Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Source: Publisher
The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.

And so the confessions begin....

If you're thinking this book is going to be a big mystery, it's not. That was my first reaction when I first got this one, but even though it's not, it was really good!

The Sullivan Family find out that their very rich and powerful grandma (a.k.a. Almighty) will not be including them in her will since she soon is going to die. Now without her money, they basically will become poor. Almighty did say that she might change her mind if the person who hurt her comes to her with a confession by New Years Eve. So now everything begins.

The book is divided into three part, each of the Sullivan sisters confessing their story. And as you reach to the last sister, the confessions become more serious and you'll be gaping the entire time.

The ending was very unexpecting for me. I didn't think that was going to happen.

The cover was beautiful. The three girls are how I imagined the three sisters with their confessions right behind them at their grandma's house.

Overall, I enjoyed this book becuase it was an interesting read and who doesn't enjoy reading some good confessions?



Monday, September 27, 2010

Ann Mauren Interview

Today for an interview, we have debut author Ann Mauren here with us! She's the author of IN THE SPOTLIGHT, a really good book that I think everyone should check out.

1. How did you come up with the idea for IN THE SPOTLIGHT?

Since I was young I’ve played a little game with myself where I pick a person out at random for observation—trying to come up with a story in my mind about who they are and what they are like from what little I can see of them in the time I have to watch them. It began for me as a kid trying to pass the boredom of time spent at hardware stores with my dad, or department stores with my mom, but I continued it later as a grown-up in situations like being in a mile long line at the BMV or while walking in a park or waiting at the post office. When I decided to write a story, this seemed like a natural premise to pursue and it was fun to take it further and imagine a whole scenario about watching a person for an extended period of time and slowly falling in love with their character. It was also fun to think of it through the eyes of the person who realizes they’re being watched and how they might react to such a thing. There’s nothing better than controlling the destinies of characters you love.

2. Publishing is a hard. How was your experience? Easy? Hard?

It’s hard—so hard in fact that I’m still scratching my head wondering how I of all people got away with it. That being said I must confess that self-publishing is relatively easy in comparison to mainstream publishing. Companies like CreateSpace and Smashwords make it basically free to publish your work, but the flip side is that you have to be innovative and diligent in creating strategies to market your book and connect with your particular set of readers. The hardest part for me has been to muster the courage to put my work out there for people to dissect and critique. I wish that everyone who posts opinions about books they’ve read could have the experience of writing their own piece and offering it up for review. I have a new appreciation and profound respect for other authors, both old and new.

3. What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Free time? Are you kidding? I have a baby and a third grader, a secular job and house to run…oh, and novels to write! Free time! As if! J Okay, I’ll confess that late at night when nobody needs their diaper changed, or their lunch made, or their shirt ironed, I love to curl up with a steaming cup of chai tea, get under a warm blanket in my favorite chair and read a good book. Make that a Kindle! My husband recently surprised me with one and now and totally I’m hooked! It’s the best thing since sliced bread (and it never gets stale!)

4. If you could time travel for one year, where would you go?

I’ve always been really curious about what life must have been like in the Garden of Eden—before that whole forbidden fruit thing went down, of course.

5. Can you relate to any of your characters?

Ellery is the character with whom I can most easily identify. The descriptions of her insecurities about making friends and speaking in front of other people are exactly how I felt when I was her age, and how I still feel today, to a certain extent. Other similarities are that I’m the reigning champion of Balderdash (a game of word definitions) in my family and that I have a ‘thing’ for state quarters. I have long blonde hair and brown eyes and my mother actually does scoff at the fat and cholesterol content of any given ingredient in a recipe…I could go on for quite a while here!

6. Will you be writing more books after Mayne Attraction?

I’m still working on the Mayne Attraction series but I have ideas for other stories all the time—especially when I’m trying to write for M.A.! It’s very frustrating, actually. What I’d really love is to team up with another author and write as partners. I used to think this was a weird notion and wonder how other authors made it work, but now I can see that there could be huge benefits: developing and refining ideas together, sharing the research and editing work, keeping up the excitement and/or morale, and each writer contributing their particular talents and expertise to the project. And of course the biggest benefit of all would be if this partner already had a bit of a fan following of their own. Then our fans could join forces! Would I mind being a sidekick? Not at all. “Holy spell check, Batman! To the internet for research—Let’s go!”

