbing I encountered, both happy and sad, while reading. And none of this knock-off shit, I want 3 ply….yeah I said it 3 ply! They better feel like I’m blowing my nose on an angels wings…that’s the softness level I’m reaching for here….

$17.99 to be paid for a case of (preferably red) Gatorade for rehydrating after all the crying induced by the gut wrenching scenes that have left me emotionally wrecked.

$30.00 for a Keeley Brothers t-shirt (of my own design, ordered through cafĂ© press when completed). This is so that when I finish SHINE, and sit sobbing in the corner, rocking back and forth, depressed that I’ve completed the series, people will not stop and try to help me. They will simply see the shirt, put two and two together, realize comforting will not help, and just keep walking.

I am prepared to accept payment by way of: Cash (US Dollars only please). 40 cases of Jammie Dodger Cookies. A trip to Ireland as I’ve only been once and never left the airport or….my personal 1st choice….. 15 minutes alone with Zachary….by a river….you may deliver payment at Team Kilt Con

Sincerely,

Amber Moore Keeley-Moore Sweeney


Full Invoice, For Printing.
Click to enlarge

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5birdnew

 

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{Book Review} Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

By: | Mar 23, 2012
5

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Shade
Shade #1
By: Jeri Smith-Ready
Pages: 309
Release Date: May 4th 2010
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: 5 Birds

Love ties them together. Death can't tear them apart.

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan's violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. "Almost."

It doesn't help that Aura's new friend Zachary is so understanding--and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart...and clues to the secret of the Shift.

 

Many of you know that Jen & Amy over at Fictitious Delicious are my real life book blogger friends. Well, awhile back they read this SHADE series and have been hounding me ever since to read them myself. Seriously, I got e-mails, tweets, texts. One even sent an airplane over my house to write it in a smoke signal!!! Finally I gave in. What else could I do? There were two of them, I was outnumbered!!!!

Alright….so maybe that isn’t how it actually went…. *wink* What really happened was, I heard the title to book two, which is SHIFT, and thought “werewolves” and went….”Um, no not right now thanks” (yeah I know….nice job Judgy Mc Judgerson!)

Thankfully Jen set me straight and when I found out it was about ghosts I couldn’t start it fast enough! In fact I was so eager to read it I downloaded the WRONG book first…yea….I hear you’re supposed to start at the beginning of a series…I have to remember that! Anyway, 36 pages into SHIFT (book two) I text Jen, confused out of my skull, and wondering what the hub bub was…this was the least descriptive book I had ever read and I was totally lost…see…had I started at the beginning I wouldn't have had this issue. Jen got a good laugh, and after downloading the RIGHT book, I finished SHADE in only a few hours. So the day wasn’t a total loss ;0)

Yes, I read SHADE in a few hours. I dare you not to do the same. In fact, I Triple Dog Dare You. This book sucked me in so fast and so hard I think I should get an inhaler before starting book two….for the second time….(yea, yea…shut up!)

SHADE is one of those YA’s that has everything. The heart and gut twisting love story, so real it hurts. The ridiculously hot and steamy make out sessions that make you think she channeled JR Ward for a little while. The new and interesting take on an old idea. The desire to pry your eyes open at 2 am and duct tape them that way so you don’t have to sleep and can go on to book 2 (again…)

This book is highly quotable and has sparked ideas for me for a few t-shirt designs even….I’ll let you know when I have them done…it’s going to happen even if I’m the only one I make them for!!!! :0)

SHADE made me laugh, cry, angry, hopeful and most importantly….freaking out waiting to start SHIFT (again…..) Next time you want to start a new series…this is it. Next time a friend asks about what series they should start, this is it….now scoot and go buy a copy!!!

Find Jeri Smith-Ready

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{Books for Charity}

By: | Mar 22, 2012
3

HEY! Listen up everyone! MMSAI Blogger Sarah has a great cause she’s trying to help out – and you can help by donating your used books!!! Read on!

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I'm on a mission to create two book baskets!  This would be for the gala event that takes place April 29th in Chicago at the Hilton Hotel for the AGMBS/AEHI school.  It is a silent auction. The reason why I want to do this is because books rule and that this school is amazing.   The books that I would like to have for the baskets would be Teen (YA) and regular fiction. One basket will be YA and the other will be regular fiction.  

The reason why I'm posting about this is because the school was founded by my parents and other parents who had children that were using Cued Speech and was unable to find a public school program that would support this choice.  So AEHI (Alternative for the Hearing Impaired) was created! They also agreed having Montessori education (AGBMS) would combine well with effective communication using Cued Speech.  The school has been around since 1986!

This year they are honoring the founding families who brought this vision to life.  My parents and other parents are included in this honor.  I'm very thankful for my parents to start this school. I'm  attending this event in April.  My goal is to make awesome baskets so that they can get great bids on them. It's all for the school.

If you would like to make a donation to my book baskets, let me know!  You can contact me at: shillyer23@gmail.com  If you like to make a different donation, you can contact the school at their website:  http://www.agbms.org/

Sarah

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{YA Rebels} Giveaway Week

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So this week the Rebels are giving stuff away. Watch the vlog to find out what you need to do to enter, and be sure you note...US Mailing Address' ONLY and you must be 13+ to enter!

Commenting on this MMSAI post will NOT get you an entry, the entry must be made ON the YOU TUBE page to count!


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{Book Review} When You Open Your Eyes

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WhenYouOpenYourEyesWhen You Open Your Eyes
Author: Celeste Conway
Pages: 320 
Publisher: Simon Pulse 
Publication Date: March 20, 2012
Rating: 3 1/2 birds

The more you love, the more you stand to lose….

Tessa’s head over heels for Lucien, the son of a French diplomat. Sexy, artistic, and daring, he brings out a completely new side of her. With him, Tessa feels beautiful and exotic. So when Tessa’s strict father forbids her to see Lucien, she’s determined to keep their relationship a secret.

But as Tessa gets caught up in Lucien, he becomes increasingly volatile. What she once found alluring about him now feels alarming. Tessa must figure out how far she’ll go for Lucien before she risks losing not just him, but everything she loves.

I received this book, an advance reviewer copy uncorrected proof from one of my co bloggers.  While reading this book, I found myself thinking if I am going to like this story.   As I always do, I give the stories a chance!  So moving further and further into the book, I felt myself getting mad Tessa's father in beginning of the book due to the impression that Tessa has on her father.  Tessa's father is an FBI agent who is working at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires. It seems that her mother and father had some issues and then they are back together for some reason.  I had some weird feelings about this. I thought maybe her mother couldn't handle her father's job, but I was wrong.

Basically Tessa seems to be a girl who is wrapped up in Lucien's world and everything he does even when he turns hostile.  She gets herself into a world of art, fashion, drugs and sex.  She is inexperienced in all of this and yet she learns how to deal with these aspects. Her friends  that she has lets loose in all these aspects as if it was normal for them.  Her relationship with Lucien has her father's colleague stalking her to keep tabs on the relationship.  Which I found to be a bit strange.   Why was her father doing this? Why was his colleague going along with it?  Did her mother know about it?

The rest of Tessa's family seems decent. The relationship with Tessa and her mother seem interesting when they were doing so well without her father in the picture but when they were all together, it seemed her mother was living in another world.  Her brother seemed to be the same throughout the book until the ending.

The book did have twists and turns in it  which I wasn't expecting.  Emotions did pour out from the book here and there where it made me feel as I was part of the story. It does not happy ending which tells us sometimes life is like that.  I thought the whole story was different, unique and memorable!

Find Celeste Conway:

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Sarah

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{Waiting on Wednesday} 24

By: | Mar 21, 2012
7

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

See something you like here?
Click the book cover to add it to your Good Reads TBR List!

