Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Scandal by Kate Brian Review

Book: Scandal
Author: Kate Brian
Age: YA
Release date: March 9, 2010
Pages: 240
Source: Bought
Brave New World...

After her terrifying Caribbean vacation, Reed can't wait to get back to campus and resume her normal life of classes, shopping trips with the Billings Girls, and late-night gossip sessions. But when she arrives at Easton, she gets the shock of a lifetime.

Billings House is gone.

The administration has razed the scandal-rocked dorm and separated the Billings Girls. Outraged, Reed takes immediate action, turning Billings into a secret literary society--with a whole new set of rules. Eleven spots are open to any girl strong enough to endure initiation. Every girl on campus wants in, and it's up to Reed to pick the best and brightest. And only the strongest will survive....
SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't read at least the last book, then please do not go any further.

Review: With the eleventh installment in the Private Series, Reed finds herself coming back from a disastrous vacation, and tossed into yet another disaster. Billings House is nothing but a pile of dirt, and the Billings Girls are no more. The new Headmaster Hathaway intends to make his mark on the place, and create an equal setting within the school.

But Reed isn't quite done with Billings. When a mysterious book makes its way into Reed's hands, she sets off to re-create the Billings Literary Society. But if she plays by the rules, only eleven can make it, even though fifteen are aiming for a piece of the action, and it's up to Reed to have the final say of who's in and who's out.

I've got to admit, Reed really bothered me in this book. Instead of just letting four extra people in, she had to go and be exclusive. Although, the appeal of the Society is obvious, because it's about more than just Billings, it's about honor, truth, friendship.

Then Reed has some relationship issues, both friendship-wise and romantically. I can say, I felt sorry for one jilted romantic interest, but agreed with Reed's choice in the end.

I enjoyed that the book was back at Easton, which I sorely missed, but I do not see this as one of Brian's best novels in the Private series. I still stand by the fact that the first four were by far the best.

HighlightsAn intriguing ending, as usual. I still adore Brian's writing, because she always gets me hooked from the first page to the last. I always find it very difficult to put any book of her's down!

Lowlights: There wasn't too much action going on, and of course, Reed couldn't just use her head for once. This is one of those series where I loved the first books, but now the later ones are not living up to the original standards. I'm hopeful that the next will rekindle my love for the Private series.



Monday, April 26, 2010

Vampire Academy Spirit Bound Teaser Trailer 1

Any Vampire Academy fans out there? I know I am! If you are, then I'm sure you are anxiously awaiting the release of Spirit Bound. And this awesome teaser campaign will preview seven important quotes in Spirit Bound (one every three days). Want to see the first? Watch the video!

Intriguing? Yes!! I have a few ideas as to who might be saying it, and about who, but I'm not quite sure....any guesses? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The River by Mary Jane Beaufrand Review

Book: The River 
Author: Mary Jane Beaufrand
Age: YA
Release date: February 10th, 2010
Pages: 224
Source: Publisher
Veronica Severance feels cut off from the world. Forced to move from the city to rural Oregon with her parents, she is haunted by loneliness and by the chilling sounds of the Santiam, the river that runs through her backyard.

Through the fog of isolation, Ronnie finds herself becoming close with Karen, a young girl who she babysits. But when she discovers Karen's body on the banks of the Santiam, the victim of a supposed accident, Ronnie feels compelled to uncover the truth.

As she becomes increasingly obsessed with solving Karen's death, Ronnie is led deeper and deeper into the woods surrounding the river and to the dark secret hidden within its midst.
Review: Not what I expected, but still didn't disappoint.

The novel starts off with a few so-and-so chapters that made me almost stop reading, but I pursued in hopes of an intriguing mystery. At times, Ronnie can be a bit frustrating narrator, because I really just wanted her to just open her eyes a bit and stop being so naive. It took awhile to really get to the point where Ronnie began to think that Karen's death was not accidental. Yet, once she starts feeling curious about the circumstances of Karen's death, the pace picks up. The story has some romance weaved into it, but I felt it was an unnecessary plot point (and I found the relationship a bit quick to develop). A few more secrets become a huge factor within the mystery of Karen's death, and I was quite surprised in the end with just how many mysteries were tying together.

The ending made it all worth it, because Beaufrand creates a nice big finish to wrap up all the mysterious loose ends floating about within the story. The River was thrilling, exciting, and had me nervous for quite a few chapters as I anxiously waited to discover the end.

Highlights: About halfway through the novel, the story finally gets interesting. Especially with the ending chapters, when all the suspense finally boils down to the big finish...spectacular and highly creepy. I couldn't tear myself away from all the suspense!

The characters are all pretty unique too, and their personalities seemed to shine. Yet, none of them steal the show away from our narrator, which is a very good thing.

Lowlights: The first chapter had me going "What is this?", as well as the next few. The first chapter seemed useless, and I was surprised when other "family" characters were introduced a few chapters later (I don't really know why, but it took me by surprise that they hadn't been introduced with the parents). Yet, as the story progressed, I started enjoying it more as well as the characters.

I also really wanted more drama, action, mystery...I just wanted the same feel of the middle/ending chapters to be dispersed throughout the entirety of the novel.

Yet, as a whole, The River is suspensful, shocking, and intriguing.


In My Mailbox 25

IMM is hosted by The Story Siren.

This IMM is for the last few weeks...and I think I may have forgotten a few books but I'll add them in next time

For Review:
Shade by Jeri Smith Ready (arc, signed to me...thanks so much Jeri!)
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (OMG! Thanks Anastasia/Egmont/RH)
The Gardener by S.A. Bodeen (thank you Ksenia!)
The Pack by LM Preston (Thank you Lanita!)
The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum (thanks so much Leigh!)

Bday Gifts (late arrivals from Amazon):
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (I've been reading some of this, and it's AWESOME!!)
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
The Luxe by Anna Godberson (This series is so addictive)

Won from Edifying and Edgy (Thanks Karen & Julie!):
This World We Live In (all by Susan Beth Pfeffer)

Won from Books out of the Bookshelves (Thanks Raila!):
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

And just as a note, I'm now officially off of hiatus (YAY!) and back on the blog! I'll be starting to catch up on emails for the next week or so, but expect to see a lot of reviews popping up for the next few weeks! :)


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Operation TBD

Taking a quick moment to highlight something for you all, in case you hadn't heard.

Today is Operation TBD! Since I'm totally rushing, just click the link for info! All you need to do is print out one of the small flyers, put it in a book, and leave it in a public place.

I dropped two books at my community college campus early this morning, and when I checked out the spots (a table and a bench) later at 10:00am, they were both gone from their spots! Hopefully they both managed to find their way into great hands :)

Hope you all can check out the link, and drop your own book somewhere before the day is up!!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

One Week Hiatus

Hello everyone!

As you may have noticed, I've been a bit absent in the blogging world (both posts and comment-wise). I've been getting so slammed with school work, and this week is going to be even crazier with a last minute essay assignment, and a few more projects. So, I've decided to take a week off blogging in order to catch back up in schoolwork. :(

EDIT (4/10/10): My school work load seems to have multiplied (that's what happens when there's only five weeks left! Every instructor seems to be assigning all these final projects/essays!!), so I'm taking another week off from blogging. I'm so sorry! I'll be back on either Saturday the 17th or Sunday 18th. You can all definitely expect plenty of reviews and interviews when I'm back! :)

On a related note, I'm also not checking my email account ( as much while I'm on hiatus, so please be patient and realize that I will get back to you when I have spare time to go through all the emails I've received.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend,