Monday, February 28, 2011

Review: The Iron Queen

Title: The Iron Queen
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 358
Book Source: netgalley

Description: My name is Meghan Chase.
I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

My thoughts: I don't really know how to explain how I felt after reading this. I was speechless, crying, wanted more. I also couldn't help but wish that this series had come out sooner than last year. Julie Kagawa has such talent in building this world and the characters.
There were a couple of times, once close to the beginning and then once close to the end that I had tears. Kagawa always takes the reader on a journey from beginning to end and The Iron Queen is no different.
I think this is one of those rare cases that I have a hard time saying that I am team whatever. Puck and Ash, even though they fight it is done in a way that I don't get tired of one or the other for me to say I am team one or the other. They each have stron qualities and even though they both will stand behind Meghan and help her but because they know that the other is doing the same they will even fight WITH the other instead of against him.
By the end of The Iron Queen Meghan's life goes through even more changes. In a way I felt a little closure with Meghan's story. The next book to come is The Iron Knight which will be Ash's story. The epilogue set that one up a little. While I hope that we see Meghan at some point in The Iron Knight I really look forward to seeing Ash's story.
If you haven't read these books then you should because you are really missing out. If you like stories like Alice in Wonderland or Wizard of Oz then you will really like this series.

post signature


The Weekly Happenings

This fantastic meme is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.

Kristen finished:
Spray by Harry Edge

Kristen is currently reading:

April finished:
With Friends Like These by Reshonda Tate Billingsley

April is currently reading:
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulten
The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

The Weekly Happenings

Click in to see what is coming up on the blog this week.

Monday: April Reviews The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

Tuesday: April Reviews Falling Under by Gwen Hayes, Kick off for Lemniscate Quote Blog Hop, Angel Star and Lemniscate by Jennifer Murgia Giveaway, Fe
bruary in Review

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday, Kristen reviews some Middle Grade Shorts

Thursday: April Reviews Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Link a Contest Thursday

Friday: Apr
il Reviews With Friends Like These by ReShonda Tate Billingsley, The Library Corner with Kristen

Saturday: Spotlight Saturday


The Week in Rewind:

Monday: Kristen reviewed Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

Tuesday: Kristen reviewed Illegal by Bettina Restrepo, Character Interview with Ruby from Drought by Pam Bachroz (which could use some comment love)

Wednesday: Waiting on Wednesday, Kristen reviewed Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Thursday: Link a Contest Thursday, Kristen reviewed Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Friday: Kristen reviewed Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer, April talked about Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia in The Library Corner (could also use some comment love)

Saturday: Kristen reviewed The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan

Sunday: In My Mailbox

post signature

post signature


Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox - February 27th

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren.

April Nichole

The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge


The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Hold Still by Nina LaCour

And... A KINDLE! :)

For that I got:

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer
Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia

Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulten
Turned by Morgan Rice
The Complete Oz Collection by L. Frank Baum.

For Review:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Chime by Franny Billingsley
The Time-Traveling Fashionista by Bianca Turetsky

Chaos by Rachel Ward
Kindred by Tammar Stein
Two Moon Princess by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban


Planet Janet
by Dyan Sheldon
Darkest Mercy by Melissa Marr
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison

From the Library:

Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard by David Peterson
Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

post signature

post signature


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sweet Venom bookmark giveaway winners!

Hello all! I received the signed Sweet Venom bookmarks and have pulled five winners, each who will get one of the signed bookmarks. They are:

Victoria Zumbrum
Anne A.
desiree rosa

I will be emailing all of you girls for addresses and will get those sent out this week. :)


post signature


Review: The Long Weekend

Author: Savita Kalhan
Publication Date: October 2008
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Suspense
Copy provided by: Author
Summary (via Goodreads):

Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive?This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night...

Why I read this: Sounded like something different and a change from my usual reads.

Plot: Sam and Lloyd are relatively new friends. So when they hop into what Sam thinks is Lloyd's car, they both realize that they thought it was each others dad. Unfortunately, that is not the case. This man takes them to a mansion in the middle of nowhere, filled with toys, games, and junk food. Sam knows something is wrong but Lloyd isn't convinced, thinking it's a fun ploy by his dad for them to have a fun weekend.

Sam must convince Lloyd that they must escape, but that is not his biggest hurdle. The whole property is surrounded by a high fence with barbed wire on the top. They must hide from the man before he kills them and escape before he finds them.

Characters: The bad guy was so realistically horrible, I felt afraid for Sam and Lloyd. The boys were written realistic as well. The way the boys reacted seemed so real as well, one of them was more brave than the other, but they were both scared and shocked at their situation.

Relatability: Anyone who has ever heard of kids disappearing will get a shock from this book. It's sad this type of situation really happens.

Cover Commentary: Very freaky, definitely what I envisioned the mansion to look like.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

post signature


Friday, February 25, 2011

Review: Bloody Jack

Author: L.A. Meyer
Publication Date: September 2002
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Copy provided by: Library (audiobook), I own a copy myself though.
Summary (via Goodreads):

Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.

There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life—if only she doesn't get caught. . . .

