Sunday, July 20, 2014

Summer Vacation, Beach Reads & Puppies

It feels pretty good to be blogging again after the extended break I had to take for two reasons. First, there was the three-week vacation in Denmark. And the second reason is named Kira. Our Golden retriever Amy is 1 1/2 years old now and since she hasn't lost her anxiety about loud noises and new places, we decided it best to get a second dog who might be able to stabilize her in situations of great distress. Kira is a Bernaise Mountain dog and 13 weeks old. We got her just before we left for Denmark and so far it has been a stressfull, but awesome time with her. After two days of obsessive stalking the little pup, Amy grew to like her so much and has been showing signs of feeling more secure in certain situations. I believe Amy & Kira are already best buddies for life. They enjoyed the vacation and absolutely loved the beach. Here are a few pictures.








The Denmark vacation was much needed and finally I had time to read a few books that I've been dying to read in the past months. I feel like my blogging spirits have been re-energized and I can finally catch up on a few reviews. I managed to read 10 books in total (started the first at home and finished the last at home,too). Here's what I read in Denmark



Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg **** 4 stars
Veronica Mars - The Thousand Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham **** 4 stars
Hooked by Liz Fichera *** 3 stars
The One by Kiera Cass **** 4 stars
Unsticky by Sarra Manning **** 4 stars

TAKE A BOW by Elizabeth Eulberg was a very cute read and the perfect book to kick off my reading vacation. I've been wanting to read VERONICA MARS - THE THOUSAND DOLLAR TAN LINE by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham since I've watched the movie and while it wasn't as fulfulling as the Tv show or the movie, it was definitely great to read about what happens in Neptune after the movie ends. HOOKED by Liz Fichera was an okay read. I saw a lot of people tweeting that they practically hated THE ONE by Kiera Cass so I was quite surprised that I actually liked it. I took me almost a week to read UNSTICKY by Sarra Manning and even though I had a slow start and difficulties to get into the story, I really grew to like Grace in the end.




Lobsters by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison *** 3 stars
The Iron Trial by Cassandra Clare and Holly Black ***/* 3,5 stars
It Had to Be You by Jo Carnegie ****/* 4,5 stars
Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland ***** 5 stars
Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick **** 4 stars

LOBSTERS by Tom Ellen and Lucy Ivison an okay read for me, funny but sometimes too juvenile. Cassandra Clare and Holly Black working together on a book is a dream come true for many readers. THE IRON TRIAL was a good Middle Grade read with a comforting sort of magic to it. IT HAD TO BE YOU by Jo Carnegie was the perfect read to satisfy my chick lit needs. When I read NANTUCKET BLUE by Leila Howland, it finally felt like I'd found my beach read of the year. Ordered a copy of its sequel NANTUCKET RED after chapter two or three. Coming out in October, BLACK ICE by Becca Fitzpatrick is a dark and dangerous thriller that was awesome in a whole different way than the beach reads before.


After years of avoiding novellas I finally finished my first! And all because of...Warner! I never thought I'd fall in love with him because I was totally shipping Juliette and Adam in SHATTER ME. My loyalties began to shift in UNRAVEL ME and by possibly the end of chapter one in IGNITE ME, my heart belonged to Warner and that hasn't changed since. DESTROY ME is written from Warner's point of view. Now I'd kill for IGNITE ME written from his perspective! Even though I'm pretty sure I won't become a novella girl, I'm very happy I read this one. **** 4 stars go to DESTROY ME!


Q! So that's what I read so far this summer. Tell me about your vacation or the books you read. Which is your favourite summer read so far?

Mini Reviews #25

After an extended blogging break I'm finally back with a new mini reviews post. 17 FIRST KISSES by Rachael Allen, THE THINGS YOU KISS GOODBYE by Leslie Connor and THROUGH TO YOU by Lauren Barnholdt  are June and July 2014 releases and all make for great summer reads.


