Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Teaser Tuesday[5]: Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading! All you have to do to participate is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I’ve been trying to get some actual reading done, still, but I have several books that I only have another week, maybe, to get through, and they’re all a little long and hard to finish. This one, included. I review the first book, um, last weekend, I believe. And I was supposed to finish this one over the weekend, but it looks like that didn’t happen, but I’m going to within the next couple of days. And then I will have to move onto the third book after only a small pause. I’m not exactly looking forward to it. (Because I kind of hate the main character.)
Crescendo (Hush, Hush, #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
“I asked my dad if he’d heard the same voice telling me to hold still, and he said it was instinct. If I listened to it, nine times out of ten I’d make the best move.
Instinct was speaking now. Get out. (Paperback, pg. 197)

“I used the railing to propel myself faster, keeping my shoes light on the stairs. I was halfway down the second flight when the stairwell door opened above me.” (Paperback, pg. 197)

Happy reading!

Review: Shine (Shade, #3) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 In this dramatic conclusion to the Shade trilogy, Aura and Zachary’s relationship sizzles as the secrets of the Shift are revealed.

Life can change in an instant, and no one understands that better than Aura. It’s been almost a year since her boyfriend tragically died. She’s finally letting go of Logan’s violet-hued ghost, but not her search to uncover the truth about her past.

As the first in a generation that can see ghosts, Aura is convinced she has a connection to the Shift. She’s trusted Zachary, ever patient and ever by her side, with all that she knows. But when the government threatens his life in an attempt to learn Aura’s secrets, she will stop at nothing to protect herself and the one she loves...even if that means betraying her own heart.


This was actually a really good ending to the series, which I am glad for.
This book concludes what the DMP wants with Aura and Zachary and them trying to get in the clear and not fess up to what they know. They find out some more things about their connection to the shade and shift and shine, and how to fix everything, among other things…
The most frustrating part of the book is probably the first, um, maybe 200 pages, where Zach has been taken away, and so we have no idea what is going on with him, and Aura has no contact with him. Mostly, I just missed him and wanted to know what they were doing to him, and it was way too long to wait. But, finally, that got mostly resolved, and Aura got to go overseas to visit him for their little vacation, and she got to meet his friend Martin, and see his parents some more, and they saw the Newgrange and all of that stuff.
Within the first almost 200 hundred pages, there wasn’t a lot of actual action (not in some of the rest of the book, either). Aura was trying not to do anything stupid, which was much better than her going out and doing something stupid (like she almost did at one point, actually). That’s one thing that I like about Aura: she isn’t stupid or rash. She knows not to blurt something out or rush into things without thinking them through. I appreciated that.
The second half of the book was mostly spent with Aura and Zach, and it was very nice (particularly the sexy scenes, as well as the sweet ones; I enjoyed those). We got to meet Martin, Zach’s gay friend, whom I actually didn’t remember being mentioned before aside from on Twitter, which is probably only due to the other books being a bit fuzzy in my mind. That’s how things tend to get with the minor characters when it’s been a while -- with Aura’s friends as well -- that they get blurry and I don’t remember who is who. But as I was saying, we got to meet Martin, who I very much enjoyed. We didn’t get to see a lot of him, but I liked what I did see. I would not mind more time getting to know Martin. (Which, I think, we might get when Zachary’s novella comes out, maybe?)
There was no Logan in this book, only in memory. He’s actually mentioned quite a few times, which I was not expecting and so was nice, but I still missed him a bit. I am happy with Aura and Zach being together now, much more settled than I was with the previous book, but I do still like Logan. (Most of this is probably because of Twitter; Logan and Zachary, and Aura, having Twitter accounts is fantastic.)
At the beginning, Aura’s friends/Logan’s family and band mates were a little blurry, but became clear as the book went on. I’m actually a little disappointed that I don’t get to see more of them. Megan and Mickey were interesting and angsty; Siobhan and Connor were cute and I wanted to get to know them more; Dylan was sweet and maybe-adorable (it’s still up-for-grabs in my head), and I liked him and wouldn’t mind getting to know him better as well (also, he said this one pretty amazing thing, where he called Zachary a “freakin’ superhero. Captain Patience or something.” I thought it was pretty adorable). I'm not sure how I felt about the romantic stuff between Dylan and Aura, and I was glad that nothing happened between them in this book (although it was cute seeing Zach get slightly jealous about them). I like Aura and Zach, maybe I just want to see Dylan with someone, since I like him, too.
As I said above, the ending was really good. Most of the action didn’t really start until the last maybe 50 pages? Which, at first, made me think that the book wasn’t going to get completed very well, but I was wrong. It wasn’t rushed, but went very smoothly. Also, I keep saying that not a lot of action happened, but I don’t mean that it was boring, or things weren’t occurring; they were, and it was exciting and interesting. It’s just that, this series is a bit more plot and character oriented than action-packed; which is definitely not a bad thing.
Oh, I guess I should mention the DMP and all of that stuff. The DMP frustrated me with how they went about things, as did their competitors and the people who made the Black boxes, and I liked how everything with them ended, and how Aura (and her friends and classmates) stood up to them. The conclusion to what they were doing was good, as was the, um, ending with Aura and Zachary and their connection with the shift (trying to keep it vague here). I was happy with it.
I really enjoyed this book, and I am definitely going to miss Aura and Zach (and Logan, and Martin, and everyone else). I’m very much looking forward to reading her other stuff/future YA releases.
(Also, I wanted to mention the covers. I preferred the original ones, not these weird new ones. They're just not as pretty to me, I guess. Plus, it bothers me that the new one doesn't match my others, all of which I have in hardback with the original artwork. I hate it when publishers change the style in the middle of a series [or, um, within of a series when it's not finished releasing]. I understand, though, that they are trying to make them more appealing to the eye. Below, tell me your thoughts on the new covers?)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: The Unseen 2 (Blood Brothers and Sin and Salvation) by Richie Tankersley Cusick

