Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #4

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. This week's choice is a contemporary that's been in my TBR list for a while, and though the release date is still far, I want to read it. Badly. XD


My Life Next Door, by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication date: June 14th 2012
-- Goodreads page

"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them… until one summer evening Jase Garrett climbs her trellis and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love and stumble through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first romance, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own - even as she keeps him a secret from her disapproving mother and critical best friend. Then the unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself? 


A debut novel about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.


Doesn't this book sound awesome? And the cover is so adorable... I'm still looking for a good contemporary romance to read in 2012, and My Life Next Door looks like my kind of book. Well, we shall see ;D
What are you eagerly anticipating this week?

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tell me something Tuesday #2


Tell me something Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Cambria Hebert, in which she asks us something, and we post our answer. And the question of the week is:

If you could travel into any book to the setting and meet the characters which book would it be and why?


How can I answer this question? I've read so many books, thought "I want to go there right now" so many times, it's impossible not to feel torn between, say, 150 stories and such. One of the things I observe most in books is the setting itself. If I'm not comfortable with it, it's hard to get a hold of the character's point of view and feel whatever he's feeling. That said, I don't often read a book whose setting doesn't please me. 

There are, possibly, a hundred different answers and books that I wish I could visit, characters I dreamed so much of meeting... but there is one, in special, that I always think about. You know when you love a book and a character so much you dream of living there, of participating in the adventures they went, or simply talking to someone? 

Halfway to the Grave, by Jeaniene Frost, is this kind of book for me. I love Jeaniene's writing style, the world she created, how vampires are the real thing, bloodthirsty and all, but they can still choose a different life. If you were good when you were human, this aspect will only get heightened if you get turned into a vampire. Same thing with evilness. And I adore that. Frost can create good vampires without turning them into Edward. 

The characters I would wish to meet are Cat and Bones, simple as that. Cat is one of my favorite main characters (if not the favorite), and I'd love to talk to her, train with her, get to know her. She's a girl I'd love to be friends with. Bones... is a different story. Throughout the series, I fell for him (seriously, who didn't?!) but just talking and training with him would be fantastic. 

So, there it is. Halfway to the Grave. It wasn't so bad or hard to answer this question, after all... =D

What about you? If you could travel straight to a book's setting, and meet its characters, what would be your destination? 

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, by Melissa Jensen




Release date: February 16th 2012
Published by: Speak
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Rating: 2/5 stars
Goodreads page











Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that's just fine by her. Still, it's hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is her French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before.

My thoughts:

When I first set eyes on The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, I thought this would be a book I'd enjoy. Especially when people started to compare it to Anna and the French Kiss (a contemporary novel I loved). It turned out, a lot of things went wrong, things that made my rating fall, and hard. 

Ella is the main character, a shy girl who's one of the invisible kids at the Willing School. She has a horrible scar on her neck and shoulder, which makes her socialization with other students much harder. The love of her life is Edward Willing, an artist who died in 1916. Ella talks to Edward in her mind, like in imaginary conversations. He gives her advices all the time, but this is seriously creepy. I expected Ella to realize how insane this is at some point, but no, she acts like it's no big deal. 

Other than that, her shyness would be a girly and cute aspect of her personality, had it not been so accentuated. She wasn't shy, she was a chicken, and that's it. She was afraid of people staring at her scar, she was scared of basically everyone with a social life, she was afraid of singing, of dropping her soda on her shirt, of doing the wrong thing in front of Alex, of losing her friends... Her point of view was so tiring; I couldn't wait to finish reading this book. If someone yelled "You're a freak, and you look like Freddie Krueger!" on my face, I wouldn't start to cry. I'd beat the crap out of the girl, or at least ignore her. Guess what Ella did?

Ella didn't feel real, as well. If Alex told her "Oh, we're having lunch with the lacrosse team, and you're going to take off your clothes" with a wink, she would start trembling and shaking, wondering if that was true. Then she would whisper, "What?” terrified of what was going to happen. This felt way too forced. I couldn't understand how Alex was able to stand her. I felt bad for him. 

Now, let's talk a bit about the romance. I enjoyed it, I really did, but neither Ella nor Alex seemed to like each other so much. It was like Ella was totally in love with Alex, and Alex liked her, which in turn made Ella insecure (again) and tried to block her feelings for Alex. So tiring. The reason I'm giving this book 2 stars is because I loved the ending more than the whole book. The last chapter made me smile a lot of times, so, props to the author. I'm glad at least one thing in this exhausting contemporary was worth it. 

