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Review: Forgiven (#3)

The following review contains NO SPOILERS!

my thoughts in a few sentences: Jana Oliver must be a determined woman—dragging me back into this series after my dislike of Soul Thief and providing me with a crystal view of what I could've missed out on. When Forgiven arrived on my doorstep, I resolved to never read it. Slowly, the curiosity arisen by its sudden presence in my life developed an effect akin to an obnoxious acquaintance poking me between the shoulder blades incessantly. Has that ever happened to you? It's quite unpleasant. Eventually, I crumbled and began to read. Imagine my surprise, and eventual pulse-spiking excitement, when the third book served up a reminder as to why I enjoyed the first one so much. Oh, joy! The demon-battling, the perfect collision of the paranormal, and the romance I've been carrying a jumbo-sized, blazing torch for gives Forgiven the addictive edge lacking in its predecessor.

hooking first lines: "Riley Blackthorne's tears were no more. She'd cried herself dry, yet she still lingered in the arms of a dead man"

Rating: Sud-Kissed | St. Martin's Griffin • Unsolicited • Paranormal Romance • 3/27/12 • $9.23

ARC Review: Spellcaster (#2)

The following review contains NO SPOILERS!

my thoughts in a few sentences: Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz is the book that kicked off this fun witchy series, and Shultz's innate humor and charm shone in that first taste of her writing, urging me to return for another delightful helping. Well-written, hilarious, and featuring ordinary, adorable characters with a great sense of humor, Spellcaster carries over that same entertaining wittiness while bringing more intense issues to Emma and Brendan's table, one which already carries many nicks and scars in the strong wood used to fabricate it. With a main character I can't get enough of (real bff material!) and a romance that may have started out with an instalove that broke through my reservations but has since then become something to gush and blush and smile from ear to ear about, Spellcaster and I had a great time and I'm looking forward to a third date.

hooking first lines: "You probably don't remember me, but I remember you. And you and I have a common enemy. How do you feel about getting a little revenge on Brendan Salinger and Emma Connor?"

Rating: Sud-Kissed | HarlequinTeen • NetGalley • Paranormal Romance • 3/27/12 • $9.99

Review: Bourne (#3.1) (No Spoilers)

my thoughts in a few sentences: With all of our favorite elements from the first three books, Bourne is a well-welcomed addition to a series I am deeply in love with, so deeply in fact that the fall never ends. Reading about Lia, Luca, Marcello, Gabi, and crew again brought the warmest, widest smile I could physically muster on my face. While Torrent ends beautifully, it was brutally clear that not everything was resolved, and while I loved that Lisa refrained from tying everything up in a neat and pretty bow, in Bourne we witness the aftermath of that last battle and I was ridiculously pleased. It would seem peace will never settle over our favorite band of Italian knights and She-Wolves, for trouble and danger find them always, and I relish every sticky situation that catches up to them. Plus, the romance we fans have all been waiting for erupts in perfect sweetness and incites dreamy sighs of happiness. Oh, WHY couldn't Lisa just have written a fourth book? I'm certain I would've exploded in complete and profound elation!

hooking first line: ""M'lady! They approach!" the guard yelled down to us from the walls."

Rating: Perfect Bed Partner | Bergren Creative Group • Requested • Historical Fantasy • 2/27/12 • $2.99

ARC Review: Sisters of Glass

my thoughts in a few sentences: A lovely story full of wonderful and breathtaking prose, Sisters of Glass is told in verse and, for my first time, I was blown away by the depth and imagination behind each sentence. Much like a bedtime story we would read to younger siblings or our children to breed beautiful dreams of happily ever afters, perfect words lulling them to sleep like a perfect lullaby, Sisters of Glass is a short delight that paints with words instead of colors and creates amazing portraits of the unspoken.

hooking first line: "I feel Giovanna's fire as Mother prepares me for suitors, polishes me while Giovanna polishes glass"

Rating: Sud-Kissed | Knopf/Random House • NetGalley • Historical Fiction • 3/27/12 • $12.77

