Monday, May 31, 2010

BR: The Body Finder

by Kimberly Derting

Okay, remember when I held a contest for this way back in March? I chose this book because it was a book that I wanted to read, so I was beyond excited when my library finally got it in (yeah, that's right, I use the library). Anyways, I read this all in one sitting! Wow.. I totally missed a huge chunk of my review... including picture and summary :P whoops! Here it is!


Summary
(goodreads):
A serial killer on the loose. A girl with a morbid ability. And the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

Violet Ambrose can find the dead. Or at least, those who have been murdered. She can sense the echoes they leave behind... and the imprints they leave on their killers. As if that weren't enough to deal with during junior year, she also has a sudden, inexplicable, and consuming crush on her best friend since childhood, Jay Heaton.

Now a serial killer has begun terrorizing Violet's small town... and she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him."


**
My Expectations: I thought this was gonna be fantastic! I held a contest for it, didn’t I?

Delivery: Met my expectations in enjoyment level, but maybe some afterthought it might have fallen a tiny bit.

Put-down-ability: Low! Read in one sitting, 2/10
**

My Thoughts

Let’s just say I really, really, really liked this book. It started off with the remarkable premise of Violet being able to sense dead people, which to be honest, drew me into the book right away. Her friendship-or-something-more with Jay sucked me further in and by the time the girl’s body was found I was in over my head.

The writing in this novel is extremely strong, despite being wordy at times. I was okay with the choices of words (my friend is a thesaurus-peruser) but sometimes the vocabulary doesn’t fit perfectly and things sound awkward. Other times it helped the story flow with intricate detail and sensory adjectives. The third person POV was well executed and not distracting.

I think there are two strong points in this novel, the mystery and the romance. The chapters from the serial killer’s POV were extremely intriguing and just fascinating to read, not to mention reminiscent of my favourite TV show Criminal Minds. I loved how the mystery followed Violet and the way it progressed the plot without overpowering it.

However, the romance part I was iffy on. Definitely not because I didn’t like the characters—I did—it’s just the way it was handled lacked…something. One thing I felt made The Body Finder stand out was the fact that Violet was already crushing on Jay, and it didn’t become the whole girl-who’s-clueless-about-her-best-friend-who-loves-her that is overused-- Violet is actually aware of her own attraction. However, as the romance unfolded I thought it lacked the extra oomph that makes romance go the extra mile.

**Minor Spoilers Below**



You’re wondering why, right? For me, it was because of Jay. Now don’t get me wrong, he is always there for her, the best friend possible, so perfect…too perfect. The spark between the two was undeniable, but Jay was just too one-dimensional with a twist. Come on, readers, name a single flaw of Jay’s (excluding jealousy)! There isn’t one, and I thought he was too much of a knight-in-shining-armor; I wanted a more realistic love interest, not someone who is completely flawless.


**End Spoilers**

However, I thought Violet was a strong protagonist- she went out and tried to figure out the mystery instead of saving her own ass. I liked the way she acted around her friends, was independent, and could stand her own ground. Apart from my admiration for Violet, I felt most of the characters in the novel lacked depth, which was disappointing. Oh, and thank you for including regular parents, Ms Derting, it was refreshing because they are there, but don’t dominate the story or suffocate (too much) Violet.

Parting thoughts- I would definitely recommend this to people looking for thriller-romances, this was such a joy to read!
Book in HP terms- Exceeds Expectations

8.7/10- I wanted to give this a 9, but I thought the weak character development held it back. Despite that, the story itself is extremely addicting and will keep you flipping pages to find out what happens next. A healthy dose of romance doesn’t hurt and I found myself rooting for Violet and Jay the whole time. The deaths and the scenes from the serial killer draw you back to the suspense and mystery, and descriptive action/chase scenes keep you glued to the page. 8.7/10 is an A-.
Definitely recommended for those seeking an action-y romance YA novel, this one you can’t miss! And a must-read for lovers of crime-drama TV, especially Criminal Minds :P

Saturday, May 29, 2010

My Thoughts On: TV Season Finales

Okay, it is seriously, no joke, 12:40 1:20 in the morning but I was just struck by a sudden stroke of inspirational lightning to post about one of my absolute favourite delights in life... TV. You heard right. TV

So this post is going to be about my thoughts on the Season Finales for various TV shows I watch (which trust me, is a ton). I know some of you are fellow TV fans, but other just like to stick with books ;)

Anyhow, the shows I will be mentioning are (if you notice, they're in the order of days-of-the-week... haha):

-One Tree Hill
-Gossip Girl
-24
-Castle
-American Idol
-Criminal Minds
-The Mentalist
-Greys Anatomy
-Bones
-Brothers & Sisters

^^Are any of those shows your favourite? Want to share sqees/rants? Read on!

Oh, and SPOILER ALERT for the above shows! (because I'm discussing finales, it's kind of inevitable, right?)



One Tree Hill season 7
-The very last scene with Quinn and Clay? OMG jaw-dropping (the first of many during the finale-weeks) I loved it!
-Bethany Joy Galleti (Haley) is an amazing actress
-I know, I'm being really mean and just generally disagreeable but I wish Jamie didn't have so many "witty" lines because it just comes out sounding forced (albeit cute)


Gossip Girl season 3
-The very last scene with Chuck... OMG OMG OMG! Noooooo!!
-I thought up until then, the whole finale was so-so, but the last 5 minutes... oh boy.
-Chuck and Blair <3


24 season 8
-This is one of my favourite shows ever! And this was the series finale, not just the season... awh no more Jack :(
-I thought the ending was so-so, poor Jack never really gets to be happy
-I especially liked the Chloe/Jack scene at the end, the two of them's relationship is really unique
-Chloe > Janice (season 7) jsyk
-Can't wait for the movie!


