Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly Recap (2)

These are all the books I read from March 24 to March 30! These will always be spoiler free, and I will be doing full reviews on all of them!

I thought I had a great reading week last week, but gosh, this week was epic!

Read from March 23 to 24, 2013

1. The Madman's Daughter (Madman, #1) - Megan Shepherd

This book was AMAZING. I loved every, every single bit of this book, and oh my gosh, all I can say is that this book is epic. And my review went up yesterday! I am dying for the sequel!

5 stars

Read on March 25, 2013

2. The Last Echo (The Body Finder, #3) - Kimberly Derting

This is my favorite out of The Body Finder series so far! The chapters that weren't in Violet's POV were the most scariest, and the overall story was phenomenal. Can't wait for Dead Silence!

5 stars

Read on March 25, 2013

3. Professor Gargoyle (Lovecraft Middle School, #1) - Charles Gilman

Fun and very different, Professor Gargoyle is a wild ride. Monsters and evil teachers, I couldn't get enough of this one! But it took me a bit to connect with the story, unfortunately.

4 stars 

Read from March 25 to 26, 2013

4. Clash (Crash, #2) - Nicole Williams

This is one of the only contemporary series that I love. The romance is enthralling, and the storyline is always intriguing. Clash focused more on the drama, and I think I may prefer Crash a bit; that doesn't mean that this sequel isn't good! Lucy and Jude are just an awesome couple.

4 stars

Read on March 26, 2013

5. The Slither Sisters (Lovecraft, #2) - Charles Gilman

The good thing about this sequel is that I liked this one even better than Professor Gargoyle! Sarah and Sylvia Price are super creepy, and the way that the "slither" parts of the sisters were explored creeped me out.

4 stars

Read from March 26 to 27, 2013

6. Unraveling (Unraveling, #1) - Elizabeth Norris

Unraveling is an awesome sci-fi book that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time! It took some time for me to get into the story, but once I did, I couldn't have turned these pages faster. This book is simply awesome! Can't wait to read the sequel!

4 stars

Read from March 27 to 28, 2013

7. Die for Me (Revenants, #1) - Amy Plum

This book is fantastic. I loved every single bit of this book: the setting in Paris, the element of the Revenants, just everything about Die for Me is stunning.

5 stars

Read from March 28 to 29, 2013

8. The Crown of Embers (Fire and Thorns, #2) - Rae Carson

I adore my high fantasy books, and The Crown of Embers was even better than the first book! This series is my favorite high fantasy series; it's just so engrossing and FANTASTIC! I am so reading The Bitter Kingdom soon! 

5 stars

Read on March 30, 2013

9. Teacher's Pest (Lovecraft, #3) - Charles Gilman

Definitely the best in the series so far! Which gives me hope, since this series gets better as the books progress. Howard is so creepy, and we get to see the basement of Lovecraft Middle School, and gosh, it was eerie. So excited for Substitute Creature!

4 stars

Read on March 30, 2013

10. Unwind (Unwind, #1) - Neal Shusterman 

Oh gosh, Unwind is amazing. It's scary, and honestly, terrifying. The concept of parents being able to "unwind" their kids scared the daylights out of me. And the scene where we get to see a character go through the Unwinding procedure?! Nightmares forever. I'm reading UnWholly, because Unwind was brilliant! 

5 stars

Did you have a great reading week? Let me know in the comments!

Happy reading!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Brad About Books: The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Read from March 23 to 24, 2013
Published: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 420 pages
Series: Madman, #1

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.

Inspired by H. G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Madman's Daughter is a dark and breathless Gothic thriller about the secrets we'll do anything to know and the truths we'll go to any lengths to protect.

Eerie and climatic, The Madman's Daughter hooked me from the first page and never let me go. One of my favorite books of all time now!

A re-telling of The Island of Dr. Moreau? Yes please. The Madman's Daughter is filled with spooky twists and turns - lots of twists I didn't see coming! - and was oozing with creepiness. I was freaked out just from the first paragraph, which is awesome, and I knew that this would be my kind of book. And luckily, I was right: it absolutely was. I read this book so, so quickly. Simply because I couldn't put it down! It was engaging and engrossing by the seams. 