Last, but not least, 20% of the book could've been cut out. Sentences, like "I peed. I washed my hands and smelled the Diptyque fig candle." made me want to scream "UNNECESSARY INFORMATION!" over and over. I know I'm probably being a baby right now, but I had to point this out. My eyes kind of bleeded with these sentences. 

Overall, I'm extremely disappointed with The Fine Art of Truth or Dare. I don't know how this book got to be compared to Anna and the French Kiss - it has nothing to do with it, seriously -, but I do know a great amount of people are liking it far more than I did. So, to those readers, I'm glad someone out there loved Ella and Alex's story. This just isn't the book for me.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

In my mailbox #3


In my mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi, at The Story Siren, in which we share the books that we got this week.

Fortunately for me (and my wallet), I just bought a few ebooks that came out, and have been in my TBR pile for months.

- Clicking on the titles will take you to the book's Goodreads page.






 Graffiti Moon, by Cath Crowley


I already read The Catastrophic History of You and Me, and I loved it. Seriously, it's a must read. I found Graffiti Moon a couple of weeks ago, and it sounds so interesting I bought my e-copy already. Looking forward to it. What did you get this week? ;D




Saturday, February 25, 2012

Interview: Kristen Simmons, author of Article 5

I'd like to welcome Kristen Simmons, author of Article 5, to the blog. She's here today to answer some questions regarding herself, and her books. You can check my review on Article 5 here. But now, let's go to the good stuff! ;D



Find Article 5 on:  Goodreads, Amazon, Book Depository
  
New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.



 INTERVIEW:


-    Could you please tell us a bit more about yourself?

 Sure! I was raised on a cattle ranch in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which is a really beautiful place. In high school I met the boy who would one day become my husband. I went to several colleges before finally getting a degree in psychology, and a master's in social work, which is the field I worked in for many years before I signed a contract with my publisher.



-    Why did you choose to write a dystopian book, and what was the worst part of working with this genre?

I love survivor stories, and dystopian books create an atmosphere in which the world has taken on a dangerous, oppressive feel, and regular people (like me!) are forced to survive and fight back or succumb to the powers that exist. There's something honorable and inspiring about that. The worst part? Well, I suppose I should admit I didn't realize what a "dystopian" was before I wrote it. In hindsight I would have been much more concerned about the high volume of great books out there right now. At the time I was just writing a book I thought I'd want to read.


 
-    Did some book/author inspire you someway while you were writing Article 5?

I'm inspired by almost everything I read in one way or another. I love reading contemporaries for their teenage angst, humor, and romantic tension. I love reading fantasy and adventure stories for their ability to pull you from reality and make you see the bigger picture. Although I read this years ago, I think THE ROAD, by Cormac McCarthy is one of the cornerstones of dystopian literature. It’s not fully explained what happened or how the world became that way, it just is, and the characters are forced to deal with it. It got me thinking, what would we do if we remembered what it was like before the world fell apart? If teenagers remembered going to school and hanging out late on Friday night, but now must abide by a curfew and go to a soup kitchen to get their meals? And what if, like many people, they never took advantage of how good things were until they were taken away? Often, we complain about how terrible things are, but if the apocalypse actually happened this year, many of us will be looking back on this time and saying, oh my gosh, I can’t believe I didn’t appreciate all the luxuries that I actually did have.



-    If you had a time machine, would you go back in time and change something in your book?

Oh, trust me, there's not a day that goes by that I don't think, "that line's still not quite right, I wish I would have said this word instead of that word..." Such is the curse of the writer, I suppose.



-    With which character do you relate to the most?

I identify with all of them at least a little bit. We all have the capacity for strength and kindness and honor, but also rage and cruelty. That being said, I probably relate most to Ember, because like her, I’m a little tenacious, and also like her, I’m a little in love with Chase. But she’s braver than I could ever be. 



-    Article 5 is the first book in a trilogy. If you had to tell us what to expect from the next book in the series with just one word, what would it be?
 
Resistance.


-    Thank you for answering the questions, Mrs. Simmons! It was wonderful having you here today! <3
 
Thank you, Beatriz! This was very fun!


