Thursday, February 3, 2011

Haven by Kristi Cook

Source: Publisher

One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.

But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.

Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.

The first thing that popped out to me from this book was the amazing cover it has. It's so mysterious, yet eye-popping and it makes you want to know what this story is about. Also, the books and the butterfly lying on top made me wonder if it had some sort of meaning in the story. Then came the synopsis. Once I read that, I was sure that I was going to love this book, and I did.

Violet transfers to Winterhaven and she feels an urge - she knew it was the right place for her. And later on, she finds out what that urge meant and discovers the real meaning why she came to Winterhaven and who its students are. Then she falls for Aiden and he was always sweet to her and as the book progressed, I kept wondering what is he? I found out later in the book and I was shocked!

So many characters that I thought were good, turned out bad and the ones I thought were on the bad side, were actually on the good side and the ending is the most suprising of all. There was no cliffhanger, but I was suprised of how the story took off there.

Cook has shown her amazing ability to tell a story and I was on the edge of my seat all the time while reading his book. I just couldn't put it down and when I did, I kept thinking of it.

Overall, this was a great read and if you love the paranormal genre, this one does not disappoint and I will be reading more of Kristi Cook's books.



Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Tale of Two Pretties by Lisi Harrison

SOURCE: Publisher

Massie Block has long led the Pretty Committee—through boy drama, clique mutinies, and jealous wannabe attacks—while always in ah-dorable outfits. Over the past thirteen novels, avid fans of Massie, Alicia, Dylan, Kristin, and Claire, have made The Clique one of the premier bestselling series in the world. After the myriad of juicy escapades, the Clique is finally ready for their curtain call.

The Clique . . . the only thing harder than getting in is saying goodbye.

The final book in the Clique Series. Okay I'll admit, I was never really into this series, but when I saw the movie, I couldn't resist reading the first book, The Clique, but I haven't read any of the other book in the series except the last one now. But even though it was the last one, I didn't feel as though I was lost. Lisi Harrison still writes in a way that continues a series, but the book still feels as though it's a totally new book.

Massie here is broke and never did I think this would ever happen to her. But that problem totally gets fixed at the end and it's something that's so amazing. Reading about these girls was so much fun since all of them had thier own personalities that made them, them and they made up the clique.

Now I want to talk about the cover. All of the books in the Clique have had ah-mazing covers and this one did not disappoint. But if you're a big fan of the Clique series, read the final book because Lisi shows herself that not only is she a great writer, but also very talented.



Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

Source: Publisher

When 16-year-old Scarlett Wakefield transfers from St. Tabby’s to Wakefield Hall Collegiate, she is relieved that no one knows her dark, haunting secret. A few months ago, Scarlett was invited to an elite party with a guest list full of the hottest names in British society, including Dan McAndrew. Before the party, Scarlett had only imagined what it would be like to have her first kiss with Dan, but on the penthouse terrace, Dan leaned in close and she no longer had to wonder. Their kiss was beautiful and perfect and magical, and then . . . Dan McAndrew took his last breath as she held him in her arms. No one knows how or why Dan died, and everyone at St. Tabby’s believes Scarlett had something to do with it. But now that she’s safely hidden away at Wakefield Hall, Scarlett would rather forget that it ever happened. Only she can’t. Especially when she receives an anonymous note that will set her on the path to clearing her name and finding out what really happened to the first and last boy she kissed.

The synopsis was the first thing that got me all hyped up for this book. I have been looking forever for a great murder mystery and a british murder mystery was even better! Henderson starts off the book with a great hook and never did I find myself bored with it.

Scarlett kisses the guy she has always wanted to and once she does, he dies right on her arms. The entire book revolves arounf the mystery of how Dan died and Scarlett trying to figure it out herself. All Scarlett wanted was to fit in and when the most popular girl at St. Tabby's, Plum, asks Scarlett to come to a party, she says yes, leaving her friends behind. And after everything happens, and Scarlett has transfered, even her two best friends, Allison and Luce leave her.

I thought the cover of this book was okay. What sort of turned me off was the little spects of hair growing on the guy's chin, but otherwise the book totally makes up for it and I will be reading the sequal, KISSES AND LIES.

Overall, if you're looking for a great murder mystery, read this one!



Monday, January 17, 2011

Trapped by Michael Northrop

SOURCE: Publisher

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....

Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....

Imagine looking out your school window and seeing massive amounts of snow piling up. Most people would leave, but Scotty and his friends were trapped.

All they wanted was to go home and stay warm under the blankets, but that proved wrong as no one came for them and the snow piled so high, they had never seen so much before. At first, they thought it was going to be okay, but as the heater broke and the lights went out, they them realized they wre far from okay. If I were in their situation, who knows what would be going through my mind. I would be scared, especially knowing there is no way out and no one can see me.

At the beginning the book was a bit slow, but towards the end, it did pick up the pace and kept me waiting what was going to happen to Scotty and his friends. The ending was intense and I read it twice to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

The cover was one of my favorite things about this book. Just the cover alone lets you know what the book is about. So if snow is on its way and you know you'll be home, pick up this book with some hot chocolate and enjoy! It's the perfect book for a cold snowy day.



Monday, January 10, 2011

Warped by Maurissa Guibord

SOURCE: Publisher

Tessa doesn't believe in magic. Or Fate. But there's something weird about the dusty unicorn tapestry she discovers in a box of old books. She finds the creature woven within it compelling and frightening. After the tapestry comes into her possession, Tessa experiences dreams of the past and scenes from a brutal hunt that she herself participated in. When she accidentally pulls a thread from the tapestry, Tessa releases a terrible centuries old secret. She also meets William de Chaucy, an irresistible 16th-century nobleman. His fate is as inextricably tied to the tapestry as Tessa's own. Together, they must correct the wrongs of the past. But then the Fates step in, making a tangled mess of Tessa's life. Now everyone she loves will be destroyed unless Tessa does their bidding and defeats a cruel and crafty ancient enemy.

The synopsis for Warped immediatly captured my interest and once I began reading this book, I fell in love. It was written so magically and the plot was so original. Never have I ever read a book about tapestry and magic in it. I loved the time travel, especially when the book went back in time to see Tessa's and Will's story. There's not many YA time travel books out there, but this one really did make me want to search for more.

Tessa was a fun character. She starts off normal with no intention to bring a handsome boy from the 1500s into her world through tapestry. Will is so cute throughout the story, especially his love and car for Tessa and making sure she is safe from Gray Lily.

I absolutly loved the beautiful cover on this book. It's exactly what the book talks about. When I first saw the cover, I was a bit confussed on the whole plot, but once I began reading, I understood everything.

Overall this book is amazing and it does come out tomorrow, January 11, 2011 and you should go and get this one.



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vampire Crush A.M. Robinson

Source: Author

I swear, my life was always totally normal.

Normal house, normal family, normal school. My looks are average, I don't have any superpowers, no one's showing up to tell me I'm a princess—you get the picture. But when my junior year started, something not normal happened. There were new kids at school . . . new kids with a wardrobe straight out of a 19th-century romance novel, and an inexplicable desire to stay at school until sundown.

And on top of that, James Hallowell showed up. James, who stole my sandwiches in fourth grade and teased me mercilessly through middle school. James, who now seems to have the power to make my heart race any time he comes near.

But something weird is going on. Because James rarely goes out during the day. And he seems stronger than your typical guy. And he knows the new kids, all of whom seem to be harboring some kind of deep secret. . . .

Before you judge this book on the synopsis, wait. Vampire Crush is nothing like Twilight and I promise you that. I loved this book. I didn't really know what to expect from it since I too was worried it was going to be another Twilight, but it's not. It's full of action, adventure, and just plain fun. I enjoyed Sophie. She was a funny character and all she was trying to do was interview the new students who were totally freaking her out. Vlad was a total mystery to me. I kept wondering what is his problem? It seemed that one thing he said happened and all the girls were swooning all after him, espeially Sophie's sister.

Another great part about this book is the cover. I love the candy bat and the red velvet color in the background. It captures the book fully, but still leaves you with a question of what this book is going to be about.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more of A.M. Robinson's work.

♥♥♥ 1/2


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Forest of Adventures (Knight Trilogy #1) by Katie M. John - Review by Rissa

For seventeen year old Mina Singer, falling in love with an Arthurian Knight on a white horse was never part of the plan - especially being that she's an ordinary college girl living in the twenty first century.
As Mina finds herself catapulted into a land she believed only existed in the bedtime stories of her childhood, she soon discovers that Fairyland is not quite as innocent as she imagined.