17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

Claire and Megan are best friends and they are completely boy-crazy. When a new boy moves to town Claire is determined he could finally be her one true love but she has to risk her friendship with Megan in order to test her theory.
Claire and Megan's friendship was always presented like it couldn't coexist with their dating life. Her list of kisses, which Claire often talks about like trophies or inanities, is long. And so I couldn't help thinking that her emotional world felt very limited. Or maybe I just  couldn't see any sense in the fight she has with her supposedly best friend Megan over the new boy Luke. 
Luke and Claire's love story could've been something to enjoy if he really were the one boy who she truly cared about. But with all the fighting going on between the two girls, their romance gets petty and complicated fast and wasn't that romantic and dreamy in the end.


3/5 *** 17 FIRST KISSES - A mostly kissable YA contemporary debut 2014. But better be prepared for all the boy drama!

One potentially great love story for Claire is not nearly enough to make up for all the juvenile fighting between Claire and Megan we have to endure. But Rachael Allen also tells a bunch of funny, awkward and cute stories of first kisses that make her debut novel a YA contemporary you might want to check out.


Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: June 17th 2014
Length: 319 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, friendship
Source: Edelweiss
Author's Homepage



The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor

Bettina lives a very controlled life somewhat removed from friends, dating or fun activities other people her age would take for granted. She lives on a farm with her parents and two little brothers and has to abide by the strict rules her Greek father enforces on her. I often felt sorry for her since her father seemed to observe her every move and keep her outings to a very limited number. And where the family story didn't really work for me, Bettina's love life was looking kind of complicated, too. It wasn't always easy to feel a connection to Bettina. 
She also lives in an abusive relationship until she meets someone new. A different boy, an older boy. Two love stories and not one of them really convinced me. Then there's a great tragedy, too, which changes everything. You see, Bettina's story is anything but easy. Hopefully, many readers will appreciate the time Leslie Connor gave her protagonist in order to come out of all the unfortunate things she had to deal with, changed and a better and stronger person.


3/5 *** THE THINGS YOU KISS GOODBYE - A very special love story with Greek temper and a tragedy that changes everything! 

Bettina's story was pretty decent. She was a character I liked one chapter, then had a few issues with in the next. So in general, I feel very ambivalent about this story when I look at the balance of its bright and very dark moments. One thing I have to give Leslie Connor, she definitely surprised me at one point in the story, so much so that the story got a different quality to it. Totally unexpected!


Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: June 24th 2014
Length: 368 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, family, friendship, abuse, Greek culture
Source: Publisher
Author's Homepage



Through To You by Lauren Barnholdt

Harper and Penn's story is one that tells how opposites attract each other. Lauren Barnholdt's newest book is told from his and her perspective. Chapters read fast and easily, which I liked just fine.
When I hear about a new novel by Lauren Barnholdt I'm always excited about the story and can't wait to read it, but in the end it's just not enough. With its cute premise THROUGH TO YOU sounded like the kind of story fans of Simone Elkeles or Katie McGarry could be interested in. But as always with Lauren's books, the characters didn't feel as forthcoming, well-rounded or with enough emotional depth as they could've been. But don't get me wrong, Harper and Penn's love story is cute and I guess theirs is the one that I liked best out of Lauren's stories.


3/5 *** THROUGH TO YOU - Penn and Harper are Lauren Barnholdt's cutest couple so far!

I  like that Lauren Barnholdt's books always make for a fast and light read with a little morale lesson or emotional or personal conflict solved. I will keep reading her books even though I fear I won't ever be completely satisfied by them. Maybe if I just accept that, I can hopefully enjoy them more in the future.


Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publishing Date: July 8th 2014
Length: 256 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, romance, high school
Source: Edelweiss
Author's Homepage

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blog Tour: My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal - Behind The Pages #6


My Behind The Pages post for the month of June is a special one because it is part of the MY LAST KISS blog tour by Bethany Neal. Today Bethany Neal shares two annotated pages from her debut novel with us and tells us about her inspiration for Cassidy's shimmery skin. Thanks to Bethany Neal for asking me to be a part of her MY LAST KISS blog tour and for all the work she put into this guest post! Hope you enjoy it and pick up a copy of MY LAST KISS!

