Monday, March 28, 2011

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Every girl who has taken the test has died.

Now it's Kate's turn.

It's always been just Kate and her mom--and now her mother is dying. Her last wish? To move back to her childhood home. So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.

Then she meets Henry. Dark. Tortured. And mesmerizing. He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.

Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead. Now saving her mother seems crazily possible. If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.

If she fails.. (cover and summary from


You know when you’ve read one of those books that you don’t want to put down and when you finally finish it, the characters won’t leave your head?

The Goddess Test is one of those books!  Wow!  What a fantastic read this book was!  I was curious about it and thought that the premise sounded interesting, but the way Ms. Carter wove a story of mystery, romance and mythology all together was amazing.  I could not put this book down.  In fact, we went on Sunday to buy a new car and when my husband asked me to drive it home, I got upset because I wanted to read, not drive the new car! : )

The story was captivating.  I immediately sympathized with Kate, the main character.  Her mother is dying of cancer and she has to leave New York City and move to a little town in the middle of nowhere.  She is so focused on her mother’s illness, she can’t even be a normal teen.

I liked James a lot as well, especially at the beginning.  He seemed like just a nice guy.  Ava was, of course, the typical mean girl and I sort of predicted what would happen with her at the beginning, but after that, the predictability of the story was non-existent!  There were all sorts of twists and turns that were great but I could never have foreseen.  And I ended up liking Ava A LOT!

And then there was Henry.  ::sighs::  Henry was positively swoon-worthy!  If I had known that the god of the dead could be so fabulous, I would have started looking for one a long time ago!  He was a perfect underworld god:  dark hair, dark moods, dark temper, but oh, so captivating!  By the end of the book, I was ready to go through the  tests myself!

I like to see that some interest in Greek mythology is coming back in vogue.  Rick Riordan did a fabulous job with starting the Greek gods spin-offs in Percy Jackson, and Aimee Carter is continuing in his footsteps.  “The Goddess Test” shares its Greek mythology roots with Riordan’s works, but where Percy Jackson is slightly more juvenile and geared to a younger audience, Aimee Carter kicks it up a notch and really takes the idea to a more sophisticated level.  The story is complex and deals with love, death and sacrifice, drawing the reader into the story wholeheartedly. 

Just as a forewarning to those who like to know, there are several allusions to sex in this book, but nothing inappropriate.  Her fade to black is very well done!

This book is probably going to be on my top 5 of the year.  Right now, the only book ahead of it so far is “Unearthly” and it’s because Tucker Avery owns my heart.

But Henry, god of the underworld, can own my soul, if he wants it. : )

There is one drawback to this book.  I now have to wait until February, 2012 to find out what happens next. ::sobs::

This book is definitely an A++ for me!  Aimee Carter aced it, with lots of extra credit to spare! It arrives in stores on April 26th.  You should run, not walk, to get it.  Or perhaps find a centaur to take you.

(Much thanks to Harlequin Teen and for the ARC.)


Sunday, March 20, 2011

12.21.12 by Killian McRae Review and Giveaway!!

 Archaeologist Sheppard Smyth has staked his career and the honorable memory of his deceased wife and partner on proving his widely-panned theory: Cleopatra VII, last ruler of Ancient Egypt, was murdered. When a statue of the doomed Queen is discovered in an Olmec excavation site in Mexico, Shep rushes to investigate and, hopefully, find the proof that has evaded him for so long. Soon, he finds himself in the middle of the rivalry between the sexy, enigmatic international thief, Victoria Kent, and infamous rumored Russian mobster, Dmitri Kronastia. Both hold pieces to the puzzle that will finally shed light on Cleopatras death, as they vie for Shep's trust and assistance. As he is drawn further into their world of ancient gods, supernatural powers, and alternative history, little does Shep know that the fate of all humanity may hinge on his ability to discover the truth in between Victoria and Dmitris' fragmented claims and hidden identities. Working to decode the ancient past while attempting to save the future, Shep becomes a common pawn played by forces working to see out a quest older than the pyramids themselves and cloaked by the Mayan prophecy of 12.21.12. (picture and summary from


Holy adventure story, Batman!  This book was a non-stop roller coaster ride from beginning to end!  Take a bit of The DaVinci Code, mix in some Indiana Jones, a good dose of Egyptian mythology, a pinch of Mayan mythology, a bit of history and a lot of mystery and you’ve got this book….and you also have a fun, rollicking, can’t-tear-yourself-away-from-it read!

