NEVERMORE by Kelly Creagh --Review

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Title: Nevermore
Author: Kelly Creagh
Hardcover, 528 pages

Published: August 31st 2010 by Atheneum
Special Note: ARC Review

PLOT:

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.




Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.



As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.



His life depends on it.
My Thoughts:

What I really LOVED about this novel was the unlikely relationship between Isobel, the preptastic cheerleader, and Varen, a gothic guy who never socializes. Their relationship isn't the typical instant attraction you see saturating the Young Adult market currently. It's gradual, which is more believable. They get to know each other when they are paired together for a a school English project.

There is some weaving in of Edgar Allen Poe, which makes this story a little creepy, in a cool way. The dream world had a few shaky transitions and I had to reread parts a couple times to figure out what was going on.

Overall I liked this one. It was in 3rd person, which is always a struggle for me, but I got through it--in large part, because the relationship between the two main characters kept me hooked.

I would recommend this to someone who likes creepy romances told from a 3rd person point of view.

I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan---Review

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Title: I Now Pronounce You Someone Else
Author: Erin McCahan
Hardcover, 272 pages

Published: June 1st 2010 by Arthur A. Levine Books
Special Note: Review for Book Tour


PLOT:

Seventeen-year-old Bronwen Oliver doesn't just want a family. She has one of those, and there's nothing terribly wrong with them apart from bickering grandparents, an image-obsessed mother and a brother she describes simply as Jesus. But there's no natural sense of connection between Bronwen and her family, leaving her with the belief -- and the hope -- that she was switched at birth, that she was never supposed to be Bronwen Oliver but someone else entirely.




When she begins dating college senior Jared Sondervan, she finds herself thoroughly embraced by the loving family she has always wanted and does not hesitate to say yes when Jared proposes on her 18th birhday. Plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her junior year of college become plans for the Perfect Beach Wedding before her freshman year of college. And a wedding so soon isn't exactly what Bronwen wants. But Jared is. And his family is. Or so she thinks.



Before Bronwen can determine what she truly wants, she must first determine who she truly is, and the answer, she discovers, is only partially what she thought it was. She wasn't switched at birth, but she's also not Bronwen Oliver and hasn't been for a very long time.
My Thoughts:

First off, I looooooooooooooove older protaganist in Young Adult Fiction. Especially, in contemporary novels. Bronwen, our loveable, snarky main character, has a voice so clear, I could actually hear her in my head. That's when you know the author nailed the "voice" of the narrator.

Our love intrest, Jared, is a smexy college senior who is Bronwen's older bother's high school friend. Yeah, say that three times fast! LOL But there's also another guy, Chad, who you find out Bronwen just dumped because he was trying to pressure her into sex. So there's that drama, too.

More than anything this book is just about Bronwen trying to figure out who she is and where she fits in. This is a great Young Adult Contemporary novel and I think fans of Sara Dessen, Rachel Hawthorne, and Judy Blum will really like this one!

PS: Erin gets extra props for being a Columbus, Ohio native, too!! :)

Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick---Review

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Title: Hush Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Hardcover, 391 pages

Published October 13th 2009 by Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing (first published September 27th 2009)
Series: Hush, Hush #1
Characters: Nora Grey, Patch Cipriano, Vee Sky
 
 
Plot:
 
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.

My Thoughts:

I've had this book on my shelf for almost a whole year now, and I just got a chance to read it, but now I could kick myself for waiting so long. I completely see the draw to Patch now. He's hot, slightly creepy, and may or may not be out to kill our lovable main character, Nora Gray. This novel kept me hooked, I just had to figure out if Patch was really a bad guy who was just stalking Nora, or if he was being framed by some other creep.

I'm so glad there is a second book, because I feel like there wasn't quite enough making out between Patch and Nora for all the sexual tension pushed throughout the book. Hopefully, we'll see a more closeness in book two and a nicer side of Patch.

There's so much more I could go on about, but then I would spoil the plot for those of you that haven't read the book, and I don't want to do that. I will say if you like fallen angel stories with a hint of romance, you'll love this one.