Thanks for the great interview Ann!!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Source: Publisher
Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents--and the fact that she can't remember what happened to them even though she was there.

She's struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn't like any guy she's ever met before.

It turns out there's a reason why, and Ben's secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents...

But what if that secret changes everything she knows about--and feels for--Ben?

What a book! I read this one in one day and actually stayed up all night finishing it because I couldn't put it down. LOW RED MOON is a fast paced love story that has you eating away its pages to find out more.

Avery Hood has just lost her parents and the way Devlin descibes her pain, it so real for me. It wasn't as though Avery was sad for losing them for just two pages and then was jumping in jpy because the hottest boy in town loves her. Her pain lasted throughout the entire book and her quest on finding who killed them followed. I was scared for her. Whoever had done it, (you'll be guessing until the end) wanted Avery dead as well. And when Avery descibes what happened that night, what she saw, all I could was cry.

The plot was pretty typical, but for me it doesn't matter. What really matters is if the story can grab my attention and take me on a ride until the last page. This book did it for me.

The ending, was perfect. Everything was solved and and I'll just say there is a happily ever after.

The cover is absolutly gorgeous!!!!! The red foil captures the story so well and when I first recieved this book, I kept on looking at the cover.

Overall, if you love werewolves and a good mystery/romance, this book is for you. It keeps the suspence until the very end.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Silver Is For Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz

I'll make you pay . . .

School is over, and now Stacey, her boyfriend Jacob, and their friends have rented a beach cottage for the summer. No more stress, secrets, or stalkers. But then Stacey's nightmares return—predicting the cruel death of Clara, a mysterious girl with a secret. And now Jacob, the only one who understands Stacey's magic, is keeping secrets, too. Is he betraying Stacey's trust or protecting her from revenge and tragedy?

I absolutly love the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES Series, but I was so disappointed with this one. For me, it fell short. The writing was good, but nothing captured my interest. It was the same plot over and over again. Stacey's nightmares begin again and everything will start anew with the kidnapping. I wished something new was going to show up in this book, but nothing did.

All the characters were the same, but I think the author didn't know what more to add in the series and was just dragging the books on. When I found out that there was a fourth and fifth book, I didn't even bother buying them.

Overall, the series disappointed me with this book and there's not much I can say about it.



Thursday, September 23, 2010

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal - Review by Rissa

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.

A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.

It's pretty common knowledge among my friends and family that I'm a sucker for anything relating to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the like. In fact, I would spend every day at Medieval Times if that were humanely/financially possible (if you've never heard of Medieval Times, go ask our Supreme Overload Google it, you will not be disappointed, it's pretty awesome), but I digress. I was searching on GoodReads one day (see: and I came across this book by Ms. Eilis O'Neal. The summary alone had me sold, so I contacted her and she was kind enough to send me a copy. The book is set for release on January 25, 2011, so if you like what you read in this review I heartily encourage you to go over to Amazon and preorder yourself a copy!


In recent months I have discovered that it is becoming more and more difficult to find a book that isn't centered around cliché creatures or weak, whiny, heroines who cannot carry themselves through one chapter without falling to pieces. This is absolutely not the case with Nalia, or should I say, Sinda, the main character who is forced from her home by a cruel twist in fate, and left to make her own way in an unknown world. The world Ms. O'Neal creates is also a refreshing change, it has been a long time since I've been drawn into such a setting, rich with with royalty, castles, magic, sorcerers, and an evil that must not triumph.


The cover is a beautiful interpretation of our protagonist, Sinda. The necklace around her neck seems to portray the girl she was, or rather, the girl she thought she was. It is alluring and elegant, and it immediately draws the reader into the story.


(NOTE; because I don't want to give away too much of the plot, I will only be going into detail on a few characters who I feel I can safely describe without saying more than I should.)

The characters in THE FALSE PRINCESS are strong and multi-dimensional. They can definitely tell a story; they can make you love them, and they can make you hate them. Sinda is a strong girl, but even she cannot fight what has happened to her. When she is told the truth of her family and forced out of the castle, she experiences shock and an unfamiliar weakness. It is not until later when she is betrayed by a "friend," that she realizes that she has to be able to confront her problems ("Fool me one, shame on you-- Fool me twice, shame on me.").
Now, for Tyr. My gosh, I sometimes can't believe what a complete rollar coaster ride that boy put me through. I don't want to give anything away, but reader; be ready to feel Sinda's emotions right along with her-- the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Kiernan, on the other hand, is a definite favorite of mine. He is a funny, strong character who is not willing to give up his friendship (or is it more?) with Sinda simply because of the events unfolding. I loved his flirty nature, as well as the frequent references to how he drives his family insane with his antics.