_____________________________________________________


What if your last kiss was with the wrong boy?

Cassidy Haines remembers her first kiss vividly. It was on the old covered bridge the summer before her freshman year with her boyfriend of three years, Ethan Keys. But her last kiss--the one she shared with someone at her seventeenth birthday party the night she died--is a blur. Cassidy is trapped in the living world, not only mourning the loss of her human body, but left with the grim suspicion that her untimely death wasn't a suicide as everyone assumes. She can't remember anything from the weeks leading up to her birthday and she's worried that she may have betrayed her boyfriend. If Cassidy is to uncover the truth about that fateful night and make amends with the only boy she'll ever love, she must face her past and all the decisions she made--good and bad--that led to her last kiss.


Bethany Neal writes YA novels with a little dark side and a lot of kissing from her Ann Arbor, Michigan home. The things she is obsessed with include, but are not limited to: nail polish, ginormous rings, pigs, dream analysis, memorizing song lyrics, pickles, dessert, predestined love, not growing up, sour gummy candies, music videos, Halloween, and fictional boys who play guitar.

MY LAST KISS is her first novel. Connect with her online at www.bethanyneal.com and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BethDazzled.

_____________________________________________________

Tour Schedule


May 26 The Fantastic Flying Book Club, Welcome post

Day 1- May 27 Word Spelunking, Top 10 Kisses (t/o pop culture) numbers 6-10
Reading Teen, Top 10 Kisses (t/o pop culture) numbers 1-5

Day 2- May 28 YA Love, Writing Advice

Day 3- May 29 YAdult Review, Top 6 Bad Boys (who aren't so bad)

Day 4- May 30 Book Loving Me, Story Inspiration

 Day 5- May 31 Broke & Bookish, Top 7 Ghost Stories

Day 6- June 1 Tales of a Ravenous Reader, Pinterest Inspiration Board
YA Reads, Easter Egg Hunt

Day 7- June 2 Michelle & Leslie’s Book Picks, Musical Inspiration
Miss-Page Turner's City of Books, Behind The Pages

Day 8- June 3 Supernatural Snark, Character Interview, Ethan
GUEST POST First Kiss Stories, Amy Plum’s Blog

Day 9- June 4 The Hiding Spot, Q&A
Reader Girls, Ghostly "Rules"

Day 10- June 5 Book Addicts Guide, Open Interview
Anna Reads, My First Fictional Crush

Day 11- June 6 Lady Reader's BookStuff, Playlist Reveal

Day 12- June 7 Books As You Know It, Q&A
Book Rat, Character Interview, Cassidy

Day 13- June 8 Proud Book Nerd, Characters Theme Songs
Girls in the Stacks, Podcast

Day 14- June 9 Literary Rambles, Interview/Review & signed book giveaway
YA Sisterhood, Top 10 Fictional Crushes

Day 15- June 10 The Best Books Ever, Origin Story

Day 16 June 11 Fantastic Flying Book Club, Swag Giveaway & Review


_____________________________________________________

My Last Kiss by Bethany Neal


Bethany Neal: Even though my main character is a ghost(ish), I still believe My Last Kiss is more of a contemporary story than a paranormal one. The struggles Cassidy and her friends face with friendships and loyalty, personal judgment, and self-medicating through alcohol and drugs are very much rooted in reality. However, the story element that I had the most fun with while writing was Cassidy’s ghostly appearance.



The two annotated pages are from MY LAST KISS, FSG Books for Young Readers, 2014.


 _____________________________________________________

The Inspiration 

 The inspiration for her pearlescent shimmery skin came from three very unrelated sources.


Inspiration #1: Edward Cullen. Isn’t he so pretty? But too pretty for a teenage ghost with amnesia. I explain below. 

My first instinct when I started exploring options for how my version of a “ghost” would look was—as with everything else good in life—it should sparkle. This inevitably led to Edward Cullen because, let’s be honest, what doesn’t lead to him in the end? But I didn’t want Cassidy’s ghostly transformation to be as overtly beautiful as aforementioned sparkly vampire. I wanted her appearance to be illusive and intangible to relate back to her circumstance. She’s lost her memory; she literally can’t get a grip on her life or what happened to her. That’s where bubbles came to mind.


