Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waterfall Wednesdays Read-Along #1

Discussion Questions for Chapters 1-6
hosted by Tina's Book Reviews

Click here to learn more and to sign up! 

1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, she’s depressed, a little angry and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?

I thought she was a little bit of a whiner at first, but I did start to like how she’s bold and adventurous (if perhaps a little reckless too). She’s the kind of girl that gets things done, and that’s always great to see in novels. 

2. Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy- The Dark Ages in its prime. Is there any time in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could?

I took an art history class last semester that I loved, and I'd really like to go to the early 1500's to see one of the best artists in action. It would be beyond amazingly awesome to meet Michelangelo, and see his artwork (like the Rome Pietà to the left) while it is all still in pristine condition....along with all the other art and artists at the time! But hey, I'd settle for a trip nowadays too ;)

3. Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if she’s a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of men’s mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?

They just didn’t know any different in that time…I think it’s a bit annoying, but that’s unfortunately the way it was (and still is in some places). Honestly, I thought it would be much worse for Gabi. 

4. When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?

I think the suspicion is somewhat understandable – Gabi’s very peculiar to them, because of how she arrived and her unusual questions/statements. I’ve definitely been misjudged or felt like an outsider quite a lot, probably due to my shyness. But I think experiences like those are helpful because they make you a better person.  

5. What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?

Cool: The castle, for sure. I would love to see a castle…and I am a sucker for a pretty dress, so I think the clothes would be interesting too. 

Worst: No hospitals/doctors/medicine/toothbrushes and toothpaste. Ugh, and my hair would be a frizzy mess. And I really wouldn't want to be in the middle of a war fought with swords. 


Giveaway: Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Heaven Help Her.

Bethany Church is an angel sent to Earth to keep dark forces at bay. Falling in love was never part of her mission, but the bond between Beth and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier Woods, is undeniably strong. But even Xavier?s love, and the care of her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can?t keep Beth from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, the demon Jake Thorn bargains for Beth?s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well.

Thanks to Tara at Zeitghost Media, I have one copy of Hades by Alexandra Adornetto to give away! 

US + Canada Only
Ends on September 9th 
Fill out the form below to enter


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sweet Venom 2 Title Hunt

Author Tera Lynn Childs is hosting a title hunt for the sequel to her novel, Sweet Venom (releases on September 6th!), and I'm one hosts with a letter for you. 

Tera is offering great prizes, including five signed copies of Sweet Venom and a grand prize $50 bookstore gift card! Even better, the hunt is open internationally so we can all join in on the fun.

What are you waiting for? Write down my letter and head over to Tera's blog for further instructions on how to enter and where to find other letters.

My letter is:

Good luck! :)


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists over at The Broke and the Bookish. They'd love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would love to see your top ten lists!

Each week they will post a new top ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.

Top Ten Books You Loved But Never Wrote A Review For 
(either books you loved and couldn't bring yourself to write a review for or books that you read long before blogging...time to give them a shoutout!)

1. Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead - I just couldn't bring myself to write anything more than a bunch of babbling after reading the final VA novel. But what can I say, it was the last book ever (of Rose), and it was full of surprises.

2. Fire by Kristin Cashore - This book was pretty wicked awesome. So much so, I was barely coherent in the rambling "review" I wrote about how wicked awesome it was. That review will never see daylight. 

3. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen - This is, without a doubt, one of my absolute favorite novels. Mostly because of Wes. *swoons*

4. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling - It's nearly impossible to write an eloquent and original review of these books. They are far too magical, amazing, and impressive. 

5. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - I think the main reason I have such a hard time with writing my thoughts on this novel is because it really is spectacular, but it's a subtle build up to spectacular. It's so hard to convey how truly touching this novel is from start to finish.

6. Delirium by Lauren Oliver - Simply breathtakingly gorgeous. Lauren Oliver definitely knows how to string together words and make them incredible. And love as a disease? Genius. 

7. The Host by Stephenie Meyer - While I'm not the biggest fan of the Twilight books, I really adored this book...I'm definitely going to have to reread this one to see if I still love it!

8. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien - This is definitely not YA, but still one of the best books I read back in high school. The narrative is so utterly brilliant and unique. I've never read another book quite like it. 

9. Jane by April Lindner - The best classic retelling ever. Seriously. Go read it. Rochester is a rock star

10. Devilish by Maureen Johnson - I. Love. This. Book. So much so, that if I ever wrote a review for it, it probably just consist of fangirly ramblings about how awesome a writer Maureen is, and how I think Maureen should be our world leader1. *bows down to Maureen Johnson* 


1 Just kidding. Mostly because Maureen Johnson might actually be crazy2. Or at least she seems crazy on Twitter
2 And for the one person (you know who you are) who took my joke seriously and decided to rudely spam the comments (now deleted) - it's an obvious joke (Maureen even has a variation of it in her twitter info), so relax. I do not think Maureen Johnson is crazy. Crazy awesome? Yes.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

In My Mailbox 56

Unsolicited Review Copy
The Death Catchers by Jennifer Anne Kogler
(I'm enjoying this one so far!)

For Review (Netgalley)
You Are My Only by Beth Kephart

Bought (Kindle books)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan (only $1.99!)
Eden by Keary Taylor
Branded by Keary Taylor

Free Audiobooks from Sync
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
Immortal by Gillian Shields

Thanks to Kate from Bloomsbury for the surprise book, and Sync for giving away free audiobook downloads all summer :)

What did you get this week?


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Damned Blog Tour Interview with authors Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié

Today, I have the two lovely ladies behind the Crusade series, Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie, here to answer some questions for The Damned Book Tour

Quick! Describe Damned in 7 words or less!

DEBBIE: World War Three with vampires

NANCY:  love, sacrifice, desire, honor, explosions!

What was the experience like writing Damned in comparison to writing Crusade?

DEBBIE: Wow, that’s a really great question!  In some ways writing Damned was easier because we had already established the universe and were very comfortable writing all the characters.  There’s a lot to be said for momentum when writing a series.  Emotionally, though, Damned was a little more difficult to write in some ways because of some of the painful scenes we had to write.

NANCY:  I was so happy to return to our world, but then when we got into the very tense, high emotion of the story, it took so much out of me.  We had to raise the stakes to high pitch--we’ve taken this story to the top of the highest hill on the rollercoaster.  In Vanquished, the survivors will careen all the way to the station.

What do you enjoy most about writing together?

DEBBIE: Calling and bouncing ideas off each other and creating something new or adding a new dimension or plot detail lightning fast and then congratulating each other on being geniuses.  :)

NANCY:  I just read a chapter I thought I had written and realized Debbie wrote it.  It’s so wonderful.  And we’re such good friends--I just flew to Florida to spend time with her, and she stayed a few days over after Comic-con here in San Diego.  Of course, we partied at Disney, because that’s what we do!

Any favorite teaser quotes for Damned that you can share?

DEBBIE: I know who I am now.

NANCY:  Let me die for her, if need be.

Who was your favorite character to write, and why?

DEBBIE: I love writing for Jamie.  He isn’t my favorite character, but writing him is just fun.

NANCY: Antonio, because he is a true hero.  He’s passionate, sincere, and courageous.

Scenario time: A hungry vampire lurking in the shadows notices you both out walking one night. He moves quickly towards you two, about to make his attack…what do you do next?

DEBBIE: I tell Nancy to run and jab my cross necklace (I often wear one) into his eye.  Nancy then finds a funky piece of wood lying on the ground and stabs him in the back through his heart while I keep burning his eye and distracting him.

NANCY:  Exactly what Debbie said!

Love the teamwork! What are you two working on now?

DEBBIE and NANCY: Book 3 of Crusade: Vanquished; and Book 2 of Wolf Springs Chronicles: Hotblooded  (Book 1: Unleashed comes out in November).

We’re both doing solo work as well, and getting ready to go on tour together.

Thanks so much for the interview! 

DEBBIE: Thank you!
NANCY:  ¡Muchas gracias!

