Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: Keystone by Misty Provencher

Genre: Paranormal | Teen Romance


Book Two in the Cornerstone Series.

There's a man-made storm coming, like a rip in the world, and it's called the Cusp.
Struggling to fit into the destiny she's accepted, Nalena Maxwell has been left with one objective: she must find her murdered grandfather's Memory. Stolen and hidden away by her own father over seventeen years ago, the Memory could be the key to ending the Cusp and destroying the Ianua's rival community, The Fury.
Driven by each individual's selfish desires, The Fury has always lacked the loyalty and organization it needs to be an actual force of power.
Until now.
Someone masterminded the Fury's massive attack on the Ianua, slaughtering twelve of their thirteen community leaders, the Addos. Now there are rumors that the 13th Cura, to which Nali belongs, has gone to the Fury, manipulating the last Addo in order to control the other 12 Curas.
As the Cusp brings the Fury and their own communities against them, Nalena's Cura must preserve the Ianua, but finding the key to the Cusp isn't as simple as it seems.


It takes a lot to make me cry when reading a book. I had legit tears streaming down my face when Nali had to say goodbye to her mother. Misty has a real talent at making her readers feel every emotion that the characters experience.

Keystone is everything I had hoped for and much more. It is everything a sequel should be. At one point I was afraid Misty was bringing Zaneen and Milo in as new love interests, but I was so pleased when Garrett and Nali stayed true to each other. I love the inner strength of these characters, and I appreciate that Misty left room for them to grow. Zane was a wonderful comic addition and I love him almost as much as Garrett.

The action scenes were intense, and Misty maintained a level of mystery that prevented me from figuring everything out right away. I honestly have no complaints and suggestions of things to change. Everything was written with such care and thoughtfulness.

Great job, Misty! 

Random Quote:
I wince. "Yeah, sorry I stink."
"Oh honey," she laughs. "I have four boys. You don't even know what stink is."

Rating: 5 out of 5 owls

My review of Cornerstonethe first book in this series.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce

Genre: Fantasy | Fairy Tales


Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris—the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.
Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend—but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?


I've mentioned this before on my review of Sweetly, but I have to say it again--Jackson Pearce is a genius and a brilliant story teller. Her imagery is beautifully horrific, the characters are intriguing, and the story is a unique twist on a classic fairy tale. Sisters Red is a perfect blend of mystery, adventure, and romance. 

Jackson had me hooked from start to finish. I have very few negative things to say, and those are merely preferences rather than anything negative about the writing. First off--I'm not a fan of foul language, though I understand that some things just can't adequately be conveyed without it. The F-bomb is used about 3-4 times, so be warned. However, I would like to say that while I did not appreciate it, the story was still superb. The other aspect I did not appreciate was how Silas kissed both sisters. It's just one of those stupid jerk moves that just irks me. Still love Silas, though. The last nuance that typically annoys me, but was so masterfully incorporated that I quickly got over it, was the dual points of view. I don't like switching between two different perspectives. It's annoying and distracting. Yet, I have to admit that Jackson has a seamless transition that reflects the relationship between Scarlett and Rosie. 

So, while there are several aspects that usually irk me past the point of acceptance, Jackson's writing is so ensnaring that I can live with them. I love that I kept finding myself surprised.  By the end I kept thinking "wow, this book was so good."

Rating: 5 out of 5 owls

Monday Mania--Lovely Dresses

Princess of the Midnight Ball
Jessica Day George
Tracy Lynn
The Lady of Bolton Hill
Elizabeth Camden
The LuxeAnna Godbersen
A Lasting Impression
Tamera Alexander
Kiersten White

Friday, August 17, 2012

Review: Enigma by Aimee Ash

Genre: Supernatural


When KATE HARRIS moves to Long Beach California, she hopes to finally settle in her new home. She longs to have friends and fantasizes about meeting the guy of her dreams. But after one dangerous night, Kate finds herself obsessing over a mysterious stranger who saves her life, and she embarks on a quest to uncover his identity.


For this review I going to try and look at this novel through the eyes of a sixteen-year-old. If you loved Twilight then I believe that you will enjoy Enigma. Young audiences will appreciate the love triangle and the drama that ensues because of rivalry between the twin brothers Jake and Sebastian. These twins are gorgeous, charming, and have a whole set of supernatural abilities that make them swoon worthy. Kate, on the other hand, has no depth and is a serious contradiction. She is unwilling to accept a family who loves her, despite their idiosyncrasies, yet is determined to form a bond with a woman who hates her because Kate will cause the destruction of her sons. What irritated me most about Kate was how she treated Jake in the last half of the novel. She couldn't be honest with Jake or herself. I've mentioned before that I hate love triangles, but I understand that younger audiences love them. Still...Kate could have handled the situation better. I think there could have been more development than a shotgun romance with crash and burn ending. 

Something that irritated me throughout the novel was the fact that Kate was in college. None of the details about the classes, prom, or the teachers made any sense. It wasn't until I realized that Aimee Ash is from the UK that I made the connection that "college" is actually high school. It's like the light bulb went off. 

Apart from some inconsistencies and the lack of character development, I thought the idea behind the story was great. I kept expecting Jake and Seb to become superheroes in some way, but their heroic deeds were small and had little to do with their superhuman abilities. I was craving a strong villain instead of family drama. Again, Enigma has a great beginning and a great foundation story, but needs more complexity and maturity (even for the younger audiences).