Blog Tour: Review: A Bite's Tale + Excerpt

my thoughts in a few sentences: A pleasantly cliche fairy tale retelling with a paranormal fantasy-ish backdrop and fun characters, A Bite's Tale proved to be an entertaining read, one which plays on our sympathies toward the main characters although the predictability of the plot should deter us. A happy ending is practically guaranteed with a story like A Bite's Tale, yet the journey from point A to point B is a heartening, attention-grabbing one that wonderfully manipulates our incessant need to see these two endearing characters come together, after tragedy has struck them down, at last.

intriguing first lines: "Seated on the log, I forced my limbs to hold still, but my foot had a mind of its own. My toes twitched, making tiny indentations in the soft dirt. Where was she?"

Rating: Guilty Pleasure | Self-Published • Blog Tour • Paranormal/Retelling • 1/7/12 • $1.99

Review: Torn (#2)

The following review contains NO SPOILERS!

my thoughts in a few sentences: Although I wasn't reduced to fangirl gushiness over Switched, Torn rapidly makes up for any lack I felt from its predecessor. The stakes are cranked up to a nearly unbearable volume, all but suffocating our relatable, mistake-making heroine who is doing her best to learn on her feet, hoping to pick up all the right cues and etiquette, not to mention the unyielding mentality of a princess while trying to balance her innate compassion into the equation. Wendy has the power to change things, to make a difference in this world she's only just been introduced to yet has quickly fallen for. It's her world now, and she has people to fight for. Fans of The Princess Diaries and The Iron Fey series combined will enjoy Wendy's tremulous journey into a character and ruler we can all adore.

hooking first line: "When Rhys and I showed up at my "brother" Matt's house at eight in the morning, he was happy... in the sense that he was glad I was alive and hadn't disappeared forever."

Rating: Sud-Kissed | St. Martin's Griffin • Requested • Paranormal Romance • 2/28/12 • $8.49

My Book Boyfriend for March: Loki



My Book Boyfriend is hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader, and it's a weekly meme in which you choose a fictional boy that makes your heart all gooey and write up a post for him. For more information, check out the introduction post. For sign ups and Missie's choice this week click here.

March's Brood of Bookalicious Brews

Hey, there! So you might be wondering, what is Brood of Bookalicious Brews?

Really, it's a simple post dedicated to showcasing new releases within the month that I haven't read yet!

It's a little reminiscent of The Story Siren's Books to Pine For posts, however this post will be featured monthly and is only limited to my choice of books releasing within the month.



Spell Bound (#3)
by Rachel Hawkins

March 13, 2012
» Disney Hyperion «
DO NOT READ IF YOU'VE NEVER READ THE SERIES.

Hailed as “impossible to put down,” the Hex Hall series has both critics and teens cheering. With a winning combination of romance, action, magic and humor, this third volume will leave readers enchanted.

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?

Why I Want to Read It: Ya'll had to know this one was coming, right? Cos, BRO, that ending was unreal. I can't even... I'm just so anxious to see in what way Hawkins has tied the bow, so to speak. I like Cal, okay, but I need to know if Sophie and Archer can have a future together *throws palms up in defense*. Archer is sarcastic, swoon-worthy, and kick-ass. There is nothing that boy can't do. And I'm just not over him.


Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
by Meredith Zeitlin

March 1, 2012
» Putnam Juvenile «
Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course…

Why I Want to Read It: I LIKE HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA. *face-to-palm* I love it, and I just can't help it. It's why I can't get over my addiction to teen television dramas, not to mention because I, you know, AM a teen, but that's besides the point. The point is... I like a girl who can speak her mind, a moan and groan kind of character but one who also arms herself with sheer wit and sarcasm to counteract the negativity. One who refrains from pulling the Whining So Much She Deserves A Smack routine. I like the funny, so give me the funny.


Pretty Crooked
by Elisa Ludwig

March 13, 2012
» Katherine Tegen Books/HarperTeen «
Willa’s secret plan seems all too simple: take from the rich kids at Valley Prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa’s turn as Robin Hood at her ultra-exclusive high school is anything but. Bilking her “friends”-known to everyone as the Glitterati-without them suspecting a thing, is far from easy. Learning how to pick pockets and break into lockers is as difficult as she’d thought it’d be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are ostracized just for being from the “wrong” side of town, is way more fun than she’d expected.

