Sunday, October 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves (#6)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews as way to share all the great books you've received throughout the week.

Rouge by Leigh T. Moore 
Audery's Guide to Witchcraft by Jody Gehrman - I won this book from a giveaway hosted by Jessica over the Book Up! This sounds like a fun read and I'm looking forward reading it.
Rouge by Leigh Talbert Moore - Having enjoyed the author's other novel, The Truth About Faking, I'm really hoping that I also would enjoy this new upcoming New Adult/Mature YA novel from her. 
All The Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen - I've heard so many good things about her other book, Demons of the Sun, although this one seems pretty different from it but still, I hope it would be as great as that too. 
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning - I think I've seen this a million times since I've joined goodreads but was never really interested since me and fey books don't seem to work quite so well ( with the exception of The Iron Fey) but seeing that so many are really loving this series I guess it's time for me to try this out. Hopefully it would work out well for me.
Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride - Finally got a copy! Haha! I've been really looking forward reading this especially after really enjoying the first book. Oooh, I can't wait to be reunited with Sam again and have a lot of laughs. 

Thank you Leigh T. Moore and Entangled Publishing for the review copies. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Review: Taste by Kat Evangelista

Title: Tase
Author: Kat Evangelista
Published: April 30th 2012
Publisher: Crescent Moon Press
My rating: 3.75 stars
At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Luka has other plans. When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn't realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Luka the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud.

Well, this book was a pleasant surprise for me. I wasn't expecting that much on this one and to be honest I had some doubt I'd end up really enjoying it. But I'm pleased to report that this book is actually a very interesting one. It might not have instantly caught my interest during the first parts but as I went deeper to the story I realized that it had eventually intrigued me. The characters and the world Kat created were indeed a very unique and fantastic and I'm happy to say that I enjoyed reading this book.

I first thought this was a vampire book thus explaining my doubt. I was surprised when the world was finally described and explained that I realized how interesting and fascinating it was. It wasn't really a vampire world but a world of "Zhyamvys" or "zombies" as we humans, according to the book, bastartized it. It was rather a fascinating idea - good looking zombies, smart and civilized than just the brain eater we always thought of. It was quite captivating and absorbing to explore this unique world Kat created.

Phoenix, our main character discovered the existence of the Zhamvys when she accidentally overslept in the library of her school pass the curfew. Her curiosity still brought her to discover more of the world of Zhamvy and soon found herself helping some of them in this dangerous secret that might kill this ancient civilization that lived underneath her school.I didn't get well with Phoenix right away. I was actually pretty annoyed with her and some of her actions. Her curiosity I understand but she was impatient and reckless and although those could be appealing attributes on some characters, it felt quite annoying on her. Although as the story went on I saw parts of her that is good and kind and impressive, like when she agreed to help Dray to look for a cure for his people because she understood how it felt not to able to do anything to someone you love. She agreed even if it was dangerous and did extreme sacrifices. In the end, I think she did grow on me. 

Now onto the other main character and the love interest, Demitri. Well, there's a reason why I still haven't read Vampire Academy, Wanderlove and why I didn't continue the Faeriewalker series. 

Long-haired guys. 

I know, I know. Shallow it is. Don't get angry at me but they were just never my type and it turns me off quite majorly whenever I encounter one. However, after reading this I realized that it wasn't really that hard to imagine them to be short-haired. Lol! Seriously, that's the only way I know how I'll be able to continue reading this and still really like it. So in the end, I  was actually able to like Demitri genuinely. And yes, I also did think he was sexy. 

Although I liked the overall, I was a little disappointed with the ending. It felt kinda rush, even some other parts of the book but it was the ending that I wish had been elaborated more. Nonetheless, I think this is a pretty great debut novel and really fantastic for a one-shot paranormal book albeit a little formulaic and predictable at times. I wouldn't mind if there will be a second book actually (or a companion book about Luca). I enjoyed this and I guess it's safe to recommend this.