Curious about Damned?  
Read the first chapter here

Be sure to check out the rest of The Damned Book Tour stops by clicking on the banner below! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Damned by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguié

Damned (Crusade #2)
Nancy Holder, Debbie Viguié
August 30th, 2011
544 pages (hardcover/paperback)
Publisher - Simon Pulse
Source - Publicist
There is a fine line between love and sacrifice...

Antonio would do anything for his beloved fighting partner Jenn. He protects her, even suppresses his vampire cravings to be with her. Together, they defend humanity against the Cursed Ones. But tensions threaten to fracture their hunting team and his loyalty—his love—is called into question. 

With an even more sinister power on the rise, Jenn must overcome her personal vendettas. Antonio and Jenn need each other to survive, but evil lurks at every turn. With humanity’s fate hanging in the balance, they must face down the darkness…or die trying.
With an action-packed storyline and a few heartbreaking twists, Damned is simply thrilling.

Jenn1 is officially the leader of the Salamanca team of hunters, but everyone in the resistance may be in over their heads as the risks grow higher. Vampiric control over the world is strengthening, the resistance is growing difficult to continue, allies are running low, and one of vampires has even begun manufacturing a surprise that could bring the downfall to humans everywhere. But even as Jenn and her team attempt to save humankind, they have to face their own personal demons. The more they try to fight and defend humanity, the closer they come to winning – or losing – everything.

Damned grows more intense and gripping by the page. Even though it's the second novel, Holder and Viguié recapped the events of the previous story while simultaneously moving forward with the sequel. Many characters are faced with new and old struggles to overcome. The 3rd person narrative gives great insight into each character, and some of the things you'll learn about them will surprise you. Damned is fast-paced, shocking, and filled with vicious vampires – can you ask for anything better?

Highlights: Damned surprised me, with both character growth, and even with who became a casualty of war. Internal/personal struggles with each character became more important to the story. Insight given to certain characters – like Aurora2, Eriko, Heather, Holger – was interesting, and it gave many of them more depth to their personalities. And as always, Holder and Viguié deliver when it comes to epic battle scenes, as well as touching (maybe even heartbreaking) moments between characters.

Lowlights: Two new characters needed a bit more development, because by the end, I felt like they just blended into the background. I'm also not a fan of whenever Jenn and the gang split up, because it's more difficult to keep track of what's going on when they're separated.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

My other reviews in this series:


1 Jenn really surprised me with her growth, she's stronger and assertive for most of the book...go Jenn!
2 I loved all the parts focusing on Aurora - she's one badass vampire.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

In My Mailbox 55

For Review (Netgalley)
Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard (it has drawings - so cool!)
Zero by Tom Leveen
Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley (!!)
Eve by Anna Carey

Kindle Freebies 
Waterfall by Lisa Bergren
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Thanks to Netgalley, Random House, and HarperCollins for providing the ebooks for review!

What did you get this week?


Friday, August 12, 2011

Ki Hong Lee from The Nine Lives of Chloe King

The lovely people at ABC Family noticed the understandable (and yet very amusing) mispronunciation of my blog name in Alyssa Diaz's otherwise fantastic video response, and they graciously offered to send a question of mine to Ki Hong Lee - the actor who plays Paul on The Nine Lives of Chloe King. I love his character, so I couldn't pass up the opportunity!

Check out Ki Hong Lee's video response to my question below (or click here):

Don't you just love his intro? And what an amusing/surprising answer ;)

Anyone else tuning in for the finale? I can't wait to see what happens!