Book 2, Crescendo,  hits shelves Oct 14th, 2010

Firelight by Sophie Jordan--Review

Title: Firelight
Author: Sophie Jordan
Hardcover, 336 pages

Published September 7th 2010 by Harper Teen
Series: Draki #1
Special Note: ARC Review



Plot: 

With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

My Thoughts:

There were tons of things I loved about this novel. I especially liked how from page one you see Jacinda not only transform into her fire-breathing draki form, but you see she's a bit rebellious too. The plot thickens when you discover Jacinda is promised to the leader of the pride's son. Nothing like an arranged marriage to make you root for a guy who really loves her to swoop in and save her, which is where Will comes in. *Sigh* Will and Jacinda make an awesome couple! When you first meet Will it's hard to tell if is a good guy or not because he's a draki hunter, but that doesn't take away from his sexiness.

I love the spin on dragons in this novel and the romance pushes this story to an awesome level. I really liked this one!

New Contest Alert!!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

My writing BFF, Jenn, is holding her one year anniversary blog giveaway, where she's giving away some kick ass books! Check it out!


Torment
Torment (Fallen)Mocking Jay

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) - Library Edition


Speak
Speak: 10th Anniversary Edition










Catalyst
Catalyst



Summer of Skinny Dipping
The Summer of Skinny Dipping 


Are all up for grabs there. PLUS it's international!!!! :)

Enjoy!!

WINNERS!!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

BLOGMANIA WINNERS!!

Giveaway #1

*Andye*

Giveaway #2

Cheyanne

Giveaway#3

BJ


PARANORMALCY GIVEAWAY WINNER!!

Sylvia


I will be emailing all the winners shortly to get their information to mail their books!!

Congrats to all, and a big thank you to all of you who entered!!

Young Adult Book Bundles--Blogmania Sept 15&16!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome to My Blogmania Giveaway!

Blog #119 out of 169

 
You've arrived at exactly the right time to explore lots of new blogs, all of which, ARE HOSTING A VERY SPECIAL BLOGMANIA GIVEAWAY (For Two Days Only – September 15th and 16th)

We've done all the work for you. No hunting or surfing. Each blog will have a number and a Master List Posted at the Bottom of their giveaway.

These numbers will allow you to keep track of which blogs you've visited and how many are left to visit. Why not take a moment to make a list of numbers 1-169, and check off the blogs as you go.

I know you'll want to visit as many blogs today as you can!!!






MY GIVEAWAY and RULES:


There is a grand total of over $100 worth of prizes here, and over $38,000 worth of prizes total thanks to all of the hard working Blogmania Blogs!!



This contest will have THREE (US ONLY) winners picked by number randomizer. Leave a comment with your email address and follow my blog and you are entered for all three drawings! While your here be sure to enter my PARANORMALCY giveaway (Contest link on LEFT side bar, just click the picture!) Here's what's up for grabs:


PRIZE PACK #1----THE DATING GAME complete YA six book series


PRIZE PACK #2
SON OF THE MOB
DRAMARAMA
SOUL HEALER
THE DEVIL'S TOENAIL
CRYSTAL DOORS
(ALL are YA books)

PRIZE PACK #3
DRAMARAMA
SOUL HEALER
SON OF THE MOB
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH
(ALL YA books)


Be sure to check out the entire list of blogs hosting giveaways for BLOGMAINIA HERE

NEXT one the list: REFLECTIONS WITH COFFEE

Disclaimer: Contest closes Sept 16th at 11:59pm EST

GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Eternal Ones by Kristen Miller

Monday, September 13, 2010

Title: The Eternal Ones
Author: Kristen Miller
Published: August 10, 2010



What if love refused to die?




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.

My Thoughts:

I'm a sucker for reincarnation stories, especially romance. This story started a little slow for me, but once we got into the plot of the past lives, it took off. The plot was woven together beautifully and kept me interested the whole time. It is quite lengthy, and I wish I would have connected to the characters a little more, but that didn't stop me from finding out how this one ended.

If you like reincarnation love stories, this one is for you.

Hunger by Jackie Kessler--REVIEW

Title: Hunger
Author: Jackie Morse Kessler
Published: October 18, 2010
Special Note: ARC Review



"Come on, Lisabeth," Death said, not unkindly. "It’s time to do your job."




The words didn’t make any sense. "My job?" Lisa said as Death helped her to her feet. She was a seventeen-year-old high school junior in the suburbs; she didn’t have a job.