Castle season 2
-Garrr, just when Beckett was about to spill her guts to Castle... stupid Castle goes and invites his supid ex-wife to his summer house! Grrrrr :(
-Can I just say that I love Castle's daughter Alexis? (in a non-creepy way) I just think she adds a ton of spark and affection to the show


American Idol season 9
-Won't lie, I was a Lee supporter from the moment he did "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol, and everyone else was doing like 80's hits for the Top 24 week
-LEE DEWYZE IS UNREAL <3 style="font-weight: bold;">Criminal Minds season 5
-Nooooo!! Oh Derek Morgan, I do feel bad for you :(
-I have a feeling I know what's going to happen next season with a whole Morgan storyline feeling guilty
-There should have been more Reid! I love Reid! --> that's him! So cute ;)
-I have no idea where the writers get such amazing ideas from, seriously. Episode itself was a bit above average
-Side note: has anyone seen the CM 100th episode? With the Reaper and Hotch? OMG twitter me or email me or something, I wanna talk about it :P


The Mentalist season 2
-Okay, I LOVE Red John episodes, they're the best!
-I thought the ending, with the whole '2 days later' was confusing and just out of whack. I understand they want to build suspense and mystery and keep you guessing, but it could have been handled better.
-Jane... you make my life sometimes.
-Kristina... oh I have my theories :P I think she's working with Red John
-Why hasn't Van Pelt and Rigsby gotten back together yet? :'(... oh yea, stupid Hightower


Grey's Anatomy season 7
-OMG you don't even understand how trhilling this episode was for me. My heart was pumping so fast and I kept texting my friend frantically, "Who is the shooter????" because I haven't followed Greys for a while
-Miranda Bailey is such a powerful character, the actress who plays her seriously deserves an Emmy or something. Ahe was amazing.
-I felt so bad for so many people! Especially the guy from Mercy West who died with Bailey, that part almost had me crying. almost
-I do wish there could have been more character deaths (don't hate me!) I think it could have added a ton more drama and general plot to the next season
-I like Owen :) and Christina :)


Bones season 5
-boooo this one I disliked.
-Brennan and Booth need to get together!! Haha, I know, I know, the sexual tension just makes the show better but come on, it's been 5 seasons.
-Ending was laaamee :(


Brothers & Sisters season 4
-Ooh, there are just so many storylines for this one. Poor Robert... and Kitty
-I wish Justin and Rebecca can patch things up
-Norah can get on my nerves but deep down I think she's amazing
-Oh Saul. Oh Saul :(
-I'm not a fan of Luc/Sarah, just sayin'
-I like Holly. Go ahead, sue me. I think she's cool and supportive.
-I love Scotty though ;) and Kevin, the two are so adorable together.

-&-

One thing I love talking about just as much as books are TV shows, so please, send me a tweet or email so we can talk about them!! I don't bite, but I do rant and rave :D

Also, what are some of your favourite TV shows?? I want to know!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Friday's Finest (15)

Friday's Finest is a meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.
**

Again, I'm woefully unprepared. But I'll whip out a trusty book from my bookshelf, one I mini-reviewed ages ago but is still a favourite among tons of bloggers. Oh, and this quote is just meant to be fun and random :) I read it and thought, Well this is fun and random.


Book: Perfect Chemistry
by Simone Elkeles

Quote:

(Brittany)

I'm having a nightmare that a thousand little Oompa Loompas are in my head, hammering my skull. Opening my eyes to bright light, I wince. The Oompa Loompas are still there, and I'm awake.

"You've got a hangover," a girl says to me.

-&-

I think that's the best description of a hangover I've ever read, it made me giggle when I found it.

So have you read this book before? Did you like it? And what do you think of the quote? :p

I was INTERVIEWED!

Okay, this is a huge milestone for me related to blogging and I'm so excited to share it with you guys!

The awesomely amazing Kris at Voracious YAppetite interviewed me for her weekly "YA Gotta Meet" segment. I would love you all so so much if you'd read it HERE and leave a comment ;) Kris asks some fantastic, original questions that shows here dedication as an interviewer, thank you!!

Oh, and if you can't manage to read through all my ramblings, just tell Kris how...stupendously fabulous...she is :P *mwah*

...btw, --> that is me being happy and excited

Thursday, May 27, 2010

want to Say something Secretly?

Okay, I will be completely honest, sometimes there is a blog I love but there's some aspect of it that just bugs the bejeezus out of me. Of course, leaving a comment like that in the comments is usually acceptable (ie: TURN OFF THAT DARNED WORD VERIFICATION PLEASE) but other times I might feel bad saying (ie: your music on autoplay makes me want to strangle a kitten).

So... stealing an idea from Facebook, I'm gonna make an "Honesty Box" that you can comment anonymously about absolutely anything at any time. Trash the blog, hate my writing style, it doesn't matter :) Of course, it doesn't have to be all negative, you can leave nice ones too. If you'd like to suggest improvements for my blog, I will definitely mull them over. Just know that everything is anonymous, so feel free to say what you actually feel! I really want to know!



Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday's 3 Couples (8)

LOVE TRIANGLE EDITION!!!

...and since a triangle has 3 sides, and it's Wednesday's 3 Couples, i think it's too many 3's. So I will list 4 couples. Yes, I can change my own rules, so ha! (actually, I just had too many ideas)

Whoop whoop ;)

** Wednesday's 3 Couples is a post/meme I created to help me regulate posts. It is biweekly, and usually has a theme! It lets me share my love of YA lit couples with others. **

Gonna make this quick and triangular for my own sake, I'm running low on free time right now! Can I say the last 3 weeks of school is something I would like to avoid for the rest of my life? I'm incredibly busy and stressed out right now, but of course, I had to update my beloved blog, right? Is that healthy? haha

Alright, in case you missed it, this week's theme is: Love Triangles!

I'm not the hugest fan of them because they can be cliched and predictable, but some I just love for no reason. There are so so so so many love triangles in YA lit, so it was extremely difficult to think of my 3 favourites, I'm sure I'm missing something though. Anyways, don't worry, this post will be Spoiler Free!


1. Alan/Mae/Nick - Demon's Lexicon trilogy by Sarah Rees Brennan.
-hahaha, I know what the result is, and youu dooon't... so read the book and find out! It's a great triangle really :)
-I won't tell you my team, but just for fun, what's yours?



2. Dimitri/Rose/Adrian - Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
-I won't be spoiling anything because I haven't read book 5 (I know, right? gasp!), but as of now, I can pick sides right?
-Team Adrian for sure (for now)!



3. Max/Scarlett/Eric - Suite Scarlett series by Maureen Johnson
-Okay, since this series is also unresolved (can't wait for book 3!) I'm gonna say... Team Max!
-Because I don't like Eric much, and Max is sweet. I know I know, I've already mentioned them in my other W3C post, but what-eva.



4. Peeta/Katniss/Gale - The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
-Who didn't see this coming?! Come on! Of course it would be here :)
-Team Peeta, because really, Gale is just a friend and doesn't really understand the ordeal Katniss has been through. I can go on and on, but I won't, I'll just say I can't wait for Mockingjay!!

