Saturday, March 30, 2013

Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowen

Book:  Wicked Kiss
Author:  Michelle Rowen
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Date:  Now available
Source:  Publisher via netgalley
My grade:  A-

My kiss can kill.

I used to be ordinary Samantha Day, but that's changed. Now, after one dark kiss from a dangerous boy, I can steal someone's soul…or their life. If I give in to the constant hunger inside me, I hurt anyone I kiss. If I don't…I hurt myself.

Bishop is the one whose kiss I crave most, but if I kiss him, I'll kill him. Then there's another boy, one I can't hurt. One whose kiss seems to miraculously quell my hunger. They're both part of a team of angels and demons that's joined forces in my city to fight a mysterious rising darkness, an evil that threatens everyone I know and love. I just wonder if I'll be able to help Bishop—or if I'm just another part of the darkness he's sworn to destroy….

NIGHTWATCHERS: When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising…

Initial impression
Oh thank goodness she left some space for a sequel if she wants to write one.  Please write one!

Cover story
Bleck!!  What the heck is that scarf thing that’s flying out of her neck?  And the title?  Feels like it should have a half-naked man on the cover who looks like Fabio.  Sorry, Harlequin Teen… totally missed the mark on this one.

What’s the Story?
So this book picks up where Dark Kiss left off.  I really, really loved the first book in this series, so I was excited and nervous to read this one.  While I enjoyed this story and the ending felt just right, I have to say that I don’t think this one was quite as exciting as the first one.  Now, I still enjoyed it a LOT, but that’s where the minus came from.  I could actually put this book down if I had to.

I’m finding it a little hard to review this book.  Basically, it just continues the story and it does a good job of bringing the story to a satisfactory ending.  It’s weird to think that there are only two books, since most series now are trilogies.  However, Michelle Rowen did leave wiggle room for herself at the end to be able to continue with Bishop and Samantha’s story, so I’m hoping that she’ll choose to do that.

One of the things that I really liked in this novel was getting the flashbacks into the brothers’ human lives.  That was one of the best parts of the book.  I always love getting the back story and this one did not disappoint.

Basically, if you enjoyed the first book, then you really need to read this one.  If you haven’t read the first book, what are you waiting for?  This was a really good read and it picked me up from a reading slump that I was in.  I mean, it has a supernatural storyline, a few hot angels and demons, some mysterious historical plot and a town on the brink of disaster.  What more do you need?

The Soundtrack

Bloodstream by Stateless

Arise by Flyleaf

Flying High by Jem

Beautiful Girl by Broken Iris

Seven Devils by Florence + The Machine

Cosmic Love by Florence + The Machine

The final grade
This was a satisfying ending to an entertaining pair of books.  I just hope that she really, really considers writing more in this series.  I don’t think I’m ready to let go of Bishop yet!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 
This week's topic is:

Top Ten Twelve Books on My Spring TBR list

Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally   I loved the last 2 Miranda Kenneally books, so I was thrilled when I was contacted by her publisher to be on her April blog tour!!!

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg  Just the title alone makes me want to read this book!  Plus, I loved Prom and Prejudice.

The Nightmare Affair by Mindee Arnett    Hello!  A girl who is a nightmare, literally?  Count me in!

Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson   I have been obsessed with the Bluebeard fairy tale since I read Kill Me Softly, so I jumped at this one when I had the chance!

Going Vintage by Lindsay Leavitt  I have been dying to read this one since I first read about it.  Plus, the cover is awesome!

Spellbinding by Maya Gold    If it’s a book about the Salem witch trials, I will read it!

Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood by Abby McDonald    Jane Austen.  Enough said.

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer    I might be a bit of a Disney World fanatic, so when I saw that this one took place in a theme park, I was sold.

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa   The Immortal Rules was one of the best books I read last year.  Plus, it’s Julie Kagawa, y’all!

The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise    This just seemed like a cute, fun, and easy read.

How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski    I just have to pull for a girl who sets her boyfriend’s car on fire.  Don’t judge me!

Towering by Alex Flinn    I have watched Tangled about 400 bazillion times with my 5 year old and Flynn Rider is definitely my cartoon crush now, so I can’t pass up a Rapunzel re-telling.