Many thanks to ABC Family for being so kind, giving me the chance to send another question, and thanks to Ki Hong Lee for taking the time to answer. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

All You Desire by Kirsten Miller

All You Desire (Eternal Ones #2)
Kirsten Miller
Release: August 9th, 2011
Pages: 416 (hardcover)
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: Publisher
Haven Moore and Iain Morrow have been living a blissful life in Rome, an ocean way from the Ouroboros Society and its diabolical leader. But paradise is not to last. The mysterious disappearance of Haven's best friend, Beau, sends the pair running back to New York, where they encounter the Horae, an underground group of women who have spent centuries scheming to destroy Adam Rosier. Only they can help Haven uncover the secret to Beau's whereabouts in one of her past lives. But their help comes at a price: Haven must infiltrate the Ouroboros Society, charm Adam Rosier, and lure him into a trap. It's a plan the Horae believe will save the world-but Haven and Iain fear that it may destroy the happiness they've been chasing for two thousand years....summary at Goodreads.
Thoughts: Haven Moore has been living comfortably in Rome1 with Iain Morrow ever since they first ran off from New York City a year ago. Life is perfect. Haven owns a successful clothing boutique2 and she and Iain have no one to stand in the way of their love - but Haven can't shake the feeling that she's being watched, despite Iain's assurances that no one from the Ouroboros Society knows he's alive or where they both are. But when Beau disappears, Haven has no choice but to turn to anyone she can for help. Along the way, she discovers that not everyone is who they seem, and that there is more going on behind the scenes than anyone could ever guess.... 

In the end, All You Desire almost lives up to its title - despite a few issues, it had nearly everything I desired from this story, as well a few surprises. Even after all the time that has passed since reading The Eternal Ones, Miller successfully refreshed my memory without making the exposition too wordy or overwhelming. The descriptions of various settings were wonderful - from New York City to the ruins in Florence. Many of the characters managed to surprise and show more depth to their personalities, especially the mysterious Horae women, Iain's razor-sharp mother Virginia, Leah, and even Adam. The mystery surrounding Beau, Adam's intentions, and what the future holds in store for everyone blew me away.  

Highlights: Miller's descriptive writing and the mystery kept me from being able to set All You Desire aside - the addictive quality of this story is undeniable. Memories of past lives became an interesting aspect once again. Iain and Haven's romance was more believable to me in this novel, since they've been together for around a year3. The overall story surprised me - it was so full of shocking twists! I'm very curious about the next novel.

Lowlights: Once again, it's Haven. Haven isn't quite as gullible, but she's still gullible enough to almost drive me crazy. She's still the kind of girl who would believe anyone at all4. And okay, I just don't understand how a girl can get all distracted when she should be searching the streets for her missing best friend. I'd be hanging posters, knocking on (or breaking down) doors...come on, Haven. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 

1 Loved the descriptions of Rome & Florence - if only the entire story could have taken place abroad!
2 I adore how Haven has such an interesting hobby/career interest.
3 Sad to see how strained the relationship was in AYD, because of Adam.
4 Character flaws are fine, but not something as ridiculous as being overly gullible. Haven needs to start thinking more, instead of automatically trusting everyone. I had to rate this novel down from a high 4 out of 5 because of her character.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (times two!)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

by Rachel Hawkins
Release: March 13th, 2012
Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. 

Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late?
So cannot wait, especially after the cliffhanger at the end of Demonglass! I'm glad the cover theme is still the same too, it'll look great next to the previous titles... 

Born Wicked
by Jessica Spotswood
Release: February 17th, 2012
Cate Cahill and her sisters are considered eccentric bluestockings—a little odd, a little unfashionable, and far too educated for their own good. The truth is more complicated; they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it could mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave. Before their mother died, she entrusted Cate with keeping them safe and keeping everyone, including their father, in the dark about their powers. When her father employs a governess and Cate begins to receive notes from her missing, presumed-mad godmother, her task becomes much more difficult. As Cate searches for answers in banned books and rebellious new friends, she must juggle unwanted proposals, tea parties, and an illicit attraction to the new gardener. Cate will do anything to protect her sisters, but at what cost to herself?
Can you tell I'm a sucker for magic and witch stories? This one is most definitely high on my wishlist :)

What are you waiting on?


Monday, August 8, 2011

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
Release: 2009 (reissue)
Pages: 304 (paperback)
Publisher: Hyperion Book CH
Source: Netgalley
Twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire, a genius—and, above all, a criminal mastermind.

