Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #7: "Valkyrie Rising"


Waiting on Wednesday is meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It showcases upcoming releases that you are just dying to sink your teeth into.

This week I'll be featuring:

Title: Valkyrie Rising
Author: Ingrid Paulson
Publisher: Harper Teen
Expected Pub. Date:October 9th 2012

GoodReads Author

Blurb:

"Nothing ever happens in Norway. But at least Ellie knows what to expect when she visits her grandmother: a tranquil fishing village and long, slow summer days. And maybe she’ll finally get out from under the shadow of her way-too-perfect big brother, Graham, while she’s there.

What Ellie doesn’t anticipate is Graham’s infuriating best friend, Tuck, tagging along for the trip. Nor did she imagine boys going missing amid rumors of impossible kidnappings. Least of all does she expect something powerful and ancient to awaken in her and that strange whispers would urge Ellie to claim her place among mythological warriors. Instead of peace and quiet, there’s suddenly a lot for a girl from L.A. to handle on a summer sojourn in Norway! And when Graham vanishes, it’s up to Ellie—and the ever-sarcastic, if undeniably alluring Tuck—to uncover the truth about all the disappearances and thwart the nefarious plan behind them.

Deadly legends, hidden identities, and tentative romance swirl together in one girl’s unexpectedly-epic coming of age."


What are you waiting for?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: "Remembrance" by Michelle Madow

Title: Remembrance
Author: Michelle Madow
Series: Transcend Time Saga, #1
Publisher: Dreamscape Publishing
Published: July 27th 2011

GoodReadsAuthorAmazon

Remembrance is set in New Hampshire and revolves around Lizzie discovering she has had a past life, which included the mysterious new boy at school, Drew.

The book caught my attention from the moment I saw the cover. It is beautiful and it brings an air of mystery since the model is wearing a mask. Once I started reading, I was glad to see that the mask is part of the story and that it led her to some places she needed to go. The theme of the book also caught my attention, once I managed to move past looking at the cover. I've always been interested in the reincarnation theme, although, for some reason, I haven't read many books dealing with it.

The book started well enough. In the prologue, Madow gives us a glimpse of what will happen. That piqued my interest and I was eager to find out more. But once I got to the actual story, I felt like not much happened and if it did it was mostly about the romance side of the story. I would have loved to see the theme approached better since I didn't find it quite impressive when she found she was reincarnated.

But my biggest pet-peeve about the book is one character, Jeremy, and how the issue with him was handled. I did not like him. Not even for one moment. He was selfish, controlling, possessive... He's really that nightmare boyfriend no one wants to be around. He belittled Lizzie every chance he got and I would have liked to see her fight back a little, even if it was just once. But all she does is ignore the problem, lower her head and follow him like a loyal puppy. I have a nagging feeling that if Drew hadn't made his appearance she would have blindly followed Jeremy to the ends of the earth since they were, according to Chelsea, that couple that would be "together forever".

I also wish Alistair had been better used. I felt there was something missing in his scenes.

Overall, I did enjoy the book. I liked when she has the flashbacks and the few times the actual reincarnation topic is touched. And I found it interesting and entertaining enough to continue reading the series.

Rating: 3 Lilies

Book trailer



Disclosure:
I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review from the author.

Warning: Asian hotties alert!

I haven't blogged in two days.

But I was kind of in a teenie bit of a thrall all weekend. It was kind of hard to keep my focus on books when I was watching...

Joo Won in "Gaksital"

Lee Jang Woo in "I Do, I Do"

Lee MinHo in "Faith"

And although I'm not a real fan of him...

Lee Jun Ki in "Arang & the Magistrate"


There's just something about a man in costume, whether it's a Japanese Imperial guard costume, Goryo or Joseon period ones....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Book Beginnings Friday


Book Beginnings is a Friday book meme hosted by Rose City Reader. All you have to do is share the first sentence of the book you are currently reading and your first thoughts about or anything else the you might come up with from just that first sentence. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

Title: Torn
Author: H.M. Ward
Series: Demon Kissed
Publisher: Laree Bailey Press
Publishing Date: November 2011

Ivy's life is torn apart when her plan to save Collin goes horribly wrong. Having descended into the deepest pits of Hell, she risks everything to save him, but nothing could have prepared her for what she encounters. Weak and wounded, Ivy must overturn her dark destiny and face the possibility that she may lose true love forever.