Inspiration #2: Soap Bubbles

There’s a sense of nostalgia when you think of blowing bubbles or chasing them as a child. It’s such a carefree association, but you can never truly enjoy a bubble for yourself. It’s beautiful and light and it makes you smile up until it inevitably pops the second you take hold of it. Bubbles are actually quite bittersweet if you think about it. Bubbles are also iridescent, which led me to my third inspiration.

  
Inspiration #3: The Inside of an Oyster Shell 

At one point in the book Ethan describes Cassidy’s skin as looking like “see through pearls,” and that’s ultimately the image I clung to for her otherworldly complexion. Though I did retain the sparkles for when she dissolves into “dust” when passing through people. The dust just had to sparkle!




_________________________________________________

Signing Info


MY LAST KISS Launch Party!!!
When Tuesday, June 10, 2014 7pm
Where Nicola’s Books
2513 Jackson Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Details Join Bethany in publication day festivities! There will be cake, swag giveaways, and the signing of many books.


Michigan Author Event  
When Saturday, June 14, 2014 2-4pm
Where Barnes & Noble
3311 Tittabawassee Rd.
Saginaw, MI 48604
Details Visit Bethany and fellow YAer Aimee Carter in the Teen section during this store wide event featuring Michigan authors from varying genres.


Up North 2-Day Event: Signing/Writing Workshop

SIGNING
When Friday, June 20, 2014 2-4pm
Where McLean & Eakin Bookstore
307 E. Lake St.
Petoskey, MI 49770

WORKSHOP
When Saturday, June 21, 2014 10am-12pm
Where McLean & Eakin Bookstore
307 E. Lake St.
Petoskey, MI 49770
Details Call McLean & Eakin for more information (231) 347-1180.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Book Review: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sarra Manning


Title: You Don't Have to Say You Love Me
Author: Sarra Manning
Publisher: Corgi
Publishing Date: February 3rd 2011
Length: 555 pages
Keywords: Adult, romance, sex, friendship, weight loss
Source: Bought

Sweet, bookish Neve Slater always plays by the rules. And the number one rule is that good-natured fat girls like her don't get guys like gorgeous, handsome William, heir to Neve's heart since university. But William's been in LA for three years, and Neve's been slimming down and re-inventing herself so that when he returns, he'll fall head over heels in love with the new, improved her.

So she's not that interested in other men. Until her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess and not the fumbling, awkward girl he left behind, then she'd better get some, well, experience.

What Neve needs is someone to show her the ropes, someone like Celia's colleague Max. Wicked, shallow, sexy Max. And since he's such a man-slut, and so not Neve's type, she certainly won't fall for him. Because William is the man for her... right?

Somewhere between losing weight and losing her inhibitions, Neve's lost her heart - but to whom?


Summary by Goodreads






YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME is my favourite Sarra Manning book so far out of all her YA and adult books. Even if Sarra's books don't sound like a perfect match for you, she makes them fit. I learned to give every book of hers a chance because in the end I could hardly say I disliked one word of her writing.

Neve is like this very real girl who could live in the flat above you or the nice girl who helps you pick up the stuff you accidentally dropped in the grocery store. She was so relatable it was no surprise I felt a strong kinship for her. She was unlike any other fictional chick lit girl I had met so far and I wanted her to be real so badly and be friends with her. Perhaps reading her story felt so emotional and real because she is dealing with a major issue so many women deal with today, losing weight and honestly evaluating your body image.

Max was the perfect male counterpart for Neve! Everyone keeps describing him a man slut. But we are granted the pleasure to know him a totally different way from the moment we meet him. He might be a tease, but he's honest and gentle and cuddly, and such a sexy sexpert. Neve wants to have Max in her life because he is so much more experienced than she is and she hopes he can kind of train her for her one true love, William. I can't imagine anyone being Team William after meeting Max first. William sends letters Neve's way, but any scene with Neve thinking about him or talking to him kind of lost me for the time it lasted. No wonder, because they didn't have Max in them, too. You can see he's my absolute favourite out of all the chick lit book boys.