But even Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. These aren't the fairies of bedtime stories—they're dangerous! Full of unexpected twists and turns, Artemis Fowl is a riveting, magical adventure.
Mini-Thoughts: Unlike anything I’ve read before, Artemis Fowl is exciting, brilliant, and truly magical. Artemis Fowl is one of the more stand-out middle grade novels, filled with an evil and conniving mastermind (who is, surprising, a young boy), a tough and endearing fairy running low on her magic (that’s Captain Holly Short, to you), a bodyguard/butler named Butler who could seriously maim you (because he’s cool like that){1}, a very important Book, a kidnapping, a ransom, and so much more. Artemis Fowl is pure action, excitement, and is filled with surprises.

Highlights: This book is just overall enjoyable – I can see why the series is so popular. I adored Holly, and Artemis really grew on me by the end{2}. And I love how the author changed my perspective of "leprechauns" - as well as a few other things Colfer used creatively. The tech, the lore, and everything else were all very imaginative. Plus, there are plenty of humor-filled moments.

Lowlights: A bit slow going at first, but it continues to get better and more intriguing with each page. And the POV switches bothered me at times{3}.

Rating: 4/5


{1} And yes, Butler is most definitely cool. And very dangerous. Dangerously cool?
{2} Despite what a total punk he is, Artemis does get a bit more likable ;)
{3} Just a personal bias. I dislike more than one or two POV changes in the third person (I much prefer there to be no change). If that doesn't bother you, you'll probably enjoy this even more.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In My Mailbox 54

For Review (Vine Voice + Netgalley)
Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (Kindle)
Small Town Sinners by Melissa Walker

Received from ABC Family
A secret-filled copy of The Lying Game by Sara Shepard 

Received from Penguin Group USA
A Nightshade book jacket to put over the hardcover version
(Now it'll match Wolfsbane!)

Thanks to Netgalley, HarperTeen, ABC Family, and Penguin! :)

What did you get this week?


Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
Release: May 2011
Pages: 496 (hardcover)
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Netgalley
How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout more at Goodreads.
Thoughts: Helen is a gorgeous-yet-insecure{1} beauty with more gifts than she’s willing to find out about. But when the Delos family moves into town, Helen can’t hide from just how unique she really is. The first time she comes across Lucas Delos, he inspires nothing but the purest emotion of hatred…something that the Delos family seems to feel for her in turn. Then there are the mysterious three crying women who appear whenever she comes near the Delos family – three women that only they can see. From there, Starcrossed only gets more intriguing, dangerous, and downright surprising. 

While the Delos clan and Helen take center stage, supporting characters like Helen’s best friend Claire{2} or her father manage to shine all their own – possibly even more than intended. Angelini puts her own spin on Greek mythology, creating an interesting backstory. Some aspects to the plot can easily be predicted, but the story still manages to slip in a few surprises. Starcrossed, simply put, is an exciting debut novel and Angelini has great potential.

Highlights: Lucas and Helen's first interactions{3} with each other really put an interesting spin on YA – it was oddly nice to see the girl instantly dislike the guy. Despite my complaints about the Delos family, I adored how addictive and surprising Starcrossed turned out to be. Helen’s growth as a person was absolutely wonderful to see as well.

Lowlights: The POV switches didn't work for me at all, they seemed random and unnecessary. The Delos clan was too Twilight-esque; they needed to be far more unique and much less reminiscent of the Cullens.  The story starts off with strong creativity and stand-out appeal, but then slowly eases into more clichéd elements. Regardless, I have high hopes for the sequel.

Rating: 3.5 out 5


{1} Haven't I read about that girl before? Helen might even be a bit Bella-ish at first....yikes. 
{2} Claire is actually kind of bubbly/sassy/awesome. Very jump-off-the-page personality. I wish she had more page time. 
{3} Girl tries to kill boy at first sight. I want more books like that, it's interesting. Is that weird?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sneak Peek of The Lying Game


I received a surprise package from ABC Family recently, and inside I found a copy of Sara Shepard's The Lying Game! But this copy is a bit different than your average bookstore copy... 