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Penguin (Speak)
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

 This book is a combination of Part III (Blood Brothers) and Part IV (Sin and Salvation), the first two books of The Unseen series. It's available only at Walmart.

Too many deaths, too many terrifying visions and sleepless nights have taken their toll on Lucy Dennison. She wonders if she can trust anyone or anything anymore - even her own mind. Lucy knows there must be something, somewhere that can tell her why she was chosen to receive the terrible visions, why she feels the sinister presence all around her. As Lucy searches desperately for answers, she knows time is running out. Too many people have disappeared - or worse - and the constant feeling of being surrounded by something truly evil grows stronger each night. Can Lucy defeat the evil in time?


It’s been a few weeks since I read this (maybe more, actually), so some of my emotions for it have lessened in intensity. So, sorry for that.
This was the third and last parts of the series, and I had more hopes for it than I received. The messy wording and usage of ellipses and italics was still very much present. The italics were probably the part that I didn’t mind the most; but there was still a huge amount used, and I’m sure it could annoy others.
And then there’s Lucy. She annoyed me so much. At the end of the second book, she sounded like she was accepting things and moving forward, but instead she proceeded to change nothing. She was still hesitant and denied everything (until the very end), and even when her friend tried to convince her otherwise, she denied things. I don’t… I don’t understand why the villain was after her. Because she’s easy and fun to play with, I guess? She’s not smart, so that couldn’t be it.
Also, she felt a lot for Gran and Byron, and I felt that that was a little fast. She didn’t really get to know either of them, but was still all but actually in love with Byron and protective of Gran. I honestly don’t see what everyone likes about her, or why they think she’s so special. She’s really not. There were more people than I thought in love with her by the end, and I just don’t get it.
The plot was actually pretty good, though. There were quite a few more complications thrown in, some of which I wasn’t expecting. Or, at least, the amount of which I wasn’t expecting. Although I didn’t quite understand what Lucy had to do with the family feud. (Maybe she was just another thing they were fighting over? Or perhaps it’s just fuzzy in my mind?)
Again, the biggest thing that bothered me was Lucy. She was dumb. And several other characters would have been a better protagonist. Byron’s sister or Dakota, for example.
And the ending! I don’t want to spoil it, but it frustrates me beyond belief. I couldn’t understand why Lucy thought what she was doing was a good idea, since it was very obviously not. Although, I kind of did like the ending, no matter how much her stupidity frustrates me, because she kind of deserved it. She even asked for it, for God’s sake.
I don’t know what else to say about it. I’m frustrated, and while it was kind of torturous to read at times, the ending bumped the rating up a bit. I hate Lucy and I kind of want to punch her in the face or something because she is so dumb. I did kind of like the villain and the twists that were thrown in. I could probably continue to rant about my hate for Lucy, but it would get repetitive and probably boring (as my frustration, in my head, is just nonsensical not-actual-words-but-sounds to express my feelings), so I’m not going to do that.
(Sidenote: Aren't the covers on the original version of the books, when they were first released separately, terrible? It goes really well with the books, though, as it is basically hinting that this is going to be one of those cheesy, maybe stereotypical mystery-horror books.)

Um, happy reading?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Manga Review: Black Butler, Volume 9, by Yana Toboso

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Yen Press
Volumes: 14+
Spoilers?: Minor to this volume, nothing huge, but yes for previous volumes.

Goodreads Synopsis:

Earl Ciel Phantomhive’s quietude is interrupted as Queen Victoria’s very own butlers commandeer Phantomhive Manor for a lavish banquet sanctioned by Her Majesty. Preparations for such an event are quick work in the hands of Sebastian, the house’s most able butler, but corralling the eminent guests may prove to be rather more of a challenge. For this dinner party is anything but festive, and as a stormy night batters the outside of the grand residence, a far more violent storm begins to unfurl within. And no one is safe from the havoc it will wreak—not even one seemingly impervious manservant…