Juliet is a fantastic character. I connected with her instantly and felt for her for all the troubles she's going through. Father? Oh gosh, where to begin with father... he's insane. Shepherd did an amazing job at crafting together his character: as soon as he would enter a scene, I got chill bumps right away! And The Madman's Daughter is filled with other great characters: Montgomery, Edward, Alice, Jaguar... every single character has some trait that made them feel realistic and fleshed out. And it wasn't only characters on the island that were great. Even though we didn't get to see much of them, I loved the characters in London too. I hope we get to see more of them in the sequel! 

The jungle is an absolute perfect place to set this book. I mean, it just adds to the creepy factor {which I'm all for}. All the turns that Juliet would take in the book always made my stomach rise up to my throat; I was literally scared for her. This was a freaky jungle! And the twist at the end? Mind equals blown. I totally didn't see that coming, and I am dying to know what happens to Juliet next! Plus, the sequel is about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! So excited!

Overall, The Madman's Daughter is easily one of my favorite books of the year and of all-time. Fresh, different, and super scary, I can't recommend this book enough! You must read it!

M Y   R A T I N G

Friday, March 29, 2013

Brad About Books: The Gathering by Kelley Armstrong

Published: April 12, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 359 pages
Source: Bookstore
Series: Darkness Rising, #1

Sixteen-year-old Maya is just an ordinary teen in an ordinary town. Sure, she doesn't know much about her background - the only thing she really has to cling to is an odd paw-print birthmark on her hip - but she never really put much thought into who her parents were or how she ended up with her adopted parents in this tiny medical-research community on Vancouver Island. Until now.

Strange things have been happening in this claustrophobic town - from the mountain lions that have been approaching Maya to her best friend's hidden talent for "feeling" out people and situations, to the sexy new bad boy who makes Maya feel . . . . different. Combine that with a few unexplained deaths and a mystery involving Maya's biological parents and it's easy to suspect that this town might have more than its share of skeletons in its closet.

In The Gathering , New York Times best-selling author Kelley Armstrong brings all the supernatural thrills from her wildly successful Darkest Powers series to Darkness Rising, her scorching hot new trilogy.

The Gathering is an excellently crafted novel that promises to be the start in an epic trilogy. I couldn't get enough of this story!

I had a bit of trouble getting into this one at first: it was a little confusing, and I couldn't keep up with the events. But after about page 50, something major happens. I connected with the story then, and from that point on, I couldn't control myself from reading The Gathering so quickly! It was a stellar and superb paranormal romance.

And Maya was such a great protagonist. She wasn't whiny or a complainer, and she was determined to save herself and her friends. Daniel and Rafe were also great characters; they both complimented Maya and balanced her out. Armstrong's writing style gave me chills with its creepiness and the eerie mood surrounding it, but also gave me an insight into this world that I have never read about it - which was really awesome.

The folklore in The Gathering was really interesting to read about! When I found out what kind of creatures are filled in this novel (I won't say, because it's a spoiler), I thought it was super cool! I had never read about these creatures before, and Kelley Armstrong did a great job at tackling these supernatural beings!

Overall, The Gathering was different and haunting read. Chilling and epic, The Gathering is one of a kind!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Brad About Books: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Read on March 22, 2013
Published: April 3, 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 549 pages
Series: His Fair Assassin, #1

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that Death Himself has given her dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Grave Mercy is a wild ride that starts off with a bang and never quits. Original and unlike anything I've ever read, Grave Mercy soars. 

I read this book - this 549 page book - in a single day. To be honest, I couldn't put it down! I flew through these pages so fast, because the story had hooked me in so quickly. I loved the world building, and how France was portrayed in this historical novel. But Grave Mercy starts off like a firecracker and doesn't ever stop with the action. 

Ismae was such an epic character. Not only is she one of the strongest protagonists I've read about, she has this fierceness within her that made me really appreciate her character. But she wasn't the only good character: I loved getting to read about Sybella (can't wait to read more about her in Dark Triumph!), Duval, and all the handmaidens. And Ismae and Duval's relationship? Can I just say a big thank you to Robin LaFevers for not creating insta-love? Their relationship started off as friendship, and how it built up really impressed me.