When a girl finds out that the royal life she has been living is all a lie, how is she supposed to react? Most people would not be faced with this dilemma, but the same cannot be said for Princess Nalia of Thorvaldor. Due to a plot threatening the true princess' life, she is adopted as a stand in. On her 16th birthday she is sent away to an aunt she doesn't know; to a life she doesn't belong in. Sinda, which, she learns, is her new name, finds herself in the midst of a conflict, should she accept her fate or should she fight back? After all, 16 years is a long time to live a lie. She makes her decision, and an entirely new adventure opens up.
Again, I cannot give too much away, but let me say this of the rest of the plot; the villains are devious, you WILL be surprised, and if you can keep track of all of their schemes (and princesses) then you are a better girl than I. O'Neal did a wonderful job with a detailed conflict and I found myself having to reread some parts over to fully understand the complexity of the situation (but in an entirely good way, I found myself unraveling the story with Sinda, and enjoying every part of it.)
The only note I will make in respect to the plot is relating to the story of Sinda's family. I understand that they were not a major theme in the story, but when reading the section dedicated to their background, I felt like it went a little fast. It was not a major detail, but I would have liked more of an explanation about the people who shape Sinda's background.


Without giving away any detail, I will say that the ending of the story will have the reader on the edge of his or her seat, wondering what will happen to Sinda and the other characters as they fight to reveal the truth behind the scheming villains. Sinda will also have to decide her fate, and also take into consideration the direction in which her heart pulls her. If you like medieval stories of royally, romance, and mystery, this is one you will not be able to put down.

I wholeheartedly give this book a rating of ♥♥♥♥♥, it was a pleasure to read, and I hope you add it to your watch list-- remember, January 25, 2011!!


I want to say how sorry I am since I haven't been posting in almost a week. School just buried me with having at least 2 tests a day! I know crazy.

But tomorrow there will be a review


don't forget to enter the giveaway of FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan swag which includes a bookmark, postcard, and sticker!!!!

To enter all ou have to do is send me your name at

So goodbye for now and goodluck to everyone!! :D


Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Hey everyone! It has been a while since I've been posting, but I am still alive! I got my senior schedule (EEK!) and it's taken me these past few weeks to acquaint myself with it. I'm also working on college stuff (another EEP!), but I think I have everything under control now, so let me tell you what I'll be up to in the near future.

I have 5 new books that I'm reading/about to read. I'll be posting a few reviews, as well as some interviews that I'm very excited about.

I also fully intend to finish my Vampire Academy series reviews before the last one, LAST SACRIFICE, is released on December 7th.


Ana and I played a tennis match today-- no big-- except that our game decided the fate of the entire match!!! Luckily, we were so into our game that we didn't realize this until it was over, and we WON. The score was 4-6 7-5 3-6 Seriously guys, this was our biggest and best win yet, and I have never been hugged so much in my life (everyone was attacking us with hugs, and vice versa). We are both so thrilled.

Well, onto homework, I have a few tests tomorrow so I'm signing off for now. Within the next few days I'll have a new review up.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

In The Spotlight by Ann Mauren

Source: Author

Ellery Mayne is a high school girl who makes a disturbing discovery. After a foiled abduction attempt, she realizes that an entire team of security personnel are secretly shadowing her every move. As she works to make sense of this startling development, she secretly carries out observations of her own, testing the limits of a secret service detail who think they are conducting transparent surveillance on a clueless teenager.

When the mystery behind the secret security unravels, Ellery is faced with decisions that involve her future and the hopes of two unlikely love interests: a handsome but conflicted security agent who doesn’t realize she knows about him, and her first love—a boy that broke her heart—who has returned to explain his actions and his feelings for her.

Told from Ellery’s perspective, she puzzles over what could interest not one but two handsome suitors and a whole security force. Suddenly this quiet loner realizes that her life is In the Spotlight and she is the Mayne Attraction.

Let me just start out by saying, do not shy away from self published authors. They are just as good as an author from a big publishing house. I loved the world Ann Mauren created in IN THE SPOTLIGHT. It was such a new idea - one that I had never heard of - and it felt good to read something new.

