Saturday, June 29, 2013

Brad About Books: Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

Read from April 10 to 11, 2013
Expected Publication Date: July 30, 2013
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Format: ARC
Page Count: 384 pages
Source: Received for review in exchange for an honest review
Series: The Twixt, #1

Some things are permanent.


And they cannot be changed back.

Joy Malone learns this the night she sees a stranger with all-black eyes across a crowded room—right before the mystery boy tries to cut out her eye. Instead, the wound accidentally marks her as property of Indelible Ink, and this dangerous mistake thrusts Joy into an incomprehensible world—a world of monsters at the window, glowing girls on the doorstep, and a life that will never be the same.

Now, Joy must pretend to be Ink’s chosen one—his helper, his love, his something for the foreseeable future...and failure to be convincing means a painful death for them both. Swept into a world of monsters, illusion, immortal honor and revenge, Joy discovers that sometimes, there are no mistakes.

Somewhere between reality and myth lies The Twixt.

Indelible is a unique and riveting standout in fantasy. Dawn Metcalf has masterfully woven together a beautiful, haunting, and electric read that completely consumed me and never let me go - I didn't want to leave The Twixt! An amazing read!

Indelible starts off with a bang - and by bang, I mean Joy (our protagonist) almost has her eye cut out at a club. Interested yet? If your brain is acting funky today and you aren't, how about this? A lush, vibrant, and dark fantasy world where lies and monsters runs around like madness and havoc. I'm positive you're intrigued by now - which you should be, because Indelible is a fantastic and magnificent start to a promising series. Metcalf's way of telling this story had me completely emerged into this world... and I loved every minute of it. 

Speaking of which, I want to say that I love world-building; it's probably my favorite part about books. And while Indelible does have a contemporary setting, that's only for a short amount of time. We are thrust into the Twixt, a mysterious and chilling world where you don't know how to trust and who's worth fighting for. Dawn Metcalf did a brilliant job with this world! I wanted to know more about it and explore it for myself... actually, I take that back. The Twixt is way too creepy for me to handle by myself. But that's my favorite part about the Twixt! Metcalf raises the stakes so high in Indelible, and I never, ever wanted this book to end. I want need the sequel so badly! 

The characters are what ties Indelible with a neat bow. Joy... oh man, Joy was awesome. I connected to her right from the first sentence, and I knew that I was so happy to be going on this journey with her. And Ink is so weird, but original and awesome! Everything about the world of the Twixt is either quirky or darkly haunting. And lucky for the reader, Ink is the perfect blend of both! I can't EVEN with this book. It's just too wonderful.

Overall, Indelible is an incredible, unique, and fantastic read that shouldn't be missed. Metcalf is a true rockstar with Indelible - un-put-down-able!

M Y    R A T I N G

Friday, June 28, 2013

Brad About Books: Venom by Fiona Paul

Read from May 11 to 12, 2013
Published: October 30, 2012
Publisher: Philomel (Penguin)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 435 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose, #1

Cassandra Caravello is one of Renaissance Venice’s lucky elite: with elegant gowns, sparkling jewels, her own lady’s maid, and a wealthy fiancé, she has everything a girl could desire. Yet ever since her parents’ death, Cassandra has felt trapped, alone in a city of water, where the dark and labyrinthine canals whisper of escape.

When Cass stumbles upon a murdered woman—practically in her own backyard—she’s drawn into a dangerous world of courtesans, killers, and secret societies. Soon, she finds herself falling for Falco, a mysterious artist with a mischievous grin... and a spectacular skill for trouble. Can Cassandra find the murderer, before he finds her? And will she stay true to her fiancé, or succumb to her uncontrollable feelings for Falco?

Beauty, love, romance, and mystery weave together in a stunning novel that’s as seductive and surprising as the city of Venice itself.

Venom is a vivid and lush story that had me so emerged into the beautiful and haunting backdrop of Venice, that I never wanted to leave. Fiona Paul is an awesome new voice in YA! Love!