Why I read this: This is actually a reread for me. I love these books and decided that this year it was time to catch up on the last two books out that I haven't read and am hosting the 2011 Bloody Jack Reading Challenge. I decided, this time around, I'd try to read them all via audiobook.

Plot: Mary (aka Jacky) is orphaned at a young age and decides life would be easier if she dressed as a boy. She happens upon a ship and manages to become a ship's boy. Only problem is, if someone finds out, it's to the noose with her. This book is full of violence, romance, life-threatening situations, and some more serious subjects like sodomy, rape, menstruation and death. Definitely a book that will keep you reading (or listening) until the very end. This book also takes place during the early 1800s when Britain is at war with the French and there is plenty of danger on the sea. I love the historical backdrop to this book and mixed with Jacky's cockney attitude, it certainly is a tale worth listening to.

Characters: I absolutely love Jacky's character. She's very much full of energy and mischief and has such a unique and hilarious voice that you can't help but love her. And every person she encounters is unique in their own way, whether good or bad. Meyer does a fabulous job with his character and keeping them easy to tell apart with his fantastic characterization.

Relatability: Fans of Avi's True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and really any adventure loving reader will adore Bloody Jack.

Cover Commentary: Definitely depicts where most of the book takes place. I do love the lettering on the cover and the colors.

Audio Commentary: The voice actress that does these audiobooks is fantastic. She's got the accent and the attitude to pull off Jacky's character and she does it beautifully. If you're just starting to listen to audiobooks I highly recommend this one as one of the best.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

post signature


The Library Corner

For today's Library Corner and the one that I will do in two weeks I'm rereading Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia. Next month her next book, the sequel to Angel Star, is coming out called Lemniscate. I'm so excited!

So, what I'm doing is reading and talking about the book in two halvs. Click in to find out.

Description: Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.

But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows.

Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.

The Prologue was able to pull me in. The emotions that you get from Teagan made me want to keep reading. Here are a couple of sentences from it. "I grabbed the tiny dagger. Though deadly, the weapon I held was beautiful. Tiny etchings glinted in the gold handle, retelling the story of the Archangel's fall from heaven, their story delicately carved into the deadly blade. I swallowed hard. Would God accept me now?"

Reading that can give me a little chill feeling what she is feeling.

The story then goes to Teagan waking up from a bad dream. We get to meet her BFF, Claire. Then we get to meet a guy that by the end I just loved, Garreth. He is strong, kind and protective. Also, personally I am an eye girl and I love the way that Jennifer has described Garreth's eyes.

pg. 10 - "But...his eyes. They were the warmest most endless aqua-and inhumanly hypnotic."
pg. 27 - "His eyes, the deepest ocean blue, peered from beneath his hair."

*sigh* :)

Once Teagan starts to learn what Garreth really is and why he is here he takes her to a special place. It sounds beautiful even if it is run down. Teagan says that it reminds her "of a miniature one-room castle. A single Gothic stained glass window was set into each of the three walls and a heavy wooden door, arched and aged, took up its fourth. Although the gray stone slab above the door frame was engraved crudely, it was still legible and proudly bore the name Saint Ann's."
Once inside she goes on, "wild fern that grew rampant in the corners, stubs of melted candles, massive iron candelabras eaten away by patchy blankets of rust. Beautiful bits of colored glass crunched beneath my feet from stained glass windows of long ago. Although it was in obvious shambles, it was still breathtaking."

Maybe I am just a sucker for run down places but it sounds like a place I would want to see.
Once Teagan learns about Garreth being a guardian angel, just like any time you learn something in a story, things started to change. I see it as Teagan learns how to see truth in people. She learns how people can really be affected by others and the world around them. In this story someone wants to use the change in their ultimate plan. The real good vs. evil.
Something happens to bring Garreth in to comfort Teagan. (I don't want to give it away of what happens but it is very sad and I will say that it has to do with her BFF.) Teagan's mom is also there for her. A lot of the times in YA stories the parents are absent and could just be mentioned once or twice and not always in a nice way. But, Teagan's mom is nice.

Let me leave you with the last sentence of the first half. "My eyes returned to the window above me and I shuddered as I saw the still-red glow penetrate the raindrops and spill down the angel's face like tears of blood."

post signature


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Review: Sapphique

Author: Catherine Fisher
Publication Date: December 28, 2010
Genre: YA Dystopian
Copy provided by: Publisher
Summary (via Goodreads):

The only one who escaped . . . And the one who could destroy them all.

Incarceron, the living prison, has lost one of its inmates to the outside world: Finn’s escaped, only to find that Outside is not at all what he expected. Used to the technologically advanced, if violently harsh, conditions of the prison, Finn is now forced to obey the rules of Protocol, which require all people to live without technology. To Finn, Outside is just a prison of another kind, especially when Claudia, the daughter of the prison’s warden, declares Finn the lost heir to the throne. When another claimant emerges, both Finn’s and Claudia’s very lives hang on Finn convincing the Court of something that even he doesn’t fully believe.

Meanwhile, Finn’s oathbrother Keiro and his friend Attia are still trapped inside Incarceron. They are searching for a magical glove, which legend says Sapphique used to escape. To find it, they must battle the prison itself, because Incarceron wants the glove too.