Ellery was such a strong and awesome character. She didn't run around in circles not knowing what to do. She could take care of herself and that brings me to Ash and Gray. Two sweet talking boys. What more do I have to say about this?

I found IN THE SPOTLIGHT not heavy on the romantic aspect, but very coming of age. Mauren knows how to deal with characters and even though the book was long, it was an enjoyable read.

The cover tells you exactly what the title says, IN THE SPOTLIGHT. Now, it's not the best cover ever, but it's pretty attracting and has its own story inside it, making you want to read the synopsis in the back.

Overall, I enjoyed IN THE SPOTLIGHT and so want to read the sequals to find out what happens next. If you're looking for a fresh new read from a debut auhtor with many talents, this one's for you.



The Limit by Kristen Landon

Source: Publisher

An eighth grade girl was taken today . . .
With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn't let up for a moment. In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next, but quickly dismisses the thought. After all, his parents are financially responsible, unlike the parents of those other kids. As long as his parents remain within their limit, the government will be satisfied and leave them alone. But all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push Matt’s family over their limit—and to change his reality forever.

THE LIMIT was action packed and I was always waiting to see what would happen next. I have never read a book like this before and I didn't know what to expect and my expectations weren't too high. But now that I've read this book, I surely will be reading more like it.

Matt was such a strong and well developed character.Not only was he smart and knew what to do in different situations, but he cared so much for his family that he was the one actually bringing them to reality about the limit. Through most of the book, I got really annoyed by his parents because they seemed not to care at all that they were over their limit twice and two of their children were taken. They kept on saying they'd be out of the limit in no time, but none of that was happening.

The workhouse - as fun as it seemed at times - I had many doubts about it and its people. And the ending brings it all together. This was such a unique book that I kept on thinking about what would happen. The characters were real and the dialogue was real.

I enjoyed the ending. No cliffhanger and everything seemed to work out okay. The ending was satisfying.

The cover is exactly how I imagined the workhouse and Matt running inside it, trying to find out its secrets and an escape route.

Overall, if you're looking for a new fast paced read, THE LIMIT is for you. A great plot and strong characters make this book great.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Kissed By An Angel by Elizabeth Chandler

A love beyond life...a danger beyond doubt.

In a romantic and suspenseful collection of the New York Times bestselling trilogy, love's unbreakable bonds are put to the test.

When her boyfriend, Tristan, died, Ivy thought she'd lost everything, even her faith in angels. But now she's discovered that he's her guardian angel — his presence so strong that she can feel the touch of his hand, the beat of his heart. Ivy needs Tristan now more than ever because he knows she's in terrible danger. Only Ivy's guardian angel can save her now that his killer is after her.

But if Tristan rescues Ivy, his mission on earth will be finished, and he must leave her behind forever. Will saving Ivy mean losing her just when he's finally reached her again?

All I can say is what a cute love story! The love Ivy and Tristan had for each other was unbreakable and even death couldn't break the two.

I could not believe who the killer was. I'm not going to say, but when you read this book, you're going to be as shocked as I was. I actually reread that part to make sure I was seeing and reading right, but there it was.

The writing in this book wasn't complex or anyting unique. The plot grabs your attention because come one, angels are so in right now. They have taken over YA literature and I can't wait to read more about them.

The cover for KISSED BY AN ANGEL is very much of the ordinary. Just a rose with yellow, red, and orange and a black background. Honestly, the cover had a part in me picking it up, but the synopsis did the trick. I'm so glad I read this book because it's so amazing and suspenceful as you're reading towards the end.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and if you're looking for more angel books, this one's for you.



Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I just wanted to give a quick update about the contest which you can click the link below to find out if you haven't already.

Also, I wanted to tell everyone something. I have started a blog all by myself. It's called Confessions of A Story Lover. Now it doesn't mean I'm going to be leaving the AnaRissa Chronicles and won't be posting any longer. I just wanted to have my own blog just for myself and since you guys are absolutly amazing here and I love receiving the sweet emails saying how much you love this blog, I was hoping you could help support me on my new blog as well. By this weekend a ton more reviews will be on Confessions of A Story Lover and it would be amazing if you could follow me there as well. :) But I promise you I'll still be here at the AnaRissa Chronicles reviewing books and hosting contests. :)

The link is below.