-&-

I know I could probably include some other ones (a big one going around right now is from The Iron King by Julie Kagawa, I haven't read it yet though but I've heard all about it). My question to you is...

What love triangles to you like? And what team are you on??? Haha, I won't judge (unless you pick Gale.. jk :P)

Monday, May 24, 2010

BR: Heist Society

by Ally Carter

My first Carter book! Which also means that I can use this for my "Take Another Chance" challenge, Round 1 my Doppleganger (initials AC). Yay! And I was also really looking forward to this, cheers for libraries!

Summary (goodreads):
When Katarina Bishop was three, her parents took her on a trip to the Louvre...to case it. For her seventh birthday, Katarina and her Uncle Eddie traveled to Austria...to steal the crown jewels. When Kat turned fifteen, she planned a con of her own--scamming her way into the best boarding school in the country, determined to leave the family business behind. Unfortunately, leaving "the life" for a normal life proves harder than she'd expected.

Soon, Kat's friend and former co-conspirator, Hale, appears out of nowhere to bring her back into the world she tried so hard to escape. But he has good reason: a powerful mobster has been robbed of his priceless art collection and wants to retrieve it. Only a master thief could have pulled this job, and Kat's father isn't just on the suspect list, he is the list. Caught between Interpol and a far more deadly enemy, Kat's dad needs her help.

For Kat there is only one solution: track down the paintings and steal them back. So what if it's a spectacularly impossible job? She's got two weeks, a teenage crew, and hopefully just enough talent to pull off the biggest heist in history-or at least her family's (very crooked) history.

**
My Expectations: Say the word Oceans 11 and I’m in. I thought it would be a really good book, especially after tons of positive reviews.

Delivery: like I expected, a really good book!

Put-down-ability: with a blog break, read this in 2 sittings. Lots of fun and excitement means hard to put down, 4/10
**
My Thoughts

Heist Society was in one word, fun. It a light, fast-paced smart read about a teen girl’s… ahem, extracurricular activities (get your mind out of the gutter!) also known as stealing. Stealing expensive things to be exact. I really needed a book like this that puts me in a better mood and helps erase the disappointment of Bloom.

So what did I like about this one? Let’s start with the very charming, very endearing heroine Kat. She’s funny, resourceful and has her priorities straight, she has a backbone and does stuff. Her friendship with Hale was complex and very enjoyable to read about, I absolutely adored them both. I wish the other crew members, like the hilarious Bagshaw boys, Gabrielle, and Simon got more screen time and character development. They had their own funny quirks and awesome personalities, but I definitely wouldn’t have minded more.

Oh, and I actually really liked Arturo Taccone (awesome name btw). He was just the ideal villain who I could still like, despite his shortcomings. I thought the way he ‘toyed’ with Kat made the plot so much more interesting.

The writing flows very smoothly, and I thought at the beginning I would have preferred to read things from Kat’s POV (I still kinda think that) but her way worked as well. Writing didn’t get distracting, and I thought dialogue was handled very well.

Despite how much I liked the characters, I think the plot is the real standout. It carries the story, from when Kat is being framed at the beginning to the 14 day coundown to the deadline Kat has to return the paintings. Each day was full of action and mystery, I never got bored or overwhelmed; I mean, they traveled all around Europe and even to North America in two weeks!

I thought the incorporation of art (albeit fictional art) and museums was a clever input to make the story feel more realistic. The heist itself was genius and my heart was pumping during the plan execution, along with the lead-up to it; definitely reminiscent with the awesome movie Oceans 11. I am a fan, Ms Carter!

I noticed in the acknowledgments, Carter mentioned how this a story deeply rooted in family, and I couldn’t agree more. The bonds that Kat has with her family, despite trying to walk away, is complex, strong and admirable. Kat’s relationship with her father, Uncle Eddie and even Gabrielle was handled impeccably. Plus,I liked the whole crime-family debacle, it was lots of fun, not to mention unique.

Parting thoughts: I feel better after reading it :) that’s always a good sign. I want a sequel (this time with a bit more romance)!
Book in HP terms: Exceeds Expectations

8.5/10 – I really liked it! It was a clever, charming and witty read that was full of both an action-pact plot and unique characters. It will leave you smiling, and impressed by the sneaky abilities of teens. Yes, a bit of suspension of disbelief is needed, but that’s okay, just go along with it and it won’t disappoint. 8.5/10 is a B+.

Recommended for those who like smart, action-y contemporary novels!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

poll: what Book would You like to Win?



So, I know I mentioned in my Winner post of my previous contest, my blogoversary is coming up (June 21) and I wanted to hold a contest. I'm not interested in holding megagiveaway with tons of extra entries that requires me to count comments and all that... no.

I want to make it easy, fun and painless for all of us.

However, I'm having trouble thinking of what book I should give away, so I need your help!

I like to have contests bring attention to a book that is being released, but I can't find anything particularly must-read-now for June release, but my question is: Have You?

Is there a YA book you would like to win that is released either in May, June, or July?? I want to know! Just fill out the form below or leave a comment telling me what book you would like to win, and I will definitely take it into consideration. Contest will probably be announce on the first of June, and end on the 21st :)

Oh and as an extra incentive, people who answer get a bonus entry into the contest... I know, I've got your attention now, don't I!


AND PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME IN THE SPACE (I forgot to ask it)



Thank you so much! xoxo
OH! And you have until next Sunday (May 30) to be eligible.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

BR: Bloom

by Elizabeth Scott

Remember, my reviews are My Opinion Only. I definitely am not speaking for anyone other than myself.

Warning: SPOILERS will be included

Summary:
Lauren is unhappy in her "perfect" relationship.
Evan, a boy from her past, helps her figure out that she is holding herself back.
Now she makes a decision: perfect, secure boyfriend Dave, or Evan who she feels happy but reckless with?

**
My Expectations: I thought it would be really good, a well written, heartfelt contemporary novel that fans of Scott say is her specialty.

Delivery: uhm, no. Not good at all, fell very short of my expectations, not to mention it scored very low on my like-o-meter.

Put-down-ability: pretty high (because I got ticked off a lot) 8/10
**

You always know that when I start out saying, “Remember, this is My Opinion only” it’s not gonna be pretty. Sorry Elizabeth Scott fans.

