Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Review

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (The Coldest Girl in Coldtown #1)
By Holly Black 
Published September 3rd 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
419 pages

4 stars - Intriguing!




Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown’s gates, you can never leave.


One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.


The Coldest Girl in Coldtown is a wholly original story of rage and revenge, of guilt and horror, and of love and loathing from bestselling and acclaimed author Holly Black. 

Review:

When I saw that Holly Black was coming out with a new book, I was excited. When I found out that the story is a take on vampires, I was a little unsure. I read the book and found out that it didn't even matter. I really did enjoy Holly Black's take on vampires and the world that she created. It was different and kind of odd, and it was definitely enjoyable. 

Tana seems to be a pretty strong female character or just character in general. She's already been through a traumatizing event as a young child, but then she lives through a few more throughout the book. She has to make difficult decisions as well. I also really enjoyed Gavriel, even if I find his name kind of odd, because he was intriguing in his own way. He made for interesting conversations as well. :) I liked how we were able to learn more about his past throughout the book. It really helped with getting to know the character better. There were a few characters that annoyed me but overall it was a pretty enjoyable read. 

The whole story of Coldtown was intriguing in a way and it definitely felt like something apart from the regular world. I'm definitely interested in reading the next book. There will be one, right? I am very eager to find out what happens to Tana and Gavriel and the rest of their friends! If you haven't checked this one out yet, then do so now!

Vanessa


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New School Year

Hello Everyone! It is officially the start of another school year for many students and for myself as well. This month I started my Freshman year of college and have been trying to become comfortable with the whole transition. I started school last week so that is why I haven't been able to post any reviews lately. I've actually been so busy and tired that I haven't even been able to read! :( Can you believe it? I am figuring things out though so I will eventually be able to balance both college and blogging soon. I'm just getting used to the classes, homework, and schedule. Are any of you starting college for the first time? Are you going back? Do you have any tips for college bloggers? Let me know in the comments if you do! :) 

I will also get back into BookTube once I get a little more free time. Actually it's probably like once I get better at managing my time because I don't see much free time in the near future. :) I'm looking forward to reading again and posting new reviews! I'm currently reading The Guild of the Wizards of Waterfire by Iain Reading and it's pretty interesting! I'll be reading Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick next. 

See you soon!
Vanessa 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wishlist Wednesday #11

Wishlist Wednesday is a book blog hop where we will post about one book per week that has been on our wishlist for some time, or just added (it's entirely up to you), that we can't wait to get off the wishlist and onto our wonderful shelves. This is hosted by Pen to Paper ! 


I've already read The Masque of the Red Death and really enjoyed it! Now I'm looking forward to reading the second book and finding out more about the characters and their world.



Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #2)
Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #2)

Published June 11th 2013 by Greenwillow Books
327 pages


Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

What is on your wishlist this week?

Vanessa

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Life Next Door Review

My Life Next Door (My Life Next Door, #1)
My Life Next Door
By Huntley Fitzpatrick
Published June 14th, 2012 by Dial Books for Young Readers
394 pages

4.5 stars - Awesome Summer Read!


"One thing my mother never knew, and would disapprove of most of all, was that I watched the Garretts. All the time."

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.

As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.
Review:

If you want a quick and meaningful summer read then My Life Next Door is just the book for you. It was a great summer read that I enjoyed quite a bit. It was an easy book to get into and it was easy to quickly finish it as well. Despite it being an easy read, My Life Next Door had some topics that really made me think. But it also made me laugh and Jase definitely had me swooning. ;)

Samantha was a pretty nice character to read about. She was real and she had some pretty real issues. I felt for her because her mom was hardly ever around being part of the political world. Sam's sister wasn't apart of the story too much and I wonder if we'll get a story about her someday. Her mom was a difficult character to like and to sympathize with but she did have her moments, Sam lived in a world that was far different from her neighbors, the Garretts. The Garrett's household was full of live and excitement and family, something that Samantha was drawn to. I absolutely loved that family! They had a ton of kids and the parents were supportive and there for their children. The whole family worked together to take care of everyone and I really enjoyed reading Samantha's thoughts about them. Jase was just an awesome character as well. He was such a great brother, friend and boyfriend! He helped his parents and family so much and was pretty funny and laid back. I really enjoyed the relationship between Samantha and Jase and I loved watching them grow and make it through the difficult times that came their way. There were a few other important characters as well, like Sam's friends. I don't want to say too much but I will say that more than one character grows throughout the book. 

I just really enjoyed this book and I loved the style of writing. I also loved that this book made me think despite having lighter topics as well. I just found out that Huntley Fitzpatrick is writing a companion/sequel type novel to this series and I just can't wait! I definitely loved reading about these characters and I'm looking forward to learning more about them. If you are looking for a great summer read then look no further!

 Vanessa


Monday, August 11, 2014

Prey of Desire Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway!!