"Sometimes a single decision can result in a cascade of actions that you never intended."

My thoughts:
This is one of my favorites series right now. The second book ended in a huge cliffhanger, so I really can't wait to see will happen in this one!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Trailer Thursday # : The Immortal Rules


This week I chose "The Immortal Rules" by Julie Kagawa.




I started to read the book because of a sampler from Harlequin and I've liked what I read so far. My only real complaint is that she does not look Asian.

About the book:

Title: The Immortal Rules
Author: Julie Kagawa
Series: Blood of Eden
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pub. Date: April 24 2012

"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity."Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of "them." The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked--and given the ultimate choice. Die...or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend--a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what--and who--is worth dying for.


For more info about the series: Blood of Eden

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday # 6: "Breathe"


Waiting on Wednesday is meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It showcases upcoming releases that you are just dying to sink your teeth into.

This week I'll be featuring:


Title: Breathe
Author: Sarah Crossan
Series: Breathe #1
Publisher: Greenwillow
Expected Pub. Date: October 2, 2012

GRAuthor

Inhale. Exhale. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe . . .

The world is dead.

The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.

ALINA has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.

QUINN should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.

BEA wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.

And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

Monday, August 20, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading? #1


"It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?" is weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I am currently reading:


I recently finished:



I will be reading soon:




Saturday, August 18, 2012

Shelf Candy Saturday #6: "Dance of Shadows"


This is a meme where the designer, photographer and/or illustrator of a favorite cover is featured is hosted by A Night's Dream of Books. I loved the idea since I always want to read a book when the cover is gorgeous. Bad habit, I know!
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This week I'm going to be featuring a cover which I think it's gorgeous! As you may also notice, I seem to be developing a fixation for covers with red and black.

Title: Dance of Shadows
Author: Yelena Black
Series: Dance of Shadows, #1
Publisher: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books
Designer: Natalie Shau
deviantart
Website

Why I like it:

Besides the cover being completely enthralling, I love how it portrays the book's name, "Dance of Shadows". She's literally dancing in a dark, smokey and shadowy place. I also love the way her red dress disintegrates into rose petals which go upwards just in the direction her gaze is concentrating on. Her pose seems to convey, she's in a dancing thrall or probably dancing under the huge burden of having to carry the family legacy since there's no joy in her face as she moves.

I checked out Natalie Shau's other works and they are equally amazing, some even more.

About the book (from GR):
"Vanessa Adler isn’t so sure she really belongs at the School of American Ballet. But dance runs in her family. It’s been a part of her life for as long as she can remember. Her grandmother and mother were prima ballerinas, and her older sister Margaret was, too. That is, until Margaret mysteriously disappeared from school three years ago. Vanessa is heir to the family’s gift and the only person who can fulfill her sister’s destiny. She has no choice.

But she never could have guessed how dangerous the school is. The infamous choreographer, Josef, isn’t just ruthless with his pupils, he guards a sinister secret, one in which the school’s dancers—prized for their beauty, grace, and discipline—become pawns in a world of dark, deadly demons."

Friday, August 17, 2012

ARC Review: "Stormdancer" by Jay Kristoff



Title: Stormdancer
Author: Jay Kristoff
Series: The Lotus War #1
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Expected Publication Date: September 18, 2012

GoodreadsAmazonB&NAuthor



Stormdancer has been one of the few books for which I didn’t have cover lust. Well, at least not until I saw the USA version of the cover. That cover was truly lust worthy and it was so much more detailed and spot on than the UK version, but that's just my opinion. I actually wanted to read this book from the moment I saw the review/overview written by the author. I will not go into a plot summary since he explained it better than anyone ever could. If you still haven't read it, you can do so here. Now that I’ve said this…

I had already posted that my reading experience was like a rollercoaster and now I’ll go into details.

When I read the first chapter I thought it was awesome! It was that very high point from which you start and I wanted more. Then chapter two happened and I realized chapter one was a prologue chapter kind of thing to get the readers hooked. However, that was alright because it accomplished its mission. The following chapters go through the introduction of the other characters: Masaru, Akihito, Yoritomo, and so on, and the description of the steampunk, dystopian world we are going to be visiting while reading this book. And that is when the drop comes.

