Book Review: Darker Still

10841336By: Leanna Renee Hieber

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Pages: 317
Source: Netgalley

The Picture of Dorian Gray meets Pride and Prejudice, with a dash of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

New York City, 1882. Seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart’s latest obsession is a painting of the handsome British Lord Denbury. Something in his striking blue eyes calls to her. As his incredibly life-like gaze seems to follow her, Natalie gets the uneasy feeling that details of the painting keep changing…

Jonathan Denbury’s soul is trapped in the gilded painting by dark magic while his possessed body commits unspeakable crimes in the city slums. He must lure Natalie into the painting, for only together can they reverse the curse and free his damaged soul.

Jayme’s Review:

Two chapters into this novel, I had an epiphany. I was born in the wrong time period. I definitely belong to the late 1800- early 1900. Reading this beautifully written novel by Leanna Hieber confirmed this. This book is full of Victorian New York glory– from the dresses to the carriages to the customs. And in the middle of it all is the beautiful and smart Natalie Stewart, a mute girl who becomes involved with a dastardly form of magic.I really enjoyed Natalie as the main MC. As much as I love this time period, I rarely enjoy YA novels set in this time. I think this has to do with the fact that most of the MCs written for this period are in “society” and thus I get the “boo-hoo I’m rich but life is awful” vibe and I hate that. But Natalie isn’t a society girl, but rather smart, curious girl trying to figure out what to do with her life.  Her handicap rarely makes her sulk, and she picks up the mantle that was given to her and strives to wrong the right. And her romance with Lord Denbury made me swoon. I love British boys, and this British lord was no exception.The magic in the book was interesting, and I loved the fact that it was solved as logically as it could. I’ve read far too many novels that explain things with “it’s magic!” There is always some mystery with magic but I really think Hieber did an excellent job creating an (almost) believable type of magic :)My only complaint is that I read this book via my Kindle, and I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had an actual hard copy. The book is written in diary form and I would have had a better since of the time passing if I would flip easily between pages. But all in all, this is amazing book filled with mystery and cleverness.

My Review in a Tweet: Darker Still is host to a great main character, a beautiful British lord and magic. Great for historical buffs and sci-fi fans!

In My Mailbox #37

IMMB-195x195Bought:
It’s All About the Bike by Robert Penn: Um, my husband bought me a bike for Christmas, so I felt like I needed a bike book. Real rational, right?
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen: I love, love, love the cover of this book. And I finally have a copy of Sense and Sensibility.
Shatter Me by Taherah Mafi: It’s so shiny. I’ve heard great things about this book.
Past Perfect by Leila Sales: I’ve wanted to read this book since I heard about it.
The Heroine’s Bookshelf by Erin Blackmore: Another must-read I never got to. I love reading books about other people’s thoughts about book. And you knows, blogs about other people’s thought about books :)
French Milk by Lucy Knisley: Jaime mentioned this book a few months ago, and at $6 I couldn’t pass it up.

For Review:
Life on the Edge by Jennifer Comeaux- Look for my review of this tomorrow!

Library:
Daughter of Smoke and Bones by Laini Taylor: In the middle of this one, still debating on it…

Top Ten Books I’m Excited to Read in 2012

tttTop Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish!

This week’s topic is the books that you are most excited to read in 2012– so pretty much a giant Waiting on Wednesday post! And I’m okay with that. I always have trouble deciding which book to feature for WoW. This list features several second-in-series books, a few first-in-series book and some standalones that I am (im)patiently waiting to read!

1. Hallowed (Unearthly, #2) by Cynthia Hand
2. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
3. Someone Else’s Life by Katie Dale
4. A Breath of Eyre (Unbound, #1) by Eve Marie Mont
5.  Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2) by Aimee Carter
6. Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
7. The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles, #2) by Kady Cross
8. Arise (Hereafter #2) by Tara Hudson
9. Enshadowed (Nevermore, #2) by Kelly Creagh
10. The Selection (The Selection, #1) by Kiera Cass

topten

One YEAR Blogoversary Giveaway!!

bday

Its been ONE year since I OFFICIALLY started this blog, after my resolution last year to be more dedicated to blogging and reviewing. It has been an exciting and exhausting year.

I wouldn’t change a thing about it.

The best part has been meeting and chatting with my fellow readers (aka all of you). So thanks for making this year memorable, and I look forward another year of books,reviews, and new friends :)

 

Reading: Firsts and Lasts of 2011

TGIF is a feature over GReads to re-cap the week’s posts & to propose a question for all the followers.

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First & Last: What was the first book you read in 2011 and the last you finished in 2011? How do you feel about these books? Would you recommend them to other readers?
Holy crap, Y’all, I CANNOT believe that 2012 is almost upon us. This year completely FLEW by. Thank goodness that there were some awesome, kick-ass books to keep us occupied this year. But enough about my ramblings, let’s get to the matter at hand, shall we?
———————————————————————————–

Across the Universe was the First book I read in 2011.  I was hearing a lot about this book from various book related bloggers, and I thought to myself, why the heck not?  It was a debut author and the COVER. OMG, the cover. Isn’t that a beaut? The cover attracted me like no other…and guess what?!?! It’s reversible for the boys.  I loved this book. LOVED this book.  The plot was OMGosh amaze.  I also got to meet Beth at her launch party (Which was delayed by some ‘freak’ snowstorm in the southern states!) in North Carolina. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers. This book definitely got me back into the swing of reading again. Oh and the ending……you’ll just have to read it for yourself!

…and the last was this fantastic awesome second book from THE Cassandra Clare.  If you haven’t read this book (or The Infernal Devices/Mortal Instruments series) what is WRONG with you? This book is my favorite out of the trilogy so far. The twists and turns and angsty love… more please. I thought that I was Team Will…but by the end of this novel, I am definitely Team Jem. Or I might still be Team Will….Can’t I have them both? If you haven’t read this…..shame on you!