I liked being able to get bits and pieces of the story from the different perspectives of all the characters.  It was fun because I would start getting some pieces of information and think that I was onto something when, BAM!  The perspective would change and something would blow my theory to bits!  I love a good mystery that keeps me hopping and this book definitely made that happen.  The best part though is that each piece of the puzzle that was revealed made perfect sense within the story.  There was nothing that came from left field and blindsided me.  That’s what makes a good mystery really great and I think it must be one of the most difficult things that a writer can do.

I loved Shep.  I kept imagining him like a young Harrison Ford in the first Indiana Jones movie….::swoons::  He’s a great guy and he’s sort of rugged yet extremely intelligent.  That sort of scruffy, unkempt sort of guy but it doesn’t matter because he’s still super sexy type.  I also really liked the character of Alex and I’d love to know what happened to him.  I’m not really sure that I liked Victoria.  She was really important to the story but I didn’t really think she was a very nice person.

I normally review YA books here and this is classified adult, so anyone looking for something for younger readers should keep that in mind.  This book had a few references to sex and some bad language, but I’ve honestly read YA stuff that had more actual sex in it.  The worst that happened in this book was a scene with some almost sex.  After seeing many of my high school students walk in carrying the latest Lynsay Sands novel, this one would seem really, really tame!

If I were giving this book a grade, it would be a solid A.  At a certain point in time, this book became difficult to put down and the action never stopped until the last few pages.  I would recommend this book to people who like mystery, paranormal or historical fiction.

This book is available through Omnific and their website,  Much thanks to Micha and all the lovely girls at Omnific for allowing me to read and review this book.  You girls rock!

Killian McRae can be found on goodreads on her author page and also on her personal webpage at

You can check out the rest of the blog tour and find all sorts of cool stuff like character interviews, author interviews and more giveaways!  Of course, I'm giving away a copy also, so check out that info below the tour schedule!

This is the entire blog tour schedule (I'm number 20!)

  1. Julie @ A Tale of Many Reviews - Review - March 1st 2011
  2. Yelania @ The Itzel Library - Interview - March 2nd 2011
  3. Damaris @ Good Choice Reading - Top Ten/Giveaway - March 3rd 2011
  4. Mandy @ Twimom101's book blog - Interview - March 4th 2011
  5. Casey @ Dark Readers Blog - Interview - March 5th 2011
  6. Alisha @ My need to Read - Character post - March 6th 2011
  7. Jules @ One Book Shy of a Full Shelf - Interview/Giveaway - March 7th 2011
  8. Lisa K. @ Baffled Books - review - March 8th 2011
  9. Sarah @ The Book Bee - Character Interview - March 9th 2011
  10. Page @ One Book at a time - Guest post/Interview - March 10th 2011
  11. Michelle @ Hooked To Books - Giveaway/Review - March 11th 2011
  12. Kristin @ My Bookish Ways - review - March 12th 2011
  13. Celine @ Nyx Book Reviews - Top Ten - March 13th 2011
  14. Sherri @ Urban Girl Reader - review/Q&A/giveaway - March 14th 2011
  15. Cherry @ Cherry Mischievous - Guest post - March 15th 2011
  16. Bianca @ Sweet Nothings xo - review/giveaway - March 16th 2011
  17. Rebecca @ My Life with Boys and Books - review - March 17th 2011
  18. Megan @ A Trail of Books Left Behind - review/character interview - March 18th 2011
  19. Jennifer @ Ponytails Book Reviews - review - March 19th 2011
  20. Tammy @ Into The Mystic -  - March 20th 2011
  21. Lisa @ Bookworm Lisa - Top Ten/Giveaway - March 21st 2011
  22. Tara @ Taming the Bookshelf -  - March 22nd 2011
  23. Rachel @ Parajunkee's View -  - March 23rd 2011
  24. Melissa @ I Swim for Oceans - review/interview - March 24th 2011
  25. Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer - giveaway/interview - March 25th 2011
  26. Christin @ Between the Covers - review - March 26th 2011
  27. Stacy @ Girls in the Stacks - review - March 27th 2011
  28. Ash @ Smash Attack Reads - character interview - March 28th 2011
  29. Aleetha @ bacaan-ally blog - review - March 29th 2011
  30. Ashlie @ Bookish Novelties - review/interview - March 30th 2011
  31. Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight - Review/Giveaway - March 31st 2011
  32. Once Upon a Twilight Author Live chat - March 31st 2011 @ 9pm CT

And now for the best part:  the giveaway!  If you would like to be entered in the giveaway, all you need to do is leave me a comment with the following information:  1.  Tell me the one thing that sounds most interesting to you about this book either from the publisher’s synopsis or my review.  2.  your email address so that I can contact you if you win!  3.  If you'd like to, you can add which 30-something actor do you think would make a great Indiana Jones type character. That’s it!  I won’t require that you be a follower, although it would be really cool if you become one!  I will accept entries until March 31st. (U.S. and Canada addresses only.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bumped by Megan McCafferty

First, I need to apologize for the length of time since my last post. I'm taking cataloging this semester and it is kicking my butt! The workload is unbelievable and the professor just doesn't explain anything, so I'm doing double work because I have to teach myself how to do stuff before I do it! : )

Anyway, enough of my whining and on to the review!

