Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Angel Star Inspired Jewelry

Hey there,

Today I read of Jennifer Murgia's twitter that there is jewelry inspired by ANGEL STAR!!! Here's the link for those of you who want to take a look.

- Ana

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vampire Academy - Review by Rissa

Lissa Dragomir is a Moroi princess: a mortal vampire with an unbreakable bond to the earth's magic. She must be protected at all times from Strigoi; the fiercest and most dangerous vampires--the ones who never die. The powerful blend of human and vampire blood that flows through Rose Hathaway, Lissa's best friend, makes her a Dhampir; she is dedicated to a dangerous life of protecting Lissa from the Strigoi, who are hell-bent on making her one of them. After two years of illicit freedom, Rose and Lissa are caught and dragged back to St. Vladimir's Academy, hidden in the deep forests of Montana. Rose will continue her Dhampir education. Lissa will go back to being Queen of the elite Moroi social scene. And both girls will resume breaking hearts. Fear made Lissa and Rose run away from St. Vladimir's--but their world is fraught with danger both inside and out of the Academy's iron gates. Here, the cutthroat ranks of the Moroi perform unspeakable rituals and their secretive nature and love of the night creates an enigmatic world full of social complexities. Rose and Lissa must navigate through this dangerous world, confront the temptation of forbidden romance, and never once let their guard down, lest the Strigoi make Lissa one of them forever...


Once upon a time I thought it utterly impossible to take the plot of a "mysterious boarding school" and make it into a worthwhile story, because, let's face it, it's a complete cliche anymore. Also, vampires? Puh-lease, in recent days I think we can all agree that they've been done to death (pun slightly intended). So, going in, I can see how one might assume that Vampire Academy is the lovechild of the two hideously hackneyed cliches. Well, my friend, you would be entirely wrong.
Part of the charm of this story lies in the fact that vampires are barely mentioned, instead, Mead uses the Russian culture and names to differentiate between the good vampires, the Moroi, and the evil vampires, the Strigoi. The characters who are not one of the two aforementioned, come from the dhampir race. As explained by early in the story, dhampirs are the result of the union between a vampire and a human, and their purpose is to protect the somewhat weaker Moroi royalty. The main character, Rose Hathaway, is one of these.

The cover is simple and alluring, a picture of who we can only assume to be Rose is staring out with a devious smile from behind the gates of the Vampire Academy.

Rose narrates the story, and the reader is thrown into the plot as she and her best friend Lissa are running away from some unknown evil. Rose is Lissa's unofficial guardian and we learn that they are running away from their school, again, for an unexplained reason, but they are being pursued. Their captor, the irresistible Dimitri Belikov (readers, you gotta love him ;) ), drags them back to the Academy, where Lissa immediately finds her way back into the ranks as 'Queen," and Rose is punished with aggressive training from Dimitri.
The reader immediately is forced to form an opinion on Rose. Many like her, but some may find her arrogance obnoxious. My opinion of Rose is positive, because while she is often rude and big mouthed, she is loyal and caring. Lissa, on the other hand, I did not like. Her character is perfect for the role she plays, but I find her to be fake and obsessed with being popular and liked. While this does not always ring true, Rose often is portrayed as a better friend, whereas Lissa quickly assumes a high and mighty attitude upon their return.

As the story progresses, we get to know Rose. She's blunt, sarcastic, protective, and often seen as a delinquent by most of her superiors. However, her friends know she is willing to stand up for them to the bitter end, and she will fight for the ones she loves. Unfortunately, that love turns sour, when she can no longer deny her growing attraction to her mentor, the one and only Dimitri.
Getting back to the story, something strange is going on with in the school. Aside from having to worry about the typical drama and divas, someone is threatening the Lissa. They are killing animals and leaving them for her to find, and it soon becomes clear that this is more than a petty grudge. The animals grown to have more significance, someone wants her to be afraid and the blood smeared at the scenes of the attacks becomes a less a threat and more of a bitter reality. As the attacks progress they get more personal, and the mysterious attacker will seemingly stop at nothing, even stooping to involve Rose and Dimitri in a risque situation that neither is soon to forget.

