Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Darkness before Dawn

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we talk about books we are eager to read.

My pick this week is Darkess before Dawn by J.A. London

This electrifying new trilogy blends the best of paranormal and dystopian storytelling in a world where the war is over. And the vampires won.Humans huddle in their walled cities, supplying blood in exchange for safety. But not even that is guaranteed. Dawn has lost her entire family and now reluctantly serves as the delegate to Lord Valentine, the most powerful vampire for miles. It isn’t until she meets Victor, Valentine’s son, that she realizes not all vampires are monsters.... Darkness Before Dawn is a fresh new story with captivating characters, unexpected plot twists, a fascinating setting, and a compelling voice. Written under the name J. A. London by a talented mother-son team, the trilogy is perfect for fans of True Blood and the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series

Three reasons why I wanna read this book:

1) Vampires and dystopian novel
2) I love the Morganville - series
3) The story sounds great

Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Cold Kiss, Amy Garvey

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA, paranormal romance
Release: September 2011
Source: Book Expo America
Good to know: This is Garvey's first book for teens. It is a standalone, and not the first book in a series.

It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants—what she must do—is to bring Danny back.But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her—and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.

Beautiful and gripping

Cold Kiss can be described as a cross between Pet Sematary and Shiver.

Wren loves Danny with all her heart, and her world falls to pieces the day Danny dies in a car accident. She cannot live without Danny, and decides to use her special powers to bring him back to life. But things does not play out the way Wren planned. Danny is not acting like he used to before the accident. There is also a new boy at Wren's school, and suddenly she begins to doubt her feelings for Danny. She regrets bringing Danny back to life, but there is to late for regret now...

I wanted him back. I wanted him back so much I couldn't think about anything else. Everywhere I looked was suddenly somewhere Danny wasn't. My hands were empy because Danny wasn't holding them. My room echoed with quiet because Danny wasn't there whispering ridiculous things to make me laugh, or make me shiver.  (...)Danny was mine, I was his, and that wasn't going to work if he was dead. So I would make him not dead...

Garvey writes about something most of us can relate too; how it feels like to loose someone we love. I know that I have thought many times that I wish I could spend some more time with loved ones that have passed. Wren acts out on this longing, she brings the love of her life back from the dead. But soon Wren realise that it is not safe to mess with nature.

I am the kid who sticks her finger in the light socket. I am the person who doesn't check the expiration date on the milk. I am the idiot who has never looked before she leaped. I am the girl who is falling apart, right now.

Cold Kiss also deal with darker issues; the love Wren feels for Danny turns to a form of obsession after he dies. She wants to be with him no matter what. She does not reflect upon how it must be for Danny to be brought back to life, a life where he is hidden from everyone he once knew, aside from Wren. Danny exists only for Wren, it is all about her feelings.

I wrote that the book is a cross between Pet Sematary and Shiver. As with Pet Sematary, Cold Kiss is also about what happens when you bring someone back from the dead, and the person brought back is not the same person you knew before. When I mention Shiver, it is because Garvey has a writing pretty similar to that of Maggie Stiefvater. She has some beautiful quotes and passages.

I  liked some parts of the story, and the fact that the book is seeping with emotion. But I thought the story was too slow paced, nothing really happens until the second half of the book. The first half is all about how Wren regrets bringing Danny back, and it is not intereresting to read only about that from chapter to chapter. But when Wren talks more with Gabriel, things really kick off.

It wasn't love right away, because nothing ever is, no matter what the songs say, but it was the start of it. A beginning in one way, and the end in another. I think that might always be true of love.
I love that some authors still writes paranormal novels that are not part of a series, that in itself is a good reason to read this book. I have not read a lot about zombies before either, and that was also refreshing. Cold kiss is a beautiful written book that will appeal to those who like a slowpaced book that grips you.

Other reviews:
The Book Smugglers
Book Briefs
The Diary of a Bookworm

Amy Garvey is on Goodreads and has her own website here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In my mailbox #46

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the Story Siren, where we talk about the books we got the past week.

I have had an amazing bookweek, and I have gotten a lot of books that I cannot wait to read.

For review (via Netgalley):

Sarah Zettel: Dust Girl

Stephanie Hemphill: Sisters of Glass

Jordan Dane: On a Dark Wing

Veronica Rossi: Under the Never Sky
Cynthia Hand: Hallowed
Peter Howe: Warriors of the Black Shroud

Brodi Ashton: Everneath

Jodi Meadows: Incarnate

Rachel Hartman: Seraphina

John Claude Bemis: The Prince Who Fell from the Sky

So many great titles that I have been dying to read. I have preordered hardcover - editions of some of them already, but I am so grateful to the publishers at Netgalley who let me read them a bit in advance. (All of the titles are due out in 2012) It felt like Christmas and my birthday all at once when I got approved. I know what I will be doing in December, can't wait to get into these titles. Thank you so much Harper Collins, Random House Children's Books & Harlequin.