So happy 2012 and I will see you all next year!

Waiting on Wednesday #27 – The Selection

10507293From Goodreads:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself- and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

Why I am Waiting on It: OMG THE COVER! While I am a bit tired of the “Girl-in-Pretty-Dress” cover this one is gorgeous. And I really like the plot of this novel– caste systems, princes and competing for a crown? Love it.

Can’t wait for this book coming out: April 24, 2012

Book Review: Shattered Souls

Yani’s Review:

I read this book a while back and when I tried to write this review, I remembered I liked it, but I couldn’t remember why. Then I found my notes. This book reminds me of a mix of Fallen and Angelfire, while still standing out and being original. I enjoyed both those books and will definitely add this one to the list of books I look forward to reading a sequel.
I had some issues with the characters, Zak is an idiot in my opinion. And spoiler alert

I also felt like the synopsis in the back of the book is misleading, but I kinda liked that I was surprised. That doesn’t happen often.
My Review in a Tweet: Not an amazingly memorable book, but I really enjoyed it. The ending left my Soul Shattered and I look forward to more by Mary Lindsey :)

Ratings:

Plot Development: 8/10
Writing Style: 7/10
Characters: 8/10
Pace: 8/10
Uniqueness: 6/10
Ease of Reading: 8/10

Book Review: Anna Dressed in Blood

Yani’s Review:

I am a big time scaredy cat. I am that person in the movie theatre that covers her eyes, but keeps a slit open. I fast forward scary movies at home so I can be prepared for when something pops up. I even used to be scared of the dark. However, that does not diminish my love for all books that goes bump in the night. (Do I read these books at night, HELL NO, but I still love me a creepy story) I think that is why I loved Anna Dressed in Blood so much!

The story is well developed with creeptastic characters and some great break your heart moments. There was so much done right in this book that I even made a list.

  1. Male Narrartor – Male POV are not used often enough in YA, and when done right these stories are incredible. I loved Cas and have to say he is one of my favorite male characters. He is strong, mature, intuitive, and compassionate.
  2. Scary YA – Also something not done enough in YA, you never really see too many ghost stories. Especially lately where it is all Dystopian, it so refreshing!
  3. Mystery.Suspense.Love – this book was more than just a scary story. Yes it is Anna’s ghost story but it is also Cas’s story. And the mystery of his father’s death and why there are ghosts, and where they go. I hope that there will be a second book because I still have so many questions…
  4. OMG Ending – ‘nough said
My Review in a Tweet:
I really liked Anna Dressed in Blood and recommend it to those that are looking for something different in YA. With its male narrator, creepy storyline, and intense ending, it will leave you wanting more!

Ratings:

Plot Development: 8/10
Writing Style: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Pace: 9/10
Uniqueness: 9/10
Ease of Reading: 9/10

Memorable Quotes:

Yes. Smashing. You’ll be just like those four chaps in the movie. You know the one, with the oversized marshmallow.

Similar Titles:

None that I have read, I don’t read my scary books. But if you are looking for awesome male narrators try Curseworker Series or Looking for Alaska.

Book Review : The ABCs of Kissing Boys

3596174Book: The ABC’s of Kissing Boys
Author: Tina Ferraro
Publisher: Delacorte
Date Published: January 13, 2009
Pages: 224
Source: Kindle
Date Read: July, 2009

Parker Stanhope has played soccer practically since she could walk. And now that she’s a high school junior, everything she’s worked for is finally coming together. She’s paid her dues on the field, and as an upperclassman, she’s a shoo-in for the varsity team. But that’s not what happens.

This year, Coach Hartley moved up every JV player but two—and one of those two was Parker. Now, she’s stuck with the freshmen, her friends are cutting her loose, and her love of the game is seriously beginning to fail. But Parker is determined to get her life back. She has to get on the varsity team, and she has the perfect plan. All she needs now is the right kind of coach.

Yani’s Review:

This will be a mini review, because I didn’t have time to reread this book. I just want to say this is perfect recipe for making me smile. It had cute awkward moments and sweet kissing ones. I honestly have never been one for younger guys, but after this book I definitely never looked them over either.I thought Parker was awesome going after what she wanted, and I loved how she begins to realize what is really important. I love the family feud thing going on, almost make them like Romeo and Juliet. Everything is stacked against her, yet Parker continues to fight and ends up winning it all! duh =)
Ratings:
Plot: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Uniqueness: 4/5
Characters: 5/5

Book Review : A Need So Beautiful

7656231Book: A Need So Beautiful
Author: Suzanne Young
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
Date Published: June 21, 2011
Pages: 252
Source: ARC Tour
Date Read: April 22, 2011

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

There have been others before who’ve felt the Need, but they’re gone—erased from the memories of everyone whose lives they had touched. It’s as though they never existed. This is the fate that awaits Charlotte. But the last thing Charlotte wants to do is disappear, to be Forgotten. She wants to stay with her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. She wishes she could just ignore the Need, but she can’t. And as everyone important in her life begins to slowly forget her, she has to decide if she’ll fight the Need in order to remain herself—no matter how dark the consequences.

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

There have been others before who’ve felt the Need, but they’re gone—erased from the memories of everyone whose lives they had touched. It’s as though they never existed. This is the fate that awaits Charlotte. But the last thing Charlotte wants to do is disappear, to be Forgotten. She wants to stay with her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend’s arms forever. She wishes she could just ignore the Need, but she can’t. And as everyone important in her life begins to slowly forget her, she has to decide if she’ll fight the Need in order to remain herself—no matter how dark the consequences.

Ratings:

Plot: 5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Uniqueness: 5/5
Characters: 5/5