So these are my top 12.  What about yours?  What books are top on your TBR pile for the spring?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Grimm Chronicles Blog Tour

Tour Schedule

The Grimm Chronicles

200 years ago, the Brothers Grimm unleashed their stories upon the world. Literally. Now the characters of the Grimms' stories walk among us. With every day that passes, they grow more evil. They are the Corrupted, and only a hero can stop them.

For 18-year-old Alice Goodenough, that means taking precious time off from her summer vacation. In addition to volunteering at the local library, Alice must stop the Corrupted who are now actively hunting her down. With the help of her magic pen and her trusty rabbit friend, the world has suddenly gotten a lot more complex. The Corrupted are everywhere, and only Alice can see them for what they truly are.

This book contains the first 3 episodes of the critically acclaimed series
Episode 1: Prince Charming Must Die!
Episode 2: Happily Never After
Episode 3: Revenge of the Castle Cats

Additional features for this special edition:
- An introduction
- Two special "Lost Diaries"
- A behind-the-scenes interview
- A collection of original Grimms' Fairy Tales

The Grimm Chronicles is intended for Young Adults aged 13 and up. The goal is to provide Young Adult readers with a strong, charismatic young woman in the role of the hero and provide readers with a positive protagonist who uses her brain to overcome obstacles life throws in her way.

Also Available Volume 2 of the Grimm Chronicles

Book 4: The Orphanage of Doom
Book 5: Blood and Thunder
Book 6: The Order of the Golden Dragon


“5 stars!” ~ Bookies Book Blog

"Highly recommended for all who love fairy tales and the YA genre." ~ My Cozie Corner

"All in all the books were excellent." ~ LilyElement

"If you love fairy tales and them being turned into modern day stories you will love these short stories." ~ Mom With a Kindle

5 stars (out of 5) ~ I Am, Indeed

“Isabella Fontaine and Ken Brosky’s incredible talent for storytelling takes the reader on an amazing action-packed ride fueled by endless creativity and limitless imagination. TGC is like a high-stakes version of Harold and the Purple Crayon meets a contemporary, above ground Alice in Wonderland. “ ~ Bookfetish

“I absolutely loved this book! No, let me rephrase that, I FREAKING LOVE THIS BOOK! Nope, that doesn't even do it justice. Vol. 1 has the first three stories from the 12 that will ultimately make up the chronicles.” ~ Jesse Kimmel-Freeman


About the Authors
Ken Brosky received his MFA in fiction writing from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He also teaches English at Madison College. This is his first Young Adult series.

Isabella Fontaine owns a farm in Wisconsin and enjoys reading weird books like House of Leaves. This is her first Young Adult series.

Tour Giveaway
5 Kindle ebook copies of The Grimm Chronicles Volume 1
Ends 3/15/13

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Today, I'm lucky enough to have Ken Brosky here on my blog.  Ken has provided a dream cast for the book!  Take it away, Ken!

Casting The Grimm Chronicles!

Sure, this series may never make its way to the silver screen, but an author can dream ... right? Yes. We agree. And so, without further ado, here is our casting call for The Grimm Chronicles.

Alice Goodenough - Elizabeth Olson
Cut the hair a little shorter and add a little muscle and we've got our hero ready to go. Alice is tough and smart, and she needs a young actor who can dig deep for the part. No young actress has shown more talent than Elizabeth Olson. She's nailed dramatic roles and wowed audiences with her ability to get inside the head of her characters. Alice needs this. Alice can't survive without using her brain. Oh, and by the way? She's not all that crazy about this hero business, either.

Seth - Someone from the Disney Channel
I have to confess I'm not up to date on young actors, but having watched a number of Disney Channel TV shows with my niece, I can honestly say there are a few actors who would fit the bill, provided they can add more than just a simple line read. Seth is immature and funny, sure, but he's also a genuinely good person. That means finding an actor who can display a natural goofiness without going over the top, ensuring that Seth is more than a series of one-liners.

Edward - Robert Pattinson
Why not use the original Twilight star to play the part he was made for? Edward is dark, moody, mysterious ... and pure evil. Let's let the original Edward himself play the role, and let him have fun doing it. Remember: our Edward isn't really Prince Charming ... he was just written that way by the Brothers Grimm.