The complication Willa didn’t expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, Valley Prep’s most notorious (and gorgeous) ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her-evening the social playing field between the have and have-nots. There’s no time for crushes and flirting with boys, especially conceited and obnoxious trust-funders like Aidan.

But when the cops start investigating the string of burglaries at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could he wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?(

Why I Want to Read It: Did you guys know that this bad boy is going to be a series? I sure as heck didn't. And, not going to lie, that kind of takes the shine off of this one. I seriously don't see, from the reviews I've read, how this can evolve into a series in a manner that's actually appealing. But, WHATEVS. Who am I to make that call, right? Another cutesy-looking read is just what I need to counterbalance the angstiness of my more usual paranormal romance reads. I also like that it's based a bit on Robin Hood though set in a contemporary setting. That's kind of... ingenious. Whether or not Willa will rise to the occasion remains to be seen, but it should be fun getting under that cover *waggles eyebrows*.


The Savage Grace
(#3)
by Bree Despain

March 13, 2012
» Egmont USA «
DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE FIRST TWO BOOKS IN THE SERIES.

A troubled soul. An impossible choice. A final battle.

Wrestling with the werewolf curse pulsing deep inside of her, Grace Divine was finally able to find her brother, but it nearly cost her everything.

With her boyfriend, Daniel, stuck in wolf form and Sirhan's death approaching, time is running out for Grace to stop Caleb Kalbi and his gang of demons. If she fails, her family and hometown will perish. Everything rests on Grace's shoulders.

The final installment in The Dark Divine trilogy brings Daniel and Grace's love story to a breathtaking conclusion.

Why I Want to Read It: So, technically, I don't have any right to be pining for this one since The Lost Saint has been sitting in my Kindle, untouched, for months. But, I did what any curious soul would do: I peeked at the summary. Now, I'm thinking, HOLY COW BABIES, ALL THE THINGS HAVE HAPPENED ALREADY AND... AND.. WHERE THE HECK WAS I? It's very clear that I have to read The Lost Saint at the first opportunity so I can dig right into The Savage Grace ASAP.

What January releases have you doing the antsy-pants dance?

DNF Review: Initiation + Excerpt


my thoughts in a few sentences: Despite the fun setting of a boarding school chockfull of paranormals roaming about, and the one romantic interest that intrigued the hell out of me, I couldn't endure a heroine who pretty much posed as a nuisance at every turn and continue with the confusingly plotted story line, in which we are thrust into the story with little introduction and background information, wholly expected to understand what's going on with very little clues to work with. Even if that were all, there is only one character in the story that pulled any interest out of me and the rest fell flat to my estimation, striking me with slight interest, a mild curiosity that wasn't enough to propel my reading pace.

hooking first line:"Trust No One. The wooden plaque hanging over the bed couldn't be any more in-your-face. "

Rating: Did Not Finish | Self-Published • Blog Tour • Paranormal Romance • 12/25/11 • $14.99

Blog Tour: Initiation Character Interview + Giveaway

About the Author:

Hi! I am Imogen Rose and I am based in New Jersey. For as long as I can remember, I have dreamt stories. Stories that can and do continue from night to night, from dream to dream. So, going to bed was never an issue, even as a child, just an anticipation of the story to come.

I was born in a small town in Sweden and moved to London in my twenties. After obtaining a PhD in immunology from Imperial College, I moved with my family to New Jersey, where I have been based for the past ten years. Although storytelling is my real passion, I have only now decided to share my stories by publishing my first work of fiction, PORTAL.
I'm currently reading Initiation and it is interesting. Please give a warm welcome to one of Rose's characters, Octavia, since she will be taking part in the following interview thanks to Sue Bernstein!
Octavia is the law student at the Academy who represents Cordelia at the Student Council trial. Like all my characters, she was born in my imagination, this time inspired by my awesome friend and editor, Sue Bernstein, who is also a lawyer. During the editing process, something odd happened. Sue adopted Octavia into her own imagination, and Octavia seemed to become a manifestation of Sue’s personality. It was a weird, but wonderful thing, and a total hoot. For the first time, my story had a character, who seemed to have taken over a life of her own outside my own imagination. So it was only natural to ask Sue my questions for Octavia.

Q. Where did you attend to law school?
From the time I was a kid growing up in the mid-western U.S., I always wanted to live in New York. So I applied to only one law school - a prestigious school in Manhattan that shall remain nameless - and got in! I spent three blissful years in Manhattan before being turned.

Q. When were you turned into a vampire? How old were you?
That’s a day I'll never forget. I was turned on graduation day. What began as the happiest day of my life, graduation from law school, ended with fangs in my neck and me undead forever. I was… am twenty-six years old.

Q. I am guessing you were turned by someone eminent, hence you being sent here to the Academy. Are you able to share who that was?
While I am not at liberty to divulge the name, suffice it to say that he was one of my law professors, who told me he had very big plans for me. No kidding! Big plans! When not teaching evening classes in New York, he teaches an introduction to paranormal jurisprudence class at Bonfire Academy.

Q. What were the circumstances in which you were turned?
The professor who turned me was my mentor. I trusted him and worked with him for three years. At least he waited for me to graduate before he turned me, but studying for the NY Bar Exam while trying to control my brand new powers was a bit hairy!

Q. What will you do once your time at the Academy is over?
My mentor/professor/attacker still has big plans for me. Once my enrichment year is over, I am going to go into practice with him and also teach part-time at the Academy.

Q. What do you think of Jagger?
For a winter, that faery is definitely H-O-T!

Q. How close to you feel to him after letting him drink your blood? Do you feel he belongs to you in any way?
As trite as this sounds, faeries belong to no one. That said, however, Jagger and I have a very close bond. Mmmmm.

Q. Do you like Cordelia?
Like is such an odd word for a vampire to use. Cordelia was my client, and I respect her. You didn't think you'd pin down a lawyer; did you?

Q. What do you think is up between her and Jagger?
Oh, goodness! Something for sure. I can sense it in my blood.

Q. Are you coming back to school next year, during Faustine’s Integration year?
Yes! But on the teaching staff.

Q. Finally, friend Allirea wants to know if you can make her into a faery, or does she have to be born as one?
Allirea, dear one, I can turn you into a vampire. So why would you want to be a faery? Yum!

Thanks so much, Octavia and Sue!
Thanks so much, Octavia/Imogen, for stopping by the blog and giving us some awesome insight to one of your characters! .

Welcome to Bonfire Academy. Set in the foothills of the alpine mountains in St.Moritz, this exclusive private school caters to a special kind of student. Enter at your own risk... but if you are human, you may not want to enter at all.

This is part one of the prequel series (Bonfire Academy) in the Bonfire Chronicles. Book two, INTEGRATION, will be released summer 2012.

ARC Review: Wanderlove

my thoughts in a few sentences: I didn't love Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard as everyone else seemed to, however that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. I totally did! I'm not very much into roadtripping type books and there have only been a few successes for me, but this isn't a roadtripping book. It's a travel book, and Kristen Hubbard dazzled me with her beautiful descriptions of the places the main character travels that refrain from feeling overdone; her passion comes through loud and clear. And with the main character's arrival, she brings baggage, so much emotion to the story, and it's so simple to sympathize with her personal hurts. Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard teaches how to rediscover oneself in style, sharing with us the pains and beauty of backpacking across exotic places, even as we witness a slow, torturous romance blossom.

interesting first line: "As soon as I see the blond girl bouncing down the aisle, I know she's heading for the empty seat beside me. "

Rating: Sud-Kissed | Delacorte/Random House • NetGalley • Contemporary • 3/13/12 • $14.49

My Big, Fat TBR Pile (16)


Most Wanted:

If you've read my review and/or some of my favorites list, you'll know that Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier is one of them. It's got three major key words that usually draw me into a book: 1) time-travel 2) love/hate romance and 3) adventure, and blends them in the most perfectly attractive way.

Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier

Henry Holt/Macmillan, October 30, 2012
Do not read if you haven't read Ruby Red!

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean. At least Gwen has plenty of help.

Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

Why I Want to Read It: The ending of Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier is thrilling, in that it isn't a cliffhanger but more of an long-awaited moment that is the sexiest cherry on top of a wonderful story. There's also a sneak preview of Sapphire Blue at the back of the book, and I couldn't help but want to bang my fists against something in my frustration because I didn't have the rest of the next story. It feels like I've been waiting forever! All I know is that I'm a big fan of the romance between Gwen and Gideon, and I just want to be a part of what happens between them as we progress through their story!

Fresh Faces:
*The following aren't necessarily books that I own, but just ones I hope to get to soon.

Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig
Katherine Tegen Books, March 13, 2012
Spellbound by Rachel Hawkins
Disney Hyperion, March 13, 2012


Dust-Lined:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
HarperTeen, March 2, 2010
Starcrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Arthur A. Levine, October 1, 2010


And that's it for this week's glimpse into my TBR pile.
I look forward to showing you more of what's in My Big, Fat TBR Pile.

What's lingering in your to-read pile?

Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me

my thoughts in a few sentences: Oh, gosh. *tries to breathe* Jess Rothenberg reins nothing in, leaving emotion strewn about in just about every place we stumble across through Brie's wrenching journey to peace and acceptance. Right within the first couple of chapters, my face was openly drenched for all to witness my sorrow and grief, mourning the loss of a young character's life—a character, incidentally, who I barely knew at the start yet I wept for this world Rothenberg exposes to us since it was now bereft of such a bright, happy girl with a deeply loving family, which includes a little brother who will be deprived of his older sister's presence in the years of his life to come. Literal heartbreak as a story concept isn't as corny as it initially sounds; a dagger breaks into our hearts every time Rothenberg pumps anguish into her words and into the discoveries she unveils.

hooking first line: "There's always that one guy who gets a hold on you."

Rating: Special Shelf | Penguin • Borrowed • Contemporary/Paranormal • 2/21/12 • $14.88

Cover Confessions: Knee Deep, Demon Eyes, Crown of Embers, & more!


Guest Post:
Jessica Shirvington + Giveaway

About the Author:

Jessica Shirvington is the author of THE VIOLET EDEN CHAPTERS also known as THE EMBRACE SERIES. An entrepreneur, author, and mother living in Sydney, Australia, Jessica is also a 2011 finalist for Cosmopolitan’s annual Fun, Fearless Female Award. She’s also one of the lucky few who met the love of her life at age seventeen: Matt Shirvington, a former Olympian and current sports broadcaster for FOXTEL and Sky News. (Read More)

I just finished Embrace yesterday and it was a lot of fun to read! Lincoln 4 life, bby! I'm glad to have Jessica Shirvington stopping by the blog today as part of the Are You Ready to Embrace? blog tour. Please give her a warm smile and a nice little wave! Be excited, because Jessica is here today to discuss her reasons for creating the setting of Embrace.
Where Are You From?
By Jessica Shirvington

In my first draft of EMBRACE (there were eight!), I didn’t set the city. I was in two minds the entire time. I suppose I was drawing on all the places I have been around the world. Although I now live in Sydney, when I started to write EMBRACE, my family and I had just moved back from six years living in London. And prior to that, I’d spent quite a lot of time travelling to many cities around the world – so much so, that when I was writing scenes in EMBRACE, I found myself thinking of different cities around the world and never being able to truly decided which one most suited Violet’s world.

In my second and third and fourth drafts, I chose different cities (I’ll never tell) from around the world and set Violet’s story there. But each time, it felt forced.

I wanted her to live in a city, as opposed to some small town where all these major apocalyptic events just miraculously found her. To be believable she had to be in a metropolitan environment, but which one?

In the end, the answer was … any of them, and none of them. It wasn’t that the cities I chose didn’t work; it was that in my mind I’d amalgamated them into what I needed for her story to work for me. So I made the decision to give that option to all of my readers and simply called her city, the City.

