Monday, June 27, 2011

MY SOUL TO KEEP Review - Rachel Vincent

My Soul to Keep (Soul Screamers, Book 3)MY SOUL TO KEEP by Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
My Recommended Age Group: Young Adult to Adult
Released: June 1, 2010
Other work in series: My Soul to Take, My Soul to Save
Our Rating:

From Goodreads: (edited for spoilers)

Demon breath. No, not the toothpaste-challenged kind. The Netherworld kind. The kind that really can kill you. Somehow the super-addictive substance has made its way to the human world. But how?

My thoughts:

I was in a mood to finish a few books this past week that I hadn't been able to before.  Top on the list - MY SOUL TO KEEP by Rachel Vincent.

Fans of Vincent's Soul Screamers series, already know that this series is packed with emotion, drama, and action.  Kaylee starts out the series by discovering that she is not exactly human.  She is a bean-sidhe and has an amazing gift that forces her to wail (think blood-curdling scream) anytime someone is about to die or has just died.  While trying to come to terms with this new reality, everything she knows and trusts is suddenly thrown up in the air in a haze of confusion.  Book three in the series, MY SOUL TO KEEP continues in this fashion.

While Kaylee is now starting to understand more about her true nature and her gifts, something dangerous is happening around her.  Friends are starting to act strange and again, everything that she knows is threatening to topple over.  Will she be able to save herself and those she loves or will she end up losing someone in the process?

For me, MY SOUL TO KEEP was a huge turning point for Kaylee.  Within this story we get to see not only how much spunk Kaylee has, but also exactly where her limits are.  Just like the rest of us, Kaylee can get hurt - both emotionally and physically.  Definitely the most emotional of the series so far, there were many points in the book where my heart just started breaking for Kaylee.  Sometimes you just want to scream, "Leave the poor girl alone already!"  There wouldn't be much of a story if that happened, though.  While Kaylee battles her way through MY SOUL TO KEEP, we are left watching helplessly.  Ms. Vincent does an amazing job of channeling Kaylee's pain, anger, and sadness through to the reader so that just as Kaylee feels like she's falling apart, so do we.

The best part about MY SOUL TO KEEP, and Ms. Vincent's Soul Screamers series so far, is how easy her characters are to relate to.  Although most of us don't see ghostly shapes and experience supernatural occurrences on a daily basis, we are still able to be drawn into the story and experience it with the characters.  Each character is molded well so that the reader can easily imagine his or herself in the character's shoes and as we adventure with these characters, Ms. Vincent kicks up the action and adventure, leaving us breathless and begging for more.

My favorite of the series so far, MY SOUL TO KEEP is a definite must read.  I recommend it for any fans of Young Adult Paranormal.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Firelight and Vanish - Sophie Jordan




Really, is there much else to say?  *Drool*

Firelight was released September 7, 2010 and Vanish is set to release September 6, 2011.

Firelight (from www.sophiejordan.net)

A HIDDEN TRUTH

MORTAL ENEMIES

DOOMED LOVE


Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet of her kind, she nearly pays with her life, only to be spared by a beautiful stranger sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki--a descendant of dragons whose ability to shift into human form is her best defense.

Forced to flee into the mortal world, Jacinda struggles to adapt. The one bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irrestibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away - if it dies she will be left a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

Mythical powers and irresistible passion ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide ...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

2009 Debutante Anthology

2009 was a great year for books and it looks like the 2009 Debutantes have another something special up their sleeves!



What do you think?  Looks great, doesn't it!  From what I understand, this is set to release in eBook format around October 2011.  Check out the 2009 Debutantes blog for more information

Authors included: Cyn Balog, Lauren Bjorkman, Leigh Brescia, Jennifer Brown, Kirstin Cronn-Mills, Janet Gurtler, Teri Hall, Cheryl Renee Herbsman, Stacey Jay, Heidi R. Kling, C. Lee McKenzie, Saundra Mitchell, Jenny Moss, Jackson Pearce, Shani Petroff, Carrie Ryan, Sydney Salter, Kurtis Scaletta, Jon Skovron, Kristina Springer, Rhonda Stapleton, Charity Tahmaseb, Jessica Verday, J.A. Yang, and Lara Zielin.