The thing that made me want to pick up Venom first was the setting of Venice. I, personally, have never been to Venice, but I am SO intrigued by it! I mean, water everywhere, you have to take canals, and just Italy! Yes! Add a murder mystery in there and a very unique and cool twist, and what do we get? The awesomeness that is Venom. The twists and turns that this novel takes are incredible. I was actually shocked by some events that happened - I love it when a book pushes some limits and doesn't hold back. It's one of the many reasons why Venom is such a wonderful book!

And the characters... don't even get me started. I loved Cassandra right from the first page, and she never let me down. I have to admit that during some mystery novels, the girl is so naïve and completely oblivious to everything surrounding her. Thankfully, Cassandra isn't like that whatsoever. She's strong, fierce, and dauntless. She's a new favorite protagonist for me! And Falco was just as great. I can't wait to see what Paul throws at us in Belladonna and Starling!

Like I said in a previous review, I'm not a huge fan of historical novel, but Venom is a definite historical favorite. I will admit, it was a slow build-up in the beginning, but once we hit the fifty page mark, it takes off like a bullet. It's just so... I'm honestly speechless. It's beautiful, it's mind-bending, and the tension and suspense will keep you up all night, turning pages to figure out who is committing these murders. Woah, I can't even handle how awesome this book was.

Overall, if you're looking for an intriguing and phenomenal historical, Venom is the champion. Eerie, chilling, and absolutely absorbing, Venom is a fresh and brilliant new hit!

M Y    R A T I N G

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Brad About Books: Unremembered by Jessica Brody

Read on June 11, 2013
Published: March 5, 2013
Publisher: FSG (Macmillan)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 307 pages
Source: RAK
Series: Unremembered, #1

When Freedom Airlines flight 121 went down over the Pacific Ocean, no one ever expected to find survivors. Which is why the sixteen-year-old girl discovered floating among the wreckage—alive—is making headlines across the globe.

Even more strange is that her body is miraculously unharmed and she has no memories of boarding the plane. She has no memories of her life before the crash. She has no memories period. No one knows how she survived. No one knows why she wasn’t on the passenger manifest. And no one can explain why her DNA and fingerprints can’t be found in a single database in the world.

Crippled by a world she doesn’t know, plagued by abilities she doesn’t understand, and haunted by a looming threat she can’t remember, Seraphina struggles to piece together her forgotten past and discover who she really is. But with every clue only comes more questions. And she’s running out of time to answer them.

Her only hope is a strangely alluring boy who claims to know her from before the crash. Who claims they were in love. But can she really trust him? And will he be able to protect her from the people who have been making her forget?

From popular young adult author Jessica Brody comes a compelling and suspenseful new sci-fi series, set in a world where science knows no boundaries, memories are manipulated, and true love can never be forgotten.

Unremembered is a fantastic, fast-paced read, pulsing with suspense and unraveling with love. I couldn't help but fall in love with this book!

I am all for anything mystery/suspense - I gobble them up so quickly. And Unremembered is a suspense story that stands out so defiantly and epic-ly. The mystery had me looking over my shoulder and questioning if the people I knew were really who they said they were; I don't think a book has ever had that effect on me! But it was so cool. Jessica Brody masterfully balanced out the swoon scenes and the what-in-the-world-is-going-on mystery scenes. A favorite for the year, for sure!

And the characters... gah, they were so wonderful! I instantly connected with Seraphina and her story instantly. The reader is thrust into this world so quickly, and I became so wrapped around and totally invested in her story. I had to know what was going on! The suspense is killer. And Zen was equally epic! I hate in some mystery books where you have the eerie and mysterious guy who's all, "I can't tell you how you really are." How about no? I can't stand that. But luckily, Zen isn't like that (finally!). He's straightforward and determined to help Seraphina unravel this mystery, and I really appreciated that Brody veered away from the norm and made Unremembered utterly unique and captivating.