"Thou art Famine, yo," Death said. "Time to make with the starvation."



Lisabeth Lewis is no stranger to starvation. Her life revolves around counting calories, constant exercise, denying herself even the strongest cravings. Lisa is in a constant battle with hunger for control over her body. When, in a moment of desperation, she almost gives up that control completely, she is visited by a wisecracking messenger who turns out to be Death. He offers Lisa a rare opportunity: to become one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse—Famine. As Famine, Lisa travels the world on her black steed, visiting parts of the world where hunger is a painful part of everyday life. She’s horrified to see her own power destroy crops and turn food to dust. But when she finds a way to harness her power as Famine and use it for nourishment rather than deprivation, Lisa finally gains the courage to face her own problem.



A wildly original approach to the issue of eating disorders, HUNGER is about the struggle to find balance in a world of extremes, and uses fantastic tropes to explore a difficult topic that touches the lives of many teens.

My Thoughts:

This novel was not what I expected, at all. I was thinking this was going to be another exciting paranormal/urban fantasy story with tons of adventure, with a twist of one of the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, but I was wrong. The main focus of this story is a teenage girl with an eating disorder and less on the fantasy aspect. This novel is also written in 3rd person, which at times, I find hard to connect with the main character in young adult stories (totally just personal preference), and this was one of those times. It may have been because I'm not really into contemporary novels focused on this issue as well. The writing is lovely in this novel and there are some beautiful prose throughout, but it just wasn't my type of read. I have the feeling though fans of novels like WINTER GIRLS will really like this one.  

WINNERS!!!!

Here are all my winners of my recent contests!!


BLOGFEST:

Signed Charlaine Harris, DEAD and GONE

Supremevision

HEX HALL

Michelle

Summer Lovin' Contest Winner:

Summer of Skinny Dipping

Adventures in Childrens Publishing

Dead Girls Giveaway:

Wins 2 ARCs
WE HEAR THE DEAD
PICTURE THE DEAD

Jessicab

Hailey Twitch Is Not a Snitch

Jen


I have emailed all the winners!  Thanks to everyone who entered! Be sure to stop back on Wed to enter my BlogMania Giveaway with prizes worth over $100 bucks!!




Young Adult Book Giveaway--Blogfest!!! Opens Sept 10 at 12am EST and Closes Sept 12th at 11:59p EST

Friday, September 10, 2010



WELCOME TO BLOGFEST!!!!!

Photobucket

Now on to my giveaways! There will be two winners here! One winner will receive Dead and Gone (Autographed by Charlaine Harris) and the second winner will receive one of my top YA book picks so far this year, Hex Hall. Just follow my blog and leave a comment with your email so I can contact you if you win (US ONLY--Sorry) and that's it. Number randomizer will choose the two lucky winners after the close of blogfest. Since your here, go head and sign up for the other giveaways I have going on as well!! Good Luck!!!










Just Follow my blog, leave a comment with your e-mail address, and you are entered (US ONLY, please)!!

Don't forget about the massive BlogFest 2010 grand giveaway! Head on over to http://ajourneyofbooks.halfzero.net/ and click on the Tracking Site link to head to our own exclusive tracking site. Once there you can register with a valid email address (to be used solely for the purpose of contacting the winner). This site will allow you to track your progress through BlogFest 2010! You can log on from anywhere at any time and continue where you left off. The best part is that every blog that you visit and mark off through this tracking site will give you one entry into the massive giveaway! We have a great collection of books, goodies and other swag that is looking for a new home!
 
Check Out the Next Blog on the Blogfest List Talking with Tundra for another awesome giveaway and use this link to find and track ALL the giveaways  http://ajourneyofbooks.com/blogfest !

Interview With ARISTOBRATS Author, Jennifer Solow

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Author Jennifer Solow's novel the Aristobrats hits shelves today (CONGRATS JENNIFER!!) and she has taken time out to stop by for a quick chat with me here at Reading, Writing and Waiting, so here we go:

Where are you from?

I’m from Pittsburgh, PA. My parents still live there. I went to a girls’ private school, Winchester-Thurston. I began writing this story there (and when I say “began writing” I mean four notebooks of emo scribble-babble started and abandoned when I was in high school).



When and why did you begin writing?