It isn’t the ‘done thing’ usually, but I believe for this story, it works. I want readers to be able to put this story where they know. If they live in a city, it can be there, if they live in a rural area, then it isn’t a stretch for them to imagine a city nearby. It is an element of control that I wanted to give to the reader.

That said, I like a little control myself … and I discovered that by giving this open setting for Violet’s hometown, it also opened up the possibility to use other locations around the world that would really pop off the page.

In ENTICED (the sequel, out in September!), Violet and her friends find themselves travelling to Jordan – on a quest to the place of Moses’ death – Mount Nebo. In EMBLAZE (book 3, out March 2013) they travel to the island of Santorini in Greece, which is small and stunning, and holds terrors that none of them are prepared for.

Each book I take the characters somewhere new and as I write the series, I have discovered how very important this is to me. I want my characters to go to the world, to find the problems and be part of the solution, rather than the fight always, and too conveniently, finding them.


Thanks so much, Jessica, for stopping by the blog and giving us some awesome deets about your story! Be sure to read my review of the book.

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…

Blog Tour: ARC Review: Embrace

Check it: Embrace Facebook Fan Page | Embrace Series Website

my thoughts in a few sentences: So I'm a bit of a book racist. I generally refrain from reading angel books—there's just something about them that annoys me. Could it be the twist on religious figures? The typical cliche love triangle (Tucker and Christian aside) that is just about mandatory? I don't know, but that's my rule, and very rarely do I ever break it. With all the buzz making the rounds for Embrace, I was secretly ecstatic, because the premise just sounded amazing, though I refused to admit it. Despite not being WOWED by Embrace—Violet Eden may have had something to do with that—I enjoyed the hell out of the angel lore and the sizzling two-for-one-girl package of smokin' hot boys that liven up the pages. Authentic dialogue, fun characters, and some pretty decent action, Embrace is an intriguing addition to the bunches of angel books already out in YA fiction.

hooking first lines: " Birthdays aren't my thing. It's hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother's death. "

Rating: Guilty Pleasure | Sourcebooks Fire • Publicist • Paranormal Romance • 3/6/12 • $13.30

Review: Dearly, Departed

my thoughts in a few sentences: While Dearly, Departed starts out tortuously slow, failing to keep me utterly immersed within the first hundred pages, the story suddenly picks up speed, jumpstarting a fascinating thrill-ride into a post-apocalyptic, technologically advanced New Victoria, in which everything has reverted to the ways of historical Victorian London with a futuristic spin to form a relaxed, peaceful society. Stirring my interests with rebels hateful of these changes and a secret pocket of government-trained zombies, mindless cannibalistic ones aside, Dearly, Departed shot me into a riveting mash-up of genre elements and fed me (har har) a sweet, heart-aching romance that made me want to bear-hug the couple. An AMAZING cast, constant action, equal parts witty and sober, Dearly, Departed definitely recovered from its unhurried beginning, delivering the story I hoped I would find behind its stunning cover.

hooking first line: "I was buried alive."

Rating: Sud-Kissed | Del Rey • Bought • Paranormal/Post-Apocalyptic • 10/18/11 • $15.13

Review: Babe in Boyland

my thoughts in a few sentences: Have you guys ever watched She's the Man starring Amanda Bynes? Babe in Boyland is just like that. The hilarity and the awkward moments just make this such a fun read! Yes, it takes a bit (okay, A LOT) of suspension of disbelief to buy that a girl like Natalie could ever manage accomplishing something as crazy as infiltrating an all-boys school, even for a week. Still, between getting set-up on a date with a girl to getting socked in her make-believe balls in Gym, Babe in Boyland is so full of this irresistible humor that makes you quake with side-splitting laughter. The unexpected friendships, the swoonworthy crushes, and two bffs that never leave the main character's side all create warm, happy feelings, the pages hemorrhaging pleasurable endorphins or something. Barrels of fun, Babe in Boyland is a light, hilarious read that managed to calm the emotional aftermath of yesterday's dive into Pandemonium.

first few lines: "My name is Natalie Rowan. Everyone knows that. Only a select few, however, know I'm the evil genius behind my nom de plume, Dr. Aphrodite. That might be a pretty hefty title for a seventeen-year-old junior who's not even sure she's officially made it to what my mom refers to as "heavy petting.""