Woah. Someone hold me, please, because that ending was the definition of insane. It was so clutching and enticing - it was, literally, impossible to put down, as was the book itself. If you're needing an awesome and fast-paced summer read - or even something to get you out of a reading slump - Unremembered does the trick so well. One of the best books I've read in a long time!

Overall, Unremembered is such an amazing novel and deserves every ounce of hype surrounding it. Climatic, brilliantly structured, and absolutely phenomenal, Unremembered is a true gem!

M Y    R A T I N G

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (23): How to Love

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

This week, I'm waiting on...

How to Love - Katie Cotugno
Expected Publication Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)

Before: Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists…until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After: Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.


I cannot even begin to tell you much I want this book! It sounds so, so, so amazing. A story... about falling in love... twice? Sign me up! It has received so much hype lately, and I can't wait for this book!

What are you waiting on this week? Leave links to your WoW in the comments below so I can go check it out!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Brad About Books: The Innocents by Lili Peloquin

Read from June 22 to 23, 2013
Published: October 16, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 259 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: Innocents, #1

She hated her sister.
She loved her sister.

Nothing ever came between sisters Alice and Charlie.
Friends didn't.
Boys couldn't.
Their family falling apart never would.
Until they got to Serenity Point.

In a town built on secrets and lies, it's going to be hard to stay innocent.
They're sucked into a strange and seductive world—a world they can't help but hate, and can't help but love. A world that threatens to tear them apart, just when they need each other the most. 

The Innocents is the first in a new series of young adult novels that weave a saga of nail-biting drama, breathless romance, and Gothic mystery.

The Innocents is an electric and fun summer read that will have readers falling in love with Alice and Charlie and hanging off the edge of their seat with jaws open in suspense. Nailed it!

The suspense is what makes The Innocents killer. Serenity Point is such a creepy and mysterious town, and I could easily see this being adapted to a TV show. If you're fan of Pretty Little Liars, definitely give The Innocents a go. It's so much fun! Serenity Point harbors many, many dark secrets, and I can't wait to see what Peloquin throws at us next in the sequel, This Side of Jealousy. This is a definite contemporary standout!

The sisters in The Innocents is what makes this novel whole. Charlie (brunette girl on cover) was easily my favorite. I loved her wild, edgy side with partying and possibly-hating-her-sister - she made Serenity Point so much more scandalous! But Alice was just as amazing. She's the quiet, mellow girl who always stays in the shadows, watching everyone with a hawk's eye from afar. I even thought I could see some dark sides of Alice poking out of her towards the end of the book - I hope we get to see Alice let loose in book two!

The Innocents is the perfect summer read. I can easily see myself reading this book by the pool on a summer day - it gives off the vibes and energy of summer so clear and well. And even though I've been getting into more contemporaries lately, I don't always want a straight forward contemp. Thankfully, The Innocents has the perfect balance summer romance and suspenseful mystery. Gosh, this book was absolutely fantastic!

Overall, The Innocents is a must read, especially for this summer. Fun, edgy, and absolutely captivating, The Innocents is one not to miss!

M Y    R A T I N G

Monday, June 24, 2013

Brad About Books: Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay

Read from June 16 to 17, 2013
Published: August 9, 2011
Publisher: Delacorte Press (Random House)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 306 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: Juliet Immortal, #1

Fans of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver and Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush will relish this intense paranormal love story featuring Romeo and Juliet, literary history's most tragic couple, who meet again, not as true lovers, but truly as enemies.
The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

Juliet Immortal is a wildly romantic and highly heart-racing, pulse-pounding tale of true love and heartbreaking betrayal. It's impossible to put it down!

I'll begin on a positive note: what did I like about Juliet Immortal? Numerous things, thankfully! My favorite part about this novel was the entire concept - I will admit, it was pretty risky and daring to have a story where Juliet and Romeo aren't in love (I was hesitant going into Juliet Immortal for that reason alone.), but luckily, Stacey Jay manages to pull it off. I didn't get at some parts why Romeo and Juliet were constantly fighting, but it was most definitely entertaining. And I loved the setting - the way Jay described it sounded stunning! Even though I am definitely not a huge fan of Romeo and Juliet any, Juliet Immortal takes a unique spin on the timeless, starcrossed tale and breathes new life into it. So epic!