Now please remember that it's not done yet. It will be done by thr end of this week, so probably by Monday morning. I'll have a banner on there and in depth reviews of many many books.

Good Luck in the contest

and thanks so much for your support. I'll have a review of KISSED BY AN ANGEL by Elizabeth Chandler on tomorrow.



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Deception By Lee Nichols Review

Source: Publisher

When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England.

After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain, as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.

I fell in love with this book from the opening pages. It was so well written and I had never read anything like this before! But my expectations for this one weren't high, but after I was done reading, they surpassed beyond what I even thought.

Emma was a funny, but strong character. She was a regular girl who was in love with boys, but finds out a huge secret about herself. I couldn't stop laughing with what she would do. It was simply hilarious and when Emma was fighting, she never backed down. That's a strong character and that's what I like to see. I loved Bennett. Why doesn't love a Harvard guy with a secret as well? Not only was this guy charming, but Nichols left him a mystery throught most of the book. I was dying to find out more about him, and still am.

DECEPTION had such an unique plot. There's not many books out there about ghosts and if there are, this one totally knocks them all away. The mystery and romance in this book sizzeled and I kept finding myself turning the pages quickly in order to find out what was going to happen next. And now I'm dying to read the sequal, BETRAYAL.

The ending was a cliffhanger. When I tunred the page and saw there was nothing left, I wanted to cry. I so wanted to know what was going to happen to Emma, her relationship with Bennett, where are her parents, etc. So many questions kept on running in my mind and now I'm dying to know the answers.

I absolutly love the cover. It's simply gorgeous and the girl on the cover reminds me of Emma and the house behind reminds me of the place she goes to live in Boston. And the necklace has a huge meaning in the book. You'll just have to read it to find out....

Overall, I loved this book and don't know any other way to express my love for it. Go now and buy it because it's a great read and I will be rereading this one again!


The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

In Mary's world, there are simple truths.

The Sisterhood always knows best.

The Guardians will protect and serve.

The Unconsecrated will never relent.

And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death?

The book started out a bit slow for me. Mary kept on narrating, and barely any dialogue was involved and the book felt a bit short. The book had a creep factor involved with the whole Forest of Hands and Teeth and how people died when the zombies from outside would come to attack. I was scared during those parts. I kept on wondering how woul dI live in something like that?

There was nothing huge that stood out to me about the characters. They were just ... characters. Mary cared for everyone and really loved Travis and you see their relationship evolve throughout the book. Everyone else was the same.

The plot was good, again nothing special, just a good read.

The ending was sad! It sisn't bring em to tears, but I felt scared and sad for Mary and what happens to everyone at the end. I promise you no spoliers, but it is a suprise.

The cover was okay. When I first saw it, I wished there was soemthing more involved with the forest, but the paperback cover, does involve that and I thought it was much better, and that's the version I have.

Overall, this book was okay if you're waiting for another book to come out and you want to pass the time.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Change in the Contest

So the contest that I had written about, I have a little change to do. I thought that giving away one bookmark only for one month wasn't enough, so I'm deciding to make a swag giveaway!

The contest ends on October 16, 2010

and the prizes are ........

A FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan bookmark

A sticker of FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan


A signed bookmark of EVERLASTING by Angie Frazier, signed by Angie herself!!!

So the rules are the same.

Contest is only open in the United States.

Email me at your name and you will be entered in the contest.

I hope everyone is excited and goodluck!!! :)


Friday, September 10, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker–his classmate and crush–who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

Wow! This book was very powerful. I had never read anything like it and never could I have imagined how much this book leaves in you. Asher makes you feel for Hannah. She had suffered so much that while reading, I kept wondering to myself how come no one helped her? And even though Clay wanted to help out, he couldn't. Maybe he could, but he never did.

The characters were so well developed, I felt all their pain and while reading the book, I pictured it in my mind. Hannah kept on trying to be nice to everyone, but no one listened. She was ignored and one little rumor can ruin your life. In Hannah's case, it ended hers. I felt myself tearing up during parts of the book, especially the ending.

The writing was powerful and any book that makes me cry, I know it has my attention. I loved how Asher involved the cassessttes of Hannah talking. Not only did I get a feel of Hannah's side, but also how Clay felt.