Hello Everyone! Today I am hosting the Prey of Desire virtual book tour hosted by Sage's Blog Tours. Prey of Desire is a mystery-suspense/new adult novel and is definitely suspenseful! Scroll down to find my review and a giveaway by the author! 

Prey of Desire
By JC Gatlin
Published February 2014
236 pages

4 stars - Absolutely Suspenseful!

Book Description:

They said the disappearance of two high school students over 25 years ago was mystery that couldn't be solved. 

No one ever said it shouldn't be. 

Following the abrupt end of a relationship, college student Kimberly Bradford finds comfort in the friendship with her over-the-top neighbor, Mallory. And, Mallory encourages her to get back out there. She would of course if it weren't for the thrilling little love notes and gifts she's been receiving.

Kim thinks they're from her ex-fiancee, not realizing he's been murdered. Worse, whoever is sending her all the extra attention is not only in her inner-circle, but has a connection to that unsolved murder some 25 years ago. That connection puts her life in danger, and exposes secrets better left buried around her closest friends and family.

Review:

Wow, this novel is definitely suspenseful and kind of creepy! The first couple pages pull you in and don't let go. There are guys being murdered and poetry being whispered through the phone by someone that no one would guess. Some of the murder scenes are kind of graphic but they definitely add the to the scary factor of the murders. This book was definitely a mystery because I never saw the ending coming. I figured I knew who the murderer was halfway through the book but found myself proven wrong not once, but twice!

Kim was a pretty real character and I absolutely loved her dog, Zues. :) Her ex-fiancee is no where to be found but she's pretty sure that she's getting love notes and mysterious phone calls from him. She soon figures out that something strange is going on and it might not be her ex-fiancee. Kim was a pretty strong character near the end and you'll see what I mean once you read it. Mallory was Kim's close friend and I thought she grew a little near the end of the book. I'll admit that she kind of bothered me during the middle but, in the end, she proved to be a great friend for Kim. 

I don't want to give too much away because the great thing about this book is the not knowing. The ending is absolutely suspenseful and had me holding my breath waiting to see what would happen next. Gatlin did a great job at keeping the reader interested for most of the book and for confusing the reader as to who the real suspect was. If you love mystery and suspense, then this is the book for you!

Vanessa


Read about the author and enter the giveaway below!
Author Info:

JC Gatlin lives in Tampa, Florida. In addition to regular fishing trips, he wrote a monthly column for New Tampa Style Magazine, then began penning several mystery/suspense stories. He also maintains a blog about the art of spinning a nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat mystery yarn.
Coming from a large family with five brothers, JC grew up in Grapevine -- a small Texas town just outside of Dallas. He moved to Tampa in 1999, and most of his stories feature the rich landscapes of Texas and Florida as backdrop.

Website: http://jcgatlin.com/




Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Books I'm Looking Forward To...(August 2014)

Hey Everyone! I can't believe that it's already August! Can you? July went by pretty quickly but I was able to read quite a few books during the month. This month I hope to read just as many but I'll be starting my Freshman year of college so we'll see how that goes. Even if I can't, there are a few August releases that I'm looking forward to. So without further ado, here are the books I'm looking forward to this month!

Opposition (Lux, #5)
Opposition (Lux #5)
By Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: August 5th, 2014 by Entangled Teen

I'll leave out the synopsis for this one in case you haven't read the first 4 books. If you want to check it out then click on the title to read the Goodreads page!

The number one book that I just can't wait to read this month is Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout! Opposition is the fifth and last book in the Lux series and I have waited forever to read it. While I'm extremely excited to read about Daemon and Katy again, I'm also sad to have to say good bye to my favorite characters. Opposition is actually released today, August 5th! 





Of Metal and Wishes

Of Metal and Wishes (Of Metal and Wishes #1)
By Sarah Fine 
Release Date: August 5th, 2014 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

  Synopsis from Goodreads:

There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.


Of Metal and Wishes definitely sounds interesting and already has great reviews. It sounds creepy and just plain awesome so I'm looking forward to checking this one out! This book is released today as well. 




Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)
Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)
By Lori M. Lee 
Release Date: August 5th, 2014 by Skyscape

Goodreads Synopsis:

In the Labyrinth, we had a saying: keep silent, keep still, keep safe.

In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where she came from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.

I have to admit that it was the cover that first intrigued me but after reading the synopsis I can say that I'm pretty excited to get my hands on this book. A labyrinth and magic, sounds pretty interesting to me. :) Looking forward to reading this one! Gates of Thread and Stone is also released today! 