Now for a slight downfall: what did I not like about Juliet Immortal? Unfortunately, I ran into some problems with it. The characters felt WAY too whiny at some parts. I'd say that Juliet - maybe Romeo - was the biggest problem. I felt like they had too many mixed emotions and feelings for each other, and I couldn't keep up with the jumbled signals. 

But the ending did redeem (ha! A pun on the sequel's title!) Juliet Immortal for me. It was fast-paced, shocking, twisty, and so good. I didn't see that ending coming, and I am definitely intrigued to see where the story will be taken to next!

Overall, Juliet Immortal was a good read, but not one of my favorites. Charming, delightful, and bursting with love at the seems, Juliet Immortal shimmers and glows bright in this dark and captivating story!

M Y     R A T I N G

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Brad About Books: Weather Witch by Shannon Delany

Read on June 19, 2013
Expected Publication Date: June 25, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 336 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review
Series: Weather Witch, #1

(p.s., that's an amazing cover. Blue is my favorite color {which is why my blog is blue!}, but oh man, that cover is fantastic.)

In a vastly different and darker Philadelphia of 1844, steam power has been repressed, war threatens from deep, dark waters, and one young lady of high social standing is expecting a surprise at her seventeenth birthday party–but certainly not the one she gets!

Jordan Astraea, who has lived out all of her life in Philadelphia’s most exclusive neighborhood, is preparing to celebrate her birthday with friends, family and all the extravagance they might muster. The young man who is most often her dashing companion, Rowen Burchette, has told her a surprise awaits her and her best friend, Catrina Hollindale, wouldn’t miss this night for all the world!

But storm clouds are gathering and threatening to do far more than dampen her party plans because someone in the Astraea household has committed the greatest of social sins by Harboring a Weather Witch.

Weather Witch is a richly fascinating and intriguing tale, masterfully woven together like none other. One of the best historical books I've ever read!

My favorite part about Weather Witch? The world-building. Delany has created such a dark, sinister, yet frighteningly wonderful world that I never wanted to leave. This book grabbed me from the first page, shook me around, and never let me go. Absolutely epic! World-building is one of (if not, my most) favorite part about a novel - Weather Witch has such an absolutely phenomenal world-building. Some historical books, I love, while others fall flat for me. I'm so thrilled to say that Weather Witch is a climatic and amazing historical! Love!

And the plot is just so... interesting! Very hard to describe. I mean, we have these witches in 1844 (and we KNOW that there is some freaky junk going on in this historical setting; we KNOW it.) who can bring on these storms, and one is whisked away and there's this party and WOAH. I will admit that Weather Witch does have slow moments. The plot feels draggy at times, and not a lot pushes it forward, especially in the beginning. But when there is some movement within the plot, it shoots like a bullet and never lets up. So many things are fired at the reader, and it's so cool! Delany did a wonderful job with this paranormal take!

And YES! I'm so thrilled there is a sequel, Stormbringer! That ending was totally epic and mind-bending - I'm so excited to see where Delany takes us next!

Overall, Weather Witch is an original and unique novel that will have readers on the edge of their seat, tearing through the pages to find out what happens next. A storm that I loved enduring and never wanted to end!

M Y    R A T I N G

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Brad About Books: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Read from April 24 to 25, 2013
Published: December 11, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 412 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: Kingdoms, #1

The gripping New York Times bestseller that is Game of Thrones for teens

In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

CleoA princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

Falling Kingdoms is an outstanding, riveting read that had me intertwined with this world and totally consumed by the beautiful, yet haunting, world that Rhodes expertly crafted. George R.R. Martin better watch out - Morgan Rhodes is a fantastic and brilliant voice in fantasy!