Monday, June 20, 2011

ULTRAVIOLET Review - R.J. Anderson

ULTRAVIOLET by  R.J. Anderson
My Recommended Age Group: Young Adult to Adult
Released: June 2011 (UK), September 2011 (U.S.)
Other work: Faery Rebels: Spell HunterWayfarer (Faery Rebels)Arrow. R.J. Anderson (Knife)
Our Rating:

From Goodreads:

Once upon a time there was a girl who was special.

This is not her story.

Unless you count the part where I killed her.


Sixteen-year-old Alison has been sectioned in a mental institute for teens, having murdered the most perfect and popular girl at school. But the case is a mystery: no body has been found, and Alison's condition is proving difficult to diagnose. Alison herself can't explain what happened: one minute she was fighting with Tori -- the next she disintegrated. Into nothing. But that's impossible. Right?

My thoughts:

Many of the books I come across have been highly recommended and promise to be great.  Occasionally, however, I come across a book that, for whatever reason, I really haven't heard too much about.  Typically it's the cover that attracts me to these books; sometimes it's the blurb.  In the case of ULTRAVIOLET by R.J. Anderson, I honestly can't tell you what made me decide to give it a try.  I hadn't seen the cover or read the blurb - there was just something that drew me to the story.

Wow - what a story.

Based upon a natural phenomenon, ULTRAVIOLET follows Alison, a girl whose senses are extraordinary.  Where most people may hear a noise or feel a sensation, all of Alison's senses seemed to be tied together.  Words have colors and tastes, names carry emotion and feeling with them.  Her world is one of color and light which may sound great at first, but even on the most dreary day, too much color and light holds the potential to drive anyone crazy...

When schoolmate Tori winds up missing, Alison is thrown into a mental institution.  It's only later that she recalls admitting to murdering Tori and subsequently going crazy.  But in Alison's world - nothing is as it seems.  Where is the line between reality and not?

The one thing that I absolutely adored about ULTRAVIOLET was the intensity of it.  From Alison's mental episodes, to her internal struggles, and out to the troubles of those she encounters, Anderson keeps us hooked from the first page through to the last.  Throughout the story, there really is no slow moment stuck in to beef the book up.  Instead, every sentence draws more of our emotions and pulls us further into the book. Suspenseful?  Yes.  Slightly dark?  Yeah, probably.  Full of action, mystery, and great characters that make you want to read the book in one sitting?  Definitely.

As Alison progresses through the story and learns, so does the reader.  It would have been easy for Anderson to explain to us what was going on with Alison up front and then let us watch her live it, but where would the fun it that be?  Instead, we find that in the beginning of the book we are just as clueless as Alison.  Her struggles become ours and we fight alongside her through to her triumphs.

Fans of fiction that tip-toe the line between reality and fantasy will love ULTRAVIOLET.  This was a different story than the one I was expecting, but it ended up being really good.  I highly recommend it to anyone looking to branch out and try something a bit different.


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente - Giveaway

Ready for the longest book title I have come across in a while?

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own MakingTHE GIRL WHO CIRCUMNAVIGATED FAIRYLAND IN A SHIP OF HER OWN MAKING by Catherynne M. Valente.

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn?t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday.

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

What do you think? I think it looks different, colorful and potentially beautiful! Available now, this book looks like it will be a hit for kids, young adults, and adults alike.

Want to win a copy? Courtesy of the publisher, we have one copy to give away. Open to those with a U.S. or Canadian mailing address, this giveaway will end June 30th.



Recent Contest Winners

All winners have been notified.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making -
Ruby Red - Patricia
Everlasting - Linda

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Episode 8 #NinePaths

The time for our journey to be over is drawing near.  After completing the seventh path and risking danger yet again, I found myself waiting anxiously for the next-to-last path to find and bring forward The Uniter.

The day was bright and sunny when I noticed another package tied to my door knob.  Although it was warm, and I could hear the magestic sounds of a hawk flying overhead, I was filled with a sense of dread when I saw the plastic bag.  Dutifully, never knowing if it would be a piece of communication from the Mai, or a warning from The Order, I took the package inside and opened it.

Imagine my surprise when I found not one, but two packages.

The first held a letter and a charm from the Mai.

The Eighth Path is full of treacherous twists and turns.  We ask that you demonstrate extreme caution every step of the way.  Enclosed is the Mai Protection charm.  Keep it close to protect you and your Circle during the remaining two Paths.

As foretold by the Nine Paths Prophecy, "The Eight Path reveals a great and dangerous Foe who sets many traps as he hunts his target.  Only the Circle of Strangers can follow this deceptive path and uncover the threat."

It has come to our attention that there has been a breach in the Mai's security system.  We sincerely apologize, but your address may have fallen into the wrong hands.  Contact us immediately if any person or any organization attempts to communicate with you about The Uniter, Chloe King.  The Circle is a fierce ally to The Uniter!  The Mai believe you will successfully complete This Path and uncover any threat!

Great, so my address has somehow fallen into the hands of The Order. The same Order who were caught on a phone recording saying that Circle members were a threat and should be eliminated.

I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised to find a message from The Order in the second package.

Within the second package was a postcard of Coit Tower, a very important tower to Chloe King.  In fact, the fact that The Order sent an image of this tower tells me that they are very close to discovering where Chloe is.  On the back of the postcard, a message was written:

Is the circle still searching for dear Chloe King?
Your pathetic prophecy won't save you.
Face it, all is lost.
Batko.me

Oh great!  Upon further searching, I found myself at the web address batko.me with an image of Chloe King and a young man.  Is he one that can be trusted?

The time has come to prepare for the ninth path.  Remember, if you have a protection charm, keep it with you Circle.  If you don't, head on over to ABC Family and enter the password "Deception" to win your own.

The Nine Lives of Chloe King is set to premier tomorrow, June 14th at 8/9c on ABC Family.

Take a look at some of our other Chloe King posts if you're curious about the journey thus far or are looking for reviews of the first two books.  Our review of the third and final book will be posted live tomorrow.

The Nine Paths to Chloe King
The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Episode 1
The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Episode 2
The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Episode 3
The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Episode 4
The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Episode 5
The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Episode 6
The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Episode 7
Learning about Bastet

The Fallen by Liz Braswell
The Stolen by Liz Braswell

Author Interview with Liz Braswell

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Nine Paths to Chloe King, Path 7 #ninepaths

We're almost to the end of our journey.  The day of The Uniter is almost upon us (along with the premier of The Nine Lives of Chloe King) - June 14th.  While the 6th path brought us Danger, the seventh path led us to something even worse - a foe!

I received another mysterious package on my doorstep today.  I opened it carefully and was disturbed to find what was inside.  A business card and pen from Rezza Capital.  I had heard of this name before and so I wasn't too surprised when the hairs on the back of my neck stuck up.

The back of the business card led me to the wooden box that I had received a while ago.  Inside was an envelope with documentation for a set of adoptive parents.  The edge of the business card matched up perfectly with the edge of the envelope...almost like they were made for one another.

The mysterious business card, pen, and envelope


When I turned the card and envelope over, I saw that a password had been written on the back.  I raced to my MaiPad, the device we were given by the Mai as a means of staying in contact with them, and entered the password.  What luck!  Within was a video of Rezza - The Uniter's number one foe.

We now have a face to keep an eye out for!

Rezza


Unfortunately, we're going to have to stay vigilant.  In the clip I was shown, Rezza seems pretty keen on destroying The Uniter - as many times as he has to.