WaitingonWednesday

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Velveteen
By: Daniel Marks
Release Date: Oct 9th 2012
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what's really on her mind.
Bonesaw.
Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she's figured out just how to do it. She'll haunt him for the rest of his days. 
It'll be brutal . . . and awesome.
But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen's obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she's willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.
Velveteen can't help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

 

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Shine
Shade #3
By: Jeri Smith-Ready
Release Date: May 1st 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse

No other love has burned so bright
Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past. As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced that she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart

What are You Waiting on This Fine Wednesday?

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{Book Review} Last Breath

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lastbreathLast Breath
The Morganville Vampires Book 11
Author: Rachel Caine
Format: Hardcover; 335 pages
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: NAL Hardcover
Rating: 4 Birds

With her boss preoccupied researching the Founder Houses in Morganville, student Claire Danvers is left to her own devices when she learns that three vampires have vanished without a trace. She soon discovers that the last person seen with one of the missing vampires is someone new to town-a mysterious individual named Magnus. After an uneasy encounter with Morganville's latest resident, Claire is certain Magnus isn't merely human. But is he a vampire-or something else entirely?

My thoughts:

Last Breath is the 11th book in The Morganville Vampires series. Usually, when a series gets as lengthy as this one has gotten, it begins to feel like the author is forcing the series to continue. That is not the case with The Morganville Vampires. There is so much going on in Morganville, Rachel Caine could probably write a thousand books and the series would never get to that point.

However, Last Breath gets off to a slow start. Mostly, it’s Eve and Claire planning Michael and Eve’s wedding. No one wants them to get married (aside from Eve, Michael, Shane, and Claire) but other than the drama of dirty looks at the wedding shops there isn’t a lot of action. Until the vampires start disappearing…

As the vampires start disappearing, everyone starts acting weird and it is clear that something very bad is going on. About midway through, the book takes a very interesting turn. It was one of those instances where I looked up from my book and said, “I didn’t see that one coming!” After that the book went pretty quickly. I couldn’t wait to find out how things were resolved. Unfortunately, things are only semi-resolved. This book ends on a mild cliffhanger. Everyone gets some closure but the bigger picture is still very much in the air. (To me, it reminds me of the storyline with Bishop. It took a couple of books to get all of the loose ends on that storyline tied up).

For fans of Eve and Michael, this book is definitely for you. This book deals more with their relationship than most of the other books. Shane and Claire get plenty of page time too but it is Eve and Michael’s relationship that takes center stage.

I thought this book was a nice addition to the series. All of the things I come to love about this series; the punch lines, the smart comments, the playful banter between everyone in the house are present in Last Breath. I recommend this book to fans of the series and for anyone that hasn’t read this series I urge you to take a chance on it. You won’t regret it!

Find Rachel Cain:

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{Book Review} Partials by Dan Wells

By: | Mar 20, 2012
5

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Partials
Partials #1
Author: Dan Wells
Format: ARC
Pages: 472
Release Date: February 28th 2012
Rating: 5 Birds

Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with partials—engineered organic beings identical to humans—has decimated the world’s population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. The threat of the partials is still imminent, but, worse, no baby has been born immune to the disease in over a decade. Humanity’s time is running out.

When sixteen-year-old Kira learns of her best friend’s pregnancy, she’s determined to find a solution. Then one rash decision forces Kira to flee her community with the unlikeliest of allies. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that the survival of both humans and partials rests in her attempts to answer questions of the war’s origin that she never knew to ask.

Combining the fast-paced action of The Hunger Games with the provocative themes of Battlestar Galactica, Partials is a pulse-pounding journey into a world where the very concept of what it means to be human is in question—one where our sense of humanity is both our greatest liability, and our only hope for survival.

If you’ve spent a lot of time on MMSAI, you will notice that Science Fiction isn’t really reviewed a lot here. Now, it’s not to do with me not liking it at all, but more that I just never get into it enough to really enjoy it consistently, so I spend time reviewing things I have a better track record of liking.