If you don't know this, I am such a fanatic for high fantasy (or just regular fantasy) books - they're just so complex and fantastic. I love them! Falling Kingdoms is easily one of the best high fantasy novels I have ever read. I honestly think that this book is the new modern Lord of the Rings. World-building is what makes a fantasy novel come together, and this war-torn and bloodshed land is absolutely phenomenal. The three kingdoms {Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia} are enticing and captivating - I would love to be able to visit this world! Morgan Rhodes (or Michelle Rowen) weaved this land together so brilliantly and mind-blowing. If you're a fan of high fantasy/fantasy, Falling Kingdoms is an absolute must-read!

The characters are also phenomenal. Yes, it's a bit complex to figure out and remember who's who, what role they play in this world, and who they want revenge on/are in hiding from. Once you get the hang of it, it's not hard whatsoever - that's how much of an amazing job Rhodes did with this book. I'm in shocked! I'm stunned! I am so excited for Rebel Spring, the sequel. I need that book, like, yesterday!

I'm a big fan of first lines. I'm an even bigger fan of first paragraphs. But I'm a MAJOR fan of last lines. If an author can really nail the last line of a book, whether it be a cliffhanger or just the end to a series, I know I'm hooked and captivated. And let me say, Falling Kingdoms has one of my favorite last lines ever. Seriously. It's not very cliffhanger-y, but it definitely makes me want the rest of the series! Oh my gosh, I can't even with this book. It's just fantastic.

I'm speechless.

Overall, Falling Kingdoms is an absolutely mind-blowing and phenomenal fantasy that stands out as a favorite book of the year... and of all time. Stunning, stellar, and enchanting as magic, Falling Kingdoms is a must-read!

M Y    R A T I N G

Friday, June 21, 2013

Brad About Books: Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

Read on June 19, 2013
Published: September 25, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 404 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: White Rabbit Chronicles, #1

She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies…

Off with their heads.

Alice in Zombieland is a fresh and chilling read that had me creeped out and the sudden urge to fight some zombies. This is the zombie story I've been waiting for!

Let me begin by saying this: this book was not what I was expecting. I was expecting an Alice in Wonderland re-telling where our beloved heroine tumbles down the rabbit hole, finds the magical and dark world of Wonderland, and must stop the Queen of Hearts from taking over the land. That is not what I got from Alice in Zombieland. But you know what's the craziest thing? It actually worked. AiZ is more of a zombie story than anything else - but honestly, it's addictive! I couldn't dare set this book down at any time, because I was so intrigued and enthralled by the world that Showalter wove together. A new gem in YA!

Ali is such a great character. I loved her right from page one, and she never let me down. I was so happy to go on this haunting and out-of-this-world creepy journey with her. I mean, come on! Fighting zombies with Alice? Yes please. And the whole entire ensemble was great! A character that sticks out, of course, is Cole. I didn't trust Cole in the beginning (I just KNEW something sinister was swirling around him), but as Alice in Zombieland progresses, his character development skyrockets. Showalter puts Ali and Cole's bond to the test (I mean, how could it not when fighting zombies?), and I really appreciated that! 

Woah! Talk about a crazy ending! I was literally on the edge of my seat for the last 50 pages - they were insane! I tore through the last portion of the book, and I was devastated after I turned the last page. I need more right then and there! My only question is: why did I wait so long to read this?! I loved it so much!

Overall, Alice in Zombieland is a unique and enthralling take on the timeless story, but with a dark and haunting twist that seemed almost impossible to pull off. But Gena Showalter totally does. Absolutely loved this book!

M Y    R A T I N G

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Brad About Books: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

Read on May 18, 2013
Published: September 27, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 390 pages
Source: Purchased
Series: Beautiful, #1

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

A Beautiful Dark is the first book in a captivating trilogy by debut author Jocelyn Davies.

A Beautiful Dark is a haunting and dynamic read filled with love, suspense, and the perfect balance of action. A riveting debut!

