Tuesday, August 31, 2010

We Have A Winner!!!!!

So the winner for IMMORTAL by P.C Cast is.........





Sam!!!!




Congrats!!!



I have emailed you already!


If you didn't win, it's alright because I have a new contest coming up. More info soon!!


Also, if the winner does not respond within 24 hours, I will be picking a new winner.



-Ana

Monday, August 30, 2010

Immortal by P.C Cast Review

Source: Publisher
In Immortal: Love Stories With Bite, edited by New York Times bestselling author of the House of Night series P.C. Cast, seven of today's most popular YA vampire and contemporary fantasy authors offer new short stories that prove that when you're immortal, true love really is forever.

Rachel Caine (the Morganville Vampires series) revisits the setting of her popular series, where the vampires are in charge and love is risky

Cynthia Leitich Smith (Tantalize) gives us a love triangle between a vampire, a ghost and a human girl, in which none of them are who or what they seem

Claudia Gray (Evernight) takes us into the world of her Evernight series, in which a pre-Civil War courtesan-to-be is courted by a pale, fair-haired man whose attentions are too dangerous to spurn

Richelle Mead (the Vampire Academy series) brings us the tale of a young vampire on the run from the rest of her kind, and the human boy who provides the getaway car

Nancy Holder (the Wicked series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) immerses us in a post-apocalyptic New York where two best friends are forced to make a choice that may kill them both

Kristin Cast (the House of Night series) introduces us to a new kind of vampire: one with roots in Greek mythology, and the power to alter space and time

And Tanith Lee (Black Unicorn) shows us what happens when a bright young woman with some supernatural savvy encounters a misguided (but gorgeous) young vampire




I have never read something like IMMORTAL before. I mean, vampires and all are always in the books I read, but never have I read a book with short stories in it. But by no means was I hesitant to read this one. It had all my favorite authors in it and I was excited to see them produce a short story about immortal love.


I enjoyed them all. I really didn't have a favorite story and a least favorite story. They were all basically there in the same line with each other. The writing was good in all of them and I enjoyed reading about something different. There were some authors I hadn't heard from like Tanith Lee, but now that I read something from her, I'm anxious to see her work in novels. It was also great reading stories fro authors I love and am always waiting to see what book they're writing next like Claudia Gray, Richelle Mead, and Nancy Holder.


I loved the cover! I thought it was beautiful and with that eye catching cover, you bet I would pick this book up anywhere. The girl does seem like someone who would fall for a vampire and is fighting to keep their love immortal. Very dark, but luring.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. If you're looking to gain some knowledge of some authors or are waiting for their next book to come out, check this book out. It didn't disappoint, and I see myself reading more anthologies in the future!


♥♥♥♥♥



-Ana

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Update

Just a quick reminder that IMMORTAL by P.C Cast giveaway is coming to an end on August 31 and if you haven't entered yet, hurry up! I'm reading it right now and am loving it so much! I'll probably be posting a review by tomorrow or Tuesday!


Also, I have something exciting to tell everyone, so stick around because I will be saying it soon....


So that's all for now. Guess I'll be going back to finish up my last summer assignments for school and continue reading my books.


*GIANT HUGS*



-Ana

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Marked by P.C Cast and Kristen Cast Review


The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire--that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It’s tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampyre Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny--with a little help from her new vampyre friends.





When I was looking at the bookstore for another vampire book, I found this was the only one I still hadn't read, so I decided to give it a try. I found the first couple pages to be slow, but I kept moving foward hoping it wouls get better, but it didn't. The synopsis in the back of the book sounds good, but the story inside was basically bad. I felt it fall very short.


Zoey was my least favorite protagonist. I have always loved protagonists in a story, no matter how clumsy or bad they are. But Zoey didn't fit into a good character for me. I found her so oring that I have forgotten who she actually was. I don't even remember other characters in the book because they were so forgetable.


While I was reading this, I kept finding myself seeing how many more pages I had to read because I just wanted it to be over already. I found the plot here boring as well and it didn't grab me to take me on a wild ride. It just felt like words on a page with no feelings.


The cover was okay. I liked the drawings in the back that seemed what the Mark was that the vampyres had in this book, but other than that it was an okay cover. Also, the girl on the cover seems a bit too old to be Zoey. But it is an eye catching cover.
The ending, I can't even explain. I don't even know what happens. It's such a blur to me and I had wished soemthing exciting had happened in the end, but nothing did to make it memorable.


Overall, I didn't enjoy this book at all and I'm not planning on reading any of the sequals.


♥♥


-Ana

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain


A Prodigal Son

A Dangerous Love

A Deadly Secret

Grace Divine—daughter of the local pastor—always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared and her brother Jude came home covered in his own blood.

Now that Daniel's returned, Grace must choose between her growing attraction to him and her loyalty to her brother.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, she learns the truth about that mysterious night and how to save the ones she loves, but it might cost her the one thing she cherishes most: her soul.



I was a little iffy picking up this book. I kept on seeing everyone around me reading it and so I decided one day to give it a try. After all, how bad could it be? How about how good could it be? It was amazing! I love werewolves, but not only did this book have them, it also had them in a way I had never read. The Prodical Son was incorportated, actually this bok revolved around that story.


Despain does an amazing job with bringing her characters to life. They're so real, but their actions are so powerful, I found myself turning the pages waiting to see what was going to happen. Grace was no wimp and both Daniel and Jude were two very interesting characters that you will want to know what's up with them and who's the good guy and the bad guy.


The ending was a big shocker, but it did not leave on a cliffhanger. Not only don't you know if they bad guy is dead or not, but something happens to Grace. When I found out there was going to be a sequal, THE LOST SAINT, I was jumping up and down and I can't wait until I can get my hands on it.


The cover wasn't my favorite. I couldn't quite understand what the purple fabric wrapped around the girl with the purple nail polish meant, but it was no horrifying cover. Just not the best.


Overall, I enjoyed this book and found myself not sleeping until I finished it! If you love werewolves and want something new with them, this book is for you. I totally recommend it!


♥♥♥♥



-Ana

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Erin Bow Interview


Today's author interview is with Erin Bow, author of the upcoming book, PLAIN KATE!



1. If you could time travel for one year, which century would you go? Why?


Hmmm. Reading Connie Willis and her time-traveling historians has made me shy of time travel. It seems likely to get one killed. But if I could magically stay safe, there's much I'd like to see. The classicist in me wants to see Greece in the 5th century BCE, to meet Sophocles the great playwright, or Thucydides the inventor of history -- or maybe go a little further back, to meet Sappho and smuggle out a copy of her works. The writer wants to go to the Aztec empire, the setting of a book I'm working on. And the fan girl in me wants to go to the 51st century and hang out with Captain Jack.


2. I read PLAIN KATE was inspired by Russian fairytales. Have you always been interested in them?


I've been interested in Russia since discovering the poems of Anna Akhmatova in high school. I have read a lot of Russian poetry and have huge swaths of it memorized. And I've been interested in fairy tales for years. But I actually didn't combine the two and start reading Russian fairy tales until right before I started writing Plain Kate. They blew me away.


3. How was your publishing experience? Hard? Easy?


Ridiculously easy. It's a little obnoxious, actually. I landed the first agent I approached, the one at the very tippy-top of my wishlist. Later she sent the book out to an amazing list of editors, and got five offers, and then managed a nail-biting week-long auction.

I am thrilled to have landed with Arthur A. Levine at Scholastic. First, because Arthur entirely deserves his reputation as a genius editor. And second, because the book could have no better cheerleader. I was at Book Expo when he got up in front of a packed ballroom and told them about the book's he's worked on: THE GOLDEN COMPASS, HARRY POTTER, and PLAIN KATE. I just about swooned.


4. What is your favorite food?


I love to cook and like to try something new every week: scallop chevice! Korean spare ribs! Cashew pork! But if I had to go to a desert island, I would bring hot buttered popcorn. Oh! And maybe homemade chocolate chip cookies, warm ones with gooey bits and thin crispy edges, and cold cold milk.