----- You can find out more about Kristen Simmons on her websitetwitter, and blog. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, by Oliver Bowden

 


Release date: November 11th 2009
Published by: Ace
Rating: 4/5 stars













"I will seek Vengeance upon those who betrayed my family. I am Ezio Auditore da Firenze. I am an Assassin…"

Betrayed by the ruling families of Italy, a young man embarks upon an epic quest for vengeance. To eradicate corruption and restore his family's honour, he will learn the art of the assassins.

Along the way, Ezio will call upon the wisdom of such great minds as Leonardo Da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli – knowing that survival is bound to the skills by which he must live.

To his allies, he will become a force for change - fighting for freedom and justice. To his enemies, he will become a threat dedicated to the destruction of the tyrants abusing the people of Italy.

So begins an epic story of power, revenge and conspiracy.

My thoughts:

I first heard about Assassin's Creed from my brother in-law. He loves the games, was constantly commenting how Ezio was badass, how his moves and kills were impressive, and how the graphics were fantastic. When the novel came out, I spent months craving it, only now having the courage to buy, and finally, read it.

Oliver Bowden transports us to Italy, 1472, where a young man is about the learn the power and secrets of his family. After a brutal attack and betrayal, Ezio takes the name Auditore to a whole new level, seeking vengeance from those who took blood from the ones he loved. Ezio becomes an Assassin, as lethal and skillful as one can possibly get.

When I start reading a book in which the main character is an assassin, I immediately wonder if he's evil. I bet almost everyone cringed upon the words "I am an Assassin..." that's written in the back of Assassin's Creed. I know I did. So you can only guess how satisfied I was when I found out Ezio's not evil at all. He's what I would call fierce, in every single way. He loves his family and would do anything for them. At the same time, he kills without a drop of mercy, but only when he has to. I loved that. He's the kind of guy that I would be proud of, if I were his sister.


That said, I enjoyed his relationship  - if multiple, and brief, encounters over the years can be called a relationship - with Cristina. I didn't expect him to be in love, and I certainly didn't expect for him to be so caring and ... cute... with Cristina. His love life was very, very different from the game, and by that, I was disappointed. But really, since I never played Assassin's Creed, my disappointment was short-lived.


To say Renaissance was a fast-paced book would be the understatement of the year. Ezio's 17 (if I'm not mistaken) when his story as an Assassin begins. At the end of the book, he's 44 years old. No, I didn't type that wrong. He's 44 years old. This means basically half of Ezio's life is described in 500 pages. I both love and hate that. I understand that the author wanted to show us what it means to be an Assassin. It's tiring and bloody. Ezio would spend years trying to find a guy, and months figuring out how to kill him. It makes the Order of the Assassins look way tougher than it sounds.


However - and that's the negative part of my review - it leaves no space whatsoever for character development. Sure, Ezio is more mature on the last chapters than he was on the first ones, but still, to write someone else's whole life, you have to describe their experiences, how they changed over each blow that life had landed upon them... and none of this happened with Ezio. It was so fast paced I was confused sometimes. The narrator would say that Ezio spent a long time searching for someone. I thought this "long time" would be weeks, months, or even a couple of years. And then I found out this "long time" was actually 8 years. How can you describe what happened to someone as special and broken as Ezio in 8 years with less than 3 pages? If the author keeps this pace up, how old will Ezio be on the third book? 89 years old?

Now, the ending itself. I liked it, but it was definitely not what I had expected. Really, it blew me away. I never thought Ezio's mission would be so important. I won't give anything away, but if I was playing the game, I'd have to pause to just absorb the ending for a moment. Just... what the hell?


Assassin's Creed is an excellent book for those who played, and enjoyed, the games. If you never played it - like me - you can read it anyway. It's a good way of learning Ezio Auditore's story, and reading an action-packed book.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #3

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I chose:



Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publication date: July 3rd 2012

15 year old Tiger Lily, proud and fierce, wild and misunderstood, doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland, and immediately falls under his spell. Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, big-hearted but hard to reach, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything - her family, her future - to be with the haunted, hunted, courageous boy who loves her. When - as a punishment for her rebellious ways - she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter. With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

From the New York Times bestselling author of PEACHES comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.


  
A Peter/Tiger Lily romance? I'm in! Peter Pan is an amazing story, and I can't wait to read this book. It sounds so interesting... the cover is pretty, but not exactly what I expected. I thought it would be in shades of green or something like that. Anyway, I'm excited for it, green cover or not. ;D

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Tell me something tuesday


Tell me something tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Cambria Hebert, in which she asks us something, and we post our answer. I found this meme to be pretty simple and interesting, so here I am ;D

And the question is: How do you feel about love triangles?