I can always tell a good book by it's ending, and this one does not disappoint. While it is not a cliffhanger, the reader will definitely want to read more about Rose, Lissa, Dimitri, and the other characters that Richelle Mead introduces. Bonds are formed, and the characters are not easily forgotten.
In conclusion, best book I have ever read? No. Will I be awaiting the sequels with bated breath? Most definitely! :)

Originality: 17/25
Cover: 13/15
Ending: 15/20
Characters: 18/20
Plot: 20/20


Monday, June 28, 2010

Saving Zoe - Review by Ana

Meet fifteen-year-old Echo, a typical teen trying to survive high school without being totally traumatized by boy trouble, friend drama, and school issues. As if she didn't have enough on her plate, Echo is also still dealing with the murder of her sister Zoë. Although it's been over a year, Echo is still reeling from tragedy that changed everything. Beautiful and full of life, Zoë was the glue that held her family together, and although the two sisters were as different as night and day, they still had a bond that Echo can't let go of. When Zoë's old boyfriend Marc shows up one day with Zoë's diary, Echo doesn't think there's anything in there she doesn't already know. But as she gives in to curiosity and starts reading, she learns that her sister led a secret life that no one could have guessed--not even Echo.

SAVING ZOE had me gripped from page one. I loved how Zoe’s diary unfolded into her world and helped Echo realize many things and understand her sister better. Losing a sister, or even family member, is hard, but this book showed how Echo got over it because having Zoe’s diary right next to her, it felt like she still had Zoe with her. But once I reached the end of the book, I cried. When the diary finished, I cried. It was very emotional how the journey that Echo was going on ended and there she realized again that her sister was dead.
This book made me go through a whole length of emotions in one sitting. Not many have done that for me. Also, the cover perfectly portrays the entire book with the girls and the open diary. Alyson Noel truly knows how a teenager feels and captures those emotions just right.

COVER 15 /15
ENDING 20 /20
PLOT 20 /20

97% A+

Friday, June 25, 2010

Shadowland Review - Ana

Ever and Damen have traveled through countless past lives - and fought off the world's darkest enemies - so they could be together forever. But just when their long-awaited destiny is finally within reach, a powerful curse falls upon that could destroy everything. Now a single touch of their hands or a soft brush of their lips could mean sudden death - plunging Damen into the Shadowland. Desperate to break the curse and save Damen, Ever immerses herself in magick - and gets help from an unexpected source - a surfer named Jude.

Although she and Jude have only just met, he feels startlingly familiar. Despite her fierce loyalty to Damen, Ever is drawn to Jude, a green-eyed golden boy with magical talents and a mysterious past. She's always believed Damen to be her soulmate and one true love - and she still believes it to be true. But as Damen pulls away to save them, Ever's connection with Jude grows stronger - and tests her love for Damen like never before.

SHADOWLAND was a good continuation of the IMMORALS series. But it wasn’t my favorite book in the series because Ever was making so many mistakes and I felt like telling her to just stop! I did though finish the book in one day because it brought me in the world that Alyson Noel has created is beautiful and that just makes me want more. Here in the third installment, Ever and Damen still can’t touch each other and they still are searching for the antidote to free them from the curse. But in the end you’ll know if they’ll be able to break it or not. But I’ll tell you that the ending was shocking and I’m excited for the fourth book, DARK FLAME!
The cover is absolutely stunning and the necklace on the cover does have a meaning in the book! Oh, and I forgot to add about Jude...... Jude is a very interesting character and I really liked him in the book. But you’ll have to read to find out more about him.

COVER 15 /15
ENDING 20 /20
PLOT 20 /20
95% A

Truth or Dare

Ever since I was little I loved playing Truth or Dare. But I would always choose dare and even though I never received any insane dares as going to the woman next door and asking to wear her bra or climbing up a tree to see the cute boy in his room, I received dares that I didn’t like too much. I was embarrassed to do them. But the sad part is that I forgot them. If I still remembered them, I probably would be laughing right now.

But as I grew older, I began picking truth. But the people I played this game with were horrible. Sorry, but they were. They first ask questions that weren't really embarrassing and I had no problem answering the truth. I mean, what's the point of the game if the question or dare doesn't burn you and make you feel like not saying or doing it at all. Second of all, they would leave. Yes, that's right. Guess they thought it was boring and didn’t want to play with the little girl who happened to be me. They probably had better things to do, and let me tell you, they didn’t.