Oh my God I love this series so much. After the circus arc, because of how much I loved it (and, yea,  I'm still upset about it), I wasn’t sure if whatever was next would be as good. And even when I first started this volume and found out that it was going to be a mystery plot, I wasn’t sure if it would be good, but it was. It’s still amazing and I love it.
I’m just kind of impressed by the fact that this series is still so good.
The volume starts by introducing us to a new character, Arthur, or Professor, who has been invited to a party. He’s nothing special, just someone who sometimes writes stories and only a few has been published (I believe? His background wasn’t totally clear to me, just that he isn’t high up in class like everyone else we see). Mostly he opens things up, letting us know that something deadly is coming. Then it moves to two of the Queen’s bodyguards, who show up at the Phantomhive manor, with a message from the Queen. There’s a fight scene between them and the Phantomhive servants, which is pretty equal. Mostly I just love seeing the servants being badass; it’s kind of like a special treat to me. She wants to impress some man, and has decided that Ciel will be the one to host a party for him. It’s the first party Ciel has hosted, and he’s reluctant, but does it because he needs to get in the Queen’s good graces again after the whole killing-all-of-the-circus-and-the-children-with-little-to-not-good-enough-explanation thing. So he hosts the party and we are introduced to several new characters and we get to see Lau again, who is very cryptic and dark, most of which didn’t leave me with a big impression.
Also, at first I thought Arthur was the special guest, but then we found out that he wasn't. At least, I'm pretty sure. And if it was Siemens, then I'm confused as to why. He doesn't really seem all that special. Maybe it's only because of his status, then? And I guess the only reason Arthur was invited was because Ciel liked his stories, which I find interesting. 
The whole volume focuses on the party, and then someone is killed, and then another person is killed, and then someone is killed who I totally don’t believe is dead (specifically because it has been proven to us, several times within this series, that he cannot be killed). At least one of the murders is locked-door murder (meaning that someone had to have left the room and hooked something up to lock the inside lock from the other side of the door), and all of the people within the mansion are suspects, particularly including Ciel, since they are all stranded at the mansion from a storm. Most of the mystery stuff reminded me of Case Closed, which pretty much sums up my mystery watching experience (not that that’s bad; I pretty much love that show, no matter how repetitive and pointless it is).
There were a couple of spots in the volume that were suspense driven, mostly with Sebastian, which just didn’t do much for me. Although there was this one, big scene with Sebastian that wasn’t cleared up by the end of the volume, which is bothering me, but that I still don’t really believe. Because, really? There was foreshadowing and the makings of a set-up, along with the whole, there’s no possible way that could be real thing.
Aside from that, there was this one scene between Arthur and Ciel that was so cute and sweet. Ciel is just adorable, and so broken, and I love him and want to hug him. He’s just so… huggable. And lovable. (Also, while it kind of bothers me, I see the makings of yaoi in this series. There’s so many scenes between Ciel and Sebastian, and this one with Arthur [although this one was a little more fatherly and loverly], and I can see why people would go to yaoi fanfic. Which, normally I wouldn’t admit, or even think much about, because I’m not a huge yaoi fan, but I can honestly see it in this series.)
Oh, and Mey-Rin. In the anime, I was really annoyed with her voice and how she talked, but now I’m thinking it was rather spot-on with the manga. I can actually hear the voice actors voice when I read her lines, and it annoys me to no end. Except for when she’s being her badass-y self; then, she is just plain awesome and I want more of her. Why can’t she be like that all the time?
Um, anyway.
I’m mostly intrigued for the next book. I'm not sure who's doing the killing or why, although I have a few guesses, but I do want to find out. I hope that the next volume gets darker, more intense, like it did with the circus. Also, that I get to know the characters better, particularly Arthur. And, of course, excited. I really do quite love this series, and I’m always anticipating the next one. I mostly hate waiting so long for the next one, but that’s alright.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Teaser Tuesday[4]: Shine (Shade, #3) by Jeri Smith-Ready

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading! All you have to do to participate is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
I’ve finally been getting some actual reading done; or, trying to, at least. I don’t really have much else to say, I don’t think.
         So, here’s this week’s Teaser (sorry, I’m only giving one bit this week):
         Shine (Shade, #3) by Jeri Smith-Ready
         Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Simon Pulse)
“He stared hard at the camera. ‘Aura, don’t pity me. I can’t take that. This summer wasn’t easy, but it’s over, and I’m fine.’ He stressed the last word so hard, it cracked. ‘Except for missing you, and that’s a pain I want to cure in only one way.’” (Hardback, pg. 176)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Review: Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick

Rating (Out of 5): ~4 (could be anywhere between 3.5 and 4.5, really)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Spoilers?: No.

Goodreads Synopsis:

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


I’m kind of unsure what to think about this book. I’m just… I don’t know.
I read this a couple years ago, when it first came out, and remember thinking it was amazing, but then a while after, I couldn’t remember anything about it. I wanted to re-read it when the second one came out, but a friend of mine had it, and I only recently got it back, and then only read it so soon because another friend of mine loves it and wants me to read the others. And then I read a few pages, paused it to read something else, and when I started it again, couldn’t remember what I had read already. For some reason, I read some of this book, am really interested and feel like I’m paying attention, only for all of the information to disappear as soon as I go to something else.
Some of that seemed to clear up, though, when I continued reading, which is nice, I guess.
Anyway, Hush, Hush is about Nora, a girl with some seriously conflicting trust issues, who is suspicious of but also attracted to, Patch, a fallen angel. Someone, or several someones, is(are) after Nora, and she doesn’t know who to trust or what to do about it, while also thinking that maybe she’s imagining all of it.
Nora was alright. At times I liked her, and other times I was frustrated with her, and thought that some of the things she said/thought were out of context or were dumb. And it frustrated me how she would go on about how Patch was maybe the one after her, but would then let him give her a ride. She would jump to conclusions, dumbly, without really doing much to fight him off. And I didn’t like how she never did much to fight anyone off, only ran and hid; and how easy it was for them to get inside her head. But I guess that’s better than her being somehow really strong and unknowingly fighting them off, as most other heroines seem to do, since that made her seem more normal, I guess; still, she should have been able to put up some resistance, once she realized.
I did kind of like Patch, even though he was mysterious in a bad way, and felt that him and Nora work together really well. Patch knows how to deal with her, and it’s good that he likes dealing with her. Because she’s frustrating and conflicting, and she’ll yell at him while feeling the complete opposite, and so it’s good that he will continue to push and not take what she says seriously, because she doesn’t mean it and needs someone to push her like he does.
Vee and Nora’s friendship also works rather well. Vee likes drama and sneaking around, and Nora probably wouldn’t get as much done without Vee, since she protests but gives in rather easily to her, as well
The relationships in this book seemed really well made. Some of Nora’s logic, however, did not. Like her looking through Patch’s things, and then jumping to a conclusion immediately, without anything to back it up.
I didn’t feel as much chemistry between Nora and Patch as I would have liked, either. I was expecting to feel more, too. Maybe just because of the fact that Nora was convinced (with reason that I won’t spoil) that Patch was trying to kill her, and then when he admitted to something (that I also won’t spoil), that probably lessened the attraction to me, since I just didn’t like it too much (some of it grew back, though, later). But none of that stuff seemed to make her lust go down, and that kind of irritated me. I’m hoping that the chemistry will be better in the next book, since they will actually be together in it.
I’m not sure how I feel about the ending. It seemed… too good to be true, I guess? Like everything worked out too well, and I don’t like it. Plus, I wanted a different ending for Patch; hopefully I will grow to like it in the next book.
I should be reading the next one (and maybe even the third one) soon, since my friend has them and wants me to read them, and I am going to try to in the next couple weeks. I'm hoping for better romance and more information about all the angel stuff and Nora's part in it, and if Patch's place in it is going to change. So, look forward to that, I guess.

Review: Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia

 Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Spoilers?: Minor-ish

Amazon Synopsis:

He counts her smiles every day and night at the train station. And morning and evening, the beautiful commuter acknowledges him-just like she does everyone else on the platform. But Blake Hartt is not like the others . . . he's homeless. Memories of a broken childhood have robbed him of peace and twisted delusions into his soul. He stays secluded from the sun, sure the world would run from him in the harsh light of day. Each day, Livia McHugh smiles politely and acknowledges her fellow commuters as she waits for the train to the city. She dismisses this kindness as nothing special, just like her. She's the same as a million other girls-certainly no one to be cherished. But special or not, she smiles every day, never imagining that someone would rely on the simple gesture as if it were air to breathe. When the moment comes that Livia must do more than smile, without hesitation she steps into the fray to defend the homeless man. And she's surprised to discover an inexplicable connection with her new friend. After danger subsides, their smiles become conversation. Their words usher in a friendship, which awakens something in each of them. But it's not long before their bond must prove its strength. Entanglements from the past challenge both their love and their lives. Blake's heart beats for Livia's, even if her hands have to keep its rhythm. Love is patient. Love is kind. Love never fails. Love never fails, right? In an interwoven tale of unlikely loves and relationships forged by fire, Debra Anastasia takes readers into the darkest corners of human existence, only to show them the radiant power of pure adoration and true sacrifice. Complicated families and confused souls find their way to light in this novel, which manages to be racy, profane, funny, and reverent all at once.