Now, that's a tricky one. I have mixed feelings about love triangles. It depends on the book. For example, I adore Vampire Academy's love triangle, because Richelle Mead developed it very well. It was believable, and even though Rose irritated me sometimes with her indecision, it was still a good romance. 

The same cannot be said about Twilight. I couldn't care less about Edward and Jacob, simply because Bella doesn't deserve either of them. She's annoying, doesn't have facial expression, and her personality is as flat as a door. I'm glad Jacob fell in love with Renesmee, and that Bella could live happily ever after with her sparkling vamp. So, to sum it all up, I didn't like Twilight's love triangle, but the ending was nice enough.  

I feel particularly bad for the guy who's not chosen by the girl in the end. I always like the one who's chosen, but I feel glad everytime the author manages to give the poor bloke a happy ending. Or, you know, do something pretty drastic, but that still feels real. (Hallo, Andrea Cremer). 

But really, it would be nice if, for a change, the love triangle was about two girls and a guy (like Percy Jackson). I loved to see this side of Percy, and it'd be good if there was a book like this one. Too bad  there's a big amount of love triangles with the same drama, the same indecision, the same story... 

Something that bothers me a lot is the love triangle in which the girl has made her mind since the begginning, like The Vampire Diaries (the series). Elena's true love is Stefan, and she never feels insecure about the other Salvatore. It is always Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. This isn't a love triangle, it's a girl who's loved by two boys. I really hope Elena will give Damon a chance, but so far, nothing. A love triangle with so much potential being wasted by insta-love... 

So, overall, I like love triangles, but only if the girl is interesting and sincerely insecure, the guys are not two morons fighting each other like barbarians and acting like the girl is a damsel, and if the ending is realistic. ;D

What about you, how do you feel about love triangles? Love them? Hate them?

Teaser Tuesdays #2



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:




  •  Grab your current read; 
  • Open to a random page;
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page;
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!);
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teaser is from Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, by Oliver Bowden. I don't know if the story is exactly like the game, but I'm loving it nonetheless. 


"He triggered his poison dagger and moved with the speed and elegance of a wolf, covering the distance in a matter of seconds. He stabbed to death five of the men before the others realized what was
happening, drew his sword, and fiercely killed the rest, their vain lunges bouncing off the metal shield on his left forearm."

-- Chapter 20

So, yes, Ezio is badass ;D 





Sunday, February 19, 2012

In my mailbox #2


In my mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi, at The Story Siren, in which we share the books we got this week.

So... things got out of hand, and the result is a a lot of books, both in portuguese and in english. Not that I'm complaining, but well...
---- Clicking on the titles will take you to the book's Goodreads page





Physical books:

Lover Mine, by J.R. Ward -- In Portuguese (love the cover!) 
Assassin's Creed: Renaissance, by Oliver Bowden -- In Portuguese
The Power of Six, by Pittacus Lore


I'm super excited for Assassin's Creed. The setting is fantastic, and story is even better. It took me too long to buy The Power of Six, but hopefully it'll be better than I am Number Four. 


Ebooks:

 Skinwalker, by Faith Hunter
Love & Leftovers, by Sarah Tregay
The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, by Melissa Jensen


I've been looking for a new urban fantasy series, and Skinwalker sounds interesting. Love & Leftovers will be the first book in verses that I'll read. I think it'll be a good challenge XD 
And finally, the Fine Art of Truth and Dare is out! I've been waiting months to read this book!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Alchemy of Forever, by Avery Williams



Release date: January 3rd 2012
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars
Goodreads page












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 take the bodies of other humans from jumping from one vessel to the next, ending 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 while trying to save her. For the first time, Sera finds herself enjoying the life of the person she's inhabiting--and falling in love with the 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 about in danger. Will Sera have to give up the one thing that's eluded her for centuries: true love?


My thoughts:

The cover for The Alchemy of Forever didn't exactly catch my eye as much as the title did. It's usually odd for this to happen - I'm a sucker when it comes to book covers - but the title was so interesting I had to check the synopsis out. I'm so glad I did it.