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common. (picture and summary from

My Review
I’m not sure how to review this book.  So I’m going to review in a couple sections:  story, characters and writing style.

The story was very, very good.  It was an interesting concept to think that everyone would WANT teen pregnancies and encourage them.  That is one of the things that attracted me to this book and I loved watching the whole story play out.  In fact, I was so enthralled with the story by the end that I was horrified by the cliffhanger ending and wanted to stomp my feet and pitch a temper tantrum like my 3 year old. (I know, it doesn’t help.  But it would have made me feel better!)  It took me a while to get into the story, but once I did get caught up in it, I found the book hard to put down.

The characters were great.  I loved Harmony and Melody and it was great to see how each of them grew and changed throughout the book.  I really liked Zen and Jondoe.  The mean girls were perfect, because every high school book needs those mean girls, right?  I was hoping for more from Ram and I’m hoping that in the next book I will see the development I want from his character.

So, some of you are probably wondering what the problem is?  I mean, the story is fine and the characters are interesting.  The problem that I had was with the writing style.  I felt like the author tried too hard to capture “teen speak”.  And I HATE that!  It is so obvious when an adult is trying to sound like a teenager.  Maybe it’s because I spend all day with teens, but I know when the teen talk is being forced and in this case, it was WAY forced!  I think it’s because it was overdone.  And cheesy.  For example, there was a play on the Fergie song “Fergilicious” and it turned into “Fertilicious”.  Really?  Not only is that silly, but it will easily date the book.  After all, my 13 year old thinks that songs from 6 months ago are “old”, so that makes any pop culture reference obsolete before the book even makes it onto a shelf.

The other reason that “teen speak” bothers me is because I think it is patronizing.  The teens that I teach don’t need to be spoken down to.  They may have their own lingo, but they understand plain English as well!  And especially teens that read.  Many of them don’t use typical teen slang like some of their peers.  The use of that slang/lingo is not going to suddenly make teens who don’t read want to, and I think teens that do read will be slightly insulted by the use of it.  Teens are intelligent and authors should bear that in mind.  And I still maintain that no 30-something will get the teen lingo right.  It just sounds forced.

So, once I got past the whole “author trying to sound like a teenager” thing, I enjoyed the book.  But authors need to for reals not talk that way because it is sooooooo epic fail!  (See how silly I sound??) : )

My grade for this book?  Probably a B.  The story was fun, interesting and good food for thought.  Once I got past the teen speak.  Totally…….

This book will be available on April 26th.  Thanks to HarperCollins and netgalley for the ARC!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Beastly The Movie

I loved this book!  It was one of my favorite books from last year, so I was dying to see the movie.  So tonight, I packed up me, myself and I and hit the movie theatre for the 10:55 pm showing. : )

I was NOT disappointed!  The movie adaptation was very true to the story line of the book.  Obviously, changes were made.  Some I liked, some I didn't and some didn't matter.  I didn't like the way they changed the plotline with Lindy's dad.  That was disappointing.  I did like the way they did Alex's beast transformation.  I think the movie version of a beast is much more fitting than the way Alex Flinn made him all hairy and well, beast-like! Vanessa Hudgens is a mediocre actress at best, but the supporting cast was phenomenal!  Alex Pettyfer was decent and he is definitely easy on the eyes, although he really wasn't for the majority of this movie.  (Yes, I am one of those people keeping my fingers crossed that he will be cast as Jace in City of Bones!)

Overall, I really enjoyed the movie and it was definitely worth leaving my house for at 11:00 at night.  Here's the movie trailer to whet your appetite to go see this film.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

12.21.12 blog tour reminder

March has arrived and so has the beginning of the 12.21.12 blog tour!  I just finished the book today and wow!  I can't wait to post my review!  My date is March 20th.  Into the Mystic will be posting a review and hosting a giveaway of the book to one lucky U.S. reader!  Lots of blogs are hosting top ten lists, character interviews, author interviews and giveaways!  You can check out all the blogs that are participating here.