 This book was kind of amazing. Only maybe without the kind of.
I won an e-book of this online a while ago, and after some complications (which kind of sucked, but is okay), I only recently got and read almost immediately. There was a blog tour going on or something, I think, which brought the book to my attention and I thought it sounded good, so I wanted to read it. It’s an adult book, so be warned about that; but, you know, I enjoyed those parts as well.
It’s about Livia, a college student studying psychology, who officially meets Blake, a homeless guy about her age with a bad childhood, who she has seen at her subway station several times. But it’s also about Blake’s brothers, Cole and Beckett, and Livia’s sister, and Eve, and all of their romances.
I really enjoyed all of the characters, although I wanted more of Livia and Blake, the first characters we’re introduced to. I wasn’t expecting the third person to move from person to person, and while I did want more of just Livia and Blake (and was so bothered by the cliffhanger like spots that Anastasia would choose to move to the next person), I did enjoy the others as well. Beckett and Eve were probably my second favorite pair.
I also wasn’t expecting the psychology thing. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that instead of having a supernatural element to the book, but I grew to like it. I was okay with Cole’s church-stuff, but it wasn’t my favorite. And I did enjoy Beckett’s pimp and drug dealer stuff, even if I didn’t agree with all of it and did find some of it a bit brutal and gruesome.
Blake was sweet and gentlemanly, and was frustrating at some points, but I liked him. I liked learning about Eve's broken past and how she turned out because of it. Mouse was so sweet and interesting and I'm so upset about him. I found the story with Chris really interesting, and I hated him, but did enjoy reading the pieces with him (from Livia or Blake's POV, not Chris's in particular). I liked that we got history, a story, from just about anyone in the story; I also found it interesting that the three brothers were in foster care, and how they each turned out because of it. Oh, and the tattoos. Everything was just put together really well and smooth. Although some of the working around the police things seemed to work out too well.
I really liked the romance. I liked Livia and Blake, a lot, and I liked Eve and Beckett; I was mostly okay with Cole and Kyle, although I felt a little iffy about them at first, I grew somewhat used to them, I guess. The smutty scenes and general romance stuff between them all was nice, though. I particularly enjoyed those. They were sweet and romantic, sensual, not blunt, which I enjoyed. I am still a little iffy about them all marrying so quickly, though. They did seem to get together fast, looking back on it, but they all just seemed to fit together so well, so naturally, that I didn’t notice. And maybe it’s just that I’m unsure of marriage or something, and it does make sense for the characters to marry, but so close together, so fast, bothered me.
I am unhappy with the ending between Beckett and Eve. I was expecting more, and want more, and it seemed a bit too open, cliffhanger like, for me, and I am not happy about it. Also, I just want more. More scenes between them all. More of the characters. I’m sad that the book is over; I want a sequel or something.
The book was really easy to read, too. It was mostly frustrating and slowed me down when it would move to a different chapter and a different person, leaving me wanting to know what happens next to the first people. The writing, I thought, was really good and easy to get through. Some of the sentences could have used some rewording, maybe, but nothing big.
I was really surprised by this book, and I’m glad. I really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to reading her other books, one of which I have and hope to start soon.
(Sidenote: I think I remember reading somewhere that this was a fanfiction? Is that true? If so, based off what? I was thinking it might have been published online somewhere before, like fictionpress, but I don’t know if that’s true or not. If it is, please tell me, I would love to know.)

Review: Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires, #12) by Rachel Caine

Rating (Out of 5): ~4.5
Publisher: Penguin (New American Library)
Spoilers?: No (purposely vague).

Goodreads Synopsis:

 The hotly-anticipated twelfth instalment in the Morganville Vampires series

In Last Breath, the rain brought a new and dire threat to Morganville and its vampires... their ancient enemies, the draug. Now, the vampires are fighting a losing war, and it will fall to the residents of the Glass House: Michael, Eve, Shane and Claire, to take the fight to an enemy who threatens to destroy the town, forever.

Lovers of Morganville, rejoice: Black Dawn takes the intrigue, romance and nail-biting suspense of the series to its highest level yet!


I love Morganville. I’m not sure how else to say this, other than tell you that I love this series. It is probably (or, most definitely,) one of my favorite series. I started this series when only a handful of the books were out, I think, and read the new ones almost immediately after I get them. Sometimes a series will get tiring after so many books, but this one just gets better and makes me love it even more after each one. This one included.
Black Dawn was the continuation of the draugs, with, um, that thing with Amelie, and then something bad happened with Shane, which gave me a very cute moment between him and Claire, and some tense stuff happened between Eve and Michael, and there were a lot of point-of-view changes, and then it ended with something that I’m unsure of between Amelie and the Draug and Oliver, and I want the next one.
Sorry, I’m trying to keep it vague and spoiler-free, since I know that a lot of people haven’t read this far into, or any of, this series. (Which, what is wrong with you? Go read them now!)
I love Shane and Claire. Clair is amazing, and totally badass, and even more so in this book. One scene in particular with Oliver, and then a bit later with Myrnin, was very awesome and badass. And I always love the scenes between Claire and Shane, they always make me smile and fangirl all over the place. Also, I found that I didn’t care as much about the chapter in other peoples’ point-of-view. Not that I would skip them, or anything, just that I didn’t enjoy them as much. Not Shane’s, though; I kind of did enjoy those. The others’ were interesting, I liked being in their head and seeing what they were seeing; I just personally enjoy Claire and Shane more.
I don’t think I liked what happened with Amelie at the end. I was prepared for the opposite, and while I see the merits to it, it just doesn’t seem right. Maybe that everything shouldn’t have worked out so well, I guess. I’m curious about what will happen in the next one, between Amelie and Oliver, and how Clare and Shane and them are, ah, kind of neutral now. I’m really curious, actually, what will happen next.
I’m super excited for the next one, want it now, and don’t want to wait. But I’m glad that I don’t have to wait a whole year, like with most other books.
(Sidenote: In this book, it’s mentioned that Eve is the big sister to Jason. What? I never really thought about it, but I guess figured that she was the youngest, and totally skipped the whole part when it was first mentioned. Her being older makes sense, what with leaving him behind and how he turned out, but I was really surprised.)
(Oh, also, I remember Caine mentioning that she’s working on another YA book. Romeo and Juliet type of thing? Doesn’t sound as appealing as I would hope, but I’m still excited to read it, whenever it comes out.)(It’s kind of amazing how many books she works on and releases around the same time.)

Review: Body & Soul (The Ghost and the Goth, #3) by Stacey Kade

Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: Hyperion (Disney Book Group)
Spoilers?: No, very minor.