Avery Williams introduces us to Seraphina Ames, a girl whose past is full of death and stolen lives. She's Imortal, and in order to stay that way, she's always changing bodies, killing people in the process of occupation. It's inevitable, but it pains Seraphina to do so. Cyrus, the boy she was in love with back when she was human, was not at all how she thought. After turning Sera in an Imortal, he became a monster, willing to do anything to keep Sera at his side.
 
Sera's life is pretty much decided for the rest of her life, but an eternity of killing is not in her plans. She runs away from Cyrus, but an accident causes her to take over a teenage girl's body. And you can only imagine how a 600-year-old soul feels about this. At first, Sera is desperate to get rid of the body and go back to her original plan, which is basically to kill herself before she causes more damage.

And that's when the fun starts. The beginning of the book was somewhat slow, and what really kept me hooked was my fascination for Seraphina's condition. However, when Sera dives head-first into Kailey's life and body - no pun intended - she has to decide if killing herself is a wise decision after all. Kailey's family's love is something that gets to Sera rather quickly, since she had none of that, and it's fantastic how much she changes throughout the book.

Sera's characterization was really well done. Her actions reflected her personality perfectly, and there was a balance between her emotions and Imortal nature that got blurry at certain points. She felt human to me when she was with Noah the most, which is why I adored him that much more. He's the kind of boy that's nice to everybody, open and trustworthy especially with Sera.

To tell the truth, all the characters were solid and consistent, except, maybe, some of Kailey's friends, since Sera didn't keep in touch with them so often. But apart from them, Avery Williams proved to be an excellent writer. I was particularly fond of Kailey's family. I don't know if that's how most north American families behave with their kids, but to me, it felt very real, too.
 
Cyrus was a treat to me. Sure, I've read books in which the villains are so evil and twisted that it gave me the creeps, but Cyrus was different. Maybe because under the layers of indifference there was someone who once cared enough about Seraphina to make her Imortal. Maybe because he calculates his moves so thoroughly I felt like I was being played with most of the time. Or maybe because he's just scary, period. Whatever it is, it heightened my fears for Sera.

The Alchemy of Forever really is interesting. Cyrus and Sera were intense, but I felt refreshed and rested after I finished reading. The writing is full of emotions and a little poetic, fitting the story just right. Overall, an enchanting book. If you want a break from the usual books you're used to reading, this may be a good choice.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays #1



Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:


 




  •  Grab your current read; 
  • Open to a random page;
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page;
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!);
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



Memes are so much fun, that I decided to participate in Teaser Tuesdays. I'm currently reading The Alchemy of Forever, by Avery Williams. I'm using my Kindle for Android, so I won't have an accurate page. Here's my teaser:




“Did you just say fried chicken cupcake? Is this possible?”

--- Chapter twenty-nine.



I'm loving it so far... the story is very interesting and fast-paced. Not to mention the villain *shudders*.

Quick review: An Iron Fey Valentine, by Julie Kagawa


It's Valentine's Day on the USA, and even though we celebrate it only in June here, I couldn't be happier. The reason behind my gleeful behavior is that Julie Kagawa released her special Valentine's Day novella today. What's this novella about, you ask me? Well, we get to know how Ash and Meghan spent their holiday (with a real date and all that).




The first thing I did after arriving from school was to read An Iron Fey Valentine. I have only one thing to say: The waiting, the excitement, was so worth it.

There were so many fluffy scenes and comments - from both Meghan and Ash - that I actually wished I had a boyfriend. And when the novella was over, it felt like my world had lost its brightness for a few moments. I'm not going to give spoilers away. It's amazing to experience Ash and Meghan's relationship after everything they endured. How they're at sync with each other, how much they love each other. Truly fantastic.

So, if you're interested in checking the novella out, click here.

PS: An Iron Fey Valentine is set after The Iron Knight. If you haven't read the whole series yet, and don't want any spoilers getting in the way of your reading, then don't read the novella. If you don't mind the spoilers, go right ahead :D

Sunday, February 12, 2012

In my Mailbox #1



 In my Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by Kristi, at The Story Siren, where we share the books we got this week. This is the first In my Mailbox (I'm a novice at this memes, XD), and these are the goodies I got this week, for my Kindle for Android:







 Harbinger, by Sara Wilson Etienne 
Fracture, by Megan Miranda
Dark Mirror, by M.J. Putney


I'm particularly eager to read Dark Mirror, but they all look good! What about you: What books did you get this week?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Article 5, by Kristen Simmons





Release date: January 31st 2012
Published by: Tor Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 4/5 stars











 New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., have been abandoned.