Look at the symbol below and memorize it.  If ever you should see this symbol, take caution.  This is the Mai symbol for Foe and is generally someone we want to stay away from and keep away from The Uniter.

Foe
Interested in the books that started it all?

We were interviewed!

James at The Book Base interviewed A Journey of Books. Check us out at http://thebookbase.com/430/book-blogger-qa-journey-of-books.

Upcoming Releases 2011

Below are the releases for the year that I am anxiously waiting for (or was anxiously waiting for). Of course, there is always the sly book that pops into my hands before I have a chance to put it up here so this list is not a comprehensive list of everything I love in 2011.

D = Drama
M = Mystery
P = Paranormal
F = Fantasy
YA - Young Adult

January 2011


YA - 01/04/11 ---- Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
YA - 01/04/11 ---- Hexbound by Chloe Neill
YA - 01/07/11 ---- The Demon Trappers: Forsaken by Jana Oliver
UF - 01/15/11 ---- River Marked (Mercy Thompson 6) by Patricia Briggs
YA - 01/25/11 ---- The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal

February 2011

YA - 02/01/11 ---- Delirium by Lauren Oliver
YA - 02/01/11 ---- The Iron Witch by Karen Mahoney
YA - 02/08/11 ---- Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann
YA - 02/15/11 ---- Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

March 2011

YA - 03/15/11 ---- The Vampire Diaries: The Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith
YA - 03/15/11 ---- Steel by Carrie Vaughn
YA - 03/22/11 ---- Wither (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) by Lauren DeStefano

April 2011

YA - 04/05/11 ---- Teeth: Vampire Tales by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling

May 2011

June 2011

YA - 06/28/11 ---- Fins Are Forever by Tera Lynn Childs

July 2011

P - 07/05/11 ---- Night Veil by Yasmine Galenorn
P - 07/05/11 ---- Naked City by Many Uberawesome Urban Fantasy Authors
YA - 07/12/11 ---- Undercurrent: A Siren Novel by Tricia Rayburn
YA - 07/26/11 ---- Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer
YA - 07/26/11 ---- Supernaturally by Kiersten White

August 2011

P - 08/02/11 ---- Home Improvement: Undead Edition by Many Uberawesome Urban Fantasy Authors
YA - 08/30/11 ---- Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
YA - 08/30/11 ---- Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

September 2011

P - Autumn 2011 ---- Courting Darkness by Yasmine Galenorn
YA - 09/06/11 ---- Vanish: A Firelight Novel by Sophie Jordan
YA - 09/06/11 ---- The Hidden (The Hollow, Book 3) by Jessica Verday

October 2011

YA - 10/01/11 ---- Bloody Valentine (Blue Bloods Novella) by Melissa De la Cruz
YA - 10/01/11 ---- If I Tell by Janet Gurtler
P - 10/04/11 ---- Down These Strange Streets by Many Uberawesome Urban Fantasy Authors
YA - 10/11/11 ---- Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
YA - 10/18/11 ---- Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
YA - 10/25/11 ---- The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
YA - 10/??/11 ---- The First Time by 2009 Debutantes

November 2011

YA - 11/01/11 ---- Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
YA - 11/01/11 ---- Liar's Moon by Elizabeth C. Bunce
YA - 11/01/11 ---- Crossed by Ally Condie

December 2011

YA - 12/06/11 ---- Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

2012

YA - 2012 ---- Wings of the Wicked by Courtney Allison Moulton
YA - 2012 ---- Heaven by Alexandra Adornetto

January 2012


YA - 01/10/12 ---- Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey


February 2012

P - 02/01/12 ---- Fair Game (Alpha & Omega #3) by Patricia Briggs
YA - 02/12 ---- A Touch Morbid by Leah Clifford


Contributors:

Special thanks to:

Book Dilettante

Celestina Carmen

Le Femme Readers

The Story Siren's Book to Pine For