I wanted to like this book. I wanted to have an Elizabeth Scott reading experience that would blow my mind, I really wished her novel, Bloom, would live up to all the positive hype surrounding it.

Not only did it fail to meet all of my hopes, it plummeted to the bottom of my book-liking list. Honestly, probably the worst book I’ve read this year. This review is full of rants, but remember, I definitely am not trying to trash the book, or the author, I’m just trying to express my personal opinions.

Okay, wanna start with the good things? Uhmm, I thought the writing was good. It wasn’t amazing, it didn’t really keep me engaged, but it was solid. To be perfectly honest, I really can’t pinpoint other things I liked about this book.

Things I didn’t like: Lauren, the plot, Lauren, the minor characters, Lauren, the writing, Lauren, and the ending.

The plot was agonizing. I had so much trouble trying to enjoy it at a primitive level, it was slow, over-detailed at times, extremely predictable and generally bland. It was the classic Love Triangle of Doom, camera focused on Lauren our darling protagonist who is torn between the mysterious boy from the past, and her blond-hair-blue-eyed perfect boyfriend.

Just reading the summary (either mine, or from goodreads), you can predict the book. I’m not kidding. However, it was very much a character-driven book, with the so-called “internal growth” of Lauren that went completely over my head. Since it is very character based, I can’t really say much about it.

The writing at times, like I mentioned, would be tedious by telling—not showing—everything Lauren does at home. She comes home, does this, washes clothes, eats, does that, thinks about Evan all the time, does this, feels guilty, feels scared, does homework, thinks about her dad, thinks about Dave, thinks about Evan. It got overwhelming because I frankly did not care. It could go on for a page or two of just the everyday things she did afterschool and it all felt completely unrelated unless the author was trying to tell us over and over that she's just a regular girl.

Now for the big reveal: the characters. First, let’s clear something up. I don’t think cheating on any level is at all tolerable in a committed relationship. Does anyone see my major problem with the novel now? I thought so many of Lauren’s actions were at times despicable, she constantly talked about how scared she was, but honestly to me, she was selfish. She wanted the best of everything, her perfect boyfriend and her part-time lover.

I wrote paragraphs and paragraphs about every single thing I disliked about the characters, but I think it’d be better if I just made a list about it. Everybody likes lists, right?

Why Audrey disliked this book:

1. Lauren was too boy-crazy. Every thought she had was Evan Evan Evan Dave Evan Evan Evan Evan. I get sick of the realllll fast. And the book is 231 pages of this nonstop…

2. She thought her relationship with Dave was ‘boring’ and ‘safe’ because Dave didn’t want to ‘take it to the next level’. Do some role reversing, does this sound right? And she kind threw her virginity in Evan’s direction… This whole sex debocle didn't sit right with me.

3. I don’t get how she could befriend Gail in the matter of days, and then spill all her dirty little secrets to her. That whole Gail-Lauren friendship didn’t work very well, Gail was only there when Lauren/the plot needed her, and then she disappeared into the backdrop.

4.
“This is where I should say I break up with Dave. Or that I stop seeing Evan. But there’s nothing to say because I don’t do anything. I think about it, tell myself I will figure everything out. That I will do something.

But I don’t.”
Gaahh, exactly. The quote like that explained perfectly why she made me want to tear my hair out. She doesn’t do anything! Just feels guilty but keeps doing what makes her happy.

5. She complained about how she doesn’t fit in with Dave’s friends, yet she only tried once or twice to extend her friendship. Then she was content to sit back and go on about how they’re not nice to her.

6. She constantly tells us how scared she is of everything. Grow a backbone and do something about it. Do anything. I found her to be a weak character.

7. Her cheating in general, and how it is portrayed in the book. Lauren just cheats and cheats, feels guilty, leads Dave on some more by trying to act perfect, then goes back to cheating because ‘Evan makes her happy’. Ughh. You know what? You can't have everything in life.

8. She was a terrible friend to Katie. Exception is the very end, but it shouldn't take you 220 pages to figure out Katie is your best friend for a reason.

9. She’s worried about turning into her mother, and hurting those around her. I don’t know what brand of rose-coloured glasses she is wearing, but does the thought cross her mind that the longer she cheats on Dave, the more hurt he will be?

10. The whole absent parent thing is over-glorified. Wow, are there no normal families? It’s either the picture perfect Dave family, the absentee parent Lauren family, or the dysfunctional/depressing Katie family. Way to not feed the stereotypes, guys.

11. Does Evan really not care at all about anyone but himself and Lauren? Isn’t there some guy-code where you.. uhm, lay off other guys’ girlfriends? Also, why the heck does he like Lauren? Is it because of the way-back-when story? I don't see the connection (apart from when Lauren goes on and on about how much she thinks about Evan...), nor much personality from Evan.

12. I'm curious why Lauren doesn't seem to care about what other people think of her. I'm a high-schooler, trust me, I know. Despite what you say, there's a part of you that is always concerned about what others will think of you. Lauren's actions, to most people at her school will probably calleed b*tchy and sl*tty, but she never mentions her fears of this (I find that unrealistic).

13. Minor characters in general were very flat. They had their own issues, but there wasn't any character growth. I like character growth.

14. The ending is too ideal, not to mention predictable. The heart-to-heart with daddy, the fact that fifteen minutes after breaking up with a very inconsolable Dave, she was holding hands and making out with Evan in the halls, the fact that she believed she had finally kinda ‘figured out who she was”… all very meh.

I know a lot of these are just things that affect me personally, not an actual bad thing in the novel. Hey, that's why I love blogging!

Okay, is that enough ranting? I’ll just cut to the chase. --Actually, I've got one last thing to say. Do I think Lauren is realistic? Somewhat, but honestly to me it doesn't matter how realistic and flawed a protagonist is, if he or she doesn't sit right with me, the books probably not going to be my favourite. It does take a talented author to make me this emotional about a book though :)

Parting Thoughts: next book please. I will be trying other Elizabeth Scott novels in the future though, her reputation demands it ;)
Book in HP terms: Dreadful (I'm sorry).

6/10 – because I did not like it at all. Lauren’s actions bugged me to no end, and the love triangle (especially because Lauren was actually in a relationship, not just undecided between boys) was annoying. I wouldn’t recommend this unless you like books about love triangles and affairs, I guess. A 6/10 is a C-.

And I'm sure so many of you will disagree. Feel free to say whatever you want, I'm ready :) Just remember, it's just my opinion (and I know I'm definitely in the minority here).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday's Finest (14)


Friday's Finest
is a new meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.
**

Wow, I've had an incredibly slow reading week. No books finished, only about halfway through Bloom by Elizabeth Scott. So, this time I'm just picking one of my favourite books off my bookshelf. Plus, I remember there was a quote in it I really liked for weird reasons I can't fully explain.
**Warning: Minor Spoilers**



Book: Ballads of Suburbia
by Stephanie Kuehnert

Quote:
I betrayed her and I also betrayed her brother.

Liam, the beautiful boy I should have loved if I'd known what was good for me. Liam, as loyal as his Irish eyes were green. I can't even count the nights that he listened to me while we wandered the town, smoking cigarettes and shivering against the cold, midwestern winter wind.

-&-

('speaker' is Maya, one of the protagonist's friends. This quote is from Maya's ballad; if you read the book you'd know what I'm talking about.)

Something about this just resonates with me, I think it might have just the situation at the time in the book, and how depressed I felt, it takes talent to evoke that much emotion. Or maybe how she used "beautiful boy" which I don't really know why, but I really liked it. Or just how the description worked in the book... lots of reasons to choose from. Plus, I loved Liam in this book, despite how messed up everything was. And yes, things got pretty messed up.

Anyways, this is a stunning book, you can read my review of it here. Stephanie Kuehnert is a wonderful author.

Have you read this book before? And what are you favourite quotes?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Winner!!

Dun dun dunnn.... I'll just cut to the chase and then ramble.. I do some serious rambling....

The winner of Spirit Bound and The Demon's Covenant, shipped courtesy of TheBookDepository is...*drumroll*

Entry #302, Entrant #94...

JANICE R.

Congrats!! I have emailed you (like a minute before I posted this), please respond withing 3 days with your address :)

I had a total of 155 unique entrants, and 506 total entries. Adding the bonus ones for commenting on my contest, there was 568 entries! Wow!! Thank you all for making this contest such a success.

So, voici la processe:
Random.org chose the lucky entry number.

I cross-referenced it with my Excel spreadsheet. I just matched the row number with the entrant, and assigned how many entries the person had. With some easy Excel-formulas, I could just add the number of entries (like 2) to the gradually total number of entries.

As you can see, entrant #94 on my Google Docs spreadsheet won. So congrats, Janice!


And don't worry, I made sure your bonus entries were counted :) [this isn't all of them, just a snapshot]

So again, thank you ALL for entering, I will definitely be holding another contest of a book I'm dyng to read, or just want everybody to read in the future :)
-- And my blogoversary is in June (I won't be holding a huge contest spree, but maybe a simple one) so stay tuned! --

And if you're curious, remember my question I had on my form? "What's your favourite word?" I had so many funny, thoughtful, and unique answers.

Common ones were: book, yes, love, awesome, amazing, hope, words, faith, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and to my surprise, dude.

But my favourites? (I'll keep this anonymous, but if you wanna claim the word as yours, feel free xp)

garfunkle
SEX!! (not kidding, I laughed at this)
Friday! (yes, I agree)
vehement
imagination
facetious
serendipity
epiphany
retribution
graduate
eloquence
fragment
friends
banana
Holiday Hams! (haha)

My own favorite? I know I stole this from Melina Marchetta, but honestly, after I read that part in the book, I was nodding along. Two words actually, solace and belong.

Oh, and 90/155 people voted "yes" for extra entries, thats about 58%. So I'm going to keep the extra entries the way they are (eg: only need to follow, or link anywhere). I hope you're okay with that :) I did raise my eyebrow when people with 8 or so entries voted "no" and people with 1 entry voted "yes". Huh, just a though.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Kiss and Tell (3)

So I was thinking, I don't have any scheduled posts for today! (and for those who are interested, winner of my contest is announced tomorrow :D) Then I remembered that I finally got a book from my school library, and I was horribly off track with my scheduling a Kiss and Tell post...so here it is (like a week late, haha)

Kiss and Tell is a wonderful meme hosted by the awesome Aly at Fantasy 4 Eva. Visit her blog and tell her how cool she is! It's basically a meme where you kinda have a semi-review (or predictions) about a book before you read it. So far, I've been actually pretty good with my predictions. Oh, and I've already read 20 pages of this book. Whoopsies?

Book: Bloom

Author: Elizabeth Scott

Source: School Library

Synopsis (goodreads):
There's a difference between falling and letting go.

Lauren has a good life: decent grades, great friends, and a boyfriend every girl lusts after. So why is she so unhappy?

It takes the arrival of Evan Kirkland for Lauren to figure out the answer: She's been holding back. She's been denying herself a bunch of things (like sex) because staying with her loyal and gorgeous boyfriend, Dave, is the "right" thing to do. After all, who would give up the perfect boyfriend?

But as Dave starts talking more and more about their life together, planning a future Lauren simply can't see herself in -- and as Lauren's craving for Evan, and moreover, who she is with Evan becomes all the more fierce -- Lauren realizes she needs to make a choice...before one is made for her.

Kiss and Tells: 7

Praise:
-Well, I mostly picked this up for the author (I really want to read Perfect You, from what I've read on Alexa's blog!) I've heard she is a fantastic author.
-This one is kinda old, so I haven't really read any reviews

My Thoughts:

Okay, depending on how I feel when the book is over, I might just rant later. But for now, I found it funny how the protagonist talked about reading cliched girl-meets-perfect/new/mysterious-boy, predictable books. Well, 20 pages in, this seems very much like a cliched, girl-meets-old-bestie-and-finds-out-her-bf-sucks type of book. Already, the current boyfriend is a cliched "perfect" bf. Wow, why is it that the author assumes everyone thinks a boy with blond hair, blue eyes, and muscles is attractive? I've seen no personality from him so far.

Things I definitely don't want to see in this book, or I will go bananas. Yes, you heard right, bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
-The new guy, Evan, has been in love with her since they were young
-She whines about being average, but turns out to be super amazing
-She ditches her best friends who have stuck with her
-a Love Triangle of Doom

As you can probably tell, I might, just might have some problems with it. But I'm only 20 pages in, so it has tons of potential to get better! You Elizabeth Scott fans better be right :)

Wanna know something random? ;)
My mom's hand-scrub thing (the stuff that makes your hands feel all soft after the exfoliating whatever) smells like peach rings!! yumm.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

BR: Finnikin of the Rock

by Melina Marchetta

Second Marchetta review, I was so surprised when I received this (I wasn't expecting it) I even squealed. It's a huge departure from her usual contemporary novels...