The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.

There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.

Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren’t always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it’s hard for her to forget that people weren’t always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It’s hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.

Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.

That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings…the only boy Ember has ever loved.



My thoughts:

I put Article 5 on my TBR pile for many reasons, but mostly, because this dystopia sounded real and well built. I've read some pretty messed up dystopia books last year, and even though I ended up liking them, the society that the authors described just didn't make a lot of sense. What happened to the rest of the world, in The Hunger Games, for example? And how did the government make a decision in Divergent? Yes, the story was convincing, but if you think hard about it, it just doesn't make much sense.

Article 5 was not one of those books. The society (or what's left of it) was ruled by chaos; people were arrested if they read the wrong book or missed school based on their religion. And those taken away were never seen again. Humans treated like objects, like puppets, as the government turned soldiers into monsters. I love this kind of dystopia, simply because it can happen.

Humans will kill if it's a matter of survival, the army will repress rebellions violently if that's the only choice, and the world will sucumb if a war explodes. Those are just a few prospects that Kristen Simmons explored in Article 5, and they were so convincing that it left me thinking: If the diplomacy fails, will this be our destiny one day?

Living on this wrecked world is Ember, a seventeen-year-old girl that struggles to stay under the radar. Standing up to your superiors is not a option anymore, and she knows it. Her mother, though, is rebellious, and Ember does what she can to open her mother's eyes. All this effort goes to waste, however, when her mom is arrested by a bunch of soldiers claiming that they had broken one of the rules.

Being arrested is not the worst thing that Ember went through. One of the soldiers was Chase, the boy she loved, and he seemed so changed, like a machine had replaced his heart. Ember was taken to a reformatory, and her life turns into a living hell from that day on. Not knowing where her mother was, or what was being done to her, was torture, but wondering what had happened to Chase was worse.

Ember was a good main character, and I liked seeing things through her eyes, but the girl seriously irritated me sometimes. It was like she was blind to the world around her, especially when it came to Chase. Over and over his actions showed how much he cared about her, and yet, Ember acted like a brat, always throwing his mistakes at his face and blaming him for everything that happened. She expected Chase to just open his emotions to her in front of everyone

At some points, Ember overreacted so much I wanted to shake some sense into her. If someone told her the truth about something, she'd crumble to the floor, trembling, and start crying a river of tears. And then it would take twenty minutes for her to snap out of it and be able to stand. Wake up, girl, there's no time for you to act like a baby! Either you go through whatever's necessary to live, or you won't be alive much longer. I don't know how Chase was patient enough to stand her behavior.

Now, to the good parts of the book: Chase himself. Not because he's the hot guy that's supposed to fall in love with the girl in a day, but because he was so much more than that. Chase was broken in so many ways during the book that I wanted to do nothing more than hug him half the time. His experiences as a soldier were devastating. His fellow soldiers explored every weak aspect of his personality, until there was nothing left but a ghost of the boy he used to be. Chase's been in love with a Ember for a very long time -- since they were kids, actually -- but even his enrollment as a soldier didn't destroy this love.

I loved Chase's personality, his ruthlessness and, most important, his hero complex. The way he wanted to protect Ember from everything that happened around them was heart-warming. He seriously won me over.

With a very good plot and dystopian world, Article 5 was a dense book, one that made me rethink a lot of aspects of my country. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series, and if you haven't read this book yet, do it. It's amazing, even with those flaws ;)

Waiting on Wednesday #2


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. That's the book I choose:
Biting Cold, by Chloe Neill
(The sixth book in the Chicagoland Vampires series.) 
Publication date: August 7th 2012, by NAL Penguin
Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined. And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans.

Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed. No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.
I absolutely love the Chicagoland Vampires series, and after the huge twist that happened in Drink Deep, I can't wait to read Biting Cold. And the cover.... *sigh*... so beautiful.....

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Wings of the Wicked, by Courtney Allison Moulton




Release date: January 31st 2012
Published by: HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 5/5 stars












Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.
Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven’s warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell’s strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She’s been warned.
Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian’s new plan to destroy Ellie’s soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian’s schemes , the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She’ll be betrayed.
Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be hell to pay. 



My thoughts:

I read Angelfire back in February, and I spent the whole year waiting for Wings of the Wicked to come out. And now that it did, I wish I had waited another year before picking it up. It would be so easier if I had the third book in hand. I can't stop thinking about this book, so I apologize beforehand if I sound crazy o.O

I'd say Courtney Allison Moulton did a fantastic job at writing a sequel to Angelfire -- I'd even go further and say that this series doesn't fall into the second book curse, and that's saying a lot, especially from me. Every aspect that I loved of Angelfire is intensified and explored deeply in the characters. We get to see Ellie struggling to balance two lives, as a teenage girl in high school, and as the Preliator.

Ellie struck me at first as a interesting and mildly nice girl, but it’s obvious now how much she feels for those she loves. I remember I didn’t pay much attention to this when I was reading Angelfire, but in Wings of the Wicked, Ellie’s emotions are all over the place, both for her life and responsibilities, her family, and her feelings for Will.

Something I haven’t forgotten throughout the year was Will’s relationship with Ellie. For me, this is one of the most beautiful romances I’ve ever read in my life. Their love for each other is not something that came out of nowhere; it took five hundred years to blossom, and when it did develop in Wings of the Wicked, it felt natural, because they’ve been together all this time. Will’s not Ellie’s boyfriend, he’s her partner, brother, protector, someone who loves and understands her above all else. It’s heart breaking seeing them so obviously in love, but without the capacity – and courage – to go further than that. Will’s not supposed to love Ellie, and by doing so, he’s risking his life, as well as Michael’s wraith.

“It was so hard for me to see him every day and want him so badly, but yet again I had forgotten about how much it hurt him to feel the same way. It was so painful for us to be apart, but I didn’t know if either of us was strong enough to be together.”

Will’s love for Ellie’s not the only thing that made me sigh. His personality is stronger that it was in Angelfire. A lot of people may have thought that he acted like Ellie’s puppet, obeying her orders and following her around, but now I see that that’s not how he is at all. Will does what Ellie wishes because he loves her, but when it comes to her safety, he goes through whatever’s necessary to help her, even without her consent. The balance between his feelings and his job is perfect, and the connection between these two elements in him only makes Will deadlier in battle.


Cadan is another character that enchanted me even more in Wings of the Wicked. He's not only the reaper that tried to get to Ellie and seemed to irritate Will so much. Cadan is wonderful in his own way, and the fact that he's demonic made him that much more interesting. As much as I loved Will, I was always anxious to see more of Cadan and Ellie interacting.

However, as much as I love Courtney’s writing style, some fight scenes seemed anti-climatic. Let’s imagine this: Ellie is fighting a reaper, and suddenly, it grabs a human and starts to slowly cut his neck (This didn’t happen in the book, it’s just an example). Instead of unleashing her power on the creature, Ellie just stands there, open-mouthed, while the human’s death is thoroughly, fully described. And then, when the guy is dead, Ellie gets angry and kills the reaper in less than one minute. See what I mean?

Another thing that was both good and bad was how much happened in this book. Seriously, a hundred things blow up in Ellie’s face, and sometimes I got lost during the course of events. Of course, this makes the book’s pace a lot faster than normal, and that’s the good part (it keeps you on the edge of the seat the whole time), but I found it somewhat weird.

And the ending… Oh, man. I’m really trying not to freak out while writing this review. Imagine that you spent two weeks fighting evil and going through hell, and then, after everything’s ok again, you get to go home and take a long, hot shower. When you leave the bathroom with that sense of security, you go to bed and turn on your TV. But right there, at CNN, there’s a reporter saying that there’s a bomb falling from the sky, and that there’s directed at your address. And you know you’re going to die in less that 2 seconds…………………. Now imagine that the book ends right there.

See why I freaked out so much? That’s basically how I felt after reading the ending:



Only a series as wonderful as Angelfire does that to me. And I can’t help but give Wings of the Wicked 5 stars, even with the bad parts. The waiting was worth it, and I just hope that the third book will live up to my expectations – that, by the way, are very high.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday




Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. That's my first "Waiting on Wednesday" post, and I chose the following book:






   The Last Echo, by Kimberly Derting
   (The Body Finder #3)
   Publication date:  April 17th 2012


 In the end, all that’s left is an echo.

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet’s talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it’s Violet’s job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice.

When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by “the girlfriend collector” she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new “relationship” and Violet may have caught his eye....



I loved The Body Finder and The Desires of the Dead, and I simply cannot wait to see how this amazing trilogy is going to end :D