The sex scenes that were a major part of Neve and Max's relationship long before feelings came into play, were some of the best I've read so far. I love how Sarra Manning took Neve on this adventurous experience of first real love and showed her how being loved, physically and emotionally could feel like, if you just found the right person. Every time Max and Neve got together my heart kept growing. Grab a copy of YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME and see for yourself how amazing their chemistry and love story is. 






5/5 ***** YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME – Yes, I do. Very much!

YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME was my highlight in the end of 2013. Who would've thought I'd rush through this 555 page book in no time and fall in love with the characters so much that I still think about them when I finished the story months ago. When I muse what Neve and Max would be up to right now a cheeky smirk of the Max kind steals over my face. 







"'Not really much point in going to bed, is there?' Max shifted in his seat so his arm and leg were pressed against Neve's. 'I'm sure we could find something else to do to pass the time.' He said it lightly and with that cheeky little smirk so Neve decided not to take offence. She smiled instead, secure in the knowledge that there was every point in going to bed, alone, to sleep for a solid five hours." p.29







YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME you might enjoy UNSTICKY by Sarra Manning, THE LONGEST HOLIDAY by Paige Toon and HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU by Mhairi McFarlane. Three chick lit stories that are whatever you need them to be. Smart, sexy & sweet.








* Have you read IT FELT LIKE A KISS yet?

* Click here to read an excerpt of YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME.

* For more information about Sarra and her books visit www.sarramanning.co.uk.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Book Review: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern


Title: Say What You Will
Author: Cammie McGovern
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publishing Date: June 3rd 2014
Length: 352 pages
Keywords: YA, contemporary, friendship, love, cerebral palsy, OCD
Source: Publisher

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other's lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Summary by Goodreads






Amy and Matthew both have their issues to deal with. Amy was born with cerebral palsy and Matthew's days are defined by his obsessive-compulsive disorder. They both tell you about their school and home lives, and their blossoming relationship from their own perspectives. These alternating chapters were definitely important to the story because what shapes their relationship and determines their actions and feelings is made up of very complex processes. You learn what it means to have OCD or cerebral palsy, the varying levels of them, how they can develop and ways of therapy.

Matthew comes into Amy's life in form of a student aide. I wasn't even familiar with that concept before I read SAY WHAT YOU WILL. I learned a lot reading Amy and Matthew's story and it sure helped me to think myself in the position of students who are affected by anything like our two main characters.

SAY WHAT YOU WILL kicked off with a very strong first half in which I was absolutely invested in Amy and Matthew's stories. Then something happened that threw me and the characters completely off course and after that I didn't really get into the original mood of the story again. I can't say anything about the events that led to a turn in the story and practically put a buffer on all my cheering for Amy and Matthew's love story. Not sure how other readers dealt with the last part of the book, but I'm sure not everyone sees what's happening as critical to the story as I do.

Cammie McGovern's first YA novel is set in high school. It's Amy and Matthew's senior year. And SAY WHAT YOU WILL is about all the usual stuff that is high school, but it's also about the things that are different for our two characters and why. There are even chapters on Amy and Matthew's lives after high school. In general I really like when the end of high school isn't the end of the story.

Amy and Matthew. Friendship and love. Their lives are made up of clear boundaries. Things people think they can't do or even things their illness keeps them from doing. And now when it comes to two of the most important emotional investments in life, the boundaries that have been ever-present in their lives before are blurring. Considering Cammie's writing technique and her easing the reader slowly, first into Amy and Matthew's friendship, and then into their possible love scenario, SAY WHAT YOU WILL is an amazing read.






3/5 *** SAY WHAT YOU WILL - Messy, enabling and very beautiful in parts!