Thank you Kat Evangelista for providing me a copy of this book!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mini Reviews: Callum & Harper by Amelie Fisher, Going Under by Georgia Cates, On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

Title: Callum & Harper
Author: Amelie Fisher
Published: December 24th 2011
Publisher: Amelie Fisher
My rating: 3.5 stars

I really enjoyed this book especially Callum and Harper's journey in finding a new life together. It was actually very sweet and touching and fascinating to read. I followed eagerly the journey of these two and how they worked and found ways to live from scratch after being thrown by their foster family after turning their legal age. I was glad that even though they were complete stranger when they first met I was able to see the connection between the two right away and it didn't feel awkward at all. I was impressed by how they worked as  a team effectively; they were able to survive every day, found place to spend the night, foods to eat, money for their daily expenses and all. They'd faced a lot of obstacles but they get through all of it with the help of each other. They were even able to go to college! I love how the relationship between the two developed. It was sweet, cute and very heart warming. Although I admittedly sometimes it kinda irritates me how the two keep misunderstanding the actions of each other when really they both felt the same way. I understand that both were pretty scared to lose one another. Still I really enjoyed moments between the two. The only problem I had with this book though was the drama on the last thirds. It felt like it just dragged the story too long. I wouldn't have minded it if it wasn't really that long though. Nonetheless, I think this could definitely pass up as one of my favorite and sweetest contemporary I've read. I recommend this.


Title: Going Under
Author: Georgia Cates
Published: March 10th 2012
Publisher: Georgia Cates
My rating: 3 stars

This reminded me so much of Perfect Chemistry and Pushing the Limits although this one is published first before the latter. Actually it was pretty identical but for someone who's just looking for some sweet story with enough depth to read I think this could definitely work out for them. It wasn't that bad but since it was like I've read this story before it didn't really strike me anything. Sure, there were moments that I actually enjoyed, I just wished that it had offered something much more different and remembering. Some reactions from the other characters kinda put me off like the heroine's mom when she finds out who her daughter was dating. Of all people, she should understand them given her profession. It was kinda infuriating actually and a what-the-f* moment. The ending kinda weird-ed me out too. It was suddenly cut dead end, and in a worst scenario and then it was suddenly epilogue and it was happily ever after. I wish the author had explored the last parts some more. Nonetheless, despite the negative I've said it wasn't really that of a bad read. It was a fairly good and entertaining read.


Author: Samantha Young
Published: August 31st 2012
Publisher: Samantha Young
My rating: 4 stars

I was surprised by how much I actually liked this story. It was my first book of Samantha Young and I didn't even know that she'd published a number of young-adult books before this and this is actually her first contemporary adult book. After reading this, I can say that Young is a talented writer and she sure knows what she was writing. The emotional depth and profundity of this book is very well showed and it successfully reached into me. I love how effectively she portrayed Jocelyn, the main character, that despite her flaws, mistakes and faults she was a character we understand. I love that she takes action; she knows she needed to see a therapist and she did it; she talk and thought of the things told on her and consider them. Although she gets to be stubborn and yes, definitely frustrating I can see how real and honest her character was written. The romance was definitely a winner for me. Branden is the kind of guy you'd totally love to be with. He was very persistent (in a cute and very sweet way), understanding and patient. I love how he never gave up on Jocelyn despite her streaks. This is not just some steamy romance novel because this book definitely has a lot more of depth that I had expected; it talks about friendship, acceptance, and forgiveness, overcoming fear and moving forward. This is a very worthy read. I totally love to recommend this.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Blog Tour: Freedom Road by T.M. Souders (Review + Excerpt)

Title: Freedom Road
Author: T.M. Souders
Publication Date: September 2012
Publisher: CreateSpace
My rating: 4 stars
Since the tender age of eight, music served as Samantha Becker’s source of solace against her father’s tyranny and her mother’s alcoholism. Now at eighteen, her only dream is to study classical guitar at Juilliard. But when her father’s careless actions lead to an “accident,” which threatens her ability to play the guitar, Sam becomes despondent. Losing all confidence in her future, Sam hides behind the emotional barriers that have protected her for years.

Just when Sam has given up, two unexpected people enter her life, giving her the confidence she needs, and forcing her to evaluate all she’s ever known. Battling her father’s plans for her future, band mates using her for personal gain, and a permanent injury, the odds are stacked against her. With auditions approaching and time running out, Sam must relearn to play the guitar, or be destined to give up her dreams forever.
Freedom Road is a story of a girl's journey in rediscovering herself and reaching her dreams even when almost everything in her life seems to be shattering and crumbling. Sam's story has definitely inspired and touched me in many ways. And this being a music-themed book had my heart even more captivated with it.