Why? Well, there was so much description being thrown my way that I might have gone into sensory overload once or twice before I got used to it and started to fully enjoy it. It was around chapter ten, possibly eleven, when I was finally totally immersed in the story. It was also when the "ashitora", later known as Buruu, made his entrance. Now, this does not mean, in any way, the writing in the book is horrible, it is quite the contrary. I dare say it's a curse and a blessing since I did feel overwhelmed, but at the same time I wanted to know more about the world he was building.

Some of the plot events were predictable, like the object of her infatuation. I mean, he did have a chapter named after him and she did keep dreaming about him. But others really caught me by surprise, to the point I literally went "Oh...". And that's how the twists and turns happened.

I really liked the way the characters in this book are written. The author introduces us to a few amazing women and men. All of them strong in different ways.

Yukiko was badass. She had always had moments when she didn’t believe in the “system” and even questioned it; still, those had always been internal monologues. So, when she was confronted with the option of actually doing something, she was a little bit apprehensive about it. And that was totally understandable. It’s not easy to try to change the world when you are still a teenager. I also loved the fact that she didn't turn into a lovesick puppy who loses all sense of self-preservation like so many YA "heroines" do when they fall in love or are around a guy. She knew what she had to do and why she had to do it, even when she was presented with hard choices.

Lady Aisha was oh-so-very-smart. She knew how to move the pieces in the chess board to her advantage. She might have also been a surprise, for a few, since why would she, the most powerful female in Shima, want to leave her comfortable and opulent life? Honestly, I can think of one, just one, very good reason from a few lines dropped here and there in the story. BUT! Jay Kristoff, what happened? I was disappointed with what happened with this character. She showed such great potential and could have been used in so many other great ways. Did she really...? Just like that? I am still finding that a little hard to believe...

I loved Kin, since the first time he appeared. Yes, I knew who he was all along. And yes, even after imagining how he looked like as a result of his…accident. I think these three characters show how different sections, even within the government, are unsatisfied with the way things are. They wanted change to one day have a better way of life.

Buruu, was great! I thought the way he evolved as time passed was very well portrayed. He was also grumpily cute.

I have to mention Yoritomo. I have given him an endearing nickname: Yoritomo, the psychotic brat. He can go right ahead and add it to the rest of his titles. He was cruel and a few screws short up there. Because of this every one of his temper tantrums ended in blood and tears or lots and lots of begging, if he was in a good mood.

There were a few things that made me raise my eyebrows, literally...

For starters, I'm assuming, even though the book is in English, that the characters are speaking Japanese. It didn't even cross my mind they would be talking in any other language since foreigners to them are savages. Yet, every so often, a "hai" pops up. If the characters are speaking Japanese, there really wasn't any need to incorporate that. Unless the characters were actually speaking in English and the author wanted to show a particular character's ethnicity. I've read books which are set in English speaking countries and there's a, let's say, Hispanic character. In that case, it is totally understandable why the author would incorporate a Spanish word, or phrase, here and there in the dialogue.

Secondly, the use of "-sama" all by its lonely self. I want to make clear, that I am in no way well acquainted with the Japanese language. I probably know the meaning of, and how to say from the top of my head, a grand total of five words, possibly a few more than that. But I don't remember the honorific ever being used by itself in all the anime and Japanese dramas that I've watched. So, that was a bit surprising.

Thirdly, Hiro, specifically the color of his eyes. Wouldn't he have become an outcast, or worse, because of that, or was it because of the people he "knew" in high places that he was running around freely? I decided, at some point in the story, to let all of that go and just went along for the ride.

The moments leading to the ending of the book were action and surprise filled and emotionally charged. So much happened and I was eating it all up. Also, the way Kristoff used that girl in the epilogue was very good. It showed how Yukiko's past actions will, very possibly, help her gain supporters in her future endeavors .

I actually had a hard time deciding whether to rate this 3.5 or 4 stars. On one hand, there were those chapters that didn't really do anything for me. On the other, there were those when I thought, "Wow, this is really good!". At the end, the latter chapters won and I rated it a four.

So...when is the second book coming?


My Rating:


Disclosure:
I received a review ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. Thanks for the opportunity!
I am not affiliated with Amazon or any other online vendors.