5. How did the idea for PLAIN KATE come to you?


I actually remember the moment. I had just finished reading this three-volume set of Russian Fairy Tales. I had been talking to my dad about a woodworking project of his. And I was on a plane. I was, in fact, returning home from a seven-cities-in-five-days trip, and I was so tired I was a bit woozy. I put my head against the glass and watched the plane take off and leave its shadow on the ground -- that shadow shrinking and getting stranger and fading away. I opened up my notebook and wrote: "A long time ago, in a market town by a looping river, there lived an orphan girl named Plain Kate." There she was: Katerina Svetlana, a woodcarver and the daughter of a carver, forced to sell her shadow to a wandering magician, up to no good. I didn't know anything else, but I had her, had Kate.

Wood carving, Russia, fairy tales, the shadow -- that's where the idea came from. But where did the girl come from, that's what I want to know.


6. Can you relate to Plain Kate? Any of your characters?


Of course. I would find it hard to write about people who I can't relate to. Kate had my relationship to art (I write, she carves) and her fundamental sorrow, loneliness, is mine, too. She's smart, like me, and plain-spoken, but prone to self-doubt.

I relate to the others too. Taggle's feline sense of entitlement is all to easy to channel. His sense that words change one is my sense exactly. Drina is warm, like me, and buckles in a crisis just as I might. Even the villain, Linay, got my grief (I also have a sister who drowned) and my guilt and my mad need to put things right.


7. What are five things no one knows about you?

-I haven't been to mass regularly since my sister died, but I still say the rosary in secret.
-I'm badly claustrophobic.
-I buy eggs from freedom-loving hippy chickens, but I secretly think they taste just like regular eggs.
-I daydream about buying bigger house just so I can plant a bigger garden. five kinds of tomatoes! A bank of lavender!
-when I became a Canadian citizen, I had to take an oath of loyalty to the queen. I crossed my fingers behind my back.






-Ana

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seers of Light by Jennifer DeLucy - Review by Rissa

Lillian Hunt has never truly lived. Always sensing more to the world than is easily perceived, she fears that her instincts are stubborn flights of fancy, or worse, mental instability. But some things—disappearing strangers, tangible dreams, and visits from malevolent creatures—cannot be ignored. Before it's too late, Lillian is ripped from the only existence she’s ever known and thrust into a reality that she always suspected, but could scarcely believe. She must learn the truth about who she is, the powerful beings that wish to destroy her, and the two men who would die to protect her.





Once upon a time I opened up the blog's email, and found a new message containing an ebook copy of SEERS OF LIGHT by Jennifer DeLucy. I downloaded it to my iPod Touch, just to see what it was about, and proceeded to spend the rest of the day wrapped up in the world of Sentients, vampires, and a story I couldn't put down. As it happens, Ana had requested the book and intended to read it, but was kind enough to turn it over to me when I admitted my addiction (she also may have suggested I join an Anonymous group, but that's besides the point).

Originality

The main character of the book finds out that she is a Sentient which, according to Google, is a person who is "endowed with feeling and...consciousness." So there you have it, I walked into a book featuring characters with powers unlike anything I had ever heard of before. Original? Incredibly so! Each individual Sentient has their own gift, or endowment, such as memory, or the ability to hear thoughts, or the incredibly special endowment of being an empath. As it is explained, empaths attract energies (living and astral) to themselves, and they help the energies to progress forward and let go of any pain tying them to the world of the living. The author also ties in more familiar beings, and by that, I mean vampires. However, before anyone jumps up and screams, "TWILIGHT!" let me tell you, these vampires do not sparkle! They are, quite literally, out for blood (no pun intended) and are the Sentient's worst enemies.



Cover


The cover is mystically beautiful, it entices you in. In fact, as Lucy feels so attracted to the woods in the very beginning, the reader may feel the pull to open this book and never put it down!


Characters

Let me start with the main character of Lucy. I thought she was a very relatable heroine/protagonist, and I liked that she was not your typical wishy-washy female lead. She reacted to situations in ways that I feel I would (such as flipping out and worrying over the strange things happening to her!) and was not willing to simply go along with everything she was told. I was especially impressed when she made her own judgement of William, but I think you should read to know more about him ;)

Next up, Christian and William, although they'd probably kill me for even putting their names in the same sentence! I was very impressed that Ms. DeLucy was able to write so that I was totally in love with Christian, and then did a total 180 to Team William! I really respect when an author can give reasons to both like and dislike a character, Christian was a charmer, a gentleman, but he had a chip on his shoulders that made him very undesirable in many instances.
Every character, even down to the minor (check out my friend Paul for an example!), added a spice and different feeling to the story with enhanced it and made the reader feel very much in touch with each of them individually. Overall, I will make the observation that the characters seemed a little younger than their given ages. It was a little hard to wrap my head around, as I usually expect the characters in such novels to be teenagers, but I think the older characters gave it an edge that many YA books don't have.

Plot

The story begins with the main character Lillian living a monotonous life in the small town of her youth. Monotonous, except for that she has been noticing some pretty crazy things happening around her, things only she can see, accompanied by these mysterious dreams that just won't quit. She gets thrown into a tailspin when she gets cornered by a creature she learns is a vampire, and then saved by a mysterious blonde boy, Christian. Only explaining a little (to Lily's immense disgust), Christian pulls her away from her life into a world a magic and powers and vampires (oh, my!). The people harboring these powers are called Sentients, and each one has a different gift. Lily learns that her seeminly odd feelings and dreams are, in fact, normal for a Sentient, and she just needs to learn to control her powers. In fact, with a threat looming overhead, her powers are needed to aid the Sentients in the impending battle.

~WILLIAM; ENTER STAGE LEFT~

Hehe :) This is where William comes in. A pale, handsome boy hiding a dark secret, he is chosen to teach Lily to harness her powers. Influenced by Christian, Lily goes into her lessons with a horrible attitude, and being generally unpleasant towards her teacher. However, as their lessons progress she learns there is much more to him that what meets the eye, along with a lesson in second chances.

Here comes the part where I have to be careful with the plot! Let me just say, Lily's powers quickly mature beyong anyone's expectations, and as the final battle approaches the Sentients they must put aside their differences to defeat the evil vampires that pose a theat to all involved.

Ending


I'm not going to lie, the ending of this book had me on the edge of my seat, especially when an unexpected revelation makes Lily throw every ounce of her powers into saving the one she loves. And the epilogue? Get out your tissues, my friends. It's an unexpected tearjerker (in the most emotionally touching way possible!).


FINAL NOTE; The young adult genre ranges in ages so for the younger readers I will include a slight warning that about some issues,

-There is a lesbian couple, and while I enjoyed both characters individually, I know this to be a sensitive issue among some readers.
-The characters drop the f-bomb, in fact, I will point out that this is one aspect I truly did not like. Slight cursing (while I don't like it) doesn't usually phase me, but I felt like the characters used it a lot, and in situations that could have been better described.
-Alright, this last part is most definitely a shout out to younger readers, there were sex scenes, and whether or not you read them is up to what you think you can maturely handle. It feel it might be slightly TMI for a one of the "youngers" among the young adults.


That being said, I enjoyed this book thoroughly, and I give it a rating of;

♥♥♥♥

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick Review


For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her...until Patch comes along.
With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment, but after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is far more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.




I couldn't agree more with everyone saying angels are the new vampires, because they are! I picked tis up because of the raving reviews for it and I couldn't be happier. This was such a great book! So much happened and so much emotion filled me, I never wanted it to stop.


I loved Patch's character. He was sarcastic, but sweet with a whole lot of funny. Nora would always get in trouble because Patch talks, and her teachers think it's her and I found myself always laughing there. Nora is a good girl, and there's no doubt about that and both her mother and her are greving the lost of Nora's father. But Patch seems to make everyone feel safe and happy and when Nora was with him, I knew nothing bad would happen, and when she wasn't with him, I would be on the edge of my seat freaking out because someone was coming.


So many characters in the book you won't know what to think of them. You won't know if you should trust them or not and the ending is a total shocker.


Never before have I seen a cover with a guy on it. I mean there has been a guy, but his head would always be cut off, but here it's not. The angel falling from the sky is exactl what Patch is - a fallen angel, but wth the twists and turns in the book, you won't know if he's good or bad.


But luckily the book does have a happy ending and everything is tied in a perfect knot. And if you love this book, be ready for the sequal. Fitzpatrick knows how to grab her readers attention and put them through a crazy roller coaster.


You don't want to miss this book.


Overall, I loved it and reccommend you reading this one.


♥♥♥♥♥



-Ana

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr review


Rule #3: Don't stare at invisible faeries.

Aislinn has always seen faeries. Powerful and dangerous, they walk hidden in mortal world. Aislinn fears their cruelty—especially if they learn of her Sight—and wishes she were as blind to their presence as other teens.

Rule #2: Don't speak to invisible faeries.

Now faeries are stalking her. One of them, Keenan, who is equal parts terrifying and alluring, is trying to talk to her, asking questions Aislinn is afraid to answer.

Rule #1: Don't ever attract their attention.

But it's too late. Keenan is the Summer King who has sought his queen for nine centuries. Without her, summer itself will perish. He is determined that Aislinn will become the Summer Queen at any cost—regardless of her plans or desires.

Suddenly none of the rules that have kept Aislinn safe are working anymore, and everything is on the line: her freedom; her best friend, Seth; her life; everything.




I didn't enjoy this book what-so-ever. I tried my best to like it, I even tried rereading it hoping it would catch my interest, but it didn't.


The writing in the book was good, but the plot just didn't do it for me. I couldn't get myself attached to it and everytime I would pick it up, I would place it back down. I don't remember anything from this book to even tell you about the characters or the plot.


But I really did like the cover. Actually the cover made me pick it up. I know, I fell for the cover. And even though the saying says, "Don't judge a book by its cover", I did and I fell for an awful book. I love the cover how it seems so mystical, but yet like a faerie realm. And the girl holding the flower with snow on is just beautiful and it's one of the prettiest covers I've seen on a book.


But I know many people who have enjoyed this book, but this is only my opinion and you might have a totally different one. But for me this book just didn't cut it.


Overall, I won't be reading any of the sequals of this series, but if you're into faeries, this book may be for you.


♥♥



-Ana

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tennis tryouts, it's good to be back! Senior year...debatable.

Admitedly, I did not walk into school this morning thrilled to be back, but that might have something to do with the 2 foot high pile of summer work staring me down from across the room. Alright, that has everything to do with it. I have procrastinated yet again :\

However I must say, I'm glad to be back. Summer is awesome, but I was getting pretty darn bored sitting home. Anyway, it was a rainy Monday, so most of the "tryout" was 14 girls sitting in a room catching up and getting the details about the upcoming season from our new coach.

I can't believe I'm a senior. Part of me is elated, but part of me is scared and sad. I'm thrilled because, hello, SENIOR! Rulers of the school, booyah! ;D I'm also taking some pretty sweet classes which I am VERY excited for! There will be a lot of writing and history, which, if you know me, is as good as Christmas morning and fluffy kittens in my eyes.

I'm scared because I have literally one school that I'm applying to for early decision, and it's my first, second and third choice. Stupid? INCREDIBLY SO. But it's everything I want so I'm throwing myself into it with everything I have.

I'm sad because my childhood is slipping away. I'm probably not coming home after this, with the exception of school breaks, and I'll probably be moving out of state once college is through. That's a very daunting thought. Exciting, sure, but it's sad when you realize how fast life moves. It never seems that way when you're a kid, but man does it have a way of jumping out and shouting "BOO!"


Alright, I've entirely gotten off track, so I'll sign out for now. I've been working on requesting some awesome books and interviews with the awesome authors of those awesome books, so I have a lot coming your way soon! Thanks to all of our subscribers for sticking with us, we love to hear from you so please never hesitate to leave a comment with your thoughts.


♥ and ☮,
Rissa

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You By Ally Carter


The Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women is a fairly typical all-girls schoolthat is, if every school taught advanced martial arts in PE, the latest in chemical warfare in science; and students received extra credit for breaking CIA codes computer class. So in truth, Gallagher Academy might claim to be a school for geniusesbut its really a school for spies. Cammie Morgan is a second generation Gallagher Girl, and by her sophomore year shes already fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man in seven different ways (three of which involve a piece of uncooked spaghetti).But the one thing the Gallagher Academy hasnt prepared her for is what to do when she falls for an ordinary boy who thinks shes an ordinary girl. Sure, she can tap his phone, hack into his computer, and track him through a mall without his ever being the wiser, but can she have a regular relationship with a regular boy who can never know the truth about her?Cammie may be an elite spy in training, but in her sophomore year, shes beginning her most dangerous missionshes falling in love.




I picked this book up because I wanted to read something different. The cover pulled me in and the synopsis, but I didn't enjoy it A LOT. I mean, it was a good quick read. The story is basically about Cammie who is a spy in Gallagher Academy and she's strong and sneeky, but she has to clue what to do when she falls in love because that had never happened in any of her missions.


I had never read a book about spies and I like them now. The book was written well, but there were a few slow parts that I wished would have gone a bit quicker, and less detail added. Cammie was a strong character and she could fight you and stand up for herself and behind all the spy wear, there was a girl who was a sophmore just like other girls and she had fallen in love with Josh. I didn't see too much of Josh in the book, but I liked how he loved Cammie and how good he took the news when he found out about what she really is.


I loved the cover. The uniform on the girl is exactly how I imagined uniform being in Gallegher Academy. The cover was plain, but yet eye catching and told you what the book was basically about.


The ending was very cute. Josh and Cammie reslove the "mystery" between them, being was was Cammie a spy or a snotty rich girl?


Overall I enjoyed the book. If you're looking for something original for chick lit, this book is for you. It's funny and exciting and a great beach read or you can read it in the winter months when you're stuck indoors.


♥♥♥1/2




Ana

Back from Tennis Tryouts

I survived my first day!!!

Well actually, we didn't do anything since it was pouring rain outside. We just talked, but you know, I felt better and I didn't do anything to embarrass myself.

I hope you guys have a great day! I have a review for I'D TELL YOU I LOVE YOU, BUT THEN I'D HAVE TO KILL YOU by Ally Carter coming up!


*GIANT HUGS*

-Ana

Saturday, August 21, 2010

To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker - Review by Rissa

Once caught, it’s harder still to let a pirate go


When Annalisa Townsend’s ship is set upon by pirates in search of her father’s treasure, one of the crew, James Sterling, discovers her in the hold. When he moves to take her necklace, she begs him not to, as it is all she has left of her mother. He accepts a kiss in exchange for the necklace. “A fair trade, m’lady,” he tells her afterward, before disappearing.


A year later, with a forged letter of marque, Annalisa is intent on hunting down the wretched James Sterling and reclaiming her father’s treasure from him. But now she’s in danger of him stealing something far more vulnerable this time: her heart.


Originality

TO CATCH A PIRATE is unlike any other story I have encountered in my experience reading books of the YA genre. Within a few pages I was drawn into the pirating world and feel in love with the rougish James Sterling and wished I could be lucky enough to be Annalisa! I was also happy to find that it was entirely clean and well written, perfect for anyone who seeks a innocently romantic story which tastefully avoids sexual situations.

Cover

To be honest, the cover didn't sell me on this book, as the font and cover picture are reminiscent of a harlequin novel one might find in the local supermarket. Despite my loving the story, I have to say that if it hadn't been recommended to me I would probably not have picked it up for those reasons.

Characters

Two words, my friends. James. Sterling.
I was in love with this pirate from the first chapter. Roughish and forward, but gentlemanly, intelligent and charming all the same, Sterling is the perfect example of someone who is thrown into the water without a life jacket and forced to swim. He is a pirate by trade, and not to be mistaken for anything else, but when he is introduced into the fierce Annalisa he finds that she is unlike anyone he has ever met, and even as a young pirate he is unable to resist her charm. He, unlike others of his kind, seems to have morals and a conscience which will not let him get away with anything that is truly wrong.
Annalisa is everything one would hope for in a heroine, and I am pleased to report that I never once found myself calling her a Mary-Sue. She is strong willed and fully intends to turn in Sterling, even when she realizes that she is in love with him. She is anything but a cliche, and I found her character refreshing and unique.