Sam is a very talented and gifted girl. Her guitar had become her solace from her very dysfunctional family and broken life. She developed a fiery passion for playing it and it became her dream to get into Julliard. However an "accident" happened that caused her to not almost be able to play. She was disheartened and discouraged and thought that she lost the only thing that really matters to her - her playing. But she met two people that truly cared and believed in her gift despite her new disability. Through them Sam found new confidence to continue playing and reasons why she should not give up.

For someone who knows how to play a guitar, I can say that Sam and I had developed quite a bond in this book. (Although my ability to play doesn't even reached quarter of hers. Haha!) I can say that I was really able to relate to her especially with her passion for playing the guitar. I understand why she was discouraged after the accident when some people might think that it wasn't really that big of a deal. I can imagine who hard it is for her to continue having that disability. But Sam is different, she is truly a gifted child. Her passion and love for playing is very remarkable and impressive. And so with the help of the people who truly cared for her she was able to stand up and believe in herself again. I also love how she was able to realize and learn a lot of things through her journey. Her character really progressed as the story went on and she became a very admirable character.

The writing is wonderful too. I can feel the intensity of Sam's passion in every word and phrases that describes her playing. The emotions were very well layered and I was able to really feel the heartaches and despair of the characters in this book especially with her family. 

The secondary characters, Tad and Laird were both really great. I really adore the both of them. Tad was a very funny and interesting boy and I love how insightful he could be sometimes. Laird was just really sweet and supportive. Moments between him and Sam were just really cute and yeah, swoon-worthy. 

Overall, this book is such a wonderful work. The plot line was very well thought and I love how the author showed insights about growth, forgiveness, acceptance and love. But most of all the passion for music. I was definitely inspired and touched by Sam's story. I recommend this. :)


I returned home from school and shut myself in my room, grateful to be alone. Leaning against the closed door, I sunk to the floor. My guitar case fell off my shoulder and slithered down my body next to me where I sat, arms wrapped around knees drawn firmly to my chest.

Today was a hard day. And on hard days, I turned to my guitar. But as I stared at the scuffed, black case at my side, apprehension gripped my chest with scorching fingers. I opened the case and stared at the instrument in reverence. The natural vintage surface, as smooth as glass.The rosewood fingerboard and handmade pickguard with its creamy design.

I lowered my legs and lifted the Gibson out of the case, liberating it from the darkness,exactly what my guitar had done for me ten years earlier. I held it, feeling the weight, heavy in my arms like a long lost friend, a patchwork of happy memories. I moved to the edge of my bed and got into position. My left hand curled around the board. My fingers moved onto the strings and I launched into the first piece that popped into my head—“I’ll See You In My Dreams” by DjangoRheinhardt.

I played for several minutes. Crappily. Mangling most of the song, my playing was stilted and unsure. The sounds emanating were those of an amateur. For most of the first half, I had troublestretching my pinky to compensate for my ring finger on the chords. As a result, I ended up lifting my hand too far off the fretboard to create a consistent sound. Little time passed before the tears fell. A sob wracked my body as I missed several notes. I bit my lip until it bled, trying my best to focus on the music and not on my blistering heart. But the song was too upbeat, too happy and discordant from my own frame of mind for me to play well. The tears fell freely after that, until my whole body shook from the force of my anguish, and I could play no more.

I swiped my face with my right hand, sucking a deep breath and trying to calm myself. I breathed in and out, concentrating on the simple task until my chest stopped heaving. “You can do this, Sam. You need this.”

I needed to play. I needed just one song. A song to get me through the rest of the day.A song to get through tomorrow and the week.

I picked something I liked, something I could play before with my eyes closed. I started in on “Only Hope” by Switchfoot. I launched into it, curling my middle finger in place of my ring finger on the fifth fret, A string. I slid my finger up two frets to E. I did well with the first few chords, but when I got to the G power chord, I had to bar the whole third fret with my pointer finger and utilize the rest of them for the chord. I wrecked it. I started over, playing again and trying to find a way around the chord, a way to create the same sound with one less finger, but I couldn’t. I started a third time, then a fourth. I played the same few chords over and over, until I finally went on with the song. But I mutilated the rest of it too.