This could be one of the most real and inspiring stories you are ever going to read. Amy and Matthew's love story is unpredictable in many ways, some you'll like, others may be somewhat infuriating. One thing is clear though, this story is one very challenged love story in many aspects. It will draw out your emotions and may as well steal your heart.







"Everything changed for Amy after that conversation with Matthew.
For most of her school life, Amy had felt a little like Rapunzel, locked in the tower her walker created when she walked down hallways. In eleven years, no one had ever called up to her window or asked for her hair. No one had ever tried to be her friend.
Impossible, you might say. Everyone has some friends.
No, Amy would have to say. Not everyone." p. 21







SAY WHAT YOU WILL you might enjoy WONDER by R.J. Palacio. You'll love this Middle Grade story about brave Auggie who was born with a facial deformity. FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB by Antony John tells the story of deaf Piper who has to manage a rock band. And GIRL, STOLEN by April Henry is about the kidnapping of the blind Cheyenne. These books have protagonists who are challenged in some way, and I'm sure you'll enjoy all of them.








* How do you like the UK cover for Amy & Matthew's story?

* Want to meet Cammie McGovern? Check out her event schedule.

* For more information about Cammie and her books visit www.cammiemcgovern.com.

* Thanks to Harper Collins International for the ARC of SAY WHAT YOU WILL!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Behind The Pages #5 - Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris


Welcome to my new Behind The Pages post! You can find last month's post of this feature, with Jennifer Salvato Doktorski and her debut novel How My Summer Went Up In Flames, here. Today I'm sharing annotated pages from UNRAVELING by Elizabeth Norris with you, a fast-paced and thrilling read!

What is Behind The Pages all about? I asked some of my favourite authors and a bunch of promising 2014 debut authors to annotate a scene, page or more of one of their books. I see the feature as a chance to show readers what's behind a page. Authors can share their favourite writing memories, the music that influenced a certain scene or anything else that comes to their mind. We might get hints to what the characters were thinking and feeling that exact moment or other fun details about their story. Hope you enjoy Behind The Pages as much as I do. I'm intending this feature to be a monthly post here on the blog.

Thanks to all the incredible authors who took the time to annotate a page or scene for us, your comments are always so insightful and fun to read. When readers can't get enough of a book and its characters it only shows how much the author's work means to them, to us. Thank you! 

_____________________________________________________


Sixteen-year-old Janelle Tenner is used to having a lot of responsibility. She balances working as a lifeguard in San Diego with an intense academic schedule. Janelle's mother is bipolar, and her dad is a workaholic FBI agent, which means Janelle also has to look out for her younger brother, Jared.

And that was before she died... and is brought back to life by Ben Michaels, a mysterious, alluring loner from her high school. When she discovers a strange clock that seems to be counting down to the earth's destruction, Janelle learns she has twenty-four days to figure out how to stop the clock and save the planet.



Source
About Elizabeth Norris: "Elizabeth Norris briefly taught high school English and history before trading the southern California beaches and sunshine for Manhattan's recent snowpocalyptic winter. She harbors dangerous addictions to guacamole, red velvet cupcakes, sushi, and Argo Tea, fortunately not all together. Her first novel, UNRAVELING (Balzer+Bray, April 2012), is the story of one girl’s fight to save her family, her world, and the one boy she never saw coming." (Author bio found on Goodreads.)


 _____________________________________________________

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris











 _____________________________________________________

 Snap Shots 

Here are pictures of Sunset Cliffs. Photo credit goes to Jaime Arnold from Two Chicks on Books (she took them after reading the book).




















 _____________________________________________________

Soundtrack

The song that was Elizabeth Norris' romantic inspiration for Ben and Janelle was "All I Need" by Within Temptation.

  

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mini Review #24

Today I'm sharing three mini reviews of two sequels I should have reviewed a long time ago and an omnibus edition. A MILLION SUNS by Beth Revis, WINGS OF THE WICKED by C.A. Moulton and SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME ONE by Rachel Vincent.


