YA Lit Must Reads

I thought I would give a few mini reviews in one post to basically say that yes-if you tend to like what I review and read here then you should read these too! =]

Embrace by Jessiva Shirvington

Published by Sourcebooks Fire

Out March 6, 2012

Yes, it’s another YA novel about angels and I love it! In this one, Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday because it is also the anniversary of her mother’s death. Suddenly she has a mysterious tattoo going up her arms, awful dreams, and the one person she can count on is keeping secrets from her-like he’s half human and so is she! Oh, and you can bet there is another guy that comes into the picture with sketchy motives too. A battle between fallen angels and those fighting for humanity ensues, but don’t worry, Violet is a strong heroine and never quits fighting. Shirvington’s debut novel is fun and takes a few liberties with the whole fallen angel theme and does a good job doing so.

Anyone who is a fan of lit dealing with angels will like this one a lot!

Pandemonium (Delirium #2) by Lauren Oliver

Published by Harper Teen

Out February 28, 2012

I picked up Delirium by Lauren Oliver awhile ago and started it but never finished it, so when I got the ARC of Pandemonium I thought that I should give it a whirl again and I’m glad I did. This one picks up right where Delirium left off and you are right there with Lena through all the pain she’s endured. Lena tries to push the old Lena out of her life completely and strives to become an active part of the Resistance. In doing so, she finds herself trying to save Julian (a pivotal character) and possibly falling in love with him along the way.

It’s rare that I like the 2nd book in a trilogy (or series), I’m not exactly sure why but it seems to be a trend with me, however; the ending of this one literally made my jaw drop. If the 2nd book in the series can do that then it’s definitely a good one!

Anyone who has read Delirium or other dystopian novels will surely love these! Give ’em a go!

Nightshade Trilogy (Nightshade, Wolfsbane, Bloodrose) by Andrea Cremer

Published by Penguin Group

Wow. I normally don’t like reading about wolves. Actually, shapeshifting in general is not something I typically go out of my way to read about, but this trilogy is actually quite good! There is Calla and Ren, both alphas of different packs but soon to join and lead their packs together.  Then there is Shay, the boy that Calla saves… As you can imagine, there is a love triangle, but is anything as good without one? Throughout the trilogy, Calla just gets stronger and stronger and the choice between Ren and Shay gets harder and harder. There’s a lot to pay attention to with the Guardians (werewolves) the humans (searchers) and the witches (Keepers), all of which is very intricate and well done.

<Sigh> It’s a good trilogy and I read it pretty quickly because I needed to know what happened next. What’s great about reading this trilogy now is that all the books have already been published, so no waiting between novels is needed! =]

Cheers and happy reading!


Darkness Becomes Her: A Review

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Published by Simon Pulse

Out February 22, 2011



Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very…different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.

A place filled with different creatures that are all afraid of a girl that is a bit different herself sounds pretty awesome. In New 2, Ari discovers that there are many freaks of nature, as she often describes herself, roaming around like: vampires, witches, half vampire/half witches, shapeshifters and…Athena. That’s right, the Athena many of us are familiar with from Greek Myths. You might be thinking to yourself that it looks like Kelly Keaton took on a lot for her first novel in this series and I would say you are exactly right.

Keaton creates a world where many different creatures exist without the fear of becoming a lab experiment, due to the Novem-the nine families that perserve their city. With all the preternaturals in the story, at times things can get a bit conviluted and frankly, some of it could have been cut out.

Ari goes to New 2 to learn about her mother and father. Pretty early on in Ari and Sebastian’s (half vampire/half witch) relationship, Ari tell’s Sebastian about her mother, almost without hesitating. Realistically, something that traumatic happening to Ari and with barely knowing Sebastian, there would at least be some hesitation or maybe withholding of information. Little things like this continunally occur throughout the novel making both the characters and the dialogue unbelievable.

The novel wasn’t entirely bad as it did have some decent parts. For instance, Ari’s interal dialogue can be humorous at times and what Sebastian’s character will possibly become is intriguing.

Overall: Unsatisfying. There are decent ideas here but it was poorly executed. Perhaps the future books in the series can pull it all together. A caution to young readers or those sensitive to cursing: there is a lot of it.