First, I want to pinpoint what I believe is the best part about A Beautiful Dark - I absolutely adored the characters and the whole world of that Asher and Devin are apart of it! This is, honestly, one of the best paranormal books I've ever read (definitely one of the best angel books!). The world-building is just so original and captivating. It's nearly impossible - it was definitely impossible for me - to put this book down. It's so addictive! I wanted to explore this frighteningly dark and mysterious world that Davies masterfully wove together. Gorgeous!

Now, I did have a slight problem with A Beautiful Dark. I had actually tried to reading this book back in 2012, but I couldn't get into it due to the slow beginning - and I almost had that problem this time around. But luckily, I got through the slow (and a bit confusing) beginning - once you get past page 50, A Beautiful Dark takes off and soars like there's no tomorrow. If you're needing a paranormal romance read that will have you craving for more and have you on the edge of your seat, look no further, because A Beautiful Dark is the perfect choice!

That. Cliffhanger. Loads of cliffhangers are executed very well, with a shocking twist of events that makes your mouth fall open and having you turning pages, wondering if your copy is missing some pages (unfortunately, it rarely ever is). I can happily report that Davies does a fantastic job with this cliffhanger! It makes you want to read the second book, and you're in a state of shock for minutes! Love it! A Beautiful Dark radiates with its haunting beauty and stellar high notes. 

Overall, A Beautiful Dark is a standout debut that had me on the edge of my seat and dying to know what would happen next! A brilliant start to a promising trilogy!

M Y   R A T I N G

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Brad About Books: Purity by Jackson Pearce

Read on May 23, 2013
Published: April 24, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 218 pages
Source: Purchased

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

Purity is a one of a kind, stunning contemporary read that had me enthralled and captivated! Jackson Pearce can do no wrong with YA.

If you don't know, I'm a sucker for fairytale re-tellings, and Pearce's are my favorites. I was excited to read something very different from her - and Purity was definitely different! I've recently grown addicted to contemporary novels, and Purity definitely stands out against other realistic fiction novels. I loved the protagonist so much. Shelby was such a great and loyal character. Love, loss, betrayal; she's been through it all. Pearce weaved her character together so finely, and her character development was exceptional!

And the whole plot behind Purity is wonderful. Yes, it's about a girl trying to not be pure before a Princess Purity ball (which is why I put off reading this book for so long; it just sounded too farfetched for me), but Jackson Pearce handled this topic so well. Love and family is the whole spark in Purity, and I really, really appreciated that. Wonderful!

And this novel is so easy to fly through! Like I said, I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary books, but Purity is one of a kind. The Promises that Shelby must stick to were so interesting to read about - I didn't know if she was going to stick to them! If you're looking for a lovestruck and all-the-feels kind of read, Purity is the way to go!Overall, Purity is wonderful contemporary that had love rushing through the pages. Daring, unique, and bursting with love, I couldn't put this book down!

M Y   R A T I N G

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Brad About Books: Wanted by Heidi Ayarbe

Read on June 10, 2013
Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Harper)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 386 pages
Source: Purchased


A one-word text message: That's all Michal "Mike" Garcia needs to gather a crowd. Mike is a seventeen-year-old bookie, and Sanctuary is where she takes bets for anyone at Carson City High with enough cash. Her only rule: Never participate, never place a bet for herself.

Then Josh Ellison moves to town. He pushes Mike to live her life, to feel a rush of something—play the game, he urges, stop being a spectator.

So Mike breaks her one rule. She places a bet, feels the rush.

And loses.

In an act of desperation, she and Josh—who has a sordid past of his own—concoct a plan: The pair will steal from Carson City's elite to pay back Mike's debt. Then they'll give the rest of their haul to those who need it most. How can burglary be wrong if they are making things right?

Wanted will thrust readers into the gritty underbelly of Carson City, where worth is determined by a score, power is derived from threat, and the greatest feat is surviving it all.

Hmmm... what went wrong with this book? I really, really wanted to like Wanted, but in the end, this was just not the book for me.