Mortal Danger (Immortal Game, #1)
Mortal Danger (Immortal Game #1)
By Ann Aguire 
Release Date: August 5th, 2014 by Feiwel & Friends

Goodreads Synopsis:

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

In Ann Aguirre's Mortal Danger, Edie Kramer has a score to settle with the beautiful people at Blackbriar Academy. Their cruelty drove her to the brink of despair, and four months ago, she couldn’t imagine being strong enough to face her senior year. But thanks to a Faustian compact with the enigmatic Kian, she has the power to make the bullies pay. She’s not supposed to think about Kian once the deal is done, but devastating pain burns behind his unearthly beauty, and he’s impossible to forget. 

In one short summer, her entire life changes and she sweeps through Blackbriar, prepped to take the beautiful people down from the inside. A whisper here, a look there, and suddenly . . . bad things are happening. It’s a head rush, seeing her tormentors get what they deserve, but things that seem too good to be true usually are, and soon, the pranks and payback turns from delicious to deadly. Edie is alone in a world teeming with secrets and fiends lurking in the shadows. In this murky morass of devil’s bargains, she isn’t sure who—or what—she can trust. Not even her own mind.

I've already read Enclave by Ann Aguirre and I really did enjoy it so I'm looking forward to reading her new series. Mortal Danger will be the first book and it already seems to have mixed reviews but it seems interesting and different in some ways. I'm interested in seeing how Aguirre wrote this one and just to read it in general. Plus, the cover looks pretty cool, right? This book is also released today! 



Release Date: August 26th, 2014 by Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers

This is the last book that I'm looking forward to this month. I'll link the title to the Goodreads page because this book is the second in the Maid of Honor series. I haven't read the first one yet but I'm really wanting to and will probably read it this month. The first book sounded really interesting so I'm sure that I'll want to read this one right after it! Plus it already has some pretty good reviews. And the cover seems very interesting. ;) This book will be released August 26th.





Are you looking forward to reading any August releases? Which ones?

Vanessa

Monday, August 4, 2014

Vampire Academy Review

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)
Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1)
By Richelle Mead
Published November 2013 by Razorbill
332 pages

4.5 stars - Awesome Start!



Prepare to be Tested.
The story that kicked off the international #1 bestselling Vampire Academy series is NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE.
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Review:

Over the years I've seen Vampire Academy on the shelves and I've read good reviews but I never actually read the book. I'm not sure what it was that kept me from reading it in the past but recently it was because I was pretty much done with the vampire thing. I finally gave in to all the good reviews though and read it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was not in fact done with vampires, not one bit.

Vampire Academy is just as good as everyone was saying it is. There were a few things that bothered me, mainly with the characters, but overall this was a great start to what I imagine is a pretty great series. I'm already looking forward to reading the second book! It took me a little while to get into it at first because there wasn't too much action in the beginning. But then I started getting curious as to what secret Rose and Lissa were keeping from everyone. I was also trying to figure out who was messing with Lissa and was actually kind of surprised when I found out. I found the background of the Dhampir, Moroi and Strigoi interesting as well.

Rose was a pretty great friend to Lissa throughout everything. I really enjoyed their bond and the fact that they worried about each other no matter what. They were both strong characters in their own way and had quite a bit to deal with. Then there was Dimitri and Christian who were both pretty mysterious and definitely interesting. :) I'm looking forward to reading about their relationship with Rose and Lissa in the next books.

I'm glad that I finally pushed myself to buy this book and give it a try because I was not disappointed!  I encourage you to give it a try yourself even if you feel like your totally and completely done with vampires! :)

Vanessa

Friday, August 1, 2014

Noise by Brett Garcia Rose Excerpt!

Hello Everybody! Today I have an excerpt of Noise by Brett Garcia Rose! Check it out below along with some more information about the author.

Noise 
By Brett Garcia Rose
Published 2014
Genres: Action, Adventure, Mystery


Synopsis:

The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.

Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.

Or did she?

A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.

A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.

Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.

He will not stop until he knows.


Where is Lily?


Praise for Noise:

“A staggering, compelling work of fiction…mind-blowingly perfect. It has everything. Exquisite details, world-weary voice, and people worth knowing. It is truly amazing!” – MaryAnne Kolton, Author and Editor of This Literary Magazine

“Strong, compelling, raw and human in the best sense. Beautifully written.” – Susan Tepper, Author of Deer and Other Stories

“Perfect, compact and explosive, closing with the gentlest word.” – James Lloyd Davis, Author of Knitting the Unraveled Sleeves

“Wow. Beautiful and wonderful and sad and real.” – Sally Houtman, Author of To Grandma’s House, We . . . Stay

“Frighteningly good.” – Meg Pokrass, Author of Bird Envy

“Superbly explosive. The rage escalates and careens out of control. Amazing.” – Ajay Nair, Author of Desi Rap

------
Excerpt:
Twenty-Eight
The sounds I cannot hear: The whistle of the hammer as it arcs through the air. The wailing of pain and the begging of The Bear. The dripping of blood from thawing meat onto the wet concrete floor. The beautifully crude threats.