Plot

I am a complete sucker for a historical based plot, and I was definitely thrilled to find one in this story. The author ties the once-realistic problem of pirates plundering the seas together with the romantic idea of a handsome pirate such as Sterling falling in love with a girl who was supposed to be nothing more than another victim to their schemes. Sterling never quite forgets the girl who causes him to lose everything, nor does she forget him. Annalisa dedicates her life to hunting him down, and when she captures him they go on an adventure to gain back the treasure he and his former captain, Crimson Kelly, stole from her father long ago. As their journey progresses Sterling and Annalisa find themselves slowly falling in love with each other, even though they know they can never be together. As a final battle approaches Annalisa finds that even though Sterling has proven himself to be honorable, he must be taken prisoner. The heartwrenching separation makes the reader feel their pain, and realize how much they have grown to love the characters.

Ending

Up until the very end the reader will be on the edge of his or her seat with anticipation. What will happen to James Sterling and Annalisa? Will they find a way to be together? Of course, I cannot give that away, but I promise that there is a plot twist that will take your breath away!


I absolutely loved this story. It was a little different than what I usually find myself interested in, but TO CATCH A PIRATE has definitely made a place for itself among my favorite books, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a light but worthwhile read.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Interview with Holly Schindler


Today we have debut author, Holly Schindler for an interview! She is the author if A BLUE SO DARK which is now out in stores!


1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

As soon as I could read. I’m really serious—I was writing stories on my own by the time I was in the first grade. In the same way that some kids are just natural athletes, or natural pianists or natural speakers, I was just kind of a natural writer. It always FIT, in a way nothing else ever did.

2. How did the idea of A BLUE SO DARK come to you?

As A BLUE SO DARK opens, we find fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura’s dad left them. Convinced that “creative” equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.

…There wasn’t really an ah-ha! moment with this one. I just remember it coming to me in pieces, over the course of a couple of weeks. And I remember being in the YA non-fiction section of my library, reading everything I could on schizophrenia (I wanted to find out how schizophrenia had already been presented factually to a teenage audience). Once I had the idea in my head, I sat down to write.

The first draft of this book wrote extremely quickly—in about two months! I just really went for it, not censoring much of anything I put down. (I even took my glasses off to write the first draft—if I couldn’t SEE what I’d just written, I couldn’t second-guess it!) The book had to be revised globally about four times over the next couple of years (and the final draft was about 20,000 words longer than the first). But I think my no-holds-barred, uncensored first draft is responsible for Aura’s brutally honest voice.


3. Many authors have different publishing experiences. How was yours? Hard? Easy?


Hard, hard, hard. Concrete hard. I got my master’s in 2001. And because writing had always been this all-encompassing thing for me, my family let me stay at home and devote full-time effort to getting a writing career off the ground.

I figured that it’d take a year, year and a half to write a novel, and I’d sell it, and I’d be off and running. After all, I’d excelled in all things involving creative writing all through school. I was bound to be a writer. Right?

But the first deal didn’t come easy. I lost count of how many manuscripts I wrote and submitted over the course of seven and a half years. I inked the deal for A BLUE SO DARK in early 2009…

Hard as it was, and as many tears as were shed, I wouldn’t trade those years in the trenches for ANYTHING. No degree can teach you the same thing as years of struggle and hard work…

4. If you hadn’t become a writer, what would you have become?

Probably a literature professor. When I started college, the plan was to get a PhD in lit. After I got my master’s, though, I had to step away from school. All I wanted to do was WRITE. But the PhD’s definitely on the bucket list…


5. Will there be more books after A BLUE SO DARK? What should we expect?


PLAYING HURT is set to be released March 1, 2011! PLAYING HURT centers on two former athletes: Chelsea Keyes, a basketball star whose promising career has been catastrophically snipped short by a horrific accident on the court, and Clint Morgan, an ex-hockey player who gave up his much-loved sport following his own game-related tragedy.

Chelsea meets Clint (who’s working as a resort fishing guide) soon after arriving with her family for a summer vacation in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota. Sparks fly, igniting the pages, even though Chelsea has a boyfriend back home in Missouri…and even though Clint has sworn never to put himself in the position to be hurt emotionally again.

Their unlikely romance has the potential to heal their heartache and force Chelsea and Clint to realize just how timidly they’ve been living…but by playing hurt—entering into a romance with already-broken hearts—are they just setting themselves up for the kind of injury from which they could never recover?

…I also REALLY love working in different genres and styles. As soon as I finish a book in one style, I need to work in something else…which is what’s so fantastic about YA! It incorporates SOOO many different genres!


6. Can you relate to any of your characters that your have written? Are they based on real people?


The voice of Aura is really closest to the voice that just rattles around in my own head. But my characters are never based on real people. They’re always complete fiction.

A lot of my readers seem to WANT the characters in A BLUE SO DARK to be real people…I’ve often been asked if I grew up with a schizophrenic mother! (I didn’t—but Mom and I both laugh about the question…she was a psych major in college!)

Really, though, my characters don’t live anywhere but in my mind…And I can’t wait to introduce the world to my next cast of characters, which I’ll be able to do next March, when PLAYING HURT is released!

…I’d also like to invite everyone over to my blog (hollyschindler.blogspot.com) to check out the official cover art of PLAYING HURT…I’ll be posting updates on PLAYING HURT as the novel nears publication, AND I’ve started a FLASH FICTION CHALLENGE at my blog—you send the prompts, I write the fiction. The writer of the best prompt gets a prize in time for the holidays!




Thanks so much for the wonderful interview Holly!




-Ana

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Soul To Take by Rachel Vincent


She doesn't see dead people, but…
She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…


I picked this book up because I thought the synopsis was pretty cool. It seemed new from the normal vampire/werewolf so I gave it a chance. T o be honest here, I'm glad. It's not my favorite book, but it was a good read.

When Kaylee and Nash first start dating, I thought how in the world is she going to keep her secret from him? I thought Nash was a normal guy in high school who had all the girls cushing on him, but boy was I wrong. Nash is something totally more than normal - as Kaylee is. They both were great characters and there was sizzling romance between them.

I get really excited when I find a book that's not like the rest. And even though I have my doubts, I stil like giving the plot a try and this book wasn't disappointing at all. There wasn't much action going on as I wished, but it was well written and it had a lot of details, which sometimes took away from the story by making it longer and that only made me wish the chapter could already end.

The ending I found a little forgetable. It's been a while since I had read this book and I kept putting it off for review because I didn't realy know what to say. But in the end, you do realize that there is room for a sequal and it's already out.

I LOVED the cover. I thought it was spectacular and something so different, but yet to cool! The girl on the cover somehow reminds me of what Kaylee is (which I won't say), but I do find her to be a little too old to be Kaylee.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and if you're looking for a book to pass the time, read this one.

♥♥♥1/2


Ana

On Being Busy

So on Monday, I'm going to start my tennis tryouts along with Rissa and I hope I can survive. I'll tell you the truth, I haven't ran enough at all this summer. I mean, I've been playing tennis, but not ready for all the running exercises yet. Hopefully I will survive! ;)

But I wanted to let you all know that even though I'm going to be playing tennis in the mornings, I'm still going to be on the blog and everything will still be the same as it has been. So no worries about that. Also, in about three weeks, I begin school and no worries there either since I still will be posting reviews, giveaways, and I also will be telling you how my day went. Especially if something exciting happens!

So even though I'm going to be busier now than I have been, I will never foresake my blog. I love you all so much and when I'm having a bad day and open the blog and see a nice comment on one of my reviews, or a friendly email from a reader, I become happy again!

I want to thank you all for that!

P.S. Don't forget about IMMORTAL by P.C Cast giveaway!


*GIANT TEDDY BEAR HUGS*

-Ana

Thursday, August 19, 2010

SIGH.