I was running an advertising agency in San Francisco. I had flown to New York and was sitting in a business meeting in downtown Manhattan on the morning of 9/11 (the 9/11). I’d always made excuses for why I didn’t write: I’ll wait until I have an office in my house. I’ll wait until the kids are older. I’ll wait until I retire. By the end of that day, in the ashes of the World Trade Center, I truly understood why I couldn’t wait to make my life everything I imagined it could be. In less than a month, I had left my job (and my paycheck) behind and enrolled in my first writing class. An assignment I began in that class went on to become a national bestseller.



When did you first consider yourself a writer?

The first summer of the year I began the writing class I had applied to Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, one of the most prestigious writer’s conferences in the country. I found out (on my birthday, no less) that I had not been accepted. It was no big surprise – I didn’t expect to be accepted. But a few days later I got a call from Noreen Cargill. She said that someone had dropped out and there was one space available – did I want it? Did I want it? Hello!? I was the very last person who’d been accepted into the conference, the bottom of the totem pole, but on that day I felt like a writer.



What inspired you to write your first book?

Perfume. Namely, Vetiver Parfum by Annick Goutal. I imagined a girl who might wear that perfume: what she might be like, what she might think, what her dark secrets might be. Three years (and a lot of pots of coffee) later, I had a novel.



Do you have a specific writing style?

I think other people might be better at answering this question than I am. Here’s what I know: my mother read a lot of Dr. Suess to me as a child. The rhythm of those sentences stuck with me. So I think I have a very specific rhythm style – Dr. Suessian, if there is such a thing. I also think I have a sense of dark humor and that realistic dialogue is a part of me. I went to art school and have a background as a visual artist so my settings are vivid and detailed. I like happy endings, or at least satisfying endings and I’m an extremely impatient reader so I like to get someone hooked into a story within just a few pages. Is that style? I dunno.



How did you come up with the title?

Like all good ideas, The Aristobrats, popped out of nowhere and had nothing to do with my own conscious thought. I had a list a really comatastic ideas for a title (example, “The Inner Circle” ….zzzzzzz) but I felt like there was something great out there somewhere and that I had to let it come to me. I think I was picking up my daughter from school when it kind of landed at me. It was an “aha” moment.



How did you come up with the names of your characters? Do they carry any significance?

I spent a lot of time studying my favorite fictional group of friends: the Sex and the City girls. “Parker” is named after Sarah Jessica Parker so I’d always remember what I was trying to aspire to. I’d named a character “Ikea” in an earlier work that was never published. I just thought it was really funny and wouldn’t quite let it go. Plum gets some of her cues from a character I adore: Violet in The Incredibles. Kiki is just “Kiki”. She already had her name when she walked through my door.



Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Mostly I wanted a book that I would be proud to have my own daughter read. There are lots of messages layered into the book about not being afraid to make mistakes, about living life to the fullest because our time here is short. But I think the most important message is that is doesn’t matter how many Facebook Friends you have – it’s the real friends who count. These are lessons for me more than anyone – the important things I need to remember.



How much of the book is realistic?

Wallingford Academy has a lot of similarities to my alma mater, Winchester-Thurston. I also have lifelong friends, not unlike the four friends in the Aristobrats. My mother is the headmistress of a private school, but she’s nothing like Miss Hotchkiss, “The Terminator.” Hmm…at least not that I’m aware.



Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Ikea is based on an amalgamation of a few of the African American girls I went to school with. I always imagined how hard it must have been to go to a school where 95% of the students were white. Ikea is an homage to those old friends. There are a number of scenes nearly lifted from my time in eighth grade. It was fun to relive them without actually having to be there. Or blow dry my hair.



If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I would choose the two people who have been my writing mentors: 1. Alison Lurie. She changed my life over a bagel and coffee and a few wise words. She admired my work when I felt like a nobody – she’s the fairy godmother of my writing career. 2. Screenwriter, Greg Blatman. Remember these words: when you need help with a story, call on a screenwriter. They understand story structure inside and out. Greg would be like, “Isn’t it obvious, Jennifer? She lost her wallet at the drugstore so she doesn’t have her ID and that’s why she lands in jail.” And I would be like, “Ohhhhh. Yeahhhh. Right! Thanks!”