That ending was insane! LaFevers put an epic spin to those final 100 pages. And something I totally didn't see coming happened at the end. The story arc has been set up incredibly for Dark Triumph - I can't wait to read that sequel!

Overall, Grave Mercy is a stunning novel. Robin LaFevers is an author to watch.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (15): The School for Good and Evil

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine!

This week, I'm waiting on...

Expected Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Page Count: 496 pages
Publisher: Harper

At the School for Good and Evil, failing your fairy tale is not an option.

Welcome to the School for Good and Evil, where best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she'll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.

The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed—Sophie's dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.

But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are . . . ?

The School for Good and Evil is an epic journey into a dazzling new world, where the only way out of a fairy tale is to live through one.

Oh. My. Gosh. I seriously and honestly need this book! A fairytale book about a school for fairytale characters? Yes. Please. I am so excited for this book. It sounds so original and unique and GAH! Can't wait!

Also, this book has a phenomenal trailer:

What are you waiting on this week? Leave links in the comments to your WoW post!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Books I Recommend the Most

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

What books do I recommend the most?

1. Incarnate - Jodi Meadows

This is my favorite book of all time, so of course, I push Incarnate onto everybody. Looking for fantasy? Check. Looking for romance? You got it. Looking for mystery? It's here. Looking for incredible world-building? It's magnificent. Absolutely everything about Incarnate is fantastic, stunning, and brilliant. If you haven't read this book yet, you must.

2. What's Left of Me - Kat Zhang

You will never find a book like What's Left of Me. Aside from the ever unique plot, What's Left of Me is a beautiful story about family and love, life and loss, the ability to stay silent and the chance to break free. It's phenomenal, and I recommend this book onto any book lover. 

3. Out of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys

I'm not the biggest fan of historical fiction, but Out of the Easy is my absolute favorite historical book ever, as well as one of my favorite books in general. It's a wonderful story with a strong protagonist, great supporting characters, and the important lesson of how decisions shape our destiny. This is a must-read for everybody.

4. Arclight - Josin L. McQuein

Trust me: you want to pre-order this book. It has one of the best world-buildings I have ever read about, and the storyline was totally amazing. Oh my gosh, Arclight is brilliant. 

(plus, this cover is amazing.)

5. Gone - Michael Grant

This another fantastic novel with incredible world-building and great and memorable characters. This series is so original, terrifying, and brilliant. And the sixth and final book comes out next week! I'm so sad that this series is ending! But still, I push this series onto everybody.

6. Legend - Marie Lu

Looking for an amazing dystopian? Legend has you covered. I tore through this novel so, so, so fast, and I couldn't get enough of it! This is one of my favorite dystopian books ever. 

7. Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Cinderella? As a cyborg? Set in New Beijing? Yes please. This is such an original and amazing fairytale re-telling, and lately, I've been dying to re-read this series. If you haven't read The Lunar Chronicles, where have you been? You must read it!

8. The Peculiar - Stefan Bachmann

The Peculiar is the best middle grade book I've ever read. It's fresh and unique, stunning and phenomenal. The main character felt believable and true; the storyline was amazing; and it was so fast paced. I seriously couldn't set this book down, and when I did, it was on my mind. I am DYING for the sequel!

9. Shadow and Bone - Leigh Bardugo

Fantasy, Russian culture, and magic all blend together in this great book. I recently read Shadow and Bone, and I'm SO happy I did! This is such an original and brilliant series. I am so in love with this world and book. I've also read the sequel, Siege and Storm, and oh my gosh, it was so, so, so amazing. One of the best (if not, the best) sequels I have ever read!

10. Across the Universe - Beth Revis

A murder mystery set in a space. Need I say more? This is one of my most favorite series ever, and even though I'm so sad it has ended, I couldn't be more pleased with the ending. Beth Revis, thank you so much for this wonderful series.

Did you do a TTT post today? Leave links in the comments so I can check it out!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Brad About Books: Impostor by Jill Hathaway

Read from February 2 to 3, 2013
Expected Publication Date: March 26, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 278 pages
Source: Borrowed
Series: Slide, #2

What if a killer took control of you?