When PARTIALS landed in my lap, I am very thankful I only thought it to be a Dystopian novel, because I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to be a little “judgy” and may have passed over it for having science fiction undertones.

To say I liked PARTIALS, would be an understatement. To say I loved it, would also be an understatement. Here, maybe this will help you understand how much I enjoyed it: When I finished the book, I held it to my chest and stared off into the distance of the backyard and simply said to my husband, “This is the best book I have read in a really, really long time. And, it’s part science fiction!”

In PARTIALS you will travel to 2076, to a desolate, crumbling corner of the United States where the last 1% of the worlds population has gathered to try to survive together. A sinister robot army, crated by the humans, that look and feel and function like humans have wiped out the worlds ability to reproduce with the RM virus. (side note: creating a robot army to fight for you never goes well in books and moves, does it) Without a cure to RM, the human race will cease to exist in only a few dozen years. Faced with extinction and saving her race, Kira will fight to find a cure even if it costs her her life.

I found that I enjoyed all the characters in PARTIALS, taking to each ones little quirks and strengths. This is a bit odd for me, especially when you have such a large cast to get to know. Kira, our protagonist, did get under my skin from time with her constant need to save people even if they were already gone. I shook the book a few times yelling for her to run or just to get over it. Luckily I didn’t read PARTIALS in public or I would have no doubt been committed!

PARTIALS is a non-stop thrill ride, every time you think that nothing else can go wrong, or nothing else could happen….you will turn the page and find yourself in the middle of another problem to solve. Don’t worry, it won’t be the kind of exasperating issues that you find your self saying “just end already”, you will be thankful for every plot twist! I promise. I sat at the edge of my seat, bit my nails, cried, breathed huge sighs of relief, and closed the book begging for more.

Like I said, get this book! Do it now! Don’t be the only person not talking about!!!!

Find Dan Wells and PARTIALS:

5birdnew

amber1

*Thank you to the wonderful people at HarperCollins for providing MMSAI with an ARC of PARTIALS.

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{Guest Post} with Miriam Halahmy

By: | Mar 19, 2012
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Today I am handing over the blog to a fantastic UK Author, named Miriam Halahmy. She’s going to talk about controversial themes in YA Fiction and I’m so excited to share this with you all, as I know she is as well!


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Miriam has lived in London all her life but she loves to travel and learn new languages. Miriam has been writing since she was a child. She loved reading so much that she wanted to write her own books. Miriam was a teacher for 25 years and is married with two children.