Alas, I am halfway into my review of ANOTHER FAUST (the mystery book I was ranting about in the previous post) and my mom wants to use the laptop. SIGH. Therein lies the problem with vacation-- shared computer time. I am deeply sorry, I hate that I haven't been reviewing regularly, and I thought I had time to finish....
I apologize.
I will finish my review tomorrow and it will be posted as quickly as possible, and as soon as I'm back from vacation (returning Saturday), I will be raiding the local B&N for new books to read and review.
-Rissa
(is sad. :[ )

Another Faust by Daniel and Dina Nayeri - Review by Rissa

Welcome to the Marlowe School, where some very gifted students are having a hell of a year.
One night, across four cities, five children disappear. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers appear at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust children to the elite Marlowe School, where their presence brings unexplainable misfortune.

Using a series of “gifts” given to them by Madame Vileroy, the children are able to soar to suspicious heights at Marlowe. The gifts seem child-like in their simplicity. The governess teaches them to cheat, steal, hide, and lie; ‘harmless’ she calls them, though they are much more. For the vicious over-achiever, reading an unsuspecting mind is simply to cheat. For the reclusive pariah, the gift of stopping time is just another way to hide. And who but an aspiring writer can weave a convincing lie?

Soon, Madame Vileroy’s gifts become darker and more complex. Living in a gray home designed to cultivate and corrupt them, they are enveloped in the side effects of their own addictions. They live cursed lives, making deals with the devil as they claw their way toward their goals….that is until two of them begin to uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. A modern retelling of an ancient dilemma, Another Faust recreates the story of the Faustian bargain. Set in present-day New York, but spanning the centuries, it is a chilling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.



Originality
I am going to start off by saying that, this book and I? We're not amigos. I was so excited to read it (I feel hook, line, and sinker for exactly what the ancient cliche warns of; "Don't judge a book by it's cover," but I'll get into that in due course.), and I was so incredibly disappointed. First of all, the idea of an elite school for incredibly gifted students is trite, to say the least.
"But Riiiiii-ssaaaaaa, you said that about Vampire Academy!"
Yes, I did, but I also went on to prove that the story has many redeeming qualities (one major one in the form of a Russian instructor, but I digress ;) ).
One might find themselves questioning exactly what the title means. I know I was, and it took some research for me to properly define "Faust," but when I did the story made a lot more sense, and I really do give the authors major creativity points for tying this in. According to Google and Wikipedia (which I credit way more than I probably should) a "Faust" is a sorceror who sells his or her soul to the devil. However, as it often happens, they find that they have made a fool's bargain and have given much more than they had ever imagined.

Cover
/sigh.
/mope.
I fell for it.

As I said before, I saw this book in the bookstore and fell in love with the gorgeous cover. The teens are portrayed as lovely, elegant people and I felt that such a beautiful cover had to mean that this story was pretty flipping awesome. Alas, I was deeply grieved to find that it wasn't. I will say that the cover art is gorgeous, but it does not at all refect the odd story I found inside.

Characters

The characters of this book are the aforementioned five teens and their guardian Madame Vileroy. Vileroy is the oddest woman I have ever read about, because I felt like I could see what the authors wanted her to be, but I didn't feel like they successfully completed her character. She is the evil enabling mastermind behind the children's "gifts." However, I really didn't understand the background behind her character, and in the end I really don't know what happens to her! I knew she was giving them evil talents, but to what end?
Llet me sum up the kids in a paragraph, for fear of making this section even longer than it already is. Victoria-- I hated to love her. She was conniving and would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. Belle-- Pathetically understandable. She wanted to be beautiful. Bicé-- I liked her character a lot because she was smart enough to figure it all out. Sure, she fell for the tricks like the rest, but she was able to overcome. Valentin-- I wanted to punch that conceited jerk! I also didn't feel that his character was well developed, very one dimensional. He wanted to be the perfect jock/ladies man, but in reality he was nasty and obnoxious. Christian-- hmm. I know I was supposed to favor him (based on his role towards the end of the story) but like Valentin, I don't feel that I know much about him!

Plot

The book goes into how these five kids, Bicé, Belle, Valentin, Christian, and Victoria, were each kidnapped from their homes at a young age and brainwashed by the mysterious and diabolical Madame Vileroy and mysteriously gifted by her with seemingly incredible talents. However, every rose has it's thorns, and these "gifts" are not what they seem. The kids may seem to have everything it takes to live the perfect life, but the real question is whether or not the ends jusify the means. Vileroy has an alterior motive and her outer kindness is not her true nature.
I had mixed feelings about the children, as the story goes Vileroy goes out of her way to help some, but others she does not favor. Bicé and Christian in particular are unaware of a some bigger plan that Victoria, Belle, and Valentin are all involved in. I reread parts of this book over and over and I really do not understand the "why?" behind this favoritism mystery.
Overall, I would sum up the plot by saying that I think I understand where the authors were trying to go with the story, but they never quite seemed to "get there," which left me with a big sense of incompleted-ness.

Ending

I honestly cannot tell you what happens in the end of this story, because I really don't feel like it actually closes at any point. There is a form of escape, but I don't feel like Bicé, Belle, and Christian ever actually accomplish anything and "save the day" so to speak. There is a form of a happy ending, but it really depends on how you look at it, I'm going to call it bittersweet.


In conclusion, I was very disappointed in ANOTHER FAUST. I expected great things from the book but from the incomplete details to the confusing ending I cannot say I enjoyed it whatsoever. Therefore, I can only give this book ♥♥ It did have an interesting concept, but I didn't feel like the concept was carried well throughout the plot.

I'm back!

Hey everyone! So, I haven't been reviewing lately because I've been on vacation with my family, but I'm heading home tomorrow, and I'm working on a book review right now. I've been at a bit of a loss lately, because I haven't had much to read, so this review is going to be a bit different. I will be reviewing a book that I really, REALLY was not fond of. I usually don't like doing this, I have no problems giving negative opinions of a plot, but it is very rarely that I completely dislike every aspect of a story. But que sera sera, and life goes on. If anyone has read this particular book and would like to share their opinions in the comments, I'd love to hear them!
In the meantime, Ana has told you about an awesome contest that I hope everyone is excited about and willing to join. She has been hard at work reading, reviewing, and interviewing and deserves so much credit :)
See you all soon!
-Rissa

Kiersten White Interview


Today we have the amazing Kiersten White, author of the upcoming PARANORMALCY!


1. What is the one place you would love to visit? Why?


My husband and I got to travel to Romania this summer, which was amazing. Next I think I'd like to visit England and Ireland. I've always wanted to go there, and it's such a great balance of amazing historical sites and beautiful outdoors.

2. How did you come up with the idea of Paranormalcy?


It all started with wondering what someone would do with a vampire if they wanted to stop them without killing them. That led to the idea of the International Paranormal Containment Agency. Then Evie popped in my head and started talking to me, and that was that! It was very much a spur-of-the-moment inspiration.

3. Publishing is hard. How was your publishing experience?


Well, I started writing six years ago, and Paranormalcy was my fourth book, so...yeah, it took me a while to get to the point where I found success! I think the point of it is to love what you are doing. Publishing is a great goal, but if it's the only reason you are writing you're in for a world of frustration and pain!

4. Do you have any more books coming out after Paranormalcy?


Yes! Paranormalcy has two sequels, the first of which, Supernaturally, is coming out next fall.

5. What research, if any, did you do for Paranormalcy?


I researched a lot of traditional mythological creatures. I wanted to take the more typical ones away from their pop culture incarnations, so I read a lot of British mythology and then found a few other creatures from around the world that seemed interesting and less common. Lemme tell you, the rest of the world has NOTHING on Japan when it comes to supernatural creatures!

6. If you could sum Paranormalcy in 5 words, what would you say?


Nothing is as it seems
Thanks for the wonderful interview Kiersten!
-Ana

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller Review by Ana


Source: Author




Haven Moore can't control her visions of a past with a boy called Ethan, and a life in New York that ended in fiery tragedy. In our present, she designs beautiful dresses for her classmates with her best friend Beau. Dressmaking keeps her sane, since she lives with her widowed and heartbroken mother in her tyrannical grandmother's house in Snope City, a tiny town in Tennessee. Then an impossible group of coincidences conspire to force her to flee to New York, to discover who she is, and who she was.