Vee Bell’s gift (or curse) of “sliding”—slipping into the mind of another person and experiencing life, briefly, through his or her eyes—has been somewhat under control since she unwillingly witnessed the horrific deaths of her classmates six months ago.

But just as things are getting back to normal, Vee has a very bizarre experience: she loses consciousness and finds herself in a deserted area, at the edge of a cliff, with the broken body of the boy who took advantage of her on the rocks below.

As Vee finds herself in stranger and stranger situations with no memory of getting there, she begins to suspect that someone she knows has the ability to slide—and that this “slider” is using Vee to exact revenge on his or her enemies.

Impostor is an electrifying sequel to an excellently crafted murder mystery. While I had some problems with this sequel, I still caught myself enjoying the story.

I'll go ahead and dive straight into some parts I had issues with in Impostor. The storyline wasn't as intriguing as the sequel, Slide, and I caught myself wondering why some bits of the book were thrown in. The beginning was confusing, but luckily, the problem of another "slider" in town saved the novel for me. I loved getting to see another side of Vee and the issues she faces, and in Impostor, she grew stronger and better.

And the characters were overall great. I thought that there were quite a few annoying characters in Slide, but that's not the case in Impostor. They all grew a backbone and became fiercer, which I appreciated a lot. And the writing style felt like I was emerged into this world. Jill Hathaway put a spin on the words that made me flip through these pages so quickly.

And, with any murder mystery, I read this so fast. I was dying to know what would happen to Vee and the gang, and when a shocking secret was revealed at the end, my mouth fell open. And it was superb! 

Overall, Impostor didn't match my feelings as Slide did, but that doesn't mean it's not a good book. Jill Hathaway has created another gripping and stunning murder mystery!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Weekly Recap (1)

I'm going to start doing a weekly recap, in which I show you all the books I read this past week with a star rating and a short paragraph (spoiler free) of my thoughts! I will be doing full reviews of all these books; but here's all the books I read from March 17 to March 23!

I was off on spring break, so I had such an amazing reading week!

Read from March 17 to 18, 2013

1. Prodigy (Legend, #2) - Marie Lu

I absolutely loved Legend, but oh my gosh, Prodigy blew it out of the water! So much action happened in this one, and I couldn't stop turning these pages! I loved that we got to see more of the world building in this sequel, and Marie Lu did a fantastic job with this one. And that ending killed me!

5 stars

Read from March 18 to 19, 2013

2. The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1) - Kelley Armstrong

I read this one in preparation for the third and final book coming out April 2, and I'm so happy I did! I had a little trouble getting into it at first, but once I hit the 50 page mark, I flew through The Gathering. It was filled with so much action and secrets and an ending I totally didn't see coming. 

4 stars

Read from March 19 to 20, 2013

3. Clockwork Prince (Infernal Devices, #2) - Cassandra Clare

I had some trouble with Clockwork Angel, but Clockwork Prince was so much better! There was action right away, and I really connected with Tessa's character in this sequel. Cassandra Clare knows how to write an excellent sequel! Plus, I read this 500 page book in 24 hours.

4.5 stars

Read on March 21, 2013

4. Destiny's Fire (Kythan Guardians, #1) - Trisha Wolfe

I read this book for YT Book Club, and I'm so happy that this one was chosen! It was original, unique, and unlike anything I've read. I loved the futuristic parts of it, but it was also great how the steampunk parts balanced it all out. Destiny's Fire is one not to miss.

5 stars

(We will be discussing Destiny's Fire on April 6 on TheBookVlogger's YouTube channel!) 

Read on March 22, 2013

5. Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) - Robin LaFevers

I read this 549 page book in one day. I'm sure you can guess how much I absolutely loved it! You will not find a book like Grave Mercy; it's stunning and action-packed. I couldn't set it down for a single minute, and I thought it was amazing.

5 stars

Read on March 23, 2013

6. The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2) - Kelley Armstrong

After reading The Gathering, I knew I would have to dive straight into The Calling; and I'm so glad I did! The Calling starts off with a bang and never lets up. This is a fresh and epic series that I highly recommend! The Calling was another one day read!