Why I read this: I loved the first and couldn't wait to start the next. :)

Plot: I think this is truly a unique sequel because it spends it's focus equally on the main characters from the last book and then the supporting characters as well. This book is a little more epic than the first. It's about searching for a legend, it's about the journey and the hardships along the way. The first book was about Escape but this book is more about a Search.

On the other side, the focus on our two main characters is all about finding oneself. There's deception and plots that will really pull you in. And definitely doubt is settled into the matter - is Finn really the right heir to the throne or not? I felt like I still had questions at the end of this sequel and wish for another, but not sure that will happen.

Characters: I really loved learning more about Keiro and Attia. I have to say I really fell in love with the characters, even though they were sometimes over the top (as a lot of fantasy can be), but most of all it was nice to see a spotlight on two characters I wasn't sure would get much spotlight.

Relatability: Definitely a great sequel and one that fans of dystopian and fantasy will enjoy.

Cover Commentary: Another gorgeous cover. Love the similarities and change of color.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

post signature


Link a Contest Thursday

Rules (or at least STRONG suggestions):
1. Name the item being given away (instead of the blog name)
2. Give the end date in () after the name
3. Make sure to link DIRECTLY to that contest post - if you don't know how to do this - just click on the title of the contest blog and it will give a direct URL you can use.
4. If you want to post a contest you've found, make sure it isn't already posted.
5. Must be book-related giveaways.

post signature


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review: Incarceron

Author: Catherine Fisher
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
Genre: YA Dystopian
Copy provided by: Won from a contest
Summary (via Goodreads):

Incarceron is a prison unlike any other: Its inmates live not only in cells, but also in metal forests, dilapidated cities, and unbounded wilderness. The prison has been sealed for centuries, and only one man, legend says, has ever escaped.

Finn, a seventeen-year-old prisoner, can’t remember his childhood and believes he came from Outside Incarceron. He’s going to escape, even though most inmates don’t believe that Outside even exists. And then Finn finds a crystal key and through it, a girl named Claudia.

Claudia claims to live Outside—her father is the Warden of Incarceron and she’s doomed to an arranged marriage. If she helps Finn escape, she will need his help in return. But they don’t realize that there is more to Incarceron than meets the eye. Escape will take their greatest courage and cost far more than they know.

Because Incarceron is alive.

Why I read this: I had it lying around for a while and when the sequel came out, I figured it was time to buckle down and read it.

Plot: Following two different characters, this book alternates point of views between the stunning and cunning Claudia and the ever deceptive Finn. I loved diving into the world that Fisher created - one set in the past of their own doing and involving technology I cannot ever believe could exist. With a mix of horror and fantasy elements, a dark world lies to be discovered and I read wide-eyed as we discover both the world of Incarceron and the world around it. Definitely a dark tale, and one that ends with a sliver of hopefulness on what will happen next.

Characters: I really enjoyed the depth of Finn's character. You seemed to be a bit inside his head, but he is truly revealed by the other characters for who he really is and well, it's not all pleasant. Claudia is also a fantastic mix of good and evil, having the cunning and motivation to be either. She seems like a bored spoiled child but there is a lot more depth to her as well.

Relatability: Fans of dystopian and fantasy (especially of the darker nature) will enjoy this novel.

Cover Commentary: Love it. You have to touch it to really understand how awesome it is.

Rating: 5/5 Roses

Buy it on Amazon*
Find it on Goodreads

*If you buy this book on Amazon through the link above, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

post signature


Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It is to spotlight books that are soon to be released that we wished would be released sooner. Here are our picks.

Kristen's Pick:
Title: Faerie Winter
Author: Janni Lee Simner
Expected Publication: April 5, 2011
Description: Fans of dark fantasy and dystopian adventure discovered Janni Lee Simner's first novel, Bones of Faerie, to be an exciting twist on a favorite theme. Now fans of Holly Black, Melissa Marr, and Cassandra Clare can return to Janni's unique vision of a magic-infused postapocalyptic world where war between Faerie and humanity has left both realms devastated. The war has been over for 40 years, and finally Liza's town is accepting children born with fairy talents. Then a nearby town is destroyed, and Liza discovers that the war might not be over after all. It seems some faeries survived and have crossed over into the human world to continue the fight. And the most powerful and merciless of them all—the Queen herself—may be among them. . . .

April Nichole's Pick:
Mermaid: A Twist on a Classic Tale
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Expected Publication: March 3, 2011
Description: The story of two very different women, one mortal, one mermaid, and the clash between worlds best kept apart... It is a cold day at the end of the world when a young woman, a princess in hiding, looks out across a Northern sea and sees something she could not have seen. It can't be. It looks like a mermaid's tail. And, as she looks more closely, she sees that the mermaid is dragging a drowning sailor in her arms. Because, only hours before, another princess, the daughter of the sea queen, has decided to risk everything and take a look at the world above the sea: the world of mortals. And there she finds a storm, a shipwreck, a sailor, and sets in train events which will change both women's worlds forever.

post signature