Summary (goodreads):

At the age of nine, Finnikin is warned by the gods that he must sacrifice a pound of flesh in order to save the royal house of his homeland, Lumatere.

And so he stands on the rock of three wonders with his childhood friend Prince Balthazar and the prince's cousin, Lucian, and together they mix their blood. And Lumatere is safe.

Until the 'five days of the unspeakable', when the King and Queen and their children are slaughtered in the palace. And an imposter king takes the throne. And a curse is put on Lumatere, which traps those caught inside and forces thousands of others to roam the land as exiles, dying of fever and persecution in foreign camps.

But ten years later Finnikin is led to another rock to meet the young novice, Evanjalin. A girl plagued by dark dreams, who holds the key to their return to the Land of light...

**
My Expectations: Really high. Although I knew this was Melina’s first go at a fantasy novel, I expected nothing less than the brilliance I’ve come to expect from her

Delivery: reasonably good. Didn’t make me fall out of my chair, but I it was still awesome.

Put-down-ability: 2/10. I read this in school! Like all school day, that’s how engrossing it was.
**

My Thoughts

Melina Marchetta’s first fantasy novel transported me into the land of Skuldenore and didn’t let me go. The writing was vivid with descriptions, action, and dialogue that flawlessly drew me in. It reminded me why she is such a smart author, and is another example of a third person narrative working seamlessly.

My two small nitpicks with the novel (I know, amazing because usually her novels are perfect!) were probably related back to the whole fantasy thing. I thought the names and places at the beginning were confusing at times, and I expected a bit more from the plot. I wish the mystery was more complex, the physical journey less predictable, and the general story a bit more unique. However, the rounding up of exiles and other scenes could have gotten repetitive, but I was glad that it didn’t.

And I have to add, I’m a big fan of those ‘quest’ books, so I definitely liked Finnikin’s path to fulfilling the prophecy, self-discovery, and finding his place in the world alongside Evanjalin. There was enough mystery and intrigue to retain my undivided attention as well, and I’ll admit I didn’t guess the ‘twist’. The whole set-up, or premise of the novel with the idea with the Five Days of Unspeakable was awesome.

Finnikin is such a wonderful protagonist, he is brave, smart, and loyal to those he loves. I felt Evanjalin was portrayed a bit too smart, nothing caught her off guard (yeah, I know she is guided by the gods…), and I neve really connected with her character. The supporting cast didn’t let me down either, especially Trevanion and Froi; they had their own brutal histories but when the time mattered, they came through.

The father and son theme was explored fantastically, from the moment in the Sorel prison on, I knew it would be just breathtaking. Reading about how the two bond after 10 years, about their regrets and fears and everything in between was a complete joy. I felt Finnikin and Evanjalin’s relationship went a bit fast though, I wish there would have been more development in that category.

Lastly, Finnikin’s search for his identity and his land was absolutely beautifully depicted, I thought that self-discovery was a huge theme in the novel. Finnikin’s love for his homeland Lumatere, along with his blood oath with Balthazar and Lucian were executed perfectly.

Parting Thoughts: I wish it could compare to Jellicoe Road... I wish everything was as good as Jellicoe Road.
Book in HP terms (from the OWLs): Exceeds Expectations

8.9/10 – a wonderful fantasy novel that will be a hit with people interested in the genre. Character development, plot, pacing, and writing were all evident in the novel, and were precious and abundant. I loved almost everything and thought the fantasy world created by Melina was a gem, I really hope she will write a companion novel. 8.9/10 is an A (I’ve been reading some awesome books lately which make me super happy!)

If you are at all interested in the fantasy genre, pick this one up! It will not disappoint, it’s reminiscent of Tamora Pierce’s and Kristin Cashore’s best works, you should understand that that is high praise indeed.





Not convinced? Read reviews from Persnickety Snark, Alex & Lauren (a flight of minds)
Also, see my Kiss and Tell about this.

Source: review copy from Candlewick Publishing

Monday, May 17, 2010

Blog Tip

Yes, I know I'm supremely underqualified to be giving out tips about blogging and blogs, but I actually stumbled upon something that I think a lot of people will like. Doesn't it get tedious when on your blog, you click on a link and you get siphoned away? Well, I found a super duper easy way to make sure that when you click a link on your blog, a new window will open. It also keeps readers on your blog instead of navigating them elsewhere :)So for example, on my review, I linked to goodreads. Before, if you clicked on "goodreads" my review will disappear and you will find yourself on goodreads. With this, a new window will appear and send you to goodreads, and you will still be able to read my review! Get it?

Okay, okay, I might be the only one who finds this fascinating :P But I thought why not share it? (or maybe I'm just the last one to find out about this, like always... haha. I'll bet tons of blogs already do this)

Now how do I do this? Read closely (not that close! Your head will hit the screen!... that's better...)
*Oh, and I'm sorry I had to make some parts pictures, blogger wouldn't let me type it out D: But I'm sure you can figure it out!*

1. Go to your Blogger Dashboard, click on "Layout"

2. Click "Edit HTML"

3. Use "Ctrl-F" to find this:

(it should be near the top)

4. Add this code directly after the"head" :

5. If you want, preview it to make sure it's okay. Then just save, and Voila!

-&-
I hope this was clear, I found it really quick and simple, and makes life a bit more convenient. Plus, it's really easy to reverse if you don't like it. Oh, and I by no way take any credit for this, I found it after some googling, for more information go here. (did you see it open up in a new window?)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

she said i think i'll go to boston....

You don't know me, you don't even care,
oh yeah,
She said you don't know me,
and you don't wear my chains... oh yeah,

She said I think I'll go to Boston...
I think I'll start a new life,
I think I'll start it over, where no one knows my name...

-'Boston' by Augustana


First, let's clear this up. I did not find this song via that Greyson kid on Ellen, I was pleasantly surprised that he knew about it though. And I am so sick of all the twitter stuff about him XP. I found this because I was listening through some Scrubs soundtracks, and this one was just too beautiful. It's been on repeat for a while on my iPod. Oh, and I love fonts (cause I'm a total geek) so I made a picture-thingy as well.