Amazon Synopsis:

 Alona Dare has been living as Lily “Ally” Turner for over a month...and it's not been easy. Besides being trapped in a body so not as good as her original one, she's failing miserably at playing the sister and daughter of people she barely knows. Plus, she can't help but think that Will Killian - the boy she hates to care about - somehow wishes the real Lily were back.

 She and Will have been trying to find a solution, looking for a two-for-one miracle that would free Alona and keep Lily alive. Visits to local psychics have proven useless, but then they stumble across Malachi the Magnificent, who seems to be different. His office is full of ghosts, for one thing. But Malachi doesn’t seem to hear or see them, which is odd. Plus, he bolts the moment he sees Will. To make things even weirder, Misty Evans, Alona's former best friend, is waiting in Malachi's lobby and claiming that she's being haunted. By Alona.

Will's convinced that Malachi has answers, while Alona is all kinds of pissed that someone's impersonating her. But their efforts to uncover the truth will bring them much unwanted attention and put them directly in the path of a ghost who will stop at nothing for another stab at life. Even if it means destroying Alona.


I was really looking forward to this book, although a bit worried, but mostly excited. And I’m not really sure if it was everything I was hoping for. It was really good, yes, but it just didn’t seem as polished or as good as the last few.
This book was the conclusion to the series, which is upsetting, but it was a good ending, so that was nice. It starts off somewhat close to where the last one ended, and moves forward pretty smoothly. I was a bit surprised at some of it, when we met some new people, and maybe would have liked to meet more people like Will, but it was interesting nonetheless. I won’t spoil what happens, but I wasn’t expecting it when starting the novel (although I did leave my mind open to whatever was going to happen). It was good, and I liked the ending. It’s what I was hoping would happen.
In the other books, I really liked Will and Alona, and I still did in this book, but they didn’t seem as perfected, as in-character, as they should have been. A little exaggerated, maybe, or immature. Some of it just seemed like Kade could have gone over the book again, like it needed another edit run-through for the characters and just some general sentences, and it would have been as good as the previous ones. I’m disappointed about it. Also, Will and Alona were fighting way too much, almost always arguing with each other. I get that they were unhappy with each other, but there was too much couple-angst going on, and it bothered me. I’m not sure if that’s just because I wanted more romantic stuff to happen or because it wasn’t all that well done, though. Maybe the previous books were building up to this, to this problem for them to fight over? It might have just been me, since it did have some reason.
Aside from that I enjoyed it. As I said, I liked the ending. The whole choosing thing was nice, and I was happy with it.

Review: The Calling (Darkness Rising, #2) by Kelley Armstrong

 Rating (Out of 5): ~4-4.5
Publisher: HarperCollins (Harper)
Spoilers?: Very minor.

Amazon Synopsis:

Maya Delaney's paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is—a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it's only a matter of time before she's able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.
Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.
In The Calling, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of The Gathering clamoring for more


This series is getting really good. I am so excited for the next one, and so upset that I have to wait, probably, another year. That is way too long!
The first book gave us little information, and this one didn’t give us too much more. For most of the book, Maya and her group of friends are traveling around in the woods, deserted from everyone else, unable to call anyone, not knowing who to trust, along with their classmates (or whatever) not really believing that someone is after them.
It was suspenseful, and even though they were mostly traveling, quite a bit did happen. At first, I had a hard time figuring out who all of the kids were, what their purpose was, and what they did in the first book. Probably because we didn’t see too much of them in the first book, and I didn’t pay them too much mind. I have a somewhat better grasp now, and hopefully still will by the time the next one comes out.
I am mostly looking forward to the next one, honestly. I want to find out more about Maya and what her friends are, and see them using their powers, since we’ve mostly only got to see Maya use hers, and then just barely. I want them to find their parents, and see who knows what to do with the project; particularly Maya’s parents, because they are awesome, and get to see (more of) who her biological parents are. I’m excited for them to get their friends back.
The biggest thing I want, though, is for them to find the characters from the first trilogy. Every time Project Genesis was mentioned, and the experiments from both projects, I got so excited. And they were mentioned several times, too. Because I know Armstrong has mentioned them meeting up, and they were heading out to find them at the end of the book. I want to see Chloe and Derek and all of them again, and how they react to Maya and her friends (Derek in particular; I bet he’ll get protective). I want it to happen! Stop teasing me already!
Anyway. I like Maya, and I really like Daniel (although I don’t really see much romance between them, and am unsure how I would feel about that, if it were to happen), and want to get to know Rafe more. I believe that she and Rafe will be together, and I don’t really mind that, and I see it, but I don’t really get a lot of, um, tingly feelings or anything from reading about them, possibly because he wasn’t in a lot of this book. Hopefully there will be more chemistry (or something) in the next one.
So, that’s pretty much it. I loved it, and I want the next one, immediately, and so I am bummed about waiting for it. Although I’m wondering how long the next book is going to be, and what all is going to happen in it, because I feel like there is a lot of stuff to get cleared up: the parents thing, getting to the people in charge of it all, finding Project Genesis, getting their friends back, discovering their powers. A lot for one book. Still, I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday[2]: Honey Darling by Norikazu Akira

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Honey Darling by Norikazu Akira
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: VIZ Media (SuBLime Manga)

Chihiro drifts through life with no purpose going from girl to girl until one day he finds an abandoned kitten in a box. He quickly falls in love with little Shiro and couldn’t imagine his life without her. One evening, Chihiro finds Shiro has fallen ill. While searching aimlessly for an animal hospital, he runs into Kumazawa, a local vet who takes Shiro into his care. Watching Kumazawa in action, Chihiro realizes he wishes to learn the value of life and asks Kumazawa to consider hiring him at the vet clinic. Kumazawa agrees, but only as his live-in housekeeper. Has Chihiro finally found his purpose in life or will living with the handsome vet be a little too much to handle?