In New York, Haven meets Iain Morrow and is swept into an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous. Iain is suspected of murdering a rock star and Haven wonders, could he have murdered her in a past life? She visits the Ouroboros Society and discovers a murky world of reincarnation that stretches across millennia. Haven must discover the secrets hidden in her past lives, and loves before all is lost and the cycle begins again.




I have been waiting for a book like this and now my wish has finally come true. I devoured every single page and I kept finding myself turning the pages, waiting to see what would happen next. The mystery and the romance sizzeled throughout the book and everytime I would put this book down, I couldn't resist the temptation and would pick it up again. But after I was done, I kept thinking about it. I was mesmerized.

I loved Haven. I didn't think of her as a weak character. She just had been through a lot and didn't know the truth to everything and living with grandma who watches your every move is certainly not the ideal life. But Haven managed to ignore every bad voice and person around her and I was glad she did. Enter Iain Morrow. He loved Haven from the moment he spotted her, and let me say this, I had my doubts with him as I was reading. It gets to a point where you don't know who to trust anymore.

I loved the plot of THE ETERNAL ONES. Reincarantion is something so new in YA and I'm so glad Miller decided to write about it because she had me until two in the morning finishing the book. It was that book and also unforgetable.

The ending was great. Not only did it leave room for a sequal, but it also was happy and I love happy endings. I was so glad everything worked out in the end and all your questiosn are answered because if they weren't, I don't think I would have slept.

The cover if THE ETERNAL ONES was very unique. I loved the the snake eating its own tail because that was what the book centerned mostly on - The Ouroboros.

Overall, I LOVED this book and I don't know how much I can express my love for it. It's my favorite book so far and I say give it a chance. I didn't disappoint.

♥♥♥♥♥

Interview with Kirsten Miller


Today we have an interview with Kirsten Miller, author of THE ETERNAL ONES which is now out in stores!

1. When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

I always knew I wanted to write, but I never set out to write for a living. Having spent much of my life in New York, I’d heard all the horror stories about publishing, and I knew plenty of talented people who were fabulous writers but hadn’t gotten lucky. So while I always knew I’d pen crazy stories, I never expected them to get published.

2. Publishing is a hard business and everyone has their story of getting published. How was yours? Hard? Easy?

Sheer, dumb luck is the only way I can describe my first experience with the publishing industry. I’d started writing Kiki Strike to entertain myself. A friend of mine got me to spill the beans about the “book” and offered to share my incomplete manuscript with someone he knew at Bloomsbury. A few weeks later, we had a deal.

I honestly believe that the ease with which I got my novel published is no reflection on my talents. (I know people far more gifted than I whose first books were rejected by dozens of publishers.) It was just the universe smiling down on me. (And Chris and Stephen, who made the whole thing possible. Thanks, guys.)

3. How did you come up with the idea of THE ETERNAL ONES?

I’ve always been fascinated by the subject of reincarnation, but the plot of the book didn’t come to me all at once. I first thought of a very young child who begins remembering a previous existence—and I wondered what the reaction of her friends and family might be to the things she said. Then I imagined the Ouroboros Society, a sinister private club for people who are certain they’ve been reincarnated. Later, I had a vision of my heroine seeing a young man on television—and somehow knowing he’s the one she was meant to find.

So the book really came to me in bits and pieces, which is how it usually works in my experience. It can take quite a bit of patience.

4. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? What makes that place so special?

I desperately need a vacation, but I can honestly say that the only place I ever want to live is New York City. It was my first love and remains my greatest source of inspiration. There’s always something to discover here. Always a new food to try or a new experience to have. And if you keep your eyes open, you’ll never be bored.

5. Are you planning on writing more after THE ETERNAL ONES? What can we expect?

Well the sequel to The Eternal Ones will be out fairly soon. I’m finishing the third book in my Kiki Strike series as we speak. Once that is out the door, I have no idea what I’ll do next. I have a million ideas, but I haven’t landed on one yet.

6. What are 5 things no one knows about you?


I’m a big believer in karma, and I truly believe all of our actions will come back to help—or haunt—us.

My daughter, Georgia, isn’t named after the state but after the font I used when writing the Kiki Strike books.

I never throw away the handwritten letters I receive from young readers.

I have only recently managed to end a terrible addiction to celebrity gossip.

I will watch any show about aliens or UFOs that comes on TV.



Thanks so much for the wonderful interview Kirsten!


-Ana

One more thing...

I just wanted to let you know that for the contest for IMMORTAL by P.C Cast, you can enter, but please follow us. It's on the right where it says Followers and we would really appreciate that. I mean, the more followers, the better, right? Thanks so much everyone for all your support and comments. They mean a lot to us! :D

*GIANT HUGS*

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Giveaway at Michelle Hodkin

Hey everyone,

Michelle Hodkin is doing a giveaway and I just wanted to let you know that the arcs are

MATCHED by Ally Condie

DUST by Joan Frances Turner

LOW RED MOON by Ivy Devlin

I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore

The link is http://michellehodkin.blogspot.com/2010/08/whos-your-match.html

Good luck!

-Ana

Giveaway


Alright, so I have a giveaway for IMMORTAL by P.C Cast as you see the book on the left there.
The rules to enter are that you must be a follower of the AnaRissa Chronicles to win and then just send an email to anarissachronicles@gmail.com with your name and from there I'll pick one random person and BenBella book will send you the book!
The deadline for the giveaway is August 31, 2010.
Good Luck!
-Ana

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Mark by Jen Nadol Review by Ana


Source: Received from publisher



Cassandra Renfield has always seen the mark—a glow around certain people reminiscent of candlelight. But the one time she mentioned it, it was dismissed as a trick of the light. Until the day she watches a man awash in the mark die. After searching her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.



Armed with a vague understanding of the light, Cassie begins to explore her “gift,” seeking those marked for death and probing the line between decision and destiny. Though she’s careful to hide her secret—even from her new philosophy-obsessed boyfriend—with each impending death comes the temptation to test fate. But so many questions remain. How does the mark work? Why is she the only one who sees it? And finally, the most important of all: If you know today is someone’s last, should you tell them?



I don't know where to start with this book. I had never before read anything like it and didn't know what to expect. I loved how when I was reaching close to the end, everything was making sense and Jen Nadol threw in information I never thought was going to happen there. Like for Cassie's parents, I thought they had died together, but there was a whole lot more....

The characters in THE MARK weren't flat, but they had energy. I loved Cassie and how strong she was. She had lost for what I thought her whole family and had to go and live with an aunt she never thought she had, and if that were me, I don't know what I would have done.

I was so glad I finally had found a good book that didn't involve vampires and werewolves. This was something so new, I'm so glad I read it. Whenever I was not reading the book, I would wonder what it would be like to see the mark. I would be terrified and not know how to control it, but Cassie does find a way.

I absolutly loved the ending. It satisfied me, but left room for a sequal. No huge cliffahngers and it wasn't rushed. It was perfect.

The cover art is amazing! I love the glow you see in the purple background (also, I love purple) and the girl blowing on the flower. Truly does capture the essence of the book and puts the enite book in one picture.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and will be reading its sequal. If you love paranormal, this book is for you.

♥♥♥♥

Monday, August 16, 2010

Immortal by Gillian Shields Review by Ana


Wyldcliffe Abbey School for Young Ladies, housed in a Gothic mansion on the bleak northern moors, is elite, expensive, and unwelcoming. When Evie Johnson is torn away from her home by the sea to become the newest scholarship student, she is more isolated than she could have dreamed. Strict teachers, snobbish students, and the oppressive atmosphere of Wyldcliffe leave Evie drowning in loneliness.