Anyways, that aside, I think this is a really beautiful song, the melody is smooth and lulling, the lyrics are excellent, and the voice is pitch perfect. Watch the video below, isn't it awesome? They have an actual music video too, but I really like the simpleness of this one.



I haven't done a song post in a while, so why not one this week? I'm still prepping my other reviews that should be up soon,; I've read some pretty awesome books so keep an eye out for those. Your thoughts on the song? And what are your favourite songs at the moment?

Contest Reminder + Bonus Entries!

Hey! Just a quick reminder to those who haven't entered yet.

My contest for Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead & The Demon's Covenant by Sarah Rees Brennan ends IN 2 DAYS! (May 18th @ midnight PST).

Clicky HERE to enter!! There are no requirements, and it's open internationally.

But... if you are interested on getting 2 bonus entries for the contest, leave a meaningful comment on my review for The Demon's Covenant, link HERE before May 19.

Don't worry, I will do all the hard work and make sure you get those bonus points =) Winners will be announce May 20th.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

BR: The Demon's Covenant

by Sarah Rees Brennan

As I’m writing this review, my mind is still reeling.. just a heads up of the tone of this review. I’m gonna keep it short and sweet (hopefully) and again (hopefully) Spoiler Free!

Oh, and you should know, I’m a really picky paranormal reader. I’m sick of werewolves and vampires, was never really into the fallen angels or the ‘mysterious witch girl’, turned off by faeries after one fey book… but Demons were never an annoyance for me. This series kind of makes me love them, thank you Ms. Brennan.

Summary (cover flap):

Mae always thought she was in control, but in the past few weeks control has turned into chaos. She’s learned that her brother Jamie has magical powers and that Gerald, the new leader of the Obsidian Circle, is trying to persuade Jamie to join the magicians. The same magicians who tried to kill Mae and Jamie last month in London. The magicians who get their power by feeding people to demons.

Mae turns to brothers Nick and Alan to help her rescue Jamie, but they are in danger themselves. Every magician in England now knows what Nick really is—and they all want him dead.

Nick’s new power has also caused a rift between the brothers. In the weeks they were gone something terrible happened, something that haunts them both. With Nick as unreadable as ever and Alan making secret bargains with a demon, Mae finds herself attracted to both brothers—though she knows she can’t trust either of them. The magicians are closing in on one side and the dangerous, seductive Goblin Market is tempting her on the other, and Mae has to form her own plan to save them all. She's going to find that the price she must pay is more than she ever imagined.

The covenant is binding. There is no escape.

**
My Expectations: pretty high. I don’t remember exact details from The Demon’s Lexicon apart from the fact that I absolutely loved it, so I wanted this one to be just as good. I was iffy about the focus on Mae though.

Delivery: Oh. My. God. It was so good, from the first page to the last. SQUEE. Exceeded my expectations and resolved my doubts.

Put-down-ability: very low, 3/10. A pretty addicting book, especially the second half.
**

I only request review copies of books I’m 90% sure I’ll love. I went into this without reading any reviews, so a very fresh blank slate and the lingering memory of my love for The Demon’s Lexicon. The Demon’s Covenant? Even better.

But how is this possible? Could it be because the writing has grown exponentially? That humour is subtlety interlaced perfectly? That the characterization is mind blowing? The plot was oh-my-god amazing? The climax that will rival the one from DL (that is saying something!)? And the make out scenes (oh man, the make out scenes!) with the love triangles? *swoons a bit*

The answer to all of the above is a big fat YES. Sarah Rees Brennan is an undoubtedly clever author capable of weaving a fast-paced, action-filled novel that doesn’t surrender to sequel-syndrome.

The characters are arguably my favourite part of the novel (since I loved everything..) because being a sequel, it gives way to character development that sometimes goes overboard in middle-novels. Brennan keeps this in check and unveils true intentions layer by layer in a way that keeps you guessing and doubting the whole time. Each character becomes alive a jumps off the page (and into your heart). Mae’s feelings about having a magical brother and lacking her own powers doesn’t get in the way of their sibling love for one another.

But this really can’t hold a candle to how much I loved the Ryves brothers, Nick and Alan. The bond between the two can’t be described as anything other than: so freaking good. The charred conflict between the two lies just beneath the surface as Alan deals with his life of lies, and Nick with his struggling grasp on human emotions and protecting those who are important to him. How they act, care, worry and fight is all portrayed splendidly. Each one is characterized perfectly, with their own actions and words that just fit.

Jamie is one of my favourite characters, his sweet and soft nature really sets up for the turmoil he will experience when dealing with his magical abilities. He can offset this with quick wit and a extremely funny dialogue that won’t fail to make you laugh. And he’s not the only character capable of bringing laughter into a darker paranormal book. I don’t think a person other than Nick could have pulled off all those references to knives XP. Snippet, anyone?
"You're not taking him," said Nick. "He's ours."

"I really kind of am," Jamie put in. "I mean, I'm mine. Nick is being horrifying and inappropriate as usual, but I'd much rather go home with them. Not that I don't appreciate the kind offer of hospitality as experessed by kidnapping me.

...oh Jamie. I would totally follow you on twitter*.

And Mae has confused feelings for more than one boy… I think I’m going to be wickedly cruel and leave you this teaser *hides from flying objects*.
"She was kind of in love with him."

The writing in this one never distracted me, and kept me engaged and flipping the pages well into the night. Although I don’t have an elephant's memory of DL, I do think that this time around, the writing improved by leaps and bounds, showing the author’s tremendous growth. Action scenes were concise and clear, and the descriptions, especially of the Goblin Market were unique and vivid. The whole magician/demon world created was fantastic.

A small thing that wasn't perfect: sometimes there were subplots that fade away, then come back suddenly leaving me a bit disoriented. And I'm sad to say this, but sometimes there were too many things going on, like the whole Seb thing, Celeste/Aventurine, Gerald/Jamie, and Annabel issue in addition to the main storyline. But one 'subplot' I adored was Daniel Ryves diary :)

However, there is just too much win in this novel for that to even matter. Too much win to even comment on. And if you've read the book, which 'ships are you rooting for?? I've got my own favourites, *fingers crossed*

Parting thoughts: I can NOT wait for the next book!!! Oh, and there are a few new sub-plots introduced and loose ends...and a huge loose end just setting up Book 3.
Book in a HP terms (from the OWLs): Outstanding.