Have you read any of these titles yet? What did you get in your mailbox?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: Crossed, Ally Condie

Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA, dystopian, sci-fi
Release: November 1th 2011
Source: BEA
Good to know: The sequel to Matched. This series is going to be a trilogy.

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Poetical dystopian

I had high expectations for Crossed since I loved Matched so much. I liked this book too, but it did not live up to my expectations.

Cassia finds herself in a whole new place, and she begins to search for Ky. Ky, on the other hand, is doing his best to survive and he manage to find new allies and friends.

Condie has a beautiful writing style and she is one of the best writers in the Ya - universe. Her writing is poetical, with a few words and sentences she is able to say so much. Sometimes I just stop my reading and reflect over something she has written. There are so many great quotes, so many good observations. It is simply a joy to read.

Because in the end you can't always choose what to keep. You can only choose how you let it go.

If you love someone, if someone loved you, if they taught you to write and made it so you could speak, how can you do nothing at all? You might as well tahe their words out of the dirt and try to snatch them from the wind. Because once you love, it is gone. You love and you cannot call it back

Love changes what is probable and makes unlikely things possible.

My biggest problem with this book, is that the story is too slowpaced. It takes too long before there is any real action, and once the book was finished I still had a lot of questions that were not answered. I longed for more. More information about the Society for one.

Loving him gave me wings and all my work has given me the strength to move them.

The narrative in the story shifts between Ky and Cassia. I liked that, since I felt we got to know each of them better. But what surprised me was that I felt a lot more sympathy towards Ky, he is a much more complex and interesting character than Cassia - at least in this book he is.

Even though I felt the story lacked something, I will still recommend the book. The writing style is, in itself, something that should make you read the book. I hope I will get more answers in the third book, because I will read it. I cannot get enough of Condie's prose.

Other reviews:
The Story Siren
Amy Reads
Sash & Em

Visit the Matched trilogy here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Insurgent

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we talk about books we are anxious to read.

My pick this week is Insurgent by Veronica Roth:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

I loved Divergent, and I have been waiting for the seuel ever since. Insurgent has a planned release on May 8th, please May, come faster.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: The Russian Concubine, Kate Furnivall

Publisher: Sphere
Pages: 592
Genre: Historical fiction
Release: November 2007
Source: Bought
Nice to know: This is Kate Furnivall's debutnovel. The story is inspired by the experiences of Furnivall's own mother. The sequel is called The Concubine's Secret /The Girl from Junchow, and there is also a prequel called the Jewel of St Petersburg.

Exiled from Russia after the Bolshevik Revolution, the beautiful and fiery Lydia and her aristocratic mother have taken refuge in Junchow, China, in 1928. On the edge of destitution, Lydia uses her wits to survive and resorts to stealing. She is saved from certain death by a young Chinese Communist, Chang An Lo, and together they are thrust into clashes with savage triads. Lydia and Chang fall in love and are swept up in a fight against prejudice and shame. Forced to face opium-running, betrayal and kidnap, their compelling attraction to each other is tested to the limits in this story of love and loss, secrets and lies.

A great historical read
The Russian Concubine is a pageturner and an entertaining read about what one would do to survive, but mostly the book is about is about love.

During the Russian revolution in 1917 a lot of the wealthty russians were arrested and killed. Valentina, who are married to a dane called Jens Friis, is a very beautiful woman and to save their daughter and herself she used her looks. But she cannot save her husband. Many years later, in 1928, the story is set in Junchow in China. Here we find people from all parts of the world, Great Britain, France, Italy and last but not least Russia.

Lydia and her mother Valentina are having a hard time making ends meet. Valentina drinks and Lydia are picking pockets in order to put food on the table. One day Lydia steals a very valuable piece of jewelry, and this changes her life and the lives of the people close to her.

I love historical fiction, but I have read very few novels based on russian and chinese history. This novel starts with a dramatic scene, which plunges the reader right into the story. From there on the book is hard to put down. There is a lot of things happening, and the story takes some unexpected turns.

Lydia is a typical herione. She is beautiful, strongwilled and stands up for herself. She is a bit of a tomboy, and she is prepared to fight for the people she love. She loves intensely and passionately, but her actions sometimes puts her in dangerous situations.