Rating: 3 out of 5 owls

Monday, August 13, 2012

Review: The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper

Genre: Contemporary | Shakespeare | Teen Romance


Kate Sanderson has been burned by love. From now on, she thinks, I will control my own destiny, and I will be reasoned and rational. But life has other things in store for Kate. Namely, a summer abroad studying Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in the very town where the star-crossed lovers met, Verona, Italy. Kate is thrown together with two other American teens and three Italians for a special seminar—and for volunteer duty at the Juliet Club, where they answer letters from the lovelorn around the world. Can Kate's cool logic withstand the most romantic summer ever? Especially when faced with the ever-so-charming Giacomo and his entrancing eyes . . . ?


Suzanne Harper's The Juliet Club is a delightful young adult novel for girls who love Shakespeare. You will see yourself in at least one of the characters and your friends in others. You will also find that each character represents one character from one of Shakespeare's plays. The story is all about how Kate is trying to recover from her jerk of an ex-boyfriend who cheated on her. She vows to never fall in love again. Of course, that is before she gets chosen to go on a trip to Verona to study Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. It is also where she meets the handsome Giacomo, a boy she is determined to hate. However, when schemers unite and deception is the game, Kate finds her heart slowly softening towards Giacomo. 

What I love most about this novel is the witty dialogue and the quotes from Shakespeare's plays that are seamlessly incorporated by the characters. I found myself laughing on almost every page and tearing up on the others. This novel forces the reader to evaluate their own personal views on love and romance. Are you a romantic or do you prefer the logical side to love? 

Rating: 5 out of 5 owls

Monday Mania--Werewolves

Blood and Chocolate
Annette Curtis Klause
Joining the Pack
Lindsey M. Owens

Maggie Stiefvater
The Mayfair Moon
J. A. Redmerski

Andrea Cremer
Stephen Cole

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Book Trailer: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ranson Riggs

I saw this trailer on youtube and I am very intrigued by it. Ranson Riggs definitely knows how to entice his audience. I've read a plethora of reviews and, as typical to this genre, many hate it while others love it. From what I've gathered there is very little correlation between the cover art, the trailer, and the actual content of the book. My reply to such criticism is "we shall see." I'm seriously thinking of giving this one a try. 

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. Fiction is based on real black and white photographs. The death of grandfather Abe sends sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and explores abandoned bedrooms and hallways. The children may still live. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review: Inescapable by Amy A. Bartol

Genre: Paranormal | Angels


I'm Evie and this was to be the making of me-my first year of college. I'd hoped that once I'd arrived at Crestwood, the nightmare that I've been having would go away. It hasn't. At 17, I may be inexperienced, but I'm sane. When Reed is near, however, nothing makes any sense. He's not what he seems to be...and neither am I. I'm afraid that the nightmare my dream is foretelling is...inescapable.


My aunt, Globug, let me borrow her copy of Inescapable and I absolutely LOVED it. I read it over the course of two days because I just couldn't put it down. 

As a born and bred Southerner, who actually lives in the Upstate of South Carolina and has many friends from Asheville, I have to say that the linguistic interpretation of the accents from the area are completely off in terms of the timing in which vowels are stressed and when the consonants are shortened. This mistake is an easy fix and is probably only recognizable to Southerners from the area. In regard to the story itself, much of the plot was predictable because of expectations in the genre. Though I was definitely surprised with the ending, in all honesty I'm not too sure about the direction that Bartol took with the ending. However, I'm sure the extra complexity that was shoved in at the end with little explanation will be explored in the next novel. Maybe I just hate cliffhangers, but I still loved the story so much that I will definitely start the second book ASAP. 

So, the parts I absolutely love about Bartol's creation include the characters, the touch of mythology, and the attachment I developed for the characters. While the struggles that the characters face are not completely original--I've read dozens of books where the lead character discovers he or she is a half-breed and must confront the physical changes that occur due to this discovery while simultaneously battling an evil force that just so happens to be rising in the close area and conquering the trials of true love--Bartol has a special way of writing that draws the reader in and makes the characters lovable. While I adore Russell and feel badly for him, I was pulling for Reed all along. Call it pessimism or realism if you like, but even if everyone on earth actually has a soul mate the likely hood of finding one's soul mate before loneliness causes one to "settle" is highly improbable. However, to actually find one's soul mate and deliberately choose to be with another is simply brilliant. I was hooked. Bartol reevaluates the concept of a soul mate and the ideal of true love with a unique interpretation and great writing. 

The touch of mythology, both direct and subtle parallels to the Greek myth of the goddess Persephone, made me sigh a breath of sheer contentment. While I normally don't enjoy books featuring angels, Bartol blew this genre out of the park. She moves from simplicity to complexity all in the same paragraph and leaves  the reader begging for more. The references to some of my favorite literary classics were seamlessly incorporated, yet added so much depth for those familiar with those works. Add on to that the catchy and clever chapter titles and you have a winner. 

I was on the edge of my seat from the beginning. I was falling in love with all of the male characters and I experienced the emotional roller coaster vicariously through Evie. I was proud of Evie for never wavering on her love for Reed, and I appreciated her genuine reactions to the changes her body experiences. I will purchase this for myself to read over and over. I can't wait to start Intuition. This is a definite MUST read.

Rating: 5 out of 5 owls

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