I love the cover. It's the perfect picture to descibe the book. The blond haired girl sitting on the swing looking all sad and as though she's thinking, reminds me of Hannah.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. It grabs your attention and it takes you on a very emotional ride and a difficult subject. Asher did a good job showing this.



Thursday, September 9, 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).


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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;


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Radiance by Alyson Noel Review

Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she's summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn't just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She's been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can't quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who's been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he's never met Riley...

Alyson Noel does it again! Not only has she compelled me with her IMMORTALS series, but she's written a middle grade novel that not only is good, but for every age as well. I loved seeing Riley again because in the IMMORTALS she was only in EVERMORE and then gone. She's such a funny character and so dynamic that I loved reading about her adventure.

The dialogue for Riley sounded like a twelve year old girl actually would talk. Noel is famous for this. She knows how to capture a person's feelings and makes all her characters feeling real. Bohdi was a funny character as well. A cute geeky kid - what's not to like? I loved the funny arguments between the two because it only shown how close their friendship was.

I enjoyed the plot on trying to get the Radiant Boys to cross the bridge. I loved the adventure Riley and Bohdi went through together and it was pure enjoyment. I have nothing else to say about this book other than fun!

I devoured the cover!! It's so beautiful as Noel's IMMORTALS series covers. The girl looks exactly like Riley with Buttercup and there is no other way I can imagine the cover.

Overall, I loved this book. I totally recommend everyone to read it, especially if you're a fan of Noel's IMMORTALS series. It's a fun, quick read, that you will love.



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Plain Kate by Erin Bow Review

Source: Publisher

Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade" -- a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.
For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate's father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he'll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what's more, he'll grant her heart's wish. It's a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

PLAIN KATE is the first book I've read that's a fairey - tale retelling. I had never read one before, but I was nowhere near hesitant. I love fairey - tales, especially Russian ones and was so excited to read PLAIN KATE.

The book is written like a fairey - tale would be, but it's way longer than one, but you go through an adventure with Kate and all that she goes through. You begin to feel for her since she's an orphan and this witch, Linay, is asking her for her shadow. Let me tell you, I had many doubts about Linay. No matter how charming he seemed, I could not trust him, but still at times, I could. Kate is a wonderful character, full of emotions and was 3 - D. And to make the book more of a gariey - tale retelling, there was Kate's talking cat, Taggle, which I thought was a great additon to the story.

For the ending, I couldn't ask for more. Just like a fairey-tale ending I have grown up to love, Bow delivers it in PLAIN KATE. No cliffhanger, and it certainly wasn't anywhere near dull. A perfect ending to wrap up a fairey-tale.

This cover is one of my favorites. For some reason it screams Russian fairey-tales to me, and the girl with her cat on the cover is exactly how I imagined Kate with Taggle and the town seems perfectly right.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and for anyone who's searching a new kind of book, read this one because you won't be disappointed. Erin Bow has created a great book with characters and a plot that bring back memories of being a little kid and listening to a fairey-tale being read at night before you drifted off to sleep.



Saturday, September 4, 2010

New Contest!!

So from now until December, I will be hosting a series of 3 contests - one for every month. Each month one random person will be winning a bookmark, but only on the last month will there be one that is signed by the author.

Okay, so here are the prizes:

Septmeber: Bookmark of RETURN THE HEART by T.K. Richardson

October: Bookmark of FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan and sticker of FIRELIGHT

November: Signed bookmark by Angie Frazier, author of EVERLASTING.

The Rules:

I will only be shipping in the U.S., so you must live here to enter.

To enter, just send me an email with your name to

You must be a follower of The AnaRissa Chronicles.

And the first contest ends September 31, 2010!

Good Luck to everyone and I will be posting updates for the contest.



Friday, September 3, 2010

Lecture Notes by Philip Mitchell Freeman

Source: Publisher

If you’re an incoming freshman facing the culture shock of campus life, reeling under the weight of scholastic expectations, and feeling the pressure of overwhelming financial commitments—don’t panic! Lectures Notes counters the confusion with an insider’s perspective on navigating these challenges and many more. Professor Philip Freeman reveals the three sure-fire rules for a great college experience, offers solid strategies for fostering crucial relationships with faculty advisors, and sets you up for four years of success—and beyond. Packed with practical advice, Lectures Notes is a must read for every college-bound high school senior, whether you’re attending a small-town junior college, a sprawling mega-campus, or an ivy-league university. Don’t leave home without it!