The book has a lot of surprises, especially at the end. On the negative side I did not like that we are offered the perspective of a lot of characters. I was mostly intererested in reading about Lydia, not the other characters. I also did not find that the title of the book corresponded well with the story.

But the Russian Concubine is a great historical read which will entertain you and also learn you a bit of history on the way.

Other reviews:
The Jerseymooners
Betsy's Book Club
Fire & Air
Book Reviews for Book Lovers

Kate Furnivalls website can be found here!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

In my Mailbox #45

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the Story Siren, where we talk about the books we got the past week.

Here are the books I have gotten the past weeks:

For review:

Ilsa J. Bick: Drowning Instinct (Via netgalley)

Lia Habel: Dearly Departed (Via netgalley)

Katherine Govier: The Printmaker's Daughter (Via netgalley)

Maria V. Snyder: A Touch of Power (Via netgalley)

Kristen Painter: Blood Rights (Via netgalley)

Eleanor Brown: The Weird Sisters (In Norwegian from Norwegian publisher)

Cassandra Clare: City of Bones (In Norwegian from Norwegian publisher)
Scott Westerfeld: Pretties (In Norwergian from Norwegian publisher)


Robinson Wells: Variant

Veronica Wolff: Isle of Night (The Watchers 1)
Jeyn Roberts: Dark Inside

B.R. Collins: Tyme's End

Leanna Renee Hieber: Darker still

Lucinda Riley: The Girl on the Cliff

Michelle Paver: Dark Matter

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Early Recommendation: The Snow Child

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

3 Reasons why you should read this book

1. It is absolutely amazing, one of the best books I have read in 2011.

2. Ivey has a poetical and beautiful writing that will make your eyes tear up.

3. It is a book you fall in love with.

The Snow Child will be released February 1st 2012. Read about the book at Goodreads here.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Becoming Marie Antoinette, Juliet Grey

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 480
Genre: Historical fiction
Release: August 2011
Source: ARC from Netgalley
Nice to know: This is Grey's debut and the first book in a planned trilogy. The next book in the series Days of Splendor;Days of Sorrow is expected in 2012.

Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother's political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.

Captivating and entertaining

Becoming Marie Antoinette is a captivating and wellresearched novel about a girl who became one of the most talked about queens in the history of the world.

From a very early age Marie Antoinette was destined for great things. Her mother, the empress of Austria, sought only the best possibilities for her daughters, and once she decided to try to get the dauphine of France, Louis, to marry Marie Antoinette, Marie Antoinette's destiny was sealed. In the palace at Schönnbrunn she was given countless hours of training to one day, maybe, become the queen of France.

The novel starts in 1766, when Marie Antoinette was still a young and carefree girl who liked to fool around with her sisters and play tricks on her governess. We follow Marie Antoinette through the years until the moment when she and Louis are about to be put on the throne of France.

Juliet Grey has written a great historical novel, and managed to bring Marie Antoinette to life. Through extensive research and details she shows us how Marie Antoinette transforms from a young and innocent girl, and to the woman that married the dauphine of France. We learn a lot about the history of Austria and that of France.

This was a time when marriage was a strategical maneuvre, and when love was not a part of the picture. A time when a lot of people succumbed to diseases like smallpox and not all children lived to grow up.

Becoming Marie Antoinette should be read by anyone who likes a good and entertaining historical read, and also would like to know more about the woman that became the queen of France. I am eager to read the next installment in this trilogy.

Other reviews:
Medieval Bookworm
Passages to the Past

Juliet Grey can be found at Goodreads here.

Review: Eve, Anna Carey

Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 336
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Release: October 2011
Source: ARC from Book Ecpo America
Nice to know: Eve is Anna Carey's debutnovel, and the first book in a planned trilogy. There are currently plans about making the books into a TV - Series by the people who make the Vampire Diaries come to life on screen.
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.  Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

A disappointing dystopian

Eve was one of the YA - books I was mostly looking forward to this year. The premise for the novel sounded interesting, even though there are a lot of dystopian books being published these days. Sadly the book didn't live up to my expectations.

A virus have killed a lot of people, and the remaing population are trying to build a new society behind the walls of a new town founded in the desert. Boys and girls are kept separate, and attend separate boarding schools. Eve is 16 years old, and was taken away from her mother when her mother got infected with the virus. Eve has lived most of her life inside the walls of her school, and she is looking forward to her graduation and to utilize some of the talents she has been tought over the years. The girls have been taught that life outside the school's walls are dangerous, and that boys and men are not to be trusted. They will only take advantage of a girl.
a relationship between two people can be judged by the list of things unspoken between them.
The day before her graduation, Eve makes a discovery that makes her question everyting she has been told. She understands that a horrible fate awaits her, and escapes from the school and out into a world where she does not know who she can trust.
for days in the wild, only the birds spoke to me. The stream was the only hand that touched me, the wind the only breath tht blew the dust from my eyes. I learned the strange art of loneliness, the weathered yearning that swells and passes, swells and passes, when you walk a trail alone.
Eve comes off to a good start. The author sets the atmosphere, and I am instantly interested in finding out more about Eve and her world. The suspense continues until Eve meets Caleb, from that point I lost interest in the story. Considering the things Eve have been taught at school, I find it hard to believe that Caleb and his friends gain Eve's trust so fast. The pace of the story also changed, and made me think of Lord of the Flies.