Br'er Rabbit - Matthew 
Perfect voice, and that's all we'd need because the actual rabbit FX would all be computerized. After all, Br'er Rabbit is a 5-foot-tall rabbit. Do we really want Matthew McConaughey in a rabbit suit? No. But we need his voice. And his acting talent to bring our lovable sidekick to life.

Sam Grayle - Peter Dinklage
There's only one person on my mind to play the dwarf everyone loves to hate: Mr. Tyrion Lannister. If Sam Grayle is going to be brought to the silver screen, he needs an actor who can make him more than a greedy, nefarious Corrupted. Sam Grayle hasn't survived 200 years because he's a ferocious monster hiding in the shadows. No, Sam Grayle hides right out in the open. He's smart. He's savvy. And he always plans ahead. Alice isn't the first hero he's come across ... and he's still alive. The other heroes? Not so much.

Cinderella - Charlize Theron
This is a small part. Would Charlize Theron go for a small part? I have no idea. And since we're casting a pretend movie, I guess it shouldn't matter. In our story, Cinderella's gone through some "changes," and she's even made a few new rat friends who are just dying to please her. Theron can pull this off. We've seen she can pull off "beautiful" and, well, the opposite of that. Perfect for our Corrupted version of Cinderella.

Hans the Hedgehog - Industrial Light & Magic
The terrifying villain of book 3 needs some special attention. We can't have a guy in a rubber suit! No way. Nuh-uh. This dude needs a special touch. He needs to be agile, ferocious, and more than a little scary, too. And he can't look fake. You know how cheap special FX looks cheap? That's a no-no with Hans. Nothing but the best. I want the guys who made Jurassic Park's raptors working on this guy.

Well, there you have it. I can't believe how fun it was to do this. This should be mandatory for every writer ... it gives you such an interesting look at how your characters might look and behave in real life. And if there is a Grimm Chronicles movie some day, I expect all of these demands to be met.

So, there you have it!  Be sure to check out my review of The Grimm Chronicles.  It will be up this weekend!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock

Book:  The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door
Author:  Karen Finneyfrock
Publisher:  Viking Children’s
Date:  February 21, 2013
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A+

That’s the day the trouble started.
The trouble that nearly ruined my life.
The trouble that turned me Dark.
The trouble that begs me for revenge.

Celia Door enters her freshman year of high school with giant boots, dark eyeliner, and a thirst for revenge against Sandy Firestone, the girl who did something unspeakable to Celia last year.

But then Celia meets Drake, the cool new kid from New York City who entrusts her with his deepest, darkest secret. When Celia’s quest for justice threatens her relationship with Drake, she’s forced to decide which is sweeter: revenge or friendship.

This debut novel from Karen Finneyfrock establishes her as a bright, bold, razor-sharp new voice for teens.

Initial Reaction
Oh wow…..I did not see any of that coming!  I thought this would be a cute, fluffy read, not a book full of substance and issues.

Cover story
I like the title and cover of this book.  Although, I think that the title gives the impression that this book is not as substantial as it really is.  I like the cover because it actually goes with the story.

What’s the Story?
Celia is starting her freshman year in high school and she hangs a sign on her locker that says “Celia the Dark”.  She explains about how she has “gone Dark” and talks about the mean girls who harass her and something about an incident in 8th grade and “The Book”.  As a reader, you don’t know what it is, but I found it easy to identify with Celia and her feelings toward the mean girls, Sandy and Mandy.

Celia’s voice is perfect in this novel.  I think that she sounds exactly like an intelligent 14 year old girl.  Sometimes she is a little immature, but that’s what makes it feel real.  I could completely identify with her and all the peer and family issues she was going through.  I think that Finneyfrock nailed an early adolescent voice in this novel.

I read this novel in less than a day.  I could not put it down.  It was an easy read, but more importantly, it was completely engaging.  I did not want to stop reading.  I kept hoping that Celia would get the revenge and that the mean girls would fall.  Of course, life rarely works out that way, but I closed the book feeling like Celia was going to be just fine and knowing that she would survive high school and not let the mean girls beat her down. She might be dark in high school, but she will be the smart girl who goes on to college and comes back to the 10 year reunion with a glamorous job in New York City or something!  In fact, I wish that Finneyfrock would write the reunion sequel to this book just so I can see Celia finally get her revenge! Ha!