Never have I played a good Truth or Dare game. I guess you have to play the game with good people around you and not someone who doesn't really care for you. But when I read some dares, I quickly picture myself doing them. But I think that the game is better played with your parents when you pick "truth". Now that's something that's really going to burn you on the inside and make you wish you never chose that.

I could never do that! :D

- Ana

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Today when I opened my internet, a headline popped out at me. It was about this ship that was found in Lake Michigan that sank over a century ago on a violent storm. And after reading that, I immediately thought of Titanic!

I LOVED Titanic when I was little. Everything about it was so amazing. How the biggest ship in the world just sank because of an iceberg. I read about everything you could imagine about it. I even watched the movie like a thousand times and even to this day, I still cry. I have to say the movie was done perfectly. If only it was in 3D - now that would be triple amazing. I probably would be crying for days. In the end of the movie, I just break down and cannot control myself.

But now they're finding so many ships from long ago and it's interesting how history can come to life that way. I don't have the slightest clue on how to sail one, but learning how they looked back when they were sailing and how they sank is so interesting.

And all I can imagine then is how the people felt when they figured out that the ship they were on was about to sink! Now that's a scary thought - one I never want to think or live myself. Everything must go through your mind during your last moments like will can I just jump off and swim? Is my family going to be okay? Well for me, the jumping off the ship wouldn’t really work since I can’t swim for my life! But I guess if you have to, you will. And that is why I don’t like ships, but I love learning about ships like Titanic and how they sank. And if there's a movie involved, I'm in!

- Ana

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Time Flying By

While I was reading today, I stopped and my mind wondered off. I began to think about how fast my high school years are going. It seemed like yesterday that I was a freshman and now I'm about to enter junior year! It seems scary, but exciting at the same time. I've heard so much about junior year being hard and if you don't do well in it, you're screwed up for college. That's my biggest worry!

But I'm also realizing that in less than two years I'm off to college, and for Rissa it's one year. Time goes by so fast, I wish I could stop it at times, but I know I can't. I guess you have to make the best of it and strive to reach your goal, because you can't go back! That's the bad part. After seeing this today, I've decided to change many things. Like my goals. I thought I had forever to reach them, but guess what - not really. What I mean by this is that I'm going to work a lot more harder towards my goals and not leave them last minute thinking I have four years of high school left because I'm way beyond that.

Just remembering how scared I was to go to high school and then frehsman year finished, and then sophmore year began and I couldn't wait for that to end, and here it is. It's over. I thought everything was going by slow, but in reality it was going fast. Do everything you can because that's what I'm going to start doing!

And remember to always believe in youself!

This is a quote I found very inspirational by Michael Korda

"In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can."

- Ana

Blue Moon Review by Ana

Eager to learn everything she can about her new abilities as an Immortal, Ever turns to her beloved Damen to show her the way. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen's are waning.

In an attempt to save him, Ever travels to the magical dimension of Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen's tortured past; a past which he has always kept hidden from her. But in her quest to cure Damen, Ever discovers an ancient text that details the workings of time. Now Ever must choose between turning back the past and saving her family from the accident that claimed their lives - or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows sicker every day...

While I was reading this book, I couldn’t stop feeling scared, angry, worried, and wanting to jump inside and save the characters. You meet a new character here named Roman and all I’m going to say is that you better what out for him. Only because he has good looks, doesn’t mean anything.
Also, having Damen dying in this book, I didn’t know how I was going to live. I love this guy and just reading this, made me cry literally! But since I’m going to keep this review spoiler free, you’re just going to have to read the book to find out what happens to Damen, Ever, and Roman. But BLUE MOON is defiantly on my list of top books and I can see the series heading in a good direction.
Now I want to talk about Ever. I’m always going on about how much I love Damen (I do), but I always leave Ever out of the picture. Hate to say it, but she does do some things here that get me mad. And there did come a point where I don’t blame her for what choice she made because while I was reading, I didn’t know what to choose either.
The cover is absolutely gorgeous as EVERMORE was. Cannot wait to see the rest of the covers for the series!