Those were all the books I read this past week! What did you read this week?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Brad About Books: Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

Read from June 8 to 10, 2012
Published: February 15, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 355 pages
Series: The Body Finder, #2

Violet can sense the echoes of those who've been murdered—and the matching imprint that clings to their killers. Only those closest to her know what she is capable of, but when she discovers the body of a young boy she also draws the attention of the FBI, threatening her entire way of life.

As Violet works to keep her morbid ability a secret, she unwittingly becomes the object of a dangerous obsession. Normally she'd turn to her best friend, Jay, except now that they are officially a couple, the rules of their relationship seem to have changed. And with Jay spending more and more time with his new friend Mike, Violet is left with too much time on her hands as she wonders where things went wrong. But when she fills the void by digging into Mike's tragic family history, she stumbles upon a dark truth that could put everyone in danger.

Desires of the Dead is an electric sequel that surpasses the first book. Kimberly Derting has created another fantastic book.

What I loved the most about Desires of the Dead was how we got to explore the echoes and Violet's ability even more. It was very eerie in the first book, but in this sequel, it turns super awesome and definitely a hooking point of the book. And the relationship between Jay and Violet and how it grew was always tremendously great. It was really great to see their relationship evolve from what it was before; I appreciated how the author mixed that in.

And the chapters that weren't from Violet's POV were great as well. Fresh and definitely creepy, I always got shivers and goosebumps from those chapters. They literally scared me! And it doesn't hurt that they were titled after the Seven Deadly Sins. But the person who's point of view we get from those chapters really spooked me out {towards the end of the novel the most}, and Derting did a great job at weaving together a lush and vibrant new character.

I'm a sucker for murder mysteries, and Desires of the Dead is an excellent one. It was definitely hard to put down, and it's super cool when a sequel is even better than its predecessor. And the ending freaked me out! Oh my gosh! I was biting my nails and on the edge of my seat the entire last bit of the book, and I absolutely loved it!

Overall, Desires of the Dead is an excellent sequel that leaves a mark on YA literature. This is a series not to miss.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Brad About Books: A Touch Menacing by Leah Clifford

Read from March 7 to 8, 2013
Published: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Greenwillow (Harper)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 313 pages
Series: Touch, #3

Eden is dying. For real, this time.

She is crumbling to ash, and an unnatural plague is ravaging mortals and immortals alike. With both Heaven and Hell out to destroy her, Eden can no longer tell the difference between good and evil. Friends become enemies. And enemies are everywhere.

But don't underestimate Eden. She'll fight for her life, for the lives of those she loves, and for every life she has ever touched. She'll fight for revenge. For redemption. For—just maybe—the chance to be mortal again. Everything began with forbidden love. What will be sacrificed at the bitter end? The dramatic conclusion to Leah Clifford's dark, alluring trilogy of life, death, and epic love.

A Touch Menacing is an epic finale to a fantastic series that has left an impact in my mind. A brilliant book with a mind-blowing ending!

Eden is turning to ash! Do you know how crazy and insane that is? Leah Clifford did an amazing job at making Eden more of an even fiercer and stronger character than in the previous books. And Eden is one of my absolute all-time favorite characters, so to see her turn into more of a better person with a more complex structure was amazing. But not only does Eden turn even better, all the characters were great. I grew to like Kristen in this one, and I felt bad for Az the entire book. Luke and Gabe, though, I had mixed feelings with. They turned a bit hollow and empty in A Touch Menacing, and while it was the best for their character, it saddened me to see them turn the other way.

Get ready for war, because A Touch Menacing has a lot of it. I didn't expect this many action scnes in this third and final book, but I'm so happy it was thrown in. There are quite a lot of turns and surprises that I definitely didn't see coming; I was on the edge of my seat through the entire book. I absolutely adored every single bit of this book.

This series is stunning. The reason it's so amazing? Every single novel gets so much better than its predecessor. I didn't see how in the world Clifford could top A Touch Morbid, but she absolutely did. It was hard to tear my eyes away from the page, and with that CRAZY ending, I had to know what was going to happen!

Overall, A Touch Menacing is a fantastic finale to a phenomenal series. I'm so sad to see this one go, but I love how everything was tied together.