What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Color Blind by my friend, Precious Williams. Precious and I met when I was researching an entirely different Precious Williams, an eccentric collector of Haute Couture, for a short story I was writing. I Googled my Precious and got a new Precious, who is now a friend. I also do most of my writing at a table by the cookbooks in my library. So I read a dozen cookbooks at a time.



If you had to choose one book to read the rest of your life, and nothing else, what book would it be and why?

It’s actually a play, but I’d read Hamlet. I think there are so many ways of reading that story so that it’s completely different every time. I’d never get bored – I’d just imagine new settings, new actors, and new interpretations each time I read it.



Do you have something you are working on at the moment that you’d like to share with us?

I’m working on the follow-up to The Aristobrats.



Who designed the covers?

The cover design in my experience is an intense collaboration between the design team and me. In the case of The Aristobrats, I sent over dozens of images that represented the ├╝ber-preppy world I had in my mind. They took the bits of inspiration I sent and created their own vision for it.



What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing is writing. It takes an immense amount of stamina to get to “The End.” I’m constantly fighting with this little evil dude who sits on my should all day saying, “You can’t do this! You’re not a writer! Who do you think you are?” I have to flick that evil dude off my shoulder ten to twenty times a day.



Do you have any advice for other writers?

I have too much advice for other writers. You can read two of my most popular blog entries: “How to Write a Surefire Query Letter” and “The Surefire Way to Get a Literary Agent.” This have some very practical how-to tips. But before that, you have to write a great book – I define what I mean by that in those entries as well.



If you could mirror the career of any other author, who would it be and why?

This doesn’t answer your question in the slightest, but I have a painting that hangs over my writing desk. It says, “Sometimes I just have to ask myself, what would Cher do?” This is my little reminder to have fun, be outrageous, don’t be afraid to be ridiculous, and always get dressed up for the party.



(If writing is your main occupation) If you had to choose something besides writing, what career would you choose and why?

Okay---it may sound shocking but I’d be a farmer. I have a summerhouse that’s set up to be a farm someday. I have a tractor and I grow my own vegetables, bake bread, make goat cheese, have an apple orchard. I’d like to have ducks, horses and maybe a pig or two. I’d like to chop wood, have a windmill and live off the grid.



Do you have a muse? (a person, type of music, location you love)

Starbucks, my local library, my son, Griffin, and my daughter, Tallulah, my husband, Tommy, the butcher at Mill Valley Market, Madonna, Taylor Swift, Soho, Paris, perfume stores, Christian Laboutin, Jacob’s Pillow, pick-up/drop-off zone at Mill Valley Middle School, Winchester-Thurston, my friend, Sharon, my friend, Juditta, my mother, Nan, her mother Adelaide.



What is the most interesting thing about you?

I’m not sure if this is interesting, but I own about 50 wigs and they all have names and personalities. My family won’t let me wear “Foxy” anymore. Also, I have no middle name. I don’t own a television – I’ve never seen a reality show.





Aristobrats Book Trailer



Congrats Jennifer and good luck with all your future works!

~~Annie~~

The Duff by Kody Keplinger--Review

Monday, September 6, 2010

Title: The Duff
Author: Kody Keplinger
Hardcover, 288 pages
Special Note: ARC Review

Published September 7th 2010 by Little Brown/Poppy (first published 2010)
http://kodymekellkeplinger.blogspot.com/





Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn't think she's the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her "Duffy," she throws her Coke in his face.


But things aren't so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn't such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she's falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.
 My Thoughts:

Bianca is a strong female protagonist, who I feel, is very honest character and has an authentic feel. The author, Kody Keplinger, was only seventeen when she wrote this novel, which only validates the organic nature of this novel. A lot of people will think, why would a hot guy have a fling with the Duff (Designated, Ugly, Fat, Friend), the answer is simple. All girls feel like the Duff sometimes, even though they really aren't, which, I think, is truly the lesson in this story. The relationship between Wesley and Bianca feels so real, and the dialog you can practically hear in your head, which always makes for a great read.  

I enjoyed the grittiness of this story and how Kody wasn't afraid to write sex scenes in a YA novel that might make people's jaw drop. I had the pleasure of getting to know Kody while she was in process of getting her agent and working on this novel as well as her upcoming novel, A Midsummer's Nightmare, which, I know will be just as great. Kody does an excellent job of creating snarky female protagonist who worm their way into your heart. I could seriously read this one again and again.