Book Beginnings Friday #3


Book Beginnings is a Friday book meme hosted by Rose City Reader. All you have to do is share the first sentence of the book you are currently reading and your first thoughts about or anything else the you might come up with from just that first sentence. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

Title: Remembrance
Author: Michelle Madow
Series: Transcend Time Saga, #1
"It was at the Halloween dance that I got the first glimpse of my past life."

My Thoughts:
This might turn out to be good. The only part of the book I've read is the preface, but the content in it was enough to make me want to know more about what is going to happen in the story.


About the book (from GR):
"Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Getting ready!

I decided to make a snack for when I'm reading Onyx and I thought what better than a limber. That's a cold treat which is very popular here in Puerto Rico, and some other hot climate countries. Word says that the name came to be because of Charles A. Lindbergh's personality; hard and cold. Apparently, he made a pit stop on the island. I don't know if it's true, but I'm always up for a good story.

As I was saying, what better treat Keep cool in the Summer heat and well, from Daemon's hotness.

I made limbers de queso de crema (cream cheese/cheesecake/cheese limbers) last night and just put a batch of Nutella ones in the freezer. My sister is working on making guanĂ¡bana (soursop...I think) puree for guanĂ¡bana ones and she will also make cake limbers.

Here's a pic of a cream cheese one. It's already melting and it hasn't been out of the freezer for 3 minutes...



Waiting on Wednesday #5: Alice in Zombieland



Waiting on Wednesday is meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. It showcases upcoming releases that you are just dying to sink your teeth into.

This week I'll be featuring:

Title: Alice in Zombieland
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Expected publication date: September 25th, 2012

About the book (Good Reads):
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.

Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.

Her father was right. The monsters are real….

To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies…

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teaser Tuesday #5: "Poltergeeks"



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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read.
• Open to a random page.
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
...............

Title: Poltergeeks
Author: Sean Cummings
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Expected publication date: October 2nd 2012

My teasers
*Wiccans are a breakaway sect of witchcraft. Like us, they have covens, but they’re more into pagan rituals and practicing ceremonial magic. A true witch is someone born into a family of witches who can trace their lineage back for hundreds of years.

*If martial arts masters have a dojo to practice their craft and train a worthy apprentice, our shed is a supernatural dojo where Mom does everything from experimenting with new spells and potions to teaching me to control my magic; which tends to go a little bit nuts if I blow my concentration.

About the book (from GR):
"15-year-old Julie Richardson is about to learn that being the daughter of a witch isn't all it's cracked up to be. When she and her best friend, Marcus, witness an elderly lady jettisoned out the front door of her home, it's pretty obvious to Julie there's a supernatural connection.

In fact, there's a whisper of menace behind increasing levels of poltergeist activity all over town. After a large-scale paranormal assault on Julie's high school, her mother falls victim to the spell Endless Night. Now it's a race against time to find out who is responsible or Julie won't just lose her mother's soul, she'll lose her mother's life."

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Reading Playlist #4: "Ironskin"

You know how some authors have a writing playlist, well I have my own reading playlist. Each Monday I will choose either a random book or a book I liked the most from the ones I read the week before and post the songs I listened to while reading it.

This week I'll be sharing the songs I've been listening while reading "Ironskin" By Tina Connolly.

Title: Ironskin
Author: Tina Connolly
Series: Ironskin, #1
Publisher: Tor Books
Expected publication date: October 2nd, 2012

Songs:
1. Goodbye Day by Ulala Session
2. One Republic ft. Sara Bareilles- Come Home
3. Coldplay - See You Soon
4. Adele - Rolling In The Deep
5. Adele - Set Fire to the Rain
6. Kelly Clarkson - Haunted
7. Adele- Don't You Remember
8. IU- Lost Child
9. EvoL- We are Different
10. Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)
11. Apocalyptica - Nothing else matters

Review Coming Soon!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Showcase Sunday #2


Showcase Sunday's aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week. This Sunday meme is hosted by Book, Biscuits and Tea. Click the link to find out how to join in.

Giveaway/Mail

I received in the mail a signed paperback copy of "Lacrimosa" by Christine Fonseca, which I won at a giveaway at The Cover Contessa blog. I'll edit the post with pictures of it.



Free Amazon Goodies




Among others...


Note: Book names and covers link to their Good Reads pages.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

My "Stormdancer" Reading Experience

Well, I finished "Stormdancer" a little while ago and I thought I'd share my reading experience. This is going to be really short. I promise.

It was something like this:


I'll have the review up soon-ish...