The question is...who will come out alive?

Haunting, beautiful and sexy, The Forest of Adventures, is a dark romantic quest into the land of true and forbidden love.

The Forest of Adventures by Katie M. John is a beautiful story of an ordinary girl, Mina Singer, finds out that the life she once thought to be perfect is severely lacking. She realized this when she comes face to face with the handsome Blake Beldevier whose mysterious persona sweeps her off her feet, much to her dismay. What starts off as a hormonal/emotional struggle between right and wrong (can she choose this alluring new man over her faithful, loving boyfriend?), turns into a crisis in which Mina must step into a role she is totally unprepared for, and have to make choices that will break hearts, and shake up her destiny.


In reading this I found that Ms. John took a fairly well known plot, and added just enough details to make it come alive once more. Let's face it, there's only so many times one can read a story about a girl who realizes that her life is not what she wants it to be, but once you throw in a knight, Arthurian legend, a life-or-death major dramatic question, and Morgan Le Fay, you've got yourself an amazing story! I especially loved how Ms. John put so much detail and depth into Mina's thoughts about her boyfriend Sammy. As I was reading I felt like I was right there with Mina, experiencing her guilt, her indecision, and her sacrifice.


The cover of this book is alluring, and instantly made me wonder what it was about, and want to read more into it. The girl, who I presume to be Mina, is standing in a forest surrounded by trees, beautiful flowers, and a starry sky. It gives off a magical feeling, and sets the mood for the story. It is also a plot device for an important setting in the book.


I very much enjoyed Mina's character, and especially her dedication to Sammy, her boyfriend who she obviously cares for, even when she finds herself falling for Blake. Perhaps it's due to guilt, but I found it impressive that she openly admitted that she still cared for Sammy, and was willing to risk it all to save him, even though she truly loved Blake. I sometimes find female lead characters to be complely vapid, and I am happy to report that Mina broke the mold. I also loved her ability to verbally spar with Blake, she never gave into him too quickly and many times I found myself laughing at her antics.

Now, for Blake. Oh, dear Blake, how I love you. Handsome, honorable, romantic, brooding, how can one not be completely enchanted by him? With the character of Blake I particularly loved how Ms. John made the knight-in-shining-armor persona into the actual character of a knight. I also appreciated that he was far from being the perfect man, expecially given the "brooding" aspect of his character. There were several places where Mina is greatly frustrated/annoyed/ by this, as was I, but it made him all the more alive. After all, what's a handsome guy without a tragic backstory?

I'm grouping the last two characters together in this part, because I found that they were perfect foils to one another; these two characters would be Vivian and Morgan. I absolutely loved the character of Vivan; mysterious, selfless, motherly- and Morgan; evil, manipulative, and scheming. I really loved the author's take on these recognizable literary names, because it made them both more relatable.


The mysterious prologue is the first thing the reader will encounter upon opening the book (at least, I would hope it is!). I found it to be alluring and a perfect draw in, because one cannot help but wonder, 'what in the world is going on?' Well, you won't know for a while, but you'll definitely keep reading because you will want to find out!

"The pain is exquisite, the pain is love."
See?? Aren't you dying to read more??

I was so impressed by the way that Ms. John wove key plot points together, in a way that was entirely unexpected. For example, with the character of Sammy, in a million years I did not expect him to play the part he did. In the beginning he was the rather stereotypical and safe boyfriend but, in ways I can't explain for fear of ruining the surprise, his is the role that will test Mina's resolve...and her love.

As I have said in the past, I adore stories about knights, kings, chivalry, and magic. If you find yourself in loving the same themes, Forest of Adventures is the book for you! And, if it's not, check it out anyway, because you may find a new genre to love!

I found that the story had the perfect balance of Arthurian and modern themes, as well as msytery, plot twists and, as you may have guessed, adventure. Katie M. John has written into existance a world that the reader can easily get drawn into and will not want to leave.


Let me say this, the ending leave you absolutely breathless, in shock, and dying for more. I was stunned because the biggest plot twist in the book happens in the last few pages, so I will warn...don't get too comfortable because you will be blown away, and wanting more!

In conclusion, I truly enjoyed this book and I give it a rating of ♥♥♥♥