Rating: Sud-Kissed | Dial/Penguin • Borrowed • Contemporary Romance • 2/17/11 • $8.99

My Big, Fat TBR Pile (15)


Most Wanted:

I know, I know. EVERYBODY WANTS THIS BOOK, it seems. *gets down on knees* But, I can't help but name my anticipation for Immortal Rules in this post. I need it bads, you guys *looks hopeful* Are you as excited as I am?

Enter Julie's giveaway for a signed copy here.

Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

HarlequinTEEN, April 24, 2012
You will kill. The only question is when.

In the dark days since the insidious Red Lung virus decimated the human population, vampires have risen to rule the crumbling cities and suburbs. Uncontested Princes hold sway over diminished ranks of humans: their "pets." In exchange for their labor, loyalty and of course, their blood, these pets are registered, given food and shelter, permitted to survive.

Unregistered humans cling to fringes, scavenging for survival. Allison Sekemoto and her fellow Unregistereds are hunted, not only by vampires, but by rabids, the unholy result of Red Lung-infected vampires feeding on unwary humans. One night, Allie is attacked by a pack of rabids, saved by an unlikely hero...and turned vampire. Uncomfortable in her undead skin, Allie falls in with a ragtag crew of humans seeking a cure, or cures: for Rabidism and for Vampirism. She's passing for human...for now. But the hunger is growing and will not be denied. Not for friendship—not even for love.

Why I Want to Read It: First and foremost, the book is by JULIE KAGAWA, the mastermind behind one of my all-time favorite series of faerie books. She could've chosen to write about werewolves—aka my least favorite paranormal critter unless it's Twilight—and the wolfies turn me off bad, but I would've endured, and probably loved, the alleged story because I love Kagawa, I love her writing. The world-building topped off by her ability to express such vivid imagery, AND, added to that, her characters and their depth, grant her the power to lure me into anything. Secondly, she chose to write about my absolute favorite paranormal: vampires. Vampires in a post-apocalyptic setting! I pray every day that I get my hands on this book.

Fresh Faces:
*The following aren't necessarily books that I own, but just ones I hope to get to soon.

Torn (#2) by Amanda Hocking
St. Martin's Griffin, February 28, 2012
Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
Putnam, March 1, 2012


Dust-Lined:

The Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
Scholastic, July 1, 1999
Queen of the Dead (#2) by Stacey Kade
Disney Hyperion, May 31, 2010


And that's it for this week's glimpse into my TBR pile.
I look forward to showing you more of what's in My Big, Fat TBR Pile.

What's lingering in your to-read pile?

Review: Pandemonium (#2)

The following review contains NO SPOILERS!

my thoughts in a few sentences: You may have already noticed, but it bears repeating: I couldn't rate this book. I tried, in vain, to think of which one suited best, but they all seemed inadequate. God, how do I even... I'm still IN SHOCK, so consuming and crushing that I don't know what to do with myself. I'd heard countless times that this book is so different from where Oliver first hooked us in Delirium, but I didn't believe the impact would be so astounding. New Lena, tears, death, life, joy, Julian, Alex, and A CLIFFHANGER ENDING THAT IS UNFATHOMABLE. I feel like a sob is going to break out of me at any moment. Requiem, the third book, is like a distant dream, one where my hope is—perhaps foolishly—staked.

hooking first line: " Alex and I are lying together on a blanket in the backyard of 37 Brooks. "

UNRATEABLE | HarperTeen • Ebook Purchase • Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic • 2/28/12 • $10.78