9.3/10 – because it ties with two of my favourite books this year (The Piper’s Son by MM and The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness). It has an engaging plot with endless twists and turns, wonderful writing, and characters you aren’t embarrassed to wear a ridiculous suit for if that meant cheering them on and falling in love with them. If you are by any chance thinking of the next paranormal book to read, pick up this series now. Read The Demon’s Lexicon first, and keep a jar handy for all the bits of your brain when you get your mind blown. The Demon's Covenant gets a big fat A.

Recommend to all YA paranormal lovers, it won't disappoint.

The Demon's Covenant is released May 18, 2010.

Source: review copy from author.
Sarah's Twitter/site/blog.






Not convinced? Read a review from Angieville.

PS- I'm still tweaking my reviews. I added the 'parting thoughts' and 'book in HP terms'. Your thoughts? I'm really iffy about the HP one, is it too much? haha

*shout out to an awesome post by Alexa.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday's Finest (13)

Friday's Finest is a new meme hosted by Steff & Justine from A Bookful of Thoughts.

Rules:
~Post a quote that really stuck to you after reading it in a book.
~Make sure it isn't a spoiler!
~If you'd like, expand on what you think it means and why you chose it.
**

Again, another last-minute post. I love this meme, I just always forget about it!

I'm reading an awesome, amazing book that covers a paranormal sub-genre that doesn't annoy me (wow... picky much?), I'm not done it yet but it's excellent so far. If you follow my twitter, you'd know I was super excited when this book arrived! I'm feelin' pretty blessed reading great books lately. Here's a line that made me laugh... =]

It's almost like a teaser sentence (it's even funnier when you read what is happening in the scene, I just don't want to give away any spoilers!).

-&-

Book: The Demon's Covenant (sequel to The Demon's Lexicon)
by Sarah Rees Brennan

Quote:
"Oh, don't," Nick said. "You'll get me all hot and bothered in public."

-&-
I don't know what it was, but this one made me laugh. Maybe it was just how the whole situation was, and how it was definitely not what I was expecting coming from Nick.

I know, I usually have long-winded, philosophical life quotes for this meme, but I thought I'd give you a taste of this unique book, I'll leave my other thoughts for my actual review. Just know, the book is laced with subtle, humorous rapport and language- a joy to read.. and giggle at. If you haven't read The Demon's Lexicon, I highly recommend it!

Also, I'm giving away this book and Spirit Bound in my contest, ending 5/18.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

BR: The Reckoning

by Kelley Armstrong

I’ve been waiting forever for this one! About time the library got it, I was pretty low on the waiting list too, so I’ve been pretty antsy. If you want to, read my reviews of the first two books in the trilogy, The Summoning and The Awakening. And just a heads up, I know this review is all over the place, like my brain is right now.

Summary (goodreads):
Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now, along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I’m on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We’re hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We’ll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we’d left behind and to take out the Edison Group... or so we hope.

**
My Expectations: Kinda in the middle, I’ve read mixed reviews, but enjoyed books 1 & 2. I hoped it would be as good as them.

Delivery: Fell short of my hopes, met my expectations.

Put-down-ability: 6/10 a ton of action, but didn’t always hold my attention.
**

My Thoughts

I will say, this Darkest Powers conclusion has been on my wishlist for the longest time, and this review will include spoilers (which is inevitable in a book #3 review) but I will keep them really minor if I can.

So I liked this one. It wasn’t fantastic, but it was a good, action-packed mad scramble to the finish line. Such a scramble that it felt as if people were falling over one another, scratching and tripping on their way. Bad metaphor aside, I just felt this book recycled and spat out characters and plot lines. Bad people chase them. Mystery unveiled. Contemplate escape. Escape. Fight goons/raise dead people. Repeat. (not really, but this is kind of the gist of the series)

My opinion of this book might have been influenced by the fact that I didn’t really remember the world/characters much from the series, it’s been a long time between The Awakening and The Reckoning. I would get confused with the ‘rules’ or whatever when Chloe raised dead people/spirits (what was the difference?) but this is jut bad memory on my part. If you like a fast-paced plot, you would love this series. Seriously, the books only cover a few weeks!

The mystery aspect was really great, I could never tell who was a good guy, who was a bad guy; it kept me on my toes and kept me guessing. Lots of fun, I must say.

Some scenes I felt were unnecessary, along with some mysteries not really tied up, just kind of trailed off and disappeared. Not sure if this was intentional or not, but there were some stories that just seemed incomplete. There's another 'companion' series planned, I'm pretty sure they're bringing back the Edison Group and Co.

The writing was good, as usual. No breathtaking literary devices, but it was solid. I do really like Chloe’s voice, I think Armstrong captured the narration of a 15 year old reasonably well. I did wish there was more about Chloe’s love for movies, or some of her other hobbies from her old life, it seemed she was too focused on the boys at times.

One thing I disliked about Chloe was how calmly she took everything thrown at her. It’s like, “look, the evilest demon ever! Okay! Moving on… Bad guys with guns? Let’s go!”, she took everything in stride and never took any time to, uhm… freak out? I know that’s what I would have been doing, haha. I’m happy she has her realsitic faults though, and I felt she could be too forgiving at times. She really kept Derek in line ;)

Simon and Tori were both pretty awesome in this one, I was never annoyed with them (which is saying something, I’ve been pretty moody lately) and they developed decently well for characters sitting in the background, I do wish they were more central though. And Derek was his good ol' happy-go-lucky self. Did anyone catch the sarcasm? Let's just say he was brooding-ly awesome. Oh, and heads up, there are quite a few deaths in the story… dun dun dunnn!! (hopefully that’s not too spoilery)

Simon or Derek? Let’s just say I’m happy with the choice =)

Alright, let’s wrap this one up, it’s definitely not one of my best reviews :s I know, it seems like my thoughts are just all jumbled and I can't really write what I want to, it comes out sounding.. ech. I'm sorry!

8/10 – because it had a great, action filled plot and mystery and awesome characters to root for. Chloe is a great protagonist and a pretty wicked necromancer, the villains had their own twisted, intriguing plot, and the climax fight scene was gripping. Only tidbits I disliked were some feelings of repetitiveness, unneeded characters and scenes, along with a lack of development in minor characters. Overall though, not the best, but a good conclusion to one of the only paranormal series I’ve read! 8/10 is a B.

Recommended for paranormal lovers! I hope you love it more than I did :) this was a great series.