Stopping, I shoved the guitar off of me onto the bed. I ran a hand through my hair and paced my room. I tried to focus on the steady cadence of my sneakers moving over the floor, but nothing about the sound soothed me. A thousand visions passed through my mind. Ones of me playing at events past—playing with Mr. Neely for hours before and after school, playing at the talent show, at the county fair, at The Clover, the Celtic festival, the Greek festival, the jazz festival, gigs in Richmond. Playing everywhere and anywhere I’ve ever been able. I played with all my fingers. They moved skillfully over the fretboard, needing nothing more than talent and muscle memory to drive them. The sounds which escaped those fingers? Perfection.

I walked back and forth in front of my bed, my steps heavier, faster than before. Reaching up into my hair, my hands clenched automatically, gripping my raven locks by the roots. I pulled and screamed, letting the searing pain in my scalp and the sound of my screaming soothe my ragged nerves. Only, it fueled them instead.

I darted across the room, to the picture of Derek andme at a jazz festival last year, my guitar strung over my back. I ripped it from the wall. I looked down at my desk, and in one smooth motion, I shoved all of its contents onto the floor and upturned it. My heart smashed into my ribs, as I turned and strode over to my bed, where my gaze zoned onto my guitar.

What good was it to me anymore? What good was a guitar I couldn’t play?

I snatched up the guitar—my prized possession—and raised it above my head. I started to bring my arms down, the guitar with it, but I paused. Tears sprung to my eyes. The beating of my heart resounded in my ears. I raised the guitar again and pressed my face into my shoulder, steeling myself for the blow, my muscles coiled. But I hesitated. I stood, arms and guitar suspended in the air, my eyes squeezed shut.

And then, as if whispered to me from above, I heard of all people, Tad’s voice in my head. Speaking slowly, clearly, coolly, triumphantly.Jerry Garcia. James Doohan. Tony Lomi. Django Reinhardt...

I lowered my guitar. With aching limbs, I retrieved the case from the floor and put it away. I stared at the closed case for what felt like hours, realizing I was in-between worlds. One in which I couldn’t play, and another in which I knew I had to, but having no idea how to close the gap, having no idea if I even could, only knowing that I wanted to. I needed to.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Review: The Truth About Faking by Leigh Talbert Moore

Title: The Truth About Faking
Author: Leigh Talbert Moore
Publication: Spetember 1st 2012
Publisher: Smash
My rating: 3.5 stars
Jason just wants a date with Harley. Harley just wants a date with Trent. Trent's still getting over Stephanie.

When Harley and Jason decide to fake date, they uncover a school of deceptions. Trent's got a secret, but so does Jason. And the more time Harley spends secretly kissing her fake boyfriend, the further she gets from her dreams with Trent.

Worst of all, Harley's mom is getting cozy with her hot massage therapy student, and even Harley's Reverend Dad can't fake not being bothered by it. But when the masks finally come off, can everyone handle the real truth?

The Truth About Faking is one sweet and cute read. I have always love the idea of two people faking a relationship but would eventually developed feelings for each other. Reading Harley and Jason's story was a fun and enjoyable experience.

Harley had a crush on Trent for quite a long time so when Trent's girlfriend broke off with him Harley made plans on how to win Trent over and be his boyfriend. However some of her plans went flying out of the window when the new student, Jason, came. Harley asked Jason to help her get Trent to notice her by fake-dating. When the two started spending more time together they became closer and noticed more things about each other. But Harley felt complicated about it and her feelings for Trent, to top it off some issues were arising between her family and their community.

Harley is a character that is fun to read about albeit a bit awkward and frustrating sometimes. Still she's a character that is easy to like. She did mistakes and wrong choices but that only made her character more realistic. What's more good was that she learned from it and her character did progress throughout the story. Jason. He's my favorite character in this book. He was never dull and I really liked his sense of humor. Plus he was really sweet towards Harley and had always been there with her even if she was quite hard-headed. 

Harley's dad was a pastor so there were some religious aspects in this book. Although some parts felt a bit preachy it wasn't really that much to make me or some readers uncomfortable about it. I actually liked some of the messages this book had offered. And I think the issues were handled very well.