Evie's only lifeline is Sebastian, a rebellious, mocking, dangerously attractive young man she meets by chance. As Evie's feelings for Sebastian grow with each secret meeting, she starts to fear that he is hiding something about his past. And she is haunted by glimpses of a strange, ghostly girl—a girl who is so eerily like Evie, she could be a sister. Evie is slowly drawn into a tangled web of past and present that she cannot control. And as the extraordinary, elemental forces of Wyldcliffe rise up like the mighty sea, Evie is faced with an astounding truth about Sebastian, and her own incredible fate.


I kept on leaving this book off everytime I saw it, until I finally bought it and I'm so glad I did. I didn't really know what this book was going to have, but I was totally suprised. I kept on reading and when I would stop, I would pick it up again because I just wanted to know what was going to happen next. Shields's writing is so amazing and I found that her writing kept luring me in to read more.

I loved Evie. She was strong, but not the bothering type that kept getting herself into trouble for her lack of interest in listening to others. She was caring and the type of person you wanted to stay friends and feel sorry for because of what had happened to her. Stebastian was very mysterious, but I loved how he cared for Evie, but I didn't know what to expect from him at the end.

I love a plot that incorporates a creepy boarding school and a girl falling in love with a dangerous guy there. There's so interesting because I find that every boarding school is different and has their own spark that makes you want to know what's hiding behind the walls and this book did that for me. I couldn't trust anyone.

I found the ending to be a bit confusing and I did reread it in case I didn't understand something, but still found it confusing. But it did leave room for a sequal, BETRAYAL, which I'm really excited to read.

I love the cover with the necklace near the water and the phrase. "First love never dies..." I t seemed sort of something that would take place on the Titanic, I don't know why I think that. But there were no ships in the book, but it does capture the eerie feeling of the book.

Overall, I recommand this book if you like a good story and are into paranormal.

♥♥♥♥

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Don't Stalk the Admissions Officer By Risa Lewak Review by Ana


The college admissions process is:
A) Similar to gallbladder surgery without anesthesia
B) Worse than watching American Idol auditions without earplugs
C) Soul-destroying, ego-crushing, and life-sucking
D) Actually kind of funny when you think about it
E) All of the above

There’s no denying it: Applying to college is a grueling journey just shy of cruel and unusual punishment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t laugh along the way. If college is on your horizon, Don’t Stalk the Admissions Officer shows you how to ace the tricky application process—while maintaining your sense of humor and sanity. Former pre-admissions counselor Risa Lewak empowers you to craft a killer essay, choose between the SAT and ACT, score stellar recommendations, nail the interview, handle overly involved parents, and more. You’ll also learn how to navigate crucial post-application issues, like financial aid, rejection, and deciding whether to take a year off. Packed with insider tips, helpful suggestions, and laugh-out-loud anecdotes, this savvy handbook gives you the know-how and confidence to conquer this stressful rite of passage . . . and minimize nervous breakdowns.



This is was hilarious! From the first page, I was dying of laughter. I read thid book in one sitting since it was short, but very informative. I thought it was going to take weeks for me to finish this one with all of its information, but it was an easy read and easy to remember information. I loved it so much!

Going through the college process is hard and I know because I'm going to go through it this year and before I read this book, I was freaking out. But I learned how not to get so stressed over, but in a light way. I do feel better about starting school and the college process now because I know I have this book in handy.

I loved books that can make me laugh really hard and I don't usually find them, but this one was funny. All I did was laugh and all the laughing makes you feel better about everything so when stress hits you in the admissions process, have a good laugh with this book because not only will it help, it won't make you cry.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I had a great experieance reading it. Risa really knows how to get her readers attention and knows how to make something so scary, funny. If you're going through thid process, I recommand getting this book. It does help.

♥♥♥♥♥

Friday, August 13, 2010

Art Geeks and Prom Queens by Alyson Noel Review by Ana


Dorks, Dweebs, Debutantes, and Jocks—Where would you fit in?

Being the new girl is tough—just ask sixteen-year-old Rio Jones. A New York transplant, Rio has no clue how she's going to fit in at her fancy new private school in Southern California. Plus, being late, overdressed, and named after a Duran Duran song doesn't make the first day any easier for her.

Then Rio meets Kristi. Beautiful, rich, and a cheerleader, Kristi is the queen bee of Newport Beach. And Kristi isn't friends with just anyone, so Rio is thrilled when she's invited to be part of the most exclusive, popular clique. Of course, like any club, Kristi and her friends have rules: Always smile (even if you don't mean it), always dress cute (and never repeat outfits), and always flirt (but only with jocks, preps, and rich college guys).

At first Rio is having a great time, but as she becomes more immersed in this jet-set crowd, she figures out there is one last rule that her new friends forgot to mention: Don't cross Kristi . . .


I'm no big fan of chick lit novels, but I have to say I loved this one. I loved the voice Alyson Noel gave Rio and this book was so funny at times, I was laughing. Being the new girl is always hard and I can so relate to that. Even though everything I went through is over now, I so wish I had read this book then because it would have helped me a lot.

The characters are fully developed. Rio is a strong character, but you can see the change in her from being a geek to prom queen and you know it's not really her. Noel knows how to make the mean girl a mean girl. Kristi was so mean I just couldn't stand her. I felt so bad for what Rio went through towards the end of the book because it was so emotional. Even though Rio was in the popular crowd because of all the peer pressure not only from school, but also her mom.

I didn't know where this book was going to go when I first picked it up, but as I read along, Alyson Noel opens up a whole story that feels like you're watching a movie.

I loved the ending and how everything was resolved. It just showed that if you're going to do bad things, it will come back to you. I truly enjoyed seeing Rio standing up to Kristi and showing her she's not the boss of anyone and that gave a lot of courage to other girls who never were able to stand up to Kristi because they were afraid of her.

The cover is cute and somehow it matches what the book is about.

Overall, I loved this book and will be rereading this in the future again. If you're into chick lit, I totally recommand this book. But if you're not, give it a try. It didn't disappoint.

♥♥♥♥♥

Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan Review by Ana


Publishing Date: September 7, 2010

Publisher: Little Brown for Young Readers

ARC recieved free from publisher



New name, new town, new life. Nastasya has done it too often to count. And there’s no end in sight. Nothing ever really ends... when you’re immortal. But this time is different: Nastasya knows that this new town must hold her salvation—or her death.

Nastasya was born into darkness, and has embraced it her whole life. Four hundred years ago, a tragedy robbed her of her birthright, and she’s been living a lie ever since. Now, four centuries of exploring the depths and limits of dark power has left Nastasya feeling sickened unto death. If she continues down this road, she will end up as a very dark, twisted, evil thing—with unthinkable power. Or she can begin the long, painful road toward light, and reclaim the destiny that others tried to destroy.

They’re rare. You may have never met one, never sat next to one on a plane, never eaten in the same restaurant at the same time. But the Immortals are there. Have always been there. Will always be there. Moving among humans, playing out their own cursed fate. Sometimes subtly, sometimes with huge, sweeping implications for mankind. But no one will ever know. Except you.



I was taken away from this book from the start. I love the concept of Immortals and believe they are making a great start. Nastasya was a very changing character. In the beginning of the book, she was always going to parties and very careless of others around her, until she see's her friend kill someone. Then, she begins to change.

I really enjoy characters changing and some change for the better, and in this case it was true. I was glas Nastasya went to River's Edge to start again. But I loved how Cate Tiernan incorporated Reyn. He was cold towards Nastasya and mysterious and the entire time, I wanted to know what was up with him. Was he good? Bad? Also, the book has action, not as much as I hoped, but enough to keep me wanting more!

The cover is okay. I liked all the colors mixed up together and the girl in the background. She really does look like how I picture Nastasya.

I was very satisfied with the ending. There was no cliffahnger (which I'm happy) and it summed the book up perfectly. I'm so glad Cate Tiernan is back writing a new triology which I'm really excited to continue.

Overall, I liked the book and will be looking foreward to the sequals.

♥♥♥♥

Thursday, August 12, 2010

13 to Life by Shannon Delany Review by Ana


When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.

The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.