Controversial themes in Y.A. Fiction
I am a UK author who is publishing a cycle of three novels set on Hayling Island off the south coast of England. I have chosen a quiet backwater because my novels deal with themes such as asylum seekers, human rights, racism, drug dealing, mental health issues and family difficulties. My gentle setting brings the strong themes into sharp focus.
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In the first novel in the cycle, Hidden, I bring the world stage to little Hayling IslandHidden_cover_sales when two teenagers pull a half dead, tortured, illegal immigrant from Iraq out of the sea and hide him to save him from being deported. Hidden has made quite an impact on teenage readers who tell me they had not really thought about asylum seekers before. One girl said she didn’t actually know we had immigrants in England! Writing controversial fiction for teens can be very rewarding. I have had some amazing discussions in schools. You can see some of the comments from teens on my website.
The second novel in my cycle, Illegal, comes out in March 2012. I have taken a minor character from the previous book - Lindy Bellows, the bad girl at school – and made her the major character in the second book. Otherwise this is a completely stand-alone novel.
Since Lindy’s baby sister died, her family have been caught in a downward spiral. Her brothers are in prison and her parents have turned to drink. Soon Lindy is out of her depth too, caught in the centre of an international drugs ring, with no way out. Then Lindy finds help from an unexpected ally: weird, mute Karl from school, and together they plan a daring and desperate escape. But when you’re in this deep, can you ever be free?
IllegIllegal_front_FS - Copyal is the story of a teenage girl driven to take desperate measures when all other choices are taken away from her. It is a novel about growing up and gaining independence against the odds.
Illegal draws upon my 25 years as a special needs teacher, working with young people with emotional and behavioural problems, some of whom were mute for psychological reasons. Many had huge family problems to cope with.
Both Lindy and Karl have parents which neglect them but in different ways and because of this neglect both become vulnerable to dangerous situations. Karl’s parents are wealthy and Lindy’s parents are poor, so material circumstances are not the issue here. The problem is that both teenagers have parents who totally self absorbed.
In Lindy’s family, the children are left to bring up themselves. So the older boys resort to crime and the younger ones beg off the neighbours. Meanwhile the parents relax in front of the tv, drinking lager.
“You know kids, eh, Colleen?” her Dad would say, a lazy grin on his face, “they take care of themselves just like what we did. Me stepdad kicked me out when I was twelve, didn’t he Colleen? I’ve always looked out for meself.”
There are many Illegal aspects to this novel. Karl rides around on a motorbike and he’s only fifteen; the drug dealers carry guns and all the kids are skipping school because of their problems. But as an author I believe that a good story, well written, with strong convincing believable characters, can bring controversial themes to the reader (of any age) and offer the opportunity to consider the pros and cons. I enjoy reading novels about challenging subjects and this is why I write this kind of book.
The third book in the cycle, Stuffed, will be published in March 2013. It focuses on Jess, who appears in the first two books as a bully and a spoilt rich kid. When Dad loses his job Jess finds herself trapped in a web of lies which exile her from her family life. She starts to go out with Ryan who is very different from her usual boyfriends. But then something goes wrong in Ryan’s life and suddenly Jess and Ryan have a terrible secret which they are keeping from each other. Will their love survive against the odds?
My cycle of three novels is complete and so I have started a new novel. The theme? Well no sneak previews but it deals with issues even more controversial than the ones I have set on beautiful Hayling Island.
Well – what else can you expect?
Find Miriam Halahmy:
amber1
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{Blog Tour + Guest Post} with Belle Whittington Author of Cicada

By: | Mar 16, 2012
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We are happy to be the 5th stop on The {Teen} Book Scene blog tour for Cicada! We are lucky enough to have author Belle, Wittington guest posting about MUSIC! Enjoy!!!

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First off, I’d like to thank Amber for having me over to her lovely blog for a cappuccino and a chat! I look forward to getting to know your readers and followers.

Like most authors, I love listening to great music while writing.  There are so many talented musicians that inspire me while daydreaming and writing my stories.  I thought I'd share my inspiration play lists with your lovely readers. :-)

Another thing I think readers might like to know is that I have a favorite song that fits the mood for each one of the books in the trilogy! Want to hear the unofficial theme song to each book? Here goes!

· Cicada: The Resistance

· Firefly: Cosmic Love

· Third (yet unnamed book): Electric Feel

There’s even a song for Everett

And as an extra bonus, here’s a song for a very important character readers will meet in Firefly. His name is Ash. And I think readers will love to hate to love him! This is a first glimpse of Ash, right here on Amber’s blog! Many of Horror: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAh--lH0H3U&list=PL0BECD8CB9CA444C8&index=1&feature=plpp_video

I hope everyone will enjoy listening to the play lists while reading the books! And I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on the play lists. J

And it must not go without saying many thanks to the awesome musicians whose songs have given me so much inspiration.  Thank you for sharing your magic!

Find Belle Wittington:

amber1

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{Movie Review} Immortals

By: | Mar 15, 2012
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Immotals
Starring: Henry Cavill
Mickey Rourke
Stephen Dorff
Length:110 Minutes
DVD Release Date: March 6th 2012
Rating: 3 Birds

Theseus is a mortal man chosen by Zeus to lead the fight against the ruthless King Hyperion, who is on a rampage across Greece to obtain a weapon that can destroy humanity.