This book truly helped me know what was ahead for me in college. College is scary because people no longer hold your hands, or you walk in a straight line with people you've known from pre-K. You're all alone - you're a grown up and that's a scary thought. You begin to worry about what your major should be, what if make a mistake, what if, what if. The questions never stop, and they surely haven't for me either. But LECTURE NOTES helped there, not only with chosing a major, but with classes, teachers, and what to actually expect in college. Freeman is a college professuer himself and reading a book by one, does make you feel as though now you know the right path.

The writing wasn't hard to understand with big words that would scare you, rather than help. It was easy and a fun, quick read, but filled with great information that helps get you through your fears.

After I was done reading, I felt good about college and knew that any worries I had, I had this book with me. LECTURE NOTES is not a big fat textbook - it's a small guide that you can take with you to college and whenever you get stuck on what to do, just pull this book out because it has all the answers in here for you.

Overall, I recommend this to students who are juniors and seniors in high school or a college freshman. Don't put yourself under a lot of stress when there is this book that can help ease it.



Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater Review

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human ... until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Shiver caught my eye immediatly by it's interesting synopsis and beautiful cover. The first page immediatly grabed my attention and I wanted to know more about the wolves and Grace and the love between.

The characters in SHIVER were well organized. I loved how sweet and loving Sam was and how he treated Grace with such care. Grace was a strong character, but this feeling is in the book that when you hear Grace and Sam, you know they are meant to be for each other.

The plot was very interesting on how in the winter, the wolves would change into wolf form and change into human form in spring. Sam was fighting to stay human forever because during his human form he finally talked to Grace and fell madly in love with her and they who time, I was wanted Grace to find a cure for Sam to stay human forever with her. But they both go through a lot before the end comes.

The cover is drop dead gorgeous. I love how it gives you the feeling of winter and when I read SHIVER, it was summer, but it made me want winter to come. The wolf in the back of the forest tells you all about Sam and the Wolves of Mercy Falls. Also, the leaf was a great additon to the cover, and even though I didn't really understand its meaning, I still thought it wrapped up the cover perfectly!

The ending I found a bit confusing the first time I read it. But after I read it again, I realized it was sort of a cliffhanger and I couldn't wait for LINGER, sequal to SHIVER, to come out and understand if Sam had survived or if he was stuck as a wolf forever.

Overall, this book was a cute, sweet romance novel with wolves and I recommend everyone to read it.



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Interview with T.K. Richardson

Hey everyone,

Today we have the amazing T. K. Richardson, author of RETURN THE HEART, here with us for an interview!

Hi Ana, thanks for having me as a guest today.

I'm glad you're here!

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

This is such a good question. Honestly, I never dreamed of becoming a writer. I never said, “I want to be a writer when I grow up.” I had other ambitions and they all included travel, adventure, and excitement.

I have always been an avid reader, but it wasn’t until just a few years ago that I became a writer. It all happened pretty fast, too. I was struck with an inspiration, a great character (Lilly), and I sat down at my desk to write it out. Six weeks later I held my first draft of my first novel.

2. Has anyone inspired you in your writing? Are your characters based on anyone?

All the books that I read prior to writing Return the Heart played some part and inspired me. But the most inspirational authors were Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, and Gogol. In fact the very first line in Return the Heart is from a novel by Dostoevsky. So yes, these Russian authors play a big part in my writing.

As far as the characters in Return the Heart, they’re not based on anyone really. I took little bits and pieces from people I know, because they fit the characters and breathed life into them, but no they’re not based on anyone.

3. How hard was your publishing experience? Easy?

Publishing is never easy. It doesn’t matter who the author is, the process is very lengthy, and very difficult. But it is also very much worth it.

4. What is your favorite food?

Hmmm… That’s a tough one. I think it depends on my mood and the time of year. I love Bar B Q in the summer, and I love Italian food. Oh, I know - I love my mom’s manicotti. She’s Italian and makes the best food.

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

Let’s see… Well, I’m not very tall (5'3”). I love watching Ice Road Truckers. I can’t stand lima beans. And I don’t like the smell of vanilla or peaches. :)

6. If you could time travel for one year, where would you spend it?

I would map out a list of places from all the history books I’ve read and visit my favorite time periods and places. One place and time would be Russia in 1812.

Thanks so much!

Thanks for having me!