COVER 15 /15
ENDING 20 /20
PLOT 20 /20
98% A+

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Evermore Review by Ana

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

Once I picked up EVERMORE, I was instantly hypnotized by the exquisite writing and great plot. The book is woven together in such way that makes you not want to put it down. And honestly, I never wanted to put it down. Alyson Noel does an amazing job with giving her characters traits that make them so real and the pain they all go through is what most teenagers go through today. Noel knows her stuff and you can see all the research she did to make this book happen, and it truly paid off.
Damen is the guy every girl dreams about. He’s cute, smart, open – minded, and mysterious. Now if only he was real...
But the cover is beyond words and the red tulips really capture the meaning of the book and the girl smelling them. Great job Alyson and the reviews for BLUE MOON and SHADOWLAND will be up as well!

COVER 15 /15
ENDING 20 /20
PLOT 19 /20
96% A

The Reckoning Review - Ana

Only two weeks ago, life was all too predictable. But that was before I saw my first ghost. Now, along with my supernatural friends Tori, Derek, and Simon, I’m on the run from the Edison Group, which genetically altered us as part of their sinister experiment. We’re hiding in a safe house that might not be as safe as it seems. We’ll be gone soon anyway, back to rescue those we’d left behind and to take out the Edison Group . . . or so we hope.


The last and final book in the DARKEST POWERS series really makes the finale worthwhile. This book was beyond words and while reading it, I kept on guessing who Chloe was going to end up with, but there were twists throughout the book, which kept me wanting to find out. But at the end, you find out who Chloe really loves and it was the perfect and cutest ending.

I really love how the covers of the DARKEST POWERS series are so beautiful. Each one had their own gemstone. To me, they seemed the same, yet different from each other. This is a series that will be at the top of my list and Kelley Armstrong did a good job of making this series up there.


COVER 15 /15

ENDING 19 /20


PLOT 18 /20

95% A

The Awakening Review - Ana

If you had met me a few weeks ago, you probably would have described me as an average teenage girl—someone normal. Now my life has changed forever and I’m as far away from normal as it gets. I'm a living science experiment—not only can I see ghosts, but I can raise the dead without even trying. Trust me, that is not a power you want to have. Ever. I’m running for my life with three of my supernatural friends and we have to find someone who can help us gain our freedom back before the Edison Group finds us first. Or die trying.

*I’m going to try my best to keep this review spoiler free*

The Awakening totally awakened all my senses. It was fast paced, the character development was perfect and throughout reading the novel, I felt as though I was there running away from the Edison group. Armstrong does an amazing job with the second book in the series.

I honestly read this book in one day and I never wanted it to end. It was one of those books you want to keep going on and on. Also, you might feel a little romance heating up between Chloe and the boys, and I’m not going to say which one, and even when the book ends, you still don’t know which keeps you waiting for the last and final book in the series, The Reckoning.

Be sure to check my review for THE RECKONING out.


COVER 15 /15

ENDING 19 /20


PLOT 19 /20

96% A

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Summoning Review - Ana

Chloe Saunders sees dead people. Yes, like in the films. The problem is, in real life saying you see ghosts gets you a one-way ticket to the psych ward. And at 15, all Chloe wants to do is fit in at school and maybe get a boy to notice her. But when a particularly violent ghost haunts her, she gets noticed for all the wrong reasons. Her seemingly crazed behaviour earns her a trip to Lyle House, a centre for 'disturbed teens'. At first Chloe is determined to keep her head down. But then her room mate disappears after confessing she has a poltergeist, and some of the other patients also seem to be manifesting paranormal behaviour. Could that be a coincidence? Or is Lyle House not quite what it seems...? Chloe realizes that if she doesn't uncover the truth, she could be destined for a lifetime in a psychiatric hospital. Or could her fate be even worse...? Can she trust her fellow students, and does she dare reveal her dark secret?

The Summoning starts off the paranormal YA series, Darkest Powers. Just by the summary, I was drawn into the book and immediately went out to buy it, but once I began reading it I found the beginning a bit slow. Now I still had faith in the book because the cover was absolutely exquisite and the garnet gemstone made me know that there was going to be something up with that necklace.

But once I delved really into the novel, I fell in love with it. It was amazing. Kelley Armstrong does an amazing job with developing her character and there were many times where I was scared. Chloe is the type of person I would love to be around just by her personality and how she’s not so dependent on others and always clumsy and falling. She stands up for herself, but not to the point where it gets annoying.

Though I have to say the ending was a cliffhanger which sort of left me hanging, but I didn’t mind it too much. I sort of tied everything together to understand what was going to happen in the next book, The Awakening.


COVER 15 /15

ENDING 15 /20


PLOT 17 /20

89% B+