 

 

I’m not going to lie, I wanted to watch this movie because there were pretty boys in battle gear in it. And also because I knew my husband would watch it with me…lol

It was everything I expected it to be: full of fighting, carnage, mythology and really cool effects. At times I felt like I was watching 300 (even though I haven’t seen that, simply basing the comparison off the clips and such I’ve caught), in fact I even leaned over at one point in the movie and whispered to my husband “This is Sparta!”. *teehee*

The plot was solid but one of those “Don’t look away or you’ll miss something important” types. Hello, Old Man/Zeus. The story line jumped a little too much for me, but was entertaining so they cancel themselves out in my book.

The Gods were done really well, but I didn’t feel we saw them enough. In fact, a few of them you don’t even get to know by name because you see them so infrequently. And since they don’t actually ever refer to each other using their names, it’s mostly a guessing game unless you are a Greek Mythology wiz kid. I figured out Athena really easy, she was the only girl. Poseidon also easy with the trident…and because I knew Kellan Lutz played that role. Zeus…referred to as Father so my common sense sorted that bit out…the rest…nadda.

Their costumes were amazing! The head dresses alone…wow. Still would have liked to know who was who with out needing IMdB the whole time.

All in all, I’m happy I watched it, it’s about a 3 for me didn’t totally love it where I will watch it over and over but I will suggest it to friends, and more than likely watch it again in the future.

3birdsnew

 

amber1

Thank you to our friends at Fox Home Entertainment for providing the DVD copy. Follow them at @FoxHomeEnt

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{Book Review} The Alchemy of Forever

By: | Mar 14, 2012
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alchemyofforever

Alchemy of Forever
Incarnation #1
Author: Avery Williams
Format: Hardcover; 256 pages
Release Date: Jan. 3rd 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Rating: 3 Birds

Seraphina’s first love made her immortal…her second might get her killed.

After spending six hundred years on earth, Seraphina Ames has seen it all. Eternal life provides her with the world’s riches, but at a very high price: innocent lives. Centuries ago, her boyfriend, Cyrus, discovered a method of alchemy that allows them to swap bodies with other humans, jumping from one vessel to the next, taking the human’s life in the process. No longer able to bear the guilt of what she’s done, Sera escapes from Cyrus and vows to never kill again.

Then sixteen-year-old Kailey Morgan gets into a horrific car accident right in front of her, and Sera accidentally takes over her body. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she’s inhabiting—and falls for the human boy who lives next door. But Cyrus will stop at nothing until she’s his again, and every moment she stays, she’s putting herself and the people she’s grown to care for in great danger.

Will Sera have to give up the one thing that’s eluded her for centuries: true love?

I’ve always been a sucker for books about immortality. The possibility of living forever young has always fascinated me. Vamps, angels, faeries, immortals, you name 'em, I love ‘em. That's why when I read the book description for Alchemy of Forever I knew I had to read it and bumped it up in my TBR list.

At just over 250 pages, Alchemy of Forever, is a quick and entertaining read. This isn't the first book to explore the elixir of life but it's always fun to see a new author's take on an old topic.

The book is written in first person with Seraphina aka Kailey narrating. At times, the writing seems kind of formal which I've never been a huge fan of. However, I understand why it was done this way. Seraphina is over 600 years old so her language and writing would still reflect the time she was brought up in.
I loved how Seraphina instantly falls in love with Kailey's life and sees how wonderful life can be. After years of living with Cyrus, she is finally free.

The storyline was interesting and suspenseful. However, I felt the characters lacked personality. They were all nice enough but none of them stood out.

I think the story and characters both have room for further development. I hope in upcoming books we learn more about the characters and see more of each ones true personalities. I also think that Taryns has a lot to offer the story and I don't think we have seen the last of her.

Overall, I thought Alchemy of Forever was a nice, enjoyable book. While it didn't make it on my favorite list, the story has potential and a look forward to seeing where William's takes the story.

Find Avery Williams:

3birdsnew

ashley

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