I'm honestly not a big fan of yaoi; I enjoy it every once in a while, and I don't dislike it, but I don't usually go deliberately looking for it. But just the fact that VIZ is starting their own yaoi line (because of how much I love VIZ) makes me want to try them out. I was a little disappointed at first to see that they were only releasing digital copies, since I don't have a digital device to read them on, and so I'm very excited for the print versions to come out. There are only two set to be released, in June, this one and one other, and I'm excited to give them both a try. 
(Oh, also, as a sidenote, I totally didn't understand their capitalizing of BL in SuBLime at first. Probably because I only ever think of it as yaoi, but am I the only one? Because when I finally did, I was like, "Oh, duh." Because, duh.)

Anyway, what are you looking forward to reading, manga or otherwise?

Teaser Tuesday[3]: Black Dawn (Morganville Vampires, #12) by Rachel Caine

 Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading! All you have to do to participate is:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


I know I’m very… ah, not continuous with my memes; sorry. I’m still unsure as to whether or not it’s going to be a frequent thing, or what. Again, sorry. Also, sorry I haven’t been doing too well with my posting schedule. First I was sick, and then I had way too much school stuff going on, that I didn’t have any time for it. I should be back to normal for the next few weeks, though, before I go on a vacation-type thing, where I have no idea what my schedule will be like. I’ll talk more about that when it gets closer, though.
Anyway, onto the book! I’ve been reading this for way too long, and I’m a little upset about it (mostly because of how much I love this series). I should be finished with it soon, like within the next day or two, though. And hopefully my quotes will just add to your excitement, along with the authors quotes before the release on her blog. (Why was it that I kept finding the pages that she took quotes from? Finding quotes for this book was much harder than it should have been.)
Happy Reading! :)
“Shane silently flipped one to her. On the casing was drawn, in black marker, the alchemical symbol for silver. Definitely Myrnin, because only he would think to write a warning that nobody but the two of them could possibly read. ‘How do you know what this means?’
Shane looked faintly injured. ‘I make it my business to know everything about silver. And I saw your notes. I study up on everything when it comes to your boss, anyway.’ There was a flicker of jealousy about that, but she didn’t have time, or energy, to consider it very much. Not even whether she liked it.” (Hardback, pg. 27)

“Shane’s enthusiasm for the flamethrower dimmed, but he didn’t take it off. That, Clair thought, was because there was something incredibly macho about walking around with flammable weapons that she would never quite understand. If she’d tried it, it would have just made her totally aware of how non-flame-retardant she was.” (Hardback, pg. 26)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review: Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth

Rating (Out of 5): ~4
Publisher: HarperCollins (Katherine Tegen Books)
Spoilers?: Very, purposely, Minor

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.