So if you like YA contemp, heavy, and I do mean HEAVY, in the romance category, snarky female main characters and hot boys, this ones for you!

The Candiates (Delcroix Academy) by Inara Scott--Review

Title: The Candidates (Delcroix Academy)
Author: Inara Scott
Hardcover, 293 pages

Published August 24th 2010 by Hyperion Book CH
Special Notes: SeriesDelcroix Academy #1---ARC review






Dancia Lewis is far from popular. And that's not just because of her average grades or her less-than-glamorous wardrobe. In fact, Dancia's mediocrity is a welcome cover for her secret: whenever she sees a person threatening someone she cares about, things just...happen. Cars skid. Structures collapse. Usually someone gets hurt. So Dancia does everything possible to avoid getting close to anyone, believing this way she can suppress her powers and keep them hidden.


But when recruiters from the prestigious Delcroix Academy show up in her living room to offer her a full scholarship, Dancia's days of living under the radar may be over. Only, Delcroix is a school for diplomats' kids and child geniuses--not B students with uncontrollable telekinetic tendencies. So why are they treating Dancia like she's special? Even the hottest guy on campus seems to be going out of his way to make Dancia feel welcome.

And then there's her mysterious new friend Jack, who can't stay out of trouble. He suspects something dangerous is going on at the Academy and wants Dancia to help him figure out what. But Dancia isn't convinced. She hopes that maybe the recruiters know more about her "gift" than they're letting on. Maybe they can help her understand how to use it...But not even Dancia could have imagined what awaits her behind the gates of Delcroix Academy. 
 My Thoughts:

Anyone who knows me, knows I looooooove Kelley Armstrong's Young Adult Darkest Powers series. Why is that important to know for this review you might ask. Well, because THE CANDIDATES has that same feel of excitement to it as Ms. Armstrong's series, which is AWESOME. The main character (MC) for this novel is a young, comparatively speaking, protagonist compared to most Young Adult series novels. This MC is a freshman, so she definitely has room to grow as a character and really take us on detailed journey. 

Danica is so believable. She has such a big heart, and expresses that by caring for her grandmother and helping Jack, a boy everyone thinks is bad news. Together Danica and Jack show a lot of curiosity about what is truly going on at the Delcroix Academy, and Jack seems determined to figure it out. Jack drew me in immediately, just like he did Danica. Seriously, you can't help but to like him. He's totally got the bad boy thing working for him.

There is another guy, an older guy, Cam, who is also interested in our MC. He's the "it" guy around Delcroix that all the girls swoon for. And I'll admit it, he is totally gah-gah worthy. Cam is smooth, and even thought Danica feels like she's a nobody, he still pursues her, which adds mystery to the story.     

So if you like Young Adult Novels with superpowers, love trifectas, and a lovable MC, this one's for you.

Trance by Linda Gerber--Review

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Title: TRANCE
Author: Linda Gerber
Genre: YA
Paperback, 308 pages
Published October 14th 2010 by Speak (first published 2010)
Special Note: ARC review



It begins with a subtle vibration, a tingling.

There is time to take only one breath.

The trance begins.

When it is through, Ashlyn is certain of two things:

Someone she knows is about to die.

And she is powerless to stop it.

My Thoughts:

I'll admit first off I found myself partial to this novel from the beginning, mainly because the setting is in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio, so by page one I was hooked. I was pleasantly surprised, though, when I got into Ashlyn's story to discover she is a really complex character with tons of emotional turmoil, which always makes for a great read. Ashlyn has an overwhelming amount of guilt about her mother's death and a perceived addiction to presciption medications. There's also two boys in this book. One named Jake, my pick,  *sigh* rides a motorcycle and plays the guitar....I know, right!!! He's totally swoonable and Ms. Gerber has done a great job in creating realistic teen dialog, making Jake leap off the pages.

Also, I like how Ashyln's trances create a series of numbers, which she must learn to decode in order to gain power in stopping deaths. It's a nice spin in the Urban Fantasy Young Adult department.

So if you like MCs with lots of issues, hot-motorcycle-riding-guitar-playing boys, and mystery in UFs--this one's for you!!
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