ARC Review: Switched

my thoughts in a few sentences: Although I was disappointed by what I found in Switched, given the tremendous hype shrouding it, potential lingers in the cast of characters, the mythology, and the storytelling. With a likable heroine front-and-center and her handsome stoic tracker, Finn, by her side, I picture the story reaching more engaging heights in the long run. However, I couldn't immerse myself in the tedious moments in her new home, lack of interesting interactions, and the touch of romance that follows the same overdone path, in which the leading man must protect the heroine from her own desires, insinuating what's better for her future. More action, less tedium is the order of the day!

hooking first line: " A couple things made that day stand out more than any other: it was my sixth birthday, and my mother was wielding a knife. "

Rating: Guilty Pleasure | St. Martin's Griffin • Gift • Paranormal Romance/Fantasy • 1/3/12 • $7.99

Rewind and Review: March


Books Shown:
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Switched by Amanda Hocking
Babe in Boyland by Jody Gehrman

EDIT: Just realized that Babe in Boyland isn't actually 2010 release. MY BAD.

Hosted by:
Ginger @ GReads!
Lisa @ Lisa is Busy Nerding

ARC Review: Shooting Stars

my thoughts in a few sentences: Shooting Stars is that cute guy/girl who, although he or she isn't the most gorgeous across the planet, makes us laugh and ensnares us anyway. A cute, light, funny read that has all the appeal of a Disney movie, Shooting Stars features a sarcastic main character who unexpectedly reconnects with herself and faces long-buried issues, all while developing an adorable, though predictable crush on the teenage heartthrob of the Hollywood she knows so incredibly well, a kind boy who has secrets of his own to keep hidden. Although it has an element of unbelievability, the differentness of Jo's life makes Shooting Stars that much more of a fun, entertaining read.

interesting first line: "I crouch behind some thick green shrubbery to do my final check."

Rating: Sud-Kissed | Walker/Bloomsbury • NetGalley • Contemporary Romance • 2/28/12 • $9.49

In My Mailbox (37) + Vlog

Review: Under the Never Sky

my thoughts in a few sentences: Although Under the Never Sky is not that outstandingly special story I would clutch to my chest and never want to pry myself away from, it is a spectacular story! The unsettling alliance made between enemies who seek beyond their differences and discover the truth of their soft hearts and strong wills, the action that can range from vengeful cannibals, assailing wolves, and escaping violent storms, and the circle of varying dynamic characters all make this incessant life-or-death run of a story so unbearable to put down.

hooking first lines: "They called the world beyond the walls of the Pod "the Death Shop." A million ways to die out there. Aria never thought she'd get so close."

Rating: Perfect Bed Partner | HarperTeen • Ebook Purchase • Post-Apocalyptic • 1/3/12 • $9.65

ARC Review: Perception + Giveaway

my thoughts in a few sentences: This series is chockfull of snark and unending wit produced by one awesome main character! Clarity never ceases to surprise me with her guts, bravery, and compassion, but she wasn't the only character who did dazzle me. For the first time, I fell helplessly in love with a love interest that I had no intention of caring for, my reluctance dissolving and inside me desires were lit that entirely centered around these two characters coming together. The growth and appeal of the cast made this read that much more enjoyable, and the mystery made for a quick-paced, tension-filled story that tipped into unlikely, yet somehow attractively predictable territories. Another fun murder mystery to add to my collection, I'm deeply in like with this paranormal mystery series!

hooking first line: "I stepped forward with forced confidence. "Let's do this.""

Rating: Sud-KissedNo spoilers! | Point • Publicist • Paranormal Romance • 3/1/12 • $10.99

Review: Graceling

my thoughts in a few sentences: I was really in the mood for some hardcore fantasy and Graceling delivered with it's fascinating facets of a world as equally well-defined as the heroine. More, I hadn't expected to enjoy the sexy romance between two characters who become the closest of friends, a sweet relationship that sucked me into the story even more than the rest. Drawn in by Cashore's vivid, imaginative prose as well as her awesome array of characters, I'm looking forward to reading on in the series.

mysterious first line: "In these dungeons the darkness was complete, but Katsa had a map in her mind."

Rating: Perfect Bed Partner | Houghton Mifflin Harcourt • Purchased • Fantasy • 10/1/08 • $9.49