Monday, November 26, 2012

Review: UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn

Genre: Fairy Tales

Mina Grime is unlucky, unpopular, and uncoordinated; that is, until she saves her crush's life on a field trip, changing her high school status from loser to hero overnight. But with her new found fame brings misfortune in the form of an old family curse come to light. For Mina is a descendant from the Brothers Grimm, and has inherited all of their unfinished fairy tale business, which includes trying to outwit a powerful Story from making her it's next fairy-tale victim.

To break the fairy tale curse on her family and make these deadly occurrences stop, Mina must finish the tales until the very Grimm end.

I LOVE this book!

Those who know me personally know about my obsession with fairy tales. I even focused my thesis in college on the darker aspects of the original tales. The grimmer (pun intended) the tale, the better.

When I read the summary I was a little skeptical. It sounded like the plot of the Grimm series on NBC. But it was free, so I downloaded it. It sat in Nook Wonderland for about two months before I decided to read it. After the end I was left wondering why did I not read this earlier?! 

I immediately bought the second book, Fairest, and I will be starting it after I finish this review.  

Now, I want to be clear on several aspects concerning this wonderful, amazing, brilliant, fantastic novel. Twitter is probably mentioned six dozen times, the tales are not like a Disney movie, it is a YA book so many of the characters are petty and shallow, and if you don't like the Disney "and they lived happily ever after" endings then I will metaphorically get tickled to death by your reaction to this book. For me, the ending was the best part. The foreshadowing made it a little obvious, but that's peachy-keen for me. I won't spoil it, but know that it is grand. 

I loved how the tales took on a twist based on how Mina lived it. The stories would change based on the decisions she made. Mina experienced great character growth and became mentally stronger as the plot progressed. Brody's sweet but come on, Jared is fae. Enough said. 

Chanda's spin on the classic fairy tales is creative and exciting. I have no doubt that I will be reading this series over and over again.

Rating: 5 out of 5 owls

The Wildflower Blog Tour and Giveaway

Love can be tragic.

17th Century America:
A Shaman's daughter falls in love with an Englishman, 
only her hand has been promised to a warrior. 

Tears falls. 
Promises are broken. 
Rage is unleashed.
Souls are bound or shattered.

Present Day:
Laney Stillwater dreams about a boy she has never met,
but she longs for the attention of the ever popular and gorgeous Jordan Stone.

Time tempts change. 
Destined souls awaken.
Love gets a second chance.
Souls are bound or shattered. 

What will destiny offer this time?
Reconciliation or more despair?


When I first heard about Amy's novel Wildflower, I was very enthusiastic to see what kind of approach she would take in regard to the culture and beliefs of the Wampanoag tribe. After reading her novel, all I can say is that Wildflower is beautifully written. I love how the syntax changes between time periods, and the problems translate beyond the past. I also really appreciated that the couples fell in love without knowledge of their past lives. They aren't together just because they were in past.

Soulmates Laney and Joshua have been reincarnated and now have the chance to love one another again after their tragic parting in the past. The flashbacks/dreams of the past are full of emotion and give enough detail to explain how the characters are feeling in the present. Tossing Jordan in the mix heightens the tension. He wants to be with Laney so badly, but his efforts are thwarted at every turn. The reader can really feel the desperation each character feels to just move past the blockades and be with their one true love. But scorned lovers and bitter jealousy just can't let that happen.

Wildflower has all the drama, angst, and romantic language every YA reader craves in a sweet love story. What I liked most was the realization at the end that everything is not as it seems. Wildflower is truly a delight.

Rating: 5 out of 5 owls

Enter your name and email in the entry pad below for a chance to win an ebook copy of Wildflower and a swag pack from author Amy Jones.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure to stop by all of the other blogs on the tour:

Nov 19-  I Read Indie
Nov 21- Live to Read

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Breaking Down Fiction Sub-Genres

I decided to write this post because I have noticed that some books are being called "supernatural" when they are really "paranormal," while others are being called "science fiction" when they are in fact "fantasy." Perhaps this mistake happens because some do not have any certain qualities in mind when differentiating between sub-genres of fiction. Many just lump sub-genres together and just call it fiction. So, for your convenience I have provided a list of genres with a few general details about each sub-genre that set them apart from the others.


  • Contemporary: Set in a modern setting with true-to-life characteristics.
  • Historical: Action takes place in a recognizable historic period. The culture and language is also true to the era. 
  • Romantic-Comedy: Humor is the order of the day with quick wit and silly antics. 
  • Christian: Religion is the driving force behind the action and character decisions. Sex is reserved until after marriage  and he heroes are devout Christians. 
  • Erotica/Romantica: Sex. Lots of sex. This has a range from mild to hardcore. Fifty Shades of Grey is a prime example. 

Science Fiction

  • Dystopian: Portrays a bleak futuristic world.
  • Cyberpunk: Captures the influence of technology on a society of people. Robotics. 
  • Steampunk: People of the Victorian era have access to 20C technology. 
  • New Age: Aliens, psychics, astrology, UFOs, and spiritual healing. Basically covers all the cult stuff. 
  • Post-Apocalyptic: Think Hunger Games for this one. These books portray the world after either a major ecological disaster or a brutal world war. The characters are struggling to survive. 
  • Alternate History: These are what-if scenarios. The author chooses a significant event in history and makes inferences on what would happen if the course of history was altered. 


  • Mythic: The story and characters are representative of a type of mythology (Greek, Celtic, Chinese, etc.). The Iron King or Percy Jackson and The Olympians series.  
  • Fairy tales: These aren't the sweet Disney tales you've come to love. Many of these reworkings of classics have more violent imagery than their Disney counterparts. 
  • Arthurian Legend: Features tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. 
  • Heroic: Fantastical stories of heroes saving the day. 
  • Epic: One young hero (or a small group of heroes) must battle the ultimate evil to protect an entire society from destruction. 
  • Urban Fantasy: Magical beings bring their conflicts to a normal, modern human society. 


  • Vampires: Features humans who have become creatures that must feed off the blood of humans to survive. This genre has a wide range from romantic interpretations to violence and gore. 
  • Werewolves: Features creatures that must change their shape to that of wolves. They are governed by the moon spirit. Range from soft to gory violence. 
  • Shapeshifters: These stories have creatures that can change their shape at will. Some interpretation restrict the change to animals, while others allow the human like creatures to shift to inanimate objects or even other people. 
  • Witchcraft/Sorcery: Characters engage in witchcraft or sorcery. May be for good or evil. 


  • Comic-Horror: These are usually spoofs of conventional characteristics of the genre. Over-dramatization is found in the Scary Movie franchise. 
  • Gothic: Ranges from the Middle Ages to 18C with images of decay and ruin, as well as imprisonment and persecution. Frankenstein
  • Psychological: Features characters suffering from a disturbed mental psyche. These books explore asylums and insanity. 
  • Religious: Gory/horrific battles between angles and demons. 
  • Dark Fantasy: Combines elements of the supernatural with scary and violent imagery.
  • Paranormal: Includes possessions and hauntings by unfriendly ghosts or poltergeists. 
  • Zombie: The violent, blood-thirsty undead terrorizing humans. 


  • Detective: A detective solves the mystery of a crime. 
  • Cozy: The suspect is one of a group that is familiar to each other. It may be a member of a family or one in a group of friends. This mystery typically happens in one location where all are present and the only outsider is the detective.
  • Dark Thriller: The crime is described in gory details. 
  • Espionage: Think 007 here. This is a spy novel that is heavy with action scenes and deals with terrorists and corruption in politics.
  • Psychological Suspense: Focuses on motivation rather than how. 
  • Courtroom Drama: The central mystery takes place in a courtroom. 

Click here for a more detailed list of genres.

Here is a visual map with a broad overview of the genres and sub-genres.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Review: Flutter by Melissa Andrea

Genre: Supernatural | Shapeshifters

Wow...I haven't read a decent book about shapeshifters in a long time. I had no idea which branch of supernatural lore Flutter would encompass when I began reading it, but I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised. I admit that I chose to read it almost solely based on the cover and the fact that it was in the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy genre.

The plot moves at a very fast pace, which I greatly appreciate, and the characters face ample amounts of drama, which engages the reader and makes them develop attachments towards the characters. Adan and Sara's interactions with each other include fire hot chemistry, moments of sweet affection, and sheer adoration.

The only reason I'm not giving Flutter a 5 star review is due to the grammar mistakes and the tiny bit of confusion that I felt at the end. In my opinion, when creating a new world, an author should take care to develop it fully in the first novel, instead of throwing in details at the end. Don't get me wrong, I like Melissa's original interpretation of this type of lore, but I wish she hadn't waited until the very end to make it epic. Despite that, Melissa has created a new dynamic for the Urban Fantasy genre, and I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.

Flutter is a must-read.

Rating: 4 out of 5 owls

Book Trailer:

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