A Million Suns by Beth Revis

Three months have passed since the events of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. Elder rules Godspeed and Amy is still adapting to life on the spaceship. When a revolution starts building and mysterious clues about the ship's history appear, the chance for a happy landing is dropping rapidly. A MILLION SUNS is practically a big hunt for clues as to what happened on Godspeed many years ago, what the future holds and how the past might still have the power to influence the present. 
The story was fast when I needed it to be fast and reveal many details at once. And when it came to my favourite moments and I wanted them to last longer, my wish was granted. Beth's writing is in an unique sync with her reader. The chapters alternate between Amy and Elder's point of view, both fabulously written! Amy and Elder's romance is even better than it was in the first book (and that was one book I loved to pieces!). So I'd say A MILLION SUNS has everything you expect from a great sci-fi space adventure.


5/5 ***** A MILLION SUNS - Beth Revis's Godspeed appears like a whole new YA world of its own.

A MILLION SUNS is one of the best sequels I have ever read. I'm considering myself very lucky to have been introduced to the sci-fi genre by Beth Revis' excellent trilogy. I have already read all three books in the series. Wish I could get a do-over and read this trilogy for the first time again.


Publisher: Razorbill
Publishing Date: January 10th 2012
Length: 386 pages
Keywords: YA, sci-fi, thriller, romance, spaceship adventure
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage



Wings of the Wicked by C.A. Moulton

ANGELFIRE was one of the first great book loves in my early blogging life. The reason I loved it so much was the sharp contrast between Will and Ellie's love story and the dangerous and harsh demon hunting life. Demons we encounter plenty in WINGS OF THE WICKED, too. And the action and fights fit the story. It was the romance between Ellie and Will that confronted me with too many silly back and forth situations between wanting each other and knowing they couldn't be together.
Almost a year passed after ANGELFIRE until I read WINGS OF THE WICKED and I could hardly remember anything about the story. And now it's been a while since I read WINGS OF THE WICKED. I might have to re-read both books before SHADOWS IN THE SILENCE so that I can really enjoy the end to Will and Ellie's story with all the background knowledge and details of their history needed. I'm still curious how it's all going to end!


3,5/5 ***/* WINGS OF THE WICKED -  A tough second round in the battle against evil!

Ellie and Will's fights against demons are as furious and dramatic as in the first book in the ANGELFIRE trilogy. There's just too much teenage drama going on in WINGS OF THE WICKED for my taste. Hoping for a more mature love story in the third book!


Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publishing Date: January 31st 2012
Length: 516 pages
Keywords: YA, action, angels, demons, romance
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage



Soul Screamers Volume One by Rachel Vincent

Kaylee is a bean sidhe and hers is a very old power. Whenever someone dies she screams. Together with the two brothers Nash and Tod she's trying to come behind all the secrets about her beansidhe existence and special talent.
So the story is told from Kaylee's perspective who is your average YA narrator with a love story that was good in some scenes, but nothing breathtaking either. A relationship conflict between Kaylee and the two brothers is insinuated. I really don't want to deal with the whole impact of that and think it best to stop right here before I start the next five books and am disappointed again. The background info on bean sidhes, female and male, about them singing to the dead souls was something new, something I hadn't read about before.
SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME ONE includes the first two books in the series and a prequel to Kaylee's story that's about 60 pages. MY SOUL TO LOSE, the novella, was actually my favourite part of the entire story. MY SOUL TO TAKE and MY SOUL TO SAVE both had promising beginnings, too, but fast became tiring and too tedious to hold my attention for more than a few pages every time I tried to get back into the story.


2,5/5 **/* SOUL SCREAMERS VOLUME ONE – Despite the very cool bean sidhe story construct, the soul screamers couldn't enchant me.

While I was reading this very lengthy SOUL SCREAMS VOLUME ONE I was wondering when I would be finally done with the book. And that clearly is a warning signal to keep my hands off the other books in this series. For everyone who can get into the story, I bet the seven books in this series plus various novellas will be much fun.


Publisher: Harlequin
Publishing Date: November 22nd 2011
Length: 570 pages
Keywords: YA, bean sidhe, romance, paranormal, brothers
Source: Bought
Author's Homepage