I absolutly love stories with werwolves. They're my favorite, and when I found out about 13 TO LIFE, I was excited to read it and give it a chance. I had high expectations, but the book was a thousand times better that I thought. I loved the action in the book and how well Shannon Delany writes. I was lured in from the first page when Jessica first met Pietr.

There was a time during the book where I cried. Literally, I was bawling. When Jessica was descibing how her mom died, I just broke down and not many novels give such a strong emotion that you can't control. This one did and right after it, I had to stop reading to get myself beack together.

The characters were so real and at times I hated them and loved them. That's what I like to see in characters. No one has only good qualities. We're mixed and that makes a dynamic character for me. At times, I got angry at Jessica for not sticking up for herself, but then you would realize that that was who she was. She didn't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Then you have Pietr who's strong, but sweet.

I loved the ending. It wrapped the book up, but left room for a sequal, which I can't wait for!

The cover grabbed the story in one picture. the eye of the guy with the moon and the girl walking the woods, thinking.

Overall, I loved this book and is one I will never forget and will be rereading later in the future.

♥♥♥♥♥

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wake by Lisa McMann Review - Ana


Not all dreams are sweet.
For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody- notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....



The reason why I picked this book up was because I loved the cover. Now, I always make the mistake of judging a book by its cover and many of those times, the book has turned out good. But this time, I was disappointed. I tried so hard to like WAKE, but I just couldn't get in it.

The characters seemed very flat to me. Janie was an okay character, but not one that you would remember forever and when you would grab the book, you would say wow - this book had such a great protagonist. Cabel, I didn't know what to even think about him. I found that his character didn't make me love him. He seemed a bit weak for me.

But a good thing for this book is the cover. I absolutly love it. The pillow really does grab the readers attention and summerizes the entire book.

The ending was okay as well. Am I going to be reading the rest of the books in this series, no. But remember, only because this book didn't capture my interest, doesn't mean it won't capture yours. I've read many good reviews for WAKE and many people love the series. I guess it didn't work for me.

Overall, this book is a quick read since it's very short.

♥♥

Monday, August 9, 2010

Abra Ebner Interview!


A new interview that we have today is from Abra Ebner, author of KNIGHT ANGELS and the FEATHER series!


1. When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I was young I always loved to write in journals. I have millions now, but it never dawned on me to write until after college. One day I started a story, and before I knew it I had seven books all together. It was sudden, and weird, but I love it!

2. What are you favorite things to do besides writing?

I like to golf the most, at least right now. My concentration changes with the seasons. Snowboarding, wakeboarding, horseback riding, drawing, and cooking are my other obsessions. I have to keep busy, though writing keeps me pretty busy ATM.

3. Publishing is very stressful and hard, how was your experience?

Stressful and hard! It's a long, long road, but if you can stick to it, and not let the bad times get you down (or the bad reviews) then eventually you'll succeed. It's scary to put yourself out there in a way that is so personal. The best thing you can do is take each review in stride and try to make something of it. There's always room for improvement, no matter how good you are.

4. If you could time travel, which time period would you go to?

I would go to the twenties in France. I love to treat each day with respect, get fresh groceries, and never plan ahead (unless I absolutely have to). I think about it all the time, and I wish time travel were something we could really do... just as long as it doesn't give me cancer (ha ha).

5. Are you planning of writing more after the FEATHER series? What should we expect?

I have written Knight Angels since FEATHER, and it's much different. It's edgy and contemporary, but I'm really excited about the possibilities. So far the second book in that series is my favorite, but it's not out yet. This Fall. I think everyone who liked FEATHER, will especially like the second book of Knight Angels.

Thanks for the great interview Abra!

-Ana

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Body Finder Review by Ana


"A serial killer on the loose. A girl with a morbid ability. And the boy who would never let anything happen to her.

Violet Ambrose can find the dead. Or at least, those who have been murdered. She can sense the echoes they leave behind... and the imprints they leave on their killers. As if that weren't enough to deal with during junior year, she also has a sudden, inexplicable, and consuming crush on her best friend since childhood, Jay Heaton.

Now a serial killer has begun terrorizing Violet's small town... and she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him."
----

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.



I don't know where to start with this book. It had everything I ever wanted. Paranormal elements, romance, and a killer on the loose!

Kimberly Derting from the starts make Jay and Violet show their love to each other. She didn't keep you waiting until the last page when you were finally over the book and couldn't stand it. She throws it right at you and you get absorbed right away. Violet is not the I'm-so-popular type of girl. She's normal and she's in love with her best friend from childhood. I thought that was the cutest thing ever because who knows you more than the guy who you've been best friends since kindergarten? Jay is the type of guy any girl would want and the suprising thing was that he was human. No magical powers, not a vampire, werewolf, or ghost. Just human. And I was suprised how I loved him so much. Thanks Kimberly for making me love a human.

The lot was filled with twists and turns and heart stopping romance and suspence. I didn't want to stop reading this book. I read it in a day wanting to know what would happen to Violet. Was she going to die? Was the killer going to get her? But another creep factor in the book was how some chapters were in the killer's point of view and he sounded like a killer would sound like.

The ending was tied up perfectly. No cliffhanger, but it does leave room for a sequal which will be coming out called DESIRES OF THE DEAD.

To be honest here, the cover helped me fall in love with the book. The synopsis did make me want to buy it, but the cover stood out at the bookstore. The blue flower in the background (I believe that is a blue flower) somehow gives you a feeling of what THE BODY FINDER is about, laying on top of the black background.

Overall, I loved this book and I sure will be reading the sequal and I totally recommend you reading this if you're into paranormal, suspence, and romance books. This book had everything and I was a happy camper!

♥♥♥♥♥

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Emma Michaels Interview

Today we're interviewing Emma Michaels, author of THE THIRTEENTH CHIME coming out in just a few days!!


1. How does it feel like to be a published author? Has this always been your dream?


It is a wonderful feeling! I have always dreamed about writing but it was only last year I actually realized that my dreams could become a reality.


2. How did you get THE THIRTEENTH CHIME published? Was it hard? Is this your first book?


It was a difficult process at first. I began submitting to agents and I received a lot of rejections. When I began submitting directly to publishers there was quite a difference and I began receiving offers almost immediately. "The Thirteenth Chime" is my first book and I am very pleased with how things are going! I know it can be a long hard road but to all of you aspiring authors out there, NEVER GIVE UP! If you can dream it, you can make it a reality!


3. If you could go anywhere right now, where would it be?


The Harry Potter theme park in Florida. I can't wait to see that place in person! Though I think I might wait and save up for some shopping after what I saw on the YouTube videos! With my sweet tooth I have no doubt I will be bringing back CANDY if I ever go!


4. Are you planning on writing more books? What should we expect?


I am definitely planning on writing more books. As long as fans continue to enjoy my writing, I'll keep writing. I have another series planned after "A Sense of Truth" and also a standalone novel in the works. I hope you will all love The Thirteenth Chime so that thse dreams can also become a reality!


5. What is your favorite word?

Indefatigable.

Least favorite word?
One I don't really want to put because I don't like it. *laughs* I can't even make myself type it out!

Favorite quote?
It depends on the day but for today, "It is better to be hated for who you are then loved for who you are not".


6.Do you have any hobbies?

Drawing, yoga and most things that give me a chance to spend time outdoors. I LOVE growing strawberries and roses (I guess it is because they are so hands on because of trimming and pruning? I am willing to try ALMOST anything at least once.


7. How did you come up with the idea for THE THIRTEENTH CHIME?


I had the inspiration for the book shortly after coming to Washington one night during a bad storm that knocked the power out in my area. We went next door to share a few candles and for the company. Lightning flashed and thunder shook the house, lighting up the room we were in even through the draperies. Then the the sky was silent. The silence made my breath catch and in the next moment, the antique grandfather clock in the house began to chime. The sound echoed throughout the house and made my heart jump into my throat. I unconsciously reached out to hold someone's hand, yearning to feel a bond, and it was in that moment that "The Thirteenth Chime" was born.

Thank you so much for the interview and to everyone reading! Your support means so much to me!!!!


You're so welcome Emma and good luck on your debut novel!

-Ana