The Night Circus: A Review

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

As many of you may know by now, there is a lot of hype surrounding Erin Morgenstern’s debut novel, The Night Circus. All I can say is that the hype is much deserved! If you read this, I promise that Celia and Marco will become two of your favorite characters.  Their connection is undeniable and together their effect on their world is quite astounding. This novel is very descriptive and takes on a magical tone of it’s own. I’ve read some reviews on Goodreads stating how drawn out and descriptive it can be, but that is the beauty of it-Morgenstern creates a world to escape to where everything can exist.

I know I’m late to the game on this review but trust me, this one is a good one.

The Night Circus Eric Morgenstern out 09/13/2011

Slash and Burn: A Mini Review

I’ll admit to never reading any novels by Lee Child, Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Connelly or any of the other really popular male authors constantly making the New York Times Bestseller List.  So when I got the Advance Readers Copy of Slash and Burn by Matt Hilton, I decided to give it a chance, as Hilton is often compared to the authors previously mentioned.

Joe Hunter, ex-CIA tough guy/hero of the Hilton novels, meets a desperate woman named Kate while on a Florida retreat. She needs help finding her sister, Imogen, who is missing and may be in trouble.  Joe agrees to help Kate and slowly falls for this woman who appeared so desperate in the beginning but who is actually capable of herself. Together they fight a lot of men while trying to figure out why Imogen has disappeared and why these men are searching for her as well.

While reading this, I will admit that much of it was easily predictable, especially the love between Joe and Kate. Even the play on Joe’s last name, Hunter, was a bit silly. There was only one part of this entire book that I was actually surprised at but I won’t speak of it here, just in case someone else is planning to read this novel of course, but I will say that it was surprising and made the overall novel a bit better for me.  This novel is most definitely something I would call a “mindless read” nothing you need to pay close attention to but something that is somewhat enjoyable and easy to read.  I wouldn’t suggest running out to purchase it- only if violence and an easy read is something you are seeking.  But, if you stumble upon it, you may want to pick it up especially if you happen to like the afore mentioned authors.

Slash and Burn is on sale 10/25/2011

The Taker: A Mini Review

The Taker by Alma Katsu is a pretty great debut novel.  I’ve mentioned it so many times before but I’ll say it another time, I have read a lot of great debuts this year!  It’s always exciting to find new authors that you adore and Alma Katsu is certainly an author I will continue to read.  On to my thoughts about the book…

There is an apparent murder in a small town in rural Maine.  Dr. Luke Findley meets the young woman, Lanny, who is the alleged murderer, and feels a strange and immediate pull toward her. Luke agrees to help her flee the hospital and hears the story of her life along the way. Filled with love, betrayal, and immortality, Katsu takes you on a journey through time that is both beautiful and tragic.

Katsu’s writing is quite stellar. I felt such a strong attachment to Lanny with every turn of the page.  I embraced Luke as he helped Lanny to escape and heard her tale that spanned two hundred years. Only a true writer of great talent can fully engross a reader and make them react emotionally to every written word.  Alma Katsu does exactly that which is so rare to find.

The Taker is heartbreaking, eerie, and unforgettable- I highly suggest picking this one up and enjoying every word of it.

The Taker (September 2011) is available now and you can visit Alma Katsu’s website here for more information.

endlessqueue, What are you up to?

Although I have not posted a book review as of late, I do have some currently in the works! I’m in the middle of two novels that, so far, are proving to be good reads.  One of which is from an author I am not familiar with, Matt Hilton.  The ARC I am reading of his is called Slash and Burn which is the first time it’s been in print.  The protagonist in this novel, Joe Hunter, is being compared to Jack Reacher, the main character in Lee Child’s novels.  That is a pretty bold claim to be made considering how prolific Lee Child is, so I am excited to finish this one and give you my thoughts.

The next author is one I am sure many are familiar with- Ellen Hopkins, the bestselling author of the Crank Series.  The ARC I am reading is called Triangles, and it is her first adult novel, as she normally writes YA.  I’ll admit, I have never read one of her books before, but I am familiar with the poetic setup she has in her other titles.  This one follows the same suit and is actually quite good.  Both novels are due to come out in October so check back soon for those reviews!

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I have FINALLY got this blog up! I’d been hounding myself everyday to get this started and found myself uninspired to do so, mostly because I hadn’t read anything really great and it put me into a dreadful rut of not finishing anything that I picked up to read.  However, I’ve read a couple of great books as of late that got me really excited so I will start off with those reviews first. I do hope you enjoy reading the reviews as much as I did writing them. Maybe you’ll even pick up the book and give it a go yourself. Happy reading!