Overall, this was an entertaining and enjoyable read. The characters are great and fun, the plot was wonderful and sweet and the messages were lesson-filled and insightful. I recommend this. 

Thank you Leigh Talbert Moore for the review copy of this book.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm back!

I'm back! Woohoo! And I'm no longer MIA. Haha. I came back from Palawan actually last Saturday night but I was then bombarded with so many school works on the following days (the semester is ending and lots of requirements are being finished) so I wasn't able to blog and visit you guys. I wasn't even able to post a review yesterday for a tour stop I joined in but Ashley from Bookish Brunette who've been hosting it have been very understanding and let me move my stop on the 14th instead. Thank you girl! So anyhoo, I had so much fun in Palawan! Haha! And I'd like to share some of the photos on my trip there.

Picture on the left was the skeleton of one of the biggest crocodile in the country and on the right is a "sisig" (a Filipino dish) but instead of pork, crocodile meat was used.
This is the view from where we had our dinner on the first day.
The picture on the left was the entrance to the Puerto Prinsesa Underground River, it was pretty small during that time because the water was too high due to the constant raining the previous days. And because of that the coast guard didn't let us get inside which was just sad. Hopefully the when I get back someday I'll be able to get inside. 
This was during our dinner on our last night. Some of the students on the local university had this cultural presentation to entertain us while having our dinner. 

So there guys! I'm officially back! Haha! I'll go visit you guys tomorrow since it's already....12am here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review: Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Cursed
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publication: September 18th 2012
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
My Rating: 3.5 stars
Dying sucks-- and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. And that, well, really blows.

Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things--including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming her curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities even weird her out.

However, she's willing to do anything to hold her sister's hand again. And hell, she'd also like to be able to kiss Hayden. Who wouldn't? But when Ember learns the accident that turned her into a freak may not have been an accident at all, she's not sure who to trust. Someone wanted her dead, and the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she is to losing not only her heart, but her life. For real this time.

Hi guys! So I manage to write a review before I go MIA for a few days! Yaaay! Haha! I'll be leaving tomorrow and I don't know if I be able to get on line in the next few days but I'll be back next week so yeah, I'll be sure to visit your blogs by then and see what I missed and comment more. For the mean time here's my review for Jennifer Armentrout's Cursed. Check it out. :)


Cursed is a fantastic novel that even though has a pretty common trope - the touch of death - was still able to offer something that is quite different and fresh. And although I did find it not as striking as Armentrout's first two published novels it was still a fairly entertaining read with outstanding characters and fantastic twists. 

Embers suffered a lot since the accident that caused his father to die and her to have the ability of touch of death. Her mother had gone into depression after that thus leaving her alone to take care of her younger sister, Olivia. Ember is a character that is easy to sympathize with especially with how things turned out for her after the accident - inside and outside of her home. Yet she became a determined and strong-minded character especially when it comes to Olivia. I like how much she cared for her and loved her. But it was also saddening and yes, quite frustrating with how strongly she believed that her ability is a curse - that she is cursed. 

In all honesty, I was actually really frustrated with her especially with the trust issue she had with Cromwell's group and how long it took her to realized that she'd been wallowing herself for so long and that it was finally time for her to take action and help herself with her ability. Although I think it was already a little late for me to make me like her as much as I did with Katy and Alex, I do still think that she is a person that has a lot of admirable and desirable characteristics. 

As for the Hayden Cromwell, Ember's love interest and also someone with ability, he is a character that is so easy to like. He is a total sweet heart and although could be described soft if compared to Armentrout's other boys he has this edges in him that makes him definitely crush-able and swoon-worthy. And yes, hot too! His patience and hard work in helping Ember control her gift is admirable and I like how much he loved his adopted family. 

Overall, this is definitely an entertaining and fantastic read albeit a bit predictable and in my case, quite frustrating. But I can still say that Armentrout's writing is indeed really good because even with those issues I had I can't seem to put this down when I started reading it. This may pale compared to her Obsidian and Half-blood this book is still a very worthy read. And yes, I guess I treasure this because this is my first ever physical ARC! Haha! I recommend this. 

Thank you so much Spencer Hill Press for sending me an ARC of this book! You guys rock!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...