I also had a hard time sympatizing with Eve, my sympathies was with another female character. She had all the qualities I look for in a YA - heroine. Eve was to weak in my opinion, and I did not understand her motivations, for example I was puzzled that she chose to flee from school and leave her best friend in the arms of a terrible, terrible fate. Eve also has a hard time surviving by herself, she needs help from other characters.
Happiness is a moment.
Later in the book, when Eve meets Marjorie Cross, I thought that the author was inspired by the Stand by Stephen King.

On the back of the ARC Eve is compared to the Hunger Games. That is not a good comparison. Eve does not come close to Katniss, and the book lacks a lot of the depth one can find in the Hunger Games.

Eve is a light read, that will entertain you in the moment. But it is not a book I wil remember for long, and that makes me sad because the story had so much potensial. Anne Carey is a good writer, she knows her way around words, but Eve was not my favorite dystopian read.

Other reviews:
I Swim for Oceans
Reading Teen
Chick Loves Lit

Anna Carey's website can be found here, and you can visit the author on Goodreads here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Review: Fury, Elizabeth Miles

Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 352
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Release: August 30th 2011
Source: Arc from Book Expo America
Nice to Know: Fury is Miles' debutnovel.  Miles is author Lauren Oliver's best friend. This book is the first in a planned trilogy.

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems... Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend. On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed. In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay. Em and Chase have been chosen.

Choices that haunts you

Fury is an original tale with a message that everything you do will have concequences.

Emily Winters lives in Maine, where she spends her days just like any other teen. Problems arise when she gets the hots for her bestfriend's boyfriend. And he seems to be liking her too. Another character in the story, Chase, is struggling to forget something he did to a girl. Something that may have caused her to hurt herself. But soon he forgets all about her when he meets three mysterious girls...

Fury starts off with a dramatic prologue. Then we are cast into Emily Winter's world. Miles is a great storyteller, and the pages in this story seems to turn themselves. Emily did not know what her love for Zach would lead to. She did not imagine that her whole life could be turned completely around just because of one single kiss. But that is excatly what happened. I truly felt for her throughout the book. I also liked the fact that we did not get the explanation behind the prologue until later in the book.

Another thing I liked is the fact that I didn't know what the paranormal element was. I did not know the role the three girls had,maybe because I am not that into Greek mythology

It is a few months since I read this book, so my review therefore is a little sparse. But I remember that I was glued to the pages, unable to put the book down.

The book has an important message. You cannot hurt other people, because there will be concequences. And sometimes love just isn't enough.  I highly recommend the book.

Other reviews:
The Book Smugglers
Wondrous Reads
Overflowing Library

Elizabeth Miles' webpage is here and she can also be found on Goodreads here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Tempest

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, where we talk about books we are eager to read.

My pick this week is Tempest by Julie Cross
The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun. That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future. Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

3 reasons why I wanna read this book:

1. Timetravel

2. Sounds a bit like The Time Traveller's Wife for a young audience

2. A great cover ( You can always sell me a book on the cover)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox #33

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by the Story Siren, where we talk about the books we got last week.

I have been acquiring many books this summer, but I could not resist buying some books last week either. This is my last book buying this autumn, I swear. I will try to put myself on a book buying ban from now on.

Here are the books I got:

For review:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes: Every Other day ( E-galley)

Maryrose Wood: The Poison Diaries; Nightshade (E-galley & review copy in mail)
Rae Carson:The Girl of Fire and Thorns


Larissa Ione: Pleasure Unbound

Lucy Christopher: Stolen

Lara Adrian: Taken by Midnight 
Lara Adrian: Deeper than Midnight
Alexandra Harvey: Haunting Violet

Stacey Jay: Juliet Immortal
 Maryrose Wood: The Poison Diaries ( Kindle - edition)

I have also preordered some books, among them The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton. I am looking forward to having these show up in my mailbox. What did you get in your mailbox?
Blog designed by Dreamy Blog Designs using Kimla's Storytime kit.