This book picked up some heavy issues and really dealt with them in a way that did not feel preachy.  In fact, this book reminded me a lot of some of my other favorite contemporaries such as Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  This book has already been added to my next order for my library for next fall and I plan to put it on every display I can and get the students to start reading it. 


Stupid Girls by Pink

Rip Her to Shreds by Blondie

I Hate the Homecoming Queen by Emily Osment

Goodbye You Suck by Shiloh

She’s Falling Apart by Lisa Loeb

Mean Girls by Rachel Crow

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A+.  I loved this book something fierce.  It was a great story that captured the voice of an early adolescent perfectly and also hit some extremely timely and relevant issues.  It rocks!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe

Book:  The Lives We Lost
Author:  Megan Crewe
Publisher:  Disney-Hyperion  
Date:  February 12, 2013
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A

First, the virus took Kaelyn’s friends. Then, her family. Now it’s taken away her home.

But she can't look back—the life she once had is gone forever.

A deadly virus has destroyed Kaelyn’s small island community and spread beyond the quarantine. No one is safe. But when Kaelyn finds samples of a vaccine in her father's abandoned lab, she knows there must be someone, somewhere, who can replicate it. As Kaelyn and her friends head to the mainland, they encounter a world beyond recognition. It’s not only the “friendly flu” that’s a killer—there are people who will stop at nothing to get their hands on the vaccine. How much will Kaelyn risk for an unproven cure, when the search could either destroy those she loves or save the human race?

Megan Crewe's second volume in the Fallen World trilogy is an action-packed journey that explores the resilience of friendship, the ache of lost love, and Kaelyn’s enduring hope in the face of the sacrifices she must make to stay alive.

Initial reaction
WTF???  What is it with authors and cliffhangers???  I’m getting tired of this!!

Cover story
Meh.  Just like the first one.  The cover is boring.  I don’t hate it.  I just don’t have any feelings for it.  I like the title and the way it continues the same pattern.  This cover is a little more attractive than the first one and I like blue better.

What’s the Story?
The Lives We Lost picks up where The Way We Fall finished.  I think almost exactly, as in you could have turned the page from the last book into this one.  In this book, Kae discovers a vaccine that her father had created and when no one on the island will consider doing anything with it, she decides that she must take it to the mainland.  Of course, everyone (Tessa, Gav, Meredith and even Leo) decides to go with her.  They meet a young man named Tobias in a very tense situation at the beginning of the book and he becomes part of their group.

I think that one of the reasons this series is so compelling is the sparse storytelling of the novel.  It is told in first person perspective and even though this novel drops the diary style, it still holds that same feeling.  There are not too many long descriptions of things.  Instead, Kae’s voice comes through in a way that is very much like her:  practical, down-to-earth and utilitarian.  Kaelyn doesn’t have time for details.  She gets the story out with the essential points and enough of her feelings without ever digressing from the main point.  I think this style makes this series feel so REAL.  And because it feels so real, it is extremely scary.

I have to admit that it took me a bit to get back in to this story, but once I hit the end of the first chapter, I remembered why I loved this one and I read with voracity.  I found myself oscillating between Kae’s optimism and everyone else’s doubt.  I was on the edge of my seat, just waiting for the next crisis to appear.  I could not turn the pages fast enough.

There’s only one thing I didn’t like about this book and that is the HORRIBLE CLIFFHANGER AT THE END!!!  OH MY GOD!!  WHY DID YOU DO THAT TO ME, MEGAN CREWE??????  WHAT HAVE I EVER DONE TO YOU???   

Yes, there is a bit of an abrupt end that leaves the reader hanging and wondering about the status of one of the most beloved characters……It made me want to curl up in a ball in the corner and rock and sob.  I can’t believe that I have to wait, but I suppose it’s better to wait and have some hope than get a resolution that I might not like.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.


Fix You by Coldplay

Hanging By a Thread by Jann Arden

How Far We’ve Come by Matchbox 20

World by Five for Fighting

Running to the Edge of the World by Marilyn Manson

Wonderwall by Oasis

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A.  I love this world and I love these characters.  I will be counting down the days until the next book.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 
This week's topic is:

Top Ten Series I'd Like To Start But Haven't Yet



Maximum Ride  by James Patterson
Hex Hall  Rachel Hawkins
Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan



Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
White Cat  by Holly Black
Crusade  by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Wolf Springs Chronicles by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Covenant by Jennifer L. Armentrout

What series are you dying to start but you just haven't gotten to them yet?  Which of these series should I start first?  Leave me a comment and let me know!