My own hideous voice.

I drag The Bear into a walk-in freezer by the hook sunk through his shoulder and toss him into a corner on the floor. When I reenter the freezer, dragging the oak table behind me, The Bear is hard at work on the hook, trying to muscle it out, but it’s sunk deep, through the tendons. Hope is adrenaline, fear masks pain, begging helps no one.

I yank him up by the hook and then hold his hands outstretched, one at a time, as I nail his wrists to the table with railroad spikes. I put all of my 240 pounds behind the hammer, but even so, it takes several swings. His body shakes, the nails sink further into the wood, his face is pain. He screams, but I cannot hear.

The building above burns a deep blue hue with my smuggled-in accelerants.

The sound of the hammer into The Bear. The pain in his eyes. I have never seen so much hatred. It is beautiful to me, to reach this center, this uncomplicated base, to disassemble the past and honor a new history. It is another film, also homemade and rough, an overlay, an epilogue. The Bear is broken but I have spared his face, and to see those eyes, that is what I needed; to see his hatred flow into me, my own eyes sucking down the scum like bathtub drains. His life whirls into me and I taste the fear, the hope, the sharp sting of adrenaline pumping and the reeking muck of despair. His pain soothes me, a slow, thick poison. We will all die.

I know it now; I am a broken man. I always was. I imagine Lily watching me, Lily keeping score, making lists, balancing all. As a child from far away, she was the queen, even more so than her mother. But she didn’t survive. The world was not as we had imagined, not even close. The world is a cruel, bastard place, Lily cold and lost somewhere, me hot and bleeding and swinging my hammer. Life as it is, not as we wish it to be.

The sounds I cannot hear: The laughter of the watchers. The groan of my sister as The Bear cums inside of her, pulling her hair until the roots bleed. The Bear screams and shits himself inside the dark freezer. Lily’s wailing and cursing and crying. I scream at The Bear with all my mighty, damaged voice, swinging the hammer at his ruined hands, hands that will never again touch anyone. Lily at the end, beaten and pissed on and begging to die.

Lily is dead. I am dead. It will never be enough.

I remove the stack of photos from my wallet that I’d printed at the Internet cafĂ© a lifetime ago and place them face down on the table in front of The Bear. I draw an X on the back of the first photo and turn it over, laying it close to the pulp of his ruined hands.

The Bear offers me anything I want. An animal can feel pain but cannot describe or transmit it adequately. The Bear both is and is not an animal. I lack hearing, so the Bear cannot transmit his experience to me unless I choose to see it. His pain is not my pain, but mine is very much his. I swing the hammer into his unhooked shoulder, and then I draw another X and flip another photo.

His lips move, and I understand what he wants to know. Five photos.

In my notepad, I write: you are a rapist fucking pig. I put the paper into the gristle of his hands and swing the hammer against the metal hook again. It’s a sound I can feel.

Anything, The Bear mouths. He is sweating in the cold air of the freezer. Crying. Bleeding.

In my pad, I write: I want my sister back. I swing the hammer claw-side first into his mouth and leave it there. His body shakes and twitches.

I turn over his photo and write one last note, tearing it off slowly and holding it in front of his face, the handle of the hammer protruding from his jaw like a tusk. You are number four. There are a few seconds of space as the information stirs into him and I watch as he deflates, the skin on his face sagging like a used condom. He knows what I know.

I turn over the last photo for him. I turn it slowly and carefully, sliding it toward him. Victor, his one good son, his outside accomplishment, his college boy, the one who tried to fuck him and they fucked my sister instead.

I remove another mason jar from my bag, unscrewing the metal top and letting the thick fluid flow onto his lap. I wipe my hands carefully and light a kitchen match, holding it in front of his face for a few seconds as it catches fully. He doesn’t try to blow it out. He doesn’t beg me to stop. He just stares at the match as the flame catches, and I drop it onto his lap.

The Bear shakes so hard from the pain that one of his arms rips from the table, leaving a skewer of meat and tendon on the metal spike. I lean into his ear, taking in his sweet reek and the rot of his bowels and, in my own hideous voice, I say:

“Wait for me.”

 ------

About the Author:

Brett Garcia Rose is a writer, software entrepreneur, and former animal rights soldier and stutterer. He is the author of two books, Noise and Losing Found Things, and his work has been published in Sunday Newsday MagazineThe Barcelona ReviewOpiumRose and ThornThe Battered SuitcaseFiction AtticParaphilia and other literary magazines and anthologies. His short stories have won the Fiction Attic’s Short Memoir Award (Second Place), Opium’s Bookmark Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction, and have been nominated for the Million Writer’s AwardBest of the Net and The Pushcart Prize. Rose travels extensively, but calls New York City home. To learn more, go to BrettGarciaRose.com, or connect with Brett on TwitterFacebook, and Goodreads.