I was really surprised by this book.
I was expecting to like it; because of all of the good reviews that I read, mostly (I would also say because of the good reactions of the people in my book club, but they were also big fans of The City of Bones, and I wasn’t, so…). I just wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did, or to be as impressed with it as I was. Because I really was.
My edition of the book had almost no description (less than the one up above), and so I had no idea what I was going into; which, I guess, gave me a lot of room to be impressed. Anyway, Divergent is about Beatrice, later known as Tris, who lives in a dystopian time. Where she lives, there are five factions, and when you turn 16, you take a test and then get to choose which one you want to go into. Usually, when you take the test, you get the faction that you are best suited for, and a lot of the time, it’s the one that you were born into. But then there are people who don’t get one result, who have a little bit of everything inside them, and they are the divergent. They’re stronger, and the faction leaders don’t like them. I’m not going to go too into the different factions, because, you know, go read the book for that (no, really, go read the book). And so, of course, Tris ends up being divergent, and choosing the more violent faction. I wasn't sure which faction she was going to choose, and was actually kind of hoping she would choose the one that her brother chose (I won't name them, though, because I don't want to give too much away!), but it makes sense for her to have chosen the one she did.
I liked how the factions worked, what with getting to choose the one you want, and how they all have their own rules and ways of doing things, but they are all in the same area; they aren’t not allowed to see each other or anything, as they’re all in the same town. Some might not like others, but they still have to be around each other.
Okay, so Tris is awesome. I kind of love her. At first, I didn’t really feel much for her; I was thinking she might just be another faceless character that I am in the head of, as I tend to think of other main characters, but when I realized that I wasn’t paying too much attention to her, I think I started to try harder, and so I did. She was strong, and smart, and protective, and conflicted. She is badass, guys. She takes charge when she needs to, she knows not to reveal too much about herself, she’s worried about her family and Four, and she’s just generally awesome. (As a sidenote, one thing that did bother me was that I thought one of her fears, during at least one of the simulations, would be someone finding out that she was divergent. But it wasn’t. I really want to know if there’s a reason behind that, aside from the fact that other people weren’t supposed to find out so early on.)
Her parents were pretty awesome. Her mom, in particular. Her dad was alright, but got a little better at the end. I’m hoping to get to know her brother more in the next one. Next, her friends. Uriah and the faction-born-initiates were pretty cool, and seemed to genuinely like her, whereas the transfer-initiates kind of sucked. Will, for the most part, seemed alright. But all of them turned their backs on her really easily, and only seemed to like her when she was weak, which was completely jerk-ish of them. (Like, in the next volume, when Christina finds out about Will, I doubt she’s going to forgive Tris.)
I kind of love Four. He’s tough, and strong, and smart, but he’s also so sweet, and vulnerable, and I want to hug him and kiss him and make it all better, but he doesn’t really need it (maybe he would accept it from Tris, though). I am really looking forward to Tris getting closer to him in the next book. The romance between them was really good, and went at a really good pace; their personalities, I think, go together really well. Also, they are both inexperienced, but their falling for each other wasn’t done in an immature way, it seemed more innocent and sweet, which was definitely nice.
The pace of the book was actually really good. A lot of the time I’m wary of bigger books, just for the fact that they can drag on really easily, but this one went along really well, and I found that I didn’t want to stop reading it, quite a few times (as in, I would want to go do something else, and maybe I would, but once I picked the book back up, I kept going “Just one more chapter… Oh, one more, than I will go do (insert activity here)…” and then I would be several more chapters into it, because I could not help myself). It started out with her with her parents, and then a lot of the book was spent with her competing during her initiation into the faction she chose, which took a lot of time but was still really exciting (there was always something going on!), and then, when there was about a quarter of the book left, bam!, something big happened that took up the rest of the book. I was expecting it to happen, but I wasn’t expecting it to occur so soon. I figured it would take more time, but no, it came rather fast.
And it was exciting. I could not put it down when it happened, and I really enjoyed that part of the book (I enjoyed all of it, but still). I kind of hate the faction leaders that were in charge of it, and I’m looking forward to finding out what happens next, to seeing what Tris and Four and her brother and everyone is doing. I’m thinking that Marcus is up to something, and I hate Peter, and hope that Tris does something about him soon. Again, I love how tough Tris is. She isn’t weak or afraid to hurt someone if it’s necessary to do so, which is awesome.
She’s just so awesome, and I’m so impressed. I should be reading the next book soon, since I’ll be getting it within the next week, I think. I am a bit upset that, once I finish the next one, I will have to wait about a year for the third one, but that’s alright.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Manga Review: Otomen, Volume 12, by Aya Kanno

Rating (Out of 5): ~3
Publisher: VIZ Media (Shojo Beat)
Volumes: 15+

Goodreads Synopsis:

Asuka Masamune is a guy who loves girly things--sewing, knitting, making cute stuffed animals and reading shojo comics. But in a world where boys are expected to act manly, Asuka must hide his beloved hobbies and play the part of a masculine jock instead. Can Asuka ever show his true self to anyone, much less to Ryo Miyakozuka, the girl that he's falling for?
Secretly taking a baking class for men, Asuka is relieved that there’s a safe haven where he doesn’t need to hide his girly side from his anti-otomen mother. But when she finds out that he’s been attending this class, things get set to explode!


I generally enjoy this series, but it isn’t my favorite. And, I guess I wasn’t too excited with it (or I was lazy/procrastinative) because I’ve put reviewing it off for several weeks now…
Anyway, the book started with Asuka at his men’s baking class. He’s happily enjoying it, but it doesn’t take long for his mother to find out about it. Instead of there being too big of a show down, though, Asuka comes up with a good excuse, and his mother hesitantly believes it. So then the manga moves onto its main focus: Asuka’s dad.
We find out who it is when he has to stay with Asuka and his mother, who happily take him in, since neither recognizes him. Asuka starts getting closer to him, and then when people take him hostage and his father saves him, he starts feeling love for him. (Although the kidnappers’ motives bother me; it’s sweet, what they want them to do, but they went about it all wrong. I guess they wanted to be all tough about it, but they should have just asked in the first place, especially sense they begged for it later. It was just, kind of a dumb way to bring it all about.) It’s sweet, and I’m glad to get to see Asuka’s father, and for him to be able to get closer to him now. That’s nice, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of that later. And hopefully for the whole thing with his mother to hit a climax soon. And, I guess, for everything between him and Ryo to get fully cleared up, to actually hit a romantic climax or something. Because I guess they’re going out, but they don’t really act like it…
Then there’s a chapter about the poet teacher guy, who I somewhat remembered. He has a poetic interaction with one of his students, which is sweet, I guess. I wasn’t too excited for it, though; probably because I didn’t feel much for the characters.
I don’t know, I’m just not feeling too much for this series. Like I said, it’s just not one of my favorites; and the fact that the volumes are coming quite far in between probably has something to do with it. I’m not saying that I won’t be getting the next one, though, because I will.