Monday, March 4, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?  is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  It's designed to let readers know what books you have just finished reading and what books are next on your TBR pile.

This week, I read several books.  Here they are:

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Lives We Lost by Megan Crewe

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door by Karen Finneyfrock

Right now, I am reading.....

Wicked Kiss by Michelle Rowan

The next 2 on my TBR list are:

The Goddess Inheritance by Aimee Carter

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (which is getting AMAZING reviews!)

So have you read any of these books?  Going to read any of them?  Tell me what you think of my current reading!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Book:  The Madman’s Daughter
Author:  Megan Shepard
Publisher: Balzar + Bray
Date: January 29, 2013
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  A

In the darkest places, even love is deadly.

Sixteen-year-old Juliet Moreau has built a life for herself in London—working as a maid, attending church on Sundays, and trying not to think about the scandal that ruined her life. After all, no one ever proved the rumors about her father's gruesome experiments. But when she learns he is alive and continuing his work on a remote tropical island, she is determined to find out if the accusations are true.

Accompanied by her father's handsome young assistant, Montgomery, and an enigmatic castaway, Edward—both of whom she is deeply drawn to—Juliet travels to the island, only to discover the depths of her father's madness: He has experimented on animals so that they resemble, speak, and behave as humans. And worse, one of the creatures has turned violent and is killing the island's inhabitants. Torn between horror and scientific curiosity, Juliet knows she must end her father's dangerous experiments and escape her jungle prison before it's too late. Yet as the island falls into chaos, she discovers the extent of her father's genius—and madness—in her own blood.

Initial reaction

Cover story
I like the cover pretty well.  The combination of the cover and title made me curious enough to read the blurb and that got me to read the book, so I think that’s the point.  And the long dress is actually period appropriate, so that’s good. 

What’s the story?
So this book is sort of a retelling of The Island of Dr. Moreau.  Now, I knew the title of the original, but I’ve never read it.  So I did what anyone else would do…..I looked it up on Wikipedia!  I read the summary and that helped me get a handle on what was going to happen to a certain extent.

This book was unlike anything that I’ve read recently.  It’s almost a horror novel, straight up.  Some of the scenes were so, so disturbing.  Frequently, I found myself gasping aloud or putting my hand over my mouth in shock.  I found the storyline to be absolutely riveting.  I could barely tear myself away from this book and I found myself thinking about it a lot when I had to stop reading.  I could not turn the pages fast enough.

I really like Juliet.  She had a lot of spunk.  I loved the way she would fight for what she wanted.  I also like Montgomery, even though I was often disappointed in his actions, especially the last one!  I really grew to like Edward and I’m really curious about him now.  I guess I liked all the characters except for Dr. Moreau and he really was a total jerk face.

I really loved the way the author pieced together the story, dragging you along by feeding you little crumbs of information and then turning around and punching you in the gut with some sort of reveal.  It was amazing!  Torturous, but amazing.  I also loved the way she created the world on the island.  I felt as if I could see all of it like a photograph or painting because she described it so vividly.  In fact, she brought this story to life so well that I am now curious about the original and really wanting to read it as well.

The only thing I didn’t like was the cliff hanger from hell at the end of the novel.  I’m pretty sure my mouth gaped open for 15 minutes or more at the end of the book.  When I finally recovered enough to gather my senses, I immediately ran to my computer to make sure that there was another book coming out.  If not, I figured I might have to send hate mail to the author. : )
I cannot recommend this book enough.  If you want a book that is extremely unusual, totally creeptastic and full of surprises around every corner, pick up this book.  You will not be disappointed.


No Spill Blood by Oingo Boingo

Yes, unbelievably, someone actually wrote a song about The Island of Dr. Moreau…..

Animal I Have Become by Three Days Grace

Monster by Meg & Dia

Monster by Skillet

Who Will Love Me Now by PJ Harvey

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A.  I loved it and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book.  In the meantime, I may have to go back and read the original H.G. Wells version just to see what it’s all about.