Whenever I marked this book as currently-reading on my Goodreads shelf, I look at the reviews and saw nothing but glowing reviews of 4 and 5 stars. I was super pumped to read Wanted, especially with all the good reviews surrounding it. I will give Wanted the prologue - that was pretty epic. Unfortunately, I found that to be the only thing epic about this book. Way too slow! This novel could have been so much more fast-paced than what it was - the concept is so unique, but it dealt more with Michal's (Mike's) personal issues instead of getting out of the sticky situation. I just wasn't a fan of that.

And I caught myself drifting off away from the book, wanting to set it down. Whenever we reach page 250 of a book and no plot points or key twists are pushing it forward, there's a problem there. Honestly, after prologue, I don't a single thing truly happened. Just bets, more bets, sticky situation, personal issues, bets. That's Wanted in a nutshell. And so many cool things could have happened! So many! In the matter of the first 100 pages! I was just so, so, so disappointed by this read.

Also, where was all the "bookie" scenes? I guess I was just expecting more of Mike getting into her tough situation by betting and having to get out of it. Wanted was very deceptive - the first 50 pages were good, but my love for this book began to go downhill after I realized that it was too slow for my likings. So sad by this.

Overall, Wanted was a disappointment. I wanted a fast-paced, thriller, on-the-edge-of-your-seat read, and unfortunately, I didn't get any of that.

M Y   R A T I N G

Monday, June 17, 2013

Brad About Books: A Midsummer Night's Scream by R.L. Stine

Read from February 17 to 18, 2013
Expected Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Format: ARC
Page Count: 250 pages
Source: Publisher in exchange for an honest review

The master of horror takes on the master of theater!

Get ready for laughter to turn into screams in R.L. Stine's re-imagining of Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Everyone knows that Mayhem Manor is cursed. After production on the horror film was stopped due to a series of mysterious deaths, it became a Hollywood legend--which makes it perfect for Claire and her family. If they can successfully finish the film, it should be enough to save their ailing movie studio.

Sure, the old haunted house is creepy, and strange stuff has been happening, but this is Claire's chance. Her chance to become the movie star she's always dreamed and her chance to finally convince her friend Jake that she is girlfriend material. Of course, the fact that Jake thinks he's in love with her best friend, Delia, who is crushing hard on Jake's friend Shawn, who insists on following Claire around, could be a problem, but Claire is sure she can figure it out. After all, the course of true love never did run smooth.

But once shooting starts, "creepy and strange" morph into "bloody and deadly," as the lines between film and reality begin to blur...

A Midsummer Night's Scream is a chilling, spine-tingling mystery that will haunt readers late into the night until the fascinating and eerie mystery has been unraveled. The master of horror is back!

I get emerged into mystery novels so easily, and A Midsummer Night's Scream was no exception. It's just so easy to fall into this intricate and pulse-pounding murder mystery - plus, it takes place on a movie set! How cool is that? I was intrigued by the mystery right from page one, and the suspense never quit! I couldn't help myself from flying through these pages, trying to figure out what in the world was going on.

But A Midsummer Night's Scream does have a slight downfall. Was I fan of the mystery setting? Yes. Was I fan of the creepy string of murders while the crew was filming? Yes. Was I fan of how Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream played into effect? Not exactly. It just seemed to farfetched to have potions in a murder mystery. I guess I was just confused by the synopsis. I just wanted a nice mystery story with a contemporary feel and a realistic antagonist - did I get that from this book? No. But did I enjoy A Midsummer Night's Scream overall? Very much.

But like I said earlier, I am such a fan of mystery novels - there aren't enough of them! And A Midsummer Night's Scream is definitely the perfect summer read for all horror lovers. With the perfect blend of an eerie atmosphere and a premise so unique, A Midsummer Night's Scream is a great, slashing time!

Overall, A Midsummer Night's Scream should definitely be on your radar. Needing a suspense and hairs-stand-up-on-the-back-of-your-neck kind of story? Look no further, because A Midsummer Night's Scream is the perfect choice!

M Y    R A T I N G