Throughout many of the chapter titles, certain letters were underlined in red pen. I went through, wrote down all the underlined letters (I wish all books had fun little hints like this!), and ended up with six words: 

I searched for the words "Secret Sneak Peek" (plus "Lying Game" to make it a quicker search), and it led me to a video clip of the upcoming TV series version of The Lying Game. Watch and enjoy! 

Anyone else excited for this show? I can't wait to see how The Lying Game compares to the book...but seeing how well ABC Family is doing with Pretty Little Liars, I don't think I need to worry at all - it is bound to be awesome! ;)


Alyssa Diaz from The Nine Lives of Chloe King

As a reward for completing The Nine Paths to Chloe King, the lovely Mai passed along a question to Alyssa Diaz (who plays the awesome character of Jasmine on The Nine Lives of Chloe King) to answer.

Check out the video below to see the question and her answer:

Very cool! Even if she (understandably) said my blog name wrong ;)

Thanks so much to ABC Family and Alyssa Diaz!

Are you watching the show? It's getting good!!


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

by Melissa Jensen
Release: February 16th, 2012
Pretty in Pink meets Anna and the French Kiss in this charming romantic comedy

Ella is nearly invisible at the Willing School, and that’s just fine by her. She’s got her friends— the fabulous Frankie and their sweet cohort Sadie. She’s got her art— and her idol, the unappreciated 19th-century painter Edward Willing. Still, it’s hard being a nobody and having a crush on the biggest somebody in the school: Alex Bainbridge. Especially when he is your French tutor, and lessons have started becoming, well, certainly more interesting than French ever has been before. But can the invisible girl actually end up with a happily ever after with the golden boy, when no one even knows they’re dating? And is Ella going to dare to be that girl?
Sounds like a cute, fun read - and it doesn't hurt that they compared it to Anna and the French Kiss ;)

What are you waiting on?


Monday, August 1, 2011

The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum

The Golden Spiral (Hourglass Door #2)
May 10th, 2010
Pages: 365 (now in paperback)
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Source: Publicist
Summary (Spoilers for 1st book):
The bank is eroding. The barriers are thinning. And time is running out. 

The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Although giving him up was the hardest test she ever faced, Abby knows that Dante is the only one who can stop the others from destroying time itself. But almost immediately, things start to change, and Abby's worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically.  

With each change that ripples into her present, Abby's life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family are threatened to the breaking point. Zo's power is greater than Abby ever imagined. Will her love for Dante be enough to turn the tide? 
The Golden Spiral is nothing short of spectacular. The story is creative and exciting - Lisa Mangum is an author to keep an eye on.

Abby’s life is becoming more of a mess by the day as Zo flits through time with only chaos on his mind. The more he changes Abby's life, the more the barriers of time begin to wane. Despite everything horrible that’s happening, Abby toughens up and actively attempts to fix everything – including her seemingly impossible task to save Dante. But it is characters like Valerie and Zo who truly steal the spotlight. Zo is more threatening than ever with his controlled yet chaotic behavior, while Valerie's manic personality constantly surprises with every story she tells. Valerie especially grew to be a favorite character of mine, despite how frustrating I found her in book one.

Mangum intertwines events from the past novel together with those taking place in The Golden Spiral quite expertly. Time travel and the drawbacks of messing of time are more present in this story in comparison to the previous one. The characters are more developed, the risks are higher, and the ending will have you eager to snag a copy of newest and final novel, The Forgotten Locket.

Highlights: The characters, especially supporting ones like Zo, V, and Valerie, truly stunned me with how much more depth they all gained as characters. The build up to the conclusion was especially well done, and managed to surprise me despite a few hints here and there. Mangum's writing is as beautifully descriptive (and sometimes even poetic) as it was in the first novel.

Lowlights: Just once, I got a bit iffy regarding the dialog between Abby and Dante (the spot I'm referencing seemed a dash over the top). Things also seemed to work out too well regarding a couple aspects of the plot.

Note: You need to read The Hourglass Door (#1) to understand this novel, and I'd definitely recommend it.

Rating: 4 out of 5